Evolution of British Policy in the Colonies: 1750 to 1776

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Evolution of British Policy in the Colonies: 1750 to 1776

The relations between England and the British North American colonies could always be considered precarious. Prior to 1750 British essentially followed a policy of benign neglect and political autonomy in the American colonies. (Davidson p.97) The colonies were for the most part content with benign neglect policy, relishing in a “greater equality and representative government”(Davidson p.95) within the colonies. Competition among European Imperial nations began to effect British policy toward North America colonies causing rapid shifts from 1750 to 1776. During this period, the British Empire made a series of policy decision that sealed the fate of the British North American colonies and lead to the American Revolution.

In 1745, the French, Spanish and British Empires began competing over international trade networks and natural resources. Subsequently, each empire began maneuvers to maintain and expand possession of their territory in North America. In 1750, England and France each concluded that “Ohio country” the land west of the Appalachians was vital to their interests. (Davidson p.102) This battle of over Ohio country led the British and the French into the Seven Years’ War.

In the early years of the Seven Year’s war, the British struggled, suffering a significant defeat at Fort Duquesne and surrendering at Fort Necessity. (Davidson p.102-3) Their defeats were largely due to incompetent leadership and the British’s policy decisions. For example, General Braddock alienated the Native Indians, which then aligned with and fought with the French. The North American colonial troops despised commanding officer General Campbell, the Earl of Loudon. Many men we...

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...ed Independence thus entering the America revolution.

The British polices and leaders continually undermined the citizens of the colonies. It was the British elitist views that continually caused poor policy and leadership decisions. Instead of using a diplomatic approach Britain continued to try to assert dominance over the colonies. These same issues and arrogant attitudes would eventually cost them the war.

In the end the battle was not over British policy, it was a battle between a monarchy and a democracy. It was not possible for the two sides to reconciled differing political ideologies. The British were naïve in thinking they could rule America like a monarch. After all most British Americans left “mother England” in search of a better life, many in search of liberties not granted at home. Maybe it was always America’s destiny to be independent.

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