Lecture #16: War, Revolution, and the Remaking of Government

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Mark Peterson

Lecture #16: War, Revolution, and the Remaking of Government I. From resistance to rebellion, 1773-1775 A. Boston ‘Massacre’ as an instance in the militarization of imperial relations » Quartering Acts and their costs – People objected strongly to the idea that they should free up buildings for the British troops that were there to enforce the Crown on the people » Revenue Acts and the costs of military government – Some of the money for the revenue acts was going to support the military government in North America – Suggested that the military was going to play a bigger and bigger role in the government and the enforcement of colonies » Immediately recognized that the Boston ‘Massacre’ was a huge disaster – Troops moved to a fortress somewhere else in Boston to relieve the tension B. The repeal of the Townshend Duties – an interval of (relative) quiet » Like the Stamp Act, it had been repealed » Consumption rose again, overseas trade resumed » Relative quiet » Colonies won again and again over issues in respect to taxation (not directly through parliament, but by expressing their discontent) C. The Revised Tea Ac of 1773 – an East India Company bailout (too big to fail) » For the previous century and a half, British colonization/relationship with/trade with India had been chartered earlier in the 17 th century (much like the North American colonies) but was kind of different – Initial idea was not to move British people to India because India already had an established population and government – No sense to colonize India, unlike in North America – Huge desire to trade – So British East India Company was allowed to raise its own army (to protect itself overseas) – Early 1770s the British East India Company had a crisis ◊ Tea production was down; conflicts over there, crops weren’t growing, etc. ◊ On the verge of collapse – endangered British crown’s ability to collect revenue ◊ Desperate need of help ◊ So British government looked for a way to help them › North Americans consumed a lot of tea › But they never bought tea from the East India Company, but rather from Dutch companies and smuggled it in › When the Townshend duties were repealed, they left a tax on tea ≈ It was small, but there was no tax on Dutch tea ≈ Philadelphia bought no tea from the East India Company ≈ Everyone knew they were drinking a lot more tea than they were importing from the East India Company › Passes a new Tea Act in 1773 ≈ Keeps small tax ≈ Reduced East India Company was going to cost dramatically ≈ Hoped it would be cheaper than Dutch tea ≈ Similar concept to the Sugar Act ≈ AGAIN, it was not a case of taxes being raised, in fact it was the opposite ≈ Gave a monopoly to the East India Company not only to England, but also to the sale of tea in the companies D. The destruction of the Tea, Dec. 16 1773 (Not a “Tea Party”) » People to sell tea (monopoly by East India Company) were chosen by connections again, like the Sugar Act/Stamp Act/Townshend Duties » Representatives became the sons of governor Hutchinson » Immediate resistance – Nothing to do with the money – Principle grievance ◊ Another way for Parliament to show they can do whatever they want ◊ Another example of favouritism because of connections – First ships arrive in December 1773, and the people in the colonies decided to stop it at the wharf – By law, ships are only allowed to be at the dock and unload their stocks within 21 days – By 16 December, the ships had to be unloaded by law otherwise they had to leave – Both sides refused to budge; on Dec 16, men of the town decided to target the tea directly – Dumped millions of pounds worth of tea into Boston harbour » ‘Tea Party’ used for the first time in Boston by very conservative people in th the 19 century to make fun of it » Took seriously by East India Company and their friends in Parliament – Act was so deliberate – Decided that the colonies had to be punished directly E. The Coercive Acts (Intolerable Acts) of 1774: » Boston Port Act – Boston port will completely shut down until the Bostonian people would pay for the tea that they destroyed – Economic coercion » Massachusetts Government Act – From this point forward, the traditions of Massachusetts government was suspended directly – No more town meetings – Governor was now a military governor – Council (always been elected and advised the governor) was now no more, they would be hand-picked by the military governor – Still tolerated lower house, but: ◊ Governor could veto their decisions ◊ Only allowed to meet when the military governor/council allowed them to – Government structure hugely toppled » Administration of Justice Act – Changed the way trials would be conducted if local people accused custom officer/British government enforcement agents of violating local law – Justice/trials moved to London, not in Boston – Changed administration of justice » Quartering Act – Stiffer requirements on towns like Boston for making available public buildings to house troops » Scared people, and made people believe even more that the old government ways were gone and a rigid, military, top-down government had replaced it, and was able to enforce it. » The Quebec Act (1774) – Had nothing to do with destruction of tea – Tackled the longstanding problem of Quebec ◊ 1763 – Proclamation created province of Quebec ◊ Allowed Roman Catholicism to be tolerated ◊ Required all members of government to be people who took the oath of allegiance to the king, and therefore part of the Church of England ◊ Hard for Quebec government to function – Quebec Act was already the largest province, but the revision of the Quebec Act covers the territory that today is Quebec, Ontario, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio etc. IT WAS HUGE. – Allowed Roman Catholic churches to now collect tides from people going to Roman Catholic church in all these regions – In the conspiratorial mentalities that the North Americans had incr
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