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How British Imperial Policies Escalated Colonial Tensions

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How British Imperial Policies Escalated Colonial Tensions

As generations grew up in America, nationalism within the colonies grew towards their new country. These settlers slowly lost their patriotic tie to Great Britain and its ruler, King George III. So when the French and Indian War ended in America, and the indebted England needed some compensation from American settlers in the form of taxes, the colonists questioned the authority of England and their ability to rule them. This lead to an uproar among the colonists over British rule with no representation.

In 1763, the British began enforcing taxes that the colonies strongly disagreed with. For starters, the British at home felt that the colonies should pay on increased proportions of taxes. Also, the French Indian War had just finished and despite achieving victory the British needed more money to pay off war debts. Also in 1763, the British began establishing unpopular restrictions on colonial life. Pontiac’s Rebellion, a Native American rebellion against the spread of colonists westward, led to the British enacting the Royal Proclamation of 1763. This prevented colonists from migrating west of the Appalachians. Irritated colonists moved anyway. Also, Britain established the Quartering Act that required colonists to house British soldiers in their homes. This was viewed as an invasion of privacy for many. This made colonists even angrier in addition to The Writs of Assistance which made it easier for the British to search people’s property, and people convicted of crimes such as smuggling could be tried in British Admiralty courts.

The Sugar Act was passed in 1764, taxing sugar and molasses. Unlike previous British policies, this new tax was actually enforced. Also, the Stamp Act led to a tax on paper goods. Colonies were incredibly irritated by the enforcement of these taxes. Angry colonists formed groups such as the Sons of Liberty. These groups met to try and figure out what they should do about the new taxes being enforced. They would hold protests and even tarred and feathered tax collectors. The Sons of Liberty inspired other colonists to join the effort and also raise awareness of the situation.

More taxes came about in 1767, with the Townshend Acts. Again these acts were set in place to raise revenue to pay



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