What are some reasons Britain used to justify their occupation in the American colonies after the 7 year war?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The British had reasons for staying in the colonies after the Seven Years’ War ended. One of those reasons had to do with economic factors. The British had gained control over almost all of the land France had controlled that was east of the Mississippi River. This meant Britain had access to the lucrative fur trade of the Ohio Valley without competition from France. The British were not going to pass up this lucrative economic opportunity. Additionally, the British still viewed the colonies as a source of income. While the colonies were getting more expensive to run, the British believed they still could profit by controlling the colonies, especially if they could get the colonists to pay some of the costs of running the colonies. This is why many tax laws were passed. The British weren’t going to pass up the opportunity to make more money from the colonies.

Another reason dealt with power. The British Empire was a worldwide empire. By having colonies worldwide, this allowed Britain to control many areas throughout the world. This gave Britain a lot of power in both economic and political terms. Having colonies allowed the British military a place to dock their ships and resupply them. It also would make it easier for Britain to protect its worldwide trade. The British were not about to willingly surrender any of this power without having a good reason to do so.

The British also believed the colonists weren’t ready for self-rule after the Seven Years’ War ended. They continued to believe the colonists needed the guidance and protection of the British government. The British believed the colonies would flounder if they were on the own as an independent entity. The British had invested too much time, money, and energy to let this happen to their colonies. For these reasons, Britain continued to control the colonies after the Seven Years’ War.

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