Two themes emerge from what was to be a fundamental change in British economic policy toward the American colonies. With the acquisition from the French of the territory between the Allegheny Mountains and the Mississippi River the British decided to isolate the area from the rest of the colonies.
Under the terms of the Proclamation of 1763 and the Quebec Act of 1774 colonists were not allowed to settle here or trade with the Indians without the permission of the British government.
The British decided that the Americans should share the costs of the military buildup in the colonies. Taxes were significantly higher in Britain than in the colonies.
One estimate suggests the per capita tax burden in the colonies ranged from two to four per cent of that in Britain (Palmer, 1959).
It required stamps for a broad range of legal documents as well as newspapers and pamphlets.
While the colonial stamp duties were less than those in England they were expected to generate enough revenue to finance a substantial portion of the cost the new standing army.The boycott was so successful in reducing trade that English merchants lobbied Parliament for the repeal of the new taxes.Parliament soon responded to the political pressure.The British military establishment increased relentlessly in size during this period as it engaged in the Nine Years War (1688-97), the War of Spanish Succession (1702-13), the War of Austrian Succession (1739-48), and the Seven Years War (1756-63).These wars brought considerable additions to the British Empire.However, it was the economic boycott that became by far the most effective means of altering the new British economic policies.In 1765 representatives from nine colonies met at the Stamp Act Congress in New York and organized a boycott of imported English goods.In this brief essay we will focus only on the economics of the Revolutionary War.Prior to the conclusion of the Seven Years War there was little, if any, reason to believe that one day the American colonies would undertake a revolution in an effort to create an independent nation-state.What were the consequences of achieving independence?These and many other questions have engaged the attention of economic, legal, military, political, and social historians.