GHIST 225: US History
Kevin R. Hardwick
Spring 2012
LECTURE 07
Constitutional Conflict in the British Empire after the
Seven Years War
Part One: The Great War for Empire and the end of
“Salutary Neglect”
Part Two: The Revolutionary Crisis and a Conflict of
Constitutional Interpretation
Documents:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Thomas Whately, The Regulations Lately Made (1765), in CAPCT, Vol.
1, pp. 166-170
James Otis, Rights of the British Colonies Proved and Asserted
(1764), in CAPCT, Vol. I, pp. 154-159
Samuel Adams, “Circular Letter” (1768) in CAPCT, Vol. I, pp. 197-199
Thomas Hutchinson, “A Dialogue Between an American and a
European Englishman (1768), in CAPCT, Vol. 1, pp. 214-226
Dates
War
Annual Cost
(Thosands of Pounds
Sterling)
Debt at End
(Thosands of Pounds
Sterling)
1689-1697
Nine Years War
5,500,000
16,700,000
1702-1713
War of the Spanish 7,000,000
Succession
36,200,000
1739-1748
War of the Austrian 8,800,000
Succession
76,100,000
1756-1763
Seven Years War
132,600,000
18,000,000
Thomas Whately, The Regulations Lately Made (1765)
The revenue that may be raised by the duties which have been already, or by
these [stamp dates] if they should be hereafter imposed, are all equally applied
by Parliament, towards defraying the necessary expenses of defending,
protecting, and securing, the British colonies and plantations in America.
[CAPCT, vol. I, p. 166]
Thomas Whately, The Regulations Lately Made (1765)
They [the people of the colonies] are immediately, they are principally
concerned in it; and the inhabitants of their Mother-country would justly and
loudly complain, if after all their efforts for the benefit of the colonies, when
every point is gained, and every wish accomplished [by the British victory in the
Seven Years War], and they alone should be called to answer every additional
demand, that the preservation of these advantages, and the protection of the
colonies from future dangers, may occasion. [CAPCT, vol. I, p. 166]
Thomas Whately, The Regulations Lately Made (1765)
For by the appropriating this revenue towards the defence and security of the
provinces where it is raised, the produce of it is kept in the country, the people
are not deprived of the circulation of what cash they have amonst themselves,
and thereby the severest oppression of an American tax, that of draining the
plantations of money which they can ill spare, is avoided. [CAPCT, vol. I, pp. 166167]
James Otis, Rights of the British Colonies Proved and Asserted (1764)
And such has been the zeal and loyalty of the colonies ever since for that
establishment [the, limited monarchy established by the “Glorious Revolution”
of 1688], and for the protestant succession in his present Majesty’s illustrious
family, that I believe there is not one man in an hundred (except in Canada) who
does not think himself under the best national civil constitution in the world.
[CAPCT, vol. I, p. 154]
James Otis, Rights of the British Colonies Proved and Asserted (1764)
We all think ourselves happy under Great Britain. We love, esteem and
reverence our Mother Country, and adore our King. And could the choice of
independency be offered the colonies, or subjection to Great-Britain upon any
terms save absolute slavery, I am convinced they would accept the latter. The
ministry, in all future generations may rely on it, that British America will never
prove undutiful, till driven to it, as the last fatal resort against ministerial
oppression, [CAPCT, vol. I, p. 158]
Richard Bland, An Inquiry into the Rights of the British Colonies (1766)
[The colonists] had a regular government long before the first Act of
Navigation, and were respected as a distinct state, independent, as to their
internal government, of the original kingdom, but united with her, as to their
external polity, in the closest and most intimate LEAGUE AND AMITY, under the
same allegiance, and enjoying the benefits of a reciprocal intercourse. [CAPCT,
vol. I, p. 189]
Samuel Adams, “Circular Letter” (1768)
That the constitution [of Great Britain, as established in the Glorious Revolution
of 1688] ascertains & limits both sovereignty and allegiance, & therefore, his
Majesty’s American subjects, have an equitable claim to the full enjoyment of
the fundamental rules of the British constitution. [CAPCT, vol. I, p. 198]
Thomas Hutchinson, “A Dialogue Between an American and a European
Englishman (1768)
European: What sort of connection do you imagine there is between Great
Britain and her colonies? Are you and we parts of one and the same empire or
are we not?
American: We are certainly under one and the same sovereign. [CAPCT, vol. I, p.
215]
Thomas Hutchinson, “A Dialogue Between an American and a European
Englishman (1768)
American: The king might retain the executive power and also his share of the
legislative <in each colony> without any abridgement of our <ancestor’s> rights
as Englishmen; the Parliament could not retain their legislative power without
depriving them of those rights, for after their removal they could no longer be
represented, and their sovereign, sensible of this, by charter or commissions
made provision in every colony for legislatures within themselves. [CAPCT, vol. I,
p. 215]
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PP 07 Crisis of the Imperial Constitution, 1763-1773