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The War of Independence - French and Indian War

Essay by   •  September 28, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,908 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,784 Views

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The Seven Years War was an extension within the colonies, known as the French and Indian War. The war was betwwen the French and British, over the struggle for power of the colony's wealth and territory. The war was technically undeclared until a year and a half later when General George Washington went to the Ohio River to ask that the French recede off from colonial territory and the request was denied. Washington asked to set up a fort near what is now Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but it did not last due to the strong French persuasion of the area. During the first three years of war, the French were winning until 1760 when the British controlled the entire North American frontier and the war was essentially over with.

In 1763, the French issued the Treaty of Paris which ended the Seven Years War and the French had to surrender all their North American properties to the English and the Spanish. The war with the French was over with but the English still continued to fight with the Indians and the relationships between the English and the Indians was deterriating rapidly. The French and Indian War had a lot of influence on the hasteningly fading relationship between England and its colonies, strengthened the hold that England had over the colonies and it also played its part in the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

In 1764, Parliament passed the Sugar Act that was used for the goal of raising 100,000 pounds, which was equal to one fifth of the North American military expenses. This act was a way of letting the colonies knows that they were no longer exempt from paying taxes to raise revenue for colonial expenses. The Sugar Act lowered some foreign taxes in order to deter people from smuggling their products into the country rather than paying their taxes to import or export their shipments, trade became a complicated method of paperwork which was confusing to the colonists and if their was a slightest imperfection within the paperwork the cargo was seized. Colonists felt that they had restrictions enforced upon them against justice and trade and the Act allowed the jurying throughout the colonies to be tried in Nova Scotia where there were no juries for such acts as smuggling product. Nova Scotia was awardes five percent of the entire seized product until 1768 and it was up to the Defendant to prove his innocence beyond a reasonable doubt rather than allowing them to stay innocent until proven guilty.

The British government was provided with a subsidizing amount of income between the years of 1766 and 1775. This income was in the range of about 30,000 pounds annually. Although a majority of Legislation in the colonies disagreed to the taxation it was only with very little margin and so the act was enforced. The colonists opposed the practice there was still very minimial and unorganized when it came to the Legislation within the colonies taking a stand against Parliament. Therefore, another sign that Britain was trying to gain control of the colonies and their resources had become painfully obvious. Britain's economic welfare was ailing, therefore they had to try and control trade and commission on the goods and services that the colonies were providing to get their piece of the bigger, better pie.

In many colonists' eyes this was yet just another way for Britain to control the colonies and not allow them to be free, when the settlers of the colonies came from Britain they strove to be free of the rule and the laws of Britain itself. The Stamp Act reinforced that the hands of the devil had tried to grasp a piece of immortality once again by not allowing the colonies to trade on their own and when caught smuggling not allowing them to have the rights afforded to them of having a trial by jury of their peers. Colonists however, were hesitant to state that the act was unconstitutional because it really had only affected two states therefore they did not take an honest approach to take a stand with Parliament.

Despite the haste of the British and the economic gain that they received from the Sugar Act, they continued in the manner of imposing yet another act, known as the Stamp Act. The act passed in 1765; was so that the colonist would have to have special parchment to write their legal documents and newspapers. Violators of this act were also tried in front of a juryless trial when assumed that they had committed a crime against Britain with this act as well. A man by the name of William Pitt, was the colonies biggest defender against England; he told Parliament that the colonies should have some say in these acts as well as the British landowners. It was argued although, that they did and had the same rights as British males that did not have enough land to be afforded a vote for who should rule within Parliament. During this time the Parliament stated that all people were represented within the government no matter who they were and that there was no need for change in this matter.

This rule issue created controversy within the assemblies in the colonies, these that were supposedly granted the same amount of power as the House of Commons within Britain. Patrick Henry, who was the Virignian representative urged the passing of the work known as the Virginia Resolves in May of 1765, that stated that it was unconstitutional for the colonies to be taxed under the rule of the Stamp Act and by the end of the year, 8 other colonies had been pursuaded to adopt some form of the work. The taxes that occurred during the Sugar act were external taxes, but the Stamp Act was only on trade entering into the colonies. The colonist accepted that Parliament had to play a part in the control of trade within the empire but they also reserved the right to be able

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