The Sugar Act and the Stamp Act
The Sugar Act The Sugar Act caused many problems in the American colonies, mainly because of economic problems. The Sugar Act put a three cent tax on foreign refined sugar, and put higher import taxes on non British textiles, coffee and indigo( used to make dye for clothes), and on Madeira Canary wines. It also banned the importation of foreign rum and French wines.
The opposition to the Sugar Act was strong and several forms of actions were taken against the British. One of the best actions taken, was a boycott of English products. Boycotts proved to be a great way to get Great Britain's attention. It got the British merchants as well as Parliaments' because it hit them where it hurt, right in the pocketbook. When British merchants lost money due to the boycotts they protested loudly to Parliament to do something about the problem. Eventually Parliament listened to British merchants and repealed the act and the colonist claimed a victory. However, if boycotts or protesting against the British acts did not work violencet seemed to be the next step.
Sam Adams of Boston organized a group called the Sons of Liberty that often used intimidation or destruction of property to show their opinion of the acts. They often attacked tax collectors or in some cases even tarred and feathered
them. As you can imagine Parliament found if difficult to hire anyone to collect taxes.
There was a major problem brewing in the colonies. The colonies were openly challenging Parliament's right to tax the colonies. This was a delicate issue that Parliament would have to address. The Stamp Act
Prime Minister Grenville was preparing a new tax for the colonies because revenues were still too low. Parliament agreed to start the Stamp Act in January 1765. The Stamp Act called for a tax on various kinds of paper products in use. Examples included official documents used in courts, harbors, land transactions, marriages, and diplomas. The Act said all of these documents had to be printed on paper carrying an official stamp.
The problem with the Stamp Act was that Parliament misjudged the reactions the Americans would have in the colonies. Once the Stamp Act was implemented opposition was strong and violent. Almost all assemblies in the colonies challenged the right of the British, to tax them. Protests and the boycott of English goods were reported throughout the colonies. Local as well as British merchants were highly affected by a lose in revenue. After a year of protests, rioting and debating, Parliament withdrew the Stamp Act, having overestimated its own power and underestimating the American colonist. Once again the Americans claimed victory, but it was short lived .