What was the Imperial Crisis in American history, and how did the loyalists use this period to justify not declaring independence?

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The Imperial Crisis that took place during the 1760s and 1770s happened when Britain attempted to tighten its controls over the American colonies it held. For one hundred years Britain used a policy of salutary neglect whenever it dealt with the colonies. Parliament would pass tax laws and navigation acts,...

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The Imperial Crisis that took place during the 1760s and 1770s happened when Britain attempted to tighten its controls over the American colonies it held. For one hundred years Britain used a policy of salutary neglect whenever it dealt with the colonies. Parliament would pass tax laws and navigation acts, but it would do little to enforce them in the colonies. After the French and Indian War ended in 1763, Britain tightened its grip on the colonies to replenish the royal coffers. The colonists rebelled against this through boycotts, tax evasion, vandalism, and intimidation. When Britain levied the Intolerable Acts against Boston in retaliation for the Boston Tea Party, it united most of the colonists more strongly against Parliament's position.

There was a strong movement within the colonies in favor of loyalty: before the battles of Lexington and Concord, the majority of the colonists were opposed to outright independence. Many feared the actions of a new government stationed within the colonies. Some thought that Parliament had a right to levy these taxes since the colonists were still British subjects and Parliament was not a representative body. Others feared takeover by France or Spain should the colonists win their independence. Many Loyalists thought that the independence movement would not stand a chance against the strongest superpower in the world and believed that all of the ringleaders of the revolution would be hung for treason. Merchants feared losing Britain as a trade partner in the unlikely event of a successful revolution. The Loyalists had many convincing arguments for staying within the British Empire.

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