Colonial Response to British Policies 1763-1776

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Toby Goldman
AP U.S History Essay 2

Organized colonial resistance began between the years 1763-1776. The policies of Britain toward their American colonies over this time period escalated tension between the two, and finally led to the rejection of Royal power by the colonies. The British policies caused this outcome because they threatened the colonists’ republican values. These were ideals adapted from the early classical Greek and Roman republics, as well as from laws established by the British. These core beliefs centered strongly on God-given inalienable rights, liberty of the people, and the belief that all should take part in the government. The combination of harsh British policies regarding taxation, settlement and everyday life eventually provoked the colonists to revolt, causing the split from Great Britain.

Many of the policies found most unacceptable by the colonists were those regarding taxation of goods. One of the first acts to anger the colonists was the Sugar Act of 1764. The law effectively ended the smuggling caused by the earlier Molasses Act. It ended it by charging the same amount that people were using to bribe dock masters, decreasing the profit the colonies made producing rum. Colonies fought the act, due to their belief that they were being taxed without representation, as well as decreasing the revenue of sugar plantations. The act was repealed in 1765, due to the harsh response of the colonies towards it. The same year, Parliament passed the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act taxed all printed documents, including wills and newspaper. The Act sparked fierce resistance against the British. The Sons of Liberty, a rebel group determined on stopping taxation, made examples of many British tax collectors. The British ended up making little, if any money. This can be contributed in part to the taxation of newspapers, whose owners would then unite patriots against the British through their newspaper. The British, making literally zero profit,...
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