The American Revolution (1775-1783), also know as the American War of Independence, was a conflict between thirteen British colonies on the east coast of North America and their mother country, Great Britain. The war resulted in the colonies becoming a separate nation, the United States of America. Even though "it's causes were so complex as to defy complete analysis" ("American" 59) taxation was a leading cause of the war. The colonists felt they should not have "taxation without representation" ("Revolutionary" 277). Three of the main taxes were the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Act, and the Tea Act.
The first tax on the British colonies was the Stamp Act in 1765. The British Parliament passed the Stamp Act to raise revenue to pay part of the empire's defense costs. The Stamp Act required the colonists to use specially stamped paper for all official documents, newspapers, and pamphlets. It provoked almost unanimous opposition among the colonists. They regarded it as a violation of the right of English subjects not to be taxed without representation. Riots broke out in colonies, and American merchants pledged not to buy British goods. Parliament repealed the Stamp Act in March 1766 because of the demands of British merchants.
Another of the taxes on the British colonies was the Townshend Acts. "Many members of the British Government disliked giving in to the disobedient colonies over the Stamp Act" ("Revolutionary" 277), so in 1767 parliament passed the Townshend Acts. One of the acts was imposed on "glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea" ("Revolutionary" 277) imported by Americans .
from Britain. Once again the colonists protested vigorously and boycotted British goods. In 1770 a riot occurred between British troops and citizens of Boston. The troops fired, killing five people in what is called the Boston Massacre. "Patriots spread the news of the Boston Massacre to turn the public opinion in America against Great Britain" ("Revolutionary" 277).