Contribution of Policies of British Empire on American Revolution

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The British Empire was not to be classified as a consistent empire. Across the realms, the ruling and the modes of excising powers varied from one place to the other. About the American colony, the British Empire established varied forms of ruling and diverse leadership mode. An excellent example to cite is that Virginia started as a mercantile colony while Massachusetts was a puritan theocracy (Bayly, 2016). Some of the sections in the American province had exclusively various policies because of the economic activities. South Carolina, for example, had policed that related to plantation agriculture and the slave trade. The similarity between the colonies was that they were ruled by governors that would be appointed from London. However, It can be summarized that the British policies were varied either towards the American colony or with regards to other provinces (Nixon Wright, 2007).

The British Parliament Decision

The French and Indian War took place between the American colonies and New France. Both sides allied with various Native Americans Tribes. British troops helped the colonies during the war and were stationed in the colonies for protection after the war. Therefore, they needed money for the forces. Hence, the British Parliament decided to tax the colonies leading to a series of policies. By the 1770s, Great Britain had established several colonies in North America. The British Empire came up with many strategies to govern these colonies. Most of these policies failed. The plans were: 1651 Navigation Act, 1733 Molasses Act, 1751 Currency Act, 1764 Sugar Act, 1765 Stamp Act, 1765 Quartering Act, 1766 Declaratory Act, 1767 Townshend Act, 1773 Tea Act and 1774 Coercive Acts (Beer, 2010).

The Success of These Policies

The navigation act is the only successful policy by the British on the American colonies. The provision of the Navigation Act was that there were restrictions that were imposed with regards to colonial trade. The policy was developed as a series of laws by the British government. The navigation act also provided frameworks for the development of British naval systems that would be used in deployment and response to emergencies if there was any war that would emerge in the territories. The first maritime act was passed as early as 1381. However, they would not be affected at the time due to a lack of adequate naval ships (Beer, 2010). The policy was successful because it did not interfere with the primary needs and affairs of the colonies. Even though it was repealed in 1849, it had existed for two centuries. The laws under this act were meant to protect the British economy against the growing Dutch navigation trade, which was a threat; hence, the name Navigation Act (Beer, 2010).

The Failures of These Policies

Out of the ten policies, nine of them failed. The molasses act failed because corruption began among the traders. The currency act failed because it raised tension among the British and the Americans. The Stamp Act, too, failed because it was opposed by the colonies and even led to many opposition groups. For example, Sons of Liberty and was nullified in 1766. All the failed policies were due to their infringement on the rights of the colonies and subjecting them to unlawful taxes. Even though the nine policies failed, the Navigation Act was successful. For it to survive for two centuries, it must have had stronger laws than the other strategies. Nine of the ten systems have failed. Some were more damaging than the rest. The damaging ones had a severe impact on the colonies. The Stamp Act, Townshend Act, and Tea Act were the most harmful policies (Egerton, 2018). The Stamp Act had a severe effect on the colonies because there were 55 documents subject to the duty, and violation of the laws stated under the act was to be prosecuted. The rise of opposition groups. For example, Sons of Liberty is a sign of how hard this policy bit the colonies. The procedure lasted for only one year due to the tension it had created (Egerton, 2018).

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The other resolutely failed policy was the Townshend Act. It imposed a duty on imports, for example, glass, paint, oil, paper, and tea (Maed, 2013). This was also opposed to boycotts leading to British merchant business to be affected. It created tension between the colonies and Britain. Britain then sent four of their regiments to Boston to act as a police force. It led to riots by the patriot group, Sons of Liberty, which led to the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770, causing the killing of five colonists by British forces (Maed, 2013). After the opposition of the Townshend Act, it was removed, leaving the tax on tea only. The retaining of the tax on tea was to show the superiority of the British. However, this was not taken lightly by the colonies because it damaged the position of independent shippers, smugglers, and local shopkeepers. In December 1773, Bostonians dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor in an event known as the Boston Tea Party.

The American Revolution

Due to the many failures of the policies by the Britain Empire, the American Revolution rose. The British parliament has come up with laws to tax the American colonies to help pay for the troops. The colonies did not take it lightly (Egerton, 2018). To begin with, the British Empire gave room for the American colonies to gain momentum and revolt against them by removing a policy after it failed and then replacing it with a weak one that would also die on arrival. The British did not put any effort to strengthen any of their policy but instead allowed it to die; hence, the American colonies identified their weakness (Egerton, 2018)

The failures of these policies united the colonies. Ideally, the British thought that by punishing Boston through shutting down its port for trade, it would paralyze them, but the opposite occurred. The colonies joined hands and even sent supplies to help Boston during the Blockage. Many also joined the Sons of Liberty, which was fast growing among the provinces. Having gained courage, unity, and momentum, the colonies sent twelve of the thirteen colonies to the First Continental Congress. This was a direct response to Intolerable Acts. The provinces also submitted a petition on the same but never got a response. They then decided to boycott British goods. All these happened as the British watched hence the revolution.

The American Revolution was not legendry in any way, but the British failed. Their policies did not serve the purposes they were meant to because they had been created for the wrong reasons. The reason for the plans was all to empower the economic interests of the British hence strengthening the unity against them from the colonies who cleverly boycotted their products with a substantial agreement. 'No taxation without representation' is a slogan originating during the 1700s that summarized one of 27 colonial grievances of the American colonists in the Thirteen Colonies, which was one of the major causes of the American Revolution.

Contributing Factors

I think the primary reason the American Revolution has been more successful is that the people involved in the process have been committed to its cause. They had the opportunity to take control of themselves, but they opted not to do so. I think it is the overriding factor, as in the other revolutions, the power either corrupted the revolutionaries, or there was no clear vision as there was with the American Revolution. During his second term, George Washington, the first president, stepped down, becoming a precedent for future presidents. It was finally codified into law, prohibiting a president from sitting for more than two terms. Probably the most significant thing is American values themselves. They cannot imagine themselves living in a dictatorship, and they have been taught that democracy is best from the age of kindergarten. The most significant long-term economic effect of the Revolution was the end of mercantilism. The British Empire imposed different restrictions on colonial economies, including limitations on trade, settlement, and manufacturing. New markets and new trade relations were opened by the Revolution.


In summary, after the French and Indian War, Great Britain had a huge debt to pay despite having won the war. The British government, therefore, instituted a number of measures to tighten its control of the colonies. Among them was the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which forbade encroachment on the land west of the Appalachian Mountains. Although it did reduce Indian uprisings for a while, the colonists who were keen on expanding their settlements were displeased and began to unite towards fighting their common enemy that Great Britain had become.

The Stamp Act, which placed taxes on all printed materials in the colonies, nearly succeeded in raising taxes to repay the debts. However, it was met with opposition from both the colonists and the British merchants. The colonists became more united against British rule, culminating in the revolutionary war and declaration of independence. The coercive acts also sought to tighten control of the colonists and to use rebellious Massachusetts as an example. However, the intended effects were short-lived as the colonists united at the first continental Congress and subsequent developments that culminated in the revolutionary war and declaration of independence.

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