51938926-Chapter-4-Empire-in-Transition

51938926-Chapter-4-Empire-in-Transition - Willmore 1 David...

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David Willmore Mr. Lundy AP US - Pd. 5 30 March, 2011 The Empire in Transition Brinkley Chapter 4 Summary Despite a number of disagreements, by 1763 Anglo-American ties seemed stronger than ever. The colonies had prospered under British rule, had developed local institutions through which they seemed to govern themselves, and with the defeat of France, appeared ready to expand into the heart of the continent. However, no sooner was the war ended than the British began to alter the pre-1763 system in an effort to make it more efficient and more responsive to control from London. The means chosen to do this -enforced regulations to end the illegal trade that had flourished under salutary neglect, plus taxation to pay for the colonial administration - were seen by the colonists as threats to the way of life they had come to accept as rightfully theirs. Rising in protest, the colonies faced a British government determined to assert its authority, and with neither side willing to give in, the cycle of action and reaction continued. Finally, spurred on by a propaganda campaign that characterized the mother country as a tyrant determined to bring America to its knees, the colonies acted. The Intolerance Acts proved the final straw, and in September 1774, twelve British provinces met in a Continental Congress in hopes that a united front would cause London to reconsider and that conflict would be avoided. But it did not work. In the spring, fighting occurred at Lexington and Concord. Although independence was not yet declared, the American Revolution had begun. Points for Discussion 1. Why were most Americans content with their role within the British Empire in the 1750s? What evidence of discontent did exist? 2. What were the goals of the British and the Americans in the Great War for the Empire? How did the war affect the attitudes of British leaders, as well as those of American colonists, toward the proper relationship between colonies and mother country? 3. What role did colonial assemblies play in American protests of British policies after 1763? Why did the assemblies take such a leading role? What effect did the British attitude (and action) toward these legislatures have on the American decision to revolt? 4. Some historians have argued that the American Revolution was the result of a constitutional conflict over the relationship between the mother country and the colonies. How does the colonial reaction to British attempts to regulate commerce after 1763 support this interpretation? 5. From the British perspective, why was a reorganization of the empire necessary after 1763? What gave England the authority to do this? 6. It has been said that Americans revolted against tyranny anticipated, rather than against tyranny inflicted. Define tyranny as you believe an eighteenth-century American might have, and then assess this point of view.
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