Welcome back to our course on Benjamin Franklin. In this session, we're going to go back to chronology. We'll explore the renewal of conflicts between European powers, culminating in the Seven Years War, which is often called the First True World War. Then we're going to discuss how it changes the circumstances and relationship between England and the colonies ultimately leading to the revolution. Remember, after 1713 and the end of Queen Anne's war, peace prevails, it lasts over 25 years. It ends in 1739 with a war between Spain and Britain. In 1744, France joined Spain in battling Britain, this becomes King George's war, which lasts until 1748. It takes place primarily in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Nova Scotia. And it's largely a vein conflict with no decisive victory. For years, tension simmer with battles at the frontiers between the colonial English settlers, the French and various Indian tribes. A major focus is the Ohio River valley with Virginia pushing into the area that is now Pittsburgh, the French trying to prevent British encroachment west of the Allegheny Mountains. So their land from Canada down to north America to New Orleans is preserved. This all comes to a crashing halt in 1754. The battle begins in the Ohio River Valley but spreads to the whole world from America to India to the Philippines. In 1752 the British began building a small forts in present day Pittsburgh. Alarmed by British encroachment, the French begin building forts from Erie Pennsylvania south to secure the territory of what is now western Pennsylvania. In May 1754 Virginia sends George Washington to force the French to withdraw. At 22, with no combat experience, George Washington is leading a force. He stumbles upon a much smaller French and Indian scouting party and he attacks them, winning a victory. But within weeks, it turns into a major defeat, Washington builds fort necessity to defend the area. The French attack, captured the forts and forced Washington to surrender. He is released and returns to Virginia. The French built Ford du Kane at present day Pittsburgh. In May 1754, it's a famous year, not just for Washington's first military defeat, but for Franklin's entry into politics, which involves all the British colonies in North America. In May 1754, the Albany Congress convenes, its purpose as we mentioned, is to have all the colonies meet the Iroquois and address their grievances. However, it morphs into a Congress to create a union among the British colonies to confront the French and Indian threat. Benjamin Franklin becomes an advocate of colonial union. This is when he publishes the first political cartoon entitled Unite or Die. At the Albany Congress, he proposes a plan for colonial union which includes a president general to administer laws of the union and a grand council with representatives elected from each colony. The union would focus on creating a military, building forts, raising taxes to pay for defense and regulating Indian relations and western settlements. Let's just say, the reception to Franklin's plan is cool. Even with the french threat, the colonies are not willing to overcome their differences and give up their individual powers to a central union. Every colony rejects franklin's plan. This is welcomed by Britain, they don't want the colonies united and maybe opposing the home country. The next year, 1755 to protect its colonies and confront the French, the British sent General Braddock with 1400 British regulars artillery and 450 Virginia colonials to attack Fort du Cane. Heavily outnumbered the French ultimately inflict an enormous loss on the British. They killed General Braddock and kill or wound nearly 1000 of the British forces. Washington distinguishes himself in leading the retreat and surviving and so starts the first Great War that engulfs the world. In 1756, Britain declares war on France and the battle lines are drawn with France, Austria and Russia against Prussia and Britain. Its Catholic Europe against Protestant countries. After initial defeats, the tide turns in 1758 and Britain begins to win. Heavily, outnumbering the French forces in north America, the British capture Canada and much of the French holdings in the Caribbean. The British also expelled the French from India. Finally, in 1762 the Spanish who were on the sidelines and did not participate entered the war on the side of the French only to be defeated. Britain wins Havana and Manila from Spain. The 1763 piece of Paris ends the war with Britain claiming all of North America from the Atlantic seaboard to the Mississippi River. The British return Martinique and Guadeloupe to France, but Britain keeps India. Spain trades Florida to the British for Havana and pays Britain for Manila. This is a huge victory and the tremendous land won by Britain is celebrated by all the colonies as it allows for more westward settlement. Two other major events occurred during the war related to power in Britain. In 1760 there's a new king, King George the third, he assumes the throne at the tender age of 22. In addition, there are changes in the cabinet and in 1763 George Grenfell becomes the first Lord of the Treasury, then Prime Minister. But this victory two contains the seeds of a major battle and defeat. Britain wins the seven years war, but at a great cost. The country is almost bankrupt, because of the war, Britain's national debt doubles to £130 million interests absorbs more than half of all governmental revenue. It cost about £400,000 to support the soldiers kept in North America and gifts to the Indians to keep the peace, add to this