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The British Parliament had imposed many taxes on the colonists under the revenue acts, but still they were not satisfied with the amount of money being collected. So in 1765, the Stamp Act was passed, which imposed a levy on just about every type of legal document imaginable, including marriage licenses, college degrees—even such ordinary items as newspapers and playing cards. Needless to say, the colonists were not pleased about this, even though British citizens in England were already paying not only this tax, but many other exorbitant taxes. The Americans felt that once they acquiesced to more British taxation, there would never be an end to escalating tax rates, so they began to boycott British products. The colonists vigorously—and sometimes even brutally—encouraged their fellow Americans to use only products produced in the New World, and they began attacking British tax collectors, sometimes beating them, or even worse, tarring and feathering them. They also used these same intimidation tactics later on fellow Americans to assure compliance with boycotts of British goods. Finally, in 1766, the British Parliament repealed many of the taxes, including the Stamp Act. The colonists celebrated the repeal, even erecting a statue of King George in New York.

It wasn't long, however, before the taxation monster raised its ugly head again, for in 1767, the Townshend Act was passed. This famously included taxes on tea, which the colonists had grown increasingly very fond of. Through trickery and parliamentary procedures, the Townshend Act allowed the British's almost bankrupt East India Company to gain a virtual monopoly on tea sales, exacerbating tensions between the colonies and England. The colonists once again decided to boycott English imports, prompting an angry response from England, who sent four thousand British troops to quell the colonial protests. To sustain themselves in the New World, the British troops competed with the locals for jobs, which further inflamed tensions between the sides.

In December of 1773, some of the colonists were so outraged with the taxes on tea that they disguised themselves as Native Americans, boarded British ships in Boston Harbor, and destroyed the tea by tossing it all into the harbor. This, of course, was the famous Boston Tea Party. The British were so outraged that they closed Boston Harbor and instilled a harsher governing structure. More taxes and regulations followed, many of which were quite punitive and became known by the colonists as the "Intolerable Acts." There were frequent clashes between the locals and the soldiers without bloodshed, but this changed on March 5, 1770, when a crowd surrounded a group of redcoats in an angry confrontation and the British soldiers fired shots into the crowd. Five of the locals were killed, the first of whom was Crispus Attucks, an African-American and the first American to die in the Revolutionary War.

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