Few colonists attacked it for violating the principle of no taxation without “ Liberty Song” repeats his written sentiments in a more rousing manner, and one can relationship, provoked increasing friction with the mother country, presaging. if you have the time, add the lyrics from “My Country 'Tis of Thee” to this exercise and compare all three .. colonies: it was a mother-daughter relationship. The Mother Country. A Song. AD: Cornell University Library. This song occupies of the disputes between the colonies and the British government; “her Man,”.
By the s, the long period of relative self-rule and lax enforcement known as the Era of Salutary Neglect was ending. There was no real constitutional precedent to look to because the British Constitution was not a written document so much as an evolving political tradition. Currency was also controversial. With no gold or silver mines, the colonies usually had an outflow of hard currency, making specie coins an impractical solution for legal tender.
Most backcountry transactions relied on bartering of commodities e. Locally printed colonial money was spotty and unreliable and depreciated when taken overseas.
The British standardized colonial money with the Currency Act ofthat encouraged the use of British pound sterling by regulating colonial money and prohibiting it from use in debt transactions, the basis of most import-export trade. This tightening of the money supply was a major grievance for the next decade, though the British repealed the act inbefore the actual revolution.
Taxes were even more contentious. The law was enacted to prevent colonists from smuggling molasses from the French Caribbean. George Washington won an election to the Virginia House of Burgesses in by buying off eligible voters in his district with gallons of rum, beer, and cider. The colonists voiced their displeasure at being taxed without representation, but mostly they just kept cheating.
Because of its big backlash, many historians use it to date the beginning of the American Revolution. The Stamp Act created a series of annoying taxes of roughly one penny on legal transactions, including marriage licenses, deeds, wills, contracts, etc. It was the first time the British levied an everyday tax within the colonies.
The response was vigorous and rowdy, with tax collectors being tarred and feathered, temporarily buried alive or burned in effigy, and rebels protesting with signs, songs, parades, and the like.
Across the colonies, loosely affiliated groups calling themselves the Sons of Liberty popped up. The British kept sawing them down until the Sons of Liberty secured their fourth pole with iron bands and the British blew it up.
An unstable monarchy further muddled colonial relations. The young, inexperienced King George was in the early stages of mental illness, probably related to or compounded by a porphyria skin disorder triggered by arsenic in his medicine or makeup. Related to much of the European royalty that carried hereditary madness, George was sometimes kept in a straightjacket by his ministers.
Complicating matters further, the communication lag of ships crossing the Atlantic confused colonists and rulers alike. Atlantic trips could last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
A becalmed ship could drift for days depending on weather in the Doldrumsthe equatorial zone where prevailing trade winds meet. That made it difficult to follow the parliamentary debate over the Stamp Act.
Such delays were especially common on trips to America, as trips back to England or Europe tracked westerly trade winds further north in the Atlantic. In England, they offered felons a choice between prison and the military — considered a virtual death sentence because of the likelihood of contracting disease or dying in combat or at sea. Running a global empire was not all tea and crumpets. The Townshend Duties of threw fuel on the fire, especially since part of the tax went toward the troops there to collect the tax in the first place.
The law taxed imports that colonists relied on from Britain such as lead, paper, paint, glass, and tea. Resistors boycotted these goods in impressively organized fashion, forming non-importation groups to network their cause.
Women sewed their own homespun to undersell English cloth exports.
Wearing the rougher cloth became a badge of resistance. In the 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi did the same with Indian cotton to protest British rule. Fearing that taxes would only make the colonists more self-sufficient, English merchants and manufacturers blinked first, pressing Parliament to rescind the duties. It had seemingly worked twice with the Stamp Act and Townshend Duties.
In just two years, the British had managed to alienate pretty much every level of society: The Triumph of America: These disputes included trade, ongoing taxes, state-sanctioned religion, and military occupation. Before high tide could free it, the mob boarded, looted, and burned the ship, then shot and imprisoned the captain. They were retaliating for recent British attempts to enforce their longstanding trade restrictions on the colonists, and local courts offered the Brits no hope of justice since they sided with smugglers.
