The Empire in Transition
-After the Glorious Revolution, the British Parliament established a growing supremacy over the king. -These parliamentary leaders were less inclined than the seventeenth-century monarchs had been to try to tighten imperial organization. -The administration of colonial affairs remained decentralized and inefficient; there was considerable overlapping and confusion of authority among the different departments. -Very few London officials had ever visited American and few knew very much about their conditions. And what little information they did know about America, there was no one there to lobby for Americas interests and encourage interference with colonial affairs. -Resistance to imperial authority centered in the colonial legislatures; the American assemblies had claimed the right to levy taxes, make appropriations, approve appointments, and pass laws for their respective colonies. They looked upon themselves as little parliaments. -Despite their frequent resistance to the authority of London, the colonists continued to think of themselves as loyal English subjects. -The American colonies felt stronger ties to England than they did to each other; New Englanders and Virginians viewed each other as foreigners, while Connecticut merchants despised New York ones. -Despite their differences, the growth of the colonial population produced an almost continuous line of settlement along the seacoast and led to the gradual construction of roads and the rise of intercolonial trade. Colonial postal services also helped increase communication. -A conference of colonial leaders was meeting in Albany in 1754 to negotiate a treaty with the Iroquois, as the British government had advised the colonists to do. -The delegates stayed on to talk about forming a colonial federation for defense against the Indians. Benjamin Franklin proposed, and the delegates tentatively approved, a plan by which Parliament would set up in American “one general government” for all the colonies. -The Albany Plan was set up so that each colony would retain its present constitution, but would grant to the new general government such powers as the authority to govern all relations with the Indians. -War with the French and Indians was already beginning when this Albany Plan was presented to the colonial assemblies, and none approved it. The Struggle for the Continent
-In the late 1750’s and early 1760’s, a great war raged through North American, changing forever the balance of power both on the continent and throughout the world. -In America, the conflict with the final stage in a long battle among the three principal powers in northeastern North America: the English, the French, and the Iroquois. -The French and the English had coexisted relatively peacefully in North America for nearly a century. -But by the 1750’s, religious and commercial tensions began to produce new frictions and conflicts. The crisis began in part because of the expansion of the French presence in America. -Louis XIV sought greater empire; French explorers had traveled down Mississippi River and looked westward. The French held continental interior. -Middle ground of interior was occupied by French, British, and Indians. The English offered Indians more and better goods, French offered tolerance and they adjusted behavior to Indian patterns, therefore the French developed closer relationships to the Indians. -The most powerful native group however, had a rather different relationship with the French. The Iroquois Confederacy- the five Indian nations formed a defensive alliance in the fifteenth century, which ended up being the most powerful tribal presence in the Northeast since the 1640’s. -Queen Anne’s War generated more substantial conflicts: border fighting with the Spaniards in the South as well as with the French and their Indian allies in the North. -The Treaty of Utrecht, which brought the conflict to a close in 1713,...
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