American Revolution

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The American Revolution began as a transatlantic dispute over parliamentary authority and policy, as American colonists chafed against British measures to reconsolidate their hold over their North American empire. This difference of opinion grew into a crisis of authority when colonists expressed their opposition by rioting, burning effigies of English officials, organizing vigilante associations, and pledging boycotts of imported goods. The colonists did not initially think of themselves as waging a war for independence, rather believed that they were defending their natural rights as Englishmen to resist parliamentary taxation and restriction of civil liberties.The American colonists objected to the British imposition of the dreaded Stamp Act which led to revolution against the oppressive policies by the British.

Placing a tax on anything printed, from playing cards to newspapers, the Stamp Act was the first act of taxation saddled on the colonists. Affecting the most powerful people in the colonies, such as printers, merchants, and lawyers, this was the first instance wherein the British government taxed the colonists for stated purpose of raising money. The colonists thought it unfair. As John Adams declared, “. .

. the Stamp Act . . .

a very burdensome and, in our opinion, unconstitutional tax is to be laid upon us all” (Document 1). Infuriated with the Stamp Act, the colonists protested that they lacked representation in Parliament and were denied to a trial by jury if they were accused of violating the act. The Stamp Act was soon repealed in early 1766 because of the vicious protests from the colonists. Parliament further angered the colonists, because within the same day that the Stamp Act was repealed, Parliament forced the Declaratory Act upon them. The British Parliament also claimed that the Declaratory Act was to, ” . .

. make laws . . .

to bind the colonies and people of America, subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, in all cases…

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