How did the French and Indian War change the relationship between England and its American colonies?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The French and Indian War changed the relationship between the British and the colonists. As a result of this war, the British got most of France’s land east of the Mississippi River. Once the war ended, a series of laws were passed to deal with changes brought about by this war. The colonists wanted to go west to settle in the land Britain got from France. However, the Native Americans were threatening violence. Thus, the British passed the Proclamation of 1763 that prevented the colonists from settling this land.

After this law was passed, things got worse. The British passed the Quartering Act that required the colonists to provide housing for the British troops. The colonists were upset that they had to provide housing for soldiers to enforce a law they didn’t want. Then the British passed tax laws believing the colonists should pay for some of the costs of running the colonies. The colonists opposed these laws because they were passed without their consent. The colonists had no representatives in Parliament who could vote for these taxes.

Eventually, violence broke out between the British and colonists. In the Boston Massacre, five colonists were killed. After the Boston Tea Party occurred and the Intolerable Acts were passed, the battles of Lexington and Concord took place. Soon after, the Declaration of Independence was passed. This led to the Revolutionary War.

While the British nor the colonists could have know it at the time, the British victory in the French and Indian War would dramatically change the relationship between the British and colonists.

beardian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the biggest impacts the French and Indian War had on British-American relations was economic.  In order to pay for the immense cost of the war, the British imposed new taxes on the colonists.  The justification was that since the war was fought to protect the colonists from the French, they should have to pay the cost.  While the colonists were certainly grateful, they did not agree with the premise that they should have to shoulder the weight of war debts.  Additionally, some colonists argued that the British would have fought that war regardless of whether or not the colonists were there, since at heart it was a war over British and French territory.  

Three of the taxes imposed on the colonists were the tariff of imported goods, the sugar act, and the stamp act, which were all designed to tax American imports and exports.  Many staunch patriots rejected the premise of these taxes, and relations between Britain and the US soured.  These taxes raised tensions between the two which were some of the long-term causes to the Revolutionary War.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The French and Indian War changed this relationship by making it a great deal worse.  In fact, the war can be said to have led to the revolution.

First, the war took the French out of North America.  The colonists no longer had to fear being taken by France if they were to break free from Britain.

Second and more importantly, the war cost a huge amount of money. The British felt that the colonies should pay some part of that sum.  The colonists had not been taxed as heavily as the people in Britain itself and the British government felt this should change.  The taxes that the British then imposed on the colonies were the major cause of the discontent that led to the Revolutionary War.