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The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution
 019886292X, 9780198862925

Table of contents :
Cover
The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution
Copyright
Dedication
Preface
Contents
List of Illustrations
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
Note on Sources
INTRODUCTION
1 ‘The Venerable Head’: The Reflections of Ezra Stiles
PROLOGUE: The Neighbour’s House, 1533–1775
2 ‘The Rose of Sharon’: The English and the Peace of Christendom
‘The Liberty of Christendom’
‘A Holy Asylum’
‘What Can Be Hoped For?’
3 ‘Peace and Tranquillity’: The System of Europe in British Grand Strategy
‘The General Interest of Europe’
‘A Just Balance of Power’
‘The Expectation of a Universal Monarchy’
4 ‘The Temper of the People’: Public Politics in British America
‘The Current News’
The Best Service of the People’
‘The American Mind’
PART I: THE LIBERTIES OF EUROPE, 1740–1763
5 ‘Giving Peace to Europe’: Colonial Whigs and the Balance of Power
‘Freedom’s Juster Claim’
‘Matters of Thankfulness’
We May Look on All These Victories as Our Own’
6 ‘The Patron of Mankind’: Geopolitics and Colonial Nationalism
‘Let the British Lion be Roused’
‘The Arbiter of Europe’
‘Of Whatever Sect or Nation’
7 ‘In a National Light’: War and the Ethics of Imperial Politics
‘The True English Spirit’
The Glorious Cause’
‘The Victors Mourn’
PART II: A BRITISH EMPIRE, 1763–1776
8 ‘Magna Britannia’: European Crisis, British Isolation, and Colonial Longing
‘One Universal Despotism’
Blow Up the Coals’
9 ‘The Asylum of Liberty’: Universal Monarchy and American Nationhood
‘The Next Universal Monarchy’
‘A Single Rod of Earth’
‘National Truth and Honour’
10 ‘Arbitress of the Universe: ’Empires, Futures, and Revolutionary Geopolitics
‘A Grand Commercial Interest’
‘A Perfectly Free People’
‘The Road to Glory’
CONCLUSION
11 ‘Events Abroad’: America Between Two Worlds
Bibliography of Primary Sources
Index

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The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution

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The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution D. H. ROBINSON

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Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, United Kingdom Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries © D. H. Robinson 2020 The moral rights of the author have been asserted First Edition published in 2020 Impression: 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Control Number: 2020934675 ISBN 978–0–19–886292–5 Printed and bound by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY

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For My Mother & Father

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Preface This is a book about the impact of international relations on domestic politics in colonial British America and the coming of its revolution. It was written in interesting times, when people in the West began to contemplate great wars for the first time since the 1980s, others mulled over the possibility of a unified European state in response to enormous geopolitical and economic upheaval, religious fundamentalists spread terror across continents, seas filled with refugees and migrants, Russia encroached on its neighbours, the United Kingdom nearly fractured, the provinces of England rejected a Continental connection, an American President pivoted away from Europe, millions of American citizens rejected their governing elite, and another American President spread visions of national greatness. How far these events shaped this book is debatable. But it was hard not to raise an eyebrow that bright morning in a garden in rural Cambridgeshire when, reading Samuel Adams’s warnings about Sweden’s drift into despotism and what it meant for America in 1773, I heard the radio crackle with a now familiar voice describing that country as a harbinger of future American woes. Whether this book speaks back to these times I must leave you to judge. Suffice it to say that questions of geopolitics, nationalism, and independence were not much in vogue in the politics of the English-speaking world when this project was begun. Since 2016 they have been inescapable on both sides of the Atlantic: human nature scarcely changes, and what we think of as arcane is usually far closer to us than we imagine. I can only hope that this book does justice to those who helped so much in its creation. My debt to Brendan Simms—who supervised the doctoral thesis on which it is based—for his insight, patience, and indomitable enthusiasm is simply beyond repayment. I am further indebted to Laurence Brockliss, John Nightingale, Mark Peterson, and Nick Stargardt, without whom the work may never have been completed, to my editors at Oxford University Press, Stephanie Ireland and Matthew Cotton, and to the three anonymous readers who generously commented on the manuscript. The book would not have been begun, for I would not have become an historian, without the teaching of Oliver Edwards and Magnus Ryan. There are too many other debts to name, for which the following litany is a poor substitute: Mike Ashby, Felicitas Becker, Moritz and Meike von Brescius, Trevor Burnard, Ian Campbell, Joe Canning, Panayiotis and Philippa Christoforou, David Clary, Stephen Conway, Adrian Dixon, Olivia Elder, Raphaële Garrod, Emma Greensmith, Nick Guyatt, Philip Hitchings, Istvan Hont, Tom Hooper, Tony Hopkins, Simon Horobin, Halbert Jones, Mary Klein,

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Mélanie Lamotte, Avi Lifschitz, Shiru Lim, John McClure, Steve McGregor, Katie McKeogh, Mary-Ann Middelkoop, John Morrill, William O’Reilly, Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Sarah Pearsall, Anne Petrimoulx, Joshua Piker, Frances Pollard, Sian Pooley, Andrew Preston, Thomas Prince, Jon and Thea Reimer, Cornelius Riethdorf, David Sacks, Richard Serjeantson, Lee Shepard, David Smith, David Theobald, Peter Thompson, Robert Tombs, Olivia Vane, Betty Wood, and Sam Zeitlin. Institutional thanks are due to Magdalen College, Oxford, the American Antiquarian Society, the American Philosophical Society, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Howard Gottlieb Archive Centre at Boston University, the Dietrich W. Botstiber Institute, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Cambridge Faculty of History, Cambridge University Library, the William L. Clements Library, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Houghton Library at Harvard University, the Library of Congress, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Musée Pascal Paoli, the Museum of the City of New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Museums Victoria, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the New York Historical Society, the New York Public Library, the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, the Peabody Essex Museum, the F. Garner Ranney Archives of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, the Seeley Historical Library, Trinity Church New York, the Royal Archives at Windsor, the Royal Collections Trust and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Virginia Historical Society, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Yale Centre for British Art, and Peterhouse, Cambridge. D. H. Robinson Magdalen, Michaelmas 2019

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Contents List of Illustrations List of Tables List of Abbreviations Note on Sources

xi xiii xv xvii

INTRODUCTION 1. ‘The Venerable Head’: The Reflections of Ezra Stiles

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PROLOGUE: THE NEIGHBOUR’S HOUSE, 1533–1775 2. ‘The Rose of Sharon’: The English and the Peace of Christendom

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3. ‘Peace and Tranquillity’: The System of Europe in British Grand Strategy

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4. ‘The Temper of the People’: Public Politics in British America

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PART I. THE LIBERTIES OF EUROPE, 1740–1763 5. ‘Giving Peace to Europe’: Colonial Whigs and the Balance of Power

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6. ‘The Patron of Mankind’: Geopolitics and Colonial Nationalism

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7. ‘In a National Light’: War and the Ethics of Imperial Politics

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PART II. A BRITISH EMPIRE, 1763–1776 8. ‘Magna Britannia’: European Crisis, British Isolation, and Colonial Longing

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9. ‘The Asylum of Liberty’: Universal Monarchy and American Nationhood

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10. ‘Arbitress of the Universe’: Empires, Futures, and Revolutionary Geopolitics

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CONCLUSION 11. ‘Events Abroad’: America Between Two Worlds

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Bibliography of Primary Sources Index

401 427

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List of Illustrations 5.1. John Smibert, Sir William Pepperrell (1746)

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5.2. Robert Feke, Samuel Waldo (1748)

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5.3. Peter Pelham, after Smibert, William Shirley (1746)

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6.1. John Singleton Copley, Galatea (c.1754)

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6.2. John Singleton Copley, The Return of Neptune (c.1754)

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6.3. Indian Peace Medal, Pennsylvania (1757)

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6.4. Joshua Reynolds, Charles Carroll (1763)

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8.1. Benjamin Franklin, Magna Britannia (1765)

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8.2. The Able Doctor (1774)

258

8.3. Henry Benbridge, Pascal Paoli and his Staff at the Battle of Ponte Novu (1769)

276

8.4. John Singleton Copley, John Montresor (1771)

279

9.1. Matthew Pratt, The American School (1765)

300

9.2. Benjamin West, The Departure of Regulus (1769)

300

9.3. Benjamin West, The Oath of Hannibal (1770)

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9.4. Benjamin West, The Death of General Wolfe (1770)

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9.5. William Woollett (engraver), after West, The Death of General Wolfe (1770)

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9.6. Benjamin West, The Death of Epaminondas (1773)

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9.7. John Singleton Copley, Mr and Mrs Ralph Izard (1775)

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9.8. Charles Willson Peale, Miss Hallam as Imogen (1771)

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List of Tables 4.1. Literacy rates

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4.2. Places named in colonial newspapers

108

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List of Abbreviations AWM BEP BG BNL BPB GG IA MS NYC NYEP NYG NYGWPB NYJ NYM NYPB PC PG PJ PP R’sNYG SCG VG

American Weekly Mercury Boston Evening Post Boston Gazette Boston News-Letter Boston Post-Boy Georgia Gazette Independent Advertiser Massachusetts Spy New York Chronicle New York Evening Post New York Gazette New York Gazette, or the Weekly Post-Boy New York Journal New York Mercury New York Post-Boy Pennsylvania Chronicle Pennsylvania Gazette Pennsylvania Journal Pennsylvania Packet Rivington’s New York Gazetteer South Carolina Gazette Virginia Gazette

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Note on Sources The spelling of eighteenth-century quotations has been modernized throughout. Any ambiguities are addressed in the relevant footnote. Foreign-language quotations have been translated, with the original text given in the notes. British dates before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752 are rendered in keeping with the original documents, although the year is taken as beginning on 1 January. Users of the popular Readex digital editions of colonial newspapers are cautioned that many January and February issues dated with the Julian calendar are filed under the wrong year. Dates in the footnotes are rendered in the British style: day/ month/year. Wherever possible, modern printed editions are cited rather than manuscripts, except in cases where there is reason to doubt the accuracy of the transcription.

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INTRODUCTION

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1 ‘The Venerable Head’ The Reflections of Ezra Stiles

‘Oh England! How did I once love thee? How did I once glory in thee! How did I once boast of springing from thy bowels, though at four descents ago!’ Thus Ezra Stiles, President of Yale, theologian, philosopher, sometime lawyer, and silkworm farmer, tried to make sense of the rending of the past decade. The occasion was his sermon on the general election in Connecticut on 8 May 1783, the first since the outbreak of war eight years earlier, but also part of a tradition that stretched deep into America’s colonial past. Stiles’s oration that day was as much the fruit of the latter as the former. He recalled a set of assumptions about Britain’s place in the world—and America’s place in Britain—that had, a short while earlier, been shibboleths of British-American political culture. In the rapturous anticipation of thine enlargement and reflourishing in this western world, how have I been wont to glory in the future honour of having thee for the head of the Britannic-American empire for the many ages till the millennium – when thy great national glory should have been advanced in then becoming a member of the universal empire of the Prince of Peace. And if perchance in some future period danger should have arisen to thee from European states, how have I flown on the wings of prophecy, with the numerous hardy hosts of thine American sons, inheriting thine ancient principles of liberty and valour, to rescue and reenthrone the hoary venerable head of the most glorious empire on Earth?

