Essay on The British Revolution

Submitted By taylorwalden
Words: 818
Pages: 4

Before 1763, Britain was involved in the French and Indian War, also called the Seven Years’ War. Even though the British won the war, the victory was extremely costly and London’s government felt as though the colonists should help with some of the financial costs. While attempting to strengthen their control on the colonists, they created the Navigation Law of 1650 and the Manufacturing Laws, which included the Wool Act of 1699, the Iron Act of 1750, and the Hat Act of 1732. These were created to convince colonists to buy more English goods and also to prevent competition between the colonists and the mother country. This was a period of salutary neglect, where England only sporadically enforced the laws and never strictly enforced them. However, in 1763, George Grenville, the Prime Minister, ordered the British navy to begin sternly enforcing the Navigation Laws; British officials had to refine their relationship with the colonies to justify the debt. Although the war between Britain and the American colonies is referred to as the American Revolution, Britain was actually the causing factor of the political division. The change in British colonial policy after 1763 led to increasing paranoia, hatred, and frustration for many colonists.
The Stamp Act of 1765, imposed by Grenville to raise revenues to support the new military force, was one of the causing factors of the eventual political division. This was a law that affected everyone; it mandated the use of stamped paper or the attachment of stamps to every piece of paper. Even though Grenville thought these measures were reasonable and just, the Americans perceived it as a violation of their local liberties and felt it jeopardized the basic rights of the colonists as Englishmen. Britain created Admiralty courts where juries were not allowed and the thought of “innocent until proven guilty” did not hold true. Many Americans protested, yelling “no taxation without representation,” but Grenville dismissed all claims, saying the colonists had “virtual representation.” Virtual representation meant that every member of Parliament represented all British subjects, even Americans in Boston or Charleston, for example, that had never voted for a member of Parliament; the Americans resented this idea and still clung to the thought of no taxation without representation. Because of the Stamp Act, a Stamp Act Congress was formed and nonimportation agreements were created, which offered new opportunities to participate in colonial protests. As a result of Britain’s restrictions, political strife was created between the colonists and their mother country.
After the Boston Tea Party, where one hundred Bostonians opened 342 chests of tea and dumped them all into the Atlantic Ocean, British Parliament responded by creating the Intolerable Acts, called the Coercive Acts by Britain, to punish Boston in particular. Britain completely revoked Massachusetts’ charter, giving the royal governor more control and the colonists much less control. This struck at the fundamental rights of life, liberty, and property, and the laws were so unbearable that the colonies joined together to protest. The most extreme of the Intolerable Acts was the Boston Port Act, which closed the harbor until damages were entirely paid for. On top of this,…