Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Date Information

December 2016

Department

History

First Advisor

Dane Morrison

Abstract

When most people think of the American Revolution, they think of the rebellion by the American colonies to break away from the Parliamentary tyranny happening in the British Government through the taxation policies enforced without the colonists’ representation in Parliament. Many people do not realize that across the sea where the tyranny was coming from, there were also members in Parliament fighting against the taxation policies. These members, called the “Americanists,” were mostly members of the House of Commons. Among their most eminent members were Edmund Burke, Isaac Barré, and Charles James Fox. This thesis analyzed Burke, Barré, and Fox’s motivations and role in Parliament using a variety of both primary and secondary sources including Parliamentary debates, letters, and research by other scholars. The main finding was that each member focused on the principle of the tax and the illegal actions Parliament was taking against the colonies. Each member wanted to bring peace between the Empire and colonies again, restoring the balance that revolved around trade and economic purposes. Parliament was warned by these members that the colonies would keep rebelling and eventually try to break away from the Empire, something the Empire could not afford to lose. Overall, The Americanists, not widely recognized, were essentially proponents of the American Revolution across the sea where the tyranny was coming from, contributing to the overall fight for American liberties and freedom.

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