Focus Questions

1 January 2017

“Why was the French empire ultimately so much less successful than either the Spanish or the British empires? ” France was a late player in the settling game of the New World. During the 1500s it was ravaged by wars and internal conflict, most of these were caused from the Roman Catholics at odds with the Protestant Huguenots. Also, once the colonies were created settlers did not stay, many either came home or never trekked out into the wild.

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There were very few reasons to travel to the colonies for the French. This is because the colonial government was under direct rule of the crown. The one gain that could be obtained by immigrating to the colonies was religious freedom. However, France would not allow the passage of the prosecuted Huguenots. The main trade was Canada’s fur; not the most profitable. Although fur was very popular in America, and had great potential to succeed. The lack of settlers and the large land area controlled by the French could not be efficiently occupied or fortified.

France was suffering from many struggles back in Europe yet the insufficient number of settlers prohibited the French from maintaining their land through the wars (the French and Indian war) and conflicts. 2. “If France instead of Britain had won the duel for North America, would the 13 colonies ever have become independent of Britain, or would they have been forced to stay within the empire for protection against France? Would Detroit, St. Louis, and New Orleans now be cities in Canada rather than in the United States? ” If France had won North America, then I still believe that the United States would become independent.

The French and Indian war would have affected the greatly. They would have still been hurt economically from the French and Indian war, and by losing, they could have been damaged in many more ways. Britain would force even more taxes upon the colonies because a defeat would likely cost more. However, if France would have attacked the colonies, the colonists would be preoccupied with defending themselves. Afterwards, although, I believe that the colonies would rebel eventually, because Britain would mistreat them more. Historically, France was the weakest of the world powers. Some islands and Quebec speak French.

While over 20 speak Spanish and more than that speak English. If France had won North America from the British, they wouldn’t keep it for long because another “bully” nation, like Spain, or Germany could have risen up and taken it like candy from the French. 3. “From Britain’s perspective, were stationing soldiers in the New World permanently and issuing the Proclamation of 1763 good colonial policies? What problems were these policies trying to address? How else might have Britain solved those problems while limiting colonial contempt? ” Yes, Britain’s concern of Indian uprising outweighed the expansion of the colonies.

Pontiac’s Uprising, which began in May of 1763, took the lives of hundreds of colonists and British soldiers as Ottawa leader Pontiac and various other tribes attempted to drive the English out of the Great Lake Region. Finally, the English subdued the Indian uprising by distributing blankets infected with smallpox. A cheap tactic if you would ask me. The Proclamation of 1763 and the posting of soldiers were placed into effect to keep the colonists and the Indians separate. Likely, the act was put in place to protect the colonists, and not to confine them.

The main purpose of the Proclamation Line was to delay colonial expansion into the West while Britain stabilized relations with Natives through monetary compensation and the return of land. The other choice was allowing the colonists to have what they want and get massacred as they moved west. Britain could have done a better job with keeping the colonist happy. One flaw was that the colonists that were already west lost their land and money along with it. If I were Britain, I would have insured the colonists with the same proportion of land in a different region or compensated them with monetary supplements. .

“Should the French and Indian War be considered one of the major causes of the American Revolution? Why or why not? ” Yes, because it made the Americans want freedom. The colonists felt edged in beside the Eastern coast. France was the major anxiety of the colonists. The historical conflict with France, the Catholicism of France, and the absolute rule of the French monarchy caused Americans to dislike the French. By the mid-17th century, the colonists had begun to move west across the Appalachians into Kentucky.

Here the English came in conflict with the French moving down to the south from French Canada into the fertile Ohio Valley. French and British hostilities in the Seven Years War began in North America. Even George Washington was involved in the first engagement. The American share of the Seven Years War (1756-63) is known as the French and Indian War. The War had a main influence on proceedings leading to the Revolution. One might conclude that the British role in removing the French and Native American threat to the Colonies would have permanently sealed ties amongst Britain and the grateful colonies.

This did not prove to be true. The disappearance of the French into America meant that the British and Colonists no longer had a mutual enemy. The War was also very expensive. The Colonists had made a major direct monetary contribution to the war effort. The War was very expensive to the British who had begun to rely on the colonists to pay a larger share of the expensive empire, especially the costs of maintaining a strong military. Chapter 7: The Road to Revolution 1. “Evaluate the system of mercantilism. What were the benefits for Britain and for the colonies? What were the costs to Britain and to the colonies?

Is the system of mercantilism sustainable or will colonies inevitably revolt? ” Mercantilists believe that economic strength is founded in a balance of trade; meaning exporting more than you import. The mercantilists felt the colonies were most valuable for economic purposes only. This mindset added to why the British felt their West Indies colonies that produced sugar were most important to them. Briefly, British mercantilists viewed the American colonies as mainly an economic and monetary source, a source of money and trade to make money for the motherland.

The colonies relied on England for oods and military supremacy, so both were gaining in one way or another. In a mercantilism system, the supporting country, England in this case, ultimately earns much more than the serving country, in this case the American colonies. As a result, rebellion and revolt was sure to occur because the Americans felt like they were being used and could form a better nation than Britain could ever dream of becoming. And they succeeded. Eventually the colonists grew angry because Britain received the majority of the profits and the benefits, and therefore, revolutionized against Britain.

In addition, many acts and numerous laws, such as The Navigation Acts or the Stamp Act were enacted to lift up English power and control even more and colonists felt their basic rights were being taken away from them even more so. The end result was revolution. 2. “Was the American Revolution inevitable? Could America have gradually and peacefully developed independence within the British Commonwealth, as Canada later did, rather than engaging in a violent revolt? At what point in time, if any, was a violent revolt inevitable?

