Prior to the war, the economic power of the colonies was growing and the political freedom Great Britain had granted the colonists for managing their affairs was limited. In the 1760’s, acts of British Parliament increased tension by enforcing taxes and import duties on the colonies.
According to Rickard (2003), the conflict between Britain and the American colonies was triggered in part by the financial costs of the Anglo-French wars. The Seven Years War was one of them. Also known as the French and Indian War, Britain’s victory removed France as a power in North America. However, the cost of the war was devastating and Great Britain was left with a large national debt which Parliament tried to minimize with the passage of the Molasses Act and the Sugar Act in 1764. These acts enforced a duty on the molasses and sugar imported. A year later, the Stamp Act took effect, requiring the direct taxation of all papers, such as legal documents, newspapers and almanacs. The American colonists were displeased with these new taxes for three main reasons. First, the taxes were being used to fund a plan to limit westward expansion. Second, all previous taxation had been in the form of trade duties. Lastly, the colonists argued that it was unfair because they had such limited political involvement.
In 1766, the Stamp Act was overturned. However, after just one year, Parliament passed The Townshend Acts, introducing a series of new taxes on various goods imported by the colonies. This created even more tension between the colonists and Parliament. They began protesting and boycotting... [continues]
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