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Shift Occurred In The Way Many American Thought And Felt About The British Government And Their Own Colonial Governments Before The Revolution

1065 words - 5 pages

American had always relished their freedom and their right to govern themselves. When these rights are taken away, the will to fight to regain their right develops. As early as the colonial era, this mentality existed. In the tow decades before the American Revolutionary War, a change occurred in the American opinion towards the British and colonial governments.The British were quite lenient when they first colonized their section of North America (the most lenient of all countries in fact). They gave many of the rights to colonists as they gave to their own citizens. The Navigation Acts of the 1650s, although they placed some restrictions on colonial trade by designating certain goods that ...view middle of the document...

A huge debt was created, the responsibility to pay it was extended to the colonists. The first problem came up with the Proclamation Line of 1763 which cut off western expansion for colonists past the Appalachian Mountains. Although this didn’t hurt the colonial governments in any way, it did show how the British were beginning to cut down the colonists’ freedom. After, in 1764 the first part of the Grenville Tax Program began – the Sugar Act. Its intent was to raise revenue for England and tighten the Navigation Acts previously mentioned. The colonists saw it as a threat to their actual representation and it hurt them financially. They began to play with the idea of having no importation agreements to retaliate when England passed the Currency Act. This hurt debtors because it caused them to have to pay with hard money.In 1765 the Stamp Act greatly influenced the colonists. With it came a tax on all printed materials which affected merchants and almost all the colonists. Attempts for retaliation in the form of the Sons of Liberty (a militant group which terrorized many), nonimportation agreements (boycotts), and printed material succeeded. The Declaration of Rights and Grievances was written to say that the only reason that colonists would obey England now was because it was in the best interest of both. The Stamp Act Congress formed, one of the first assemblies to get England to listen to the colonists and succeeded in the repeal. But to prove their superiority of Parliament the Declaratory Act made sure colonists knew England was in control. Because of the circular letter in the colonies and various forms of town meetings which the new tax man Townshend felt were going to hurt England (one of the first examples of rights being taken away). Writs of assistance or blank search warrants got their start in 1767 and colonists’ constitutional rights were on teh way out.In 1770 the first bloodshed, the Boston Massacre, occurred, when sentries were shot by the...

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