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Colonial Life 1
Transcript of Colonial Life 1
By Matt, Paige and Abbey
A major punishment would be if didn't follow the laws you would get hung. A minor punishment would be 5-25 whips. And can you imagine, that would hurt! You think you have it hard now, ya right!
Laws and Consequences
The original thirteen colonies were still under British rule. Colonists were filled with discontent because the felt they were being taxed and had no representation.
The First Government
English Government In The 18th Century
Colony life began when the colonists came to North America to escape the British oligarchy government (the rich landowners and wealthy merchants controlled the government). They wanted religious freedom.
The First Thirteen colonies had charters and written agreements between the colonies and the King. The legislature was elected by the land-owners and had governors that were appointed by the king. These governors had nearly complete rule.
The First Charters
Colonial economies operated under mercantilism, a system based on the belief that colonies existed in order to increase the mother country's wealth. England tried to regulate trade between the colonists and other European countries. England felt that the colonists should pay for the French and Indian War, which the colonists felt was unfair.
Paying for a War
The Revenue Act of 1764
(also known as the Sugar Act)
Up to now, the colonists were under a Molasses tax that was about to expire. Until now, the colonists had to pay six pence per gallon to import molasses. But due to corrupt means, they were not paying and this angered the King. They were purchasing cheaper molasses from the French and exporting rum. Under the first Lord of the Treasury, Sir Grenville, he brought the British Navy to enforce customs so they had to buy from Britain. He also levied taxes on other imports like sugar, coffee, cambric and printed calico. Then, he imposed taxes on exports of lumber and iron. This hurt the trade and means of income for the Colonies.
The Currency Act
On Sept 1, 1764 the Parliament imposed the Currency Act. This act abolished the paper monies that the colonists were using. Since the colonies didn't have access to silver or gold, this limited how they could trade.
The Tea Act
On May 10, 1773 Palaiment imposed the Tea Act. Although this was only meant to impose a monopoly on who the colonists could buy tea from, they were sick of all the taxes being imposed. They boarded the boats and threw tea into the Boston Harbor. This was the beginning of the Revolution.
The Stamp Act of 1765
The Stamp Act said that all printed materials must be produced on stamped paper from London that were embossed with revenue stamps. This included legal documents, magazines and newspaper and playing cards and many other types of paper used in the colonies. The stamp tax had to be paid in valid British currency, not colonial paper money. The purpose of tax was to pay for troops stationed in North America. The Americans felt there was no need for the soldiers since there were no foreign enemies on the continent. This act produced the slogan "No taxation without Representation".
Each of the thirteen colonies had it's own government. The government was layered with the king at the top, boards of Trade, then Parliament and the appointed governor. New England, for instance, did have a town meeting, but they were in no way democratic. Only the rich few had any say in politics.
Government of The Few
Colonies had judicial administration, based on English common law. The local level were Judges of Peace, above them, were Session Courts. In royal colonies like Virginia the General Court was made up of the Governor and his council.
The Boston Tea Party- 1773
On May 10, 1773 the Tea Act was passed. Although this act did not raise any taxes it created a monopoly on tea. The East India Company had too much tea on its hands and forced it on the colonists. By this time the colonists had enough and threw it in the Boston Harbor. This was the start of the Revolutionary War.
Kiracofe, David James "Colonial America." Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Grolier Online, 2016.