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With religious freedom guaranteed and democratic government in place, Rhode Islanders wanted to make money. While the rocky soil for farming was no good, Rhode Islanders went to Narragansett Bay. They started becoming shippers and manufacturers. They got together with the Yankee traders and sea captains. Along came Bristol’s Potter, who branched out into the slave trading and distilling rum businesses. This started the Triangle Trade.

Taxes collected as part of trade regulation was one thing, now these new taxes were unacceptable. Parliament had passed the Sugar and Stamp Act. These acts were thought to represent the British. The American colonists had no one representing them. The new taxes were only enacted in the American Colonies. For the first time “No taxation without representation.” was heard.

The Quartering Act came out and its law required colonists to supply barracks and suppliers to support the British troops out of their own pockets. With no funding from the British Parliament, Stephen Hopkins, the governor of Rhode Island at the time wrote an article in the Providence Gazette “The Rights of the Colonies Examined.” He explained how he thought it was not right that the people would have their property taken from them against their will if taxes were not paid. This article was later reprinted as a pamphlet by order of the general assembly.

In 1772 colonists were angry by the British Parliaments Acts. It restricted colonial trades. The primary cause of this conflict was the British determination to collect duties on merchandise imported into the colony and enforce old trade laws that Rhode Islanders had effectively ignored for decades.

The British continued their crack down on smuggling, assigni...

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...sioners denied all knowledge. Wanton, as chairman created stage management to protect all who were involved. Wanton could not risk that he may be recognized by any of the Gaspee crewmen. They were declared free. John, Simon, and Abe could not believe that they got away with it.

The first Gaspee Day Parade was held in 1996. Walter Whipple, a decedent of Abe Whipple was the parades Marshal. He carried a staff with fragments of wood from the Gaspee. Rhode Island’s true cross cannons were fired off. Concerts and boat races were held with the celebration. It was soon clear that the Gaspee Day was such a success that it became Gaspee days. Today Gaspee Days is a major event on the Rhode Island calendar. It usually lasts for three days on the second weekend of June. The men involved with the burning of the Gaspee are now considered heroes to Rhode Islanders.
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