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why did the thirteen british colonies in America become known as states?
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why did the thirteen british colonies in America become known as states?

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2010-09-27 20:43:27 +0000
In 1765, the British government imposed a stamp duty on all official documents in the colonies. The idea was to help pay for the rising defence costs of the colonies - the majority of which was still being borne by the British government. The 13 disparate colonies suddenly found a common voice in their antipathy towards this taxation. They argued that they did not need to pay direct taxation for defence as they already contributed to their defensive costs by submitting to the Navigation Acts. The furore was abated when the government withdrew the Stamp Acts but was further ignited in 1768 when new indirect taxes were introduced. These also were hastily withdrawn when the depth of feeling was demonstrated to the government.
Revolutionary feelings may well have subsided but for the fact that the East India Company had been experiencing financial problems. To help ease their financial burdens, the government agreed to break their own Navigation Acts and allow the company to sell their tea direct to America. This should have made tea attractively inexpensive in the thirteen colonies; despite the fact that the colonists would have to pay a small duty there. Unfortunately, the British misread the mood of the colonists who were not prepared to have the principle of taxation imposed on them in any form whatsoever. The so-called 'Boston Tea Party' ensued as angry opponents of the tax boarded three ships on Boston harbour and threw their chests of tea into the water.

Britain's response deeply concerned all of the other colonies; heavy fines were imposed and the port was to remain closed until the tea had been paid for. Many colonists deduced that their rights could not be safe guarded against the whims of a British government and they prepared themselves for war as they declared themselves independent in 1776.

It was not easy to conduct a war three thousand miles away against an extremely prosperous people, even if only a third of them were actively hostile. An attempt by the British to recapture the populous areas of the North was eventually scuppered when a British army was surrounded at Saratoga. Matters were not helped by French intervention. Their old sparring partner was keen to see Britain receive a bloody nose and offered considerable support in the form of military supplies and particularly in Naval power. The British diverted their attentions to the South with some considerable success initially. However, a combination of American soldiers surrounding Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown and a large French fleet blockading the coast that led to their final humiliating surrender in 1781. The First British Empire came to an end, but British interests would still remain in the continent as Canada received a huge influx of loyalists fleeing Revolutionary America which would allow it to consolidate and expand its own borders.


2010-09-27 20:53:59 +0000
1765


2010-09-27 20:49:00 +0000
Initially, we were to become a confederation, and the Articles of Confederation preceded the Constitution. States had power to do things such as create currency. Due to this initial confederated system, they would have a level of power similar to nation-states. It didn't work, and they system was changed. However, the word "state" remained.





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