The British-American colonies grew in relative independence from 1607 to 1763. A policy of salutary neglect resulted in colonies that were largely self-governed and independent, with well-functioning colonial legislatures and courts.
From 1754-63 the British and Americans fought the French and Indians in the so-called French and Indian War. This was a war over which European power would possess large areas of North America. The British won, but ended the war deeply in debt and with added expenses.
The British government, under King George III and Prime Minister Lord North, decided to raise funds and save money through a series of acts that affected the American colonies. These acts included the Proclamation Line of 1763 that prohibited colonists from settling in the Ohio River Valley, the Stamp Act, the Sugar Act, the Tea Act, among others. Colonists resisted these policy changes and, as the 1760’s progressed, many began to suggest that independence was the best possible course.
Fueling revolutionary thinking were several philosophical ideas: