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American Philosophical Society
Magna Charta for America: James Abercromby's: Memoirs, APS (vol. 165)
Jack P. Greene (ed); Charles F. Mullet (ed); Edward C. Papenfuse, Jr. (ed)
Magna Charta for America: James Abercromby's "An Examination of the Acts of Parliament Relative to the Trade and the Government of our American Colonies" (1752); and "’De Jure et Gubernatione Coloniarum’," or An Inquiry into the Nature, and the Rights of Colonies, Ancient, and Modern” (1774): Memoirs, APS (vol. 165)
By 1750 Great Britain presided over an extensive Amer. empire of 24 separate colonies stretching from Barbados to Newfoundland. These colonies had played a crucial role in Britain’s transformation into a wealthy & powerful state, & Britain endeavored to protect & extend its Amer. dominions during the Seven Years’ War between 1754-1763. Yet at the same time the British gov’t. undertook a series of measures that in rapid succession led to the alienation, military resistance, & loss of 13 of its most valuable & populous older mainland colonies. Why British leaders undertook those measures & persisted in them once the colonists had objected so vehemently during the Stamp Act crisis of 1765-66 & after are, arguably, the most important questions about the causes of the Amer. Revolution. The two book-length treatises in this vol. fully & systematically reveal the mentality, the objectives & considerations that underlay this behavior. They are both the work of James Abercromby (1707-1775), a barrister, former royal official & elected assemblyman in S. Carolina, then agent for N. Carolina & Virginia in London, & later M.P. for Clackmannshire, the family seat, in the Parliament of 1761-68.
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