For the most part the colonists were only asked to adhere to regulations concerning foreign trade.
In a series of acts passed by Parliament during the seventeenth century the Navigation Acts required that all trade within the empire be conducted on ships which were constructed, owned and largely manned by British citizens.
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.By the time of the onset of the American Revolution, Britain had attained the status of a military and economic superpower.The thirteen American colonies were one part of a global empire generated by the British in a series of colonial wars beginning in the late seventeenth century and continuing on to the mid eighteenth century.What were the consequences of achieving independence?These and many other questions have engaged the attention of economic, legal, military, political, and social historians.Domestic taxes had been raised substantially during the war and total government debt had increased nearly twofold (Brewer, 1989).Furthermore, the British had decided in1763 to place a standing army of 10,000 men in North America.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.In North America alone the British victory in the Seven Years War resulted in France ceding to Britain all of its territory east of the Mississippi River as well as all of Canada and Spain surrendering its claim to Florida (Nester, 2000).Given the sheer magnitude of the British military and its empire, the actions taken by the American colonists for independence have long fascinated scholars. How were they able to achieve a victory over what was at the time the world’s preeminent military power?