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The growing conviction in London that measures had to be undertaken at the end of the French and Indian war to shore up British authority in the colonies was revealed by the stream of proposals for imperial reform that poured from the pens of Crown officials and other interested observers during the early 1760s.
In our own native land, in defence of the freedom that is our birth-right, and which we ever enjoyed till the late violation of it—for the protection of our property, acquired solely by the honest industry of our fore-fathers and ourselves, against violence actually offered, we have taken up arms. We shall lay them down when hostilities shall cease on the part of the aggressors, and all danger of their being renewed shall be removed, and not before. —From A Warning to the King: Thomas Jefferson, “A Summary View of the Rights of British-America” (August, 1774)
Jack P. Greene (b. 1931) was an Andrew W. Mellon Professor in Humanities at Johns Hopkins University. His other books include The Quest for Power: The Lower Houses of Assembly in the Southern Royal Colonies, 1689-1776 (Norton).