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   Chapter 19 1763).

Formation of the Union By Albert Bushnell Hart Characters: 3521

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


[Sidenote: Internal quarrels.]

Seven years of war from 1754 to 1760, and two years more of military excitement, had brought about significant changes in the older colonies. It was a period of great expenditure of men and money. Thirty thousand lives had been lost. The more vigorous and more exposed colonies had laid heavy taxes and incurred burdensome debts. The constant pressure of the governors for money had aggravated the old quarrels with the assemblies. The important towns were all on tide water, and not one was taken or even threatened; hence the sufferings of the frontiersmen were not always appreciated by the colonial governments. In Pennsylvania the Indians were permitted to harry the frontier while the governor and the assembly were in a deadlock over the question of taxes on proprietary lands. Braddock's expedition in 1755 was intended to assert the claim of the English to territory in the limits of Pennsylvania; but it had no aid from the province thus concerned. Twice the peaceful Franklin stepped forward as the organizer of military resistance.

[Sidenote: English control.]

In the early part of the war Massachusetts took the lead, inasmuch as her governor, Shirley, was made commander-in-chief. Military and civil control over the colonies was, during the war, divided in an unaccustomed fashion. The English commanders, and even Governor Dinwiddie, showed their opinion of the Provincials by rating all their commissions lower than those of the lowest rank of regular British officers. The consequence was that George Washington for a time resigned from the service. In 1757 there was a serious dissension between Loudoun and the Massachusetts assembly, because he insisted on quartering his troops in Boston. At first

the colonies were called on to furnish contingents at their own expense: Pitt's more liberal policy was to ask the colonies to furnish troops, who were paid from the British military chest. New England, as a populous region near the seat of hostilities, made great efforts; in the last three campaigns Massachusetts kept up every year five to seven thousand troops, and expended altogether ?500,000. The other colonies, particularly Connecticut, made similar sacrifices, and the little colony of New York came out with a debt of $1,000,000.

[Sidenote: Colonial trade.]

As often happens during a war, some parts of the country prospered, notwithstanding the constant loss. New England fisheries and trade were little affected except when, in 1758, Loudoun shut up the ports by a brief embargo. As soon as Fort Duquesne was captured, settlers began to pass across the mountains into western Pennsylvania, and what is now Kentucky and eastern Tennessee. The Virginia troops received ample bounty lands; Washington was shrewd enough to buy up claims, and located about seventy thousand acres. The period of 1760 to 1763 was favorable to the colonies. Their trade with the West Indies was large. For their food products they got sugar and molasses; from the molasses they made rum; with the rum they bought slaves in Africa, and brought them to the West Indies and to the continent. The New Englanders fitted out and provisioned the British fleets. They supplied the British armies in America. They did not hesitate to trade with the enemy's colonies, or with the enemy direct, if the opportunity offered. The conclusion of peace checked this brisk trade and commercial activity. When the war was ended the agreeable irregularities stood more clearly revealed.

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