Colonial America and Great Britain Relationship Changes Between 1692-1776

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Changes in Relationship of Colonial America and Britain, Pre-Revolution

The relationship that existed between the American colonists and Britain became increasingly defiant in nature, due to Britain’s attempt to maintain superiority over the American colonies. Many changes ensued within this relationship, primarily politically and economically, within the century preceding the Revolutionary War. Legislation imposed by Britain was unavoidable for the colonists in early eighteenth century colonial America; however, to what extent would Britain take advantage of their power over the colonies? In the late 1600’s and early part of the 1700’s, salutary neglect was in great use. Some British leaders strongly believed that these newer colonies would not excel on their own if trade laws (ie. The Navigation Acts) were not strictly enforced. With the better part of the eighteenth century proceeding without strict trade laws, the inevitable litigious aspect of Britain’s relationship with colonial America was in its early stages of kicking in. The first real attempt by Britain of regaining their financial status in the mid eighteenth century was the placement of the Sugar Act (which taxed molasses, rum, and other simple products). The Sugar Act would partially imitate a system similar to one that existed already in Britain, in attempt to reduce debt accrued during the Seven Years’ War. Shortly after the Sugar Act took effect, the Stamp Act was placed, adding more tax stress to the average eighteenth century colonist over something that we see today as virtually disposable- paper. As if these two pieces of legislation were not enough force on the colonists from British parliament, the Townshend Acts followed shortly thereafter the Stamp Act. This series of legislation would include the addition of tea being taxed, which would soon lead to a monumental “party”, that wasn’t so celebratory in the eyes of Britain- the Boston Tea Party. The punishment was the...
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