1754-1783: Government and Politics: Publications
1754-1783: Government and Politics: Publications
John Adams, Thoughts on Government (Philadelphia: Printed by John Dunlap, 1776)—in response to Thomas Paine’s call for a single-house legislature, Adams calls for balanced government to protect different social classes;
Francis Bernard, Select Letters on the Trade and Government of America; and the Principles of Law and Polity, Applied to the American Colonies (London: Printed for T. Payne, 1774)—the former royal governor of Massachusetts urges Britain to take more responsibility for governing the American colonies;
Daniel Dulany, Considerations on the Propriety of Imposing Taxes in the British Colonies, for the Purpose of Raising a Revenue, by Act of Parliament (Annapolis, Md.: Printed & sold by Jonas Green, 1765);
William Hicks, The Nature and Extent of Parliamentary Power Considered (Philadelphia, 1768)—Hicks argues that the colonists had not delegated taxing power to Parliament;
Thomas Hutchinson, Copy of Letters sent to Great-Britain, by His Excellency Thomas Hutchinson,... and Several Other Persons... (Boston: Printed by Edes & Gill, 1773)—letters from Hutchinson, Andrew Oliver, and others to Thomas Whately urging a stronger hand against the colonists in the 1760s. The missives were sent to the Massachusetts assembly by Benjamin Franklin in December 1772, resulting in the legislature demanding Hutchinson’s removal and Franklin being denounced in the Privy Council;
Hutchinson, The Speeches of His Excellency Governor Hutchinson, to the General Assembly... with the Answers of His Majesty’s Council and the House of Representatives (Boston: Printed by Edes & Gill, 1773)— Hutchinson set out his views on constitutional order in a speech to the assembly on 6 January 1773. Samuel Adams and Joseph Hawley drafted a reply corrected by John Adams. Hutchinson retorted in one of the most significant constitutional debates before 1776;
Thomas Jefferson, A Summary View of the Rights of British America (Williamsburg, Va.: Printed for Clementina Rind, 1774)—in these instructions to Virginia’s delegates to the First Continental Congress, Jefferson argued that Parliament and the king had little or no authority in the colonies;
Thomas Paine, Common Sense (Philadelphia: Printed & sold by R. Bell, 1776)—a scathing attack on royal power and the English constitution;
Allan Ramsay, Thoughts on the Origin and Nature of Government. Occasioned by the Late Dispute between Great Britain and her American Colonies. Written in the Year 1766 (London: Printed for T. Becket, 1769)—an argument against the colonies’ right not to be taxed because men gave up natural rights when they entered a state of society;
James Wilson, Considerations on the Nature and Extent of the Legislative Authority of the British Parliament (Philadelphia: Printed & sold by William & Thomas Bradford, 1774)—Wilson argued that the colonies owed loyalty to the king, but not to Parliament.
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