The point about no British oppression prior to the French-Indian War era was presented in The Plains of Abraham by Brian Connell:
..There were, in the whole of British North America, precisely five independent companies of regular troops, two in New York, another in Jersey and two more in the Carolinas, manning frontier forts against Indian raids--a grand total of perhaps five hundred men. At least no one can claim that the British colonies were held in subjection by force of arms.
Life in the British colonies was barely ruffled by the impending storm. Even the most perfervid anti-imperialist has a difficult time finding evidence of 'oppression' in the British colonies in North America in the 1750's.
The turning point came at the end of the war George Washington had started. The condition that made it possible at all was the removal of the French. The colonists had enjoyed almost unfettered political development, within the franchise restrictions they themselves chose to impose.
According to this source, "it had been determined to place a permanent force of about 10,000 men (British troops) in America;" quite an increase from the 500 or so quoted above. So The Stamp Act was enacted to raise funds in the American colonies to pay for troops that the colonies did not want.
Though The Stamp Act was repealed, the British Parliament staked out their right to rule the colonies with the Declaratory Act.
The "American Revolution Blog" contrasts the original Tea Party with the 2009 Tea Party, and mentions the Declaratory Act in the discussion.
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