The great american dating experiment
Around the middle of the 18th century, the British government exacerbated matters by its callous treatment of its subjects on the other side of the Atlantic. His determination to exert British authority effectively ended a long period of “salutary neglect,” during which time colonial America benefited from British protection but was not bludgeoned by micromanagement from London.The 16-year period from George III’s ascendancy until the Declaration was punctuated by a series of conflicts and controversies, some of which I will mention here: In 1761, Britain exerted its authority by issuing “writs of assistance”—nothing less than searches of private property without warrants.Because they demanded rational thought, they came to reject the facetious and pompous claims of governments—that citizens existed to serve the state.The writings of scholars like John Locke and David Hume imbued in them a healthy respect for the individual.In 1764, Britain imposed the Sugar Act—intended to raise revenue for Britain and discourage colonial trade in the Caribbean.But the most objectionable aspect of the Sugar Act was its provision for violators (smugglers and tax evaders) to be tried not in normal courts of law as other Englishmen, but in “admiralty” courts—military tribunals often held on ships at sea.As we survey what they did, I caution you from the outset to avoid the sin of intertemporal bigotry—judging those of the late 18th Century by standards and conventions of the early 21st.
Lots of people who have lived left little mark on anything when they departed.
As the 18th Century rolled on, American colonists increasingly felt that Parliament and the monarchy were denying them the traditional rights of Englishmen.
When it came to ideas, the men who wrote the Declaration in 1776 were products of the Enlightenment.
In 1765, the infamous Stamp Act was passed in London.
It required the colonists to purchase stamps for placement on certain documents and publications.
Imagine if we could bring the Wright Brothers back to life for an hour so the critic could berate them. You two made this rickety flying machine and didn’t even install seat belts and tray tables, let alone in-flight movies. ” Or it would be like attacking Adam Smith because he didn’t give us all there was to know about economics.