Today in all classes, except for fourth period, we looked at four events that added fuel to the fire of those colonists who wanted to separate from Britain. The students worked in groups to create projects on one of the following four topics:
1. Proclamation of 1763 – forbade colonists from settling in the land west of the Appalachian Mountains
2. Stamp Act – a tax that Britain made the colonists pay in order to help pay for the recently finished French and Indian War which said colonists had to get a stamp put on every single piece of paper used in the colonies for a fee
3. Townshend Act – a series of taxes and rules that tightened Britain’s control over the colonists and their actions which included a tax on tea (anyone remember hearing about the Boston Tea Party?)
4. Boston Massacre – a conflict between a drunken mob of colonists and British soldiers that resulted in the death of five colonists
Why are these important? The colonists despised these measures. They did not like being boxed in the Thirteen Colonies and unable to settle in the lands they just won in the French and Indian War. They did not like paying a tax on paper goods, glass, or tea. The colonists banded together to protest these measures and in fact created boycotts of many British goods which led to the creation of more colonial manufactured goods. However, in the end, the Boston Massacre was a tragedy that showed how deeply divided the colonists were. Some colonists wanted the British soldiers to stay in the colonies but others wanted to be left alone.
All of these things make the colonists question Britain’s practices and ability to rule over them.