British Imperial Policies Between 1763 and 1776

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The British imperial policies between 1763 and 1776 intensified colonials’ resistance to British rule and their commitment to republican ideals and popular sovereignty. The reversal of the policy of Salutary Neglect and other policies placed upon them: the Stamp Act, the Tea Act, and the Intolerable Acts led to insurrection in the colonies, the sons of liberty and the Stamp Act Congress, the Boston Tea Party, and the First Continental Congress and the Suffolk Resolves. The Stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765. The new tax was imposed on all American colonists and required them to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used. Ship's papers, legal documents, licenses, newspapers, other publications, and even playing cards were taxed. The money collected by the Stamp Act was to be used to help pay the costs of defending and protecting the American frontier near the Appalachian Mountains (10,000 troops were to be stationed on the American frontier for this purpose). "No taxation without representation!" was the cry. The colonists were not merely griping about the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act. They intended to place actions behind their words. One thing was clear — no colony acting alone could effectively convey a message to the king and Parliament. The appeals to Parliament by the individual legislatures had been ignored. It was James Otis who suggested an intercolonial conference to agree on a united course of action. With that, the Stamp Act Congress convened in New York in October 1765. The Congress seemed at first to be an abject failure. In the first place, only nine of the colonies sent delegates. Georgia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and the all-important Virginia were not present. The Congress became quickly divided between radicals and moderates. The moderates would hold sway at this time. Only an extreme few believed in
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