Times had changed, but even after the agony of civil war, revolution, and secession, Stiles could not bid his final farewell to the British Empire: now farewell – a long farewell – to all this greatness! And yet even now methinks, in such an exigency, I could leap the Atlantic, not into thy bosom, but to rescue an aged parent from destruction; and then return on the wings of triumph, to this asylum of the World, and rest in the bosom of liberty.¹

¹ Ezra Stiles, The United States Elevated to Glory and Honour (New Haven, 1783), 32. The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution. D. H. Robinson, Oxford University Press (2020). © D. H. Robinson. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198862925.001.0001

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Stiles placed his retrospective almost entirely in the context of European geopolitics: in Britain’s advance to a universal empire, in the threat posed by the other powers of Europe, and America’s entanglement—whether part of the British Empire or not—in the European world. The sermon was a panegyric on the advance of the United States to ‘glory and honour’ of its own, entirely in the spirit with which Thomas Jefferson had concluded the Declaration of Independence. But like the Declaration itself, Stiles’s words recalled an old world at the same time as they conjured into being pastures new. And there was more than a faint hint in his words that nascent America, the ‘asylum of the world’, might itself be the reenthroning of a familiar, still fondly remembered, vision of British supremacy in international affairs. The intrusion of geopolitics into the heart of American political culture was a typical eighteenth-century political phenomenon. As the historian Jeremy Black has written, ‘foreign policy was crucially important in the eighteenth century’, and ‘not only because it was important, but because it was believed to be so’.² It was believed to be so with exceptionally good reason. More than three-quarters of the British government’s spending went on defence and the servicing of the country’s enormous national debt, accumulated over eight decades of open and proxy warfare between 1688 and 1815.³ Britain’s outlay in the Seven Years War alone was £160 million; comparable, relative to national product, to the United States laying out the sum of $17 trillion today.⁴ This was by no means a singularly British phenomenon.⁵ Neither was it a peculiarly metropolitan experience. In terms of men and money, Massachusetts was amongst the most mobilized counties on Earth in the middle of the eighteenth century.⁶ When it came to politics, in the colonies as in Great Britain there was little worth talking about apart from war and diplomacy, foreign policy and world order. In hindsight, the primacy of foreign policy in eighteenth-century politics seems of still greater importance by virtue of the fact that it was entwined with the revolutions that brought the era to an end. As Reinhart Koselleck wrote in the lee of a later squall, ‘the eighteenth-century idea of revolution’ began life as ‘a foreign policy and suprapolitical concept’.⁷ It was in this sense that the Massachusetts clergyman Samuel Cooper replied to the overhaul of the European alliance system in the middle of the 1750s: ‘God, “who changes the times and the seasons”, has been pleased not long since to permit a surprising revolution to take place in the ² Jeremy Black, America or Europe? British Foreign Policy, 1739–1763 (London, 1998), 1, 3. ³ John Brewer, The Sinews of Power (Cambridge, MA, 1990), 40–1. ⁴ Nancy Koehn, The Power of Commerce (Ithaca, 1994), 5. Koehn’s figure was $10 trillion before publication in 1994; this is equivalent to roughly $17 trillion in 2018. ⁵ Francis Fukuyama, The Origins of Political Order (London, 2011), 502–3; Richard Bonney (ed.), Economic Systems and State Finance (Oxford, 1995), passim. ⁶ P. J. Marshall, The Making and Unmaking of Empires (Oxford, 2005), 103–5. ⁷ Reinhart Koselleck, Critique and Crisis, ed. and trans. Thomas McCarthy (Cambridge, MA, 1988), 160n.

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political system of Europe.’⁸ And although the term was being wrenched down from the heights of providence and ‘suprapolitics’ into the theatre of human agency, it retained its intimate connection with international relations.⁹ All of the major revolutions of the late eighteenth century, from America to France and Haiti, were set in moments of upheaval in the geopolitical system. The geopolitical context of colonial American history has always been recognized, although its prominence in historical accounts has waxed and waned over the centuries. John Adams began his review of Mercy Warren’s history in July 1807: ‘the first principle of the American independence and revolution that I ever embraced, advocated, or entertained, was, defence against the French’.¹⁰ Francis Parkman and George Bancroft both devoted much attention to different aspects of European warfare and diplomacy.¹¹ In more recent times, Fred Anderson, Eliga Gould, and Owen Stanwood have dwelled extensively on political and confessional relations within Europe, while the likes of Richard White, Eric Hinderaker, and Kathleen DuVal have explored the contest for the American interior as a struggle between great powers. A similar perspective frames many studies of the ‘Age of Revolutions’, which are again focusing on the legacies of the Seven Years War.¹² Yet the relationship between histories of geopolitics and the origins of the American Revolution has been a very truncated one. Even a slight comparison reveals the starkest of differences from scholarship on the French Revolution,

⁸ Samuel Cooper, A Sermon . . . Upon Occasion of the Success of His Majesty’s Arms in the Reduction of Quebec (Boston, 1759), 24. ⁹ On revolution and agency, see Keith Michael Baker, ‘Revolution 1.0’, in Journal of Modern European History, vol. 11, no. 2 (2013), esp. 190–8; Koselleck, ‘Historical Criteria of the Modern Concept of Revolution’, in Koselleck , Futures Past, trans. and ed. Keith Tribe (New York, 2004), 43–57, esp. 48. Cf. Andrew Schocket, ‘The American Revolution: New Directions for a New Century’, in Reviews in American History, vol. 38, no. 3 (Sept. 2010), 576–9. ¹⁰ John Adams to Mercy Otis Warren, Quincy, 20/7/1807, in ‘Correspondence Between John Adams and Mercy Warren Relating to Her History of the American Revolution, July–August 1807’, in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society: Fifth Series, Volume IV (Boston, 1878), 338. ¹¹ George Bancroft, History of the United States of America, 10 vols. (Boston, 1856–74); Francis Parkman, France and England in North America, ed. David Levin (New York, 1983). ¹² On transatlantic geopolitics: Fred Anderson, Crucible of War (London, 2000); Eliga Gould, Among the Powers of the Earth (Cambridge, MA, 2012); François Furstenberg, ‘The Significance of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier in Atlantic History’, in The American Historical Review, vol. 113, no. 3 (June 2008): 647–77; Eran Shalev, Rome Reborn on Western Shores (Charlottesville, 2009), esp. 50; Stephen Saunders Webb, Marlborough’s America (New Haven, 2013). On the backcountry: Marc Egnal, A Mighty Empire (Ithaca, 1988); Eric Hinderaker, Elusive Empires (Cambridge, 1997); John Grenier, The First Way of War (Cambridge, 2005); Leonard Sadosky, Revolutionary Negotiations (Charlottesville, 2009); William Earl Weeks, The New Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations, Volume I (Cambridge, 2013), 1–20; Richard White, The Middle Ground (Cambridge, 2011). On Continental perspectives: Kathleen DuVal, Independence Lost (New York, 2015); Claudio Saunt, West of the Revolution (New York, 2014); Alan Taylor, American Revolutions (New York, 2016). On the Age of Revolutions: Sarah Knott, ‘Narrating the Age of Revolution’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 73, no. 1 (Jan. 2016), 30; David Armitage and Sanjay Subrahmanyam (eds.), The Age of Revolutions in Global Context, c.1760–1840 (Basingstoke, 2010); C.A. Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World, 1780–1914 (Oxford, 2004), 93–4.

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where studies delve deeply into the impact of European affairs on the marrow of domestic politics and culture—into the direct influence, to give one example, of the currents of French foreign policy upon popular attitudes towards the household virtue of the French monarchy. The same grows ever truer of studies of political and cultural change in other parts of the European world, the early American republic included.¹³ By contrast, even the most revisionary accounts of early American history give the impact of European geopolitics exceptionally short shrift. The works of Hinderaker, White, Anderson, DuVal, and others ultimately impress what Andrew Preston has described as ‘the local character of imperial wars’.¹⁴ They depict colonists reacting to the consequences of decisions made in distant metropoles, but there is rarely an indication that colonists were aware of those decisions, let alone held opinions about them. Eliga Gould’s recent work, which sees the imperial crisis as a reaction against the imposition of European diplomatic mores on North America, never suggests that colonists had any particular attitude towards those mores.¹⁵ The European system thus remains a deus ex machina in colonial history. Few of those who have gone further have escaped the long arm of Thomas Paine’s indictment of ‘Hanover’s last war’. Colonists, says one historian, undeterred by lack of evidence, found nought but ‘terror and frustration’ in Britain’s unintelligible European entanglements.¹⁶ Others have trapped themselves in a deus ex ¹³ See David Bell, The Cult of the Nation in France (Cambridge, MA, 2001); T .C. W. Blanning, The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture (Oxford, 2002), passim; Norman Hampson, The Perfidy of Albion (Basingstoke, 1998); Thomas Kaiser, ‘Who’s Afraid of Marie Antoinette? Diplomacy, Austrophobia, and the Queen’, in French History, vol. 14, no. 3 (Sept. 2000), 241–71; Thomas Kaiser, ‘From the Austrian Committee to the Foreign Plot: Marie-Antoinette, Austrophobia, and the Terror’, in French Historical Studies, vol. 26, no. 4 (autumn 2003), 579–617; Munro Price, ‘The Dutch Affair and the Fall of the Ancien Regime, 1784-1787’, in Historical Journal, vol. 38, no. 4 (Dec. 1995), 875–905; Gary Savage, ‘Favier’s Heirs: the French Revolution and the Secret du Roi’, in Historical Journal, vol. 41, no. 1 (Mar. 1998), 225–58; Christopher Clark, Iron Kingdom (London, 2006), 210–30; Richard Gawthrop, Pietism and the Making of Eighteenth-Century Prussia (Cambridge, 1993), 200–69; Brendan Simms, The Struggle for Mastery in Germany, 1779–1850 (New York, 1998), esp. 47–8; Maiken Umbach, ‘History and Federalism in the Age of Nation-State Formation’, in Umbach (ed.), German Federalism (Houndmills, 2002), 42–69; Christopher Storrs, The Spanish Resurgence, 1713–1748 (New Haven and London, 2016); Peter Onuf, Jefferson’s Empire (Charlottesville, 2000), esp. 53–61; David Hendrickson, Peace Pact (Lawrence, 2003); Armitage, The Declaration of Independence (Cambridge, MA, 2007), 25–62; Kariann Yokota, Unbecoming British (Oxford, 2010); Gould, Among the Powers of the Earth, 111–44; Max Edling, A Hercules in the Cradle (Chicago, 2014). ¹⁴ Andrew Preston, Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith (New York, 2012), 46. ¹⁵ Gould, Among the Powers of the Earth, esp. 96–104. ¹⁶ Thomas Paine, ‘Common Sense’, in Paine, Political Writings, ed. Bruce Kuklick (Cambridge, 2000), 18; Jonathan Dull, A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution (New Haven, 1985), 53; Jon Butler, Becoming America (Cambridge, MA, 2000), 118. There are only a few noteworthy exceptions: Max Savelle, ‘The Appearance of an American Attitude toward External Affairs, 1750-1775’, in American Historical Review, vol. 52, no. 4 (July 1947), 655–66; Jonathan Hawkins, ‘Imperial ’45: The Jacobite Rebellion in Transatlantic Context’, in Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol. 24, no. 1 (Jan. 1996), esp. 39; Gould, The Persistence of Empire (Chapel Hill, 2000), 63–4; James Hutson, ‘Intellectual Foundations of Early American Diplomacy’, in Diplomatic History, vol. 1, no. 1 (Oct. 1977), 1–19.

