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The Roots of Revolution.

In the eighteenth century Britain and France fought several major wars. The struggle between them went on in Europe, Asia and North America.

After several wars earlier in the XVIII century, in 1756 Britain and France began fighting the Seven Years War. This is known to Americans as the French and Indian War.

To prevent war with the Amerindian tribes who lived in the area, the English king, George III, issued a proclamation in 1763. It forbade colonists to settle west of the Appalachians until proper treaties had been made with the Amerindians.

The king's proclamation angered the colonists. They became angrier still when the British government told them that they must pay new taxes on imports of sugar, coffee, textiles and other goods.

In 1765 the British Parliament passed another new law called the Stamp Act. This too was intended to raise money to pay for the defense of the colonies. It said that the colonists had to buy special tax stamps and attach them to newspapers, licenses, and legal papers such as wills and mortgages.

Later, in the same year, parliament passed another law called the Declaratory Act. This stated that the British government had "full power and authority (over) the colonies and people of America in all cases whatsoever."

In 1767 the British placed new taxes on tea, paper, paint, and various other goods that the colonies imported from abroad.

The Continental Congress (a group of colonial leaders) claimed to be loyal to the British king. But it called upon all Americans to support the people of Massachusetts by refusing to buy British goods. Many colonists went further than this. They began to organize themselves into groups of part-time soldiers, or "militias", and to gather together weapons and ammunition.

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