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8 A D E C A D E OF D I S P U T E F THEADVISERS to King George III had been alert, they would haveanticipated the American Revolution. North Carolina might have served as a model from which to learn a valuablelesson. Culpeper's and Gary's rebellions and the Regulator uprising all demonstrated that people in the colony would go to great lengths to support a cause they believed in, especially when they were convinced that they had been wronged. Several governors tried to warn the royal advisers. In 1760 Governor Arthur Dobbs mentioned a "rising spirit of independency" in his colony. The Assembly of North Carolina, it was pointed out, thought itself a little English House of Commons, not to be dictated to by royal authority. Instructions to the governor, coming directly from His Majesty, were ignored. One governor was impeached, another driven away, another threatened with force if he tried to enter the colony, and finally the last royal governor, fearful for his life, fled. Severalreceived no salary for manyyears because they displeased the people. Throughout much ofthe colonial period, for a century and a quarter, North Carolina wasasrebellious asany of the American colonies, and because of the number of insurrections (Culpeper's, Gibbs's, Gary's, and the Regulators') it had the reputation of being a placeof considerable unrest. In retrospect, their aims were as commendable as those of Nathaniel Bacon's in Virginia (1676) and more so than Jacob Leisler's in New York (1689). England regarded the Americancolonies asa businessinvestment. "Mercantilism " wasthe governing policy, and North Carolina wassimplyapart of the farflung British commercial system. Nevertheless, it was affected by the economic theories on which that system wasbuilt. Aseriesof Navigation Acts, passed from the middle to the end of the seventeenth century and later strengthened from time to time, was intended to implement that system. One act provided that colonial trade should be carried only in British shipsor in ships owned byBritish colonials. It wasalso decreed that Great Britain must be the agent through which all European goods intended for the colonies passed. And finally, certain goods could be exported from the colonies only to ports within the empire. Although all of the acts applied to North Carolina, theywere poorly enforced there before 1763. At that time the French and Indian War was over, England had to defend 160 I I6i A Decade of Dispute more territory, and there wasa large public debt to be paid. England, therefore, proclaimed a "New Colonial Policy." The RoyalProclamationof 1763 One of the first steps taken to implement this new policy was the signing of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. Among other things, the king directed that no warrants to survey or patents to settle land were to be issued beyond the crest of the mountains. Showing unaccustomed concern for the welfare of the native Americans, King George III pointed out that it was "just and reasonable" that Indians livingin British territory, and thereforeunder Britishprotection, should not be disturbed unless they chose to sell or cede their land. Governor Dobbs some years earlier had been aware of the need to improve relations between his colonists and their Indian neighbors, so he offered "a Premium" of extra land to any white who married an Indian. Aware of society in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies, Dobbs pointed out that intermarriage would create "an integral society." Dobbs's policywas never a matter of real concern nor was the royal proclamation. In the latter case, this wastrue becausein 1763 there were no settlements asfar west as the crest of the mountains. Parliamentary Actsof 1764 and 1765 The following year Parliament decided that the colonies should be taxed to help provide support for military forces to defend the colonies aswell as to help reform the colonial system. The Sugar Act of 1764 placed duties on such colonial imports as sugar, molasses, indigo, coffee, wine, silk, and other kinds of cloth. The money raised would be sent to England and used to safeguard the colonies. Relatively little was heard of this act in poor North Carolina, where only a small quantity of wine, silk, and other items on the list wasimported, but in the New England colonies there wasviolent opposition. Parliament did not push this new program and let another year pass before taking the next step. In 1765 aQuartering Act required that provisionsbe made to house British troops stationed in the colonies. If regular barracks were not available , the soldiers could...


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