The Coming of the Revolution, 1763-1775

The Coming of the Revolution, 1763-1775

The Coming of the Revolution, 1763-1775

The Coming of the Revolution, 1763-1775

Excerpt

During the past half century the lapse of time and the uncovering of much new evidence have made it possible for scholars to pursue their investigations into the causes of the American Revolution in an atmosphere far less partisan than had prevailed in earlier generations. As a result of this more objective handling of the period of mounting tension that preceded the War of Independence, the rights on both sides of the controversy are more generally conceded.

Most historians agree today that the British government was justified in calling upon the colonies for a larger contribution to the imperial program than they had made prior to the Peace of Paris of 1763, but affirm the correctness of the colonial position in labeling the government's program after that year an infringement of that substantial measure of self-government which the colonists had achieved for themselves over a period of a century and a half. No longer is George III portrayed as a wicked, designing man. However, by establishing himself at the center of British politics and breaking with the Old Whigs, the monarch is viewed as having failed to serve as a symbol of imperial unity. British-American relations foundered on the rock of the conservatism of the King and his supporters, but this conservatism provided the ultimate base for a new Tory party.

The complex and varied aspects of imperial relations on the eve of the Revolution are carefully explored by Dr. Lawrence H. Gipson in this volume. His multivolume study, The British Empire Before the American Revolution, has abundantly demonstrated the author's profound knowledge of the sources, his insights into the, complex issues of the day, and his ability to treat these events with balance and objectivity. To Dr. Gipson the Revolution marks the culmina-

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