Whigs against Whigs against Whigs: The Imperial Debates of 1765–76 Reconsidered
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In the essay featured here, Eric Nelson argues that in the early 1770s patriots dropped their previous insistence that Parliament was sovereign over the colonies but simply lacked authority to impose internal taxes, and instead adopted the dominion theory, returning to the constitutional position of the Stuart monarchs James I and Charles I. Examining this remarkable turn toward royal power demonstrates the true drama of the republican turn in 1776 and highlights the persistent allure of prerogative powers in the formative period of American constitutionalism. Gordon S. Wood, Pauline Maier, and Daniel J. Hulsebosch assess Nelson’s thesis, and then Nelson replies to their critiques.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Humanities. History Section
William and Mary Quarterly
Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture
Maier, Pauline. "Whigs against Whigs against Whigs: The Imperial Debates of 1765–76 Reconsidered." The William and Mary Quarterly Vol. 68, No. 4 (October 2011), pp. 578-582.