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The British Impact on the American Revolution The French and Indian War was the last of the four American wars waged from 1689 to 1763 between the British and the French In all of these wars each country fought for the control of the continent with the assistance of Native Americans and Colonist Allies Axtell 97 This final war determined that English rather than French ideas and institutions would dominate North America In winning the war the British government doubled its territory and national debt Axtell 101 The war also gave the colonists their first taste of economic and social freedom from England The combination of these factors precipitated the American revolution The French and Indian war signaled a great change in English colonial policy Before colonies were valued primarily as sources of raw materials Now because of the Industrial Revolution they were considered more valuable as potential markets for English manufactured goods Axtell 187 This shift of economic emphasis was accompanied by a program of administrative reform designed to reinforce and intensify English military and economic control of its colonies Axtell 190 To Americans the main result of the war was that with Canada and Florida now under English control the mainland colonies were not longer in danger from attack by either France or Spain Leach 109 The American colonists no longer therefore felt they needed the English military for protection Thoughts of independence did not enter into the minds of most Americans but Americans did begin to feel that England was mistreating them and independence was an option now open for them Leach 110 The French and Indian War also had another result that was largely psychological in nature This was the first time the English and the colonists had worked closely together for a common cause A mutual dislike and distrust developed which hurt relations during and long after the French and Indian War Jennings 47
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