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J Curve

Essay by   •  March 25, 2011  •  1,391 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,117 Views

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The Enlightenment and Great Awakening was an intellectual movement where colonials were becoming antiauthoritarian, questioning authority, and the Puritan faith needed a more honorable society that had people who had a desire to be more Christian. Quoted by Rev. Jonathan Edwards a Puritan minister, “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God” is an emotional and descriptive explanation of how god will treat you if you do not repent, which opened the eyes of many colonials. More pilgrims, or people who wanted to separate from the Church of England, were beginning to question the authority given to them from England and whether it was fair or not. This was just the beginning to the unagreeable riots/wars and legislatorial acts pass that led to the American Revolution.

In 1763 George Grenville was the British Prime minister who used the army as an excuse to tax colonials. The first act passed by Grenville in 1764 was the Sugar Act was an external tax that cut taxes on farm molasses, raised tax on farm molasses, and put an import tax: wine, coffee, silk, and linens. The act required shipmasters to provide a list everything in their cargo to help crack down on smuggling. The other influential law passed by Grenville in 1764 was the Stamp Act. This internal tax required a revenue stamp to be placed on certain documents within the colonies. All commercial and legal documents like: license, newspapers, broadsides, pamphlets, and college diplomas required a stamp that could cost anywhere from half a penny to ten pounds depending on the importance of the document. March 1765 newspaper men began spreading the word of the wronging of the tax and by November the Boston Gazette printed a paper at an angle to make a point to the king that the taxing they were giving was wrong. Grenville had beyond started pissing the colonials off and this lead to riots and demonstrations in the import cities. Grenville actions influenced the birth of the Sons of Liberty, a secret mob society made up of artisans, mechanics, merchants, and sailors, who organized riots against their target and carried their action with minimal voice. Stamp collectors were getting beaten up, run out of town, or tarred and feathered by the Sons of Liberty. His actions also introduced the Stamp Act Congress which included all the colonials who wanted to petition the king. Colonials began a non-importation and quit importing anything from Great Britain until the problems were resolved. The Quartering Act of 1765 obligated any colony that stationed troops were to provide them with appropriate accommodations, without the house owners consent. This often caused tension between colonials and British troops, but allowed them to have significant strength in some of the North American colonies. The petition letter did not work, but eventually by 1765 George Grenville was overthrown and replaced by Lord Rockingham who repealed in March of 1766 the Stamp Act, but introduced the Declaratory Act. Before the Stamp Act was repealed, the Declaratory Act said that parliament had the right to tax all colonies when they felt it is necessary.

Due to a previous riot over the ship Liberty, John Hancock’s smuggling boat, a large number of British troops were already stationed in Boston in the winter of March 5, 1770. British troops offered cheaper rates for their services of local jobs, like ropewalkers, which caused concern for locals who were losing their jobs and added the hatred toward the British troops. In early 1770 a redcoat got off work and asked a local ropewalk merchant if he had any labor for him to do. Being sarcastic the local merchant said yes and told the redcoat he could clean his outhouse as an insult. The two started fighting and the redcoat was beaten up, and went back to get his fellows men to go fight the locals for what he had done. Eventually a crowd of locals was gathered around a customhouse fighting with ten soldiers, the redcoats panicked and overlooked the name-calling and snowball throwing by opening live fire on the crowd and hurting eleven rioters and killing five. The Lieutenant Governor at the time, Thomas Hutchinson, ran into the street and told everyone to go home for the night. John Adams, a lawyer, defended the soldiers charged for murder and got the cases acquitted due to unnecessary nagging. In 1773 the Tea Act was passed which was to help the EIC avoid going bankrupt from an unsold amount 17 million pounds of tea in India and to ensure colonials paid tax on the tea. The four harbors where tea was to be imported were Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, where tea consignees were to unload and help distribute the tea around the colonies within twenty days. This pissed the colonials off and caused New York’s harbors to leave the tea unload and left on the ship. In Philadelphia someone warned the ship to turn around. In Charleston the tea was unloaded and placed in warehouses, but was unappropriately stored

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