The British and the American Colonists: Tension Prior to Revolutionary War

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When the colonies were being formed, many colonists came from England to escape the restrictions placed upon them by the crown. Britain had laws for regulating trade and collecting taxes, but they were generally not enforced. The colonists had gotten used to being able to govern themselves. However, Britain sooned changed it’s colonial policy because of the piling debt due to four wars the British got into with the French and the Spanish. The most notable of these, the French and Indian War (or the Seven Years’ War), had immediate effects on the relationship between the colonies and Great Britain, leading to the concept of no taxation without representation becoming the motivating force for the American revolutionary movement and a great symbol for democracy amongst the colonies, as Britain tried to tighten their hold on the colonies through various acts and measures. After the French and Indian War, the British were unimpressed with the colonial war efforts and generally assumed they were unable to defend the western frontier, whereas the colonists thought they had done well in all of the wars and were confident that they could defend themselves. This led to conflict between the two nations, brought on by the costs of the wars. Landowners in Britain wanted to reduce the taxes placed upon them. King George III and the Whigs supported a colonial policy that would abandon salutary neglect and force the colonies to support the cost of the British empire. In addition to this the British began to be more present in the colonies, beginning with Pontiac’s rebellion where the British sent troops instead of letting the colonial forces respond to the attack, because of their thoughts on the colonists military efforts. The Proclamation o... ... middle of paper ... .... The Coercive Acts were mostly to punish Boston and Massachusetts, but one also expanded the Quartering Act. Parliament also passed the Quebec Act, which arranged the land in Canada. Colonists took this as an attack on them as they lost land on the Ohio River, and it heightened the fear of losing their representative assemblies. The tensions, ultimately, would lead to the revolutionary war. Before Great Britain became more active in the colonies, they had been independent and established representative assemblies and a form of self-government. As the British tried to tax them to gain revenues, they were only angered by the lack of representation they had in the decision. No taxation became the symbol for democracy throughout the fighting of all the acts imposed, and the same idea would drive the colonists to revolt against the British and gain their independence.
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