H105, American History I

Lecture 9:  Global War and Imperial Crisis

I.  Imperial neglect and the expansion of the colonies
II.  Imperial reform and the triumph of English Protestant nationalism
III.  From military ascendancy to political instability — onset of imperial crisis

1748-1749 Glory of British Empire
1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle
1749 Handel, “Music for the Royal Fireworks”

1720-1770 Demographic and Economic Growth in British North American Colonies

white population in colonies
1720 397,000
1770 1,688,000 (+325%)

value of colonial exports to England
1720 468,000
1770 1,016,000 (+117%)

value of colonial imports from England
1720 320,000
1770 1,926,000 (+502%)

1720-1764 British Colonial Administration
1720-1748 neglect of colonies
1748-1761 reform of colonial administration by Lord Halifax and Board of Trade
1754-1763 war between England and France, in North America; contest for Native American allegiances
1763 Treaty of Paris (absorb Florida and Canada)
Royal Proclamation (stay east of Appalachians)
1756-1761 Cherokee uprising in SC and GA
1763-1764 Pontiac’s uprising in PA and VA

English ”Liberty“ — The Perfect Balanced Government for Nation and Empire

monarchy (Crown/King) matched to appointed governor in colonies

aristocracy (House of Lords) matched to appointed council in colonies

democracy (House of Commons) matched to elected assembly in colonies

1760-1770 Political Destabilization in England
1720-1760 3 prime ministers in 40 years
1760 King George III (age 22)
1760-1770 7 prime ministers in 10 years

1763 Economic Crisis in Postwar England
national debt: 137,000,000 pounds
annual budget: 8,000,000 pounds
annual interest payment on debt: 5,000,000 pounds
annual cost of army:
(10,000 soldiers
stationed in colonies)
400,000 pounds

1764-1775 Innovations in Imperial Policy
1764 Sugar Act — began to tighten customs enforcement
1765 Stamp Act — began to impose new taxes (one new tax)
1766 Stamp Act repealed
1767 Townsend Act (many new taxes)
1770 Townsend Act repealed
1773 Tea Act
Boston Act (closed port of Boston)