What so upset the colonists? What makes them believe that British government is wrong. What makes them feel it is unfair?
Mercantilism is central here. The colonists are a cheap work force. They provide cheap raw goods. They pay extra high prices for goods made in Britain. They have no chance to buy cheaper goods made anywhere else. That’s forbidden by the Navigation Acts.
The colonists see themselves as being second class citizens. Their economic rights are sacrificed to those of people living in Britain. These rights are lost so merchants in Britain can make big profits. They are lost so Great Britain can be rich by keeping the colonists poor. It’s rigged! If you live in Britain you’re a winner. If you live in the colonies you’re a loser.
Now the British government goes further. At least that’s what they think. The British start cheating on the Rights of Englishmen. They change what those rights mean. Then they abolish some of them when it comes to colonists.
The British government is increasingly making American colonists second class citizens. Second class citizens economically. And now in terms of their natural rights.
They are convinced this British policy is evil. It is aimed at destroying the social contract in America. It will reduce the colonists to slave labor for Britain. They will have no rights. They will have only what the British government gives them. That’s the exact opposite of the social contract. The government should have only power given it by the people. The people should not have only the rights given them by their government. People should only loose the liberties they agree to give up. And then only in exchange for protection. The government cannot be allowed to tell people what are their liberties. The government cannot be allowed to use force when it has not been given that power by the people.
This is the mindset of the colonists who oppose the British to the end. It is the reasoning that kept colonists fighting the British military during the Revolutionary War. It is a view. A view of what current events mean.
Not everyone agreed with this view. Certainly, the British government didn’t. By the end of the American Revolution, one-third of the colonist still believed the British were right. Most of them got kicked out of the new United States. They lost everything. Another one-third were uncertain which side was right. They melted in with the revolutionaries after the war.
Was British policy toward its American colonies foolish?
Most certainly. London should have reached a compromise. Things are different at the time of the American Revolution. Britain needed its American colonies. The American colonies really didn’t need Britain. That suggests compromise is the right, no the only policy. But British politicians will have nothing of compromise. Their ideas are right. American colonial ideas are wrong.
The colonists must be taught their place. That’s what Britain tried to do during the American Revolutionary War. That’s what it failed to do big time.
Yours to use as you choose