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The American Revolution
British Reforms and Colonial Resistance
Letter from a Principal House in England

As resolutions for the non-importation of British goods began to take effect, British merchants grew alarmed. What concerns are expressed in the following excerpt from a letter written by a British merchant? What impact might these concerns might have had on British policy toward the North American colonies?

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THE present Situation of the Colonies is really alarming to every Person who has large Sums to come from them.--We feel the Force of the late Act, in a very sensible Manner, being drove to our Wits End to pay our Tradesmen, agreeable to the Time their Payments become due; and if a Method is not taken, diametrically opposite to the former, you and we, and indeed every Person of Property, must unavoidably sink under the present Restrictions. The Colonies, at this present Moment, owe us One Hundred Thousand Pounds [the British monetary unit] and upwards, too large a Sum to be kept out of above two Years, and no Remittances; and though two Vessels are arrived at London from New-York, the whole Remittance was a single Hundred Pounds--This is what we cannot bear, therefore [we] are determined to stop our Hands in the Export Way, and will not ship off a single Shilling's Worth, but to Persons who can and will pay us: If this cursed Act is not repealed, we shall be great Sufferers, and our Manufactures thrown on their Parishes, for want of Support, whilst People whoemployed them, will not be in a much better Situation. The Avenues of Remittances are stopped with you, and Trade, the Basis and Foundation of England's Wealth, is intirely shut up. We dread the Consequence, and know not to what Fatality we are destined.
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