THE BRITISH COLONIES IN 1863

 

According to the 1763 Treaty of Paris, the French were expelled from North America. By this time,  the people of the British colonies in North America had developed a relationship with the British Parliament which seemed satisfactory to both. That relationship included:

1. An understanding of imperial control relative to colonial self-government.

2. A working relationship which dealt with the principle of Parliamentary authority and colonial liberties.

3. A recognition by the colonists that King and Parliament had exclusive authority over foreign affairs, war & peace and overseas trade.

In effect, the colonists within each of the thirteen North American British colonies had acquired Home Rule which included the exclusive right of their freely elected representative Assemblies to:

1. Tax themselves.

2. Appoint most of their own officials, fix their salaries, maintain colonial militias and commission colonial militia officers.

3. Appoint & pay judges.

The colonists residing in all thirteen of these British colonies enjoyed:

1.  Freedom of the press, speech & assembly.

2. Freedom of worship.

3. Trial by a jury of their peers.

4. Exemption from impressiment into military service.

5. Protection from search/seizure of their property except by legally obtained search warrant/court order.

6. Skilled trades/professions that were open to all.

7. The right to vote.

8. Access to the cheap lands of the West.

9. The right to keep and bear arms.

With the elimination of the French, the colonists of the thirteen British colonies expected to continue the nature and elements of the relationship they had enjoyed with the King and the Parliament prior to 1763.

That expectation would quickly be dashed.

In the next newsletter, I will describe the nature of  the post-French 1763 colonial program devised by British Prime Minister Grenville’s government.

 

Author: Michael Deeb

Michael J. Deeb is the author of seven novels which take place during the American Civil War.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *