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    british actions after the french and indian war, such as the sugar act and stamp act, represented a major shift in policy toward the colonies in which of the following ways?


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    Britain Begins Taxing the Colonies: The Sugar & Stamp Acts (U.S. National Park Service)

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    Britain Begins Taxing the Colonies: The Sugar & Stamp Acts

    Boston National Historical Park

    "...The English government cannot long act towards a part of its dominions diametrically opposed to its own, without losing itself in the slavery it would impose upon the colonies."—New York Gazette, June 6, 1765, reprinted in Boston Evening Post, June 24, 1765[1]

    Stamp Act of 1765 proof

    Smithsonian Institution

    Harbottle Dorr, a North End ironmonger [seller of hardware, tools, and household implements], began collecting and annotating Boston newspapers in January 1765. Offering his opinions as a man of middling rank toward the Revolutionary struggle for liberty, he claimed that the June 6 New York Gazette article “first gave the Alarm about the Stamp Act.”[2]

    Parliament passed the Stamp Act on March 22, 1765, to pay down a national debt approaching £140,000,000 after defeating France in the Seven Years War (1763). A year earlier, Parliament passed the Sugar Act, their first revenue-raising measure. Both taxes promised dire consequences in a post-war economy. While the Sugar Act was a duty only on foreign goods, the Stamp Act taxed items within the colonies. Previously, only colonial assemblies assumed responsibility for internal taxes.[3]

    Beginning November 1, 1765, legal documents, academic degrees, appointments to office, newspapers, pamphlets, playing cards, and dice required embossing with a Treasury stamp as proof of payment of the tax.[4] Colonial essayists, orators, and ordinary people responded with cries of “slavery,” “tyranny,” and “No taxation without representation.”

    Death of British General Wolfe at the moment of British victory in the 1759 Battle of Quebec.

    Archives and Collections at Amherst College

    The same angry colonists who now attacked British taxation policies had proudly celebrated their country’s victories in the Seven Years War a few years earlier. On October 16, 1759, Bostonians celebrated Britain’s defeat of France in the Plains of Abraham battle in Quebec. Printer John Boyle noted: “…the Regiment of Militia were mustered, and the Town beautifully illuminated in the Evening.” On September 26, 1760, “public rejoicing” accompanied news of Montreal’s surrender. Finally, on May 24, 1763, Boyle declared Britain’s complete victory: “The Definitive Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the King of Great Britain, the French and Spanish Kings was sign’d at Paris February 10, 1763.”[5]

    Massachusetts remained especially proud since thousands of her provincial soldiers served—and died—alongside British “regulars” in the New York and Canadian theaters of war. Among them was 21-year-old silversmith Paul Revere, who enlisted as a Second Lieutenant in Richard Gridley’s Artillery Train on February 18, 1756. French victories cancelled Revere’s participation in a British plan to seize a French fort at Crown Point on Lake Champlain, New York, and he returned home in November 1756.[6]

    Map of Eastern North America in 1775, National Atlas of the United States.

    Under the peace treaty Britain gained vast new territory, including French Canada and French territory east of the Mississippi. How would Britain pay down its war debt and the additional expense of defending its enlarged North American empire? How would American colonists respond to Britain’s policies?[7]

    Peace ended colonial contracts to supply the British military with weapons, uniforms, and provisions as well as the steady supply of gold and silver that paid for those goods. After 1760, British merchants began tightening up credit to colonial merchants. Britain’s slowing economy led to a slumping West Indian economy, which reduced demand for New England livestock, lumber, and fish. Merchants in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia declared bankruptcy in alarming numbers.[8]

    Artisans and laborers faced lower income and higher costs of food, firewood, and taxes.[9] On February 26, 1764, John Boyle wrote about another crisis—smallpox: “…‘tis feared by many that it will be impractible [impractical] to prevent its spreading thro’ the Town.”[10] Paul Revere’s family was one of seven afflicted families in Boston’s North End. Though his family survived, Revere’s income from his previously thriving silver shop dropped from £102 in 1764 to £60 in 1765.[11]

    To make matters worse, Britain began imposing taxes, leading to more economic distress—and political danger. On May 15, 1764, the Boston Town Meeting asked their representatives to the Massachusetts General Court [Legislature] to

    use your power and influence in maintaining the invaluable Rights and Privileges of the Province…For if our Trade may be taxed why not our Lands? Why not the produce of our Lands, and every Thing we possess or make use of?....If Taxes are laid upon us in any shape without ever having a Legal Representative where they are laid, are we not reduced from the Character of Free Subjects to the miserable state of tributary Slaves…[12]

    Source : www.nps.gov

    1764 to 1765

    1764 to 1765

    1764 to 1765 Timeline


    Sugar Act. Parliament, desiring revenue from its North American colonies, passed the first law specifically aimed at raising colonial money for the Crown. The act increased duties on non-British goods shipped to the colonies.Currency Act. This act prohibited American colonies from issuing their own currency, angering many American colonists.Beginnings of Colonial Opposition. American colonists responded to the Sugar Act and the Currency Act with protest. In Massachusetts, participants in a town meeting cried out against taxation without proper representation in Parliament, and suggested some form of united protest throughout the colonies. By the end of the year, many colonies were practicing nonimportation, a refusal to use imported English goods.


