Defining America in the Radical 1760s

John Dickinson, George III and the Fate of Empire

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About the Book

The 1760s were a period of great agitation in the American colonies. The policies implemented by the British resulted in an outcry from the Americans that inaugurated the radical ideas leading to the Revolution in 1775. John Dickinson led the way in the “war of ink” between America and Britain, which saw over 1,000 pamphlets and essays written both for and against British policy. King George III, the new British monarch, wrote extensively on the role of Britain in the colonial world and sought to find a middle way between the quickly rising feelings on both sides of the debate. This book tells the story of this radical decade as it occurred in writing, drawing from primary sources and rarely seen exchanges.

About the Author(s)

Jude M. Pfister is a public historian working for the National Park Service in Morristown, New Jersey, with experience in many of the most important historic sites in the United States.

Bibliographic Details

Jude M. Pfister
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 263
Bibliographic Info: 26 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7974-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4377-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Chapter 1. Setting the Stage 5
Chapter 2. America: 1760 11
Chapter 3. The Era of the French and Indian War 31
Chapter 4. Escalation and Victory 49
Chapter 5. King George III and the Rise of American Resistance 69
Chapter 6. The Stamp Act and a Congress 88
Chapter 7. The Ink War on the Stamp Act 103
Chapter 8. A Farmer Pushes Back 124
Chapter 9. The Dimensions of Taxation 153
Chapter 10. Ancient Liberties 173
Chapter 11. James Wilson, Thomas Jefferson, and the Final Arguments for America 187
Appendix 1. Crevecoeur—What Is an American? 215
Appendix 2. The Language of the Stamp Act 219
Appendix 3. Language from the Repeal of the Stamp Act 221
Appendix 4.The Language of the Declaratory Act 222
Appendix 5. Massachusetts Circular Letter to the Colonial Legislatures: February 11, 1768 224
Appendix 6. James Wilson: From Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British
Parliament 227
Appendix 7. Albany Plan of Union 1754 230
Appendix 8. William Blackstone: Excerpt from the Introduction to Commentaries on the Laws of England 233
Chapter Notes 237
Bibliography 249
Index 255