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The cash amounts of the taxes were not particularly high, but to the colonist's eyes this was besides the point. The success of the French and Indian war was enabled by a cooperation between the colonial governments and the British military. When a campaign was required, General Redcoat would go to a colonial legislature and say 'we need 500 men and their ...


The issuance of fines or taxes on luxury goods is part of the general phenomenon known as sumptuary laws. The Wikipedia article gives a good history. Also, note that Roman censors had the power to fine anybody they thought was living in a luxurious or dissipated manner. The Romans, in fact, made a huge deal out of enforcing puritanical morality on their ...


Not sure they were the first laws primarily motivated by "moral outrage" but the the effects on the poor of cheap, low quality gin certainly was a factor in passing the British Gin Acts of 1736 and 1751 - cf Hogarth's Gin Lane and Beer Street. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gin_Craze#Increased_Consumption_of_Gin

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