"British Policy Toward Its American Colonies Between 1763 And 1775 Were Justifiable." Assess The Validity Of This Statement.

1229 words - 5 pages

NewcombAPUSH per. 3"British policy toward its American Colonies between 1763 and 1775 were justifiable." Assess the validity of this statement.British policy towards its American colonies between 1763 and 1775 was not wholly justifiable. After a century of salutary neglect, intrusive taxes like The Sugar Act of 1764, The Stamp Act of 1765, and The Townshend Act of 1767 were an unjust ploy to pass the buck of England's debt to the colonies and even more outrageously, The Intolerable Acts of 1775 went so far as to quarter soldiers in the homes of colonists, close ports, undermine the colonial justice system and instate royal governors.The first of the one-sided taxes imposed on the colonies was The Sugar Act headed by Prime Minister George Grenville; although a slight tax, the colonists were angered by the premise of British government enacting taxes upon them (Benson 1501-02). The Sugar Act targeted on cutting down smuggling, and taxed sugar, coffee, tea, and molasses- staples for America. Grenville sought American contribution in payment of the debt brought on by the French and Indian war and assistance in the cost of colonial administration (O'Shaughnessy 244). This point fell flat for many colonists, who were left wondering what exactly the needed protection from besides their own mother country. This grievance would soon be overshadowed by the even less popular Stamp Act.The Stamp Act of 1765 was truly detested in the Americas, as with it, came the popular motto of the colonies "No taxation without representation", meaning that since the colonies were not represented in parliament, taxes could not be passed on their behalf. The Stamp Act instated a tax on all paper goods, ranging from legal documents to pamphlets (Phelps 297-99). The almost instantaneous protest of the colonies surprised Parliament, and in an attempt to disarm a revolution, the act was repealed only a year later (Selesky 1104-06). However, in the Declaratory Act of March 1766, Parliament asserted that it still had the full authority to make legal and binding laws over the colonies (Benjamin 1199-1204). The vexatious nature of England's government set the stage for the failure of the later Townshend Acts.In a poorly fraught attempt to level with the colonies, Parliament passed The Townshend Act of 1767- a series of undeserved indirect taxes that were to be added to the cost of items, like glass, paper, lead, and paint. This also included a new tax on tea. Although the tax itself would not affect many colonists- glass, paint, and lead were considered luxury items- the crown needed to ensure that the taxes were collected and smugglers were punished (Balik 267). Custom officials with overreaching power were sent to Boston and new Courts of Admiralty were established in the colonies, which could try accused smugglers without a jury (Caron, Bonk 345). The colonists recognized this threat to liberty, and instigated violence against the custom officials. In response, England stationed...

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