The Seven Years War Summary

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The book Defying Empire Trading with the Enemy in Colonial New York, by Thomas M. Truxes, discusses New York merchants’ continued trade with France throughout the Seven Years’ War (1756-63) despite it being illegal. Truxes maintains that the merchants were imaginative and audacious while remaining loyal to their country. The impacts of the war were globally felt and had legal, maritime, and personal disparities. According to Truxes the merchants who continued to trade with the French throughout the war were daring and resourceful in continuing trade. Trading with France took place before the war, and “war did not automatically interrupt commercial relations between belligerents” (2). However, “the Flour Act of 1757, a wartime statute that prohibited…show more content…
Legal discrepancies started when England declared war on France. They also passed the embargo and Flour Act, but the “British courts continued to uphold French property rights,” and “direct trade continued” (5). An example was “licenses [used] to export tobacco from Britain to France were authorized almost immediately after the declaration of war” (5, 6). Not only did colonial merchants profit, but “British bankers, financiers […and] Irish provisioners” did as well (202). Smuggling led to many of the Royal ships “interdicting and seizing vessels they suspected of doing business with the enemy” rather than fighting (204). Many of the privateers targeted the Dutch, Danish, and Spanish competition by capturing ships and cargo (83-84). The Spanish were allies of the French but were not actively fighting, so even though “it was obvious that Spanish vessels […] were in the service of France,” they were not seized (89). Some of the personal discrepancies included questions of personal rights since the Frenchmen, or “the men in blue,” “made their fortunes capturing North American vessels” (203). The British were also trading with France, but the colonists were the ones prosecuted, making “little equality in ‘the rights of Englishmen’ across the British Empire” (202). They believed “what was legal for one […] must be legal for all”
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