Thomson is the little known designer of the great

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Thomson is the little-known designer ofthe Great Seal of the United States.Colonial Resistanceand RebellionThe First Continental Congress assembled becauseAmericans began to demand more rights. Why did Americansdemand more rights? Separated from Great Britain by morethan 3,000 miles (5,556 km) of vast ocean and left largely totheir own devices, the American colonists gained valuableexperience in self-government. They took on more power andresponsibility. They learned how to manage their own affairs,and they liked having local control. By the mid-1700s, how-ever, the British government began to tighten its grasp on theAmerican colonies.After 1760, when George III took the throne, the Britishadopted a policy called mercantilism in which they tried tosqueeze as much wealth as possible out of the British coloniesin America and from other colonies around the world.Mercantilismis the theory that a country should sell moregoods to other countries than it buys. For mercantilism to besuccessful, Great Britain needed the colonies to be a source ofcheap, raw materials. Parliament required the Americancolonies to sell raw materials, such as cotton and lumber, toGreat Britain at low prices.The colonists also had to buy Britishproducts at high prices.As a result, colonial businesses suffered.Chapter 2Roots of American Democracy33BritishColonists’ActionsResponsesCharlesThomson
34Chapter 2Roots of American DemocracyThe situation worsened after 1763.Great Britain had fought a long, costly waragainst France—the French and IndianWar—winning French territory in NorthAmerica. To cover the costs of ruling thesenew lands and to pay off its heavy war debts,Britain placed steep taxes on the Americancolonies. In 1765, for example, Parliamentpassed the Stamp Act, which requiredcolonists to attach expensive tax stamps toall newspapers and legal documents.The colonists resented the British taxes.Because they had no representatives inParliament,as people living in GreatBritain did, the colonists believed thatParliament had no right to tax them. Theysummed up their feelings with the slogan“No taxation without representation!”In protest, many colonists decided toboycott,or refuse to buy, British goods.Rebellious colonists began using homespuncloth and drinking coffee instead of Britishtea. The boycott had its intended effect;Parliament agreed torepeal,or cancel, theStamp Act and other taxes.Parliament, however, soon passed newtax laws to replace the Stamp Act. Thesame day it repealed the Stamp Act,Parliament passed the Declaratory Act of1766, which stated that Parliament hadthe right to tax and make decisions for theAmerican colonies “in all cases.” Then, in1767, Parliament passed a set of laws thatcame to be known as the Townshend Acts.These laws levied new taxes on goodsimported to the colonies.The taxed goodsincluded basic items, like glass, tea, paper,and lead,that the colonists neededbecause they did not produce them.Thesenew laws further angered the colonists.

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