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American discontent focused on financial grievances but the chief reason for American opposition was the matter of authority How far do you agree with this view There were a number of causes that lead to conflict between Britain and the colonists in America during the second half of the eighteenth century The question is whether an American rebellion was mostly due to a difference of opinion over how much independence the colonies were entitled to or whether other reasons such as the difficulties imposed on America by taxation and control of trade were equally to blame Certainly the argument that Britain did not have the authority to deny the basic right of liberty to all of the colonists was a major reason for opposition American society was favourable to democracy as there was little class distinction and few wealthy people Many Americans believed that British legislation concerning the colonies was ignoring the rights and privileges that every man was entitled to They thought that the taxes and duties imposed by the government of Britain were invading their social and political liberties Through laws such as the Molasses Act of 1733 which taxes molasses imports from outside the Empire many businessmen in America suffered The Northern colonies were particularly badly affected For example Rhode Island imported 14 000 barrels and only 2 500 came from the British islands in the middle of the eighteenth century Laws such as this meant that a man could not enjoy the fruits of his own work and made a capitalist marketing idea which was considered as important by many colonists very hard to carry through The fact that although most of America did not hold the religion of the Church of England and yet had to pay taxes to support the church was considered an invasion of religious liberty Through hard times caused by imperial legislation the idea that it would be
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