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machina of a more literal kind and subsumed international relations almost entirely into theology. It is in this spirit that Thomas Kidd, Mark Noll, and Owen Stanwood—among others—have laid such emphasis on an apocalyptic duel between the Protestant and Catholic interests.¹⁷ Early American historiography has been partly insulated by the most recent iteration of the anglicization thesis, which imported Linda Colley’s insular account of British nationalism and John Brewer’s studies of fiscal militarism across the Atlantic.¹⁸ There is a great deal to commend in much of this scholarship, but it also projected an imperialist and capitalist caricature of nineteenth-century Britain on to the eighteenth century. And in the last decade this narrative has been substantially unravelled, as British historiography has taken a ‘European turn’, with a new generation of scholars demonstrating the primacy of Continental connections in moulding the country’s political, cultural, economic, social, and intellectual life. Responding to the truism that the history of eighteenth-century Britain was to be found principally in America and Asia, a leading revisionist, Brendan Simms, declares that ‘it was not: the history of eighteenth-century Britain was in Europe’.¹⁹ Questions of world order, geopolitics, and foreign policy, in both political and cultural forms, have naturally assumed a central place in this thesis. This book explores the place of the European states system in the political culture of the thirteen colonies, and it does so through three lines of enquiry. From obvious necessity, we must start by reconstructing the colonial discourse of geopolitics itself. In the first instance, this means that we have to look outside

¹⁷ Mark Noll, America’s God (Oxford, 2002), esp. 78–82; Thomas Kidd, The Protestant Interest (New Haven, 2004), 51–73; Owen Stanwood, The Empire Reformed (Philadelphia, 2011), 143–76. Contrast the exceptionalist theses of Nathan Hatch, The Sacred Cause of Liberty (New Haven, 1977), 21–54; Harry Stout, The New England Soul (Oxford, 1986), 233–55. ¹⁸ John Brewer, The Sinews of Power (New York, 1989); Linda Colley, Britons (New Haven, 1992). In a similar vein: Paul Langford, Englishness Identified (Oxford, 2000); Kathleen Wilson, The Sense of the People (Cambridge, 1995); Kathleen Wilson, The Island Race (London, 2004); Linda Colley, ‘The Politics of Eighteenth-Century British History’, in The Journal of British Studies, vol. 25, no. 4 (Oct. 1986), 359–79; Linda Colley, ‘Britishness and Otherness: An Argument’, in the Journal of British Studies, vol. 31, no. 4 (Oct. 1992), 309–29. The chief influence was T. H. Breen, ‘Ideology and Nationalism on the Eve of the American Revolution: Revisions Once More in Need of Revising’, in The Journal of American History, vol. 84, no. 1 (June 1997), 13–39. See further: Ignacio Gallup-Diaz, Andrew Shankman, and David Silverman (eds.), Anglicising America (Philadelphia, 2015), esp. John Murrin, ‘England and America: A Novel Theory of the American Revolution’, in ibid., 9–19; Shankman, ‘A Synthesis Useful and Compelling: Anglicisation and the Achievement of John Murrin’, in ibid., 20–56. ¹⁹ Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat (London, 2007), 1. See further, amongst others: Blanning, Culture of Power, 266–356; Tony Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 1660–1760 (Cambridge, 2007); Stephen Conway, War, State, and Society in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Britain and Ireland (Oxford, 2006); Stephen Conway, Britain, Ireland, and Continental Europe in the Eighteenth Century (Oxford, 2011); Nick Harding, Hanover and the British Empire (Woodbridge, 2007); Eckhart Hellmuth (ed.), The Transformation of Political Culture (Oxford, 1990); Ralph Houlbrooke, Britain and Europe, 1500–1780 (London and New York, 2011); Marie Peters, ‘Early Hanoverian Consciousness: Empire or Europe?’, in The English Historical Review, vol. 122, no. 497 (June 2007), 632–68; Brendan Simms and Torsten Riotte (eds.), The Hanoverian Dimension in British History, 1714–1837 (Cambridge, 2007); Andrew Thompson, Britain, Hanover, and the Protestant Interest, 1688–1756 (Woodbridge, 2006).

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the English colonies of North America—and indeed, to a time before they were established. For the colonial discourse sprang from a debate that took shape in England during the two centuries that followed the country’s break with Rome in 1533. Two ideas formed at the heart of these discussions. The first was the reconstitution of Europe—which had lost its unity with the collapse of medieval Christendom in the sixteenth century—as a system of free states, rather than the domain of a universal monarchy. The second part of the debate was far more contentious, concerning the role which England—Britain after 1603 and the United Kingdom after 1707—could or ought to play in the creation and management of this new world order, often termed ‘the balance of power’ by the midseventeenth century. Within this controversy disputes raged about the tenor of grand strategy—particularly the choice between ‘continentalist’ and ‘blue-water’ policies—as well as the dramatis personae of the European states system and its blocs and alliances. By the mid-eighteenth century, a consensus about Britain’s place in the European system—and, by extension, that of the colonies—had emerged amongst the British-American public. The metropolitan debate did not translate perfectly into the circumstances of the Atlantic’s western shore. Still, colonial attitudes generally hove close to those of the Court Whigs who dominated the British government after 1715. Their essence lay in support for an active policy of intervention, in which Britain formed alliances with other European powers and fought land wars on the Continent. Colonial and maritime expansion occupied an important place in these doctrines, but one that was nevertheless ancillary in war and peace. British-Americans spoke of their mother country less as a great colonial power than as a great European power, hailing it—like many metropolitan Whigs—as the guardian of the ‘liberties of Europe’ and the arbiter of the ‘balance of power’ (the states system), particularly during the conflicts of 1739–63. One Bostonian poet summed up the consensus of his countrymen in an ode on George II’s victory at the Battle of Dettingen, in the middle of Germany, in 1743: In Liberty’s and Europe’s cause he rose, And led his generous few ’gainst thousand foes.²⁰

The discourse was not purely strategic. Alongside foreign policy went a complementary creed of cultural warfare, which sought to establish Great Britain as the heart of European civilization.

²⁰ ‘On the Late Victory Obtained by His Majesty Over the French at Dettingen’, Boston, 27/9/1743, in American Magazine and Historical Chronicle, 9/1743, 36.

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Eventually, these cultural and strategic visions would blossom into a rehabilitation—in sanitized form—of the idea of universal monarchy, now entrusted to a benign British hegemon. Just as Ezra Stiles recollected in 1783, so Benjamin Franklin had spoken in 1776 of ‘that fine and noble Chine vase, the British Empire’, which ‘being once broken, the separate parts could not retain even their share of the strength or value that existed in the whole’.²¹ Both men were speaking of an empire whose principal value lay—to paraphrase Oliver Cromwell—not only in what it would do at home but in what it would do in the world. Critically, geopolitics remained a vital political terrain during the interlude between the Peace of Paris and the outbreak of the War of Independence. The years between 1763 and 1775 were eventful. The European world was haunted by apprehensions of another general war, which came close to ensuing when the Spanish occupied the British Falkland Islands in 1770. The invasion of Corsica, the partition of Poland, and the restoration of royal absolutism in Sweden prompted major international emergencies. Hence relations between the states of Europe continued to intrude into colonial political culture. And thus the discourse of the imperial crisis—a dual crisis, international as well as internal— was shaped by the spectres of Bourbon resurgence and Britain’s turn to isolation as much as colonial taxation and administration. So much for terror and frustration; the recent emphasis on the presence of antipopery and Francophobia in the thirteen colonies has drawn out an important aspect of British-American political culture—however, it has tended to do so in a rather reductive manner. This short-shrift seems to be a result of the tendency to use these phenomena as proofs of the banal point that the creation of colonial society (like all other societies) was a process of exclusion. But anti-popery and Francophobia were more complicated than, say, antipathy to African slaves. For one, anti-French sentiment was far more changeable and circumscribed than has generally been presumed, and its exaggeration elides the opinion that British colonists held about other European peoples and the Continent as a whole. Insofar as anti-Gallicanism became a feature of colonial life, it was part of a much more complex cultural politics. Something similar can be said about anti-popery. British America was a deeply Protestant place. Religion remained of immediate significance in itself—from the spiritual dimension of warfare and other public businesses, to sympathy for the international ‘Protestant interest’, to a latent faith in the existence of a global Catholic conspiracy against liberty and godliness. Most ostensibly secular thinking rested on precepts that were unmistakably confessional—a fact inescapable in discussions of international law, the mores of war, and universal monarchy in its ²¹ Benjamin Franklin to Lord Howe, Philadelphia, 20/7/1776, in Leonard Labaree et al. (eds.), The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 40 vols. so far (New Haven, 1959–), XXII, 518–21.

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malign and benevolent forms. The acknowledgement of providence in human affairs was ubiquitous. But like the rest of the European world, British America had moved on from the temptation to see global affairs as an apocalyptic, Manichean duel between Rome and the Reformation—indeed, this development was well advanced by the 1650s. The colonial discourse of geopolitics was enmeshed with religious principles, but it was vastly more nuanced than the obsession with ‘anti-popery’—even when applied to the years of the imperial crisis—implies.²² Religion brings us to the second line of enquiry: the impact of geopolitical discourse on British-American culture. This relationship mirrored the impact which European affairs made upon the politics and culture of the early modern British Isles from the sixteenth century onwards. In the middle decades of the eighteenth century, its principal manifestation was the colonial idea of British nationalism. This subject requires a word of caution, here proffered by the historian Tim Blanning: ‘to modern eyes, obliged to be hypersensitive to anything smacking of national self-esteem (outside the world of sport), eighteenth-century boasting can seem comic, or offensive, or both. As a consequence, it is not always given the historical attention it deserves. Yet it was clearly obtrusive and powerful.’²³ It is broadly accepted that British national feeling reached its zenith in the thirteen colonies at the end of the Seven Years War. According to Jack Greene, one of the leading exponents of the anglicization thesis, ‘the central cultural impulse amongst the colonists was not to identify and to find ways to express and to celebrate what was distinctively American about themselves and their societies’ but ‘to eliminate those distinctions’ so that they might ‘think of themselves and their societies . . . as demonstrably British’.²⁴ Those who hold that ‘national pride in a distinctively American identity’ was a major feature of late-colonial society are now few and far between.²⁵ Indeed, many anglicization arguments have been made simply to discredit the idea that any other overarching identity held the thirteen colonies together prior to 1776. And no shortage of scholars have

²² Cf. Francis Cogliano, No King, No Popery (Westport, 1995), esp. 41–55; Kidd, God of Liberty (New York, 2010), esp. 59–66; Brendan McConville, The King’s Three Faces (Chapel Hill, 2006), esp. 261–6; Charles Metzger, The Quebec Act (New York, 1936), 10–36. ²³ Blanning, Culture of Power, 354. ²⁴ Jack Greene, Pursuits of Happiness (Chapel Hill, 1988), 175. See further Jack Greene, Creating the British Atlantic (Charlottesville, 2013), 337–9, 342–4; Woody Holton, ‘How the Seven Years’ War Turned Americans into (British) Patriots’, in Warren Hofstra (ed.), Cultures in Conflict (Lanham, 2007), 127–43; Murrin, ‘A Roof Without Walls: The Dilemma of American National Identity’, in Richard Beeman et al. (eds.), Beyond Confederation (Chapel Hill, 1987), 340–4; Paul Varg, ‘The Advent of Nationalism, 1758–1776’, in American Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 2 (Summer 1964), 175–80; David Waldstreicher, In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes (Chapel Hill, 1997), 17–51. ²⁵ See Harry Ward, ‘Unite or Die’ (Port Washington, 1971), 246; Butler, Becoming America, 127; Thomas Bender, A Nation Among Nations, 81.

