The aftermath of the French and Indian War triggered unpredictable changes in the relationship between Britain and its American colonies. The immense debt and re-engagement of Britain in the American politics caused tensions and discontent among the colonists. After the war, Britain and its colonies seemed to have grown closer together politically, but the economic and ideological differences caused numerous conflicts that eventually led to the American Revolution. The French and Indian War brought the colonies much closer to Britain than they had been in for over a century.
Together they fought off a common enemy, the French; and were celebrating a joyous victory. They had eliminated the French presence from the North American continent, as the map in document A portrays, which caused the settlers to celebrate the involvement of Britain. In Rev. Thomas Barnard’s sermon and George Washington’s letter, the patriotic feelings they have towards their King and their country are quite visible. However, the people’s contentment did not last long. The British thought themselves superior over the colonists.
As exemplified in a Massachusetts soldier’s diary; it was clear that the colonists were not treated as real Englishmen. This caused infuriation amongst the colonial soldiers who deserved to be recognized as much as the English subjects were. When the Parliament began to pass unwanted acts on them, the colonists furiously protested the sudden changes. After more than a century of Salutary Neglect, the colonies were used to managing their own affairs. The French and Indian War caused the British to reappear once more in their lives.
Since the war produced a major debt, Britain decided to tax the colonies. The mother country believed they should share the burden of taxation with the people of England. The colonists were outraged at the taxes, as they believed they were not equally represented in the Parliament. In document H, a newspaper masthead portrays how upset the early Americans were about the Acts; especially the hated Stamp Act. The masthead was obviously hoping to encourage the readers to stand against the taxes. To gain capital and protest the unjust taxes the colonists began trading illegally with non-British nations.
Britain was outraged at this apparent betrayal which was demonstrated by the British Order in Council. It stated that the Commissioners of the Treasury were witnessing fraud and expansion in the colonies. When the French and Indian War ended, the colonists were sure they would finally have freedom to expand as far as they want. However, the Parliament quickly passed the Proclamation of 1763 which forbid them from crossing the Appalachian Mountains. This upset the settlers immensely as they had expected a reward for their victory, not a series of Acts.
In reality, Britain passed the Proclamation to stop further conflicts with Native Americans. In Canassatego’s speech to the representatives of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, the tensions between the Indians and British colonists were easily noticeable. The Parliament wanted to avert more disagreements over land. Nonetheless, the colonists decided to ignore the law and cross the line anyway. The French and Indian War altered the relations between the colonists and Britain in staggering ways.
After the changes took place, there was no going back to the way things were before. The initial failures of the British army showed the colonists that even the greatest military in the world was not invincible. When the pressures from the Parliament became too unbearable, the colonists had the courage to stand up to its mother country. They met in gatherings like The Stamp Act Congress and discussed their grievances. In the end their mutual discontent and desire for independence eventually led to the American Revolution.