Mercantilism In The Colonies

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From the time of King Charles II, the British monarchy has accepted the policy of mercantilism, the economic belief that a nation can only gain wealth at the expense of another; it was Britain's motivation of founding colonies. The american colonies were a wealth of resources for their mother country. For about one hundred years, 1650-1750, the British government did not strictly enforce mercantilism in the colonies; however, after the French and Indian War Britain changed its colonial policies. From the declaration of the Proclamation Line, the official end to the French and Indian War, in 1763 to the signing of the Declaration of Independance in 1776, the colonies produced several violent demonstrations showing their support for Enlightenment…show more content…
The Sons of Liberty were the organizers of many of these early demonstrations. They used intimidation and physical abuse, like tar and feathering, to force the resignation of several British tax collectors. An iconic act of colonial resistance, the burning of the Gaspee, a British patrol ship, in 1772 rekindled the flame of public rebellion after the calm that followed the Boston Massacre. While the Boston Tea Party is more well known, the burning of the Gaspee presented a more unified colonial opinion against Britain while the Tea Party left some divided. The final act of resistance, before official war, was the battle at Lexington and Concord in 1775. Colonial minute men defended their stash of ammunitions from the British marching to capture it and arrest Sam Adams and John Hancock. This was the first battle of the revolution, but at the time it was simply the last and possibly greatest act of defiance against British orders. It was also the first intentional firefight between British soldiers and colonists. All these acts of colonial resistance were inspired by the colonist's republican…show more content…
One Enlightenment thinker John Locke wrote Two Treatises on Government in 1690 which explained the right of the governed to overthrow their government if it denies them their unalienable rights. Revolutionary leaders followed this line of thought and used Locke’s theory of natural rights, life liberty and property, to justify their rebellion. During the time of Salutary Neglect colonies formed their own representative governments, which served under Parliament and applied colonial taxes. The colonists had no problem with taxes they just wanted their representative bodies to applied them, not Parliament with its virtual representation, During the dawn of the Revolution in 1776 Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense which spread republican ideals throughout the colones. This document, which sold 100,000 copies in 3 months quickly spread amongst the colonists and solidified their common political motivations. Republican values, developed during the Enlightenment were the foundation of the colonies
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