Britain Changes Its Colonial Policies Worksheet Answers

Britain has had thirteen colonies over the last century and through this process the country has changed its colonial policies. But even in this process there are many questions that arise from how Britain has handled these changes in her colonies. One of these questions is how Britain has handled changes in her colonial policies over time. There are a number of documents that allow us to examine this in detail through the use of the pre-made printable worksheets.

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The question of how Britain has changed its policy regarding colonization can be found in the Foreign and colonial administration acts of each of the thirteen colonies. These acts were enacted during the first months of the empire after the revolution occurred in 1776. This is important because they record all the details concerning England’s dealings with the colonies at that point in time. This information provides an insight into Britain’s approach to how she dealt with this process and why the colonies were colonized in the first place.

Britain’s colonial policy changes can be found in three major documents. These documents include the letters of Edward Cornwallis, the Instructions of a Committee of Proclamation, and the Instructions to the Proclamation of Indecision. All of these British colonial worksheets include detailed instructions as to what should be done with each colony starting with the current one and going back to when the last British resident left. These instructions have been reproduced here for your use as well in order to help you learn about the different aspects of this complicated process.

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Among the main topics covered in these instructions are Britain’s changing attitude regarding the nature of the colonies. At the beginning of the seventeenth century the British Colony was simply called “the protectorates.” At the beginning of the eighteenth century the colony was officially designated “monarchy,” but this change was met with strong opposition by some members of the population including the landed gentry who felt the institution of Monarchy undermined the rights of the people to self-rule. To remedy this issue, in 1800 the House of Commons voted to change the name of the protectorates to “colonies.” This new designation stuck and now British Colonies are commonly referred to as “ports.”

The second major influence on Britain’s pre-colonial policies can be found in the Instructions of a Committee of Proclamation issued during the reign of Queen Victoria. This major legislative body had been formed to deal with various colonial issues that didn’t receive official attention from the Westminster Parliament. Instructions of the Committee of Proclamation focused on the colonization of India. Although it is unclear why this particular piece of legislation was created, one explanation may be found in the fact that Victoria was keen on creating a trading post in India. As a result, this piece of colonial legislating allowed Indian subjects to settle in Britain once they reached an age of consent according to the British immigration laws of the time. However, the legislation did not stop British colonizers from transporting native Indians from their homeland to places in Britain or from sending them to other British territories in India.

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As may be expected, the British authorities were interested in encouraging immigration to Britain. Therefore, a series of important pieces of imperial colonial legislation required British subjects submit to examinations before they could receive “settled” status (as defined by the Instructions of the Committee of Proclamation). These colonial pieces of legislation established the qualifications for British subjects who could become settlers in India. Moreover, the instructions of the Committee of Proclamation also required that certain classes of persons, mostly Indians, who had entered Britain before 1760 could apply for “repatriation” after reaching the age of sixty-five.

The third major influence on the changes in British immigration policy is the arrival of the Enclosure Acts in the eighteenth century. This piece of colonial legislating declared certain areas in England as unfit for settling due to the inability of the local population to construct large estates. In practice, these enclaves were known as penal colonies. In the nineteenth century, these enclaves began to be called residential districts. Thus, from the very beginning, the authorities stigmatized areas in Britain as undesirable for immigration and thereby changed its stance on the topic.


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Even with these three major influences, Britain has not always been keen on welcoming immigration. In fact, at times, it has actively prevented immigration from some countries altogether. In recent history, under pressure from the European Union and other external sources, Britain has begun to take more restrictive measures against immigration. However, as may be expected, given the scale of changes that occurred over the past century, Britain may yet change its mind concerning its welcoming stance toward immigration.

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