Sunday, March 1, 2015

To what extent did the French and Indian War make the Revolutionary War inevitable ?

In 1754 a war between England and France took place in the New World due to conflict over land. This is known as the French and Indian war because the Native Americans living in the region allied with French forces to fight against the English military and the colonists who aided them during this period of war. The French and Indian War made the Revolutionary War inevitable to a great extent because though England won this seven year long war, many economical consequences led to tension between the colonists and England, which eventually led to the Revolution.

After the war with France and the Native Americans for the territory in the Ohio River Valley due to it's fertile soil and trading area, Britain was left with a huge debt due to war expenses. Though the war was won by England, the French and Indians used the guerrilla warfare technique which took a toll on the British by leaving with a 150 million pound debt. This led to the creation of several laws and reforms for the colonies under british control.

One of the most controversial laws created by the government that was set in the colonies was the Stamp Act. This act required a tax stamp on paper documents. This act along with the Sugar Act and many others were created so England could collect money in order to pay for the post war debt. This angered the colonists because they were paying an extremely high price in taxes for the consequences of a war they gained no profit from. The crown had promised them land if they fought alongside England, yet immediately after they won the war the Proclamation of 1763 was created and this promise was disregarded because the crown claimed they wanted to avoid conflict with natives and end up in another war. There being tension between the colonies and Britain allowed the colonies to find common ground and unite against the enemy. The colonies gather and organized a boycott on paper goods, and thus the Stamp Act Congress was created. The boycott was effective because the government repealed both the Stamp and Sugar acts.

The Quartering Act also played a pivotal role on the path towards the Revolutionary War. After the war with the French, England created a set of laws that forced colonists to provide shelter and food, regardless of the incomfort. This allowed the colonists to realize they were being exploited and oppressed. The New York Assembly didn't approve the act even though the Parliament did, thus it was suspended for six months. With this suspension the colonists felt they had no say in governmental affairs that happened in the colonies, and the tension grew substantially.

All these acts that led to strain between England and its colonies in the New World were caused by the French and Indian War. Antecedently to this war the Salutary Neglect took place; a time in which England ignored its colonies for over 150 years, and therefor never established a clear set of laws. This allowed the colonies to set democratic governments and create their own. It was due to the war that England started taking charge in the colonies, and after such a long time of making their own decisions the colonies felt oppressed. When England started demanding expensive taxes and started creating acts the colonists felt as if their ability and freedom had been seized from them.

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