The French and Indian War was a seven year war between England and the American Colonies, against the French and some of the Indians in North America. It was a tremendous war that is the main cause of the Revolutionary War. The result of this war led to British going into debt. On account of this matter, the British decided to more strictly enforce the mercantilist policy Navigation Acts in the American Colonies to help pay the debt of the war. Due to the Acts like the Currency Act, Stamp Act, Townshend Acts, Quartering Act, and the 1773 Tea Act (Document A, C, E, and G) unalienable rights (Document A) American belief in John Locke’s natural rights and the belief that taxation without representation (Document B and F) was why the colonists were prompted to act against the British. This Colonial reaction mirrored British social, economic, and political actions.
The first major conflict between the British and the Colonies was caused by several Acts that were imposed upon the Colonists without their consent. One of the Acts was the Quartering Act, where Colonists had to house British Soldiers in their homes. Colonists were greatly opposed to the Quartering Act send. William Pitt, who led the war thanran up the debt as Prime Minister acknowledged he gave birth to sedition in America (Document E). Pitt believed Parliament had authority to legislate for the colonies, but he shared with the “colonial radicals” the opinion that Parliament could not levy internal on direct taxes on them as these taxes were far different than merely regulating trade. (Document E)
To collect taxes, British sent officials over to the colonies to collect taxes. The Colonists’ responded to Excisemenwith intimidations such as tarring and feathering them as a public warning that stopped just short of serious injury. (Document G) This was simply a message to the Parliament telling them to stop sending Excisemen over to the Colonies, because they would not pay the taxes. Victims included British officials and American merchants who violated non-importation agreements by importing British goods.
British Americans that left England to settle in the Colonies still believed in than natural, unalienable rights and that they were titled to their rights as British citizens (Document A and B). Americans believed only their own elected representatives could impose a direct tax. (Document B),Colonies were the source of wealth for the Motherland. Since Great Britain was the Motherland of the colonies, Parliament felt should have the power to control them however it would like to, even if it violated the natural and common laws rights that the colonists had as British Citizens. (Document A)
Colonists were enraged by the stringent economic control of the British Parliament, because the Colonies had no representation in Parliament. Americans held to the view of actual representation, in order to be taxed by the Parliament. Americans rightly should have had actual legislators seated and voting in London. The British on the other hand supported the concept of virtual representation, which was based on the belief that a Member of the Parliament virtually represented every person in the empire and there was no need for specific representative from Virginia or Massachusetts, Americans disagreed.
The American Colonists believed Britain was unfairly taxing them to pay for goods and expenses incurred during the French and Indian War and to now unnecessarily support 10,000 troops in the colonies when there was no longer any French threat. Additionally, Colonists believed Parliament did not have the right to tax them because the American colonies were not represented in Parliament. Thus, political and social conflict occurred each time Britain tried to enact legislation that made it appear that a direct tax was being attempted even if disguised as a tax on merely regulatory trade such as the Townshend Acts and the 1773 Tea Act. The Boston Tea Party was organized and carried out by a group of Patriots led by Samuel Adams known as the Sons of Liberty (Document F) that ultimately led to martial law and Boston and the American response of the Minutemen. This then spiraled into Lexington and Concord and the Revolution.
In conclusion, all of these social, economic, and political policies necessitated by the French and Indian War changed the minds of the colonists, which led to the Colonists rebelling against the British. The oppression that they felt from these policies, led to increased unity and mobilization of ideas and men against Britain. Events such as the Acts, abuse of Colonial rights as British Citizens and other natural rights, and taxation without representation led to the Revolutionary War.