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Waging a Revolution
A poor, twenty eight year old shoemaker named Ebenezer Macintosh led the Hundreds of people. Many people where mad about the Stamp Act and stormed the street in protest. They attacked Andrew Oliver a wealthy Boston merchant who had recently been made the Stamp officer for Massachusetts.
I. Paying for Security
Britain’s leaders celebrated the end of the war in Europe and North America as heartily as did the Colonists. The British victory ended more than 70 years of fighting with France in North America. There was a treaty signed in February 1763 and king George III took possession of all French territory east of the Mississippi river, including lands in Canada.
a. The Proclamation of 1763
In May 1763, Indian resentment erupted in a bloody uprising led by Pontiac, an Ottawa chief. Within a few months, Indians captured or destroyed most of the British forts on the frontier and killed many settlers. In 1763, king George issued the Proclamation of 1763, in order to prevent another war, which Britain could not afford. The proclamation issued that all land west of the Appalachians were reserved for the Native Americans. The colonists resentment grew when Parliament demanded that they help pay for the army that was to defend the frontier.
b. Sugar Act
In 1764, Parliament tried to collect a series of taxes from the colonies to ease war debt and strengthen the British Empire. The Sugar Act hurt Boston especially, since that city depended on shipping and trade. The new duties caused an increase in the price of goods in the colonies. These duties hurt business and customers as well.
c. The Stamp Act
In 1765 Parliament passed on a tax on all official documents and publications in the colonies, like marriage licenses, mortgages, diplomas, bills of sale, and newspapers. The Stamp Act affected everyone and most colonists hated it. Colonists agreed that Parliament had the right to levy and external tax, one to regulate trade in goods that came into colonies. The Stamp Act was an internal tax, one levied on goods within the colonies, designed only to raise revenue. Colonists argued that only their elected representatives should have the right to levy internal taxes.
II. The Coming of the Revolution
The Taxation crisis of the 1760’s heated the debate between Britain and its American colonies. The Colonists argued that Parliament violated their cherished right as British subjects to consent to all taxes levied on them.
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a. Sons of Liberty
Throughout 1765 men like Samuel Adams of Boston and leaders in other colonies formed a network of local groups called the Sons Of Liberty, organize opposition to the Stamp Act. They destroyed the homes of British officials and forced stamp agents to resign. Anyone who imported or sold British good risked being smeared with hot tar and covered with feathers. In October 1765, delegates from nine colonies met in New York City and drafted a petition demanding a repeal of the Stamp Act. The protest was effective, but the economic impact of the boycott was much stronger. The combination forced Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act in 1776.
b. The Boston Massacre
Conflict over taxation prompted Britain to sent troops to Boston to enforce laws and maintain order. Clashes between citizens and soldiers became common in Boston. On March 5,1770, the tensions exploded into violence in an event that became to be called the Boston Massacre. Five colonists died and many were wounded. New trouble began in 1773 when Parliament passed the Tea Act. This act was that only the East India Company could sell tea to colonies. Even thought the tea was cheaper than normal tea, they still had to pay the tax. To protest the Tea Act the Sons Of Liberty disguised themselves as Mohawks and went to the pier one night and tossed 342 chest of newly arrived tea into the harbor. This was called the “Boston Tea Party”. As punishment Parliament closed the Boston Harbor To all shipping until all the tea was paid for.
c. Committees of Correspondence
In 1765 Virginia’s assembly opposed Parliament with decrees worded so strongly that some colonists called them treason, or betrayal of Britain. In 1765 merchants up and down the coast boycotted British goods to protest the Townshend Acts of 1767. In 1772 a group of people formed a committee of correspondence. The committee would state the rights of the colonists and communicate and publish the same to the several towns and to the world. News in 1774 that the British had closed the Boston harbor circulated through the committees of correspondence and out raged Americans everywhere.
d. Continental Congress
Fifty six men from 12 colonies traveled to Philadelphia late in the summer of 1774 for the First Continental Congress. The meeting called for a halt in trade with England and resolved to meet again in the spring of 1775.
III. Fighting for Independence
In January of 1776 colonists began reading a pamphlet that helped prepare them for independence. The y first had to break the bonds. The United States of America prepared for a revolution to throw off the British rule. They went through a series of massive battles. George Washington played a major part in the war and had a big effect as a solider and leader.