Many people in America today are calling for a revolution, but is that really necessary? The country called America was declared independent of British rule after a long and brutal battle with a powerful military. Is a revolution something that this country is ready for? Let us take a look at the original revolution in this country, and use that as a help to make this decision. It may be long, but you had better know your history because the American government today sure seems hell-bent on repeating it!
We all know that taxes, well actually taxation without proper representation, was a major fact leading to the revolution of the colonies. One reason that taxes began going up was after the French and Indian War. When the war was over, Britain signed a treaty which gave Britain vast amounts of land west of the Mississippi. With this land acquisition came some problems such as how to pay to have those lands controlled by the British Army and enforce British rule on the new frontier. Who would be better to pay for this than the neighbors who benefited from the control of the west than the colonists?
Next came the Indian War. About 10,000 British troops were in the colonies to defend the inhabitants from the Indians. Britain needed a way to pay for the troops overseas, so who better to tax than the colonists whom were benefiting from Britain’s expenditure? To make matters worse, all those British troops needed a place to rest, eat, and sleep. So who better to house the troops than the colonists? The Quartering Act of 1765 made sure that the colonists did just this.
The next action (or infraction as the colonists saw it) perpetrated by the British government directly led to the creation of The Sons of Liberty in the colonies. This is known as a Stamp Tax. The Stamp tax was imposed on just about every document used in the colony. Today the tax would have equaled an amount of about $5.10 for small, simple documents all the way up to almost $1,021 dollars for larger, legal documents. (I may need correction here. I am not quite sure if I converted it correctly. If anyone wants to see how I did it, drop me a line on facebook. I check my inbox there frequently, more than email).
The colonists were pissed to say the least. Patrick Henry spoke up in the Virginia house, and declared that the general assembly of the colony should have the ability to level taxes and not just go along grumbling as they had been in the past. Many riots ensued with the newly formed Sons of Liberty forming many of them. The colonists were seeing the repetition in when Britain needed more money, the colonists were the ones forced to give it up.
The Stamp Tax really united to the colonies in protest against the British regime for the first time. The outrage was great and widespread. Due to this outrage, and the fact the enforcement of the new tax was impossible, Britain did away with the Stamp Tax in the same year that it was created. But all was not well, because the British congress then declared their right to impose new taxes.
Charles Townsend had taken over as the leader of Britain, and was not in the least concerned with the rights as the colonists. He passed many taxes, including a tax on tea. He also decided to pay the political leaders in the colonies with money from the British Royalty, which, as we all know, is tax money.
Again, many of the colonists stoop up and said no to the new taxes. They decided that their freedom and right to not pay the new taxes was greater than their need for the goods on which the new taxes were imposed. When the merchants who were losing money began complaining, and it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine selling some goods without keeping record of them, Britain decided that maybe it was not such a good idea. More than half of the new taxes were done away with in the very first year.
But Great Britain was not happy. They had to put an end to the colonist revolt, or complete order would soon be lost. The colonists had to learn that Britain was not going to roll over to every tax protest. British troops were soon sent to the colonies to stop the resistance and restore some order. But this led to even worse relationships. The colonists were not happy to see the amount of troops that they saw on an everyday basis. Also, these troops were quartered by colonists who were fearful to resist the law. Needless to say, the every day lives of the colonists were finally afflicted by the British rule, no longer just by monetary means, but now by physical means more than ever before
Fights between the troops stationed in the colonies inevitably broke out. On one unfortunate day, colonists began throwing snowballs at the troops when a soldiers gun was drawn and unfortunately a shot rang out. In the end 5 colonists were slain, and 11 more were injured. Following this, ALL of the new taxes that had formerly been enacted by Townsend were repealed, except for the tax on tea…
That just about does it for part one. Check back Wednesday evening for part two, which is a little bit less of a history lesson. If you are not yet my friend on facebook, just send me a request, and I will accept it. Thanks for checking out the site, and have a great evening!