Wednesday, October 1, 2014

HUS I and USI Notes 10-1-14

New Tensions Strain
 Old Loyalties

Unit 3


Great Britain had won over its rivals

Great Britain now could claim an empire that circled the globe

Battered units of the British army and navy were returning home to their families

British military personnel were being sent to far-flung outposts of the empire

French statesman Count Vergennes – “The American colonies stand no longer in need of England’s protecting.  She will call on them to help contribute toward supporting the burden they have helped to bring on her, and they will answer by striking off all dependence.”

War Debt

British had fought four costly wars between 1689 and 1763

The Seven Years War had seen British troops fighting in America, Europe, Asia, and Africa

All of these years had left Great Britain heavily in debt

British government now needed even more money to maintain the military and naval defenses of its expanding worldwide empire

British leaders expected the American colonies, who were also subjects of the king, to help pay the war debts and the cost of their defense

British government now had to collect more taxes from their American colonists

Florida and Canada

Governments of Florida and Canada had to be reorganized

Spaniards and Frenchmen, long time enemies, were now British subjects

British subjects in name only

How could they be made loyal subjects?

What kind of government would work best in these newly acquired regions?

Western Lands

Government had to be organized for the wilderness beyond the Appalachian Mountains

All semblance of law and order had vanished since the defeat of the French

1763 – Natives, fearful of British colonists crossing the Appalachians and destroying their hunting grounds, rose up in revolt under the leadership of Pontiac

For nearly a year, settlers fled eastward as flames of their burning cabin and war whoops range all around them

Claims to the Western Lands

How to deal with western lands? 

1) Led by the Hudson Bay Company who was only interested in the fur trade; thus, urged the government to keep settlers from moving across the mountains

2) Colonists urged the government to do all it could to develop the western lands as a farming region

3) several colonies claim to own the lands beyond the Appalachians; these claims were based on the original charters with such phrases as “from sea to sea”

Opposing Views

George III, surrounded by yes men, viewed the colonies as only dependencies of Great Britain

British pointed out that they had saved the colonists from the French and Indians; that the British army and navy protected the colonies; therefore, the colonists should help pay part of the cost for protecting them

Colonists – the war was now over and they simply wanted to be left alone to pursue their own interests without being bothered with problems of holding the empire together

George III

Came to the throne in 1760 at the death of George II

Died mentally insane in 1820

Proclamation of 1763

Announced by George III

All lands west of the Appalachian Mountains in the area formerly claimed by France now belonged to the British Crown

Ordered all settlers to withdraw temporarily to the east of a line along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains (Proclamation Line)

This would reduce tension between the colonists and the Natives

Royal control was extended over the fur trade of the entire western region, no trader was permitted to cross the mountains without the permission of British officials

Average Englishman saw this as reasonable

Americans, eager to settle this land, were filled with resentment of this Proclamation

Proclamation Line of 1763

Sugar Act of 1764

Parliament hoped to raise money toward the expenses of “protecting and securing” the colonies against attack

Duty placed on molasses, sugar, and other products imported from palaces outside the British Empire

Naval patrols began to inspect ships entering harbors

Royal inspectors started searching warehouse and even private residences for smuggled goods

Collectors offered a share of the confiscated goods if they turned in their friends and neighbors

Interfered with the business fo colonial merchants, ship owners, and distillers of rum – all of whom had been earning profits on duty-free molasses from the French, Dutch, and Spanish islands in the Caribbean

Primarily affected the New England colonies

Currency Act of 1764

Forbid the colonies from issuing paper money

All taxes must be paid in gold or silver coin

“hard” money had always been hard to come in the colonies

Quartering Act of 1765

Parliament enacted an act requested by General Tomas Gage, commander in chief of the British forces in America, that required  colonial authorities to provide barracks and supplies for British troops  stationed in America 

A 10,000 man standing army was to be sent to keep the peace between the colonists and Natives

Affected New England – particular Boston area

Other colonies saw it as not applying  to them

Stamp Act of 1765

Designed to raise revenue for the defense of the colonies

Named as such because all documents or materials had to bear a stamp showing the tax had been paid

