AN01d_Ch.04 America’s Beginnings Up to 1783- A Developing Conflict
FQ: How does the end of the French and Indian war aggravate the relationship between Colony and Mother Country?
I. The French and Indian War (1756 – 1763)
The final Colonial War was the French and Indian War, which is the name given to the American theater of a massive conflict involving Austria, England, France, Great Britain, Prussia, and Sweden (the Seven Years War). The conflict played out in Europe, India, and North America. Sweden , Austria, and France were allied to crush the rising power of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, in Europe. The English and the French battled for colonial domination in North America, the Caribbean, and in India. The English ultimately came to dominate the colonial outposts, but at a cost so staggering that the resulting debt nearly destroyed the English government. It was that debt that caused the escalation of tensions leading to the Revolutionary War. Parliament was desperate to obtain two objectives; first, to tax the colonies to recover monies expended on the battle over North America, and second to restore the profitability of the East India Company in an effort to recover monies spent on the battle over India.
A. The war came to a close in 1763, with Britain victorious in North America and Europe.
B. Treaty of Paris: A negotiated peace agreement was reached, but it did not include the presence or views of the Native American allies of the French or British. The treaty satisfied the colonial powers and angered the native peoples of North America. (http://www.ushistory.org/Declaration/related/frin.htm)
II. Pontiac’s Rebellion
A rebellion led by the Ottawa leader, Pontiac. The rebellion was partially instigated by the promises made, and NOT kept, by the colonial powers to their native allies. With Britain now ruling over once French-control North American territory, native peoples in those areas joined Pontiac’s ranks.
III. The Royal Proclamation of 1763
To placate the angered native peoples, and possibly reign-in the activities of the English-American coastal colonies, this proclamation established a demarcation line separating colonial territory (East) from native territory (West). The proclamation asserted that native peoples of North America were under the protection of the British Crown; all colonials were thus forced to abandon residence or claims to those native lands. The effort may have placated some native leaders, like those in Pontiac’s ranks. But, it definitely angered colonials who interpreted this act has an economic blow.
IV. The end of ‘Salutary Neglect’
The debt incurred by the British government during the French-Indian War and the subsequent quelling of native unrest in the former French colonial territory was huge. It was determined that British expense in maintaining the security and well-being of the colonies should be financed by colonial taxation. Here is an abridged timeline of escalating British – Colonial confrontation, ranging from tax legislation to protest actions, and finally armed conflict.
A. 1765: Stamp Act (http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/stampact.htm)
B. 1765: Sons of Liberty (http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/sons.htm)
C. 1767: Townshend Acts (http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/townshend.htm)
The Townshend Acts were actually a bundle of several acts. Core acts within this package included: the Revenue Act of 1767, the Indemnity Act (1767), the Commissioners of Customs Act (1767), the Vice Admiralty Court Act (1768), and the New York Restraining Act (1767).
The purpose of the Townshend Acts was to raise revenue in the colonies to pay the salaries of governors and judges so that they would remain loyal to Great Britain, to create a more effective means of enforcing compliance with trade regulations, to punish the province of New York for failing to comply with the 1765 Quartering Act, and to establish the precedent that the British Parliament had the right to tax the colonies.
D. 1770: Boston Massacre (http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/massacre.htm)
E. 1773: The Tea Act & Boston Tea Party (http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/teaact.htm)
The principal objective was to reduce the massive amount of tea held by the financially troubled British East India Company in its London warehouses and to help the struggling company survive. A related objective was to undercut the price of illegal tea, smuggled into Britain’s North American colonies.
V. Time to Punish the Child
The Boston Tea Party was the last straw for a British government trying to control it’s colonies. Now, the royal government believed it needed to punish the colonial culprits by restricting their ability to self-govern. The Massachusetts Bay Colony became the target of British anger.
A. 1774: The Intolerable Acts (http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/related/intolerable.htm)
The Intolerable Acts were the American Patriots’ term for a series of punitive laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774 after the Boston Tea party. They were meant to punish the Massachusetts colonists for their defiance in throwing a large tea shipment into Boston harbor. In addition, the acts took away Massachusetts’ self-government and historic rights.
In Great Britain, these laws were referred to as the Coercive Acts.
B. 1775: Battle of Lexington & Concord (http://www.ushistory.org/us/11c.asp)
VI. No Turning Back
At the end of Para.#2 in our working version of The Declaration of Independence…
“The history of the present king of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over the States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world”.