The Grievances of the Colonists

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Why did the colonists feel the British were oppressing them? 

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In some ways, the American colonists felt that the British were oppressing them because the British actually were doing so.  One example of this would be the Massachusetts Government Act, in which the British essentially took away any right of self-government from the people of the various towns in that...

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In some ways, the American colonists felt that the British were oppressing them because the British actually were doing so.  One example of this would be the Massachusetts Government Act, in which the British essentially took away any right of self-government from the people of the various towns in that colony and gave the governor (appointed by the British) the right to take complete control.  It is not hard to see this as an act of oppression.

In another way, the American colonists felt that the British were oppressing them because the British were acting differently than they had been in previous times.  Before the French and Indian War, the British had more or less left the colonists alone.  They had not really taxed the colonists much and they had not strictly enforced their laws about things like trade.  The Americans had gotten used to being left to rule themselves.  When the British took more control, the Americans felt oppressed even though what the British were doing (taxing, enforcing laws) was not really all that oppressive.

These were the main reasons for which the American colonists felt oppressed in the years leading up to the Revolution.

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