Preliminaries of the Revolution, 1763-1775

By George Elliott Howard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
THE ANGLICAN EPISCOPATE AND THE REVOLUTION (1638-1775)

THE period of the Townshend acts, 1767-1770, marks the crisis in a long and bitter controversy which rightly belongs to the preliminaries of the American Revolution. According to Mellen Chamberlain, whose view in part agrees with that of some other writers,1 the attempt to set up the Anglican episcopal system in the colonies must be counted among the chief causes of their separation from the parent state. He cites2 as principal authorities John Adams and Jonathan Boucher. Who "will believe," wrote Adams in 1815, "that the apprehension of Episcopacy contributed fifty years ago, as much as any other cause, to arouse the attention, not only of the inquiring mind, but of the common people, and urge them to close thinking on the constitutional authority of parliament over

____________________
1
Chamberlain, John Adams, 13, 17; Perry, Am. Episcopal Church, I., 394 et seq., 425. Cf. Brooks Adams, Emancipation of Mass., 314 et seq.
2
Chamberlain, John Adams, 30 et seq.

-206-

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