Next: American History
Taxation without representation.
The French and Indian War of 1754 to 1763 were costly for Britain leading to determination to tax the colonies.
Taxation Acts of 1764
Sugar Act placed taxes on sugar, molasses, coffee and cloth.
Stamp Act taxed newspapers, documents, playing cards and dice.
Townshend Acts put taxes on tea, glass, paint and paper.
Mercantilist practices that limited colonial trade and favored British merchants.
Presence of British troops in the colonies was viewed as oppressive.
Writs of Assistance that gave British soldiers the right to search and seize property and abuse of this power.
Quartering Act of 1765 that required colonists to house British soldiers.
Proclamation of 1763 that prohibited colonial settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains.
Boston Massacre of 1770 in which British soldiers killed five colonists
Acquittal of six British soldiers involved in Boston Massacre with only two soldiers dishonorably discharged.
Boston Tea Party of 1773
British reaction to the Boston Tea Party with punitive measures in the Intolerable or Coercive Acts of 1774.
The Enlightenment and its philosophy and social movements around rights, liberty, the social contract and popular sovereignty.
Common Sense published by Thomas Paine at the beginning of 1776 that became an influential pamphlet calling for independence.
Religious beliefs of Protestant groups in the colonies that did not view the King as having divine rights.
Geography of the colonies and distance from Great Britain.
Mindset and character of colonists who went to the New World seeking opportunity and freedom.
Existence of colonial legislatures and growing ability of colonies to administer themselves.