Great Britain and the North American colonies started to showsigns of a tense bond between them. The colonists were able to carry onnational and foreign trade without the British officials getting in their way,due to England having ongoing wars and conflicts. The colonists had some sortof independence. Then England began to enforce restrictions on colonial tradeand taking away their independence. Laws and taxes began to be placed on thecolonists and the passage of the Proclamation of 1763 was passed. Colonistswere not allowed to move west of the Appalachian Mountains to claim the landthe British had won from the French and Indian war.
The colonists were angry,and many other conflicts occurred.The colonists had many laws and taxes placed on them thatlimited them on what they can do. It was 1764 and the British placed the SugarAct which set duties on molasses and sugar imported by colonists.
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Later, onMarch 22, 1765, the Stamp Act was passed and required colonists to pay for anofficial stamp, or seal, when they bought paper items. The Declaratory Acthappened in 1766 and gave Parliament the power to make laws for the colonies,in all cases whatsoever. At this point colonists have basically been robbed ofall their rights and didn’t have a say to try and change it. After theDeclaratory Act, in 1767, the Townshend Acts were passed which placed duties onglass, lead, paints, paper, and tea. The colonists were extremely angry at thispoint and caused many conflicts like The Boston Massacre and The Boston TeaParty. During the Boston Tea Party, Parliament repeals the Townshend Acts, toreduce the tension in the colonies.
Even though they repealed the TownshendActs, Parliament did not take off the tax on tea. The Tea Act followed rightafter the Boston Tea Party in 1773. The Sons of Liberty dumped 340 chests oftea into the harbor. The Intolerable Acts, in 1774, had the Boston Harborclosed, Royal officials were tried for crimes, the Quartering Act occurred, theQuebec Act took place, and Thomas Gage become governor of Massachusetts.
Manytaxes and acts had been placed on the colonists during a period of 10 years.The colonists did not respond too well to the acts and taxesParliament passed. Parliament’s actions upset many colonists because they hadgotten used to being independent. The colonists didn’t have any representativesin Parliament leading many to believe that Britain had no right to tax thecolonies at all without their consent. The stamp act had just been passed andthe colonists had already started to protest.
The colonists formed a secretsociety called the Sons of Liberty. The Sons of Liberty sometimes used violenceto scare the tax collectors. The Declaratory Act concerned the colonists evenmore because the act stripped much of their independence away. The TownshendActs had now been passed and the colonist hated it.
The act took away the powerthe colonial government had. The colonists responded to the Townshend Acts byboycotting many of the British goods. The Boston Tea Party scared many colonialmerchants because they thought they were going to go out of business because ofthe Tea Act. As a result, the colonist united due to the Tea Act.
The Britishwanted to bring back order in the colonies with the Intolerable Acts, butinstead they angered the colonists more. The colonists were all around mad andfelt like they were treated unfairly by the British.The First Continental Congress took place in October 1774.All the colonies except Georgia sent a representative to the meeting. Thecolonial leaders gathered because they were deeply troubled about therelationship between Great Britain and its colonies in America. They debatedbetween peace or violence and agreed to boycotting British goods, but preparingfor war. Also, they drafted the Declaration of Rights, a list of 10 resolutionsfor King George III.
The First Continental Congress was mainly to state thecolonists’ worries and ask King George III to fix any problems. The SecondContinental Congress happened in May 1775. King George III refused to doanything about the concerns listen in the Declaration of Rights. Delegates fromthe colonies attempted to represent a Republican Government. Once again, theycompromised, but delegates showed growing dissatisfaction. They asked colonialauthorities for new state constitution. As well as authorizing theMassachusetts militia to become the continental army.
This army would sooninclude soldiers from all colonies and would fight against Britain. Congressthen named George Washington commander of the army. On July 5, the delegatessigned the Olive Branch Petition as a final attempt to restore peace. InsteadKing George didn’t read it and looked for new ways to punish the colonists.To conclude, the Declaration of Independence was declared.
InJune 1776, the 2nd Continental Congress forms a committee to writethe Declaration of Independence. The document formally announced the colonies’break from Great Britain. It expressed 3 main ideas.
First, all people possess unalienablerights. Second, Thomas Jefferson asserted that King George III had violated thecolonists’ rights by taxing them without their consent. Third, it states thatthe colonies had the right to break from Britain. On July 4th, 1776,the Continental Congress approves the Declaration of Independence. This actbroke all connections to the British crown. Finally, the United States ofAmerica came to be.