British taxes are already high by international standards. In addition, because Britain wins, it now has more colonial land to protect and soldiers and sailors cost a lot of money. Prime Minister Grenville believes British soldiers posted in Canada and Florida to protect American colonies and that they should pay the colonies. That is should pay some portion of their own defense. Compounding the issue of soldiers in north America and the need for more money to support them is a major attack by native Americans. For centuries, Indians fought among themselves, but encroachment by the colonists unify them as never before. Threatened by British victory and colonists moving west, native Americans launch a war in 1763 called Pontiac's war. The Indians attacked British force west of the Alleghenies, Fort Detroit, Fort Pitt and Niagara. In 1764 the British finally achieved peace and begin a policy of distributing gifts to keep the peace with the native Americans. But money troubles, war debts and ongoing costs of defense forced the British parliament to look for money from the colonies. So beginning in 1764 a long series of taxes from the mother country on the colonies foment suspicion, resistance and ultimately revolution. The taxes begin with the 1764 Sugar Act. The Sugar Act taxes refined sugar, Madeira wine and coffee. Ironically, it actually lowers the tax on French molasses, which is used to make rum. But remember, the colonists avoided paying the molasses tax by a variety of methods, including smuggling and paying bribes to get French molasses relabeled as British molasses. Lowering the official tax but increasing enforcement against the smugglers actually antagonizes the colonists. In addition, the British government forbids colonies from using paper money and requires taxes to be paid on silver. Finally, the British passed the Quartering Act of 1765, giving the British Army Authority to house soldiers in private homes in the colonies, antagonizing the colonists once again. In October 1764, Franklin returns to London his 3rd trip as a colonial agent for Pennsylvania. His agenda is to get Thomas Pen and the proprietors to help fund from tier security and to get Pennsylvania transformed into a royal colony. He fails in this mission, but he comes embroiled in the battle between Britain and the colonies over taxation and defense. And as I mentioned, he's seen as representing all American colonies to the British. In 1764, Grenville begins discussing another tax, the Stamp Act, it's passed in early 1765 and is levied on all paper documents. It requires all contracts, wills, deeds, licenses, playing cards, newspapers and other printed matter to have a royal stamp on the paper. This is the first so called internal or direct tax on the colonists. The colonists protest the Stamp Act gives rise to Patrick Henry's famous Give me Liberty or Give me Death Declaration. He writes and introduces resolutions, condemning the act and urging resistance to it. These are widely circulated throughout the colonies as they are reprinted in newspapers. The colonies agree the Stamp Act is unconstitutional. Resistance also breeds violence, especially in Boston. An effigy of a stamp collector is hung and burned and the mansion of the lieutenant governor Thomas Hutchinson is looted and nearly destroyed. The taxes highlight a major difference between the British government and the colonies. The colonists object to taxes because the essence of liberty is quote no taxation without consent of the tax. With no representation in parliament, the taxes are a change in the understanding of British liberties. In addition, while the colonies recognize that Britain can tax to regulate trade, such as support duty, so called external taxes, taxing for revenue, so called internal taxes are a different matter in their view. The British government doesn't see it that way. The government never doubts it can tax the colonies. The British government argues, the colonists are represented in parliament as all members of parliament represent the entire empire, not just the constituencies from which they are elected. Finally, the British recognize no difference between external taxes to regulate commerce and internal taxes to raise revenue. This tension over taxes is played out with the Sugar and Stamp Acts repealed in 1766 because of colonial opposition and violence. But the British Parliament does not want to look as if it's agreeing with the colonists and therefore thinks it needs to assert its right to tax. It passes the declaratory act, asserting that parliament quote, has full power and authority to make laws and statutes to bind the colonies and people of America in all cases whatsoever. Now, because the declaratory act does not use the word taxation, the colonists thinks they have won the debate over parliament's power over the colonies. Indeed, the repeal of the stamp and sugar acts caused celebration in the colonies. Conversely, the British make no distinction between legislation and taxation and believes that the Declaratory Act affirms their right to tax the colonies. This ambiguity and its calming effects, holds until the Townsend Act of 1767, which reignites the crisis. In the next lecture, we will explore Benjamin Franklin's role in London representing the colonies and in some cases misinterpreting colonial attitudes. We'll also see how the escalating crisis converts him from British loyalists and defender in the mid to late 1760s to a revolutionary in the mid 1770s. His transformation mirrors that of the colonies, he goes from British subject to an American during this tumultuous period.