A Revolution Sparked by the Tea Act of 1773
For the first 150 years after the initial settlement at Plymouth, in Massachusetts, British control over the colonies was minimal. With Britain's involvement in European wars of conquest, little energy or time was available to dictate the colonies economic options. Three thousand miles of ocean made it extremely difficult to monitor any such policies. However, in the mid eighteenth century Britain sought the opportunity to enforce a long practiced government theory called Mercantilism. Through the enforcement of Mercantilism, the American colonies would support Britain financially. The decisions made afterward would ultimately cost more than they bargained for. One such decision was the approval of the Tea Act of 1773 by Parliament. The Tea Act was a tea tax passed into law by British Parliament not due to ongoing financial debt, but to show British legislative power over the defiant American colonies and to aid the East India Company financial issues. Furthermore, Parliaments decision to pass such a policy would eventually launch the final spark to the revolutionary movement in Boston.
Half a century of conflict between Britain and France culminated into what is known as the Seven Years War. The Seven Years War was fought over colonial domination of North America beginning in 1754. The war was not solely fought on European battle grounds, as it included the colonial territories of North America. The war front in North America has since been referred to as the French and Indian War. Since the British colonies were separated by three thousand miles of ocean it made it difficult to provide immediate military support. However, the British turned their attention towards the colonies by allowing the Prussian forces bear the brunt of the Seven Years war in Europe. The war came to an official end in 1773, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. But the British victory came at a cost so staggering that the resulting debt nearly destroyed the British government. With a staggering debt, England sought out long awaited opportunities of revenue through the British colonies in North America. This new form of revenue would be enforced through the long practiced government theory of Mercantilism.
As the British unwritten law, the colonist believed in no taxation without representation. However, Mercantilism was a government policy that stated "colonies exist to benefit the mother country", and would now be strictly enforced by England. Until now the colonist had not been affected enough to take notice by such government policy. The colonials did not take this news lightly and petitioned the new policies with failed attempts. By 1765, British Parliament had proposed a number of tax acts approved by King George III. One such tax act was known as the Stamp Act, 1765. According to British Parliament, the Stamp Act was an act for granting and applying certain stamp duties, and other duties, in the British colonies and plantations in America, towards further defraying the expenses of defending, protecting, and securing the same; and for amending such parts of the several acts of parliament relating to the trade and revenues of the said colonies and plantations, as direct the manner of determining and recovering the penalties and forfeitures therein mentioned Nevertheless, The Stamp Act met great resistance in the colonies. The colonies sent no representatives to Parliament, and therefore had no influence over what taxes were raised. Furthermore, colonists began to protest with some demonstrations turning violent. By 1766, British Parliament was pressured into repealing the Stamp Act by both colonists and paper manufacturers, who were losing revenue. However, British Parliament would continue to attempt to enforce control over the colonies through the passing of an act. This act would not only help a company nearing bankruptcy, but provide a popular commodity to the colonials at a bargain...
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