The French and Indian War was an interesting conflict where the Native Americans who had been pushed further West by the British colonists became frustrated and wanted to supplant their oppressors. They joined up with the French settlers who resided predominately in the central regions of North America and with...
The French and Indian War was an interesting conflict where the Native Americans who had been pushed further West by the British colonists became frustrated and wanted to supplant their oppressors. They joined up with the French settlers who resided predominately in the central regions of North America and with whom they were very familiar because of their shared fur trade.
The French held the Native Americans in higher regard and treated them more as business partners than savages, and so they were natural allies. They attempted to drive out the colonists but were defeated by British forces.
Because of this, however, the British government incurred high bills after the war. To defray the expenses, they began levying taxes and fines on the colonists since they didn't want to charge their own citizens or dip into the national treasury. Additionally, in order to prevent any other issues from arising with the Native Americans, they stationed numerous troops throughout the colonies, which they forced the colonists to lodge and care for, free of charge.
These issues—taxation without representation, that constantly escalated, and the forced quartering of troops—represented a level of oppression and lack of respect that was unacceptable to the colonists. This disrespect led to them eventually declaring independence after trying to reason with Parliament for several years.
The French and Indian War helped pave the way for the American Revolution. Benjamin Franklin brought forth the Albany Plan, which was meant to unite the colonies in order to help Britain in this war more efficiently. Britain, fearing a united colonial front, did not agree to the plan, thus demonstrating to the colonists that they could be quite powerful if united. During the war, British officials saw that colonial merchants regularly broke navigation acts and dodged taxes. When this was reported back in London, Parliament vowed to become stricter in enforcing laws against the colonies. Britain wanted to make the colonies pay their fair share for their protection against foreign powers and Native Americans; the colonists, on the other hand, resented these incursions into their own limited self-rule and sought ways to rebel.
During the war, the colonists demonstrated their value on the battlefield and were important to many British victories. The colonists thought that they should be rewarded, but British officers thought that the colonial militias were not a factor in the victory over France. Parliament passed the Proclamation Line of 1763, thus making land west of the Appalachians off-limits to colonists. Many colonists had already settled there, and many more had land speculation interests in this area reserved for Native Americans. The colonists resented that the Indians received something from the war, and many started to openly question why the British wanted to keep colonial holdings close to the coast where they could be monitored by London.
Finally, the aftermath of the French and Indian War made France a willing partner in anything that would allow them to get revenge on the British. At the beginning of formal hostilities in 1775, colonial diplomats started petitioning France for aid against Britain. While this would have likely happened without the French and Indian War, France's defeat in the war only made it more likely that the nation would be willing to help the colonists in their struggle.
During the French and Indian War, the British crown amassed debt that they felt they could pay off by reimposing the Navigation Acts on the colonists. After a long period of salutary neglect, the British crown began imposing taxes on finished goods through a series of acts (such as the Sugar Act) in an attempt to raise money to make up for their debts. The colonists, particularly merchants, reacted in opposition to these new duties.
In addition, the colonists had hoped in the aftermath of the war to move beyond the Appalachian Mountains in search of new land. However, after the war, the British crown began to restrict westward movement by imposing the Proclamation Line of 1763. This was the crown's attempt to placate Native Americans, including the Ottawa chief Pontiac, who protested the settlers' westward movement. The restriction on westward settlement, as well as the imposition of taxes and duties to raise money for the crown, provoked a feeling of resentment among the colonists that built toward the Revolution.
The French and Indian War helped pave the way for the American Revolutionary War. After the French and Indian War ended, the British gained a great deal of land from France east of the Mississippi River. However, the Native Americans weren’t pleased with this development because most Native American tribes were friendly with the French. Pontiac’s Rebellion sent a message that the Native Americans wouldn’t hesitate to attack the British. As a result, the British banned colonial settlement in these new lands. This angered the colonists who wanted to settle in these areas gained from France. They believed the British were trying to control them.
As the colonies became more expensive to run, in part because of the threats posed by the possibility of Native American attacks, the British wanted the colonists to help pay for the cost of running the colonies. The British passed tax laws, such as the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts, to help raise money to run the colonies. The colonists objected because they didn’t have representatives in Parliament that could speak about and vote on the proposed tax laws. The British also required that the colonists provide housing and supplies for the British soldiers who were enforcing the Proclamation of 1763. These actions made the colonists unhappy.
Eventually, there were clashes between the British soldiers and the colonists. After five colonists were killed at the Boston Massacre, some people believed a line had been crossed. After the Boston Tea Party, the British passed the Intolerable Acts to punish the colonists for destroying the tea. Eventually, there was fighting at Lexington and at Concord, with both sides suffering casualties. It was only a matter of time before the colonists would declare their independence from Great Britain.