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Guiding Prompt #1
Transcript of Guiding Prompt #1
The taxes Britain imposed on the 13 English colonies in the 1760s and 1770s
King George third became King of England
During the late 1750s, the Board of Trade cited the war as justification for cracking down on smugglers and other abuses of the Navigations Acts. Parliament passed the Revenue Act of 1762 in an attempt to halt bribery as routinely practiced by colonists circumventing the Molasses Act.
Lord Rockingham, Grenville’s successor, encouraged hard-pressed merchants from London, Liverpool, Bristol, and Glasgow to petition Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act. Unlike his predecessor, Rockingham was more of a Walpolian Old Whig, preferring the expansive trade fostered by salutary neglect to the tax revenues wrung from aggressive colonial policy. Attempting to balance the interests of forgiving merchant with those in Parliament who wanted to punish colonial impudence, Rockingham brokered a compromise.
Responding to economic hardship and merchant petitions, the ministry under Lord North repealed the Townshend duties, reasoning that it was contrary to the principles of mercantilism for Britain to tax its manufactured exports to America. As a symbolic gesture, however, North retained a small duty on tea. The compromise successfully eased tensions for the moment.
In an effort to prop up the financially troubled East India Company, Parliament passed the Tea Act, granting it a virtual monopoly over the British tea market and allowing direct sales access to the colonies. As a consequence, East India Company tea cost the least of any available tea, foreign or domestic. Following the retention of the 3 pence Townshend duty on tea in 1770, colonists had generally boycotted British brands, turning instead to contraband Dutch brews. An estimated 90 percent of all tea consumed in the colonies was of the Dutch variety, so patriots could sip cheaply while avoiding the despised revenue duty altogether.
In response to the Boston Tea Party, Parliament passed a series of Coercive Acts to reestablish British dominion over the insubordinate colonies. The Massachusetts Government Act annulled the colonial charter of 1691, restricting the power of the House of Representatives and banning most local town assemblies. A Port Bill closed Boston Harbor until restitution was made to the East India Company. None was forthcoming.
In May, the Continental Congress encouraged individual colonies to adopt new governments and formally sever all ties to the English Crown. Subsequently, most colonies drafted constitutions severely circumscribing the power of the governor’s office, while vesting legislatures with supreme governing authority. This emasculation of magisterial stature in favor of representative bodies reflected the prominence of Whig ideology and republican ideals among leading American revolutionaries. Jefferson’s July Declaration further underscored the British monarch’s usurpation of American liberties, and formalized the movement for independence.
Guiding Prompt #1
By: Berina Music