After the French and Indian War, which was a brutal battle against the British colonies and New France, Britain had an enormous debt to pay off. The British Empire looked to he colonies to help pay off the money, but colonists were not at all compliant with this. Nevertheless, Britain went ahead with their plans and enforced several acts that not only restricted the colonists In Issues pertaining to their economy. But also created much dissatisfaction with life in the colonies.
The constant shifts in British policies regarding economic policies and trade designed to benefit the British Empire, especially the Stamp Act, Townsend Act, and Tea Act, caused much discontent amongst colonists, thus sparking a sense of rebellion that led to the orientation of unified, organized groups and ultimately the American Revolution. The Stamp Act, enforced In 1765, spurred a rebellion that later helped to create the Stamp Act Congress. The Stamp Act virtually taxed the colonists on nearly every piece of printed paper, such as newspapers and legal documents.
Though the outraged colonists saw it as unjust, the British thought their enforcement was justified. As Thomas Whitely, advisor of the man who wrote the initial Stamp Act, said in “Considerations… ” ” , , [the British] are not yet recovered from a War undertaken solely for [the Americans’] Protection… Hey should contribute to the Preservation of the Advantages they have received”. According to this, the Brothels thought their primary reason for being so In debt was due to the wars they had been fighting In America towards the colonists’ favor.
Whitely believed that colonists should also partake in contributing towards paying off the debt. The Stamp Act became the first blatant attempt of the British to use the colonists and their growing economy to benefit the Empire. Because this act’s intentions were so obvious, the colonists had extremely opposing reaction. Colonists also began boycotting stamps and goods to bell against the act. They also formed the Stamp Act Congress to devise a unified protest against the taxation.
According to Patrick Henry, “the Taxation of the People by themselves, or by Person chosen by themselves to represent them, who can only know what Taxes the People are to bear… Is the only Security against a burdensome Taxation, and the distinguishing Characteristics of British Freedom”. This quote from Henry portrayed the colonists’ perspective on the phrase “No Taxation Without Representation” and that colonists would only find taxation fair If they were allowed o discuss their own pollens to Parliament that would actually be taken Into consideration.
Overall, the Stamp Act caused discontent amongst colonists while also causing more rebellious behavior to arise. The Townsend Acts were another series of policies that greatly angered colonists, especially merchants, in that through these acts, the colonists realized the immense and unjust control the British had over them. These acts focused particularly on following were all practical necessities at that time. Though these acts went against mercantilism in that they were bound to discourage British manufacturers and encourage manufacturers from the colonies, the creator of this taxation demanded to have this enforced no matter what.
The Townsend Acts also shut down the New York assembly, who had been providing part of the money needed to house British troops when the Quartering Act was imposed. The act shut down the assembly until the full amount lost from the Boston Tea Party was appropriated. In response to this, John Dickinson, who had served in the Stamp Act Congress, stated “There is another late act of parliament which appears to me to be unconstitutional, and… Destructive to the bibber of theses colonies… The Townsend Acts claim the authority to impose duties on theses colonies, not for the regulation of trade… UT for the single purpose of levying money upon us”. This depicts the true perspective of colonists. These acts were not enforced for the purpose of Just gaining more authority over colonists and their trade, but also exhibited the immense power the British held over the colonists. Britain taking away the assembly was what hit colonists the hardest. Though the portion with taxation on goods mostly impacted merchants, the rest were still greatly angered by how the British shut down the assembly.
They began to ponder on the possibilities of Britain taking away the rights of having any assemblies since they had disassembled New Work’s. This caused much uproar in the colonies, who did not want their only ties to somewhat of a government taken away by the British yet again. The imposition of the Tea Act in 1773 especially riled up colonists, even women, which proved even more that the acts were truly intolerable in that women were not very active in the rebellion up until then. At the time, the East India Company was trundling to survive.
This act helped the company and gave it the right to export its merchandise directly to the colonies without paying any regular taxes that were imposed on colonial merchants. To the colonists, it was Just another scheme from Britain to solve their issues by using the colonies towards their benefit. They opposed this act because it affected the already-standing taxation on colonists. Also, not only was the money from the act put towards helping a British company, it went towards the fund to pay of Britain’s war debt from the French and Indian War. In response, he colonists boycotted British tea.
In a tea party that occurred in Denton, North Carolina, the women who participated stated they were “determined to give memorable proof of their patriotism… And could not be indifferent on any occasion that appears nearly to affect the peace and happiness of [their] country’. They would do anything if it meant that they were able to be free from the harsh acts from Britain. In addition, this statement was given by women who were, at the time, supposed to stay in their homes and complete housework activities such as cooking, sewing, and cleaning.
This resisting behavior was unfitting to the standards of women and the act obviously discontented colonists so much that women felt the need to become involved in the political affairs. All in all, the Stamp Act, Townsend Act, and Tea Act, as well as many of the other acts, caused colonists to become discontent with life under the rule of the British. For a long time, they had been dissatisfied, but these impositions brought about a rebellious attitude that spurred colonists to resist their new common enemy: the United States evolved greatly that ultimately transformed it into how it is today.
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