Portraits of Politics

Patrick Henry introducing the Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions to the House of Burgesses in 1765

QUICK FACTS

           

Great Britain

Prime Ministers

  • George Grenville, 16 Apr 1763 – 13 Jul 1765
  • Marquess of Rockingham, 13 Jul 1765 – 30 Jul 1766
  • William Pitt, 30 July 1766 – 14 October 1768
  • Duke of Grafton, 14 October 1768 – 28 January 1770
  • Lord North, 28 Jan 1770 - 20 Mar 1782
  • Marquess of Rockingham, 27 Mar 1782 – 1 Jul 1782
  • Earl of Shelburne, 4 Jul 1782 – 2 Apr 1783
  • Duke of Portland, 2 Apr 1783 – 19 Dec 1783

Secretarys of State for the American Department

British Legislation

  • Proclamation of 1763
  • American Duties Act of 1764 (Sugar Act)
  • Currency Act of 1764
  • Stamp Act (1765)
  • Quartering Act of 1765
  • Repeal of the Stamp Act (1766)
  • Declaratory Act (1766)
  • Townshend Acts (1767)
    • Revenue Act
    • Indemnity Act
  • Coercive Acts (Intolerable Acts; 1774)
    • Boston Port Act
    • Massachusetts Government Act
    • Administration of Justice Act
    • Quartering Act of 1774
    • Quebec Act

American Colonies

The Colonial Response

There is a symmetry between the folly of Burgoyne’s march south to Saratoga and that of Cornwallis’s march north to Yorktown. Military historians debate why Burgoyne risked marching south from Fort Edward in the same way that they question why Cornwallis advanced north beyond North Carolina into Virginia. Although Cornwallis had none of the outward vanity of Burgoyne, the two men were similar in that they were both junior generals and neither of them was commander in chief of the British army in America. Both blamed their subsequent failures on rigid orders and insufficient latitude. They both expected to march through predominantly friendly territory. They both ignored the chain of command and went over the heads of their superiors to communicate independently with Lord George Germain. They both allowed their supply lines to become overextended and their forces suffered harassment by enemy militia. They presided over the two most decisive defeats of the American Revolutionary War.

Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy
The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (2013)