The Dispute Between the Colonists and Great Britain

The dispute between Great Britain and the Colonists that lead to the American Revolution at its core concerned the role of tradition in the constitution. The actions of Great Britain went against tradition in the colonists eyes, and therefore infringed upon their rights as British people. The idea of the constitution had changed in Great Britain in the 18th century. The new belief was that the Parliament had supreme authority. The Colonists, on the other hand, subscribed to the previous century’s idea of the constitution which centered on traditional restraints on the government. It was not the Colonists who were putting forth a new system in the American Revolution, but the government of Great Britain. The Stamp Act was a great example of how Britain was doing things that were new. It required that a stamp be put on various types of document, showing that a tax had been paid. This tax, along with the Sugar act, went against tradition because the Colonists had no representative in the Parliament of Great Britain. Therefore, it went against the 1689 Bill of Rights. The belief of the Colonists was that traditional practices exercised restraint on the government of Great Britain, while the Britons themselves believed that Parliament had supreme authority. The position of the Colonists was not new or revolutionary, in fact it sought to return back to the original way of doing things.


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