Hancock was an elite businessman who had enjoyed a special handshake arrangement with the forenamed Governor Hutchinson; he paid Hutchinson a kickback to look the other way.
But when the Crown sent more troops to occupy Boston after the Stamp Act Riots, that arrangement ended. In any event, John Hancock and Sam Adams teamed up to trade goods on the black market and resist British authority.
In so doing, they helped to cement revolutionary ties across class lines. Tensions also mounted over control of colonial timber, with the Crown mandating that the tallest trees be preserved as masts for the Royal Navy. The light fines assessed to the guilty parties underscored the limits of British authority in more remote areas of the Empire, and some historians suggest that the arguments over lumber set the stage for the Tea Party the following year.
Early Sketch of Tun Tavern in Philadelphia — Birthplace of the Marines, National Archives Rebels met in taverns, airing their grievances and cementing their organizational ties. Bars served not only as meeting places but also post offices and courthouses. Lacking cloud space or a smartphone, Benjamin Franklin even initiated a colonial-wide postal system to keep people in contact that later morphed into the U. The overriding issue was that the colonies had enjoyed over a century of neglect before the British tried to assert greater control in the midth century.
And the aforementioned Proclamation Line, while not always obeyed, inhibited western expansion. Import taxes continued on tea and sugar. While laws allowing for the mild torture of non-Anglicans in nine of the colonies went mostly unenforced, the tax aggravated colonials who prided themselves on their relative religious freedom in relation to Europeans.
As we saw in earlier chapters, some had even migrated for that very reason. A pattern emerged of dissenters from the established church agitating for more freedom while Anglicans tended, by and large, to appreciate the benefits of being in the British Empire.
These Anglicans were much more likely to remain Loyalists to Britain once musket balls flew in The king on the left is playing his harp, oblivious to the anguish of his children the colonistswhile the figure executing Absalom, Joab, is dressed as a Redcoat. The Hanging of Absalom silk, weft-silk fabric, foil wrapped threads, paper, watercolorAttributed to Faith Robinson Trumbull, c.
It seems that the American Revolution, while led by an elite of mostly multi-millionaires adjusted for inflationwas launched in a combination of pulpits, streets, and taverns. And the revolution was violent by modern standards when it degenerated into war in But, as of the early s, that was a long way off and no one anticipated war or a new country. Ten days earlier, a British customs officer named Ebenezer Richardson shot dead an eleven-year-old German immigrant named Christopher Seiderwhich had the whole city in an angry mood.
Similar to American experiences later in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the British found that occupying forces, even those with instructions to treat civilians well, tend to wear out their welcome because of these inevitable conflicts.
Some brandished clubs and cutlasses short swords. You bloody backs, you lobster scoundrels, fire if you dare, God damn you, fire and be damned, we know you dare not. The same thing happened in Boston years earlier. One snow-baller hit a Redcoat hard enough that he dropped his musket and fired it when he picked it back up.
Others followed suit and fired into the crowd, killing five men and injuring six. They were probably scared out of their wits being surrounded by an angry mob of nearly The Fruits of Arbitrary Power, or the Bloody Massacre, Paul Revere, March 28, Rather than being lynched, the guilty soldiers were defended by John Adamswho got their trials delayed and sentences reduced to branded thumbs m for manslaughter. Ironically, the Boston Massacre occurred the very day Parliament rescinded most of the Townshend duties, March 5th,though no one on either side of the pond was aware of the coincidence.
Tea was as popular in the 18th century as coffee today and the BEIC joint-stock company was so large and powerful that it flew its own flag. As an attempt to dissuade Americans from smuggling Dutch tea, the Tea Act lowered the price of tea below the going rate by exempting the BEIC from taxes, despite continuing fat dividends and high salaries.
The company could now ship directly from China to America, skipping the British import duty, and sold directly to distributors instead of middlemen. By lowering the price, the new law followed the same pattern set by the earlier Sugar Act.
Cahiers internationaux de sociologie 11, no. Burns, Alan In Defence of Colonies: British Colonial Territories in International Affairs. New York and London: Revised by Louis Milliot. Hailey, Malcolm An African Survey: Issued under the auspices of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The Dutch East Indies. The Psychology of Colonization. Edited and translated by E.
