Saturday, September 29, 2007

In what ways did the French and Indian War alter the political, economic, and idealogical relations between Britain and its Amercian colonies?

The French and Indian War altered the political, economical, and ideological relations between Britain and its American colonies. English debt lead to unfair taxation of the colonists, and this changed the way they felt about their mother country.

After the French and Indian War, the countries colonizing North America shifted. After 1763 (Doc. A), English colonies dominated the new world. This took a toll on the political relationship between Britain and the American colonists because it lead to the Proclamation of 1763. The Native Americans (Doc. B) believed "they had no right to settle." The Proclamation was Britain's idea of preventing further conflict. However, the colonists were angered, and they believed they were being deprived of their right to be free.

Other political changes included Britain's abandonment of their salutary neglect policy. After the French and Indian War, England was left with the deep debt they had acquired during the previous years. In turn, they began to strictly regulate trade, and impose taxes on commonly used items. Although Britain attributed these changes to their (Doc. F) "virtual increase in territory," the colonists were infuriated. They felt this was unjust taxation.

All this sudden taxation and regulation took a toll on the economic relationship between the colonists and their mother country. Prior to the French and Indian War, the Wool, Hat, and Iron Acts forced the Americans to ship their raw the material to Britain, only to later buy the finished products from them. However, with the heavy British taxation, mercantilism was soon abandoned when the colonists decided to fight back. The Stamp Act enraged many of the elite colonists, and as Benjamin Franklin states (Doc. G), they wanted to "get it repeal'd" as soon as possible. With boycotting as their weapon, they practiced non-importation and non-consumption, thus harming the economic relationship the between the two parties.

Although colonial ideological values toward Britain began to change during the war, the colonists' ability to go through with the boycotts proved they could unite to make change. All the taxation and regulation added to the resentment colonists already felt prior to the Proclamation of 1763. Also, the French and Indian War, helped American soldiers realize they had less liberty than Englishmen. A Massachusetts soldier wrote (Doc. D) "we are debarred Englishmen's liberty." American resentment that arose during this period helped trigger colonial rebellion.

The French and Indian War is to blame for the American Revolution. Ideologically, it brought up colonial feelings of resentment toward Britain. It also changed the political relationship between England and its colonists because the English were forced to unfairly tax them due to their economical struggles. The colonists in turn, boycotted, thus further damaging their economic relationship with their mother country. After the French and Indian War, America would never be the same.

1 comment:

Mr. Brush said...

You are the last essay of the night and I am a happy teacher after reading checking out your essay. I'll tell you what you did well at and then I'll move to the major problems. Your thesis was good except that you didn't tackle the political issue. Politics is about personal status in a nation, and the colonists' problem is that they weren't represented in Parliament with all those darn taxes. You performed well when quotong the docs and using 60% of them, but you didn't provide much of outside information. You brillantly mentioned the Hat, wool and molasses Act, and salutary neglect but not much else. All the other pieces of informaion had to do with the docs. You did better than everybody except one person.
Good job, I'm proud of you!