How did British policy after 1763 push the colonies closer to independence?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In 1763 the Seven Years' War came to an end and Britain became the ruler of much of North America. But war had come at a high cost: Britain's national debt was £121 million, a staggering amount in the 1700s, and the country struggled just to pay the annual interest. To make matters worse, there was an Indian uprising on the Ohio Frontier that absorbed even more of Britain's time and resources.

Britain thus decided to change its policy in the colonies. From now on, it wanted to have a firmer grip over America and introduce new taxes to help ease its financial problems. In 1764, Britain introduced the Sugar Act, a tax on molasses, and the next year, 1765, saw the introduction of the Stamp Act, a levy on all forms of printed paper. The colonists responded by boycotting British goods but things only got worse: the Quartering Act required all colonists to house British troops, if necessary, and the Declaratory Act established Britain's overall supremacy.

For the colonists, these actions were a step too far and served only to anger and alienate them. The change in policy led directly to the development of the revolutionary spirit and the overwhelming desire for independence.