Defending the Colonies
against attack by the French and others had cost the
British a great deal of money. As a result, the British had
very high taxes in their country. They thus decided to shift some
of their financial burden to the colonists.
The Stamp Act of 1765, which taxed all legal documents,
newspapers and other documents, was met with a great uproar
in the Colonies. In 1766, this tax was repealed, but it was
just the beginning of the problems between the colonists
and the British. The Boston Tea Party in 1773
was an act of revolt against the British and their tax on tea
in the Colonies. Tensions such as these eventually led to the
writing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
A year earlier, the War of Independence, also known as the
American Revolution, began. When the British finally surrendered
on October 19, 1781, Americans were officially independent
of Britain and set about establishing their own government.
Story from America's Library
March 23, 1775
"What is it that gentlemen wish?
What would they have?
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet,
as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it, Almighty God!
I know not what course others may take;
but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"