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duly concluded that American nationhood was a thoroughly post-revolutionary creation, heavily influenced by the persistence of African slavery.²⁶ Much of this body of work is unsatisfactory, for two reasons. Firstly, it has involved an overly straightforward absorption of Linda Colley’s account of eighteenth-century British nationalism into colonial historiography.²⁷ Since Colley’s conception has been dismantled by the architects of the European turn for the eastern side of the Atlantic, it is worth questioning whether it retains any more weight on the western side. For just as the creation of identity is always enmeshed with alterity, so too is nationalism always bound up with international relations. Thus the cosmopolitan, Eurocentric flavour of geopolitical debate in the colonies ought at least to give us pause. The nationalist creed which had taken root in the colonies by the end of the Seven Years War was fiercely British in its allegiance, but it also saw the British nation as the guardian of European liberty and civilization. Profound Britishness thus brought with it a connection to an even larger community: a fraternity of free peoples, tempered by the seamless fluidity of national and cosmopolitan sentiment. The third Earl of Shaftesbury, perhaps the greatest cultural philosopher of the era, had written at the beginning of the century that it was the choice to ‘espouse some country or other’ which connected the individual to ‘the general society of mankind’.²⁸ In like spirit, William Smith, Provost of the College of Philadelphia, painted the Britons as ‘the protectors of the oppressed’ and ‘the avengers of justice’ in 1757.²⁹ Colonial British nationalists celebrated the Hanoverian regime and the King in particular as a kind of national demagogue, but their labours had significant implications for American society itself.³⁰ Ideas of nationhood are always exclusionary, but they also establish criteria for inclusion. In this case, the cosmopolitan sympathies of colonial Britishness fostered a language of identity that was exceptionally porous. Cultural brokers in ethnic and religious minorities, from the Germans to the Dutch and even some Irish Catholics, were able to seize upon

²⁶ Robert Parkinson, The Common Cause (Chapel Hill, 2016); Simon Newman, Parades and the Politics of the Street (Philadelphia, 1997); Michael McDonnell, ‘National Identity and the American War for Independence Reconsidered’, in Australasian Journal of American Studies, vol. 20, no. 1 (July 2001), 3–17; Holger Hoock, ‘Mangled Bodies: Atrocity in the American Revolutionary War’, in Past and Present, no. 230 (Feb. 2016), 123–59; Trish Loughran, The Republic in Print (New York, 2007), 33–103; Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, This Violent Empire (Chapel Hill, 2010), passim. Contrast with Nicholas Guyatt, Providence and the Invention of the United States, 1607–1876 (Cambridge, 2007), 82–94. ²⁷ Critically, Breen, ‘Ideology and Nationalism’, 29–31. ²⁸ Earl of Shaftesbury, Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, ed. Lawrence Klein (Cambridge, 1999), 400–1. ²⁹ William Smith, The Christian Soldier’s Duty, the Lawfulness and Dignity of his Office, and the Importance of the Protestant Cause in the British Colonies (Philadelphia, 1757), 24. ³⁰ There has been a recent upsurge of interest in colonial monarchism. See McConville, King’s Three Faces; Eric Nelson, The Royalist Revolution (Cambridge, MA, 2014).

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this rhetoric to establish their place in the British nation. This was a major force for the convergence of an increasingly heterogeneous set of colonies. The second problem arises from an overweening emphasis of ceremonial and material culture: much current scholarship rests on the presumption that identities can be imported like a cargo of teapots.³¹ Colonial writers fashioned their version of nationalism in dialogue with British sources, and that dialogue flowed largely from east to west. However, the process of importing discourses of identity was necessarily a selective one. As a result, the milieu was different in America— not least in the near wholesale omission of the Tory idea of Britishness, which flourished in England. Colonial British nationalism may have been fundamentally British, but it was also distinctively colonial, the creation of polemicists scattered throughout the thirteen colonies. Two parties were especially influential: one, more political, gathered around William Livingston in New York; another coterie, more cultural, gathered around William Smith in Philadelphia. The dichotomy between anglicization and Americanization is thus ill-crafted: for there were three senses in which nationalist discourse—in spite of the depth of allegiance to Britain that came with it—fed the Americanization of colonial identity. First, the very means of its creation by cultural brokers great and small in all sorts of communities gave British-Americans mastery over their own senses of self and belonging. Second, the melding of Britishness with a sense of involvement in a larger fraternity of free peoples provided scope to manoeuvre between the two and even to balance one affinity against the other. This was central to the renegotiation of American identity that was prompted by the imperial crisis. Third, a sense of particularity went hand in hand with the emulative and competitive qualities of national service. As colonists sought to prove their worth to the British Empire and the liberties of Europe, they could not help but define themselves as a discrete—if also conjoined—weight in the European world. This brings us to the third line of enquiry: the impact of foreign policy and nationalism upon colonial politics. By the time of the Seven Years War, these forces provided an ethos of political action—and a sanction upon the same. This extended from the behaviour of militiamen and privateers to governments provincial and national, and it revolutionized colonial politics in the 1750s. This nationalist sanction on political behaviour reflected a larger set of assumptions about the past, present, and future of the British Empire and the European states system. Pace François Hartog, this was a ‘regime of historicity’, a ‘mixture of prophecy and periodisation’ which made certain actions appear ‘in tune with the times’.³² In other words, it set the bounds of the political imaginary.

³¹ For a somewhat enthusiastic version of this caveat, see the assault on anglicization mounted by Butler, Becoming America, esp. 5. ³² François Hartog, Regimes of Historicity, trans. Saskia Brown (New York, 2015), xvi–xvii, 11.

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The fact that public opinion and the public imaginary were so influential reflected the burgeoning power of the public sphere in British-American politics; but this structural change did not, in itself, undermine the Hanoverian regime.³³ After 1763, the ‘patriot’ party chastised British governments for acquiescing in the revival of Bourbon power. Ministers were blamed for an isolationist turn which left the Continent a prey to absolutism and hegemony and thus abandoned Britain’s role in the states system. Some were accused of acting in the French interest. Yet the more that patriots attacked their opponents—however viscerally—for subverting Britain’s rightful place in the European state system, the more they burnished the foundations on which the Hanoverian monarchy rested in BritishAmerican political culture. For the imperial crisis remained, primarily, part of a debate about the establishment of a British universal monarchy; necessarily so, since it unfolded in a world where the rights of colonies could only be consequences and instruments of the pressing, geopolitical challenge. For as yet, few had come to imagine that American independence could be sustained outside the arbour of the British Empire. The essence of international commerce seemed to presume a contest for liberty as well as wealth, which could only be attained as a great power.³⁴ Ultimately, this reflected the persistence of the wartime political landscape, and it lent to the patriot movement its counter-reformative, rather than revolutionary, lust, which endured at least until 1773. Altogether more radical was the revising of the public imaginary—the regime of historicity surrounding Britain’s ascent to universal monarchy—during the latter stages of the imperial crisis. There was nothing ironic about the dénouement of colonial British nationalism. When patriots began to speak of an international fraternity of free peoples, with America as its avenging asylum of liberty, they were co-opting a set of ideas which had long centred on Britain and the British nation. At the same time, however, they were sustaining ideas about the relationship ³³ The early American public sphere remains largely the domain of literary scholars: see Waldstreicher, ‘Two Cheers for the “Public Sphere” . . . and One for Historians’ Scepticism’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, third series, vol. 62, no. 1 (Jan. 2005), 109–110. See also Christopher Grasso, A Speaking Aristocracy: Transforming Public Discourse in Eighteenth Century Connecticut (Chapel Hill, 1999). For a more guarded assessment of the colonial public sphere, see Ned Landsman, From Colonials to Provincials (New York, 1997), 34. ³⁴ There are a number of vital exceptions to the prevailing neglect of European debates about universal monarchy: John Robertson, ‘Universal Monarchy and the Liberties of Europe’, in Nicholas Phillipson and Quentin Skinner (eds.), Political Discourse in Early Modern Britain (Cambridge, 1993), 349–73; John Robertson, ‘Empire and Union: Two Concepts of the Early Modern European Political Order’, in John Robertson (ed.), A Union for Empire (Cambridge, 1995), 3–36; John Robertson, ‘Gibbon’s Roman Empire as a Universal Monarchy’, in Rosamond McKitterick and Roland Quinault (eds.), Edward Gibbon and Empire (Cambridge, 1997), 247–70; Franz Bosbach, ‘The European Debate on Universal Monarchy’, in David Armitage (ed.), Theories of Empire, 1450–1800, 81–98; Anthony Pagden, Lords of All the World (New Haven, 1995). On the intimately related discourses of political economy, see John Crowley, The Privileges of Independence (Baltimore, 1993); Koehn, Power of Commerce; Sophus Reinert, ‘Rivalry: Greatness in Early Modern Political Economy’, in Philip Stern and Carl Wennerlind (eds.), Mercantilism Reimagined (Oxford, 2014), 348–70.

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between Britishness and Europeanness that were fruits of an imperial vine. Americanness was again an organic development from a particular conception of British nationality. British-Americans were not forced out of an imperial partnership by an exclusivist English nationalism; the actual trajectory was closer to the reverse. Yet patriots did not merely keep up the shibboleth of defending the liberties of Europe: they also held fast to existing doctrines of grand strategy, political economy, and constitutional design. The power of their revisionary view of world order lay in the fact that it was practical as well as conceptual, political rather than purely utopian. The means which made the prospect of a benign British hegemony seem realistic—the manipulation of the balance of power, the leading of leagues and alliances, and commercial and colonial expansion—were already being harnessed to a vision of American empire prior to the outbreak of civil war in the British Empire in 1775.³⁵ Indeed, had such a transfer not taken place, independence would have remained infeasible, and it is questionable whether many could have been lured into its embrace under such conditions. The origins of the American Revolution have received rather short shrift from the last two generations of historians. Insofar as this book is a contribution to that debate, it is chiefly concerned with the relationship between freedom and international relations. It therefore sits alongside a venerable tradition of scholarship about the primacy of foreign policy in European history.³⁶ The point is not that geopolitics was an omniscient, impersonal force moving the hearts of men, but that it was—by inexorable circumstance—a decisive force in political debate and action. Not only were domestic and international liberty tangled up in seventeenthand eighteenth-century anglophone political thinking, but they were regarded as codependent. From the natural rights tradition to civic republicanism and Enlightenment political economy, it was appreciated that discussions of personal freedom were purely conjectural if the political community itself was dominated by a foreign power.³⁷ Altruism was not solely responsible for elevating ‘the

³⁵ Cf. the view of patriot constitutionalism presented in Gould, Persistence of Empire, 134; Alison LaCroix, The Ideological Origins of American Federalism (Cambridge, MA, 2010), 86–7; Nelson, Royalist Revolution, 29–107; J. G. A. Pocock, ‘Empire, State, and Confederation: the War of American Independence as a Crisis in Multiple Monarchy’, in Robertson (ed.), Union for Empire, 318–48; Ken MacMillan, The Atlantic Imperial Constitution (New York, 2011), 175–6; Jack P. Greene, Peripheries and Centre (Athens, GA, 1986), passim; Jack P. Greene, Negotiated Authorities (Charlottesville, 1994), passim; Jack P. Greene, The Constitutional Origins of the American Revolution (Cambridge, 2010), passim; Jack P. Greene, Creating the British Atlantic (Charlottesville, 2013), 101–207; Mary Bilder, The Transatlantic Constitution (Cambridge, MA, 2004); Daniel Hulsebosch, Constituting Empire (Chapel Hill, 2005). ³⁶ For a retrospective, see Brendan Simms, ‘The Return of the Primacy of Foreign Policy’, in German History, vol. 21, no. 3 (2003), 275–90. ³⁷ On the conceptual connection between the liberties of states and the freedoms of individuals, however, see Quentin Skinner, Liberty Before Liberalism (Cambridge, 1998), 60–1.