    Quartering Act. The British further angered American colonists with the Quartering Act, which required the colonies to provide barracks and supplies to British troops.Stamp Act. Parliament's first direct tax on the American colonies, this act, like those passed in 1764, was enacted to raise money for Britain. It taxed newspapers, almanacs, pamphlets, broadsides, legal documents, dice, and playing cards. Issued by Britain, the stamps were affixed to documents or packages to show that the tax had been paid.Organized Colonial Protest. American colonists responded to Parliament's acts with organized protest. Throughout the colonies, a network of secret organizations known as the Sons of Liberty was created, aimed at intimidating the stamp agents who collected Parliament's taxes. Before the Stamp Act could even take effect, all the appointed stamp agents in the colonies had resigned. The Massachusetts Assembly suggested a meeting of all the colonies to work for the repeal of the Stamp Act. All but four colonies were represented. The Stamp Act Congress passed a "Declaration of Rights and Grievances," which claimed that American colonists were equal to all other British citizens, protested taxation without representation, and stated that, without colonial representation in Parliament, Parliament could not tax colonists. In addition, the colonists increased their nonimportation efforts.

    Source : www.loc.gov

    What Was the Sugar Act? Definition and History

    The Sugar Act of 1764 was one the laws imposed on the American colonies that led to the Revolution. Learn more about its provisions and impact.

    Humanities › History & Culture

    What Was the Sugar Act? Definition and History

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    Published on September 01, 2020

    The Sugar Act of 1764 was a law enacted by the British Parliament intended to stop the smuggling of molasses into the American colonies from the West Indies by cutting taxes on molasses. The act also imposed new taxes on several other imported foreign goods while further restricting the export of certain highly demanded commodities such as lumber and iron that could legally be shipped from the colonies under the Navigation Acts. Proposed by British Prime Minister George Grenville, the Sugar Act amended the Molasses Act of 1733, which had actually reduced revenues by encouraging smuggling.

    Key Takeaways: Sugar Act of 1764

    The Sugar Act of 1764 was a law enacted by Britain to increase British revenues by preventing the smuggling of molasses into the American colonies and enforcing the collection of higher taxes and duties.

    British Prime Minister George Grenville proposed the Sugar Act as a way for Britain to generate revenue to protect its foreign colonies and pay its debts from the French and Indian Wars.

    In the American colonies, the Sugar Act was especially harmful to merchants and consumers in the New England seaports.

    Colonial opposition to the Sugar Act was led by Samuel Adams and James Otis, who contended that the duties imposed by the Sugar Act represented taxation without representation.

    The British Stamp Act of 1765 caused more widespread and violent protests throughout the colonies, eventually leading to the first battle of the American Revolution on April 19, 1765.


    When Lord George Grenville took over as British prime minister in April 1763, Parliament found itself without the money it needed to protect the foreign colonies while repaying its massive debt from the recently concluded French and Indian Wars. Correctly sensing that the British people had reached their taxpaying limit, Grenville looked to the American colonies, which had so far paid relatively little in taxes but were promised full compensation for their contribution to the war effort. Citing these facts, Grenville convinced Parliament that the colonies should—for the first time in their history—contribute to the costs of supporting and defending them. Parliament responded by passing a series of colonial tax laws now known as the Revenue Acts, made up of the Sugar Act 1764, the Currency Act of 1764, the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Acts of 1767, and the Tea Act of 1773.


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    What Makes Sugar So Addictive?

    The Sugar Act of 1764 amended the existing Molasses Act of 1733, which had imposed a hefty duty of six pence (about $.07 USD) per gallon on molasses—the key ingredient of rum—imported into the colonies from the non-British West Indies. However, instead of generating revenue, the duty resulted in most molasses shipments being smuggled into the colonies. The Sugar Act of 1764 reduced the duties on molasses and refined sugar to three pence, and it also empowered customs officers to act more aggressively in collecting duties and employ privately owned warships to intercept and seize ships suspected of smuggling.

    Rewarded with a share of the profits from the sale of the seized ships and cargo, the “privateer” captains and crews of these warships were encouraged to attack and detain ships at random. This virtual form of government-endorsed piracy and sudden, often overly zealous enforcement of duty collection policy, angered American merchants both in the colonies and in England, many of whom had become wealthy from smuggling.

    Impact on the Colonies

    The Sugar Act also imposed new taxes on other imported products, such as wine, coffee, and fabric, and strictly regulated the export of lumber and iron, then the most demanded commodities produced in the colonies. The tax on sugar and molasses, coupled with Britain’s drastic anti-smuggling enforcement methods, greatly harmed the emerging colonial rum industry by giving British West Indies sugarcane planters and rum distillers a virtual monopoly.

    The combined effects of the Sugar Act also greatly reduced the colonies’ ability to trade with Portugal, the Azores, the Canary Islands, and the French West Indies, their main customers of lumber, iron, flour, cheese, and farm produce. By reducing the markets to which the colonies could sell while restricting their access to money needed to buy goods manufactured in Britain, the Sugar Act, along with the other associated Revenue Acts, greatly limited the colonial economy.

    Source : www.thoughtco.com

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