Independence declared by America’s colonies
For years friction between London and the American colonies had been growing when on Nov. 1, 1765, Parliament added fuel to the fire with the passage of the Stamp Act.
This nasty piece of legislation was meant to force colonists to pay a levy on newspapers and various other documents. Instead, colonists rallied behind the “taxation without representation is tyranny” cry.
Parliament soon retreated, averting a crisis – well, for the moment, that is. The British lawmakers were back at it in 1767. This time a tax was imposed on numerous goods imported by the colonies. Opposition was fierce. Parliament again retreated by repealing all of the hated taxes in 1770 – all, that is, but one. The tax on tea remained. Matters reached a critical stage in 1773. A group of colonists boarded British ships anchored in Boston’s harbor and then proceeded to dump tea overboard. Contrary to myth, only a few were dressed as American Indians. John Adams wrote these words about that seminal event: