British sympathies with the American cause

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  • #14767
    levijackson
    Member

    In Dr. Gutzman’s lectures on the Revolution, he mentions that there were those in Parliament who sympathized with the colonists’ objections to the Stamp Act, the Intolerable Acts, etc. I was wondering if there was a segment of the populace in Britain who also sympathized with the colonists, and what the general sentiment was prior to the Declaration of Independence.

    Also, any reading recommendations that cover this topic would be appreciated.

    #14768
    gutzmank
    Participant

    Conor Cruise O’Brien’s biography of Edmund Burke is a good place to start.

    #14769
    leonglapgong
    Member

    The revisionist census is that the British Parliament did not want to go to war with their brethren.

    #14770
    gutzmank
    Participant

    Overwhelming Parliamentary majorities favored putting down the “rebellion” in North America. Perhaps they didn’t want war, but they voted against surrender — which, from their constitutional perspective, was the only alternative to war.

    #14771
    gutzmank
    Participant

    For the divergence between American and British constitutional perspectives leading up to the Revolution, see the classic _Peripheries and Center_ by Jack Greene. Greene is the greatest colonial historian of the 20th century (and he’s still at it).

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