The Reign Of King George III And How It Led to America
By | July 14, 2020
In the story of America's birth, King George III is painted as the enemy, an antagonistic monarch who attempted to keep a stranglehold on fledgling colonies yearning to breathe free. But what was actually up with King George? Sure, he was a tyrant given to fits of mania that left him literally foaming at the mouth, but his arrogance eventually led to the creation of the United States, so if nothing else, he deserves a thanks for that.
When George III took over the crown in 1760, he was initially a welcome presence on the throne. The Seven Years' War was winding down, and the end of a war is always a thorny situation for an incoming monarch, but George managed to secure a peace agreement to end the war and net all of France's territories in mainland North America on the side. Pushing France out of North America, he reasoned, ensured the growing colonies would have no backup if they decided to do something crazy like revolt. He'd had quite enough war, thank you.
Unpopular With Colonists
In 1765, Britain's Parliament passed the Stamp Act, taxing all paper and documents purchased by British colonies in America. Basically, if the colonists wanted to use any kind legal paper, they had to use this specifically stamped document. It cost more money than the colonists could throw around, what with trying to settle a new land and all, and that's because Britain was broke. Following the end of the Seven Years' War, the king and Parliament decided to rebuild their finances by making new taxes and raising old ones, and the Stamp Act was specifically create to pay for the troops guarding peace between Native Americans and the colonists. Even so, the colonists hated the Stamp Act, and when it was announced that anyone who refused to pay the tax would be tried and convicted without a jury in vice-admiralty courts, they revolted. Colonial resistance to the tax was so vitriolic that Parliament repealed the act the next year without ever formally instating it. They then immediately passed the Townsend Acts of 1767, which taxed not just paper but everything from paint to glass to tea.