When we left the colonists in the first installment of America’s Founding, the British Empire had begun taxing Americans for the purpose of retaining its vast military power. But the colonists viewed the very military they were funding with ire, as soldiers often treated the colonists with disregard.
In the latest installment of this series, Professor Sarah Burns gives us a closer look at the taxes—and other egregious abuses of power—that drove the colonies to revolt.
Starting with the Stamp Act of 1765, and ending with five total “Intolerable Acts” the crown took money from colonists for everything from paper to food. The colonists were so bothered by these Acts because they represented parliamentary meddling in colonial affairs, and an encroachment on the freedoms the colonists held dear.
Drunk with the power from taxing the colonists, Parliament sought to solidify these “temporary measures” as permanent capacities. This caused the colonists to feel as if the very political process that was supposed to protect them was now in place to oppress them—permanently.
And so the stage was set for a dramatic revolt.
You can watch the full episode with Professor Sarah Burns below: