Was Losing the American Colonies a Failure of the British Empire?

Was losing the American colonies a failure of the British Empire?

This essay will explore whether losing the 13 colonies in America was the failure of the British Empire or not. The essay will argue that it was the fault of the British Empire for losing the colonies but it wasn’t necessarily a failure, but did in fact work out for the best. It will undertake this investigation by exploring first, what the aims of the British government were at the time. Secondly, it will explore the consequences of the policies, particularly looking at how the colonies were run and whether it was a fault of the Empire that caused the rising tensions before 1775 which culminated into what was a global war between not only the Americans and the British, but between the French and British forces. Thirdly, the essay will discuss the arguments that the British were to blame for the loss and fourthly, it will explore whether it was not a fault of the British Empire but whether it was due to other influences and circumstances that caused the war of independence to occur.

In considering the War of Independence, and in particular, why the tensions arose due to British governmental policy, one must first look at the economic policies enacted by the British government at the time, particularly those that were hated by the American colonists. The first seeds of discontent towards tax could be seen in the Stamp Duty of 1765 in which the British government asked for there to be a duty for printing on paper in the colonies.1 This tax was introduced by due to the growing costs of stationing a large army to defend the colonies which the British government funded. However, asking the colonies to fund an army in which they were the sole beneficiaries was so unpopular that Grenville got ousted from his position and the tax was repealed one year into its existence.2 More famously, the events in 1773 (The Boston Tea Party) have been symbolised as the point in which relations between the colonies...