American Revolution: British Acts


British Legislative Acts vs. America
The 18th century proved to be a time of rapid change and growing hostility between the American colonies and Great Britain, largely due to many new tax laden acts being passed in Parliament. These acts, such as the Molasses Act, the Proclamation of 1763, the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts, and the Coercive Acts, combined caused the colonists to be disobedient to the Crown, and helped plant seeds of independence. We must further look at each individual act and determine the response to, and consequences of each.
The beginning of the 18th century was a relatively conflict free time between the colonists and England. In 1733, the British parliament passed the Molasses Act, which put heavy taxes on imported molasses, except that from the British controlled West Indies. This act was clearly placed on the colonists for British profit; mercantilism at its best. If the sugar industry thrived, British nobleman and investors thrived, and therefore more money was pumped into Britain's economy. The colonial response was one of a subdued, prospering nation. "Oh, that's OK, we deserve to pay a small tax to our mother country." Although a few took matters into their own hands and ran molasses under the table, in general the colonists were not enraged by this act. Shortly after the French and Indian War (1756-1763), Parliament passed a well-meant, but hotly contested proclamation. The Proclamation of 1763 created quite a furor among colonists, as it banned settling past an imaginary line that extended down the spine of the Appalachian mountain range. Though meant to stop the conflict between the Native Americans and the colonists, the Proclamation was viewed by colonists as too much interdiction of Britain in the new land. Who was to tell the colonists where they could settle? This was their land, and a legislative body three thousand miles away, where their views were not re…

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