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liberties of Europe’ as a popular idiom of British Whiggery. Nevertheless, even the canonical intellectual histories of Bernard Bailyn, Gordon Wood, and J. G. A. Pocock—not to mention the vast number of studies of common law in colonial America—have almost totally elided the necessary interplay of geopolitics.³⁸ As a result, they have left unanswered crucial questions about the meaning of self-government and the compass of liberty within a system of states. Still, the relationship between liberty and geopolitics is more than conceptual. The historian Fred Anderson once observed that during the imperial crisis colonists largely forgot about ‘the abstract needs of an empire that was, to all appearances, no longer at risk’ after the Seven Years War and turned their minds to parochial affairs.³⁹ The fact that the events of 1763 to 1775 culminated in an act of secession alone should lead us to question this statement. Secessions are necessarily geopolitical moments—even when they arise from purely domestic divisions.⁴⁰ Their vindication in the public sphere has usually called for a vision of world order in which the quest for effective independence is made to appear plausible. It was so in America, long before the confrontation turned violent. Yet the tenor of recent scholarship on the age of revolutions has been transnational in a stubbornly different sense, focusing on international comparisons and meanderings of revolutionaries and their ideals.⁴¹ This is precisely not to advocate a return to the treatment of these revolutions as ‘the product of autonomous impulses unfolding within their own borders’; quite the reverse.⁴² The need is to recognize what historians of the French Revolution have well understood for several decades: the profound influence of the real world of relations between states upon a revolutionary political culture.

³⁸ See, for example, Barbara Clark Smith, The Freedoms We Lost: Consent and Resistance in Revolutionary America (New York, 2010); Woody Holton, Forced Founders (Chapel Hill, 1999); classically, Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (New York, 1993), esp. 81–145; Craig Yirush, Settlers, Liberty, and Empire (Cambridge, 2011); Steven Dworetz, The Unvarnished Doctrine (Durham, North Carolina, 1990); Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (enlarged edn, Cambridge, MA, 1992); J. G. A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment (Princeton, 1975), ch. 15. ³⁹ Anderson, Crucible of War, 602. ⁴⁰ See David Horowitz, ‘The Logic of Secession’, in John Hutchinson and Anthony Smith (eds.), Nationalism (Oxford, 1994), 262. ⁴¹ For example: Janet Polasky, Revolutions Without Borders (New Haven, 2015); Newman and Onuf (eds.), Paine and Jefferson in the Age of Revolutions (Charlottesville, 2013); Maya Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles (New York, 2011); François Furstenberg, When the United States Spoke French (New York, 2014); Jane Landers, Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions (Cambridge, 2010); Eliga Gould, ‘Entangled Histories, Entangled Worlds’, in American Historical Review, vol. 113, no. 3 (June 2007), 787–99; Eliga Gould, Among the Powers of the Earth; Alan Taylor, The Divided Ground (New York, 2006); DuVal, Independence Lost. See Knott, ‘Narrating the Age of Revolution’, 3–36; Jeremy Adelman, ‘An Age of Imperial Revolutions’, in American Historical Review, vol. 113, no. 2 (Apr. 2008), 319–40. Alternatively, John Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World (New Haven, 2006). ⁴² Cf. Adelman, ‘Age of Imperial Revolutions’, 322.

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The radicalism of the American Revolution is not to be found in its banal conception of liberty, its conservative impact on social relations, the system of government which it spawned, and certainly not in the borderlands of North America. The radicalism of the American Revolution lay in a vision of world order: the heir to a long lineage of English and British thinking about the system of Europe, the catalyst of American independence, but also the pre-emption of—and the alternative to—the homicidal fraternalism of French republicans after 1789. Near the beginning of Critique and Crisis, Reinhart Koselleck wrote: ‘for our enquiry, all authors remain substitutes. All citations and occurrences could easily be exchanged for others . . . great thinkers and anonymous pamphleteers are equally given the floor.’⁴³ There is a great deal of wisdom in this approach, particularly insofar as it serves to recreate an intellectual zeitgeist. It cannot, of course, be allowed to obscure the central power dynamic within the public sphere: namely the entwining of speaker and audience. As Samuel Johnson wrote for the opening of the theatre season at Drury Lane in 1747: Let not the censure term our fate our choice, The stage but echoes back the public voice.⁴⁴

It was likewise in politics, where legitimacy was governed by the meeting of oratory and public opinion. And it is this fact—to which we will return at length in the final section of Chapter 4—which allows us to demonstrate the causative power of rhetoric while transcending ill-framed and imponderable questions about the sincerity of speakers or the relationship between attitudes and demography.⁴⁵ This book faces all the inevitable pitfalls of telling a narrative thematically; the collateral damage from overcoming that challenge is occasional repetition and the reappearance of evidence in different places, supporting different, if related, points. The Prologue excavates the context of the geopolitical debate in British North America during the crucial years of 1740–75. Chapter 2 traces its origins in early modern England, how the colonization of the New World came into it, and how its discourses were exported to the colonies themselves. Chapter 3 shows how foreign policy became the subject of intestine political and cultural divisions in the English-speaking world between the Glorious Revolution in 1688 and the outbreak of the mid-eighteenth-century cycle of warfare in 1739. Chapter 4 is concerned with the career of the public sphere in North America, which governed colonial politics until recourse was taken to God and gun in 1775. ⁴³ Koselleck, Critique and Crisis, 8–9. ⁴⁴ Quoted in Christopher Balme, The Theatrical Public Sphere (Cambridge, 2014), 22. ⁴⁵ For the moment, we shall rest content with the exegesis offered in Quentin Skinner, ‘Augustan Party Politics and Renaissance Constitutional Thought’, in Skinner, Visions of Politics, 3 vols. (Cambridge, 2002), II, esp. 366–7.

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Part I of the book covers the period between the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession in 1740 and the end of the Seven Years War in 1763. Chapter 5 reconstructs geopolitical discourse in the thirteen colonies during these years of global conflict. Chapter 6 charts the relationship of thinking about international relations and world order with colonial conceptions of British nationalism and cosmopolitanism. Chapter 7 then draws the previous two chapters together to explain how geopolitics and nationalism revolutionized colonial politics in the 1750s and established a sanction for political behaviour in the provinces and the metropole, reaching its crescendo with the contested response to the Treaty of Paris. Part II spans the years of internecine tensions and international war scares between 1763 and, roughly speaking, the exchange of fire on Lexington Green, which changed American politics irrevocably. Chapter 8 explores colonial debates about Britain’s place in the European state system after the Treaty of Paris, along with the manner in which geopolitical ideas shaped the patriots’ perception of the imperial crisis. Chapter 9 traces the revolutionary impact of these experiences and attitudes upon the colonial sense of Britishness and Europeanness, culminating in the development of the idea that America was a discrete body in the European states system, bound by a sense of corporate honour and destined to be the asylum of liberty. Chapter 10 follows the corresponding change in colonial attitudes towards the mechanics of the balance of power, political economy, and constitutional design, which allowed the once galvanizing prognosis of British hegemony to be dislodged from the political imaginary and replaced by a vision of American empire as the heir and successor of a shattered dream. Chapter 11 concludes the book with some reflections on the relationship between liberty, the public sphere, and geopolitics in early American history.

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PROLOGUE The Neighbour’s House, 1533–1775

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2 ‘The Rose of Sharon’ The English and the Peace of Christendom

‘Herein is the difference between New-England and all other plantations,’ the Puritan preacher Increase Mather pontificated in his pulpit in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1702. The other English colonies had been ‘settled with respect to trade, or some other worldly interest’. New England’s origins were altogether separate. ‘Our fathers in coming into this part of the World did not propose to themselves worldly advantages, but the contrary. It was purely on a religious account that they ventured themselves and little ones over the vast ocean into this which was then a vast and howling wilderness.’¹ Mather missed the point; fundamentalism made him oblivious to the overriding similarities between Englishmen in the European Atlantic world which his own life, in so many other respects, amply reflected. Trade, settlement, and evangelism informed English colonial enterprises in varying ways; the origin they all shared lay in the geopolitical system of early modern Europe. In the sixteenth century, Europe—the holistic, Catholic, Roman Europe that had congealed in the early Middle Ages—came apart, the mythologies of universal church and universal empire shredded by schism and heresy, dynastic sprawls sundered by incipient statecraft. England, already separated by geography, was amongst the most affected. Thrown to the forefront of the Reformation and disrobed of her Continental territories, it fell out of the old world system almost entirely. It could not, of course, fall out of the Old World: the ship of her state was tethered to the Continental mole. After the break with Rome and the loss of Calais, early modern Englishmen— islanders again for the first time in centuries—began the task of reconstituting a Europe more in keeping with their own tastes. Only by this means, it seemed, were they able to negotiate a new relationship with the Continent. Their endeavours were entwined with confession, nationality, and other forces of particularity, but their project was more reconstructive than separatist, conversionary rather than excommunicative. To borrow an analogy once employed by the historian Carl Bridenbaugh in a related context, England’s journey after 1532 was no exodus, but a hegira.² And in one manner or another, the project left its mark upon all of the ¹ Increase Mather, Ichabod (Boston, 1702), 86. ² Carl Bridenbaugh, Vexed and Troubled Englishmen, 1590–1642 (Oxford, 1968), 434. The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution. D. H. Robinson, Oxford University Press (2020). © D. H. Robinson. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198862925.001.0001

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settlements that Englishmen established in the northern hemisphere of the New World, during the century after the centenary of Columbus. The imprint of that mark would affect the future of those colonies profoundly.

‘The Liberty of Christendom’ An insolent, cruel, and usurping nation, that disturbed the common peace, aspired to the conquest of my country, and was a general enemy to the liberty of Christendom. Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, vindicating England’s war with Spain, 1600³ The principal strands of thinking about England’s role in the European states system arose in response to the threat of Spanish hegemony in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Of course, entanglement in Continental politics was not novel to the polities that had consolidated themselves in the British Isles during the Middle Ages. Prior to its break with Rome in 1532, England had been subordinated to the ecclesiastical authority of the Pope and the suzerainty of the Holy Roman Emperor, the precedent prince in Europe. If the latter obligation was considerably more notional than the former, it was still important enough for Henry VIII to seek election to the imperial throne in 1519. If this is dismissed as a political stunt, he was still moved to make an explicit disavowal of imperial and papal supremacy in the Act in Restraint of Appeals (1533).⁴ Henry’s move to repudiate the idea of a universal empire reflected the fact that this vision of Europe was still very much alive during the first half of the sixteenth century, especially at the court of Emperor Charles V. A Burgundian by birth, by 1520 this living ornament of medieval dynastic politics was not only the predominant prince in Germany and its surrounding territories as Holy Roman Emperor but also King of Spain and the vast dominions it had established in the New World since the discoveries of Columbus in the 1490s. Especially during the tenure of Mercurino Gattinara as Grand Chancellor, the Habsburg court was the seat of a vigorous effort to reassert the Holy Roman Emperor’s universal dominion, predicated on a classical Roman claim to ‘dominus totius mundi vere’ sustained by medieval philosophers like Dante and Marsilius of Padua, and the apocalyptic Christian prophecy of the fifth world monarchy. The latter piece of exemplary messianism, associated with medieval prophets like Joachim of Fiore, was revitalized by a strain of Erasmian thought brought to Spain by Burgundian courtiers.

