Chapter 7 (14th)
The Road to Revolution
1. The Deep Roots of Revolution
1. And, those American colonists were growing independent.
1. The Americans felt separated from England; they felt as though they were the cutting edge of the British Empire. 2. The Americans were developing their own brand of politics. 1. The Americans were embracing republicanism, that is a society where citizens elect representatives to govern for them. 2. The "radical Whigs" of England influenced American thinking. They criticized how the king would appoint relatives to positions, accept bribes, or such corruption. These were a threat to liberty. 2. Mercantilism and Colonial Grievances .
1. Mercantilism-nation's wealth/power measured by treasury of gold /silver. 2. Thus, gold was sought after either by (a) finding or digging it, (b) stealing or winning it, or (c) earning it by exporting more than importing (by obtaining a "favorable balance of trade"). 3. This setup meant America was being used for England's benefit in the form of ships, naval stores, lumber, tobacco, sugar, etc. 4. Mercantilism placed restrictions on economic activity.
1. Navigation Laws-first passed 1650, rules carry out mercantilism. 1. only be shipped on British ships (the Americans would rather go with the cheapest shipper, like the Dutch). 2. Privy Council in Britain could void American laws. Although it was ruled rather sparingly (only 469 times out of 8,563 laws), the principle bothered the Americans. 3. The Merits and Menace of Mercantilism
1. The merits of mercantilism…
1. The Navigation Laws were despised by Americans but weren't enforced (until 1763). This non-enforcement was called "salutary neglect" and effectively let the Americans do their own thing for a century. 1. Salutary neglect was the result of wide geography, British apathy, and American smuggling. John Hancock made a fortune and was called the "King of Smugglers." 2. Tobacco merchants were restricted to selling within the British Empire, but they did have a monopoly there. 3. The Americans enjoyed free protection of powerful British Army and Navy. 2. The menace of mercantilism…
1. Mercantilism hindered America's economic growth. Worse, it was to keep America in a state perpetually subordinate to England. 2. The Americans felt exploited and humiliated by the system, unable to come of age as a people. 3. Teddy Roosevelt later commented that revolution broke out because Britain failed to recognize an emerging nation when it saw one. 4. The Stamp Tax Uproar
1. In 1763, with the Seven Years' War over (French and Indian War), Britain had the largest debt in the world. 1/2 of the debt came via the wars in America. 1. Prime Minister George Grenville suggested enforcement of the much-ignored Navigation Acts. 2. Sugar Act (1764), a tax on sugar. This was the first tax on Americans for raising revenue. Americans protested, the tax was lowered, and things calmed. 3. Quartering Act (1765) required colonists to provide food and quarter for British troops. 4. Stamp Act
1. required using either stamped paper or affixing a stamp that showed payment of the tax. 1. The stamp was required on nearly everything paper, from legal documents down to newspapers and playing cards. 2. it was the principle of these acts that irked the colonists, more so than the acts themselves.
1. Local government/rule seemed under attack.
2. The Sugar and Stamp Acts would be tried in admiralty courts (courts set up and run by England). In these courts, defendants were guilty until proven innocent and there were no trials by a jury of peers. 3. Notion "taxation without representation" arose.
1. Grenville dismissed "taxation without representation" and said the colonists actually were represented via "virtual representation," figuring Parliament represents the British Empire, to which America is a member, and therefore America is represented in Parliament. 2. The Americans weren't convinced by this...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document