Chapter

William Blackstone: Teacher of Revolution<sup>⋆</sup>

in From Vienna to Chicago and Back

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780226776361
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226776385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226776385.003.0003
William Blackstone: Teacher of Revolution⋆

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This chapter addresses some light on a little known aspect of Revolutionary newspaper and pamphlet warfare in South Carolina in the years from 1769 to 1776. It concentrates on a feature of William Blackstone's constitutional thought which has been misted by his championship of parliamentary sovereignty. John McKenzie deserves a special place in a story that has not yet been written, the story of Blackstone's significance for American Revolutionary thought. Based on “Revolution principles,” McKenzie's ideas had a peculiar fortune. William Henry Drayton in South Carolina is also addressed. Furthermore, it discusses Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence. In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson does not speak of the king abandoning the helm of government. As Jefferson put it, the cliché of Blackstone's “Toryism,” of his “honeyed Mansfieldism,” his championship of parliamentary sovereignty has obscured too long the fact that the “Tory” Blackstone was no Jacobite.

Keywords: William Blackstone; South Carolina; Revolutionary newspaper; pamphlet warfare; parliamentary sovereignty; John McKenzie; William Henry Drayton; Thomas Jefferson; Declaration of Independence

Chapter.  9542 words. 

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