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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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English Blood by English Hands

English Blood by English Hands

(p.205) 7 English Blood by English Hands
Revolution Against Empire

Justin du Rivage

Yale University Press

This chapter shows how the ideological conflict over empire and public finance continued throughout the war. The American War of Independence was one of the most controversial wars in Britain's history, provoking demands for domestic reform and even flashes of republicanism. In the colonies, the difficulties of forging a new and effective American state meant that conflict was endemic. For both sides, common cultural ties and lingering affection for the British Empire prompted repeated attempts to negotiate a settlement. Those efforts ultimately failed, however. Most colonists were strongly attached to building a new, republican empire in North America, one made possible by the Articles of Confederation. When the war finally ended, Britain's radical Whig prime minister, William Petty, not only granted the new United States a generous peace but sought to reunite the empire along radical Whig lines.

Keywords:   radical Whig, authoritarian reform, ideological conflict, American War of Independence, domestic reform, republicanism, American state, republican empire, American Revolution

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