|About the Book|
The American Revolution was the longest colonial war in modern British history and Britains most humiliating defeat as an imperial power. In this lively, concise book, Eliga Gould examines an important yet surprisingly understudied aspect of the conflict: the British publics predominantly loyal response to its governments actions in North America.Gould attributes British support for George IIIs American policies to a combination of factors, including growing isolationism in regard to the European continent and a burgeoning sense of the colonies as integral parts of a greater British nation. Most important, he argues, the British public accepted such ill-conceived projects as the Stamp Act because theirs was a sedentary, armchair patriotism based on paying others to fight their battles for them. This system of military finance made Parliaments attempt to tax the American colonists look unexceptional to most Britons and left the metropolitan public free to embrace imperial projects of all sorts--including those that ultimately drove the colonists to rebel.Drawing on nearly one thousand political pamphlets as well as on broadsides, private memoirs, and popular cartoons, Gould offers revealing insights into eighteenth-century British political culture and a refreshing account of what the Revolution meant to people on both sides of the Atlantic.