You would think after claiming America as its own through years of fighting tricky natives and persistent French, us Brits might have considered settling down and making some peace. However, undermine British ineptness at your peril, because things got a whole lot worse once Britain rubbed America up the wrong way.
Someone’s gotta pay for it; Sugar Act, 1764
One of the first direct taxes on the colonies, Britain was in huge debt after the French Indian War and who better to pay for the cost than the people they were defending. Not only did we tax sugar as the act name would suggest; we were fairly cheeky and decided to tax coffees, textiles and dyes!
Colonists obviously weren’t very keen on increased prices for their goods, and they bypassed the tax by smuggling in non-British goods and boycotting the British West Indies stock.
Debts need repaying; The Townshend Act, 1767
However, we weren’t going to let a couple of anti-British, tax dodging smugglers get in our way. The Townshend Revenue Act was rolled out three years later, and introduced new duties on paper, glass and the quintessential British tea, commodities only produced in Britain.
Originally intended to raise further revenue to support an increasing North America army cost, Britain eventually did a u-turn of colossal proportions by paying for the inflated salaries of colonial judges and governors to ensure political independence from colonies.
American colonists again objected, stating there should be ‘no taxation without representation’, a belief that colonies were not directly represented in the British Parliament in the mainland. Britain thought different; absolute tosh!
With prominent figures like John Dickinson and Sam Adams petitioning against these taxes, colonists boycotted yet again and stood on the toes of Britain again.
Animosity from the mob; Boston Massacre, 1770
Things got spicy when Britain increased their numbers in Boston to enforce the unpopular Townshend Acts. When the usual mobs began taunting British soldiers guarding the Customs House, the commanding officer ordered his men to fix their bayonets and support the guard. Bunch of old cobblers!
Not that the mob would panic. They unleashed their British hatred by throwing projectiles and snowballs.
Then Britain turned the screw. In a moment of madness, one guard fired back at the crowds, spurring the other soldiers into a frenzy of shoots, leaving five dead.
A flood of propaganda conceived by Sam Adams, publicised the event as The Boston Massacre and attempted to fan colonial passion against British rule of the colonies. The heat was rising.
Don’t Tea Act 1773
Though all the Townshend Acts excluding the tea tax were repealed in 1770, we Brits weren’t going to let our national drink face an undignified end.
The Tea Act intended to help the East India Trading Company create a monopoly within America. They needed some much needed financial support, especially so with poor economic conditions in India and European markets from the French Indian War.
The infamous Boston Tea Party saw colonists enraged, believing the act tried to gain support for the dissolved Townshend Act. On 16th December 1773, Sam Adams and John Hancock disguised themselves as Mohawk Indians and dumped a whole lot of our beloved tea into the sea, 92,000 pounds in fact.
The Sons of Liberty had formed.
The tipping point; Lexington and Concord, 1775
Britain by now were pretty incensed at events in America. When British troops attempted to seize a local cache of arms and gunpowder, they were confronted by militia units on the Lexington green.
Face-to-face with one another, shots were fired and all hell broke loose in the standoff, as locals rushed to arms to give the British a taste of their own medicine.
News of fighting rallied the “Friends of American Liberty” in all colonies. Britain’s patience held no further and declared war on America soon after.
So after a persistent set of legislations and acts, coupled with a couple of niggling skirmishes, tempers reached boiling point. Colonists felt they had no choice to fight back and Briton accepted they had to retaliate, commending war on lands they had only completely controlled roughly 12 years earlier.
So how do you think they will introduce some of these concepts in AC3? We have already seen Conner working with the Sons of Liberty at the Boston Tea Party, but what of the other events?
Next time we will be getting into the nitty gritty of the American Revolution. Connor will have a battle on his hands repelling a whole nation, but with an arsenal of weapons and almost inhumane skills, I’m sure he will do okay.
Tomorrow is the day Americans finally get their hands on ACIII, whilst us Brits have to wait until the day after. Thankfully, those events happened over 300 years ago; though I’m still miffed that I have to wait an extra day! Remember to share and subscribe!