Crisis between the Colonists and British Governmen

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Why did relations between the American colonists and the British government reach crisis by 1770? In 1763, the end of the seven years war, Briton had defeated the French in Canada driving them back into Louisiana, Mississippi area. The 13 colonies seemed settled and secure, and they were more clearly divided than united, mainly because of religion and economic interests.

The war with France had been expensive, and the British thought it necessary to keep an army in the America's incase of more trouble from Red-Indians or French Canadians. The colonies had not been taxed before, or at least in the sense of their money going straight to the British government, so parliament decided to introduce a stamp act on all legal documents, as we have in Briton today, this includes licences and newspapers etc. After all the troops that would be stationed there would be the colonists defence.

They also enforced existing trade laws to gain revenue. But to the astonishment of the government there were riots and protests the stamp paper was burned. In New York representatives from nine of the colonies gather to complain about the tax, this was very unusual as the colonies never seemed to agree on anything even in war they said it was up to the individual colony to sort out the problem. They proclaimed 'No taxation without representation' which really is why parliament was set-up to stop the kind doing just that, but there were no colonial M.P's who represented the colonists in Westminster.

But was it really a quarrel over money or did the colonists just not like getting ordered about from Briton, and were they just stirring up trouble? The government did not want to cause trouble so reluctantly they repealed the stamp act and reduced the custom duties, but Parliament declared it had total control over the whole of the British Empire. But in 1767 the government introduced new duties on lead, paint, glass, paper and tea. The colonists again didn't like this and in Massachusetts, Boston, angry mobs attacked soldiers one was knocked to the ground the others opened fire. It was named the Boston massacre even though only five people died. In 1770 the government gave way again and only kept the tax on tea, this was to help the East Indian Company, but tea in America was still cheaper than in Briton. Even this colonist would not have so in Boston a number of colonists threw all the tea into the sea. For the government this was the final straw for Boston they closed the port so there was no trade so as to bring poverty to the city and military rule was declared. The people of Boston seemed to be ready at anytime to come out with their guns they were named 'minuet men' because they could be called upon at a minuet notice.

The situation was becoming dangerous for the colonists so representatives from all the colonies except Georgia met in 1774, they feared that if the government crushed Massachusetts it may try to do the same to the other colonies or bully them into doing things. They agreed that Briton should be allowed to impose duties for the purpose of trade but not to raise taxes. But the colonials did not only resent the British because of the stamp act and the tea; they disliked the British officials who made it abomledly clear that they resented the colonists. The fact that the government had suggested a bishopric be appointed among the Puritans to whom the Church of England was no better than the Catholic Church. Finally it seemed that the government was favouring the French and the Indians instead of the colonists by giving them areas of land the colonists had assumed would be opened up for them eventually. Because of this many colonists believed that the government would try to reduce them to servile obedience if the didn't resist.

So all in all the relationship between the American colonies and the British government had reached crisis point by 1770 because of the stamp act, the duties mainly on tea and the general hostility towards the British as they seemed to so obviously resent the colonists and even favour the French and the Indians over them. The people responsible are not only on one side, after all a tax or duty is not unreasonable, however the British government should maybe have conferred or communicated with the colonies before hand. Then there was the fact that the British saw the colonists as lesser people who didn't help, but the Americans in Boston weren't innocent either. So really even though maybe it was prompted by the British the Americans are not completely innocent.