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The French and Indian War had an almost innumerable number of effects on the political, economic and ideological relations between Britain and the American colonies. The war touched the entirety of America’s diverse population; from the Native Americans to the soldiers. Some were gladdened by the invigorated ties to England while others were enraged by the economic situation. There is no doubt that the war truly altered and revolutionized the American colonies.
As a rule, the Native Americans are perhaps the most overlooked sector of the population of the colonies. This war completely varied their knowledge of their land and its value. “We know our lands have now become more valuable,” (Document B). No more would they be fooled by the trickery that cheated them of Manhattan Island; no longer were they ignorant to real estate. They opposed the immigrants who settled in their lands, pleading with the colonists to control these squatters lest violence should ensue. “Your people daily settle on these lands…we must insist on your removing them, as you know they have no right to settle,” (Document B).
Consequently, this attitude that the Native Americans portrayed may have affected the way Great Britain regarded its newly acquired French land. Great Britain did not want the colonists to settle in the western lands past the Mississippi (Document A). The colonists, however, felt that it was their right to settle these lands. But, whilst the Native Americans were protesting, the British feared more violence from them. They did not willingly allow the colonists to settle the west for this reason and that it would take an enormous effort to organize the land politically.
For the most part, soldiers were treated very differently after the war. Britain came out of 1763 with low opinions and expectations of the Colonial military. This resulted in soldiers being “[denied] Englishmen’s liberty,” (Document D). By this, it can be deduced that the British officers had no respect for the Colonials, denying them items such as clothes and liquors. Even after their term was ended, they were “not yet allowed to go home,” eventually causing them to “[swear] that we would do no more duty here,” (Document D). This could possibly explain why the British were sure they would succeed in the Revolutionary War, as they clearly did not think much of the American military, or lack thereof.
In contrast, some divisions of the colonial population supported Britain whole-heartedly with their lives. They delighted in the short-lived emboldened ties. A New England minister proclaimed “…the Children of New England may be glad and triumph, in Reflection on Events past, and Prospects for the future…” (Document E). Comprehensibly, he felt that Britain gave them a future, that they owed their lives to their mother country. “…Mother, who has most generously rescued and protected us, [must] be served and honored…” (Document E). This is a deep contrast to the ways of thinking possessed by the soldiers and Native Americans, and it would not last long.
From a British economic standpoint, the French and Indian War, in addition to the Seven Years War, plunged them further and further into a seemingly endless mountain of debt. Profits and taxes were insufficient to keep the country afloat: “[the] revenue…is small and inconsiderable…” (Document F). This caused Britain to heavily tax its own citizens. The British citizens saw no justice in this, as they centered on the fact that their tax money was paying for American wars and military. The military required a huge amount of revenue to support it (Document F). The British decided that taxing the colonies would be mandatory, unknowingly opening the floodgates of the Revolutionary War.
Consequently, Britain’s debt did indeed lead to American taxation. At first, the taxes were minimal and did not really attract much attention. They were not liked, but they were abided by. As taxes mounted from various Prime Ministers such as Grenville, who attempted to boost his popularity by lowering British taxes and raising American ones, and “Champagne Charlie,” who attempted to tax Americans without much “squawking.” Men like Benjamin Franklin opposed the Stamp Act in particular. It raised the most rage out of all the taxes imposed. They demanded for it to be repealed (Document G). Continued taxation led to the cries of “No taxation without representation!” Though Americans strictly opposed these taxes, the did not wish to break from England. “…a firm loyalty to the Crown and faithful Adherence to the Government…will always be the wisest course for you and I to take,” stated Benjamin Franklin (Document G).
Americans became more and more reckless in their opposition to the taxes. Countless individuals were tarred and feathered for their support or employment of these taxes. It even led to the Boston Harbor becoming a giant teapot during the Boston Tea Party, yet another protest geared towards the taxes. In October of 1765, the Pennsylvania journal proclaimed “Adieu Adieu to LIBERTY,” and “the TIMES are Dreadful, Doleful, Dismal, Dolorous and DOLLAR-LESS,” (Document H). It even facetiously printed a stamp space that read “this is the proper place to Affix the Stamp.” Clearly, they fought taxes with fire.
In any event, the colonist’s anger was justified in the Revolutionary War. The French and Indian War was simply a prelude to the events that followed it. These events resulted in the formation of the Continental Congress, the battles of Lexington and Concord, the journey of Paul Revere, and the appointment of George Washington, along with countless other historical turn points. For example, if not for the appointment of George Washington as a military leader, would he have become our first president? How would history be altered?
In essence, the French and Indian War altered the relationships between Britain and the American colonies. It educated the Native Americans, preventing colonists from settling the West. Colonial soldiers were looked down upon, resulting in an underestimation by the British of the American military. It renewed some with the toughened ties with Britain (no matter how brief), while it also tore apart those ties due to taxation. These events introduced the Revolutionary War. All of history is tied together by a sequence of connected events, for the French and Indian War facilitated the making of the great United States of America.
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"French And Indian War Effects." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Dec 2014