TIGHTER “No taxation without representation.” The colonists were upset
TIGHTER BRITISH CONTROL LED TO A REVOLUTION IN COLONIAL AMERICA INTRODUCTIONImagine you are holding a water balloon named Collin. You have to squeeze it a little to hold it as all the forces of water inside are pushing to get out and stretching that balloon. Then your cousin Stan comes up and starts to squeeze Collin with you. Then your friend Quinn comes over and squeezes the water balloon with all of you. Then your neighbor Massimo shows up and also joins you all in squeezing Collin. Finally, when Patty gets her hands on Collin it becomes too much and the water balloon bursts. In the same way as mounting pressure from your, Stan’s, Quinn’s, Massimo’s, and Patty’s squeezing caused Collin to burst, tighter British control led to a revolution in colonial America. The Stamp Act, Quartering Act, Boston Massacre, and Boston Tea Party all contributed to the American colonies feeling fed up and bursting into a revolution to gain independence from the British rule. The colonies were already under pressure to send their products and pay taxes the introduction of new acts and colonial resistance have served as the final set of straws that led the colonists to an uprising. Stan: The Stamp Act, March 22, 1765The Stamp Act was a taxation on the colonies and required that many documents printed in the American colonies be printed on paper stamped with the British revenue stamp and produced in London. This meant that American colonists would have to pay a tax to the British for every printed piece of paper such as newspapers, pamphlets, magazines, ship papers, even playing cards, and legal documents. This aggravated the colonists because they had to pay taxes on paper to a distant King and be ruled by laws of Parliament which they did not elect. The majority of the colonists thought that the Stamp Act violated their rights because they could not vote for any act in the British Parliament. Their slogan was “No taxation without representation.” The colonists were upset by the Stamp Act that they formed coalitions and had a meeting in New York to come up with ways to oppose it. The meeting became known as Stamp Act Congress and was a first instance when American colonists came together to join forces and oppose British action. They even petitioned the King and Parliament. This opposition coalition was very large stretching from New England to Maryland. The Stamp Act was made to raise money for the protection of American territory on the Appalachian Mountains after the British won French and Indian War. The money raised through the tax were supposed to pay for keeping British troops for colonists safety. Although the colonists did not see it like that. The colonists said they could always defend themselves from Indians. What they did not want was to have to pay for British soldiers to stay in the colonies. Colonists also believed that just like all of the other taxations were to regulate trade and they did not see the Stamp Act as any different. The group called Sons of Liberty instigated many violent protests across different colonies. In the end, the distributors of stamp tax were so scared that they resigned and the taxes were not collected in the way the Stamp Act was intended.The Stamp Act was repealed in March 18, 1766, because of the American colonial opposition and opposition from other British colonies. British went on to issue other acts and impose other taxes but the opposition to the Stamp Act is seen as the first coordinated opposition of American colonies to the British rule. Quinn: Quartering Act of May 15, 1765Quartering Act of 1765 stated that American colonists needed to provide housing and food for nearby soldier’s if there is not enough space for the troops in their barracks. This created frustration in the colonies resulting in further progress of the American revolution. Originally, the Act was to help support the troops left over from the French and Indian War. During the war, the colonists were required to house and provide food to soldiers under a different act, the Mutiny Act. However, after the French and Indian War was over, the colonists started refusing housing to soldiers. The British Parliament’s answer to that was the Quartering Act.Under the Quartering Act of 1765, the colonies were to provide housing and liquor. If there was still not enough housing, then all empty houses and barns were to be given to troops. The colonists were also required to provide food for all the troops they were housing. This made many colonists angry and most colonies found ways to refuse housing and not abide by the Act. As an example, in 1766, 1500 British soldiers came to New York City, they were refused housing. The troops had to stay on ships and that caused a lot fights on the streets between soldiers and colonists. The colonists did agree with the fact that there was military always present on their territories even though the war was over. The Quartering Act of 1765 expired in 1776. By then, some colonies agreed to set money aside to build barracks for soldiers to not have to abide by the Act. Finally, in 1774 the British Parliament enacted a new Quartering Act which allowed British troops live and eat in colonists’ homes without getting permission from them. This all contributed to the colonists wanting to get out from the British rule and helped bring about American Revolution. Massimo: The Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770The Boston Massacre also played an important role in the revolution in colonial America. The Boston Massacre refers to an incident were five colonists were killed by British soldiers. It was a culmination of building up frustration on the colonists side against British taxation. The Townshend Acts were taxes on goods that were made in Britain and imported into the American colonies, through import tariffs. The Massachusetts House of Representatives wrote a letter to the King asking to repeal the Acts. They also wrote letters to other colonies’ representatives to do write the same letter to the King. The British Parliament was very upset and worried for the safety of the British appointed officials in the colonies. Also, Boston’s chief customs officer asked for military protection because of the amount of opposition. Britain responded by sending troops to be stationed in Boston.On March 5th, 1770, a group of colonists were verbally offending the British Soldiers and throwing snowballs and rocks at them, as well. This ignited into the soldiers firing into the crowd without command leaving people dead and wounded. Two people were killed there and three died later from wounds. The mass killing was publicized by Sam Adams and Paul Revere. Their intentions were to publicly announce the incident to get as many colonists on their side to help revolt against the British. The Boston Massacre shows that already by 1770 the colonists were getting really anxious about all the British rule over them and that things were getting violent. Patty: Boston Tea Party, December 16, 1773 One of the main reasons why tighter British control led to a revolution in colonial America is because of the Boston Tea Party. The Boston Tea Party was a protest against the Tea Act of May 10, 1773. The protest was not technically against taxation as the tea prices were lowered by it. The protest was against several notions. First, that the Tea Act gave the East India Company monopoly over tea imports. This threatened to put other legitimate tea importers out of business. Colonies also feared that the tea monopoly created by the government would extend to other goods and with that increase British rule over colonial trade. Many believed that even though the Tea Act did not increase tax on tea, because it was a British monopoly it functioned as tax. This continued to fuel “no taxation without representation” colonial complaint about being levied taxes by British parliament to which the American colonies did not elect any representatives. Even smugglers of Dutch tea secretly joined the rebellion as they were going to go out of business as their prices were going to be higher now.Sons of Liberty attacked British merchant ships at night and dumped 342 crates of tea into the Boston harbor. Although Tea Act was not intended to raise expenses for the colonists, it was trying to keep the East India Company out of financial ruins, it ignited the revolutionary fire. The events of the Boston Tea Party were publicized by Adams as not a random act of vandalism, hooliganism, and disobedience. Rather, Samuel Adams wrote about it as a civilized, concerted, political protest against British oppression. This single event represented many different ideas to different groups of people. It brought together various groups under the same umbrella. CONCLUSIONTighter British control over American colonies increased already rising pressure of colonial resistance and resulted in the American Revolution. Through increased taxation and imposition on the property rights of colonists by the Stamp Act and the Quartering Acts, British added to the colonial resentment that was already there. The acts also highlighted to the colonists that the British will not stop. The violent acts and acts of defiance of the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party showed that the colonies were on edge and that they were willing to take violent action against the British rule. The Boston Tea Party signified a combined dissatisfaction with the British rule and brought many different interest groups together to act for the same cause.