- Comparison of the British Americas and the French Americas
The British Americas is used to referring to the territories in the Americas that were under the rule and care of the British monarchy as colonies. While the term French Americas represents the French colonial interests in the Americas. The two colonial powers utilized differing tactics and strategies to their colonial pursuits governed by their different circumstances.
Systems of government: the British Americas applied three forms of government in running its American possessions. These types include the chartered colonies, the royal colonies, and the proprietary colonies. Proprietary colonies involved the granting of a charter to an individual/ group of individuals who then run the property in leasehold under the supervision of the monarch. An example in this form of administration is the state of Pennsylvania that was granted to William Penn by King Charles II of England. Chartered territories were granted to a company, or a group of individuals residing in the colony, granting it autonomy, and protection from the nearby colonies. The Rhode Island charter is a good example of this administration utilized in the Americas by the British. The third form of administration utilized is the appointment of a governor over a colony (Pritchard, 78-176). These colonies were called the royal colonies and fell under the direct censorship of the monarch. The governor was answerable to the monarch. A large majority of the colonies in the Americas experienced this administration. The French system of administration was not as elaborate as the British were. This was in part due to the difficulties that the French endured in an attempt at forming meaningful colonies in the Americas. Their efforts were in many occasions thwarted by disease, resistance by the Indians and conflict with other groups of Europeans. The colonies they formed were thus smaller in comparison and were managed as companies with the backing of the French government.
Reasons for settlement
The settlement into these areas was influenced primarily by economic motivation. The British colonialists sought to exploit the vast plains of the Americas in their agricultural and exploratory exploits. Crops such as cotton and tobacco fetched good process in the European market fueled by the industrial revolution and the mechanization of production, thus creating a ready market for this produce. The formation of some colonies happened because of the conflict in ideals, for instance, the chartered colony of the Rhodes formed following the venturing out by a group of colonialists in search of freedom of worship. Similarly, the French sought settlement into the Americas mainly for economic purposes. Most colonies were developed to export products such as fish, sugar, and furs (Anderson, 67-139).
Interaction/ relations with the Indians by both the British and the French were tentative in the beginning. The native populations showed a level of resistance that proved problematic to the French, for instance in their colonization attempts of Canada. For instance, in the early 1500s, the Iroquois troubled French expeditions with their warrior traditions, taking prisoners of the French. The French soon adopted alliances with the local populations with the Indians who helped them maintain their territories despite the small populations they had in their colonies in comparison with colonies such as New Holland, and British colonies. The British on their part adopted largely antagonistic tactics to the Indian populations. For instance, after their settlement in James town, the British led by Smith. He took Indian food by his volition when negotiations failed. The Indians in Jamestown led by Powhatan, in turn engaged in the vandalizing of British crops and cattle, which the British too did in earnest to the Indian crops, despite their frequent affront with hunger.
- British outcomes of the seven years war
The seven years of war is a term commonly utilized in referring to the imperial contest between France and Great Britain. It included waging of war on the northern Americas, the Indies and in the European continent both on land and in the sea. The war began in 1754 and ended in 1763 with the treaty of Paris. The British won the war, despite the formidable opposition staged by France and its allies in continental Europe. The war turned into British favor due to her superior naval power and the ineffectiveness of the French at planning the war. While the British won, the war was without its downside. The victory was a hugely expensive affair for the British. The attempts by the British to impose taxation to the colonialists in an attempt at recouping the war expenses caused discontent among the colonialists which led to rebellion, finally degenerating into a full-blown war for independence. Traditionally the British Empire maintained a lean Military force in times of peace, but in the 1760s, before after the war seven year war, maintained a strong military contingent mainly as a deterrent to the Spanish and French threat.
The need to finance the heavy spending required paying the debts for military supply and maintenance of the British army led to the imposition of taxes such as the introduction of stamps. The colonists were not happy with this, and sought to resist this affront on their determination. ‘The Boston tea party’, where the colonists threw overboard a shipment of British taxed tea marked the genesis of the hostility between the British and the American colonists. The king introduced the ‘intolerable acts’ after this act, the colonists felt that something should be done to reverse their continuing oppression. The unfavorable response by the king led to the beginning of the battles that would mark the American Revolution for independence such as The Battles of Lexington and Concord (Mather, 45-56). While British won the seven years war, the biggest outcome of the war was the increased dissent and subsequent rebellion by the colonists.
Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766. Random House LLC, 2007.
Mather, Increase. Remarkable providences illustrative of the earlier days of American colonisation. JR Smith, 1856.
Pritchard, James S. In Search of Empire: The French in the Americas, 1670-1730. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Print.