America: A Narrative History notes Ch. 1

Topics: American Revolution, United States Declaration of Independence, Stamp Act 1765 Pages: 9 (2969 words) Published: September 19, 2014
From Empire to Independence

Colonies became more important for the British mainland economy Colonies experienced agricultural and commercial growth but remained diverse in composition and outlook o Generally adverse to cooperative efforts

The Heritage of War

Most Americans submitted willingly to the English government due to their alliance in French and Indian War o However, American nationalism was building
 Brutalities of English soldiers heightened sense of separate identity  English soldiers were inept at frontier fighting; initial respect for them was lost  English disrupted the colonies’ illegal but necessary molasses trade with the French West Indies  Writs of assistance (unspecific search warrants) and naval patrols  Boston merchants hired James Otis to fight writs of assistance; he lost but revealed that writs of assistance were like slavery

Why was revenue needed?
o Management and defense of new global possessions
o Payment of war debt
o Expansion of colonial administration and defense

British Politics

Nearly every politician was a Whig: a name given to those who had opposed James II, led the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and secured Protestant succession
o Champions of individual liberty and parliamentary supremacy o Whiggism drifted into complacency: dominant group of landowners became concerned with personal wealth
George III wanted to limit Whigs so ousted William Pitt as prime minister and established “king’s friends” o Government became unstable. Ministries rose and fell usually because someone offended the king, etc. o Colonial policy remained marginal to the chief concerns of British politics. The result was inconsistency and vacillation followed by stubborn inflexibility.

Western Lands

Royal Proclamation of 1763: issued by king, drew an imaginary line along the crest of the Appalachians, beyond which settlers were forbidden to go, in response to Pontiac’s Rebellion o also established new British colonies of Quebec and East and West Florida o proclamation line was ineffective; hardy settlers pushed across the mountains

Ishmam Ahmed;

Grenville and Stamp Act
Grenville’s Colonial Policy

The new prime minister and first lord of Treasury, George Grenville, was much like the king: industrious, honest, hard-headed
o He and king believed in same basic policies: cutting government expenses, reducing national debt, generating more revenue from colonies to pay for defense
o Wanted to keep a large army in America to avoid rapid demobilization but too costly o British collection of taxes in America was ineffective: corruption and evasion were rampant o Tightened enforcement in America and established maritime vice-admiralty courts o Under Grenville, salutary neglect ended

o Molasses Act of 1733: serious threat to New England, purpose was not to make revenue but to prevent illegal trade. Grenville realized that this would be ruinous so he established Revenue Act of 1764 (Sugar Act) which cut tax amount in half but put new duties on textiles, wine, coffee, indigo, sugar in order to pay for defense expenses. First time taxes were specifically aimed at generating revenue.

The Stamp Act

The Sugar Act failed to produce additional revenue. Its administrative costs were four times greater than the revenue it generated.
Stamp Acts of 1765 were purposely implemented by Parliament to generate revenue Quartering Act: was another tax that required colonists to supply British troops with provisions; applied mainly to New York which was British force headquarters

The Ideological Response

Cumulative effect of Grenville’s measures raised colonial suspicions o Minority “Real Whigs” slowly began to take hold in the colonies  Beliefs based on John Locke’s justification of the Glorious Revolution in Two Treatises on Government

o It became clear that British troops were stationed in the colonies not to protect them, but to subdue...
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