How did colonists' ideas about government differ from those of the British in the 1760s?
Colonists' ideas about government (or at least the ideas of many colonists) were beginning to differ from those held by Parliament in the 1760s primarily in that the colonists opposed the imposition of additional taxes and regulations by Parliament in the wake of the French and Indian War. For many years, the colonists had benefited from lax enforcement of imperial regulations, a practice referred to after the fact as "salutary neglect." However, in the wake of the war, the British government began to exert more direct control over the colonies, and the colonists argued that these changes represented a violation of their rights as British subjects. Particularly objectionable was the Stamp Act, passed in 1765, that essentially placed a tax on official documents by requiring a revenue stamp on them. The colonists, lacking representation in Parliament, claimed that this was a violation of their rights, and engaged in protests that eventually led to the repeal of the law. Parliament, however, continued to claim the right to legislate for the colonies in all cases, and this would be the major difference between the colonies and the British. So it could be argued (and indeed has been by many historians) that the colonists' ideas about governance and their proper relationship with the British Empire did not change, but that the British approach to governance did. The colonists responded by asserting their time-honored rights, and only eventually turned to more radical ideas like natural rights and eventually independence.