The Relationship Between America and England
Once the colonies finally took root, Britain stepped back and demanded no money from them through taxes or debt, although its native citizens paid taxes regularly. However, over the course of the French and Indian War, Britain racked up a huge debt, and because the initial fighting took place in North America, defending the American lands from the French, Britain felt it logical and necessary to ask taxes of the growing nation. These included the Stamp Act In 1765 and the Revenue Act of 1767. However, the colonies reacted violently.After the Stamp Act required the colonies to pay extra for all paper goods, ‘Hated Stamp’ cartoons appeared in colonial newspapers that depicted the British seal as a skull and cross-bones.
This symbol of death represented how threatened the colonies felt by the constricting tax. It also inspired the Stamp Act Resolutions of 1765, a response from the colonies to the crown that explained their displeasure at being subject to taxes on which they had no say.
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The Resolutions demanded the repeal of the Stamp Act and the repeal of any other acts restricting American commerce In any way.The Acts, an attempt to avoid colonial anger by utilizing external axes to raise revenue, tried to explain to the necessity of British taxes: it is expedient theta revenue should be raised, in your Majesty’s dominions in America, for making a more certain and adequate provision for defraying the charge of the administration of Justice, and the support of civil government… And towards further defraying the expenses of defending, protecting, and securing the said dominions” ( Revenue Act).
Still, the colonies reacted negatively. Massachusetts in particular circulated a letter trying to create unity among the colonies concerning the British taxes, which included the text, “This House further re of opinion, that their constituents, considering their local circumstances, cannot, by any possibility, be represented in the Parliament; and that it will forever be impracticable, that they should be equally represented there, and consequently, not at all; being separated by an ocean of a thousand leagues” (Massachusetts Circulation Letter).Where previously the colonies demanded a repeal of all taxes, this document shows that they later came to the conclusion that British taxing was inevitable and that American participation in the British parliament was nigh possible, and became an unrealized argument for American independence. Before, the colonies relied on Britain economically; afterwards, they found it Impossible to stand British control over American finances. Moreover, the war also oppression. Before the French and Indian War, the British monarchy ruled America, but due to the distance between them, America began forming its own local governments.These were much more democratic than their British counterparts.
As America grew and encountered struggles that challenged the entire nation, they felt the need for a stronger central power on their own continent. Therefore, the prominent statesman Benjamin Franklin proposed the Albany Plan of Union, writing “It is proposed that humble application be made for an act of Parliament of Great Britain, by virtue of which one general government may be formed in America, including all the said colonies, within and under which government each colony may retain its present constitution… (Benjamin Franklin). This plan was rejected by the individual colonies for proposing too weak a government and rejected by the British crown for proposing too strong a government, a direct conflict of interests that was previously nonexistent. Its author later reflected, “On reflection it now seems probable, that if the foregoing Plan or some thing like it, had been adopted and carried into Execution, the subsequent Separation of the Colonies from the Mother Country might not so soon have happened.
.. (Benjamin Franklin), showing how important this political clash turned out to be. There was also much British legislation that angered the colonists in much the same way as the British taxation. In 1765, Britain passed the Quartering Act, which required colonists to welcome British soldiers into their homes and provide them with food and lodging as long as was necessary. The colonists disliked this because it forced them to foot the bill for the soldier’s lodging, and they refused to listen.In response, the British crown suspended the New York Assembly, saying, “In order therefore to enforce, within the said province of New York, the supplying of his Majesty’s troops with the necessaries and in the manner required by the said acts of parliament.
.. Be it enacted…. That from and after.
.. [October l, 1767,]… It shall not be lawful ..
. ” (Parliament Suspends he New York Assembly).Around this time, colonial newspapers reprinted Benjamin Franklins famous “Join or Die” political cartoon, which warns the colonies that if they do not band together, they will be crushed by an overbearing power from overseas. These events show the disintegrating British control over American colonies and the gradually shifting colonial desire for independence from the crown and a central American power to govern themselves. In conclusion, the French and Indian War was a major catalyst in shifting the relationship between America and Britain both politically and economically.