³ Earl of Essex, An Apology of the Earl of Essex (London, 1600), 5. ⁴ John Robertson, ‘Empire and Union: Two Concepts of the Early Modern European Political Order’, in Robertson (ed.), A Union for Empire (Cambridge, 1995), 7–8.

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Erasmus’s forecast of the church’s return to true doctrine and the inauguration of a paz Christiana raised the possibility that the necessary acts of purification and pacification might both be achieved by the Emperor’s arms.⁵ Even after England’s ruptures with the universal church and the universal empire, it yet remained part of a cross-channel dynastic bloc—as it had been since the Norman conquest of 1066—until the loss of Calais in 1558. Although the Tudor holdings on the Continent paled in comparison to those of their Plantagenet forebears—which had encompassed much of northern and western France and extended to a claim on the French throne itself—they continued to take their dynastic rights overseas seriously, at least until the 1560s.⁶ Meanwhile, the Scots and the Irish maintained Continental connections of their own, primarily to offset the superior power of England—a state of affairs that would persist in various forms long after those polities were merged with their larger neighbour. The Reformation fundamentally altered the basis on which the European system could be imagined, bringing to the fore a conception of geopolitics predicated on the coexistence of multiple territorial sovereignties. The impact of wars of religion on the geopolitical order was thus more profound than the creation of a new casus belli in the form of protecting coreligionists abroad. By repudiating the supremacy of the Pope and his imperial swordsman, Luther and his heirs recanted the medieval conception of a universal Christian polis. Protestant reformers thus joined a long tradition of statesmen and heretics who had sought to assert the autonomy of their kings from papal and imperial supervision.⁷ Yet they were naturally incapable of repudiating the idea of a holistic Christendom itself—they were evangelicals, after all. The rejection of political universalism also strengthened the hand of those who wished to recast Christendom as a system of states, rather than a patchwork of dynasties. These arguments, initially excavated from Roman sources by Italian jurists, proved particularly attractive to religious insurrectionists like the Calvinist

⁵ See Marie Tanner, The Last Descendants of Aeneus (New Haven, 1993), 121–8; Anthony Pagden, Lords of All the World (New Haven, 1995), 27–42; David Lupher, Romans in a New World (Michigan, 2003), 48–9; Dante, Monarchy, ed. Prue Shaw (Cambridge, 1996); Marsilius of Padua, The Defender of the Peace, ed. Annabel Brett (Cambridge, 2005). On the Erasmian connection, see Kathleen Bollard de Broce, ‘Authorising Literary Propaganda: Alfonso de Valdés’ “Dialogo de las Cosas Acaecidas en Roma” (1527)’, in Hispanic Review, vol. 68, no. 2 (2000) 131–45; Rudolph Schevill, ‘Erasmus and Spain’, in Hispanic Review, vol. 7, no. 2 (1939) 93–116; Marcel Bataillon, Érasme et l’Espagne (Paris, 1937); José Fernández-Santamaria, The State, War, and Peace (Cambridge, 1977), esp. 36, 48, 154. For a relatively late iteration, see Pagden, Spanish Imperialism and the Political Imagination (New Haven, 1990), 37–63. ⁶ See David Loades, Henry VIII (Kew, 2007), 27–8. ⁷ J. G. A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment (Princeton, 1975), 44–5. Cf. Thomas Dandalet, ‘Creating a Protestant Constantine’, in Christopher Ocker et al. (eds.), Politics and Reformations (Leiden, 2007), 539–550, which seems to miss the point.

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rebels in France and the Netherlands, providing as they did a corporate existence distinct from the body of the King.⁸ Nevertheless, none of these innovations fostered a spirit of isolation. On the contrary, they were the catalysts of a new charter for foreign intervention, justified not by the protection of fellow believers alone but also by the preservation of the state system itself. The preservation of this ‘balance of power’ would find tacit recognition as a just cause for war in the Treaty of Westphalia (1648); although formal acknowledgement would have to wait for the Peace of Utrecht more than half a century later.⁹ It was in these contexts that post-Henrician Englishmen attempted to reconstitute their country’s relationship with Europe—and, for that matter, their understanding of the European system itself. The central fact was that by the end of the century it was scarcely plausible to assert that the continent was dominated by one empire, rather than many. Yet this was not accompanied by a thoroughgoing disavowal of the idea that Christendom remained in some sense a single unit. The consequence was an unprecedentedly clear manifesto against universal monarchy combined with a multifaceted injunction to intervene in Continental affairs to avert this calamity, which remained the formative nightmare of geopolitical thinking long after it had dissipated as a credible threat. The navigation of these tendencies of division and interaction set the tone of the debate in England for the next two centuries. The Elizabethan statesmen and writers who favoured intervening in the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule (1568–1609) created a new mould for English foreign policy, perched somewhere between the protection of the Reformation and the guardianship of Christendom.¹⁰ Confessional solidarity with the Calvinists of the northern Netherlands in their resistance to Catholic oppression was a major theme of this enterprise. The call of militant Protestantism was championed by the Earl of Leicester and Sir Philip Sidney, who found eager adherents in godly men like William Brewster, future leader of the Pilgrim Fathers, who served in Leicester’s expeditions of the 1580s. Their campaigns were buttressed by countless tracts, some written by Calvinist resistance theorists on the Continent and imported into England or translated and reprinted by English printers.¹¹ None ⁸ See Quentin Skinner, ‘From the State of Princes to the Person of the State’, in Skinner, Visions of Politics, 3 vols. (Cambridge, 2002), II, 368–413; Skinner, ‘The State’, in Terence Ball et al. (eds.), Political Innovation and Conceptual Change (Cambridge, 1989), 90–131. ⁹ See Brendan Simms, ‘ “A False Principle in the Law of Nations”: Burke, State Sovereignty (German) Liberty, and Intervention in the Age of Westphalia’, in Brendan Simms and D. J. B. Trim (eds.), Humanitarian Intervention (Cambridge, 2011), 89–110. ¹⁰ After a decade of unofficial support, Elizabeth I became protector of the United Provinces in 1585: see Simon Adams, ‘Elizabeth I and the Sovereignty of the Netherlands, 1576-1585’, in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, vol. 14 (2004), 309–19. ¹¹ Alexandra Gajda, ‘Debating War and Peace in Late Elizabethan England’, in Historical Journal, vol. 52, no. 4 (Dec. 2009), 852, 860, 867; Alexandra Gajda, ‘The State of Christendom: History, Political Thought, and the Essex Circle’, in Historical Research, vol. 81, no. 213 (Aug. 2008), 424; Blair Worden, The Sound of Virtue (New Haven, 1996), 219–94. On the translation of monarchomach texts, see

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of these works was more influential than the Vindiciae, Contra Tyrannos, passages of which asserting the right of ‘neighbouring princes . . . to render assistance to subjects of other princes who are being persecuted on account of pure religion, or oppressed by manifest tyranny’ were printed in English translation in 1588.¹² Yet the defence of international Protestantism was not the only end of English intervention in the Dutch Revolt. In the early 1590s Sir Francis Walsingham and Lord Burghley—leaders of opposing factions at Elizabeth’s court—had agreed that the overriding justice of the war with Spain lay in the threat posed by King Philip II to all Europe. From the King’s expansionist dreams, Burghley claimed, had arisen ‘a most unjust and dangerous war for all Christendom’; likewise, Spain was to Walsingham a ‘manifest danger and peril’ to ‘the whole state of Christendom’.¹³ The Spanish attempts to invade England itself in 1588, 1596, and 1597, alongside an uncertain succession laced with the prospect of religious war stalking the Virgin Queen’s old age, drove the danger home. After Walsingham’s death and Burghley’s cooling, the mantle of bellicosity was taken by the Earl of Essex and his circle, who matched implacable hostility to Spain as ‘a general enemy to the liberty of Christendom’ with support for the emancipation of the Dutch from ‘slavery’ and greater toleration for Catholics in England.¹⁴ The duty to defend Christendom was no less firmly grounded than the obligation to protect foreign Protestants, and this included a religious imperative. Of paramount significance to this line of thinking was the Italian-born Oxford jurist Alberico Gentili, who wrote a series of defences of foreign intervention during the 1590s—all of which he dedicated to Essex.¹⁵ Gentili’s work has been considered one of the foundational operae of secular geopolitical theory, and his arguments were more often justified with historical precedents and humanist philosophy

J. H. M. Salmon, The French Wars of Religion in English Political Thought (Oxford, 1959), 15–20. On Brewster, see Nick Bunker, Making Haste from Babylon (London, 2010), 143–4. On Leicester’s patronage of English Puritanism, see Patrick Collinson, The Elizabethan Puritan Movement (London, 1967), 53. On the internationalist strain in English Calvinism in general, see Patrick Collinson, ‘England and International Calvinism, 1558-1640’, in Menna Prestwich (ed.), International Calvinism, 1541–1715 (Oxford, 1985), 197–223. ¹² Stephanius Jurius Brutus, Vindiciae, Contra Tryannos, ed. George Garnett (Cambridge, 1994), 173–85; A Short Apology for Christian Soldiers (London, 1588). The author may have been a Huguenot writing in the Netherlands. See further Trim, ‘ “If a Prince Use Tyranny Towards His People”: Interventions on Behalf of Foreign Populations in Early Modern Europe’, in Simms and Trim (eds.), Humanitarian Intervention, 29–66. ¹³ Burghley quoted in Gajda, ‘Debating War and Peace’, 859; Walsingham quoted in Michael Sheehan, ‘The Development of British Theory and Practice of the Balance of Power before 1714’, in History, vol. 73, no. 237 (Feb. 1988), 26. ¹⁴ Essex, Apology of the Earl of Essex, 5; Gajda, ‘Debating War and Peace’, 860–1. See further Anonymous, The State of Christendom (London?, 1667); Gajda, ‘The State of Christendom’, 427. ¹⁵ Diego Panizza, ‘Alberico Gentili’s De Armis Romanis: The Roman Model of the Just Empire’, in Benedict Kingsbury and Benjamin Straumann (eds.), The Roman Foundations of the Law of Nations (Oxford, 2010), 53n.

