American Prohibitory Act
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In late 1775, Parliamentary leaders looked back over the preceding months and noted the total disintegration of the relationship between the mother country and the 13 American colonies — Lexington, Concord, Bunker Hill, the seizure of Ticonderoga and an invasion of Canada then in progress were stark evidence of the rupture.
Retaliation came in the form of the American Prohibitory Act that was designed to strike at the economic viability of the errant colonies. The law first stated its rationale for action, noting the following:
This measure served as a declaration of economic warfare and did not go unnoticed in the colonies. Congress and the individual states reacted by issuing letters of marque, which authorized individual American ship owners to seize British ships in a practice known as privateering.
See timeline of the War of Independence.
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