The Pamphlet Debate on the American Question in Great Britain, 1764-1776

About this Collection

The Pamphlet Debate on the American Question in Great Britain, 1764-1776, selected by Jack Greene, makes available in modern digitized form a trove of eighteenth-century books and pamphlets that directly addressed what became known in metropolitan Britain as the American Question. Along with a plethora of newspaper essays, these pamphlets constituted the first, most intensive, and most sustained public examination of the foundations and distribution of constituted authority within the British Atlantic Empire. They were the most thorough and most general public discussion of the domestic constitution and governing conventions of Great Britain since the Glorious Revolution and probably since the Leveller debates during the English Civil War. This is an exceptionally rich literature that will repay careful study. It has obvious relevance for enhancing historical understanding of the eight-year war and revolution that led to the withdrawal of a substantial portion of its transatlantic empire from the jurisdiction of Great Britain and the appearance of a new national entity on the world stage. By providing a window into competing conceptions of liberty and constitutional governance within the late eighteenth-century Anglophone world, it is also worth attention in its own right.

Key People

Titles & Essays

A – Z List



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Taxation no Tyranny; An Answer to the Resolutions and Address of the American Congress

Samuel Johnson (author)

Written in 1775 in response to the Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress, Samuel Johnson’s Taxation no Tyranny is a defense of Parliamentary Sovereignty, particularly the right to tax. One of the greatest English…