Separation from England,
With the Stamp Act crisis of 1765 (see Chapter 16), most Americans began thinking about the relationship between the American colonies and Great Britain. Americans protested that they were not directly represented in Parliament, and some concluded that the colonies should seriously consider a separation from Britain.
Charles Townshend, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer (or finance), decided shortly after the Stamp Act's repeal in March 1766 that America's share of the British budget had to increase, as did America's ability to pay its own way as part of the British Empire. Townshend believed England had the right to tax the colonies directly or indirectly and discounted the arguments that had arisen during the Stamp Act concerning actual and virtual representation in America (see Chapter 17). Most members of Parliament concurred with Townshend and passed the Townshend Acts in June 1767, which levied a tax on imported tea, lead, paint, glass, and paper.
Most Americans reacted negatively to the Townshend Acts, but they soon discovered that there was little room for a redress of grievances politically for the new taxes because of the Declaratory Act, passed in 1765 on the heels of the Stamp Act and to a great extent ignored in America because of the Stamp Act furor. The Declaratory Act gave Parliament sole authority to make laws for the colonies, and it gave Parliament the right to dissolve colonial legislatures.
When the New York legislature reacted negatively to another of Britain's new policies, the Quartering Act, according to which troops could
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Publication information: Book title: Debating the Issues in Colonial Newspapers:Primary Documents on Events of the Period. Contributors: David A. Copeland - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 340.
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