The key events between 1763 and 1775 that worsened relations between the British and the American colonies were as follows:
- The Proclamation of 1763, which mandated that no colonists should be allowed to settle west of the Appalachian Mountains. This was a reaction to Pontiac's Rebellion, and angered not just settlers, but land speculators, especially in Virginia, who had a huge stake in opening up western lands.
- The Sugar Act of 1764, which increased duties on sugar and a number of other imports. The Currency Act, passed at the same time, forbade colonial legislatures from issuing paper money, which severely curtailed the amount of cash in circulation in the economy.
- The Stamp Act of 1765, which required the colonists to purchase a stamp to affix to some documents, ranging from legal contracts to playing cards. This tax was seen as a violation of the principle that the colonies alone should be empowered to pass direct taxes, and led to protests and riots in many colonies. It was repealed about a year later, but Parliament stipulated through the Declaratory Act that it had the right to legislate for the colonies.
- The Townshend Duties, passed in 1767, established import duties on many items that the colonists had to import from Britain. This led to widespread boycotts and riots throughout the colonies. Ominously, British troops were sent to Boston, seen as the center of the protests, to help keep the peace.
- The Boston Massacre (1770), which occurred when some of the aforementioned British troops, very unpopular with working-class Bostonians, opened fire on an angry and threatening mob.
- The Tea Act of 1773, passed by the North Administration, which placed a small tax on tea, which would be sold to American factors at a low price by the East India Company.
- The Boston Tea Party of 1774, which was a response to the Tea Act by the Sons of Liberty in Boston. Large quantities of East India tea were dumped into Boston harbor.
- The passage of the Coercive Acts in 1774, closing Boston as a port, placing Massachusetts directly under the control of a military governor, and expanding the Quartering Act.
- The meeting of the First Continental Congress in 1774, directly in response to events in Boston. This congress, a very public show of colonial unity, led to the passage of a colonial "association,"or an agreement to cut off trade with Great Britain.
- Lexington and Concord, in April of 1775, the first armed confrontation between New England militia and British soldiers.