Category: Legislation

This is the legislation that led American colonists on a path to the revolution. These acts are not the totality of the legislation colonists opposed, but it is a representative cross section.

The Sugar Act, also called Plantation Act or Revenue Act, (1764), in U.S. colonial history, British legislation aimed at ending the smuggling trade in sugar and molasses from the French and Dutch West Indies and at providing increased revenues to fund enlarged British Empire responsibilities following the French and Indian War.

The Quartering Acts of 1765 and 1774 were Acts of British Parliament requiring local governments of the American colonies to provide the British soldiers with housing and food.

Instead of levying a duty on trade goods, the Stamp Act imposed a direct tax on the colonists. Specifically, the act required that, starting in the fall of 1765, legal documents and printed materials must bear a tax stamp provided by commissioned distributors who would collect the tax in exchange for the stamp.

Declaratory Act (1766), was a declaration by the British Parliament that accompanied the repeal of the Stamp Act. It stated that the British Parliament’s taxing authority was the same in America as in Great Britain.

The Townshend Acts were a series of measures, passed by the British Parliament in 1767, that taxed goods imported to the American colonies.

In an effort to save the troubled enterprise, the British Parliament passed the Tea Act in 1773. The act granted the company the right to ship its tea directly to the colonies without first landing it in England, and to commission agents who would have the sole right to sell tea in the colonies.