Chapter Four Essay- The Empire in Transition The French and Indian war, also referred to as the Seven Years war, was the very beginning of a hostile relationship between the colonies and Great Britain. The outcome of the war left Britain with a numerous amount of dilemmas to deal with. The French and Indian war was simply a continuation of a series of wars that had involved the French and British in North America. Many events led up to this astounding war.
Whether it was English colonists yearning to take over northern French territory or the struggle that the British underwent to have fur trading in French domains. The French feared that the English were trying to use the trading concessions as a first step toward expansion into French lands. Soon after, five Indian nations allied themselves with the British and assumed an essentially passive role in the conflict that would later occur.
Tensions had lingered between the English and the French for half a decade, up until the death of some Frenchmen at Fort Necessity. This assault sparked the beginning of a lengthy and very expensive war. After Britain’s victory in the French and Indian war, Britain was experiencing a countless amount of complications. The French and Indian war led to England’s greatly expanded territorial claims in the New World and due to the large expansion came a abundantly large debt crisis that Britain had to deal with.
The war had literally drained the British treasury. Britain became very bitter and angry at the American colonists for making very few financial contributions to a struggled waged mainly for American benefit. Britain particularly disliked that some colonial merchants were selling food and other related goods to the French in the West Indies for the duration of the war. The English’s general leaders leaned towards a reconstruction of the empire due to the previous actions following the war.
The problems that Britain faced in the aftermath of the war effected British policy in the colonies with a major shift. The problems of managing the empire became extremely difficult after 1763 in result of the reorganization of Britain’s imperial architecture. The British empire was twice as great as it was once had been thus creating difficulties of governing the new territories. Some debated whether the additional territories should be developed into new cites and etc, or to restrict settlement to keep the extra land available for hunting and trapping.
To prevent an escalation of the fighting that might threaten western trade, the British government issued a ruling, the Proclamation of 1763. The Proclamation forbid settlers to advance beyond a line drawn along the Appalachian Mountains. Britain’s issued ruling was completely beneficial to them due to the control of westward movement. It also redirected colonists to settle towards the coastline where the major cities were located and as well as reserving the opportunities for land speculation and fur trading for English rather than colonial entrepreneurs.
After 1763, however, the new policies of the British government began to create common grievances among virtually all colonists that to some degree counterbalanced there internal divisions. The Mutiny Act, Sugar Act, Currency Act and the Stamp Act were policies that were developed in theory to assist the colonies in revitalizing after the war and also an effort in reapply the old principles of the mercantilism. The new policies were efficient and effective in some ways, but they basically established more problems than they had hoped to solve.
These British policies emerged during the midst of the colonies economic depression. London was threatening to take out money from the colonies, economic anxieties were rising throughout the colonies and the depression put many colonist in shock creating a sense of unease that swept across the cities in particular. The British believed that they needed to tighten administration of the empire and desired to use the colonies as a source of revenue. Little did Britain know that the result of these beliefs and desires could shatter the English Empire in America.
In conclusion, the outcome of the French and Indian war was not easy for the American colonies and Britain. Many problems that emerged in result of the war were worsened and never resolved. A new imperial program was established and an economic depression had hit the colonies. British official were even collecting more than ten times as much annual revenue from America as before 1763. Beginning in 1765, colonial leaders developed a variety of organizations for converting popular discontent into direct action; organizations that in time formed the basis for an independent government.