New Taxes in the Colonies


US History The Revolutionary Era New Taxes in the Colonies
Students learn about new taxes and laws the British imposed on the American colonies after the French and Indian War. They explain why the laws were passed, why the colonists objected to them, and how the colonists protested.

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Overview

In this experience, students learn about new taxes and laws the British imposed on the American colonies after the French and Indian War. They explain why the laws were passed, why the colonists objected to them, and how the colonists protested.

Objectives:

  • Explain why colonists opposed new British taxes such as the Stamp Act.
  • Analyze how British economic policies following the French and Indian War contributed to the Revolutionary War.


In this experience, you’ll learn about different taxes and laws the British imposed on the American colonies after the French and Indian War—and how the colonists responded.

Objectives:

  • Explain why colonists opposed new British taxes such as the Stamp Act.
  • Analyze how British economic policies following the French and Indian War contributed to the Revolutionary War.
When the French and Indian War ended in 1763, Britain gained large territories in North America. But the war had been very expensive, and Britain also emerged with a tremendous national debt. In addition, the new territories meant more land to protect and soldiers to pay. To cover their debt, Britain imposed taxes on the American colonies. The colonists resented these new taxes and began to protest.




Notice in a newspaper of the Stamp Act of 1765


You may want to review the meaning and connection between “debt” and “taxes” with students:

  • “Debt” is money that is owed by one group or individual to another. Nations (or national governments) can also have a debt, especially after borrowing money to pay for services or events such as expansion and war.
  • “Taxes” refer to money collected from citizens by the government to pay for services. Today, taxes are added to the cost of goods (sales tax), subtracted from your paycheck (income tax), and paid on personal property (property tax). Taxes pay for things like roads, schools, libraries, parks, and the police department.
  • One way that a government pays its national debt is to increase taxes on citizens.


In a word or short phrase, name a way that citizens can protest against taxes.

Post your answer

Students may be able to suggest protests such as strikes, boycotts, rallies, or sit-ins. Some may even post “tea party.” Students may suggest one way that people protest against taxes today: “vote for different leaders.” If they do, discuss why this wasn’t an option for colonists. 


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