The Unmaking of Empire, II: North America 1768–1775


in The Making and Unmaking of Empires

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780199226665
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191706813 | DOI:
The Unmaking of Empire, II: North America 1768–1775

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This chapter describes the slow, uncertain but ultimately inexorable drift to armed resistance and then to war between Britain and the thirteen colonies, a conclusion desired for long by virtually nobody on either side. British governments stood by the principle of ultimate parliamentary sovereignty, while Americans continued to see a challenge to their liberty in limited British measures, such as levying a duty on imported tea. American resistance, culminating in the Boston Tea Party, ultimately provoked the deployment of troops to crush it. Britain embarked on what was to prove a long war, with widespread support from the public at home, albeit also with very considerable dissent, and with strong support in other parts of the empire.

Keywords: thirteen colonies; sovereignty; parliament; liberty; tax; Boston Tea Party; British army; public opinion

Chapter.  20078 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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