Chapter 5 the strains of empire
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Chapter 5 The Strains of Empire. The American People , 6 th ed. The Climactic Seven Years’ War. War and the Management of Empire. Four times between 1689 and 1763, England and France engaged in wars that had far-reaching effects on their colonial governments in America.

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Chapter 5 The Strains of Empire

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Chapter 5The Strains of Empire

The American People, 6th ed.


The Climactic Seven Years’ War


War and the Management of Empire

  • Four times between 1689 and 1763, England and France engaged in wars that had far-reaching effects on their colonial governments in America.

  • Besides warmongering, the English Parliament designated a long list of colonial exports that had to pass through English ports before sale.


Outbreak of Hostilities

  • English encroachment into the western territories of the French continued unabated into the 1740s with the establishment of the first English outpost on the Ohio River.

  • Resistance by the French was swift; a line of French forts appeared along the river to Lake Erie.

  • The European powers reinforced themselves in preparation for a final conflict in the New World.


Tribal Strategies and Consequences of the Seven Years’ War

  • Native tribes, especially the Iroquois, understood that their best chance for survival was to play the European powers against each other.

  • The 1763 Treaty of Paris gave Britain control of Florida; Spain got New Orleans and French territory west of the Mississippi; the Indians got nothing.

  • The wartime economy and English victory strengthened the colonies and assured their continued growth


II. The Crisis with England


Sugar, Currency, and the Stamp Act Riots

  • Sugar Act of 1764: increased the list of items that could only be exported from the colonies via English ports.

  • Currency Act of 1764: Parliament prevented any of the colonies from printing their own currency.

  • Stamp Act of 1765: Parliament imposed duties on a wide range of items within the colonies such as playing cards, legal documents, or college degrees.

  • Violent protests within the colonies followed.

  • Parliament repealed the Stamp Act in 1766 but reserved power to subjugate colonies to British law under the Declaratory Act.


Gathering Storm Clouds

  • Townsend Duties of 1767 on paper, lead, pigment and tea.

  • New York assembly dissolved for defiance of Quartering Act of 1765 mandating colonial support for British garrisons.

  • Protest against the Townsend duties gradually took the successful form of economic boycott of English goods.

  • Growing tensions led to the Boston Massacre, increased boycotts and the Boston Tea Party.


  • In response to the boycotts and wanton destruction of English tea in Boston’s harbor, Parliament passed the Coercive Acts (Intolerable Acts) closing the port of Boston and prohibiting most town meetings.

  • This action prompts the call for a First, and then Second, Continental Congress to deliver colonial grievances to an unsympathetic king.

  • By 1774, most of the colonies had defied the crown and appointed new assemblies.


The Ideology of Revolutionary Government

  • Gradually, the colonists constructed a political worldview constructed from English political thought, the constructs of the Enlightenment, and aspects of their own unique experiences as colonists.

  • Every despised Act of Parliament became viewed as an attack on traditional English liberty and colonial economic independence.


The Turmoil of a Rebellious People

  • Although cities contained only five percent of the total colonial population, they were the birthplaces of revolutionary theory.

  • Patriot women facilitated meaningful boycotts of English goods.

  • Rural rebellion from farmers under the guise of the Regulators demanded the attention of English troops on the colonial frontier.


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