AP History/ British didn’t have to lose the Colonies


Were it not for the oversights, mistakes, and misjudgments of British leadership, the American colonies would still be territory of Great Britain. Parliament had the power to declare the colonies exempt from taxation, increased colonial dependency on Britain, or given the colonies a form of government that while subject to the King;s veto, would have been an equally powerful counterpart of Parliament that would have ruled over the colonies alone, circumventing the need for rebellion by allowing more freedoms.
I. Parliament/King could have declared the colonies exempt from the taxes enforced on English merchants.
A. Even if the British merchants complained, they were powerless.
1. They relied on the colonies for a large portion of business.
2. The non-importation agreements proved the power of the colonies over the British economy.
3. The repealing of the Stamp Act proved that mercantilism was a double-edged sword, forcing the economy to become dependent on the colonies for trade and material.
B. Keeping on good terms with the colonial merchants proved important.
1. There was a monopoly on tobacco and tobacco prices, an important and widely exported staple product.
2. The Navy was dependent on lumber from the colonies to build and repair ships, maintaining British dominance of the shipping lanes.
3. Without colonists to buy imports from Britain, the British economy suffered, as witnessed by the non-importation agreements that got the Stamp Act repealed.
C. It would serve the ultimate purpose by keeping the colonies from succeeding.
1. The colonists were taxing themselves, and resented the taxation on their trade.
2. The colonists were psychologically independent from Britain, being so far removed from their mother country, and many colonialists were born in the colonies, with no real allegiance to Britain.
3. The colonists were self-sufficient, except for the keeping banks, and would obviously break away…

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