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The American Colonies and the British Empire, 1607–1783


Editor: Steven Sarson
Consultant Editor: Jack P Greene

Part I
4 volume set: 1088pp: 234x156mm: 2010
978 1 85196 948 7: £350/$625
Part II
4 volume set: 944pp: 234x156mm: 2011
978 1 85196 949 4: £350/$625

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This eight-volume reset edition traces the evolution of imperial and colonial ideologies during the British colonization of America. It covers the period from the founding of the Jamestown colony in Virginia in 1607 to the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783. At the start of the seventeenth century, colonies were largely autonomous private enterprises. Over time, however, British governments grew more interventionist as they became increasingly alarmed by the colonists’ economic and political liberties.

The works cover a wide range of ideas on empire and colonies from both sides of the Atlantic. Varied and often incompatible imperial and colonial ideas were espoused by British political economists, politicians, administrators, colonial governors and other officials, as well as by colonists. Sources include pamphlets, reports, sermons and letters. Almost all the texts are reproduced in full.

The edition benefits from a general introduction, introductions to Parts I & II, headnotes, endnotes and a consolidated index in the final volume. The editorial material takes into account recent intellectual, theoretical and methodological approaches pioneered in empire studies. This edition will be important for scholars of Atlantic History, American and British History and Empire Studies.

  • Over fifty complete texts set early American history within the colonial context
  • Contains new transcriptions of previously unpublished and difficult-to-access manuscript material
  • Sources are drawn from archives in the US and the UK
  • New editorial apparatus includes a general introduction, introductions to Parts I & II, headnotes and endnotes
  • Consolidated index in the final volume

Part I

Volume 1: 1607–75
George Benson, A Sermon Preached at Paules Crosse (1609); A True and Sincere Declaration of the Purpose and Ends of the Plantation begun in Virginia (1610); [John White], The Planters Plea, Or The Grounds of Plantations Examined, and usual Objections Answered (1630); Sir Philip Meadows, ‘Observations concerning the Dominion and Soveraignty of the Seas’ (1673); William Petty, ‘Trade: Dominion of the Seas’ (c1674); John Evelyn, Navigation and Commerce, their Original and Progress (1674)

Volume 2: 1676–1714
[Josias Fendall], 'Complaint from Heaven with a Huy & Crye and a Petition out of Virginia and Maryland' (1676); R B [Nathaniel Crouch], The English Empire in America: or A Prospect of His Majesties Dominions in the West-Indies (1685); John Palmer, The Present State of New-England Impartially Considered, In a Letter to the Clergy (1689); [Edward Rawson and Samuel Sewall], The Revolution in New England Justified, and the People there Vindicated from the Aspersions cast upon them by Mr John Palmer (1691); [William Cleland], The Present State of the Sugar Plantations Consider’d (1713)

Volume 3: 1715–52
Daniel Dulany, The Right of the Inhabitants of Maryland, to the Benefit of the English Laws (1728); [John Ashley], The British Empire in America, Consider’d (1732); A Pattern for Governours: Exemplify’d in the Character of Scroop late Lord Viscount Howe, Baron of Clonawly, and Governor of Barbados (1735); Archibald Cummings, The Character of a Righteous Ruler: A Sermon upon the Death of the Honorable Patrick Gordon, Esq, Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Pennsylvania (1736); Harman Verelst, ‘Some Observations on the Right of the Crown of Great Britain to the North West Continent of America’ (1739); John Ashley, Memoirs and Considerations concerning the Trade and Revenues of the British Colonies in America (1740); Archibald Kennedy, An Essay on the Government of the Colonies (1752)

Volume 4: 1753–63
Samuel Hopkins, Address to the People of New-England, Representing the very Great Importance of Attaching the Indians to their Interest (1753); Jonathan Mayhew, A Sermon Preach’d in the Audience of his Excellency William Shirley, Esq ([1754]); [John Shebbeare], Three Letters to the People of England (1756); [Henry McColloh], Proposals for Uniting the English Colonies on the Continent of America (1757); William Smith, Discourses on Several Public Occasions during the War in America (1759); James Otis, A Vindication of the Conduct of the House of Representatives of the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay (1762); John Pownall, ‘General Propositions: Form and Constitution of Government to be Established in the new Colonies’ (1763)

