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5. The American Revolution -- Part 2
Parliament passed two more reforms in 1764.
The Sugar Act cut the duty in half in order to increase enforcement.
The smuggler would be tried by the courts.
The Currency Act restricted colonies from making paper money.
Gold and silver coins were hard to come by in the colonies.
The lack of currency was a problem for the colonies, but it was especially bad in 1764 because of the postwar recession.
Some colonists began to fear a pattern of increased taxation and restricted liberties after the Currency Act and the Sugar Act were repealed.
The Stamp Act was passed in March.
The act required that many documents be printed on paper that had been stamped to show the duty had been paid, including newspapers, pamphlets, diplomas, legal documents, and even playing cards.
The Sugar Act of 1764 was an attempt to get merchants to pay an already existing duty, but the Stamp Act created a new tax.
The colonists had never been directly taxed by parliament.
colonies contributed to the empire through indirect taxes, such as customs duties.
A right to impose an internal tax on the colonies without their consent for the single purpose of revenue is denied, and a right to regulate their trade without their consent is admitted.
The Stamp Act directly affected many groups throughout colonial society, including printers, lawyers, college graduates, and even sailors who played cards.
This led to more popular resistance.
Legislative resistance by elites, economic resistance by merchants, and popular protest by common colonists were all forms of resistance to the Stamp Act.
The elites passed resolutions in their assembly.
The Virginia Resolves, passed by the House of Burgesses on May 30, 1765, declared that the colonists were entitled to all the liberties, privileges, franchises, and immunities.
When the Virginia Resolves were printed throughout the colonies, they often included a few extra, far more radical resolutions not passed by the Virginia House of Burgesses.
Additional items spread throughout the colonies and helped radicalize responses in other colonial assemblies.
The Stamp Act Congress was called in New York City in October of 1755.
Men and women politicized the domestic sphere by buying and displaying items that revealed their positions on parliamentary actions.
The end of taxation on goods like tea is celebrated by this teapot, which makes clear the owner's perspective.
The right to be taxed only by their own elected representatives was one of those rights.
The principle of the English constitution is that the subject will not be taxed without his consent.
Benjamin Franklin said it was the "prime Maxim of all free Government".
The colonies didn'telect members to Parliament, so they couldn't be taxed by that body.
In response, Parliament and the Crown argued that the colonists were just like the residents of those boroughs or counties in England that didn't vote for members to Parliament.
The idea of virtual representation was rejected by the colonists.
The Stamp Act had two types of resistance.
Merchants in major port cities were hoping that their refusal to import British goods would lead to the repeal of the Stamp Act.
In New York City and Philadelphia, merchants agreed not to buy or sell goods from Great Britain.
The plan worked.
By January 1766, London merchants sent a letter to Parliament arguing that they had been reduced to the necessity of pending ruin by the Stamp Act and the subsequent boycotts.
There were riots in Boston.
Andrew Oliver, the stamp distributor for Massachusetts, was burned in effigy and a building he owned was pulled down in five minutes.
Oliver resigned the position the next day.
The lieutenant governor's home was set upon by a crowd after he publicly argued for submission to the stamp tax.
Much of Hutchinson's home and belongings were destroyed before the evening was over.
The Sons of Liberty were formed in most colonies after the original twelve stamp distributors resigned.
Sending a message to Parliament and discouraging colonists from accepting appointments as stamp collector were both achieved by these tactics.
The act became meaningless because there was no one to distribute the stamps.
The Stamp Act was repealed in February 1766.
The Declaratory Act was passed in order to save face and to try to avoid this kind of problem in the future.
The repeal of the Stamp Act was celebrated by the colonists, but they didn't pay much attention to the Declaratory Act.
The inhabitants of New York City raised a statue of King George III in honor of the repeal of the Stamp Act.
The Sons of Liberty's violent protest caused quite a stir in the colonies and England.
The tarring and feathering of Boston's commissioner of customs in 1774 was considered a terrorist act by the British.
The British saw the Sons as brutal instigators with smiles on their faces as they punished the customs commissioner.
The Declaratory Act gave Parliament the right to impose taxes that the colonies had resisted.
The right of Parliament to regulate colonial trade was explicitly acknowledged in the dispatches of the colonists.
The Townshend Acts created new customs duties on common items, like lead, glass, paint, and tea, instead of direct taxes.
A new American Board of Customs Commissioners and more vice-admiralty courts were created as a result of the acts.
Revenues from customs seizures would be used to pay customs officers and other royal officials in order to incentivize them to convict offenders.
These acts increased the British government's presence in the colonies and circumscribed the authority of the colonial assembly since they paid the governor's salary.
The colonists resisted again.
Even though they were duties, many colonial resistance authors still referred to them as taxes because they were designed to extract revenue from the colonies.
In new forms of resistance, the working-class and elite joined together.
Common colonists agreed not to consume the same products as merchants reinstituted nonimportation agreements.
The lists promised not to buy any British goods.
The lists were published in newspapers and bestowed recognition on those who signed and led to pressure on those who did not.
Women became involved in an unprecedented degree in the Townshend Acts.
They gathered signatures by circulating subscription lists.
The first political commentaries written by women appeared in newspapers.
Homespun clothing quickly became a marker of virtue and pa triotism, and women were an important part of this cultural shift.
British goods and luxuries became symbols of tyranny.
The cultural relationship with the mother country was changed by nonimportation and nonconsumption agreements.
Merchants and residents were monitored to make sure they did not break the agreements.
The names and offenses of offenders will be published in the newspaper and in broadsides.
Nonconsumption and nonimportation helped forge colonial unity.
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