Events that led to Revolutionary War


Proclamation of 1763

Approx. October 7, 1763

The Proclamation of 1763 was a law that restricted British colonists from settling on land west of the Appalachian Mountains to keep peace with the Native Americans. British Parliament passed this act in 1763. This angered the British colonists and eventually, treaties gave the colonists the right to settle on some land, but they were still unhappy.

Stamp Act


Passed in 1765, the Stamp Act stated that paper used in the American colonies had to come from England and have an official seal from the British government that verified that it was from England. This meant colonists would have to pay taxes for paper which was important to them. Also, they couldn’t make their own paper or invest in a less expensive source. The Stamp Act aggravated the colonists and slowed down business all over the colonies. This forced them to stage protests and boycotts against it. While this was happening, Benjamin Franklin was being falsely accused of initiating the act in England and assembled a strong campaign to have it removed. The Stamp Act was repealed in 1776.

Daughters of Liberty

July, 1765

The Daughters of Liberty was the name used for groups of women who supported protesting against the British tax policies. They found and made substitutes for the goods that were being taxed by British Parliament. Groups similar to the Daughters of Liberty were known as the Sons of Liberty that also formed at this time to protest the unfair taxes. These acts forced many women to make their own yarn for clothes instead of buying textiles imported from Great Britain. This was similar to the reaction when the Tea Act was passed. People refused to purchase tea from England to boycott. The Daughters of Liberty participated in this by making their own tea from herbs and refusing to buy any tea products from Britain. The boycotts were successful at forcing Great Britain to repeal some of the taxes. However, some taxes remained and continued to cause the colonists grief and struggle.

Sons of Liberty

August, 1765

The Sons of Liberty were independent bodies of people who gathered to protest and boycott British taxes. They protested many things like the Stamp Act, Sugar Act, and Tea Act. The Sons of Liberty supported boycotting British goods and encouraged others to join. They tried to convince Parliament to repeal unfair taxes continuously. Over time, The Sons of Liberty began to communicate with one another, which led up to the formation of the Committees of Correspondence in November of 1772.

Stamp Act Congress

October 7, 1765

Responding to the Stamp Act, civilians from all different parts of the colonies started to form their own government against the British. In late 1765, people that were elected from the colonies were to gather at something called the Stamp Act Congress. The Stamp Act Congress published a document called the Declaration of Rights and Grievances. It declared that the Stamp Act was to be repealed immediately. It also stated that British Parliament lacked the power and authority to tax the colonies. The Stamp Act Congress was the first assembly of elected commissioners from across the colonies.

Declaratory Act

March 18, 1766

After the Stamp Act was repealed, British Parliament was worried that the colonists felt Great Britain had lost power of them. With this thought, They hurriedly passed the Declaratory Act in 1766 to declare England’s power over the colonists. The Declaratory Act stated that Britain had the right to control and govern the colonies. Parliament had the power to control the colonies and pass laws for them at any time. It also meant whatever laws the colonies passed were meaningless and ineffective. The colonists did not pay attention to this act and were distracted and excited by the fact that the Stamp Act was recently repealed. The American colonists had to be careful because this meant they could pass another or even the same law once more to the colonies. The British government had even more power over the colonists than before, which was a problem.

Townshend Acts

June 15, 1767

The Townshend Acts forced taxes on the colonists for goods like glass, paper, paint, and tea. In 1767, The Townshend Acts were passed. Charles Townshend created the Townshend Acts attempting to get money for Britain and prove that the British were still in control of the American colonies. It also included a board of Customs Commissioners, which were places that monitored the import and export of the colonies. They were placed in Boston to stop colonial trafficking and to collect taxes from the colonists. The taxes were extremely disliked throughout the colonies and they damaged business. Samuel Adams supported and encouraged unfair British policies and the colonists protested the acts. He believed in taxation without representation and was severely disliked in the American colonies. They started sending letters to parliament to formally protest and boycotted all over the colonies. Under pressure from all the protests, Parliament finally repealed the majority of the acts in March 1770. The Tea Act was the only one left untouched. On the day they were repealed, a group of protesters in Boston were fired upon by British soldiers. This became known as the Boston Massacre.

Tea Act

May 10, 1773

The Tea Act was a law that was passed in 1773 that taxed tea and proved taxation without representation to the colonists. It was the only act left when the Townshend Acts were repealed in 1770. Instead of paying taxes for Great Britain, many colonists bought tea from other countries that had been smuggled into the colonies. The Prime Minister of Britain had the idea to sell the colonists cheap tea by the East India tea company but still include the dreadful tax. Later tea was set into Boston and started the Boston Tea Party

Tea Party

December 16, 1773

The Tea Act made tea inexpensive but still have taxes on it so it reminded the colonists that they had taxation without representation.Instead of paying tax for tea, colonists refused to drink tea that had been imported from Britain or had been taxed by them. The low priced tea was an attempt to lure the colonists into purchasing it because it was less expensive than smuggling tea from other countries like they had been doing.
Ships arrived in Boston Harbor carrying the tea and the colonists would not let them unload the cargo. The British were persistent so they continued to try to unload the tea. But, the colonists were persistent as well. A group of colonists dressed as Native Americans and threw more than 300 crates of tea off the ships into Boston Harbor. This event became known as the Boston Tea Party.

Intolerable Acts

March 24, 1774

After the Boston Tea Party, Parliament viewed this act by the colonists rebellious and outraged British government. Therefore, Parliament passed a group of acts called the Coercive Acts. However, the colonists viewed these laws as despicable and called them the Intolerable Acts. The intent of these acts was to quell resistance by the colonies. Instead, the acts served to fuel resistance to British rule and propelled the colonies toward independence. Acts such as the Massachusetts Port Act or Boston Port Bill and the Massachusetts Government Act. It also included an updated version of the Quartering Act. It was called the Administration of Justice Act.