The Seven Years’ War of 1756-’63 was in many ways a world war, experienced in the American colonies as the French and Indian War. The cost to the British crown was staggering. Parliament wanted their colonies in America to pay for their share of it. The war had been fought for their benefit after all, had it not?
In the 1760s, several measures were taken to collect these revenues. In one 12-month period, Parliament passed the Stamp Act, the Quartering Act, and the Declaratory Act, and deputized the Royal Navy’s Sea Officers to help enforce customs laws in colonial ports.
American colonists hated these measures. For decades now, the colonies had been left to run their own affairs. Many of them bristled at the heavy handed measures now being taken by revenue and customs agents. In Rhode Island, the Sugar Act of 1764 was particularly egregious as the distillation of…
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