Essay on the Impact of the British Policies in the Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries on American Colonies and the British/American Relationship

Published: 2021/12/06
Number of words: 713

Between the late 17th and early 18th centuries, British policy focused on using the colonies to collect money in methods that colonists viewed as unlawful. The colonies reaction to the modification in these polices marked the foundation of a power scuffle among the parliament and colonists on the idea of taxation. These policies had a wide range of consequences, particularly for American colonies and the British-American relationship. This paper explains how the British policies in the late 17th and early 18th centuries affected the American colonies and the British-American relationship.

Funds were also wanted to recompense Britain’s army obligations. Together with the King, the British Parliament thought they had the legal power to enact taxation the American colonies. They chose to charge different levies on the colonists to help support the French and Indian War. For instance, the Stamp Act of 1765 required all legal documents to be issued on parchment with an engraved special permit. Other laws, like as the 1767 Townsend Acts, forced colonists to pay emolument taxes on imported goods like tea. Since these taxes were imposed by parliament in England instead of by their respective colonial governments, most American colonies thought they shouldn’t be obliged to pay them (Patrick, 2020). They complained, alleging that the charges infringed on their rights as British citizens.

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The enacted British policies were among the main reasons that led to the American Revolution. Following the victory of Great Britain in the French and Indian War, political and intellectual turmoil ensued, culminating in the American Revolution. Free of the threat of invading French and Indian armies, Colonies were able to speak out against new British colonial policies that raised concerns about structural inequalities, democratic freedoms, and personal freedoms. According to individuals like Mercy Otis Warren and John Adams, British policies encouraged the imaginations of Americans to desire independence and increased personal liberty. Americans publicly and often forcefully rejected Great Britain’s increasing demands of authority due to this mental revolution (Fitch). The right to formal recognition, judicial review, religious liberty, nationalism, commercial constraints, ending of the Western frontier, tax increases, subjugation, the use of the army in civil unrest, personal liberty, and independence were all central issues in Britain’s American colonies during the revolution.

The British policies greatly created a drift in their relationship with American colonies. Britain’s policies aimed to impose more power over the colonies by requiring Americans to follow British mercantile rules and charging colonists to fund the empire military that defended them fully. Old rules favored by British mercantilists were implemented more strictly than before, while a slew of new laws aimed at shaping American economic growth in Britain’s favor was enacted. The First Continental Congress met in 1774 to create a list of complaints against the British administration of the colonies (Yeomans, 2018). Most people in America thought that their concerns were being ignored, fueling instability in the colonies.

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The Quartering Act, which enabled British forces authorities to request lodging for their men in empty buildings and houses in cities instead of camp in the countryside, was arguably the most controversial provision (Thomas, 2000). While the colonies were not required to lodge troops in their own houses, they were required to pay for the military’s accommodation and food. Quartering of troops was later mentioned in the Declaration of Independence as a source of the complaint. It angered the colonies since it amounted to an indirect tax except that the government would pay very little for military expenditures. This policy, among others, really created a drift in the relationship between the British and American colonies and was a fundamental cause which contributed to the American Revolution.


Fitch, C. The Crisis of Legitimacy: Resistance, Unity, and the Stamp Act of 1765, 1763–1766. Legacy17(1), 4.

Patrick J. Kiger. (July 14, 2020). 7 Events That Enraged Colonists and Led to the American Revolution. Retrieved From

Thomas, P. D. (2000). The Stamp Act crisis and its repercussions, including the Quartering Act controversy. ch16, 123.

Yeomans, R. D. (2018). The Age of Constitutionalism: Crisis, Rebellion, and Dissent in Eighteenth-Century Colonial North America (Doctoral dissertation, Queen’s University (Canada)).

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