The issue of taxation had immense symbolic importance on both sides of the Atlantic. Like most of his fellow members of Parliament, [Lord Frederick] North regarded the right of Britain to tax America as integral to the absolute and indivisible supremacy of Parliament over America. The concept of parliamentary sovereignty was more than an abstract doctrine. It had emotional resonance as a constitutional victory won against the monarchy in the Glorious Revolution, following the deposition of James II in 1688. It was regarded as essential for the protection of liberty in general. For Britain, the right to tax the colonies was fundamental to its authority to govern America. At the same time, taxation united colonial opposition more than any other grievance.
Signer of the Declaration of Independence, diplomat, second President; 1735—1826.
Political philosopher, Boston revolutionary leader, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Massachusetts governor; 1722—1803.
Anglo-Irish statesman, orator, author, and political philosopher; 1729—97.
French general, liaison between Rochambeau and Washington; 1734—88.
Lawyer, politician, writer, militia officer, signer of the Declaration of Independence; 1732—1808.
Philadelphia printer, writer, scientist, inventor, signer of the Declaration of Independence, diplomat to France; 1706—90.
Last Royal Governor of Massachusetts; 1711—80.
Lawyer, architect, drafter of the Declaration of Independence, Virginia governor, diplomat, third President, founder of the University of Virginia; 1743—1826.
Lawyer, politician, Boston revolutionary; 1725—83.
Author, revolutionary, political philosopher; 1737—1809.
The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (2013)