-‘The Intolerable Acts (Coercive Acts) transformed the argument between the colonies and Great Britain from a dispute over the right to taxation into a challenge to any parliamentary authority’ (Bailyn). Do you agree with this statement?
The Intolerable Acts brought the disagreement between the colonies and Great Britain from an argument over taxes to a much higher level, in which the entire parliamentary authority was confronted. The colonists were originally upset with the taxes Britain was imposing on them such as the Trade and Navigation Acts, the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act and the Townshend Revenue Act. But as its name suggests, the Intolerable Acts were those that pushed the Americans to their limit. Their impact encouraged all colonies to unite, to become more aware of their political circumstances, to fight for their country, and, ultimately, to gain independence from the British Empire. The original function of the colonies in America was to provide Britain with raw materials, to use Britain’s manufacturers, and to create employment for Britain’s shipping industry. The Trade and Navigation Acts 1651-1750 gave England complete control by enabling them to put the theory of mercantilism into practice. This meant that the colonies paid Britain for being in the empire, by paying import duties on foreign goods. In 1763, George Grenville became Prime Minister in Britain. National debt in Britain was astronomical at the time after the war with France. Grenville was concerned about the colonies and decided to place 15,000 British troops in America. Grenville desperately needed to find a way to raise funds to pay for the upkeep of this army and to clear the National Debt. He felt that it was only fair that the Americans should pay for the army, who were protecting them, as the English were already being substantially taxed. The Sugar Act in 1764 was a tax on molasses. The money from this tax was to be used to maintain British troops. Nine colonies protested...
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