"Revolutionary America! 1763-1789 April 20-November 3, 2002

Territory and Taxes

photo of exhibit section
In this photo:
PEWTER PLATES, part of a 42-piece camp service owned by George Washington during the French and Indian War, 1755
LETTER, handwritten from Benjamin Franklin to Scotsman Lord Kames regarding the character of Americans, February 25, 1767. Franklin writes, in part: "… every Act of Oppression will sour their Tempers, lessen greatly if not annihilate the Profits of your Commerce with them, and hasten their final Revolt: For the Seeds of Liberty are universally sown there ...."
  On loan from the collection of:
    --Claude and Jeanne Harkins
TAX STAMP, British revenue 1765-1766
    --Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston MA
REPRODUCTIONS depict a Map of European land holdings in North America after the 1763 Peace Treaty; Bostonians pouring tea down the throat of a tarred and feathered tax collector; the Cartoon, "Join or Die" published by Benjamin Franklin urging colonists to unite; and a portrait of Benjamin Franklin.

Whose Right to Rule?

After 1763, the British controlled new wilderness lands in the Ohio River Valley. Even though French and Indian settlements were already established, the colonies claimed western lands all the way to the Mississippi River.

In order to fund British forces on the frontier, new taxes and new laws threatened individual liberties and colonial self-government: The Sugar Act of 1764, The Stamp Act of 1765, and The Townshend Acts. Finally in 1773, The Coercive Acts reduced legal rights of Colonials and ordered private citizens to house royal troops. In a final flourish, England ceded the Ohio Valley territories to British Quebec, thereby erasing the colonists' claims to the frontier.

Angry colonials claimed that England did not have the right to tax America without representation in Parliament. And the united boycott of British goods by all thirteen colonies forced the repeal of most taxes, encouraging further joint efforts.


Territory and Taxes (You are here)
  Tax Stamp
  Bullets Fired During the Boston Massacre
  Original Tea Leaves From the Boston Tea Party
Early Troublemakers
  Broadside, Silver Urn and "Poor Richard's Almanac"


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