College diplomas, playing cards, newspapers, advertisements, deeds, marriages, wills – all fell under the Stamp Act

George Grenville, British prime minster, announced in 1764 that he intended to ask Parliament to impose a stamp act; however, Parliament did not act until 1765

This gave the colonists a year to propose an alternative tax that was more agreeable to them – they did not

Parliament was amazed at the outcry from the colonies because of the year and the fact that Parliament argued that the colonists had always paid revenue to support the empire

Colonists argued that the revenues raised before had been done by imposing indirect taxes that were hidden in the price of the goods and only the people who purchased the goods had to pay the tax

Colonists argued that this was a direct tax which individuals must pay directly to the government

Up until this time, any direct tax had been levied by the colonial assemblies and were paid by the colonists because they had elected the assemblies; therefore, they had a voice/representation

The colonies did not have representatives in Parliament; therefore, they had no voice/representation in the Stamp Act

The watch words became “taxation without representation”

The British argument was that Parliament represented and spoke for all British subjects

One Penny Stamp showing that the tax had been paid

The Stamp Act was passed in Parliament

Opposition to the Stamp Act

Colonial assemblies produced resolutions condemning the Stamp Act

Colonial assemblies declared that all taxes were illegal except those levied by representatives of the people in their own legislatures/assemblies

Stamp Act Congress, October, 1765

Delegates from 9 colonies met in New York

They first asserted their loyalty to the king and promised “all due subordination” to Parliament

Delegates vowed resistance to all taxes levied without the consent of their own colonial legislatures

New York City’s City Hall is where the Stamp Act Congress meet

Nonimportation Agreements

Merchants and leading citizens signed nonimportation agreements where in they promised not to buy or import British goods

Within a few months products from Great Britain had almost vanished from store shelves

Patrick Henry, Virginia

"Caesar," said he, "had his Brutus, Charles his Cromwell, and (pausing) George the third (here a cry of treason, treason was heard, supposed to issue from the chair, but with admirable presence of mind he proceeded) may profit by their examples. Sir, if this be treason," continued he, "make the most of it.“

John Burk, History of Virginia (1805)

Patrick Henry was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and opposed the Stamp Act

He delivered his famous “Caesar and Brutus Speech” during these debates

Portrait of Patrick Henry as Governor of Virginia

Sons of Liberty

Organized by townsmen as a secret society to demonstrate their dislike of the Stamp Act by rioting in large towns, destroyed the offices of stamp tax collectors, burned stamps in the streets, pillaged the house of royal official, and applied tar and feather to citizens sympathetic to Great Britain

They argued they were battling for their rights as Englishmen

Membership was a guarded secret

During a series of protests linked to the Sons of Liberty, colonists burn and sack the house of the Massachusetts lieutenant governor, Thomas Hutchinson.

Protesting against the Stamp Act

Stamp Act is Repealed

Parliament and George III were shocked that the colonies protested the Stamp Act

British merchants were also shocked, because the nonimportation agreements had brought British-American trade almost to a standstill

Merchants faced with financial ruin demanded Parliament repeal the Stamp Act

Influential men who were sympathetic to the colonists called for a repeal as well

Edmund Burke , statesman and writer, expressed pride in the men who would thus oppose an “illegal” measure

William Pitt, the Younger, future PM, declared, “I rejoice that America has resisted.”

Under this heavy pressure, Parliament backed down and repealed the Stamp Act in 1766

Rejoicing Colonists

The news was received with widespread joy and relief

British businessmen and American merchants were overjoyed with the news of the repeal

Members of Parliament turned upon George Grenville, the PM responsible for the Act, and forced him to resign

Declaratory Act of 1766

Most missed this act passed by Parliament in conjunction with the repeal of the Stamp Act

Parliament asserted its “full power and authority to make laws to bind the colonies and people of American…in all cases whatsoever.”

The basic questions remained unanswered:

Did the British Parliament have the right to make laws for the colonists and to tax them when they had no elected representatives in Parliament?

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