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THE BRITISH SYSTEM I British government did not set up centralized system to administer its colonies Did attempt to regulate trade with “Navigation Acts”

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Presentation on theme: "THE BRITISH SYSTEM I British government did not set up centralized system to administer its colonies Did attempt to regulate trade with “Navigation Acts”"— Presentation transcript:

1 THE BRITISH SYSTEM I British government did not set up centralized system to administer its colonies Did attempt to regulate trade with “Navigation Acts” –Required colonists to sell their products only to England and by their manufactured products only from England Acts did not bother colonists much –Preferred to buy manufactured products from England rather than not have them at all –Received good prices for their agricultural products from England –And if they didn’t like a specific provision of the Navigation Acts, they could easily get around it

2 THE BRITISH SYSTEM II England did not interfere much with internal politics of colonies –Institutions of local self- government generally tolerated by English governors British System –Strict economic regulations which could be easily violated if they got in the way –Sloppy political administration which allowed colonial assemblies a great deal of independence and authority Governor Thomas Hutchinson of Massachusetts

3 By 1700, French had set up a string of forts stretching from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico

4 FRENCH AND BRITISH COLONISTS Not interested in establishing agricultural colonies –Engaged in trading, fishing, and hunting Hence their thin and scattered population No serious conflict erupted between French and British colonists as long as their homelands remained at peace –But when war did erupt between England and France three times between 1689 and 1748, their colonists went to war against each other too

5 FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR I 1754 Called “Seven Years War” in Europe War for control of North America –“winner take all” struggle for control of the continent

6 FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR II English seemed to have the advantage –Outnumbered the French 15:1 But French had advantages too –Had numerous powerful Indian allies English also did not have wholehearted support of colonists –Parliament did not dare tax or draft them for the war –Asked for voluntary contributions of money and men Some colonies complied but many dragged their feet or did comply at all –Many colonial merchants continued to trade with French

7 FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR III England won (1763) –France forced to give up all claims to North America –England now controlled Canada and all territory between Appalachian Mountains and Mississippi River Now it was urgent to set up defense for new territory –Also urgent to pay off huge debt caused by war Increase in taxes in England not an option

8 THE SOLUTION Under leadership of George III, the British government decided to at last crack down on the colonies –Install firm control over the colonies in order to force them to obey English trade regulations and pay off British war debt Began program of administrative reform designed to strengthen British control over colonial economic and political life George III

9 PROCLAMATION LINE OF 1763 Prohibited colonists from settling in territory won from the French –Because colonists tended to stir up Indians in this territory and provoke uprisings England had to spend lots of money to put them down

10 OTHER MEASURES British troops were stationed permanently in the colonies –Colonists ordered to pay to maintain them British war ships stationed along American coast to capture smugglers

11 STAMP ACT OF 1765 Required that colonists pay a tax on every legal document, newspaper, almanac, pamphlet, deck of cards, and pair of dice sold in the colonies

12 RAMIFICATIONS I All the new British policies threatened the well-being of virtually every colonist –Proclamation Line end land speculation in the West Practiced by northern merchants and southern planters –Higher taxes cut into everyone’s income –Stiffer enforcement of Navigation Acts hurt northern merchants and southern planters who had previously routinely violated them All made worse by the fact that a bad depression had hit the colonies at the end of the French and Indian War –The last thing colonists needed was higher taxes and new restrictions on their economic activities

13 RAMIFICATIONS II Fundamental source of colonial assemblies was their customary authority to withhold appropriations from governors –Refusal to grant operating funds forced governors to cooperate and listen to assemblies Stamp taxes ere collected directly by royal officials and given directly to governors –Could spend money as they saw fit without having to go to the colonial assembly –Deprived colonists of their traditional means to keep governors in line –Represented threat to rights of local self-government in the colonies

14 OPPOSITION TO THE STAMP TAX Patrick Henry gives “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech to Virginia House of Burgesses –House then passes resolution stating that it would only pay taxes which it had approved –It would not pay the Stamp Tax because it had been imposed by Parliament with their approval

15 TROUBLE Mobs in various colonies rioted –Beat up stamp tax collection agents –Burned stamps Stamp Act Congress met in New York –Delegates from 9 colonies –Drew up petition to Parliament stating that colonists could only be taxes by their own assemblies –Parliament had no right to tax them because they had no representatives in Parliament

16 BOYCOTT British government ignored petition Colonists then organized boycott of British manufactured products –Hurt British merchants and increased unemployment in England –Those hurt by boycott put pressure on Parliament to repeal Stamp Tax –Opponents to appeal argued that if Stamp Tax was repealed, colonists would soon refuse to obey any law passed by Parliament

17 DECLARATORY ACT OF 1766 Parliament tries to have it both ways and passes Declaratory Act of 1766 –Repealed Stamp Tax –Reaffirmed Parliament’s right to pass laws binding on the colonies without the approval of the colonists Colonists had forced the repeal of the Stamp Tax but had also provoked the British government to forcefully assert its right to pass laws governing the colonies

18 TOWNSEND DUTIES New tax on certain products imported into colonies –1767 –Included glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea Colonists respond with another boycott –Lasted three years ( ) Parliament backs down again and removed all the duties except for the one on tea –Vowed to put colonists back in their place the next time

19 CUSTOMS COMMISSIONERS British station customs commissioners in Boston in 1769 to stop rampant smuggling –Irritated and angered many Bostonians –Provoked Samuel Adams to form an underground terrorist group to harrass and attack customs commissioners and their friends The Liberty Boys

20 ESCALATION In response to actions of Liberty Boys, the British stationed troops in Boston to protect customs commissioners –Antagonized Adams and Liberty Boys even more and they began to harass and attack soldiers –Adams also filled newspapers with made-up stories of atrocities committed by soldiers Spread rumor that soldiers were planning to attack people of Boston

21 BOSTON MASSACRE March 5, 1770 Liberty Boys beat up sentry guarding customs commissioner office British commander sends in troops to remove wounded sentry Scuffling takes place, a soldier was knocked down, and some soldiers fired into crowd Five people, all bystanders, killed

22 AFTERMATH Adams publishes account of event which gave the impression that it was part of a deliberate British plot Soldiers tried by a Boston jury and convicted of second-degree manslaughter Adams convinced most colonists that soldiers were guilty of first-degree murder

23 TEA ACT OF 1773 Parliament passed Tea Act in 1773 –Exempted British merchants from paying usual fees and duties on tea imported into colonies Allowed them to undersell American merchants who did have to pay Caused unrest in colonies Boston merchant

24 BOSTON TEA PARTY Three British tea ships arrive in Boston harbor on December 16, Liberty Boys boarded ships and threw entire cargo into water –Disguised as Indians –Led by Samuel Adams Colonists in other seaports soon followed the example of Boston

25 INTOLERABLE ACTS Designed by Lord North to isolate and punish Boston and Massachusetts for the Boston Tea Party Included: –Closed port of Boston –Reduced right of self- government in Massachusetts –Stated that British troops would be quartered in homes and farms of Massachusetts citizens Lord North

26 SERIOUS RAMIFICATIONS British government failed to understand that 10 years of escalating since the Stamp Act crisis had made all colonies very sensitive to any perceived threats to their rights –By depriving Massachusetts of its liberties, the British just convinced groups in other colonies that it was only a matter of time before they were next British threats had unified the formerly disunited colonists and made them determined to fight and defend themselves— as well as Massachusetts


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