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American Colonies Relations with Britian

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Colten Redmond
Mr. Smith
AP US History
2 October 2012
DBQ: British and American Colonies Relations The French and Indian war affected the relations between the British and the American colonies through political turmoil, economical debt leading to strict taxation, and ideological differences which increased colonial violence. These sources of anger and resentment created a permanent gap between Britain and the American Colonies that would eventually lead to a brutal revolution. The French lost the entirety of their North American possessions after the French and Indian War, which led to numerous new possessions for the British (Doc A). The British and American colonies political views differed greatly because of the effect of salutary neglect. The colonies were not accustomed to direct taxation or strict governing rules. The Proclamation of 1763 was one of the first forms of direct control imposed by the British. The proclamation called for a movement of all settlers to stay east of the Appalachian Mountains. Many settlers ignored the proclamation, but nevertheless, it began a short era of direct control under the British. The British council determined that the American colonies needed to be taxed in order to raise revenue and regulate trade (Doc F). The council’s motives led to direct taxes on the colonies such as the Sugar Act, Currency Act, and Stamp Act. Benjamin Franklin attempted to represent the colonies in London as he partook in the repeal of the Stamp Act (Doc G). He wrote letters to John Highs, detailing his efforts to repeal the act and the dire need for the colonies to stay firm and loyal towards the crown. Many colonists did not waver from their loyalty towards the British Crown, such as Reverend Thomas Barnard. In one of his man sermons to Massachusetts, Barnard emphasizes how their mother country had protected them from turmoil and how she should be honored and served for her great services (Doc E). The differing political views were beginning to cause friction among many colonists, leading to rash decisions. The Boston Massacre, although overly emphasized in many accounts, sparked violence throughout the colonies. These acts of violence were a direct result of the Quartering Act, Declatory Act, and Townshend Acts. The Boston Tea Party was used to boycott the British after the Tea Act, and this became the final act of opposition by the colonists before Britain imposed Marshall Law. The Intolerable Acts were a punishment for the colonies after the Boston Tea Party, and it imposed Marshall Law, curfews, the closing of Boston Harbor, and the revocation of the Massachusetts charter. All of these forms of control by the British caused growing political differences and overall turmoil for both sides. The French and Indian war was not only political, but it offered a great deal of land wealth for the British. Chief Canasatego of the Onondaga Nation, who represented the Iroquois Confederacy, stated that the lands of his people were becoming more valuable to the white man (Doc B). This value attracted British officers, such as George Washington, to the scene of the war. Washington stated his desire to serve under General Braddock, due to the fame and prestige he could attain from the campaign (Doc C). The colonists, specifically those from Massachusetts, were employed under the British Crown, though their conditions were debilitating. They spoke of their denied Englishmen’s rights and the opposition under British control (Doc D). All of this culminated into a desire for economical wealth and prosperity. The war would ultimately rob the British of their wealth which led to direct taxation of the colonists in order to replenish it. The British saw the taxes as a source of revenue for repaying the war debt; however, this angered the colonists and led to strong opposition. The Stamp Act, which was a tax on all documents, led to the creation of the Stamp Act Congress. The colonists also organized into the Sons of Liberty and began to boycott the British. The ability to boycott was detrimental to the British because it rendered there taxes virtually useless. The economical debt sustained by the British was the main factor in the strict taxation of the colonists. The ideological differences between the American colonies and Britain caused anger and violence throughout the colonies. The American colonies wished to be self-independent and were content with salutary neglect. When Britain increased their direct control over the colonies, it caused resentment and rebellion. The colonies had settled into a systematic set of ideas and concepts that shaped their daily lives, while the British uprooted those ideas by their sudden forms of control. The colonies tried to express their anger towards the British Stamp Act through their newspapers. Then newspapers expressed that they had to go out of business due to the actual cost of producing the newspaper leaving them moneyless (Doc H). The colonies began to severely question the motives of the British and whether these extreme taxes were actually alleviating their debt at all. The political turmoil, economical debt mingled with strict taxation, and ideological differences created an air of resentment for the British within the American Colonies. This resentment and anger led to the brutal American Revolution. The mistakes of the British were also specifically outlined during the creation of our Constitution, which secured the ideals and motives of the American Colonies.

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