An Introduction to the Study of Race Contact: The Progress of Law. First published in French in three volumes. Nkrumah, Kwame Neo-colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism. It will examine what difference the end of formal empires in the mid-twentieth century made to the economic relations between metropolitan powers and former colonies.
The primary fact about colonialism as a historical phenomenon is that precast theories seldom dictated or even strongly influenced practice. At every stage the economic relationships between colonies and metropolis were determined pragmatically, according to current European practices and needs and conditions in the colonies. Theories were secondary, designed to justify or attack existing practice.
Economic theories of colonialism Theories of colonialism may be placed into four periods of time: Such divisions are arbitrary, but they provide a primitive frame-work for analysis.
During the two centuries before colonial economic theories were of minimal importance. The expansion of colonial territories proceeded experimentally, reflecting a wide diversity of aims: The northern European countries that came to colonization later—England, France, and Holland—had more time to theorize before acting; but no one produced a general theory of colonialism, and contemporary attitudes must be deduced from passing references.
Most French and English commentators, such as Bodin, Antoine de Montchretien, Marc Lescarbot, Bacon, and Richard Hakluytmixed economic with other rewards of colonization indiscriminately: Most of these were commonplaces of Iberian writers: During the period after abouthowever, colonial theories became more sophisticated. The essence of mercantilism was that it projected current metropolitan preoccupations into the colonies and assumed that dependencies existed solely to serve these particular interests.
There was still some diffusion of aims, but the primary considerations were now economic advantage and the value of colonial trade for supporting an artificially large merchant marine. The economic possibilities of colonies were categorized.
As producers of raw materials they served their owners by freeing them from dependence on European supplies, which might be cut off during war and for which monopoly prices were often charged. Colonial products could, moreover, be paid for in exported manufactures, saving foreign exchangeand could be re-exported to Europe to help the balance of trade.
The Mother Country. A Song, [–?]
Conversely, colonies provided uniquely favorable markets for European exports, since they were monopolies, and thus helped to maintain employment in metropolitan industries. Since they were subordinate, they could be prevented from building competing industries, and their economies could be made entirely complementary. These arguments, based on observation of established practices, were the staple of pamphleteers and statesmen from the second quarter of the seventeenth into the early nineteenth century: Attacks on these principles became significant only in the mid-eighteenth century, led by the French physiocrats and Encyclopedists; the first because they disapproved of overemphasis on industrial production for the colonies, the second because they disliked all monopoly [see Economic thought ].
But it was Adam Smithnormally taken to be the first academic economist, who first attacked mercantilism root and branch and provided an alternative theory of colonial economics. He did this by applying his theory of the division of labor to colonial production and trade. The value to Europe of colonies in America he largely ignored possessions elsewhere was merely that they provided new articles for international trade and extended the market for European manufactures.
Such advantages were in-dependent of any colonial system and were diminished to the extent that any state tried to monopolize its colonial trade. In addition, the higher profits allegedly made by European merchants on the monopoly trade of the colonies had to be set against the costs of imperial government and defense, which were paid by the general taxpayer. Hence a better colonial system would be one in which there was no monopoly and in which common costs were shared between colonies and metropolis.
Better still, all colonies should be liberated, for once their trade was open to the world, the principle of the division of labor could be fully applied, and Europe would no longer bear the unrewarding cost of imperial organization. For half a century his arguments convinced only the minority, and no colony was liberated voluntarily, for there were always enough traditionalists to argue that the benefits of colonialism were real and to run against colonial monopoly and therefore purely economic rewards.
But the trend of economic theory, as expounded in England by men like David Ricardo and the Benthamites, continued to run against colonial monopoly and therefore against colonies, for the two were still assumed to be inseparable. In any case the question had become almost academic by the s, for once the United States, Spanish America, and Brazil were independent the British alone retained a substantial empire, compensating by gains in India for what they had lost in America.
