A Right Jab
This is a fictional conversation between two colonists on a misty morning in a Boston alley in the fall of 1764.
Sarah: "Have you heard about the Sugar Act?"
Elizabeth: "Yes, I don't understand it that much. Could you explain what it means?"
Sarah: "The Sugar Act is a tax on imports (goods brought into the colonies), such as molasses and British refined sugar. Can you believe it? Parliament and Grenville, the conniving Prime Minister, believe that colonists should pay for their own protection in the French and Indian War."
Elizabeth: "I strongly agree with Parliament."
Sarah: "I don't agree. We have no representation in Parliament, so we should not be taxed! Also, I'm afraid our economy will suffer. Many other colonists share my belief, and we are boycotting English goods."
Elizabeth: "I hope colonists will not do anything silly, for we are loyal British subjects."
Sarah: "Yes, but should we submit to a government whose navy is sinking our ships if we do not pay these insane taxes? Besides we are forbidden to import goods not from England, such rum and French wine."
Elizabeth: "I hope this doesn't increase tension and lead to violence."
Sarah: "Whether it does or not, I don't know how much longer the colonists can tolerate British rule."
With that, the two departed.
A Straight Left Hand
The following is the fictional view of a colonist who wrote an article to be published in the Pennsylvania Gazette.
The Stamp Act was the final measure before the new colonial system came to be. Stamps were required to be purchased and placed on all newspapers, pamphlets, licenses, and other documents to raise money for protecting and securing the colonies to help pay off the debt of the French and Indian War. Britain’s Parliament (lawmaking body) believed the colonists should have no objection to repaying their mother country for their services during the Seven Years’ War.
The Stamp Act caused a great amount of anger among those who were wealthy, including writers, businessmen, and lawyers. These men formed a resistance known as the "Sons of Liberty." This group of colonists protested against the actions imposed by the British government.
Trade with England slowed down in the summer of 1765 when the Sons of Liberty, caused violent acts with the custom agents resulting in Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act. That same year, Patrick Henry of the Virginia House of Burgesses passed a resolution saying there could be no "taxes without representation." This meant that Virginians had the rights of Englishmen and could only be taxed by their local representatives.
In October, 1765, 27 representatives from nine colonies voted against English interference in American government. They decided that taxes could only be put in place by their own legislators.
Once again the colonists have been reaching a frustration point with Britain as relations become increasingly strained.
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