Why Were the Colonists Unhappy With the British Government?

The colonists were unhappy with the British government because it wanted to collect additional taxes to pay for the French and Indian War; although the initial Stamp Act requiring the tax was repealed, the colonists continued to resist limits to self-government and imperial taxation. The Stamp Act was an act that was put into place in 1765 that created an excise tax on newspapers and most legal documents.

A tax on imports in 1767, known as the Townshend Duties, was the impetus for boycotts of goods from Britain. The British occupied Boston in 1768 in an effort to counter customs racketeering and seizure of ships. This occupation led to 1770’s Boston Massacre. In response, Britain repealed duties on goods with the exception of tea. With the Boston Tea Party in 1773, the colonists and their leaders recognized their fears of Britain limiting their freedoms. Relations reached a fever pitch and Patriot mobs climbed aboard ships carrying tea in the Boston Harbor and dumped it overboard. This caused Britain to close the Port of Boston. As a consequence, Massachusetts was placed under military rule. British troops’ attempts to arrest military leaders and confiscate their supplies in Massachusetts led to the initial battles of the Revolutionary War at Concord and Lexington.