How do the British government’s attempts to control and regulate the colonies work during this tumultuous era?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

While Britain went through many tumultuous times during its period as an imperial power, there were few periods as tumultuous as the period directly after 1763. Britain had been at war periodically with France, Spain, and the Netherlands for over one hundred years. Many of these wars were in defense...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

While Britain went through many tumultuous times during its period as an imperial power, there were few periods as tumultuous as the period directly after 1763. Britain had been at war periodically with France, Spain, and the Netherlands for over one hundred years. Many of these wars were in defense of colonial possessions and it was a major drain on the royal coffers to keep troops and supplies abroad.

The French and Indian War was one of the first world wars as Britain and France fought all over the globe. British officials got to see first-hand that colonists in the New World were flouting tax laws and navigation acts designed to ensure that the colonists remained a captive market for British goods. Parliament passed tax laws and strengthened its efforts to catch smugglers and tax dodgers in order to make the colonies's administration more efficient. The colonists chafed under this rule. For one hundred years Britain used a policy of salutary neglect in the colonies that virtually exempted the colonies from such frivolous laws. With that history in mind, colonial officials did not enforce the new pieces of legislation. When the colonists started to rebel, Britain stationed more troops in the colonies in order to ensure property protection and tax collection. By 1775, both the colonists and royal officials were ready for conflict. Britain expected localized resistance from New England merchants who were the most vocal in their protests. However, Parliament's actions antagonized at least some colonists in every region.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team