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The American Revolution
The proclamation of 1763 was a British proclamation that said that all lands west of the colonies; beginning a the
Ohio Valley belonged to Quebec. This was supposed to keep us colonists from moving west, that way Britain could
keep tighter rule on us (or so they thought!). Basically, most of the colonists completely ignored the proclamation
and continued westward expansion.
The Grenville Acts consisted of enforcement on the mercantilism and navigation acts, plus it wrote new laws such
as tax on stamps which had to be put on all printed material, it also had the Sugar Act, and the Quartering Act. These
laws were considered unreasonable, but we had no idea of what was to come. The proclamations, declarations, acts,
and taxes. Punishments were excessive and power was excercised freely.
We Patriots felt that this was illegal taxation and as Patrick Henry said “taxation without representation is
tyranny!” This act brought up the question of direct versus virtual representation. Virtual representation was what
Britain wanted for the colonies. In this method, they would elect a British official to represent us in Parliament. With
this method they could say we were represented and do what they wanted anyhow. We wanted direct representation
which meant that we would elect someone from the colonies to represent ourselves and send them to Parliament.
The Stamp Act, which caused so much trouble, was a direct tax. This meant that the money made from the tax
went directly back to England to fund more things that the colonists didn’t support. Many groups formed to scare
British officials and to force boycotts of all British goods.
Nine colonial representatives met in New York City to discuss what should be done about the Stamp Act. They
sent the Declaration of Rights and Grievances to the King and the Stamp Act was repealed.
The Declaratory Act was passed by Parliament to show us that they had the power to pass laws concerning us,
without our consent. I personally find it pretty sad that Britain was feeling so insecure
as to write a law giving themselves power that they already had.
Then England passed the Townshend Acts, these acts were taxes on lead, paper, paint, glass, and tea. These acts
also provided legal forms of collection for these taxes. Writs of Assistance were provided with this set of acts. These
were legal search warrants that permitted British officials to search any place that was suspected of hiding smuggled
Letters of protest and boycotts became commonplace. Also the colonies split into two groups, the Patriots, those
in favor of splitting with England, and the Loyalists, those in favor of England. Also the Sons of Liberty, a Patriot
society, was formed.
Next, Great Britain passed the Quebec Act. This was an act that stated that lands North of the Ohio River and
West of the Appalachian Mountains belonged to the French. It also allowed them to keep their language and Roman
Catholic religion. This was supposed to keep more of us from moving westward.
The Intolerable Acts were enforced on Boston after the Boston Tea Party. Several of the Sons of Liberty dressed
as Mohawk Indians boarded some of the British East India Company’s ships and dumped 342 chests overboard.
England simply went crazy! This also may have had something to do with the Boston Massacre, where British guards
opened fire on a crowd protesting. The guards killed five people, but pleaded innocent. So, Britain passed
the Intolerable Acts. These Acts closed Boston Harbor until we repaid the cost of the tea. It also stationed
permanent British military in the colonies and it forced us to quarter these soldiers. The soldiers were sent back to
England. British governor had complete control with no charters. Cut off western colonies of Connecticut, Mass.
The first Continental Congress met to send the Olive Branch Petition, as a last resort to Britain. They also
decided we needed to break from England. This meeting contained representatives from every colony except Georgia
which favored staying with Britain. They also founded the Continental Association. The Association tarred and
feathered Loyalists, burned British goods, and reduced British imports to next to nothing. This time without British
imports showed all of us that we could survive without Britain. In the words of Thomas Paine, “ Tis time to part.”
General Thomas Gage learned that we had been storing weapons until our chance for revolt. So, he sent 800
soldiers to Boston.
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Continental Congress, American Enlightenment, American Revolution, British East India Company, Intolerable Acts, Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress, Boston Tea Party, Stamp Act, Townshend Acts, Petition to the King, No taxation without representation, Declaratory Act
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