How did Great Britain maintain power over the American colonies? 

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There were several ways the British maintained power over the American colonies. One way was by passing laws that controlled colonial trade. As part of the mercantile system, the British required the colonists to trade with the British. The Navigation Acts required the colonists to use British ships and buy products from Britain. These policies reduced trade options for the colonists.

After the French and Indian War, the British exerted their influence over the colonies by restricting their movement. The Proclamation of 1763 prevented the colonists from moving west of the Appalachian Mountains. They also required the colonists to provide housing for British troops who were enforcing these laws.

The British also controlled the colonists financially. The British passed a series of tax laws that required the colonists to pay taxes on various items. The Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts were examples of these laws. The colonists weren’t happy with these laws because they didn’t have representatives in Parliament who could for or against these taxes. The colonists believed their rights were being violated because British citizens should have representatives in Parliament who can vote on proposed tax laws.

The British also kept their soldiers in the colonies to monitor events. The soldiers could take actions if needed if problems arose. The presence of the soldiers angered the colonists who resented their presence in the colonies. The British were able to control the colonies in many ways.

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