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    The Negative Effects of the French and Indian Wars on the British

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    Following the French and Indian War, the relationship between the British and their colonies underwent massive strains. Since the French had ceded their New World territory, the British became power-hungry and began to exert this power over the colonists. Policies concerning economics and territorial rights particularly infuriated the colonists. Due to this, the French and Indian War was largely the start of an anti-British sentiment felt by the colonists.

    British economic policy regarding their colonies had always taken a mercantilist approach, where the main function of the colonies was to benefit the mother country. Under the Sugar and Molasses Act and the Navigation Act, the colonists were strictly forbade to trade with any nation other than Great Britain. Despite this, prior to the end of the French and Indian War, salutary neglect somewhat negated these acts, as Britain did not enforce them during this time.

    However, at the end of the war, Britain had taken over much of the land previously occupied by the French, and they no longer felt the need to treat the colonies to this system of limp rule. In addition to this, the British suffered massive war debts following the war. As the British saw it, the British had offered defense over the colonies for a long time and it was in line to require payment for this. The British began to enforce the Navigation and Sugar and Molasses Acts more strictly, as well as introduce new taxes. The Stamp Act, introduced in 1765, levied a tax on colonists for all paper goods. This act was among the first to collect taxes from the colonists. Many more would be passed, such as the Tea and Townshend Acts, which continued the trend of taxation on the colonists.

    In addition to the stricter economic policies, the British also adopted a harsher system regarding territorial rights. Before the war, Britain permitted westward movement but after the war, this changed. Britain’s government passed the Proclamation of 1763, outlawing movement west of the Appalachian Mountains. While the British saw this as being beneficial to the colonists, as it would prevent Native Americans from being provoked, the colonists thought otherwise.

    The British saw believed they were protecting the colonists, but the colonists didn’t like this one bit. The Proclamation of 1763, while being partially protective of the colonists, altered the relationship because it was the beginning of Britain preventing westward expansion.

    Essentially, the French and Indian War gave way to two things that ultimately changed the relationship of colonies and Britain. As the British had become the dominant North American power, they began to proclaim their supremacy over their colonies. Also, since the colonists took part in the war that led to French territorial cession, many expected to acquire some benefits; essentially settling lands west of the Appalachians. Ideas such as the Albany Plan, introduced by Benjamin Franklin, argued that the colonies had stronger ties to each other than they did to the British.

    Also, since the French were no longer present after the war, colonists saw British presence in the New World to be unnecessary, and this led to a strong sentiment against the British. The French and Indian War was largely responsible for colonial resentment of the British and ultimately started a domino effect leading up the American Revolutionary War.

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    The Negative Effects of the French and Indian Wars on the British. (2023, Mar 12). Retrieved from

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