Part II

Introduction, 1764–83

Volume 5: 1764–68
[William Bollan], The Mutual Interest of Great Britain and the American Colonies Considered (1765); [Charles Jenkinson], ‘Notes on the Right to Tax the Colonies’ (1765); William Knox, The Claim of the Colonies to an Exemption from Internal Taxes Imposed by the Authority of Parliament, Examined (1765); William Knox, A Letter to a Member of Parliament, Wherein the Power of the British Legislature, and the Case of the Colonists, are Briefly and Impartially Considered (1765); [William Bollan], A Succinct View of the Origin of Our Colonies, with their Civil State (1766); The Late Occurrences in North America, and Policy of Great Britain Considered (1766); The True Interest of Great Britain, with respect to her American Colonies (1766); Protest against the Bill to Repeal the American Stamp Act (1766); [Josiah Tucker], A Letter from a Merchant in London to his Nephew in North America, Relative to the Present Posture of Affairs in the Colonies (1766); Two Papers on the Subject of Taxing the British Colonies in America (1767); George Canning, A Letter to the Right Honourable Wills Earl of Hillsborough, On the Connection between Great Britain and her American Colonies (1768)

Volume 6: 1769–75
An Enquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Present Disputes between the British Colonies in America and their Mother Country (1769); [Sir Hercules Langrishe], Considerations on the Dependencies of Great Britain. With Observations on a Pamphlet, Intitled The Present State of the Nation (1769); [Thomas Pownall], State of the Constitution of the Colonies ([1769]); Observations on Several Acts of Parliament, Passed in the Fourth, Sixth and Seventh Years of his Present Majesty's Reign (1770); Rev John Lathrop, Innocent Blood Crying to God from the Streets of Boston. A Sermon (1770); [Rev John Allen], An Oration, upon the Beauties of Liberty, or The Essential Rights of the Americans (1773); [William Bollan], The Rights of the English Colonies Established in America Stated and Defended (1774); [John Cartwright], A Letter to Edmund Burke, Esq. Controverting the Principles of American Government, Laid Down in his Lately Published Speech on American Taxation (1775)

Volume 7: 1775–77
A Full and Circumstantial Account of the Disputes between Great Britain and America (1775); A Proposition for the Present Peace and Future Government of the British Colonies in North America (1775); Taxation, Tyranny. Addressed to Samuel Johnson (1775); [Hugh Baillie], 'A Letter to the Author of a Pamphlet, called Taxation no Tyranny' (1775); Cradock Glascott, The Best Method of Putting an End to the American War (1776); John Roebuck, An Enquiry, whether the Guilt of the Present Civil War in America, ought to be Imputed to Great Britain or America (1776); An Answer from the Electors of Bristol, to the Letter of Edmund Burke, Esq. on the Affairs of America (1777)

Volume 8: 1779–83
[Joseph Galloway], Considerations upon the American Enquiry (1779); D M Knight, Proposal for Peace between Great Britain and North-America, upon a New Plan. In a Letter to Lord North (1779); Beilby Porteus, A Sermon Preached before the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, in the Abbey-Church, Westminster (1779); James Cornwallis, A Sermon Preached in the Cathedral and Metropolitan Church of Christ, Canterbury, on Friday, February 4, 1780 (1780); [Josiah Tucker], Dispassionate Thoughts on the American War: Addressed to the Moderate of all Parties (1780); [David Williams], A Plan of Association, on Constitutional Principles, for the Parishes, Tithings, Hundreds, and Counties of Great Britain (1780); [John Almond], The Revolution in MDCCLXXXII Impartially Considered (1782); Edward Stratford, An Essay on the True Interests and Resources of the Empire of the King of Great-Britain and Ireland (1783)

This title is now available to buy from ebrary:

ISBNs: 9781851969487 978-1-85196-948-7 ISBNs: 9781851969494 978-1-85196-949-4 ISBNs: 9781781446003 978-1-78144-600-3 ISBNs: 9781781446010 978-1-78144-601-0

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