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Stamp Act And The Diminishing Effect

1107 words - 5 pages

How did the Stamp Act lead to the demise of colonial America’s relationship with Britain? This question has long been debated by historians and necessarily so, as the Stamp Act was a stark contrast from the previous period of Britain and colonial America’s relationship. Their relationship had been good if not content and it seemed both sides could do no wrong, as they had both helped each other in their own ways. Then, the Stamp Act was passed and the opinion of the act was divided between the colonists and Britain. A once long accepted notion had been called into question. So, how exactly did this act lead to such harsh bitterness between the colonists and Britain? The Stamp Act led to the ...view middle of the document...

The Whigs, on the other hand, were in no way going to institute or have an absolute monarch, as this would have taken many powers away from Parliament, something the Whigs were not willing to do. Moreover, the Whigs were tolerant of nonconformist Protestants and this was a good thing for the colonists, as they were made up of many religions and their ancestors had escaped Britain because of religious persecution. With the Whigs, the colonists were not having to worry about being punished for their religious beliefs. The Whigs also advocated a united commercial empire whose central component toward prosperity and power was human labor. Moreover, the Whigs had argued that “labour, rather than land, was the basis of property” and this was believed whole-heartedly by the colonists, as the majority of them and their ancestors had made possible settlement of these colonies by their labor. Also, the Whigs gained further appeal in the colonies by supporting the idea that colonists have political and economic rights. Moreover, the Whigs and the colonists had grown closer because the colonists did not understand the Tories’ views. For instance, Charles Davenant, a Tory politician, had maintained that the prosperity of the empire “could only be achieved by keeping the colonies ‘dependent upon their Mother country’ and not allowing ‘those laws upon any account, to be loosened, whereby they are tied to it’.” This made no sense to the colonists as Davenant was advocating for more control over the colonies, something the colonists were never going to consider. Moreover, the overall Tories were going to “reverse centuries of imperial neglect.” The colonists had, however, enjoyed this neglect and were going to fight with all their might to keep the Tories from initiating this action if the Tories came into power. Luckily for the colonists, the Tories were unable to become the majority power from 1714 to 1760.
The other factor that led to these good relations was salutary neglect. Salutary neglect was a policy in which Britain declined to impose certain parliamentary ordinances on the colonies. Moreover, the policy consisted of three phases and it was the third phase, from 1696 to 1763, which concerned the greatest relationship between the colonists and Britain. The phase was instituted by the British Whig Prime Minister Robert Walpole, who believed that the...

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