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Revolution Against EmpireTaxes, Politics, and the Origins of American Independence$
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Justin du Rivage

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300214246

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300214246.001.0001

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Sons of Liberty, Sons of Licentiousness

Sons of Liberty, Sons of Licentiousness

(p.178) 6 Sons of Liberty, Sons of Licentiousness
Revolution Against Empire

Justin du Rivage

Yale University Press

This chapter shows how colonists responded to the transformation of the British Empire. Radical resistance gained strength from economic anxiety and the fact that authoritarian imperial reform was clearly and explicitly designed to subordinate the colonial economy. American radicals, far from being libertarians, were fully committed to using the power of government to achieve their goals. They used the language of political economy to argue for a boycott of British goods, believing that this not only would stimulate American manufacturing but would make the colonies less dependent on the mother country. When a majority of colonists, who were keen observers of Britain's political scene, became convinced that authoritarian reformers had taken control of Westminster and Whitehall, they declared their independence.

Keywords:   British American colonists, radical resistance, authoritarian reforms, colonial economy, American radicals, political economy, boycotts, authoritarian reformers

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