(???? - 1799 AD) Pre-19th Century Battles
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King endorses the New England Retraining Act
3/30/2023 6:44:47 AM
Hoping to keep the New England colonies dependent on the British, King George III formally endorses the New England Restraining Act on March 30, 1775. The New England Restraining Act required New England colonies to trade exclusively with Great Britain as of July 1. An additional rule would come into effect on July 20, banning colonists from fishing in the North Atlantic.

The British prime minister, Frederick, Lord North, introduced the Restraining Act and the Conciliatory Proposition to Parliament on the same day. The Conciliatory Proposition promised that no colony that met its share of imperial defenses and paid royal officials’ salaries of their own accord would be taxed. The act conceded to the colonists’ demand that they be allowed to provide the crown with needed funds on a voluntary basis. In other words, Parliament would ask for money through requisitions, not demand it through taxes. The Restraining Act was meant to appease Parliamentary hardliners, who would otherwise have impeded passage of the pacifying proposition.

​Unfortunately for North and prospects for peace, he had already sent General Thomas Gage orders to march on Concord, Massachusetts, to destroy the armaments stockpiled in the town, and take Patriot leaders John Hancock and Samuel Adams into custody. The orders were given in January 1775 and arrived in Boston before the Conciliatory Proposition. Thus, on April 18, 700 Redcoats marched towards Concord Bridge. The military action led to the Revolutionary War, the birth of the United States as a new nation, the temporary downfall of Lord North and the near abdication of King George III. The Treaty of Paris marking the conflict’s end guaranteed New Englanders the right to fish off Newfoundland—the right denied them by the New England Restraining Act.​

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Mercantilism at its best.
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 13377
Joined: 2009
King endorses the New England Retraining Act
3/30/2023 8:39:07 AM
The point of colonization was to benefit the country that took the risks to establish the colonies. In exchange, colonists received some freedom to govern, freedom from religious persecution, the opportunity to own land and to set up businesses. In exchange, the colonies received the protection of the mother country, Great Britain in this case. And when a colony looked as though it was going to fail, Britain would step in to bail it out. Look at the number of colonies that began as proprietary or charter colonies with an individual or consortium taking the risk and were bailed out by Britain when the colony was going to fail. Those colonies became Royal colonies.

Mercantilism is an economic system and those were the conditions under which the 13 colonies were permitted to exist. Britain became lax in its enforcement of the requirement that the colonists would trade solely with the mother country and when the colonies, primarily Massachusetts initially, demonstrated civil unrest Britain took a harder line and chose to reinforce mercantilist principles.

Britain wanted to control trade in its colonies to expand its own exports and limit imports from other countries. Britain wanted to increase employment at home and could do that using the raw materials provided by the colonies.

Many of the leaders in the protests in the colonies were also in violation of the law in that they chose to trade with other countries. John Hancock comes to mind.

I do think that the British misread the mood of the colonies and the desire to self govern.

It was a mistake to grant a degree of political autonomy in some colonies and then to withdraw that privilege as a punishment for civil unrest.

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