What could the British have done to stop the Revolution? The American Revolution was not inevitable; however, it was very probable for a majority of the time Britain had abused the future nation. Tensions were high between Britain and the colonies ninety percent of the time. Conflict was imminent, but a full out revolution could have been avoided. However, it was for the best that America become independent. It put Britain in their place and decimated their ego down to France’s level. A slow peaceful agreement could have been reached, but it would be no guarantee to relieve tension between the two in the future.

It may have been for the best that two split. The revolution “meter” if you will, was at its “point of inevitability” at the Boston tea party. It was the turning point on the History of the colony and the birth of a new nation. All that the British would have needed to do was to treat the colonies more fairly. They did not ask for the French and Indian war. The combination of each of these factors is what lead the colonies to revolution.

“Were all the American grievances really justified, or were the British actually being more reasonable than most Americans have traditionally believed? After the Boston Tea Party, the colonists already had a disobedient attitude and no matter what England did, the colonists would have rebelled against it. As John Adams had said, “The American Revolution was in the minds of the colonists long before the fact”. One example of the colonists over-dramatizing was to the Boston Tea Act of 1773. Although this act helped the “East India Company” since they had an excess of tea, and was mainly to ensure the English economy a foot hold, and even in an indirect tax situation, the Americans rebelled against it all the same.

At this point, revolution was inevitable. The colonists paid far fewer in tax on tea than England had, the Americans were looking for a fight at this point. Since the colonists were trying to protest the Boston Tea Act, they dropped “342 crates of tea into the Boston Port”. The Boston Port Act was signed to get the money back that was wasted, so the port was shut down until it was paid. England wasn’t being as unreasonable as many people tend to believe, however, it was too late for Britain to reconcile. 4. “What was the Revolutionary movement at its core really all about?

The amount of taxation? The right of Parliament to tax? The political corruption of Britain and the virtue of America? The right of a king to govern America? The colonies’ growing sense of national identity apart from Britain? Was the Revolution truly a radical overturning of government and society—the usual definition of a revolution—or something far more limited or even “conservative” in its defense of traditional rights? ” The revolutionary movement was about more than just taxation. It was about freedom.

The colonists were being mistreated so they decided to do something about it and set a precedent for the rest of the world. The taxation just fueled the fire. Parliament was a major cause. The lack of representation was a great motivator. Britain wasn’t politically corrupt in their own eyes, but taxation without representation was a horrendous injustice in the eyes of Americans. They believed that the king was to blame, so then the colonies proposed a government of self-rule. Unlike anything else in the world at that time, it was a shock to Britain.

This radical reaction from America was the shot heard around the world. It changed the usual definition of revolution forever. Chapter 8: America Secedes from the Empire 1. “What was radical and new in the Declaration of Independence, and what was old and traditional? What did statements like all men are created equal mean in their historical context, and what did they come to mean later? ” The declaration of Independence was wildly radical for Americans and for the entire world at its conception. It proposed a self-governed nation and elected rulers.

So shocking in fact, that England did not take it seriously. Self-government was radical at the time because no one had tried it before. With a little luck, America would take the high road above all other nation with their democracy. Some traditional statements in the declaration included no suffrage for women and no laws against slavery. For these to change, two wars would take place. One literal war had to be fought, and one political. If the drafters of the declaration were feeling more ambitious, then they would have included these in the declaration in the first place.

However, no one knows how the nation-to-be would have reacted. In a historical context, all men are created equal reffered only to white men, it wouldn’t be for another one hundred years until this would apply to all people in the United States, and few million American lives thrown into the mix. 2. “Was military strategy or politics the key to American victory in the war? How did the two coincide? ” Military strategy was a key to the American victory in the revolution. Although, the single most influential factor was motivation for the Americans. In a sense, the Americans had nothing to lose as a nation.

Britain was already taxing them and punishing them ridiculously. The American logic was to just take a stab at it. If they lost, they would go back into the same routine. Paying for their misdemeanors. They were fighting for freedom, while the British were fighting out of desperation. The sheer numbers of hard fighting, hard headed Americans were no match for even the skilled British. Great Military strategy was a huge moral boost for the soldiers on the battlefield. That gave them confidence, something the British began to lose toward the end of the war.

The two went hand in hand because you can’t have strategy wit hout politics. Politics is what made the decisions in the end. What went on around the round table caused everything that happened on the battlefield. 3. “Did the Loyalists deserve to be persecuted and driven out of the country? What difference does it make to understand the Revolution as a civil war between Americans as well as a war against the British? ” Loyalists were persecuted during and after the revolution because they were considered traitors to the cause.

It was right to persecute them because they went against what the new nation stood for. They were not killed, like in other nations’ revolutions, but simply deported. The loyalist did not wish to live in the nation either way, so leaving was not a harsh punishment in anyone’s eyes. On the other hand, however, they were still Americans; they just wanted to continue to be ruled by Britain. This is why it is important to view the war as a civil war and a war against Britain. Not all Americans wanted to live in the new country, and under the new nation’s rules had the right to say so.

In one sense the war was both an internal struggle and an external one. 4. “How important were the diplomatic relations between European nations in determining the success of the American Revolution? How significant a role did the French play in securing American independence? How significant a role did the rest of Europe play? How did the American Revolution change diplomatic relations in Europe? ” Without diplomatic allies, America would still be under British control. The alliance with France over whelmed the British and drove the Americans to victory.

The French, still sore from the war of Austrian succession, were looking for a fight with Britain. The French influence was crucial and cannot be stressed too much. Even Spain played a role in the revolution through their geographic actions. The rest of Europe kept Britain busy fighting wars and making enemies as the Americans were fighting for their independence. After America became independent, Europe was their best friend, if you will. The strong ties with European nations would prove invaluable in the future. However, the rest of Europe did not love America as much as they disliked Britain.

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