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Economic Politics And The Lead Up To The American Revolution

1703 words - 7 pages

The revolution has its roots in the economic politics of the 1700s. The situation through the world was already tense, especially the situations in England and France where both countries were feeling the repercussions of years of warfare. Contrasted against this was the situation in the English Colonies of America. For years the Colonies were able to enjoy the benefits of English rule and protection without significant taxation or expenditure. Due to the fall out from the French and Indian War and the economic consequences of protection the colonies, England passed several taxation laws on the colonies. These polices against the colonies would eventually lead to a series of standoff with the English Parliament which would spring into a full rebellion. (Schweikart and Allen, 2004)
To understand the politics behind the economics one must understand what had happened in the past few years in the colonies. England and France as mentioned before had just concluded the French and Indian War. Both nations had amassed large amounts of war dept. The French and at this time allocated more than half of there total budget to paying off war debt on top of territorial losses to the British, meanwhile the English were fairing little better and sought to remedy there budget shortfalls. They turned to the colonies and passed the first set of laws aimed at relieving the shortfalls and preventing further conflict, which would further exacerbate their economic issues. (Schweikart and Allen, 2004) The colonies were relatively speaking fairly well off after the French and Indian War. In fact overall the tax burden fell on those that owned property, and the majority of the property was owned by the wealthy businessmen of the era. These first measures did not sit will with said colonial businessmen, who began to protest and eventually help lead the rebellion. (Zinn, 2005)
The First among these new acts was the Proclamation of 1763, which restricted colonial expansion by preventing the colonies from claiming territory pasted the Appalachian Mountains. This had a two fold purpose, one it south to smooth over relations with several Indians tribes of the region and two allowed more control over the colonial businessmen. However the act was difficult to enforce and failed ultimately to protect Indian interests. In fact Indian tribes that at one time once welcome this act found that the reality of it was far different and they in fact lost rights and land. Angered by this they began to attack and harass the English settlers and merchants in the area. On the other side the settlers found little help from the English military and began to view the taxation as a waste as it offered little in return. (Schweikart and Allen, 2004)
On the heels of this act was the Stamp Act, on of the better-known taxation laws of the time period. This act placed a tax on any paper transaction carried out in the colonies. These included but were not limited to playing cards, any...

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