Tensions Between The English & Colonists After the French Indian War
The French and Indian War has just ceased. Many are glad the war is over, but others are not as content due to the rippling tensions between the colonists and the British. Starting in 1754, and lasting for nearly a decade, the war has caused a large disturbance between the colonists of Massachusetts and the British. Recently, I spoke with a member of the Massachusetts legislature who chose not to be identified. His views about the English are pessimistic for various reasons.
Also, I spoke with the Royal Governor of New York, Thomas Hutchinson. Governor Hutchinson opposes the views of the Massachusetts legislature member, as well as millions of other colonists. He also hopes that an agreement among the colonists and the British can be reached in the near future.
The Massachusetts legislature member explained why he and a majority of the colonists in the British colony contest British rule. He began by stating, “The British do not care about the needs of the colonists.” Then he supported his statement by pointing out that before the war, the British allowed a great deal of independence to the colonists, but during and since the war have steadily snatched it away.
Governor Thomas Hutchinson admits that the British were wrong in neglecting their duties to enforce the colonists prior to the start of the war, but professes that the British want to start over on a fresh slate with the colonists, and make things right.
The Legislature members denounce the British stating the British just want “money from the colonists.” After they get their money he says, then all the “sweet talk, and pity for themselves will cease.” Governor Hutchinson admits once again that England is in dept from the war. He says the war put England into a ₤133 million debt, and the only way to solve this problem is to tax the colonists. He continues by saying, “If there was any other way to fix our debt, then we [England] would most certainly pursue it, but the fact stands, there is no other way.” The Governor did have a solution to the revenue lost by colonists from the major tax increase. He says England plans to pay the colonists back in the form of trade. He and other Englishmen believe this plan will eventually put every pound back into the hands of the colonists.
The legislative member of Massachusetts is also outraged by the creation of the Proclamation Line. He says, “The elimination of the French threat in North America was viewed by many colonists as an opportunity to move into the lands west of the Appalachian Mountains.” He continues, “Now with this new proclamation, all the land that was available to us in now out of our reach.” Governor Hutchinson responds to this protest, “The Proclamation line was created in 1763 to avoid hostility and conflict between the colonists and the Native Americans. War is something we have just experienced, and it is something we do not want to go through again.”
After the war, nearly 10,000 troops were stationed in the British territories. Governor Hutchinson explains the purpose for all these troops to be on guard. “…to control the French and Native Americans in case they attacked. They were also stationed to protect the colonists.” The colonists do not see things in the same light as the British. According to the member of the Massachusetts legislature, those troops were set up to eventually massacre the colonists. After hearing this extreme accusation, Governor Hutchinson was completely speechless.
Recently, Prime Minister George Greenville passed the American Revenue Act of 1764, or Sugar Act. This Act’s purpose was to prevent conflicts with Native Americans by stopping the trade of sugar, molasses, and other goods from the West Indies. The colonists were angered by this Act, but accepted it. The legislative member from Massachusetts explains what the colonists did not accept, “The English being able to search our homes and boats anytime they want, to make sure we are following their meaningless Act.” He also says this procedure just shows the colonists the lack of respect and trust that the English hold for them.
Concluding the interviews with both the Governor and the legislative member, both men had one more thing to say:
The man from Massachusetts said, “The fact is, the English have done so many bad things to us that the amount of trust between the colonists and the British is dead.”
The Royal Governor of New York concluded by saying, “All we ask is for forgiveness. Only time will tell.”
After interviewing these two men and hearing their viewpoints, my only conclusion is both the British and the colonists are going to spill a lot of blood soon and quickly. As to who will win the fight, it is hard to determine. The British are strong, but the colonists are passionate about being independent.