British Imperialism Essay
Analyze the ways in which British imperial policies between 1763 and 1776 intensified colonials’ resistance to British rule and their commitment to republican values.
Colonial exploration in the mid to late 1700s led to stressful times for some countries. Great Britain was one of them. Their American colonies caused them much grief as they tried to take over their society. The British imperial policies towards its colonies made resistance higher to British rule and their commitment to republican values. The British imperial polices were too strict and caused difficulties within American colonies.
The British caused more than enough problems with their colonies to start a controversy. They used mercantilism to try and take permanent control over the colonies. The colonies were to only buy from the British and sell to the British. They also wanted to regulate their imports and exports perfectly so they would import less than exporting to make them look like a high economically successful country. Which they were, but they fixed it to make them look like the superpower of Europe. Another idea they imposed onto the Americans was the dreaded Stamp Act. The colonies didn’t take the act well. They were forced to use stamps on every piece of paper they would use. They also had to buy these stamps from the British only. The taxes were steep and on unnecessary items to the knowledge of the colonies. The colonials knew that these acts were unfair and cruel. They didn’t know how to handle it at the time. Another act that was out of line was the Townshend tea tax. The colonies became addicted to tea due to the caffeine. It was highly valuable to them. The British then put a lump sum tax on the tea that was being imported to the Americas. The colonies didn’t understand why the British needed so much money. The British then went over the line with the Boston Port Act. This act basically took away all of the colonials’ rights. The colonists called the act, the Intolerable Act, because the British went too far. To top off the colonial anger, the British enforced a new act called the Quartering Act. The act stated that any colonial was to take in British soldiers into their house, feed them and give them quartering. However, the colonies then began to retaliate against the British.
The colonies knew the British had gone too far. The first act they took was known as the Boston Tea Party. On December 16, 1773, Bostonians dressed up as Indians and boarded docked ships, smashed up 342 cases of tea and dumped it all into the Atlantic Ocean. The British then put the Intolerable Act on the colonists. That only gave them another reason to fight back. The unity of the colonists finally formed after the Intolerable Act. Flags were flew half-mast throughout all the colonies and food was sent to Boston all the way from South Carolina. The colonies then formed the Continental Congress, uniting all but Georgia participating. Fifty-five delegates were represented in the meeting to talk about what they had to do. The First Continental Congress met for seven weeks where they produced the Declaration of Rights. Parliament rejected all petitions made by the Congress. The British didn’t want this to go on any longer. They sent troops into Lexington and Concord where the terrorized the American defense, which was weak and unorganized. The British started a war. The people that were back in Great Britain were rooting for the Americans to gain independence so maybe the British would then realize what they were doing to their own country. The British ruined their colonies and themselves also.
The colonies finally were able to break the seal to the road to independence. They knew that the British weren’t running their country very well. They wanted change and unheard of things to happen. The events that happened during the imperial policies of the British turned into a revolution, where the Americans eventually gained their freedom. The British were finally defeated for the first time. If the British never were so harsh to the colonies, the colonies wouldn’t ever have a reason to be resistant to British rule and there would be no independence. Colonialism was a stressful time indeed, but a huge mark on history.