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From 1660-1756, there was a growing political friction between England and her American Colonies, which soon would have led to American demands for independence, even if the events, which took place after 1756 and actually participated the Revolution, had not occurred. This friction came in many forms and combined they led to the tensions of the revolution. The period from 1670 - 1700 was a period of great discontent and rebellion in the colonies.

This discontent grew out of arbitrary, inefficient, and dishonest government. The frontier threat of the French and Indians also contributed to the friction between the English and American colonials. Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia and Leisler's Rebellion in New York were two notable insurrections that showed the decay of the British colonial policy.

Governor Berkeley's inadequate defense policy on the frontier by building forts instead of providing troops to stop the Indian trouble caused Bacon's Rebellion. Berkley refused to allow Bacon's reasonable request for a commission because Berkley felt that Bacon would upset the Indian fur trade.

Bacon's revolt was against a corrupt colonial government. Bacon's revolt was an attempt to force the government to deal with the colonial peoples particular gripes and grievances against the Governor. The relation between this revolt and the American and British relations were similar. America had particular gripes and grievances against the crown and both revolts were over a matter of who controlled the government in the colonies and Britain were alike, the difference lay in the interpretation of how the process was perpetrated.

The colonists saw their assemblies as an extension of Parliament and therefore the colonists had viewed the assembly as a part of Englishmen's Rights whereas in Britain, the King's prerogative allowed the colonial assemblies to exist. The major factor in the whole mess was that the colonial assemblies laws, according to Britain, had to be approved by the Board of Trade and the King.

The biggest friction came when the British gave up Salutary neglect and started to enforce the Navigation Acts and attempted to tax the colonies to support the British army garrisoned in the colonies to protect them from the French and Indians. In addition, in their attempt to consolidate and centralize the colonies into one body the British assed more to the problem.

The decisions that Britain made at the end of the French and Indian war made Americans mad because now the colonies would have to carry their share of the load by paying taxes, obey the Navigation Acts and deal with British authority. The British instead of practicing salutary neglect began to quite literally to rule an empire.


  1. Bacon's Rebellion
    From the National Park Service website about the Historic Jamestowne, you can read about this short revolt
  2. Board of Trade
    Learn about the Board of Trade in this Wikipedia article.
  3. Salutary Neglect
    In this article by James Henretta, you cam read about this topic and its background. This is from the Encyclopedia Virginia website.