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Over the next few decades, an explosion of colonization occurred, largely from people seeking religious freedom and/or financial opportunities. Many in Europe saw an opportunity to escape the oppressive and overbearing governmental systems under which they languished, and these people emigrated in droves, bringing with them a strong determination to make a better life for themselves and their offspring, unfettered by oppressive overseers disguised as government. The opportunities to enrich themselves through their own efforts brought out the best in many people, but it also brought out avarice, greed, and a host of unethical behaviors that invariably accompany freedom.

Fortunately, those whose characters were constrained by religious principles far outnumbered those lacking moral rectitude. The British remained technically in charge of all these colonies, but due to the independent-minded nature of many of the colonists and the distance involved, British control was somewhat tenuous. The other great power of Europe, France, was also vying for control and power in the New World, but they were largely distracted by their ongoing wars with the Iroquois, and seemed to be much more interested in trading and exploration than they were in establishing permanent settlements.

Throughout the mid- and late seventeenth century, immigrants flooded in not only from England, but also from France, Germany, and other parts of Europe. Migrating into the area that was to become Pennsylvania, a large influx of Quakers provided a solid base for the abolitionist movement that was to come. By the end of the seventeenth century, the colonies had become more sophisticated and organized, establishing Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, with Georgia added in 1732. Thus the basis of the original thirteen colonies was in place.

This ambitious taxation was a haunting echo of the life the colonists had experienced in the Old World and set out for the New World to escape. But it was also a harbinger of the times we find ourselves in today in America. In both instances, unrest began to stir in the people.

Growing Resentment over Out-of-Control Taxation

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