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How far do you agree that by 1763 the ties between Britain and the American colonies were already strained?

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Introduction

Sinéad Longden How far do you agree that by 1763 the ties between Britain and the American colonies were already strained? By 1763 the American colonies had developed so rapidly, in terms of population, culture somewhat and economically, that it is not hard to wonder whether the relationship with Britain was perhaps strained. If the American colonies were becoming quite independent then they might wonder whether Britain should have control over them. Colonial government meant that, especially in royal colonies, the crown had power over them. Also, the American colonies were, in theory, controlled by the laws set by British parliament. Furthermore the Seven Years’ War caused many problems that were likely to lead to key reasons for the War of Independence. Britain knew from the outset that American could perhaps provide materials and key trade opportunities for Britain. In order to successfully harbour the potential Britain created the Trade and Navigation Acts (1651-73). These meant that all cargoes to or from the colonies were to be transported in ships built and owned in England or the colonies. This ensured that foreign trade was unlikely to become dominant, as the ships had to be owned in England. ...read more.

Middle

There are some reports that the British and American soldiers did not have a good relationship. General Wolfe said ?Americans are in general the dirtiest, the most contemptible, cowardly dregs that you can conceive.? Although this is only one soldier it is possible that his thoughts were widespread. From the American point of few, they thought British officers were haughty and incompetent. The possible strained relationship between the colonist soldiers and British soldiers could be a reflection on the general relationship between these two places. By defeating the French they had also eliminated a common enemy that had united them. Now, colonists were beginning to realise that they didn?t need British assistance as, they had been quite successful in fighting and also there was no longer a substantial threat. This war also led Britain to introduce more taxes for something which the colonists didn?t even start. This shows how the war with France would affect the colonist economy. On an ideological level the ties between Britain and America could be strained by 1763. Education was very important in these new colonies and people were beginning to think about Britain and its control over the colonies. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, by looking close the ties could be thought of as strained. The colonies did indeed enjoy some benefits of the mercantilist system but that also worked both ways. By becoming more economically strong the colonies could perhaps see that it may be possible to continue without as much help from the British, there was obviously demand for their products. Also the system showed how Britain thought the colonies were there to serve them, this angered many colonists as they wanted to set up their own lives, independent of Britain. Although they did win the war, by defeating France a common enemy was eliminated and it also helped to show colonists that perhaps they need not rely on Britain for so much military support. The war also led to Britain increasing taxes to try and cover their costs, something which angered the colonists as the war started in Europe and the colonists helped Britain to win it, yet they were being almost punished for it. The ideological debate was starting to become stronger and many people began to question the control Britain had and as time went on people felt less loyal to Britain and so questioned the hold even more. The ties were somewhat positive and beneficial to both countries, yet there were signs by 1763 that the ties were in fact strained. ...read more.

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