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What were the fundamental differences in political, social, and economic ideas that separated the American colonies and Great Britain after 1763?

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An important social difference between the colonies and Great Britain in the 18th Century involved notions of aristocracy and land ownership. For centuries, most land in Great Britain had been owned and managed by an aristocratic population. They ran this land on the age-old feudal system. There was only a limited amount of land to go around in Great Britain, and this system of dividing its ownership and use was well-established there.

The colonies were less beholden to the notion of class-divisions. It did exist but was much less important. Very few members of the nobility settled in the colonies. They had no reason to since their holdings were back in Great Britain. In North America, there seemed to be a limitless amount of land to be had. It was usually available to anyone willing to manage it. Therefore, the notion of a noble class in control of the land did not apply in the colonies. That is why one of the first things the founders of the United States got rid of was official social distinctions made between aristocracy and peasants.

The colonists also had well-defined notions of their political involvement in local matters. For generations, they were responsible for managing their own politics and laws with little interference from Parliament and the King in London. After the French and Indian War, the English started to change their policy of letting the colonies essentially run themselves. The King and Parliament began to make laws that directly dictated many aspects of colonial life and the colonial economy. They felt that as the imperial power they had the authority to do so. This was not well-received in North America, where the colonists had grown accustomed to their relative independence.

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Politically, the colonists after 1763 became more and more committed to the ideas of Enlightenment philosophy, including the concepts that "men" were born with natural rights that were given to them by God and thus "inalienable" (couldn't be legitimately taken away) and that "the consent of the governed" was the basis of government. As the 1770s wended along, the idea of republicanism also gained more and more traction. This had nothing to do with a political party but was the idea that governments could be created from democratic elections in which leaders were chosen by the people. This anti-monarchial theory was in radical opposition to the British, who were wedded to monarchy.

Socially, as more and more Americans were born in the colonies of families that had lived in North America for generations, ties with and feelings of allegiance to Britain began to fade. This, coupled with the immigrants who came from other countries, such as Germany or Holland, weakened the connection between the colonists and Britain.

The economic differences between the colonies and England diverged markedly after 1763 and was a key trigger point in starting the American Revolution. The Americans wanted to be left alone, as had long been the case, to run their economy as they saw fit. This policy, called "salutary neglect" had benefited both the colonies and Britain for many years. Now, however, Britain wanted to recoup some of its expenses from the French and Indian War. The war had been vastly expensive, and the English naturally felt the Americans, who were the chief beneficiaries of it, should help pay. The Americans felt quite differently and balked at anything that looked like an extra tax or anything that might incite more taxes.

In all these areas, the colonists wanted to loosen ties with the British and become as autonomous as possible. The British wanted to strengthen ties, stay in control, and earn money from the colonies. But after the French and Indian war ejected the French, ridding the colonists of a threat of a French takeover, the colonists no longer needed the British.

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One key political difference between the two groups would be the concept of representation. The colonists believed that a representative should speak for the people that he represented in a particular district. This is why the cry, "No taxation without representation," was heard so loudly during the Revolutionary period. Parliament, on the other hand, claimed that any member of Parliament could speak for the good of the entire realm. They also claimed that Parliament was not a representative body and that the colonists had no alternative but to pay the taxes as British subjects. This was the argument that ultimately caused the conflict.

A social difference between the two groups would be how each group viewed land. The colonists, who had always had cheap sources of land, viewed open space as a natural right and thought that it was proper for young men to own land for successful farms. Britain, on the other hand, viewed land as something that should mainly be owned by the wealthy. This explains the large estates held by the nobility who owned land but had no intention of farming it themselves. While many Southern planters owned land tended by slaves, many Americans also desired their own plot of land to work.

Another social difference would be the American attachment to religion. During this period and the period immediately before, Americans flocked to churches to hear clergy such as John Edwards deliver fiery sermons. This is not as common in Britain as the Church and and State were entirely locked together.

An economic difference would be the South's reliance on slaves; compared to the British Isles where slavery would become illegal soon after the War of 1812. Another economic difference that is tied to a political difference is how readily Americans took to smuggling. While Britain had Navigation Acts on the books, Americans often would not follow them and there was a comfortable business going on between tax collectors and those paying bribes. Americans thought nothing of trading with the Spanish or French, two of Britain's enemies.

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