AP®︎/College US History
- The Townshend Acts and the committees of correspondence
- Uproar over the Stamp Act
- The Boston Massacre
- The Boston Tea Party
- The Intolerable Acts and the First Continental Congress
- Taxation without representation: lesson overview
- Taxation without representation
Taxation without representation: lesson overview
After the Seven Years’ War, the British attempted to increase control on the colonies, resulting in the colonists rebelling against the change in policy. This eventually led to the Revolutionary War.
|Salutary neglect||The unofficial policy of the British crown where they avoided strict enforcement of parliamentary law in the colonies.|
|Virtual representation||A theory that members of Parliament were obligated to defend the interests of British subjects and colonists alike and that colonists did not need colonial representatives.|
|Stamp Act (1765)||Passed by British Parliament, it was a direct tax on all printed material in the North American colonies.|
|Stamp Act Congress||Delegates from the colonies who drew up formal petitions to the British Parliament and King George III to repeal the Stamp Act.|
|Declaration of Colonial Rights and Grievances (1765)||Written by the Stamp Act Congress, it declared that taxes imposed on British colonists without their formal consent were unconstitutional.|
|Declaratory Act (1766)||A law that stated that the British Parliament’s taxing authority was the same in America as in Great Britain.|
|Townshend Acts (1767)||A series of laws that placed new taxes on glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea.|
|Boston Massacre (1770)||British soldiers stationed in Boston opened fire on a crowd, killing five townspeople and infuriating locals.|
|Boston Tea Party (1773)||A direct response to British taxation policies and the Tea Act by the North American colonies.|
|Loyalists||A colonist of the American revolutionary period who supported the British cause.|
|Sons of Liberty||A secret society formed by radical colonists to protest British taxation policies.|
|Daughters of Liberty||A Patriot association that formed in response to increased taxes by organizing and participating in boycotts of British goods.|
|Intolerable Acts (1774)||Also called the Coercive Acts, consisted of four separate legislative measure: the Boston Port Bill, the Government Bill, the Administration of Justice Act, and the Quartering Act.|
|First Continental Congress||A representative government made up of elected officials from 12 of the 13 colonies created to create a unified front against the British government.|
|The Enlightenment||A cultural and intellectual movement in the 1700s that emphasized science and rationalism.|
|John Locke||English philosopher who influenced the Enlightenment with his writings on sovereignty and governance. His ideas influenced the separation of the colonies from Britain.|
The Boston Massacre
|Start of the Seven Years’ War|
|End of the Seven Years’ War; Proclamation of 1763|
|The Sugar Act|
|The Stamp Act; The Quartering Act of 1765|
|The Declaratory Act|
|The Townshend Revenue Act|
|The Boston Massacre|
|The Tea Act; The Boston Tea Party|
|The Intolerable Acts; The First Continental Congress|
Core historical themes
American identity and democracy: As the Seven Years’ War came to an end, Britain had massive financial debts for its role in the war. In order to pay that debt, the British parliament began passing a series of taxes, including the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, and the Tea Act. The colonies resented the fact that they were being taxed, and some colonists argued that Britain did not have the right to tax the colonies, as there were no colonial representatives in Parliament. The colonies did believe that they were British citizens, but they also argued that they deserved representatives who understood what the colonies needed. This is where the phrase “no taxation without representation” comes from!
Influence of the Enlightenment: Ideas about individualism and the role of government were derived from the Enlightenment. The era of Enlightenment was at its peak in the mid-1700s, and philosophers like John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau influenced colonial cries for equality and, eventually, independence. Concepts like consent of the governed, the rights of a citizen of a state, and republican self-government can be tied directly to the Enlightenment.
Consolidation of American colonies: Never before had the colonies worked together in a unified political front. The First Continental Congress was made up of elected representatives from 12 of the 13 colonies. While the colonists still considered themselves British subjects, the First Continental Congress was a separate government that directly challenged British rule through boycotts. The creation of the First Continental Congress showed how the colonists were gradually separating themselves from British rule.
- How did British control of the American colonies change after the Seven Years’ War?
- In what ways did American colonists develop a unified sense of identity before the American Revolution?
- What were three factors that led to increased tension between Britain and the colonies?
Want to join the conversation?
- What is "unconstitutional" referring to here--the British Constitution?
"Written by the Stamp Act Congress, it declared that taxes imposed on British colonists without their formal consent were unconstitutional."(4 votes)
- didn't Britain have other colonies they could tax(4 votes)
- Correct me if I am wrong, but the Declaration of Colonial Rights and Grievances was adopted in 1774 (not in 1765).(1 vote)
- Why was there no delegate from Georgia in the First Continental Congress?(3 votes)
- What are some reasons the taxing could be good OR bad?(2 votes)
- If you recall, taxation started after the war. The British needed money to start paying off their war debt and turned to tax the colonies. Most people are not fond of raises in taxes, some paid them without much resistance, but it angered many. Speaking of taxes generally, it provides money for the government to function; which is good. The bad thing about taxes is you are having your money taken from you. That isn't much fun. It was great in the sense that the British protected their colonies and were looking for more control and to pay back their war debt, pretty bad in the sense that the taxes weren't met with open and gracious arms and started a chain of events that would eventually change the world.(1 vote)
- How was George Washington's role in the Revolutionary war?(1 vote)
- oof on a roof why is there no info on the sugar act(0 votes)
- There is. Under "Key Dates" it says "1764 The Sugar Act"(3 votes)