Free «The Relationship between the Colonists and the British Government» Essay Sample

Since the year of 1763 the relationship between the colonists and the British government began deteriorating increasingly. In 1763, Great Britain won over France in the war for control of territories in the North America. In the result of the war Britain gained control over the thirteen colonies in America. Colonists wished to expand westwards. However, the British disapproved such expansion: it was already difficult enough to rule the thirteen colonies. At the time concerned British were determined to keep their colonies in existing boundaries. Thus, the British drew the Proclamation Line which served as a frontier of colonists and divided them from the Indians. Western lands were reserved for the American Indians. The rationale behind the Proclamation Line was not only to maintain security (e.g. to avoid clashes between colonists and the American Indians) but also the fear that with moving inlands the colonists can become too powerful and thus, they would not need the British rule anymore. In other words, the British government believed that by keeping the colonists within boundaries that ensure control over them. This was one of the sources of tension between the British and Americans. The colonists were angry with such policies. They expected that they will move inlands and acquire new lands.

Apart from the victory Britain also gained significant debts. In order to pay country’s debts, the British government decided to raise taxes. In particular, additional taxes were imposed on goods supplied to the American colonies. These measures affected the price of goods and thus, Americans felt the tax burden in their everyday life. The colonists were disappointed with the increased tax burden. Indeed, the situation was utterly unfair: the colonists paid British taxes but had no voice in the British Parliament which passed laws directly affecting them. The colonists felt that it was utterly unfair that they paid the British taxes but did not have a voice in the British Parliament. The colonial merchants who were in fact an influential group opposed to new tax measures. However, the merchants at the beginning were far from revolutionary. All they wanted was to ease the regulation and the tax burden.

Furthermore, the British Parliament passed a law prohibiting the issuance of legal-tender money in the colonies. This act was seen as a deflationary measure. However, many planters were disappointed with the act. The point is that many colonial planters were indebted to merchants and they hoped to recover their debts through the inflation. Therefore, they the colonial planters were disappointed with deflationary measures. The British government continued to put pressure on colonists. Thus, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act which introduced the first direct tax imposed on the colonists. According to the act a tax was levied on various legal and business documents and papers, periodical editions and even on playing cards. The act therefore, had a direct impact on lawyers, merchants, and printers. The opposition to the act was wide indeed. In fact the act increased the number of opponents of Great Britain. Even those who previously were loyal to the Crown now rethought their position. The colonists organized the Stamp Act Congress to discuss the implications and ways of dealing with it. It was the first attempt of the colonists to unite in a struggle against the unfair law.

Overall, one may observe that there has been continuous tension between the colonists and the British Government. Instead of offering incentives to the colonists who assisted Britain to defeat France, the British Government put more pressure on the colonists. It set the frontiers, imposed taxes and made currency regulation more stringent. The colonists resisted to pressure. Action always produces reaction. This was the road to the American Revolution.


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