The Grievances of the Colonists

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The Sugar, Stamp, Townshend Acts, Writs of Assistance, Tea Act and Intolerable Act were all actions taken by British Parliament. What was the main reason why colonists protested and opposed all of these actions?

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The main reason why the American colonists protested and opposed all of the actions of the British Parliament that you mention is because the colonists wanted to have autonomy.  All of these actions showed that the British Parliament could do more or less what it wanted to the colonists.  Therefore, the colonists opposed them.

The actions you mention are diverse. There are taxes on trade, like the Sugar Act.  There are taxes on goods used only domestically, like the Stamp Act.  There are things like the Writs of Assistance that made it easier for British officials to enforce laws that the colonists did not like.  What this means is that the Americans would have had different specific reasons for disliking each individual action of Parliament.

However, we can identify one major thing that all of these have in common and that would have angered the colonists.  What all of these actions have in common is that they represent British domination of the Americans.  Each of these actions shows that the Parliament was able to pass and enforce laws that affected the colonists without the colonists’ approval.  When a government can pass laws without the approval of the governed, the people have little autonomy and little power.  This is what bothered the colonists.  They wanted to have the power to govern themselves.  All of the Parliament’s actions showed that the colonists lacked this power and that Parliament was in no hurry to give it to them.  This angered the colonists, leading them to oppose and protest the measures.


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