A Great and Necessary Measure, George Grenville and the Genesis of the Stamp Act, 1763-1765
University of Missouri Press, 1982 - 317 pages
George Grenville could have upheld Parliament's sovereignty, raised revenue, reduced smuggling, and asserted British control over the colonies by lowering the duty on foreign molasses imported into America from sixpence to one penny per gallon. But Grenville chose to set the duty at threepence instead, thereby irritating the mercantile community in the colonies. Would setting the molasses duty at one penny and collecting interest on paper currency have inspired Americans to resist parliamentary tyranny? Perhaps they would have; perhaps not. It does seem certain, though, that if resistance to these policies had occurred, it would have been a resistance shorn of substantial support from merchants, the agricultural elite of the northern colonies, and the planters of the South. In any crisis that might have arisen, Britain would have enjoyed far more support from these powerful groups in American society than she in fact did during the 1760s and 1770s. Thus, different decisions by Grenville might have totally prevented, considerably delayed, or essentially changed the American Revolution. How and why Grenville and his colleagues reached the fateful decisions are the questions examined in this book.
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11 February 9 March administration agents American Revolution appointment April arguments assemblies believed bill Bowdoin-Temple Papers Britain British Politics Bute Letters Bute's Charles Townshend clandestine trade colleagues collect colonists Cruwys customs commissioners customs officers debate December discussion distributors drawback Earl Egremont England Franklin Papers French George Grenville George Grenville Papers George III Gren Grenville's Grenville's speech Halifax Hardwicke Papers HEHL House of Commons ibid impose Ingersoll Papers Ingersoll to Fitch Jackson January Jenkinson Papers July King to Bute laws Lewis Namier Liverpool Papers London Lord manufactures Mauduit McCulloh merchants molasses duty Moreover Namier and Brooke Newcastle North America October P. D. G. Thomas Parliament parliamentary petition postponement probably proposal raise reason Ryder Diary September 1763 smugglers smuggling Stamp Act Crisis stamp duties stamp tax STG Box Sugar Act suggestion Thomas Whately threepence tion Treasury Treasury's Ware Whately to Temple Whately's