Financing the War

The plan though was to raise more money for the colonies own defense. The graph below shows how much money was actually raised to pay for both the war and the colonies own defenses.

(Encarta) graph

It is clearly obvious that the colonials not only attempted to forestall payments on what Britain considered long overdue taxes but succeeded at costing the British Empire more than three hundred thousand pounds a year. The colonials resisted many changes, since they felt secure without the French to the north. Many colonists lost respect for Britain due to a sub par performance in battles throughout the war. The English felt quite differently, in fact they had a notion that the colonists had been illegally trading with Canada during the war. The English felt that the burden of debt must be shared. Ultimately most of the war was footed by the English back home (Notes).

Britain surmised that the best way to raise funds for their arrearage would be to exact taxes. Few if any taxes raised substantial sums of money. Taxes were imposed both internally and externally to accumulate funds to pay for the war. The stamp tax was levied for just those reasons. Passed in 1765 it marked the beginnings of colonial resistance to taxation. The tax included a payment on many legal items, such as marriage papers, loans, and playing cards, that would help to make a sizable dent in the British deficit. The wide dislike of theses taxes in the colonies showed a continually elevating intolerance of British rule. Many times tax collectors were tarred and feathered or hung in effigy. The ineffectiveness of these taxes forced the British to realize that losing money wasn’t the way to pay off a debt. With much groveling and argumentation amongst parliament the taxes were repealed. The significance in America was immense. The use of a boycott and a virtual temper tantrum proved to be effective in placating the problems of the colonies. The Townshend Acts which went in effect in 1765 and 1766 were external taxes. The duties were extra payments on such goods as lead, paints, glass, paper and tea (Hafstadter 80). Townshend also extended the rights of the officials in the colonials with the Writs of Assistance, providing for search and seizure under any circumstances. He also transferred some of the cash flow to pay royal salaries, especially governors in America. The actions of Townshend angered the colonials vastly, they were completely unresponsive to the taxes. They “cheerfully ignored” the taxes as Mr. Wittig would say. The ineffectiveness of both the taxes and Townshend’s growth of excessive pride in his power led to a bad taste in the colonials’ mouths. The Townshend acts were eventually repealed, again with a reluctance on Britain’s part. The damage had been done though, with every day the British seemed to make themselves look more despicable for their actions. The same actions which in the minds of British were completely justified to help recover the magnitudinal loss from the war.