The narrative suggests that the war for American independence was not inevitable, that the British empire could have been saved. Do you agree? At what point during the imperial crisis was peaceful compromise possible?
After the war for American Independence, John Adams claimed that the Americans were considering independence long before the war that started in 1775. He suggested that the American independence was inevitable, but this was not the case. After the seven years French and Indian War, the American colonies celebrated Britain’s victory. Since the colonies have supported Britain during the French and Indian War, their expectations were of support. As a result of the Great War for Empire, Britain has won from France its North American colonies at a considerable expense and faced an enormous post-war debt. Since the British people were already over-burdened with taxes, the Government found a good source of revenue in the American colonies. But Britain’s attitude toward the American colonies was not one of care, or of asking for help, but rather one of exploitation. The colonists were considered inferior, never equal to the British, and they were used as a source of revenue. In the same time, King George III passed the Proclamation Line, keeping the colonists out of the new acquired lands, prohibiting Anglo-American settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. If any chance of avoiding the conflict would have presented itself, it should have been if Britain’s attitude towards the colonies would have improved right after the French and Indian War and none of the taxation acts (like the Stamp Act for example) would have been issued. “...it was the actions of British ministers which made independence first a possibility and then a likelihood”. (Cogliano, Francis D)
Cogliano, Francis D., Was the American Revolution Inevitable? British History in-depth, 08/26/2010, http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/american_revolution_01.shtml (2009)