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than theology.¹⁶ With the Dutch Revolt in mind, he advanced a case for pre-emptive war abroad by invoking a tradition of thought running through philosophers and jurists from Aristotle to Baldus and Bodin. ‘No one ought to wait to be struck,’ he contended, adding offences ‘which may possibly be committed’ to the list of legitimate causes for war. Since the exorbitance of its power meant that ‘unless there is something which can resist Spain, Europe will surely fall’, this dictum provided a perennial vindication of military action against the Habsburgs to preserve an implicit balance of power. For ‘no one’s sovereignty must ever on any account be allowed to grow so great’, he concluded, ‘that it is not permitted to call in question even his manifest injustice’.¹⁷ The humanist case was not, however, as secular as it sometimes seemed. Other humanist arguments were more overtly confessional—at least in translation. The English translator of a work by another Italian philosopher, Francesco Guicciardini, announced in his dedicatory epistle to Queen Elizabeth that ‘God has put into your hands the balance of power and justice, to poise and counterpoise at your will the actions and counsels of all the Christian kings of your time’.¹⁸ On closer inspection, Gentili was not so great an exception. His De Iure Belli argued emphatically that Spain’s quest for universal empire was as godless as the scholastic theologians who served as its foremost acolytes and his principle targets. The Spanish were akin to the Ottoman Turks—whom the jurist never ceased to decry as an inveterate enemy of Christ—in that both were to be opposed with ‘complete justice’ for ‘planning and plotting universal dominion’.¹⁹ His discussion of just causes sought to establish the verity of several theological claims, conceived to ‘go to the root of things, and consider whether their religious feeling in these instances is correct’.²⁰ Moreover, Charles V’s claim to a universal Roman inheritance for his empire was reformulated in Gentili’s De Armis Romanis as a moral antithesis between benign and criminal hegemons. This served an important purpose. By pushing the Roman Republic back into a golden age of peace and liberty rather than renouncing it altogether, Gentili demonstrated that benign empire was unattainable in the present while preserving the concept of European unity.²¹ It was on this

¹⁶ For a powerful statement of this view, see Richard Tuck, The Rights of War and Peace (Oxford, 1999), 16–18. ¹⁷ Alberico Gentili, De Iure Belli Libri Tres, ed. John Rolfe, 2 vols. (Buffalo, 1995), II, 62, 65. See Pärtel Piirimäe, ‘Alberico Gentili’s Doctrine of Defensive War and its Impact on Seventeenth-Century Normative Views’, in Kingsbury and Straumann (eds.), Roman Foundations of the Law of Nations, 199–200. ¹⁸ Quoted in Sheehan, ‘Theory and Practice of the Balance of Power’, 25. See Francesco Guicciardini, The History of Guicciardini (London, 1579). ¹⁹ Gentili, De Iure Belli, 64. See Noel Malcolm, ‘Alberico Gentili and the Ottomans’, in Kingsbury and Straumann (eds.), Roman Foundations of the Law of Nations, 127–45; Gajda, ‘Debating War and Peace’, 868. ²⁰ Gentili, De Iure Belli, 36–7. ²¹ See Panizza, ‘Alberico Gentili’s De Armis Romanis’, esp. 80–3.

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premise that interventions on behalf of the peace and liberty of Christendom retained their appeal. In time, others would knead this line of argument into a new theory of universal hegemony, intended to resurrect the glories of ancient Rome. It is no coincidence that the idea of English colonization in America—all but dormant hitherto—was revived by the Hispanophobic war party at the end of the sixteenth century; no coincidence that it was to Walsingham himself that Richard Hakluyt, its chief publicist, dedicated the first edition of his Principal Navigations, Voyages, and Discoveries of the English Nation in 1589. Indeed, as David Harris Sacks has argued, Hakluyt—like Walter Raleigh and other colonial projectors—conceived of their voyages and plantations to the west as part of a grand, providential design for global redemption. English expansion was but an instrumental theme within the ‘certain and full discovery of the World’. Of chief significance was the spiritual healing of a fallen world through ventures that restored it to fullness, order, and harmony with itself. In prophetic terms, the discovery of shrouded continents was tantamount to the rebuilding of Solomon’s temple.²² The argument could still be made in more mundane terms, too. The projectors of the Roanoke and Jamestown settlements alike advertised Virginia, both as a source of commodities and a privateering base, as a means of mitigating the inflation of Spain’s power derived from her holdings in South America.²³ This geopolitical orientation was also borne out in its propaganda. It is noteworthy that the English and Dutch translations of Bartolomé de Las Casas’s Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies—which laid the foundations for the ‘Black Legend’ of Catholic colonial brutality—were not originally intended to justify Protestant colonization but to elucidate the horrors of a Spanish invasion of the Netherlands or England itself.²⁴ Virginia owed its origins to English hostility to Habsburg supremacy in Europe. The idea of foreign intervention cast a long shadow over early Stuart politics, as the Thirty Years War produced a geopolitical crisis of far greater magnitude to contend with. Foremost among its theorists was Francis Bacon, an erstwhile associate of Walsingham (like Bacon’s brother Anthony, to whom Essex dedicated his Apology). Bacon had once served as James I’s Lord Chancellor, but by the time ²² See David Sacks, ‘Rebuilding Solomon’s Temple: Richard Hakluyt’s Great Instauration’, in Chloë Huston (ed.), New Worlds Reflected (Farnham, 2010), 17–55. ²³ Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Voyages, and Discoveries of the English Nation (London, 1589), 1–3. See similarly ‘Ralph Lane to Francis Walsingham, Port Ferdinando, Virginia, 12/8/1585’, in Noel Salisbury et al. (eds.), Calendar of State Papers: Colonial Series, America and West Indies, 45 vols. so far (London, 1860–), I, 2. ²⁴ Karen Kupperman, Roanoke (Savage, MD, 1984), 2–13; Eric Griffin, ‘The Spectre of Spain in John Smith’s Colonial Writing’, in Robert Appelbaum and John Sweet (eds.), Envisioning an English Empire (Philadelphia, 2005), 118–27; James Bell, Empire, Religion, and Revolution in Early Virginia, 1607–1786 (Basingstoke, 2013); Benjamin Schmidt, Innocence Abroad (New York, 2001), 98. See Bartolomé de Las Casas, The Spanish Colony (London, 1583). The translation is signed ‘M.M.S.’, which David Sacks conjectures are the initials of Master Miles Smith, a client of Walsingham.

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he returned to writing about foreign affairs in 1622, he was seeking to rehabilitate his political fortunes after impeachment for corruption the previous year. The most promising path to recovery seemed to be interwoven with a faction of Englishmen dedicated to abandoning the peace that James had concluded with Spain in 1604.²⁵ This party, which was strong enough in Parliament to vex the King into terminating the session of 1621, was gathered around the Duke of Buckingham and Prince Charles, who had succeeded to the mantle of warriorking-in-waiting after the death of his elder brother Henry in 1612.²⁶ The grievances of this party were not confined to continuing Spanish hostility against the Netherlands but also Habsburg aggression in the Reich, where King James’s Protestant son-in-law had been dispossessed of the Bohemian and Palatine crowns after the Battle of White Mountain in 1620. In Bacon’s hands, hostility to the Habsburgs germinated into a more sophisticated doctrine of English foreign policy. For a start, he revived the humanist reversal of scholastic opinion on the justice of pre-emptive action. His analysis of the state system in the tract Of Empire urged that ‘princes do keep due sentinel, that none of their neighbours do overgrow so . . . as they become more able to annoy than they were’.²⁷ Like Walsingham before him, he also appreciated the importance of foreign alliances. This, in his view, struck at Spain’s greatest weakness: ‘I see . . . much matter of quarrel and jealousy, but little of amity and trust towards Spain, almost in all other estates.’²⁸ This broad horizon reflected the affinities with a wider Christendom Bacon continued to share with his forebears. Indeed, he began his foray into Continental affairs with his unfinished Advertisement Touching on Holy War—a call for a pan-Christian alliance against the Ottomans.²⁹ Even when Spain was once again his chief concern, he continued to share the anxiety of his contemporaries for ‘the sad and doleful events of Christendom’.³⁰ More significant, however, was a novel idea of the role that England might come to play in the European system. In the years to come, he promised the Duke of Buckingham, ‘The King . . . will put a hook in the nostrils of ²⁵ Markku Peltonen, ‘Politics and Science: Francis Bacon and the True Greatness of States’, in Historical Journal, vol. 35, no. 2 (June 1992), 284. ²⁶ See Brennan Pursell, ‘The End of the Spanish Match’, in Historical Journal, vol. 45, no. 4 (Dec. 2002), 724–5; Brennan Pursell, ‘James I, Gondomar, and the Dissolution of the Parliament of 1621’, in History, vol. 85, no. 279 (July 2000), 428–45; Hans Werner, ‘ “The Hector of Germany, or The Palgrave, Prince Elector” and Anglo-German Relations of Early Stuart England: The View from the Popular Stage’, in Malcolm Smuts (ed.), The Stuart Courts and Europe (Cambridge, 1996), 117, 125. ²⁷ Francis Bacon, ‘Of Empire’, in Bacon, The History of the Reign of King Henry VII and Selected Works, ed. Brian Vickers (Cambridge, 1998), 239. Bacon couched his remarks as a repudiation of St Thomas Aquinas’s argument in favour of retaliation as the only just sanction for war in the Summa Theologiae, Secunda Secundae, xi.1. See similarly Francis Bacon, Considerations Touching a War with Spain (London, 1619). On Bacon’s theory of the balance of power and Guicciardini, see Vincent Luciani, ‘Bacon and Guicciardini’, in Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, vol. 62, no. 1 (Mar. 1947), 106–7. ²⁸ Bacon quoted in Peltonen, ‘Politics and Science’, 293. ²⁹ Ibid., 284. ³⁰ Quoted in Jonathan Scott, England’s Troubles (Cambridge, 2000), 101.

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Spain, and lay a foundation of greatness here to his children in these west parts.’³¹ England, he almost prophesied, would take a custodial interest in Christendom. The means by which England would achieve this end were outlined in Bacon’s tract Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates, which might be counted amongst the urtexts of British strategic thinking. More clearly than his precursors, Bacon recognized the importance of a foreign policy that addressed both the Old World and the New. Sea power was to be a critical aspect of England’s reason of state. ‘With us of Europe’, he argued, ‘the vantage of strength at sea . . . is great.’ This was especially the case for ‘this kingdom of Great Britain’, which could descend at will on the coasts of the Continent from her island refuge, while engrossing ‘the wealth of both Indies’, that ‘seems in great part but an accessary to the command of the seas’. However, Bacon also understood the imperative of alliances in Europe. A great power, he contended, must hold itself ‘ready to give aids and succours to their confederates’. The Romans were his exemplar of righteous conduct in ‘leagues defensive’, because when their allies were invaded, ‘the Romans would ever be the foremost, and leave it to none other to have the honour’ of rendering assistance. These strategies were to be a potent combination in ages to come.³² Precociously, Bacon also acknowledged the importance of popular prosperity to the strength of the state; yet there was more to this part of his argument than national wealth. When he argued that ‘no people over-charged with tribute is fit for empire’, he was writing of the danger that an overly numerous nobility would suppress the ‘common subject’ to the condition of ‘a peasant . . . and in effect but the gentleman’s labourer’. This was a plea for liberty in the civic sense, the freedom of a freeman secured by his personal means from reduction to a ‘servile condition’. Such men, ascendant in England since the emasculation of the feudal nobility in the reign of Henry VII, made ‘good soldiers’, who would be ‘an overmatch’ for ‘the peasants of France’ and their ilk.³³ It was not as if the Jacobean and later Caroline foreign policy that these arguments were directed against was Hispanophile, isolationist, or pacifist. James I shared their conviction that his British kingdoms could take on a position of pre-eminence in the affairs of Europe. As Archbishop of Canterbury in the 1630s, the Arminian William Laud supported unions with foreign churches, although he looked to the crypto-episcopal Lutherans of Scandinavia and the somewhat anti-papal Gallican Catholics in France, rather than German and French Protestants.³⁴ Yet such men saw England’s path to prominence in ³¹ Bacon quoted in Peltonen, ‘Politics and Science’, 284. ³² Bacon, ‘Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates’, in Bacon, History of Henry VII and Selected Works, 255–7. ³³ Ibid., 251. ³⁴ See W. J. Tighe, ‘William Laud and the Reunion of the Churches: Some Evidence from 1637 and 1638’, in Historical Journal, vol. 30, no. 3 (Sept. 1987), 717–27.

