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BritishActionsandColonialReactions
Directions:Asyoureadthedocuments,fillinthegraphicorganizerbelow.Oneexamplehasbeenfilledoutfor
you.
British Action
(Law/Act)
Proclamation of 1763

What It Said

Colonist Reactions

No one could settle or buy


land west of the
Appalachian Mountains

Ignored it; still settled in


the new land without
permission

TheStampAct(1765)
InordertohelpcoverthecostofthewarbetweenEnglandandFrancethat
endedin1763,Britishofficialsbegantoestablishnewtaxesinthecolonies.In
1765,ataxwaspassedbyGreatBritainknownastheStampAct.Thislaw
requiredallcoloniststopayataxtoEnglandonalloftheprintedmaterialsthat
theyused.Thisincludedallnewspapersandlegalorcommercialdocuments,
suchasnewspapers,liquorlicenses,certificates,diplomas,contracts,legal
documents,calendars.almanacs,wills,andBillsofSaleandLicenses.Inmost
cases,theactualcostofthetaxwasrelativelysmall,aboutahalfpennytoa
penny.Allofthesematerialswererequiredtohaveastampplacedonthem,in
ordertoshowthatthetaxhadbeenpaid.(Imageshownabove.)

Inthecolonies,thereactiontothe1765StampActwasanger.The
actualcostoftheStampActwasrelativelysmall.Whatmadethelawso
offensivetothecolonistswasnotsomuchitscost,buttheprincipleofit.In
thepast,taxeshadalwaysbeenviewedasmeasurestoregulatecommerce
(buyingandselling),nottoraisemoney.TheStampAct,however,was
viewedasadirectattemptbyEnglandtoraisemoneyinthecolonies
withouttheapprovalofthecoloniallegislatures.

UnlikepreviousactsandtaxesimposedbytheBritishonthecolonies,theStampActaffectedeveryone.
TheNewEngland,MiddleandSoutherncolonieswereallequallyaffectedbytheStampAct.Forthefirsttime,
thecolonistswereunitedinacommoncauseagainsttheBritish.
Colonistsrespondedbyboycotting1allBritishgoodsandbyprotesting.Committeesandsocietieswere
formed,pledgingtoresisttheStampActtothebitterend.ThesepopularsocietieswereknownastheDaughters
ofLibertyandtheSonsofLiberty.Ineveryoneofthecolonies,thepeoplevisitedthestampofficersand

1 boycott: to refuse to buy, use, or participate in (something) as a way of protesting; to


stop using the goods or services of (a company, a country, etc.) until changes are made

pressuredthemtoresign(quit).Dummies,dressedtoresembleStampAgents,wereburntorhungineffigy
duringsomeoftheprotests.

Soon, verbal abuse turned into


physical abuse. If the stamp officers refused to resign, they were mobbed and attacked until they did resign. In
Boston, for example, rioters attacked Governor Thomas Hutchinsons house. They broke his furniture, destroyed
his clothing, and made a bonfire of his books and papers.
Many of the colonies sent representatives to a special meeting in New York, which they called The Stamp
Act Congress, where the colonies voted and declared that the King did not have the right to pass taxes on the
colonies because they did not have the right to vote for people to represent them in the British government. Many
of the colonists began crying - "No taxation without representation!" This became a popular slogan among the
colonies.

Quartering Act of 1765


After the French and Indian War, the British government had to keep about
10,000 troops (soldiers) in North America in order to:
Make sure France did not try to regain its lost territory
Protect the colonists against Native American attacks
Enforce the Proclamation of 1763

In order to save money, on March 24, 1765, Britain passed the Quartering
Act, which required colonists to quarter, or house, British troops in barracks2
provided by the colonies. If the barracks were too small to house all the
soldiers, then towns were supposed to accommodate the soldiers in local
inns, livery stables, ale houses, victualling (food) houses, and the houses of
sellers of wine. If there were still soldiers who were without accommodation
after all those public houses were filled, the act required that the colonists
house the British troops and provide them with food and other supplies.
Many colonists disliked being commanded to provide quarter for British
troops--they preferred to be asked and then to give their consent, if they
were going to have soldiers in their midst at all. New York and the rest of the
colonies, with the exception of Pennsylvania, refused to comply with the
Quartering Act and to supply a place for the troops; as a result, British troops
were forced to remain on their ships. In Boston, some of the soldiers lived in
tents on Boston Common. This living situation created a great amount of
tension between the colonists (Americans) and the British soldiers.

Colonial Depictions of the Quartering Act

SugarActof1764
TheSugarActisa1764Actthatputathreecenttaxonforeignrefinedsugarandincreasedtaxesoncoffee,
indigo3,andcertainkindsofwine.ItbannedimportationofrumandFrenchwines.Thesetaxesaffectedonlya
2 barracks: temporary shelter for the military
3 indigo:atropicalplantofthepeafamily,whichwasformerlywidelycultivatedasasourceofdarkbluedye.

certainpartofthepopulation,buttheaffectedmerchantswereveryvocal.Besides,thetaxeswereenacted(or
raised)withouttheconsent(permission)ofthecolonists.Thiswasoneofthefirstinstancesinwhichcolonists
wantedasayinhowmuchtheyweretaxed.
ThepassageoftheSugarActmarkedthefirstorganizingofcolonistsandpublicprotestsagainsttheBritish
Parliament.Thereweresporadic(scattered)outburstsofviolenceagainsttheauthorities,especiallyinNewYork
andRhodeIsland.CertainleadersbegantoarisewhowereoutspokenintheircriticismofParliament(British
government),especiallySamuelAdamsandJamesOtisofBoston.Theyledthewayinorganizingaboycott4of
BritishluxuryitemsbymanymerchantsinBoston.50merchantsjoinedtheboycott.Amovementalsobegan,
especiallyinNewYorkandBoston,toencouragemanufacturing5withinthecoloniesthemselves.Colonistsfelt
thatiftheymadetheirowngoods,especiallygoodsmadefromclothsuchaslinens,clothing,hats,etc.,they
wouldnotbesodependentonBritishmadegoods.
The tax itself was not as bad as the way that the Sugar Act was enforced. The Sugar Act took away the right to a
jury trial. Originally, colonist had the right to a trial by "a jury of your peers. The Sugar Act set up Admiralty
Courts to try people accused of buying things from countries other than Britain. These Admiralty Courts were
run by the British navy. The Admiralty Courts were set up because the American juries did not treat buying
goods from another country as a crime. The whole purpose of a jury trial is that the people on a jury will protect
you from being unfairly convicted of a crime by the government. The colonists felt that taking away their right
to trial by jury was tyranny [unjust rule].

4boycott:torefusetobuy,use,orparticipatein(something)asawayofprotesting:tostopusingthegoodsor
servicesof(acompany,country,etc.)untilchangesaremade
5manufacturing:theprocessofmakingproducts