But in the s, the British, as they moved toward international free trade, were also losing interest in their colonies, which were increasingly criticized as fields of government expenditure unrequited by economic advantages. India and trading bases in the East were generally accepted, because they were economically self-supporting and were an increasingly valuable market for British manufactures; but settlement colonies were falling into disrepute.
In the century after two distinct theories were developed to justify or rationalize colonies as economic phenomena under the new conditions.
The first theory applied only to colonies of white settlement in North AmericaSouth Africa, and Australasia and concerned only the British.
Against those who denounced such possessions, E. Wakefield, in a series of publications starting with his Letter From Sydney in and culminating in his Art of Colonization in argued that suitable colonies were valuable to the parent state, even under free trade conditions, provided they were correctly organized. Denying the precepts of Ricardo, he argued that an industrialized state could generate surplus capital which it was unprofitable to invest at home either in agriculture because of the declining profitability of marginal lands or in industry because foreign markets did not expand fast enough to absorb its products.
Provided ample labor was made available by emigration, capital would be more productive in these new lands and at the same time would expand the market for British manufactures and increase the supply of cheap foodstuffs and industrial raw materials. Colonies would provide these advantages better than independent states because colonies could be forced to be free-trading, and the new settlements would remain primary producers for the indefinite future.
The vast majority of new European colonies in the period after were tropical territories in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific that did not fit his formula. By the last quarter of the century new theories were necessary to justify these acquisitions to the mass electorates of Europe. Thus the second main theory of colonialism in the modern period was specially adapted to the facts of tropical dependencies. Theory followed the fact of new colonies and had to justify them.
As a secondary point it was held that industrial states needed guaranteed sources of cheap industrial raw materials and food and that colonies ensured that any one country could not be made to pay monopoly prices for them.
In addition, some argued that Europe had surplus capital that was best invested in tropical plantations, mines, and communications. Thus, in general, such colonies provided the solution to most of the economic and social problems of industrial Europe under conditions of protectionism.
By the early twentieth century these arguments were widely accepted, even to the extent that many believed tropical colonies actually did provide these projected advantages and that they had been deliberately acquired for these functions. Seldom were any of these assumptions true: Critics had been vocal throughout the later nineteenth century, mostly on financial or humanitarian grounds.
After about they divided into two groups: Europe had to export surplus capital or allow capitalism itself to stagnate. Ultimately the nations would compete for the limited supply of colonies, and the resulting wars for imperial redivision would inaugurate the socialist revolution and the end of capitalism. This was the basic argument propounded by V. Lenin in his influential pamphlet Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism Others, like Rosa Luxemburgproduced variants on the same theme.
The rival school of critics was led by J. A Study stated the case against the profitability of tropical colonization. Hobson was wrong in thinking that the bulk of the exported capital had gone to the new dependencies: He thus brought the debate over colonization back to the position taken by Adam Smith. During the remaining half century of European colonialism no one satisfactorily demonstrated that tropical empire was either necessary or profitable to the Western powers.
In each period imperial arrangements closely followed contemporary practices in the parent states and owed very little to theory. During the first period—the era of mercantilism—the pattern was set by Spain and Portugal as the pioneers of overseas colonization. They in turn instinctively applied the protectionist and monopolistic practices current in sixteenth-century Europe to their new possessions.
There were practices common to all: Spain and Portugal went further than others by insisting, until late in the eighteenth century, that American trade should be carried only in annual convoys and be restricted to a single metropolitan port.
Spain also banned most intercolonial trade in America and restricted the Pacific trade from Mexico to the Philippines. By these means it was hoped that each metropolis would have a monopoly of colonial bullion and raw materials and a guaranteed colonial market for manufactures; that metropolitan merchants would be ensured a middleman profit on trade passing through the parent state; and that the colonies would be preserved as primary producers, ideal markets for industrial Europe.
In addition, production of the most wanted colonial products was encouraged by complex systems of bounties and preferential tariffs in the home markets. Trade with Africa and the East was dealt with rather differently.
Until after Portugal excluded even her own nationals from dealing in the more valuable Eastern commodities, leaving a monopoly to the crown.
