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American History Essay

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From 1754 to 1763, the French and Indian War cost Britain greatly. Feeling that the colonists benefitted the most from this war, Britain decided to tax the thirteen colonies to help pay for it. After all, the war provided the colonists with greater protection from the natives, and now had more land that had been conquered from France. Colonists in the early 1700’s were English subjects. As Englishmen, they were entitled to certain rights. One of these rights was there was to be “no taxation without representation”. Due to the vast distance England was from the colonies, it was impossible to have a colonist represent the colonies in Parliament; therefore they should not have to pay taxes that Parliament dictated. Having Parliament dictate taxes was not merely a breach of rights, but was basically an indirect way of utterly controlling the affairs of the colonists. By getting taxes from the colonists, Britain could directly give these taxes to their governors, who often did not have colonist’s best interests in mind. By taxing themselves, the governor would have to go through their representatives to get money, and in so doing, would have to “play nice” I order to pay for things he wanted done. Colonists were afraid they would lose their self-governing abilities, and ultimately suffer at the hands of tyrannical governors. (As an analogy, it would be like Ohio having no senators, and Washington making all of our laws for us.) Britain did not take colonist arguments against taxation as valid. Britain began this fight by revamping the Molasses Act, into the Sugar Act 1764. By increasing the enforcement of the new act, and by reducing the percentage from 6 to 3 %, Britain hoped to keep colonists in line. Perhaps if the colonists wer...


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...these acts, the first continental congress was formed. Among the leaders were Patrick Henry, George Washington, Samuel Adams, and John Adams. They believed that the Thirteen Acts of Parliament were not only unconstitutional, but went against basic human rights. They didn’t want to have war, but they did make a stand. They decided the best idea was to completely boycott all British goods, and to stop all export of colonial goods to Britain. They were able to stop the import and export by having each county, city, and town select a committee to oversee that the colonists were all in accord (Faragher. pg. 145).
These committees are what enabled the colonists to organize retaliation from British troops. “On September 1, 1774, General Thomas Gage sent troops to seize stores of gunpowder and arms from several storehouses on the outskirts of Boston” (Faragher pg. 145)



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