The French and Indian War essentially bankrupted the British Government. Parliament belived that the American colonies bore a share of the burden of the war costs that resulted from military operations in North America. They proposed to levy taxes on many items supplied by the colonial governments without charge.
The colonists felt that it was unfair that a political body in which they were not represented should tax them. This was not a new conflict. Royal Governors and colonial assemblies fought over taxes to operate the government without consent of the people's representatives. In New York Colony the Governor, Colonel Thomas Dongan passed the Charter of Liberties and Priveleges that gave the vote to all freeholders and stated that the colony be governed by the king, governor, and the "people in assembly gathered".
England's efforts to restrict the right of free trade by colonial merchants through the Navigation and Sugar Acts, led to discontent and encouraged a thriving smuggling operation along the Atlantic seaboard. In 1764 New York merchants petitioned Parliament not to renew the Navigation Act. This appeal failed. In October 1765 representatives from nine colonies met in New York and proposed that the colonies coordinate their effort to have representation in Parliament or give taxing authority to the colonial assemblies. Supporters in England pointed out the duties levied on colonial goods could be paid in England and the cause of ill-will removed.
The final straw for many American colonists was the Quebec Act that granted a degree of autonmy to Canada, restricted settlement west of the Appalaichan Mountains and granted free exercise of religion to Canada's French Catholics. This last clause created a furor in Massachusetts and other colonies as the first step of uniting Protestant Americans with the Pope in Rome.
By 1774 when the First