The Foundations of American Nationality

By Evarts Boutell Greene | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVII
IMPERIAL PROBLEMS AND POLICIES, 1760 TO 1766

IN the great struggle with France for colonial empire, England's resources and her statesmanship were severely taxed; but peace brought problems not less serious, demanding an even higher type of leadership if the empire was to be held together. These problems were of many different kinds. In Asia, for instance, the British East India Company was no longer a mere trading corporation but had to assume responsibility for the government of alien peoples. For nearly a century more, British statesmen wrestled with the problem of ruling India through a commercial company in such a way as to secure decent administration as well as a profitable income to the stockholders. A significant fact for the American colonies was the East India Company's monopoly of the China trade, including tea, an increasingly popular beverage on both sides of the water.

New imperial problems.

In America old difficulties remained and new ones were added. In the north was Canada with perhaps eighty thousand people of alien race, religion, and law. These "new subjects" of the King had to be protected in the rights guaranteed to them by treaty; but the government also had to consider the "old subjects," from Great Britain and the older colonies, who, though few in numbers, were pushing aggressively into the conquered territory, chiefly for purposes of trade. Along the Gulf coast from the Atlantic to the Mississippi was another conquered territory, consisting of Spanish Florida and the eastern section of French Louisiana. Here also there was the double duty

New provinces of Canada and Florida.

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