Although Great Britain emerged victorious in the Seven Years War, it left Great Britain with significant debt. The British looked to America to help it. First the British began enforcing existing laws like the Navigation Acts, which put limits on colonial imports and exports. To enforce these laws better, the British passed the "Writs of Assistance" that gave officials warrants to search anything or anyone suspected of smuggling, anywhere or anytime. British warships would even patrol American harbors to catch potential smugglers. These smugglers, if caught, would be tried in the newly established Admiralty courts. In these courts, the accused had no right to trial by jury, and the judges pocketed a percentage of the fines. The British viewed these courts as insurance to make sure smuggling stopped, juries composed of Americans might be biased, so they were done away with.
The British also implemented new taxes. The Sugar act of 1764 sought to reduce smuggling, which occurred partly as a result of the earlier Molasses Act. This gave British possessions in the Caribbean the upper hand in sugar trade, which in the British view helped the empire as a whole, but to Americans, and especially the merchants, this put limits on their opportunities. The Currency Act, passed about this time forbade the printing of colonial currency. British merchants benefited because they didn't have to deal with inflated American currencies. The Americans felt they were at an economic disadvantage as very little sterli...
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... Bobrick, Benson. Fight for Freedom: The American Revolutionary War. New York: Atheneum, 2004. Print.
Brennan, Linda Crotta. The Birth of the United States. Ann Arbor: Cherry Lake, 2011. Print.
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