British Responsibility After 1763

By around the turn of 1760s decade a great controversy arose in the British parliament over whether to maintain the sugar colonies of the Atlantic Caribbean Islands and forfeit Canada or vice versa. The later had the advantage of a wealthy fur trade, while as mentioned the former was promising in the sugar industry. However, all ended in 1763 by the historic signing of the Peace of Paris which saw the proponents of the Canadian option win. Going by the terms of the treaty, Britain was to benefit from all colonies of North America formerly under France.

The regions to the east of Mississippi down to Florida (acquired from Spain) were also declared a British possession as per the terms of the treaty. In as much as the treaty favored Britain, it is important to realize that the cost of maintaining her possession in this area was in turn inflated. The expenses of maintaining, governing and also defending imperial wealthy had a negative impact on the economy of the Britons. This realization had in contrast to the expectation of British policy makers who had thought that the American colonies will be self sustaining.

It became expensive for the government of UK to maintain the defense troops in the Canadian soil. Therefore in response the government budgeted to maintain about 8000 troops in North America alone and this was to be maintained by an allotment of the cost of ? 400000. This responsibility proved a burden to the royal government which was already being overburdened by its defense and war plans. Following this, measures to increase revenue were taken and by the following year (1764) George Grenville, prime minister then, introduced an act in parliament, dubbed the sugar act aimed at spreading the burden of empirial maintenance to colonies.
As expected the colonialists rose in protest against these measures because they envisioned them as a shifted burden. The French and Indian wars provided a major lesson upon which the British ministry based its policy making in the process of quelling the North American Indians. The Indians who were now becoming a nuisance to the British ministry maintained that that the Ohio state belonged to them. After 1763 the rising resentments in the Ohio prompted the British government to ban settlement in the region to the west of the Appalachians.
Dominion Status: Before the year 1763, the empire meant nothing more than a trade region. It provided a wider market and also a source of valuables such as fur from India and Canada, rubber from Liberia of West Africa and sugar from the Caribbean. However, after 1763 it signified dominion as well. The acquisition of empire never came with massive wealthy acquisition as might have been expected. As previously mentioned it brought with it an array of problems in the areas of defense, administration and even finance.
The aftermath of the seven years of war (1756-1763) the administration of the empire and ministers back in England agreed unanimously the supremacy of the legislative parliament should be elevetated to have powers to repeal laws of the empire at large. In addition to this, the strong relation in the empire should be strengthened to facilitate the colonial empire to pay for their maintenance. Augmentation of Imperial Army in Ireland: The imperial ideas of the government back in London were clearly envisaged in the proposition by the British parliament to augment Ireland based army.
However, with effect of 1763 there arose a problem in the ‘garrison’ and maintenance of the army, especially in the far away colonies. According to the ministers of the government in London, Ireland had the least opportunity of providing soldiers and recruits to the imperial army. The period between 1763 and 1767 saw the empirial demand for soldiers increase and therefore a quick source for more soldiers had to be sought. The British general who was to approach Ireland to supply extra soldiers had in mind that any indirect rule through Ireland officials would not by any means succeed.
This conclusion by Townsend was as a result of a long and protracted persuasion of the Irish parliament to accept on the proposal to release recruits to the colonial empire. It was clear that any colonial indirect rule through Irish governors had to be discarded and replaced by the colonial official from England. This last proposal was accepted by the Irish parliament. However, the new system only came with increased responsibilities in terms of military regiments after 1763. French and Indian War: The French and Indian wars brought about policy changes in the ministry back in England.
The American revolution of 1760 was sparked off by this policy which had its major aim to collect taxes for the empirical governance. Others still suggest that Quebec Act, which was followed by the proclamation of 1763, the issue of the stamp act, Townsend activities and duties and also the tea act of Bolton are seen as the major contributor to the rapid turn of events by the British towards the governance of the empire. Others on this least are the major wars against Indians and France, which are said to have financially affected the British ministry.
These issues defined the British approach in the vast North American colony from 1763 to the final dismal of the North American by the independence of America in 1776. Quebec Act of 1774: This act was meant to increase the civil governance in the newly acquired colonies of North America, but as it turned out the act provided in some way for the extension of the territory under the Quebec government to western side, a territory that had been relinquished by the France in 1763. It therefore meant that the act violated the rights the colonists back in Canada considered their natural birthright.
References: 1. Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754–1766. New York: Knopf, 2000. 2. Marshal, Peter. British Empire: The Cambridge illustrated history of the British Empire, Cambrigde University Press, 1999. 3. Cootes, John. Britain since 1700: Longman Secondary Histories, Longman Group Ltd, 1968. 4. Raimo, John W. Biographical Directory of American Colonial and Revolutionary Governors, 1607-1789. Westport, Conn. : Meckler, Books, 1980.

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