Although Britain’s North American colonies had enjoyed considerable prosperity during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, beginning with the Stamp Act in 1765 the British government began to put pressures on them, largely in the form of taxes and new trade restrictions, that drew increasingly resistance. (Out of Many, 133) One big reason that the loyal British citizens in North America were transformed into rebels is because of the taxes. It was not the prices of the tax, because Britain had one of the lowest taxes in the world at that time, it was the fact that Parliament had so much representation over them. The British Empire was a mercantile market.
They wanted to control everything that was going on in the country. They also wanted control over the people. The whole purpose of the Parliament was to exploit the colonies. Here is a famous example that was taken from the book, of the Parliament, exploiting the colonies. Parliament had passed a tea act, and colonists were major consumers of tea, but because of the tax on it that remained from the Townshend duties, the colonial market for tea had collapsed, bringing the East India Company to the brink of bankruptcy. This company was the sole agent of British power in India, and British Parliament could not let it fail. The British then transformed a scheme in which they offered tea to Americans at prices that would tempt even the most patriotic back on the beverage.
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The radicals argued that this was merely a device to make palatable the payment of unconstitutional taxes-further evidence of the British conspiracy to corrupt the colonists. This was called the “Boston Tea Party.”(Out of Many, 150) Another reason that led to rebellion was the persistent source of conflict between troops and townsmen over jobs. There was a point when British soldiers were permitted to work jobs off duty. This in turn put the colonials in competition with the people that already disgusted them. Here is an example I took from the book on this issue. In early March 1770, an off-duty soldier walked into a ropewalk in search of a job. The proprietor told him using an obscenity that he could clean the outhouse. The soldier left but returned with his friends, and a small riot began.
On March the 5th a group of colonials gathered around the Customs House and began taunting the soldiers, throwing rocks and snowballs at the soldiers, and without warning, they began to shoot into the crowd, and became what we know today as the “Boston Massacre.” (Out of Many,148) These are just some of the reasons that added up during this vulnerable time in our countries history that led to the “loyal British citizens in North America being transformed into rebels.”
Of course, these issues go much more into depth than what I have interpreted, but they give a good example of what our ancestors dealt with on an everyday basis. Try to put the past events like the Boston Tea Party into perspective and into the present day.
I cannot relate to what happened to them in those days but I can understand why they pursued so persistently for their independence from the “Mother Country.” Examination I Question 3 I think a good place to start would be the population and economic growth of North America prior to 1760. This would be a good place to start seeing that the modern day is vastly made up of these two characteristics.
In the colonial days, the regions of North America experienced unprecedented growth in the eighteenth century. “Our people must at least be doubled every twenty years,” wrote Benjamin Franklin. In 1700 there were 290,000 colonists North of Mexico; fifty years later they had grown to approximately 1.3 million, an average growth rate of about 3 percent. (Out of Many, 119) This is an important time in our countries history because a good amount of people are being dispersed about the countryside. Leading to new ideas and revelations, as well as exploration. Without the expansion of people, there is no need for exploration.
And a large part of America’s history comes with an expansion. One of the most important differences among North American colonial regions in the eighteenth century was the economic stagnation in New France and New Spain compared with the impressive economic growth of the British Colonies. (Out of Many,121) This is what would become the American way proved that compared to New France and New Spain the colonies grew at an annual rate of .5 percent.
This is an important issue in the history of our country because at the time it kept our ancestors afloat, and it outlined a good economic basis for the years to come. As economic growth steadily increased the size of the economic pie, most middle and upper-class British Americans began to enjoy improved living conditions. This was good because it made the Americans love what they had. Improving standards of living and relatively open access to land encouraged British colonists to see theirs as a society where hard work and savings could translate into prosperity, thus producing an upward spiral of economic growth. (Out of Many, 121)
This was an important issue in the history of America because it was in a hidden way laying out the groundwork for the era of industrialization. Last but not least, an important issue in North American history was the Seven Years War. The first attempt at cooperation among the leaders of the British colonies had taken place twenty years prior, in 1754. Representatives from a select few of New England colonies met to figure a joint approach to the French and Indian challenge. (Out of Many, 135) While the delegates met, there was bloodshed between French Canadians and Virginians.
In North America, this war-which Americans remembered as the French and Indian War became the final most destructive of the armed conflicts between the British and the French before the French revolution. (Out of Many,135)
This war is important in our North American history because it decided the imperial future of the vast region between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River, and it laid the groundwork for the conflict between the British and the colonists that led to the American Revolution.(Out of Many,135) Without the rapid population growth, the women that on average, bared approximately seven children. Our four fathers and their innovations and new ideas led to our strong economic leadership. And the war that made westward expansion possible. Without these instances in time where would we be now.
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