Prussia, the leading anti-Austrian state in Germany, had been supported by France. Neither group, however, found much reason to be satisfied with its partnership: British subsidies to Austria had produced nothing of much help to the British, while the British military effort had not saved Silesia for Austria. Prussia, having secured Silesia, had come to terms with Austria in disregard of French interests.
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. British merchants had asked for relief from the depreciated currency brought about by deficit financing in Virginia.
The act represented an effort to wrest control of monetary policy from colonial assemblies. This measure amended the Molasses Act ofwhich had imposed a 6 pence import duty on foreign molasses.
The Sugar Act lowered the duty to 3 pence, in an effort to make the British sugar industry competitive without completely wrecking the mainland export trade or distilling industry.
As such, it was never really designed as a revenue act, but, like its predecessor, as a means to regulate trade. Colonists generally understood such regulatory powers as a legitimate authority of Parliament.
The Sugar Act inspired minor protest in specific states Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvaniawhere distillers and merchants were hardest hit. Men like John Hancock of Boston, who had made their fortunes smuggling French molasses, emphasized financial hardship more than philosophical objections to tax policy.
A more far-reaching consequence of the Sugar Act involved its transfer of smuggling cases from provincial courts to vice-admiralty courts. Friendly local juries did not render decisions in vice admiralty courts; instead, royally appointed judges handed down decisions under a system that provided a financial incentive to find guilt.
Trials were not based on common law, but decided entirely on the basis of Parliamentary legislation. The Sugar Act also shifted the burden of proof to accused merchants, who had to demonstrate the legality of their trade under the Navigations Acts.
Under the Act, colonists would be required to buy stamps from royal collectors and affix them to a wide variety of printed materials, including legal documents, playing cards, newspapers, and land titles.
Stamps had to be purchased with sterling, rather than local paper currency, and the vice-admiralty courts were again expected to enforce the law in place of provincial common law juries.
Unlike the Molasses or Sugar Acts, the Stamp Act levied a direct tax on the colonies designed to raise revenue rather than to regulate trade.Causes of the American Revolution There were many events that lead to the beginning of the American Revolution.
Things such as taxes, acts, and overall ignorance on the part of Parliament were some of those events. They happened over many years, with each event inching closer to revolution.
The Seven Years War was actually one of the causes of the American Revolution. After Britian won the war, Britain gave France back very lucrative islands in the West Indies.
They gave the islands back because British West Indie planters did not want any competition. The North American version of the Seven Years' War was the French and Indian War. And yes, it did set the stage for the American Revolution for at least three reasons: It provided a casus belli. The French and Indian War cost a lot of money, which the British tried to recoup by .
In –the first official year of fighting in the Seven Years War–the British suffered a series of defeats against the French and their broad network of Native American alliances. Women in the American Revolution Esther DeBerdt Reed of Philadelphia, age 33, publishes a broadside, entitled "The Sentiments of an American Woman." Reed is about to become president of the Ladies Association, the first large-scale women's organization in American history.
The Cause of the American Revolution. No one event was the actual cause of the revolution. It was, instead, a series of events that led to the war. Essentially, it all began as a disagreement over the way Great Britain treated the colonies versus the way the colonies felt they should be treated.