Identify, describe, and assess the development and combination of ideological differences between the British and the American colonies, specifically in relation to the series of legislative actions and reactions leading up to the American Revolution.

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I am not sure I would say that "ideological" differences existed between the British and the Colonies. In Anglo-Saxon history—from the Magna Carta in the early 1200s up to and including our own time—philosophies of government have not been systematically developed, but have instead evolved as ad hoc responses to changing conditions and needs. For instance, no one started out thinking, much less stating, that "democracy" is an ideal system, but democracy has nevertheless developed gradually in Britain and America.

That said, in the aftermath of the Seven Years' War (in North America known as the French and Indian War), a crisis of a kind occurred in the way the Colonies were viewed by the Crown. The British believed that the colonists should be responsible for the payment of a war that had allegedly been fought for the protection of the colonists against the French and the Native Americans. Consequently, a series of taxation schemes were passed which the colonists considered violations of their rights as Englishmen.

This was indicative of a broader issue: the colonists had no representation in Parliament. If the Stamp Act (along with the other legislative measures that followed) had not been initiated, it's anyone's guess if the lack of legislative representation for the Colonies would have become such a problem. As it happened, the key to the dispute that led to the war may have been that the British ruling class held the colonists in a lower regard than even the commonest people of Britain.

The Colonies had been populated largely by religious dissenters (e.g, Puritans, Quakers, Roman Catholics, etc.), exiled lawbreakers, and others whom the government in Britain had no use for and wanted to be rid of. These people remained (at least on paper) British subjects and were constitutionally equal to anyone else, but they were largely considered riff-raff: the equivalent to the class of people in Europe referred to as "the mob." Even Benjamin Franklin—a man considered a genius throughout the world for his lightning experiment in the 1750s and for his other achievements—was treated disrespectfully and derisively when he was called to testify in 1774 before the Privy Council (concerning the leaking of the Massachusetts governor's letters to the Boston Radicals). From this experience, Franklin realized that Americans, even if they legally possessed the same rights as people born in Britain, would never be considered equal to them.

The closing of the port of Boston along with the other harsh measures enacted in 1774 in response to the Boston Tea Party led to an escalation of retributive acts in the Colonies that made war inevitable.

In spite of the main thrust of my analysis here, it would be negligent to claim that political differences did not contribute to the fact that Britain and the Colonies were in a state of irreconcilable conflict; however, these differences were more of an extension of the internal political dispute within Britain than a conflict between British and American politics.

The Whig Party in England represented progressivism, the greater power of the people, and the peoples' representation in Parliament that counteracted the arbitrary power of the Crown. The Whigs, with their most eloquent spokesman being Edmund Burke, were on the side of the colonists in the great conflict. They did not wish the Colonies to become independent, but they believed—as did the colonists who started the Revolution, who were Whig adherents—that the colonists' rights according to English law had been violated.

Thus, the war came, with the result being the independence of the United States.

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