The Methods Used By Great Britain To Control The Land And Inhabitants Of The United States And India Differ Vastly.

1583 words - 6 pages

For centuries Great Britain was arguably the strongest nation in the world, an apparent paradox considering the size and isolation of the North Atlantic isle. From their tiny island, Britain's developed the world's most feared navy and thus controlled global trade. Great Britain accomplished through the acquisition of colonial lands, specifically the nations now known as the United States and India. Both lands had many resources, both human and natural, that enabled Britain to fuel its industries and fund its military. Although these countries were once the property of the same nation, and came under British rule during the 1600's, the methods use by Great Britain to control the land and inhabitants of these countries differ vastly.The United States began to be colonized in the 1600's with the Jamestown settlement. At first the settlement got off to a slow start, and it wasn't until the discovery of tobacco that the American colonies became lucrative. Thousands of Brits journeyed to America and eventually established 13 colonies, all of which benefited mother Britain. The southern colonies served as rice and tobacco plantations, and to a lesser extent, cotton. The use of slaves and lands confiscated from Native Americans gave plantation owners cheap labor and resources, resulting in great wealth for the new southern gentry. Northern colonies served as religious refuge's, such as Quaker Pennsylvania and Puritan New England, and later became the manufacturing sector of the colonies. For the most part, the land was governed by local officials appointed by the King, but as colonies of England they could only trade with England, at prices set by the British government. Then France and Britain fought a war over colonial land disputes, which the British eventually won, although the war took its toll on the British Treasury (The History Place - English Colonial Era). Faced with the burden of paying for such a long and costly war, British rulers shifted the debt to the colonies, rationalizing that the war was fought in the colonies, for the colonies. The British Parliament imposed taxes first on luxury goods, but eventually, with the Stamp Act, taxes spread to almost all goods available for purchase, including food and newspapers. Other acts, such as the Quartering Act, required colonists to provide food and shelter for British troops. Tensions rose quickly, for the seeds of revolution had been planted. In 1754 James Otis protests the new laws on the basis of taxation without representation, a topic explored further the following year by Patrick Henry who claimed that only the local governments could impose taxes on area residents. His famous words: "If this be treason, make the most of it," stirred notions that the colonies were not property of a small island 3000 miles away, but actually a sovereign nation. Boycotts of British goods, mob violence, and refusal to comply with the Quartering Act led the Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act, but it...

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