How Did the Consolidation of the British Empire and Its Consequences Up to 1774 Affect the American Colonist’s Way of Life and Colonial Politics?

2109 Words Sep 30th, 2012 9 Pages
1. Introduction
I assume that the time period to focus predominantly on in answering this question is the circa fifteen years from when Britain in 1760 emerged victorious from the French and Indian War, and up to the events of the early 1770s that in the end led to the decisions at the Continental Congress in 1774; skirmishes between colonial minutemen and British troops in early 1775; and the declaration of independence in 1776.
However, I would contend that throughout the gradual colonial expansion of the English and later (from 1707) British Empire – at least up until the era discussed here – there was a fluctuation between more or less centralized control, and more or less efforts to centralize control, on behalf of either Crown or
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After the British Prime Minister Pitt took control of the direction of the war, and armed colonial forces, the British side eventually emerged victorious. After the war, Britain was undoubtedly the most powerful of the imperial states.
However, both the fallout of the war itself, and the position Britain found herself in after it was settled, were to set in motion a series of events that would eventually lead to growing colonial disapproval of British control, and finally a move for secession on behalf of the colonies.
The need for consolidation of the Empire had a number of causes, more or less directly resulting from the aftermath of the Seven Years’ War. I believe it justified to point to at least three main and interrelated decisive factors behind the process of more consolidation:
First, the French and Indian War had been expensive. There was a belief in London that this at least in part should be covered by the colonies, as it was at least in part fought in benefit of colonies under the British Crown. On the other hand, an opposite belief existed in the colonies, i.e. that the homeland had gained unduly from the spoils of war, for example in taking over control of the northern fur trade.
Second, there was a need to retain control of the territory asserted to the British in the 1763 Treaty of Paris (worldwide, but the specific political geography of the North American part of the Empire made it especially difficult to

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