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The goals and interests of European leaders diverged from those of colonial citizens, resulting in the colonists growing distrusts and dissatisfaction towards various issues such as territory, taxation, and settlement protection. These clashes between European leaders and the colonial citizens sprouted rebellious behavior that eventually led to war.
The conflict that rooted from the differences of motives between the European leaders and colonial citizens was exemplified through the Stamp Act of 1765. The British Parliament had enacted this legislation in order to raise money that was lost in result of the French and Indian War. The British required several kinds of taxes on all items consisted of paper. Although the Europeans saw the act as simply a way to regain lost revenue, the colonists thought differently. The colonists thought the Stamp Act was unfair due to the lack of approval from the colonial legislatures. They felt that the taxes violated their rights as British citizens. The British leaders only cared about earning profit, but the colonists cared about representation and equality. This led to resistance that was demonstrated through boycotting British goods, debates in colonial legislatures, and mob actions such as feathering tax collectors.
The different goals and interests between European leaders and colonists resulted in a constant cycle of Parliament’s efforts to pass legislatures and the colonists rebelling. After the Stamp Act was eventually repealed, the Declaratory Act was then passed in 1766. The British leaders strongly believed they had full authority over the thirteen colonies and this act affirmed their power. The Declaratory Act was passed to remind the colonists who was in charge. However, many of the colonists gave no care and continued to celebrate over their political victory of the repeal of the Stamp Act; but there were several colonists that were angered because this act hinted that more taxation acts would be coming their way. The British leaders were only interested in money and authority, something the colonists were fully counter to.
It was completely evident that the British authority cared solely for capital and complete control over the colonies. Though, the true colonists’ defiance wasn’t fully evident until the Boston Tea Party. In 1773, Parliament passed the Tea Act, which was meant to expand the British East India Company’s monopoly on tea trade to all the colonies. This act allowed the company to sell its large tea surplus at a lower price compared to colonial competitors. The Tea Act was the final straw in the series of shunned policies and taxes imposed on the American colonies by the British. Although this act didn’t impose new taxes, the colonists were angered with the fact that the British East India Company authorized monopoly on tea. Other tea companies weren’t happy about this act and the colonists saw Britain’s efforts to earn more revenue as another mean of “taxation without representation” because it meant that they couldn’t purchase tea from anyone else without spending more money. Once again, British authority and the colonists’ divergence in objectives sparked yet another riot. The Sons of Liberty, a secret group of protesters, ignited a symbolic act that would change the course of history later that year. They stormed three British ships and dumped crates of tea overboard. This act showed how far Americans were willing to speak out for their freedom.
In conclusion, it is apparent that the goals and interests of European leaders and colonial citizens were extremely diverse. While the British leaders focused on wealth and authority to benefit the mother country, the colonists strived for government representation and liberty. Both of these different points of view clashed and led to extreme extents, such as boycotts and rebellions, and eventually the Revolutionary War.
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British East India Company, Stamp Act, Declaratory Act, Boston Tea Party, No taxation without representation, Tea Act, American Revolution, Sons of Liberty, Thirteen Colonies, Intolerable Acts, Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress
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