The beginning of the end of English control in North America

In this chapter, Taylor outlines some causes that brought on the Revolution and also compares the English attitude to colonization versus that of the French and the English colonists living in North America.

Taylor again paints the English as a larger enemy to Indians as compared to the French. In the description of the Seven Years War, Taylor emphasizes a kinder relationship in Indian-French affairs and more of a conqueror-conquered relationship between the Indians and the English. As he did in his descriptions of the first imperial takeovers in the Americas, Taylor makes the French look like the ideal colonizers and the English as greedy land-takers. Taylor does this to emphasize why the colonists would want to break away from the overpowering and cruel English nation. This, however, can generalize the French as the “good guys” and the English as the “bad guys” which is not entirely true. As was mentioned in a classmate’s previous blog post (http://sites.davidson.edu/his141/history-trumps-childhood-chapters-3-5/), Taylor often commended the French for their kinder tactics when dealing with the Indians, but they were not completely harmless to the Indians. The French still took advantage of the Indian fur trade, and mainly did not fight the Indians so they would not lose any profit.

Taylor also notes the split between the colonists that lived in North America, and the English government, still trying to keep control of the distant colonies. During the imperial wars in North America, the colonists had minor victories that they took pride in, but when the empires drew the treaties, the English allowed the other nations to strip the colonists of their conquests, causing a rift between the colonists and the crown. While explaining the reasons for colonial dissatisfaction with the homeland, Taylor again makes the English look imposing and the colonists look helpless. The constant taxing, the increase in troops, and the British feeling of superiority, drove the colonists to revolt against the larger, more powerful, and malicious English. While the English were still an overbearing imperial power, they did have some reasoning for taxing the colonists – repayment for a costly colonial war – and sending over British troops – to enforce these taxes to restore their economy. The crown’s intentions were warranted, but the execution of these actions was not as fair, a point I agree with Taylor on.

I understand Taylor’s reasoning for making the British appear like the enemies to all other groups in North America, but a more nuanced description of the good and bad aspects of the British crown’s role would force a reader to consider the English reasoning behind their actions, and not just the a negative view.