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

The unattractive truth was that the arrival of the provisional treaty ending the war in April 1783 made the Continental Army superfluous, and the sooner it disappeared, the better. Congress eventually voted to provide full pay for five years for officers in lieu of half pay for life, but doing so was a purely rhetorical exercise, since there was no money in the federal coffers to pay anyone. Even that meaningless commitment generated widespread criticism, especially in New England, where returning officers were greeted with newspaper editorials describing them as blood-beaked vultures feeding at the public trough. At least in retrospect, the dissolution of the Continental Army in the spring of 1783 was one of the most poignant scenes in American history, as the men who had stayed the course and won the war were ushered off without pay, with paper pensions and only grudging recognition of their service.

Joseph J. Ellis
The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783—1789 (2015)