so they started levying taxes on the American colonists.
The Deep Roots of Revolution
Two ideas had taken root in the minds of the American colonists by the mid 18th century (not mutually exclusive):
1) Republicanism: all citizens willingly work towards the common good, which trumps their private interests. The stability of society and the authority of government depended on society's capacity for selflessness, self-sufficiency, and courage. This school of thought opposed authoritarian institutions.
2) Radical Whigs: The Radical Whigs was a group of British political commentators who criticized the monarchy's corruption and encouraged citizens to be vigilant against attempts to take away liberty.
Mercantilism and Colonial Grievances
Georgia was the only colony to be formally created by Britain.
The British viewed the American colonists as tenants: the colonists should exclusively support Britain (via supply of raw materials, purchase of British exports, etc).
The Navigation Law of 1650 stated that all goods flowing to and from the colonies could only be transported in British vessels. It aimed to hurt rival Dutch shippers.
The Stamp Tax Uproar
Britain incurred a large debt due to the Seven Years War, most of which was created defending the North American colonies. Britain began to look for ways of getting the colonists to pay for this debt.
In 1763, Prime Minister George Grenville ordered the British navy to begin strictly enforcing the Navigation Laws. He also got Parliament to pass the Sugar Act of 1764, the first law ever passed by Parliament to raise tax revenue in the colonies for England. The Sugar Act increased the duty on foreign sugar imported from the West Indies.
The Quartering Act of 1765 required certain colonies to provide food and quarters for British troops.
In 1765, Grenville imposed a stamp tax on the colonies to raise revenue to support the new military force. This stamp tax, known as the Stamp Act, required colonists to...