Taxes in the Colonies

1651 1651,1660 & 1663 The Navigation Acts. The colonies represented a lucrative source of wealth and trade - refer to Triangular Trade. The Navigation Acts were designed to regulate colonial trade and enable England to collect duties (taxes) in the Colonies. The Slave Plantations were established during this period


1661 The Tariff of 1661 imposed a series of duties on the importation of goods to Britain from foreign countries and colonies


1663 The Navigation Act of 1663, also called the Act for the Encouragement of Trade or the Staple Act, was passed in the English Parliament


1673 The Navigation Act of 1673 (aka the Plantation Duty Act) was enacted to the plantations to trade exclusively with England and to redirect revenue to England. The Plantation Duty Act placed a penny tax on each pound of tobacco, it required a five-shilling tax for every hundred weight of sugar and finally Tax Collectors were appointed in the colonies. There were numerous objections to the tax which contributed greatly to the Culpeper Rebellion of 1677.


1675 The Lords of Trade were appointed in England to enforce the new mercantile system and maximize potential profits for England


1675 1675-l676 Bacon's Rebellion Nathaniel Bacon rebelled against a corrupt Governor, low prices for tobacco and high taxes that were believed to be unjust


1677 Culpeper’s Rebellion: Rebellion against the Colonial Government in Carolina and the Navigation Acts led by John Culpeper. The rebellion succeeded in disposing the governor and placing Culpeper in his position. John Culpeper was removed in 1679


1688 King James II appointed Sir Edmund Andros to serve as Captain General and Governor in Chief of New England. Sir Edmund Andros caused dissension with the colonists as he did not have to answer to any elected assembly


1688 1688 - 1763 The French and Indian Wars between France and Great Britain for lands in North America


1689 February 1689 The Glorious Revolution. The Protestant William III and Mary II officially replace the Catholic James II as monarchs of England. The English Bill of Rights enables Parliament to control laws and taxes in the Colonies in America


1689 March 1689 The Glorious Revolution Sparks Revolt in the colonies. Boston militia seized Sir Edmund Andros and put him in jail.


1689 Leisler's Rebellion. Jacob Leisler (1640-1691) was a German immigrant who led the insurrection against local colonial officials from 1689 to 1691 in colonial New York


1696 Salutary Neglect. Salutary neglect was an English policy used to avoid the strict enforcement of parliamentary laws in Colonial America. This gave the colonies considerable freedom in economic matters and was designed to keep the American colonies obedient to England. The English government established the Board of Trade to oversee colonial policies.


1696 Robert Walpole becomes Britain's first prime minister. Walpole promoted a relaxed attitude toward enforcement of colonial trade laws, thereby approving the Policy of Salutary Neglect.


1699 Parliament passes the Wool Act, which prohibits the export of American made cloth from its colony of origin.


1707 1707 The Union between England and Scotland created the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain' and the term British, as opposed to English, is then used in reference to the colonists in North America.


1732 Parliament passes the Hat Act, preventing the trade of American-made hats leading to the Beaver Wars


1732 Debt Recovery Act, which declared land and slaves to be the equivalent of property for the purpose of satisfying debts owed by colonists.


1733 Navigation Act of 1733, also known as the Molasses Act levied heavy taxes on sugar from the West Indies to the American colonies forcing colonists to purchase the more costly sugar from Britain


1750 The Iron Act was designed to restrict the manufacturing activities in the colonies


1763 The end of the French and Indian War (Seven years War) left the British with a massive war debt. George Grenville became the British Prime Minister and to pay the war debt the British, under the leadership of Grenville ended their policy of Salutary Neglect in the colonies. The British started to enforce the laws of the Navigations Acts and looked for ways of imposing new taxes in the colonies.


1763 Proclamation of 1763 was an attempt by the British crown to separate white settlements from Indian country


1764 Sugar Act - Law passed by the British Parliament setting a tax on sugar and molasses imported into the colonies impacting the manufacture of rum in New England. The Sugar Act was repealed in 1766 and replaced with the Revenue Act of 1766, which reduced the tax on molasses imports  - also refer to Colonial, Continental and Revolutionary Currency


1764 Currency Act - Series of Laws passed by the British Government that regulated paper money issued by the colonies


1765 The Quartering Act: The first of a series of Laws requiring the provision of housing, food and drink to British troops stationed in towns designed to improve the living conditions of troops whilst decreasing the cost to the crown


1765 The Stamp Act of 1765 placed a stamp duty (tax) on legal papers, newspapers and pamphlets. Vehement opposition by the Colonies, led by patriots such as Patrick Henry,  resulted in the repeal of the act in 1766.


1765 The Sons of Liberty. The Sons of Liberty was an an organization (a secret society) formed by American Patriots who opposed British measures against the colonists, and agitated for resistance


1765 The Nonimportation Agreements (1765–75). Associations were organized by Sons of Liberty and Whig merchants to boycott English goods In response to new taxes. American colonists were discouraged from purchasing of British imports.


1766 The Declaratory Act: Declaration by the British Parliament that accompanied repeal of the Stamp Act stating that Parliament's authority was the same in America as in Britain and asserted Parliament's authority to make laws binding on the American colonies


1767 Townshend Acts - Series of Laws passed by the British Parliament placing duties on items imported by the colonists including glass, lead, paints, paper and tea. The reaction from the colonists was so intense that Great Britain eventually repealed all the taxes except the one on tea. Acts included the the Revenue Act of 1767, the Indemnity Act, the Commissioners of Customs Act, the Vice Admiralty Court Act and the New York Restraining Act


1770 March 5, 1770: The Boston Massacre during which British troops killed 5 Boston civilians.


1773 Tea Act - Law passed by the British Parliament allowing the British East India Company to sell its low-cost tea directly to the colonies, undermining colonial tea merchants. The introduction of the Tea Act led to the Boston Tea Party


1774 December 16: The Boston Tea Party - Massachusetts patriots dressed as Mohawk Indians protested against the British Tea Act


1774 Intolerable (Coercive) Acts: The Intolerable Acts also known as Coercive Acts were a were a reprisal to the Boston Tea party rebellion. A package of five laws aimed at restoring authority in its colonies

March 31, 1774: The Boston Port Act

May 20, 1774: The Massachusetts Government Act

May 20, 1774: The Administration of Justice Act

June 2, 1774: The Quartering Act

June 22, 1774: The Quebec Act established on June 22, 1774


1774 First Continental Congress  

1775 March 23, 1775 - Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech in St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia.


1775 50 Facts about the Declaration of Independence

The American Revolution (1775- 1783) ended the Colonial America Time Period


Taxes in the Colonies