- from 1776
Problems between the colonists and Britain began in 1763. The Americans had fought for the British against France in the French and Indian War (known as the Seven Years’ War when it spread to Europe).
Britain won the war. France was forced to surrender Canada and all claims to the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys. But the war left Britain with huge debts. Britain wanted the American colonists to help pay for the war and for the soldiers stationed in the colonies to protect them. The British government decided to tax the colonists. Even though Americans had the lowest tax burden in the British Empire, many colonists felt the British government had no right to tax them because the colonies were not represented in the British Parliament.