The next decade marked a series of skirmishes–each more serious than the last–between England and the colonists, more specifically the patriotic "hotheads" in Boston led by Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty. What began with the writs of assistance–which allowed customs agents broad search powers–then spiraled into the Sugar Act, which raised taxes for the colonies. Then, in March 1765, Britain imposed the Stamp Act, the first "internal" tax on the colonies. As Adams mobilized Boston and other colonies to action through his Sons of Liberty and terrorized British officers in Boston, Britain reacted with shock at the colonial outbreak of violence. The government had seen the Stamp Act as progressive, not as tyrannical.Tensions escalated further still with the Quartering Act in New York in 1766 and the Townshend Acts in 1767. Boston broke into almost outright rebellion, forcing the
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