Last Updated 26 Jan 2021

Analyze the Ways in Which British Imperial Policies

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Analyze the ways in which British imperial policies between 1763 and 1776 intensified colonial resistance to British rule and their commitment to republican values. As generations grew up in America, nationalism within the colonies grew towards their new country. These settlers slowly lost their patriotic tie to Great Britain and it’s ruler, King George III. So when the French and Indian War ended in America, and the indebted England needed some compensation from American settlers in the form of taxes, the colonists questioned the authority of England and their ability to rule them.

British imperial policies such as the Sugar Act of 1764 and the Townshend Tea Tax caused uproar within the colonies against British rule without colonial representation. This caused unrest and gave rise to republicanistic ideas of an America with political leaders who were chosen instead of born into power. The more taxes Britain sent to America, the more protest was started against their policies. They argued that without colonial representation in Parliament, the government could enforce the taxes legally without taking away their natural rights.

Parliament responded with the idea of a virtual representation in Parliament that spoke for all of the king’s subjects. This gave rise to the phrase ‘No taxation without representation,’ which became a rallying point for unhappy colonists against British oppression. Many Americans refused to follow the orders given in policies such as the Quartering Act which required colonists to feed and shelter British soldiers who were stationed in America; and protested the Navigation Laws which deferred colonial trade to Great Britain to gain profit by supporting nonimportation and petitions.

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As a result, the Sugar Act was reduced and the Stamp Act completely removed within the colonies due to the colonists active disagreement to the use of authority to tax the colonists unlawfully, or so they thought. In England, the British citizens were being taxed just as much, if not more, than the colonists to help pay for the past wars expenses. When Parliament passed a new policy on tea which was harder to resist, the colonists were infuriated. Protests in the streets against the British soldiers for this Townshend Tea Tax led to the first bloodshed early in the Revolution.

The “Boston Massacre” was the killing of eleven citizens on the streets of Boston when a group of sixty colonists led by Crispus Attucks were protesting the new act. The news of this slaughter was spread throughout the colonies by the Committees of Correspondence set up by a rich politician named Samuel Adams. These committees made it possible for information on everything resistance-related to reach all of the colonies in due time. In this way was news of the Boston Massacre spread across the United States which created outrage across the country.

As tea was shipped to America under the new tea tax, rebellion stirred in Boston. Colonists disguised themselves and pillaged the trade ships, ruining millions of dollars worth of tea. In response to this, Parliament passed the ‘Intolerable Acts’ which outraged the colonists even further by closing the Boston ports, placing Massachusetts under royal authority, and allowing the Catholic French to settle along the Ohio River Valley under the new policies.

Thus continued Parliament to colonist battle as the First Continental Congress met to discuss their rights as subjects under the king and announce the changes they wanted made in the Declaration of Rights which argued that the natural rights of man were being taken away from them under the royal ruling. This was ignored by the British which increased the discontent of overseas authority to the colonial people who called for a change in power.

British imperial policies such as the Sugar Act of 1764 and the Townshend Tea Tax caused uproar within the colonies against British rule without colonial representation. This caused unrest and gave rise to republicanistic ideas of an America with political leaders who were chosen instead of born into power. The colonists cried out against their denial of rights as citizens and unjust ruling. These policies increased protest and political disapproval throughout the colonies in a rebellious atmosphere of resistance

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