Leading up to the Revolution

In Chapter 18, Taylor describes the wars and subsequent effects leading up to the American Revolution. The two separate periods of conflicts before the Revolution primarily involved the British and French. The British far outnumbered the French in North America, but at the beginning the French did have one key advantage. The French developed many Indian allies that aided them in their wars against the British. Compared to the British, the French were friendlier and treated the natives with respect and as business partners. Throughout the chapter, Taylor portrays the British treatment of the natives as brutal compared to the French. I agree with Sylvia in her response to the overwhelmingly negative view of  the British in Taylor. As she stated, Taylor should not have simply given a negative view of the British, but make the “reader consider the English reasoning behind their actions.” The natives repaid the kind French with fighting tactics suitable for North American warfare. This gave the French an advantage, but the British soon caught on. The “unprecedented numbers of British troops” eventually grew too much for the French and Spanish to handle (p. 429).  British victories against the Spanish and French increased the expansion west pushing farther into Indian land. In response to the increase of colonists, the natives rebelled. The Indian rebellions in the late 1750s and early 1760s specifically in the Carolinas and Ohio Valley, increased the racial tensions already present between the colonists and the natives.

Underneath the subheading of “Imperial Crisis” Taylor describes an increased sense of pride in the colonies for being a part of the British empire. Then, he goes on to say all of the reasons the colonies began to dislike the crown. This confuses the reader. The victory in the war did increase allegiance to the crown, but Taylor explains the reasons for the Revolution as “strains initiated by winning the Seven Years War (p.438).” I think he should have made the transition from pride to a revolution clearer. Taylor is very clear in describing the strains brought on by the victory. He lists reasons ranging from no common enemy to the prosperity in the colonies causing an increase in taxes (p. 438-439).  Many of the reasons for the Revolution came as a result of the British army seeing the prosperity and disregard for British laws (Molasses Act) in the colonies during the Seven Years War. Without the Seven Years War, the colonies would have most likely continued to prosper while the oblivious Parliament continued to ignore them. Taylor points out  that the colonies had a “good deal– and they knew it (p. 442).” Many of the strains that eventually caused the Revolution were created because Parliament and the Crown finally realized how good of a deal the colonies had.