Confronting the National Debt:
But a steep price accompanied the fruits of total victory. In order to address this onerous liability, British officials turned to larger import duties on enumerated goods like sugar and tobacco, along with a series of high excise sales taxes on goods such as salt, beer, and spirits.
This taxation strategy tended to burden consumers disproportionately. In addition, government bureaucracy expanded in order to collect the needed revenue. As the number of royal officials more than doubled, Parliament delegated new legal and administrative authority to them.
Thus, even as British subjects lauded their preeminent position in the world, they chafed under the weight of increased debts and tightened government controls.
But the war exposed the weakness of British administrative control in the colonies on various fronts. The subsequent efforts on the part of royal officials to rectify these deficiencies and collect unprecedented amounts of revenue violated what many American colonists understood as the clear precedent of more than a century of colonial-imperial relations.
New world institutions of self-government and trade, having matured in an age of salutary neglect, would resist and ultimately rebel against perceived British encroachment. Taxation policy became a central point of contention, because it tended to threaten both the prosperity and autonomy of colonial society.
Rampant inflation ensued, and British merchants refused to accepted depreciated currency. The balance of trade between England and the colonies tilted decisively in favor of the former as a direct consequence of the French and Indian War.
Military spending and a general increase in the demand for goods and services contributed to significant increases in colonial wealth and prices. Colonial agricultural exports rose especially rapidly in the s and s.
Colonists used the windfall to consume British manufactured goods at an ever increasing rate, supplementing a trend that been on the rise since the mids. Even with the boom in agricultural exports, colonists consumed more than they exported. British merchants, in the throes of the Industrial Revolution, responded by extending credit to their American customers.
Accordingly, extended consumer debt became a common phenomenon in the colonies. Parliament passed the Revenue Act of in an attempt to halt bribery as routinely practiced by colonists circumventing the Molasses Act.
To do so, the Revenue Act dispensed with absentee customs officials who, rather than collecting duties on site, resided in England and relied on deputies susceptible to corruption. The measure was part of a larger effort to block colonial trade with the French Sugar Islands, since many colonists were undeterred by the war and continued their lucrative trade with French possessions.
The British government also encouraged the Royal navy to apprehend and detain smugglers.
Customs officials became more aggressive in using search warrants, called "writs of assistance" to track down smuggled goods. A young Boston attorney, James Otis, assailed such writs as contrary to the British constitution and beyond the Power of Parliament to administer.
They were convinced that the continued expansion of British trade and national influence depended on the reform of imperial administration and taxation in the North American colonies.
Peace on the continent removed the stimulus of a war economy and brought about a recession in the colonies. Debtors in both urban and agricultural sectors experienced the credit squeeze.
The balance of trade continued to favor Britain, rendering colonial economies more and more dependent on British commercial ties and financial policy well into the s.
Even as colonial standards of living rose, indebted colonists grew increasingly suspicious of British motives and interests.US History Benchmark. Study Guide (1st- 9 Weeks) STUDY. PLAY. Lateen Sail. Which invention allowed ships to sail into the wind? Parliament passed more taxes to pay off the debt from the French and Indian War.
Why did American colonists grow angry with Parliament after the French and Indian War? Even at the end of the war Britain needed American financial assistance, and in Britain took a loan for $ million (about £ million at exchange rates), and in addition a further $ billion line of credit (about £m at exchange rates).
French and Indian War/Seven Years' War, The French and Indian War was the North American conflict that was part of a larger imperial conflict between Great Britain and France known as the Seven Years' War. The Seven Years War to the American Revolution. The French and Indian War, or Seven Years War, represented the decisive turning point in British-colonial relations.
The British Government had borrowed heavily from British and Dutch bankers to finance the war, and as a consequence the national debt almost doubled from £75 million in . Start studying the end of salutary neglect. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.
Describe the size and scope of the British debt at the end of the French and Indian War; as the French had done. They also significantly reduced the amount of gunpowder and ammunition they sold to the Indians, worsening relationships further.
The war nearly doubled the British national debt, from £75 million in to £ million in.