Empire In Transition

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The Empire in Transition

Explain the importance of the series of crises from the Sugar Act through the Coercive Acts. How did each crisis change colonial attitudes toward the mother country?

In the pre-Revolutionary era, outrage was rampant throughout the colonies, as the British, seeking to correct their debts from the costly French and Indian War, decided to make good on direct taxation in the colonies, thus monopolizing the trade industry, and eventually, vying for total control of the American colonies. Starting with the Sugar Act of 1764, a simple, direct tax on sugar products, Britain’s power-seeking would eventually make way for loss of economic competition, political corruption, and forceful militarized occupation, which were
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The preliminary tax to the Sugar, or American Revenue Act, was the Molasses Act of 1733 which wasn’t as upheld as its successor, a highly-enforced direct tax. The French and Indian War left Britain with twice as much debt as they did preceding the war. Looking at their failed attempts to impose taxes on the colonists, many of whom simply decided to not pay the taxes, they decided to impose the first direct tax, the 1764 Sugar Act. This demanded a tax of 3 pence per gallon of molasses, half the original asking price of the Molasses Act of 1733, but included stricter measures to enforce and uphold the tax, making sure it would actually be …show more content…
This Act, unlike its previous iteration, did not prohibit paper currency, however, it did render it useless for any debts, private or public, which helped steadily increase the amount of debt owed by the colonists. Responses to this legislation were almost entirely negative, with each state, without the addition of Delaware, agreeing upon it being a so-called “major grievance”. Furthermore, they decided to release a new direct tax, the Stamp Act of 1765 shortly thereafter. This entailed a tax on all stamped paper, which was soon required for many purposes such as, attorney licenses, court proceedings, as well as pamphlets. The taxes differed depending on the paper’s purpose, for example, ten pounds sterling being required for all attorney licenses, and playing cards being taxed a shilling per pack. These accumulated to an exponential increase in taxes, and were met with widespread disapproval; twenty-seven delegates from throughout the colonies held a Stamp Act Congress, that same year. The Stamp Act Congress was created out of the need for the colonies to combat Parliament’s incredulous taxation policies, and together, the delegates drafted a series of petitions that stated reasons taxation was unjust, and how they should go about ceasing said taxation. Following these meetings, Parliament had eventually decided to repeal the

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