Opening New Markets: The British Army and the Old Northwest

Synopsis

After the conclusion of Pontiac's Uprising, frontier trade reopened in 1765. Unfortunately, for the colonists, the renewed activity favored the French in Canada and Illinois and the British traders in Quebec and Montreal. Only three British regiments were assigned to frontier duty, an inadequate number of troops to enforce trade regulations against the French. To keep the peace with local tribes, the British army allowed the French to trade anywhere, while colonial merchants were restricted to army trading posts. Had the army been more astute in protecting colonial interests, colonial merchants might have been more favorable toward paying taxes in support of military efforts.

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