British History

The Seven Years’ War forced Britain to change its colonial policies in ways that helped drive the colonists to revolution.
For the British, part of the significance of the Seven Years’ War is Britain’s emergence as the uncontested imperial leader in the New World. France and Britain had dueled for years as their empires expanded and collided. Armed conflict had been intermittent for decades. France gave its best effort against the might of the British, winning many battles and adopting successful alliances with Native American fighters, who offered support on the field and tutelage in woodland fighting techniques.1
When William Pitt reignited the British army, he also persuaded the Iroquois to ally with him and reduced the French advantage. The British whittled away at the French, then struck a terrific blow at the Plains of Abraham in Quebec in 1759, surprising the French and winning a short but awful battle. The French army would need years to heal after subsequent beatings on the battlefield left Britain victorious.2
Now, Great Britain had additional duties as a colonizer. As a result of the Treaty of Paris 1763, the French ceded land east of the Mississippi River to Great Britain. With larger land area to administrate, govern, protect, and defend, Britain placed additional strain on an already swollen fiscal budget. It would naturally expect the colonists, as British subjects to pay a proportionately higher amount of taxes to finance the new services.3
Victory in the Seven Years’ War impacted Britain’s attitude about how to treat opponents. It had not started winning the war until William Pitt began to use his bold, energetic, highly confident style to get results. Having sufficiently deposed the French with the heavy hand of its military, it now figured it could do the same to any colonists who were foolish enough to raise arms against