Presentation on theme: "Part 3 A Storm Over Taxes. As Britain celebrated its victory over France, some British officials worried that with France no longer a threat, the 13 colonies."— Presentation transcript:
Part 3 A Storm Over Taxes
As Britain celebrated its victory over France, some British officials worried that with France no longer a threat, the 13 colonies might become too independent. Some Americans like Ben Franklin doubted this. They felt the colonies were just too different from each other. However, new policies toward the colonies pushed them toward unity.
After the French were driven from the Ohio River Valley, more English settlers moved across the Appalachians. The traders acted differently toward the Indians. They stopped having feasts and giving them presents, and the price of trade goods went up. More forts were built on Indian ground.
Unhappy Indians found a leader in a man named Pontiac who gained a lot of respect. He spoke out and called the British “dogs dressed in red who have come to rob us of our hunting grounds and drive away the game.” In “Pontiac’s War”, Indians captured some forts, but settlers fought back. After France was kicked out of North America, Indian nations could not rely on French aid. Eventually they stopped fighting and returned home.
Pontiac’s War convinced Britain to close the western lands to settlers. A proclamation was issued that drew an imaginary line at the crest of the Appalachian Mountains. Settlers were forbidden from settling across the line, and settlers already across the line were to go back.
To enforce the law, Britain sent 10,000 troops to the colonies. However, most stayed near the coast. Many settlers were upset, because they wanted to settle in the region, plus they did not want to pay for the troops. Many of them ignored the new law and moved into the region anyway.
The French and Indian War had been very costly to fight. The British Prime Minister decided that the colonists should pay their fair share of taxes to pay for the war. A law was passed that required colonists to pay a tax on legal documents, wills, diplomas, marriage papers, newspapers, almanacs, playing cards, and even dice. A small stamp was placed on each item to prove the tax had been paid.
Many colonists reacted with rage to the taxes. They threw rocks at tax collectors, and tarred and feathered them. Sometimes a dummy was made to look like the local tax collector, and then it was burned. Britain was surprised the colonists were angry. The main cause of the anger though was TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.
Colonists understood taxes had to be paid, but they were upset that they did not have any representatives in parliament.
Anger over the tax caused the colonies to feel more united. Delegates from 9 of the colonies met to petition and complain to parliament and the king. At first they were ignored. The colonists now joined together and decided to boycott or refuse to buy British goods. British trade dropped and workers and merchants suffered. The tax was repealed or cancelled.
A year later, new taxes were passed. Goods such as glass, paper, paint, lead, and tea were taxed. The taxes were low, but the colonists hated not having any representation. Legal documents called Writs of Assistance allowed customs officials to search ships’ cargo without giving reason.
Non-importation Agreements were signed. People refused to buy the British goods that were taxed. People also started making their own items. Some colonists joined protest groups like the Sons, or Daughters of Liberty. Committees of Correspondence were also formed to spread news.
The port cities of Boston and New York became major centers of protest against British policies. A law called the Quartering Act was passed. It required colonists to house British soldiers and provide candles, bedding, and drinks to them. New Yorkers lost their legislative assembly when they would not obey the law. Bostonians were very upset to see soldiers camped out in their city.
OOn March 5, 1770, a crowd at the Boston Customs House, gathered around some British soldiers and started throwing things at them. They also shouted insults, and called them “lobsterbacks”. TThe crowd grew larger and some of the soldiers panicked. Shots were fired, and 5 colonists were killed.
Sam Adams, a leader in the protest movement, quickly wrote to other colonies about the event. He called it the Boston Massacre. Paul Revere made a picture engraving showing the massacre in hopes of stirring up feelings toward the British. The soldiers did receive a fair trial here, and were given light sentences.
On the very day of the Boston Massacre, Parliament voted to get rid of most of the taxes. British merchants had complained that the boycotts were really hurting their trade. However, Parliament chose to keep one tax, just to prove to the colonists that they could tax them if they really wanted to. The tax they chose to keep, was the tax on tea.