The Stamp Act
The Stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765, and it required the American Colonists to pay taxes on every printed piece of paper they used. It was Parliament's first real attempt to use their government authority. The Stamp Act was passed without debate. The cost of the tax was small, but what made it an offense to the Colonists was the standard it set. From the Stamp Act, the Colonists reached their breaking point from which would bring unnecessary rebellion.
The purpose of the tax was to help pay for the troops in the Colonies since the British Government thought they should pay at least some of the cost The Stamp Act was repealed on March 18, 1766, but the British Government showed their power by passing the Declaratory Acts. These Declaratory Acts were also opposed unnecessarily by the Colonists. The Colonists should have willingly paid the taxes to help their "mother country", Great Britain.
- Beginning around 1650 the British Government followed a policy of mercantilism in international trade. Mercantilism describes that in order to build economic strength, a nation must export more than it imports. Between 1651 and 1673 the English Parliament passed four Navigation Acts to help provide a proper trade balance:
o "Only English or English colonial ships could carry cargo between imperial ports.
o Certain goods, including tobacco, rice, and furs, could not be shipped to foreign nations except through England or Scotland.
o The English Parliament would pay "bounties" to Americans who produced certain raw goods, while raising protectionist tariffs on the same goods produced in other nations.
o Americans could not compete with English manufacturers in large-scale manufacturing."(www.sparknotes.com)
- In the Triangular Trade New England rum goes to Africa and is traded for slaves, which were brought to the West Indies and traded for sugar and molasses, which went back to New England. Other raw goods/materials were shipped from the colonies to England. Great Britain wanted to improve the mercantilism in the colonies, and help them to thrive economically.
Lack of Representation in Parliament
"No taxation without representation" began as a slogan in the period 1763-1776, and was one of the causes of the American Revolution. The colonists believed that the British Parliament had no right to impose taxes on them, the Americans. Samuel Johnson said "They are represented by the same virtual representation as the greater part of England." British Parliament decided that the colonists did have representation in Parliament over the taxation decisions. The British Parliament had every right to tax the American Colonies regardless of representation.