The American Revolution
Gordon S. Wood, Random House, New York 2002
The atmosphere in the colonies could not have been less receptive to these initial efforts by the British government to reorganize the empire. In the early 1760s, with the curtailing wartime spending, the earlier commercial boom collapsed. Between 1769 and 1764, American markets were glutted with unsold goods. At the same time, bumper tobacco crops (in part the result of new independent producers) drove tobacco prices down by 75%. This economic slump threatened the entire Atlantic credit structure, from London and Scottish merchant houses to small farmers and shop keepers in the colonies. As a result, business failures and bankruptcies multiplied everywhere.
What the British were trying to do, raise taxes, cut spending, reorganize the Empire's political structure has something form almost everyone to love and hate. Today's Democrats can not that austerity measures in the middle of a recession are likely to bring out the pitchforks, while Republicans can point out that raising taxes will do very much the same thing. Not too surprisingly, the British did an excellent job, making everyone mad at them.
My point has generally been that once you drive a bus off a cliff, you can maybe take measures to soften the pain of the landing, but there is no real hope of avoiding the crash. In this case, our bus is lying at the bottom, with at least two other buses (Europe, and China) possibly getting set to land on top of us.