England, France, and Holland also imposed monopolies on their Eastern trade but granted them to privileged chartered companies with full administrative powers. This is practically impossible to estimate quantitatively but almost certainly existed, at least to the extent that colonists had to pay a higher price for their imports and received lower returns for their exports than under a free trading system.
This metropolitan profit varied inversely with the economic capacity of the parent state, favoring economically uncompetitive countries like Spain, who would otherwise have had little share in the trade of their own colonies, more than a country like Britain, which, by the eighteenth century, possessed the greater economic potential.
But in addition to such commercial profits, Spain and Portugal made substantial fiscal profits from their American colonies by transferring surplus revenue to the metropolitan exchequer. No other colonial power used this device. The French subsidized their colonies. The British conceded the principle of fiscal autonomy until after and then attempted to impose taxes on the colonies, not to make a profit but to offset the cost of colonial defense and administration.
The Mother Country. A Song, [1765–1772?]
This attempt failed, although it had considerable importance in the course of events leading to American independence. Nineteenth-century trend to free trade. The first and longest era of colonialism ended effectively during the first half of the nineteenth century— more because the colonies that had made it meaningful were now independent than because colonial theory had changed.
The British, who possessed the only large empire, gradually adopted free-trade practices at home and extended them to the colonies. British colonies were virtually open to the world by and by the last vestiges of shipping controls and preferences on colonial products had gone. Other colonial powers slowly followed suit. France preserved the colonial shipping monopoly together with preferences and certain exclusive regulations until the s but had abolished them by Spain and Portugal never completely removed mercantile controls but largely liberalized them for their few dependencies.
By the era of mercantilism seemed over, in that no imperial power then obtained economic advantages from its dependencies that were not available to the world. Resurgence of limited protectionism. The period of colonial free trade was very short-lived. The revival of protectionism in most parts of Europe in the last quarter of the century led naturally to its extension to the new tropical empires. France adopted a strongly protectionist domestic tariff in and extended it to all her colonies except West Africa, the Congo, and the Pacific, which had to have separate tariff systems because of international treaties or local economic conditions.
Even so all colonies gave and received preferences. The Russians enclosed their new possessions in central Asia and the Far East within their metropolitan tariffs and gave bounties and preferences on selected colonial products. The United States incorporated most new dependencies in the Caribbean and Pacific within the metropolitan tariff, leaving only the Panama canal zone and Samoa open to international trade on the open-door principle. Portugal, Spain, and Italy either assimilated their colonies to the metropolis or imposed preferences.
But not all states reverted to mercantile concepts.
8 Colonial Rebellion | History Hub
The Dutch abolished their semimonopoly of Indonesia in the s and maintained an open door, although using quotas on imports in the s. Germany before and Belgium also preserved the open door with moderate tariffs in their colonies. Britain resisted demands from pressure groups at home and from some settlement colonies and did not drop free trade untilthough the self-governing colonies indulged in protection and, aftergave Britain limited preferences.
Some preferences were given to colonial products in the British market during and after World War i. Britain reverted to protection inand the Ottawa agreements of that year led to a preferential system throughout the empire, coupled with quotas on some products and financial control by means of the sterling area.
During the last phase of European colonialism, therefore, most colonial powers adopted some form of preferential system: Yet it never approximated in its severity the mercantilism of the first period.
No power excluded foreign ships or goods from its colonies, forced colonial trade to pass through metropolitan ports, forbade colonial manufactures that might compete with its own or, with the sole exception of Holland between andtransferred colonial revenues to the metropolitan treasury. Significance of colonial trade.
Moreover, few colonial powers obtained anything approaching a monopoly of the overseas trade of their dependencies or found their chief market or source of imports in their empires. Russia and the United States took most of the exports and supplied most of the imports of their possessions; but for both colonial trade was of marginal importance. Belgian territories in central Africa took 51 per cent of their imports from Belgium in and 46 per cent in But the Congo played a very small part in Belgian overseas trade, supplying 2.
The trade of the Netherlands Indies was not monopolized by Holland and played a minor part in Dutch overseas trade. In only 5.