The Proclamation of 1763 was the first in a series of immediate and direct events that eventually destroyed all dependence Americans had on England. The Proclamation of 1763 prohibited settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains and was England s way of controlling expansion to save on governing costs. The idea of restriction angered the colonists even though the Proclamation was generally ignored. It however lead to the Stamp Act, Quartering Act, Currency Act and Intolerable Acts that increased resentment and provided justification for rebellion against the king.
The urgency for money to pay off debts, encouraged King George III to enforce the powers he and the British Parliament believed they held. The Proclamation of 1763 was the first of a series of acts, which displayed England s manipulation of authority. It prohibited settlement of the colonists west of the Appalachian Mountains. Although only a mild reaction resulted from this enforcement, it stirred the feelings of the colonists and directed their attention towards the violations that England imposed on their rights. Once the Currency and Revenue Acts were ratified, there was outright opposition to the Stamp Act when it was passed. External taxation was reluctantly accepted by the colonists; however, no one accepted the idea of an internal tax. After parliament passed the Stamp Act, the Stamp Act Congress formed to show the universal objection that the Americans held towards it. Through the Stamp Act Congress, the Declaration of Rights was created declaring no taxation without representation and that England could not tax without the Americans consent. The act was repealed but the damage had been done and there was no way to repair it. Although they detested the idea of England s absolute power to tax them as they wished, they still remained to this point loyal to the king.
Following the Stamp Act, taxes were increased with the Quartering Act. This agitated the colonists deeply but their loyalty to England was still evident. After the Boston Massacre hatred towards the English dramatically rose. By this time people began to question whether the colonial legislature or the British Parliament was the supreme source of authority. This is when the repercussions of the Acts affected the Americans opinions towards this dilemma of authority. The injustice of these Acts created a ubiquitous resentment towards England by the Americans. The enforcement of more and more taxes caused the once loyal Americans to look else where for authority. The Quartering Act was unbelievable to the Americans after the Boston Massacre. How could they be expected to house troops who had murdered innocent civilians? A town meeting was called in Boston (where many troops were supposed to be quartered) in which the Act was unanimously determined unconstitutional. This implies that the colonies had there own constitution and that Britain was making laws against it. Americans believed in having their own constitution, and that it was their right as Americans to disobey any laws that went against it.
56 representatives from 13 colonies formed the first Continental Congress in 1774. Their main concern was to decide how to deal with the totally unreasonable Acts that England was enforcing on the Americans. They decided that the laws that England had passed were unconstitutional, going against the several charters or compacts they had written. The idea that the colonists constitutions were the supreme law, and that they dominated that of Parliament was supported by most at this time and provided that the colonists did not feel like Parliament was in total control of them. Although the colonists resented the Parliament s actions of ta them by enforcing the acts, they didn t mind very much if they regulated external trade. They only wanted the privileges of ta and governing themselves. Beginning with the Proclamation of 1763, England did not realize the mistakes they were making. The colonists disliked the idea of internal restrictions. England did not seem to realize this and continued to pass more tax acts. If England had realized the opinions felt by so many Americans, and had disregarded the internal restriction Acts; this may have prevented the Revolutionary War or at least postponed it.
Taxation without representation is more than a slogan. It is a defining statement of democracy. America was carving out a new definition of individual rights and refused to be subjected to laws that did not apply, relate to, or benefit the citizens of the New World. England had no interest in preserving individual or colonial rights and was arrogant in her assessment of America s dependency and America s emerging identity as a separate and functional body.