Acts of the American Revolution

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Staple Act [1663]

The Staple Act stated that the shipping of European good to the colonies except through England or Wales was forbidden. It determined that England had exclusive rights to all goods passed between it and Europe. Goods en route to the colonies and must pass through England first to be re-exported from England. This course of action effectively created a ‘Middle Man’ and England became the main source for cheap goods. However, the Dutch, in the trade with the West Indies, kept up a flourishing “smuggling” trade, thanks to the preference of English planters for Dutch import goods and the better deal the Dutch offered in the sugar trade.

The introduction of the legislation developed isolation for Britain’s shipping industry. This act, as part of the Navigation Acts, caused resentment in the colonies and contributed to the American Revolution.

Molasses Act [1733]

The Molasses Act of 1733 was passed by the British Parliament meant to control the trade of its American colonies in a way that would be most profitable to the empire. The act imposed a tax of six pence per gallon on imports such as molasses, sugar and rum from every other nation in order to provide a market for their goods. Molasses is the chief ingredient of rum, which was one of the largest industries in the colonies. The act had many unforeseen consequences. The colonists developed a large smuggling industry in order to get cheaper molasses.

This impacted the American Revolution because it developed an attitude of resistance to British authority that would gain momentum in the next several decades, culminating in the Revolutionary War.

Sugar Act [1764]

The Sugar Act was passed in 1764. The Parliament of Great Britain placed high taxes on sugar, wine and other important things. The British did this because they wanted more money to provide security for the colonies. The British thought it only fair for the security was quite expensive because of the Indians and fights with foreign powers. The British also hoped that the act would force colonists to sell their goods to Britain and Britain only, which made the colonists loose money. Some leaders in the colonies then started to boycott, which generally meant to stop buying their products. They did this in the motive to make the British prices lower. The colonists became more united because they opposed the Sugar Act.

These incidents increased the colonists concerns about the intent of the British Parliament and helped the growing movement that became the American Revolution.

Stamp Act [1765]

The Stamp Act of 1765 was a direct tax imposed by the British Parliament. Basically, anything printed on paper needed a stamp bought from the English. The stamps costs money and it was England, of course, whom received all of it. The purpose was to help pay for troops stationed in North America after the British victory in the Seven Years War. The Stamp Act met great resistance in the colonies and thus sent no representatives to Parliament. Many considered it a violation of their rights as Englishmen to be taxed without their consent. Petitions and protests were erupting all over the place until mobs, like one organized by Samuel Adams quit buying stamps to show how much they resented it. When King George III noticed, he stopped and repealed the act in 1766.

This incident increased the colonists concerns about the intent of the British Parliament that helped the growing movement that became the American Revolution.

Quartering Act [1765]

Lieutenant-General Thomas Gage commander in chief of forces in British North America had found it hard to persuade colonial assemblies to pay for quartering of troops on the march. The British Parliament angered the American colonists with the Quartering Act, which required the colonies to provide barracks and supplies to British troops. The Quartering Act was passed in June 1, 1765, and under the law, the colonists had to give...
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