While it is important to remember that many American colonists remained loyal to Great Britain during this time, Britain's post-French and Indian War policy angered many colonists and provided the impetus for the organized movement that would eventually lead to the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War, and an independent United States.
After the French and Indian War, which ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1763, Great Britain was looking to conserve its money and military resources. With the French no longer an obvious threat, the British reduced the resources they were committing in the American colonies and passed new taxes and duties as a response to their indebtedness.
As a consequence of this de-escalation, the British authorities did not effectively manage the controversy surrounding the Stamp Act of 1765. Historians agree that Britain only made things more difficult for itself in the long run by taking so long to come down harshly on the colonists.
The colonists objected to the Stamp Act and subsequent decrees like the Townshend Act (1767). The colonists believed these tax policies failed to respect their natural rights and status as British citizens. The colonists' belief that they had natural rights, like a right to property, was influenced both by their understanding of historical events like the signing of the Magna Carta, the English Civil War, and the Glorious Revolution, and also by philosophers like John Locke and Montesquieu.
These colonists engaged in many acts of resistance, including the insurrection that resulted in the Boston Massacre of 1770. The most famous of these acts of resistance is surely the Boston Tea Party of 1773. Great Britain responded to this resistance by passing the harsh Intolerable (or Coercive) Acts. Many colonists believed the Intolerable Acts were an even more serious assault on their proper liberties than the taxes and duties were. In response, colonies sent delegations to the First Continental Congress.