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profoundly different terms. James saw himself as the rex pacificus, who would heal Christendom not by leading one side to victory but by rising above the conflict and bridging its confessional divides.³⁵ It was in this spirit that he denounced the use of ‘the cloak of religion’ by factions in Parliament to break the ‘firm peace religiously made and observed hitherto’ with Spain.³⁶ The footnote of his policy was that the Secretary of State charged with much of its conduct was George Calvert, Baron Baltimore, the subsequent author of experiments in establishing peaceable communities of Protestants and Catholics in Newfoundland and Maryland.³⁷ The rex pacificus idea might have met with greater support at home had it met with greater success abroad. Its popularity dwindled even further after James’s death, when his successor brought the worst of both geopolitical worlds. Charles I’s interventions in European politics at the beginning of his reign ended in unmitigated failure. Thereafter, his role in the Thirty Years War was not pacific so much as passive. The combined result of these experiences was that foreign policy persisted as one of the great pivots on which England’s political crisis of the mid-seventeenth century turned.³⁸ Interventionist doctrines were far from being the discrete preserve of Puritans, but the champions of the Protestant international grew continually less incidental to the foreign policy debate as the decades wore on.³⁹ The extent to which the ‘godly’ community, as it elected itself, had remained wedded to the interventionists in Parliament long after the demise of Leicester and Sidney can be demonstrated by the career of a minor Puritan gentry family, the Winthrops of the East Anglian village of Groton. Adam—the patriarch of the dynasty—was already paying enough attention to the affairs of the Palatinate to note the birth of its heir in his 1614 almanac. In 1620, his son John dolefully received the news of the Elector’s defeat at White Mountain and his flight from Bohemia. Throughout the following decade, the Winthrops were firm supporters of the war party. John met the news of Parliament’s renewed agitation for a strike against Spain after 1623 with praise for the Duke of Buckingham’s conduct, along with a prayer

³⁵ See W. B. Patterson, King James VI and I and the Reunion of Christendom (Cambridge, 1998), esp. 293–338. ³⁶ James VI and I, ‘His Majesty’s Declaration, Touching his Proceedings in the Late Assembly and Convention of Parliament’, in James VI and I, Political Writings, ed. Johann Sommerville (Cambridge, 1994), 251–2. ³⁷ For Maryland as an experiment in irenic Christianity, see John Krugler, ‘Lord Baltimore, Roman Catholics, and Toleration: Religious Policy in Maryland during the Early Catholic Years, 1634-1649’, in The Catholic Historical Review, vol. 65, no. 1 (Jan. 1979), 49–75; Matthew Andrews, ‘Separation of Church and State in Maryland’, in The Catholic Historical Review, vol. 21, no. 2 (July 1935), 170–1; Thomas Hanley, Their Rights and Liberties (Westminster, MD, 1959). The latter works pointed to the influence of Thomas More’s Utopia. ³⁸ For an opposite reading of the impact of early Stuart foreign policy on the regime’s stability at home, see Pursell, ‘End of the Spanish Match’, 726; Pursell, ‘James I, Gondomar, and the Dissolution’, 445. ³⁹ See Scott, England’s Troubles, 89–112.

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that God would ‘send a good end to these happy beginnings’. This interest abided throughout the decade, and he joined other Puritans in mourning the failure of Christian IV of Denmark’s intervention for the Palatinate in 1627. His children kept the faith: Forth Winthrop repeated the great truism of Jacobean interventionism to another son, the younger John: ‘all Spaniards are so carried away with a desire for dominion, that no corner of the World is left unacquainted with their strength’.⁴⁰ From the start, Puritan criticisms of foreign policy served to indict the Stuart regime as weak or even popish. In 1623, pastor John Preston—a client of Buckingham—had pleaded with James I to change his policy: ‘are we infatuate and see nothing? . . . Do we not see the whole body of those that profess the truth besieged round about through Christendom, at this time are not present enemies not only stirred up, but united together and we disjoined to assist them?’⁴¹ Unfavourable comparisons abounded with the bellicosity of Elizabeth I, recollected (not quite accurately) as a ‘Protestant Deborah’.⁴² Perhaps more dangerous were comparisons with warrior kings like Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, who had led a celebrated intervention in defence of the German Protestants.⁴³ The intrusion of European affairs into domestic politics was not, of course, confined to the debate over foreign policy itself. England’s descent into Civil War was as much inspired by conspiracy theories about a foreign, papist fifth column. By 1628, the Puritan cleric Henry Burton was warning about a subversive court faction ‘well likened to frogs’ gathered around Henrietta Maria, Charles I’s French, Catholic Queen. The preacher was particularly nervous about the King’s failure to ‘infus[e] into her the seeds of the true Christian faith’. As this party had ‘laboured to undermine, and overthrow the true Protestant Religion, and instead thereof to set up Popery’, he reflected in the 1640s, so had it sought ‘to overthrow the civil state’.⁴⁴ Fittingly, the political theories that would justify Parliament’s rebellion against the Crown were deeply indebted to Continental justifications of rebellion by lesser magistrates against tyrannical monarchs.⁴⁵ ⁴⁰ [Adam Winthrop], ‘Hopton’s Almanack for 1614’; Deane Tyndal to John Winthrop, 2/12/1620; John Winthrop to John Winthrop, Jr, Groton, 7/3/1624; Emmanuel Downing to John Winthrop, 31/8/ 1627; Forth Winthrop to John Winthrop, Jr, 1628?, in The Winthrop Papers, Volume I: 1498–1628 (Boston, 1925), 158, 233–4, 289, 330, 366. ⁴¹ Preston quoted in Francis Bremer, Puritan Crisis (New York, 1989), 36. See similarly William Bridge, The True Soldier’s Convoy (London, 1640), 68–9. See further John Spurr, English Puritanism, 1603–1689 (Basingstoke, 1998), 79–84; Francis Bremer, Congregational Communion (Boston, 1994), 66–7. ⁴² See Bremer, Puritan Crisis, 19–20; Robert Middlekauff, The Mathers (Oxford, 1971), 22–9. ⁴³ See John Dury, A Summary Account of Mr John Dury’s Former and Latter Negotiation for the Procuring of True Gospel Peace (London, 1657), 3; William Gouge, The Saint’s Sacrifice (London, 1632), 284; Bremer, Puritan Crisis, 84–7. ⁴⁴ Henry Burton, The Seven Vials (London, 1628), 98; Henry Burton, The Baiting of the Pope’s Bull (London, 1627), 19–20; Henry Burton, A Narration of the Life of Mr Henry Burton (London, 1643), 9. ⁴⁵ See, for example: Henry Burton, England’s Bondage and Hope of Deliverance (London, 1641), 10–19; cf. Henry Burton, For God, and the King (London?, 1636), esp. 36–42, 89–91. For the influence of the monarchomachs earlier in the century, see Gajda, ‘The State of Christendom’.

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       

Not content to indict the indolence and delusions of their kings, many Puritans sought private means of atoning for royal inaction. Thousands volunteered to fight the Spanish, primarily in the Netherlands. Amongst them was the one-man Puritan revolution Hugh Peter, who recounted his experiences as a military chaplain in the Low Countries in Digitus Dei, or, Good News from Holland (1631).⁴⁶ The training of these legions of Englishmen on foreign battlefields during the 1620s and 1630s cannot be said to have proven salutary to the health of the Stuart monarchy. John Davenport, later a founder of the New Haven colony, spent much of the 1620s collecting funds for Palatine refugees—for which he was censured by the Court of High Commission in 1626.⁴⁷ Yet besides criticizing Stuart policy, Puritans also expounded their own vision of England’s rightful role in Europe. The thinking of their divines on this subject was heavily inflected with that of Continental reformers, and none more than the Huguenot leader Henri, Duke de Rohan, whose Treatise of the Interest of the Princes of Christendom echoed many of Bacon’s proposals. Rohan set out the means by which England could ‘establish a third puissance in Christendom’ to counterbalance France and Spain. Such power would be wielded by a wise King for ‘the advancement of the Protestant religion, even with as much zeal as the King of Spain appears protector of the Catholic’, and it would rest not on England’s prowess alone but on her participation ‘in all the treaties that are made with Protestant princes’.⁴⁸ One of those who took up Rohan’s manifesto was the Scottish reformer John Dury, whose reaction to the refusal of James I and Charles I to forge a league of Protestant powers was to try to build that alliance himself. He devoted most of his life to promoting a spiritual reconciliation of Reformed churches—without which, he argued, there was no hope of forming a ‘civil confederation’ strong enough to thwart the House of Habsburg’s plan to ‘lay for itself a foundation of a universal monarchy’.⁴⁹ But the manner in which Dury had elected to pursue this private foreign policy reveals much more about how the ‘saints’ approached the affairs of Christendom. His support for Rohan’s plan to make England ‘a third party in Europe’ to ‘uphold the persecuted Protestants everywhere and balance the powers of Europe so between France and Spain that neither of them shall become too potent to sway the affairs of Europe monarchically for their own ends’ was ⁴⁶ Hugh Peter, Digitus Dei (Rotterdam, 1631). On military volunteering in the Low Countries, see John Stoye, English Travellers Abroad, 1607–1667 (New Haven and London, 1989), 171–98. ⁴⁷ ‘A Circular Letter of Thomas Taylor, Richard Sibbes, John Davenport, and William Gouge’, in Isabel Calder (ed.), Letters of John Davenport (New Haven, 1937), 27. ⁴⁸ Duke of Rohan, A Treatise of the Interest of the Princes of Christendom (Paris, 1640), 36–7. London editions appeared in 1641 and 1663. See further Duke of Rohan, A Declaration of the Duke of Rohan (London, 1628), passim. On Rohan’s expansive impact on English geopolitical thinking, see J. A. W. Gunn, ‘ “Interest Will Not Lie”: A Seventeenth-Century Political Maxim’, in Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. 29, no. 4 (Oct. 1968), 551–64. ⁴⁹ Dury, A Summary Discourse Concerning the Work of Peace Ecclesiastical (Cambridge, 1641), 1, 8–9. On Dury’s campaign, see Bremer, Congregational Communion, 65.

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implacable. Yet he complained that the Huguenot statesman was too concerned with ‘policy’ to recognize the superior importance of an antecedent cause—the ‘higher nature . . . of righteousness and of truth manifested’ which was the true basis of ‘the Protestant cause’.⁵⁰ Pedantic as this complaint may seem, it demonstrates the causal power over international affairs which men like Dury perceived in godliness itself. This was to have an enormous effect on the greatest monument of Puritan dissent prior to the Civil War—New England. Like that of Virginia, the colonization of New England was part of a broader foreign policy aimed at protecting a particular vision of Christendom from the threat of universal monarchy. Proponents of settling the area had always pointed to its geopolitical capital. Its value as a potential source of naval stores had naturally enticed those who wished to challenge the maritime supremacy of Spain. John Smith, who had taken the title ‘Admiral of New England’ after exploring its coastline, described its colonization as the best way to compensate the advantage that Spain had accrued from the Columbian discoveries in the previous century. His promotional pamphlet made clear that this was a matter of more than national importance. Throwing down the gauntlet, he demanded to know, ‘be we so far inferior to other nations, or our spirits so far dejected, from our ancient predecessors, or our minds so upon spoil, piracy, and such villainy, as to serve the Portugale, Spaniard, Dutch, French, or Turk (as to the cost of Europe, too many doth) rather than our God, our King, our country, and ourselves?’⁵¹ It was in this tradition that Fulke Grenville and Sir Robert Naunton—the latter of whom won John Winthrop’s esteem by pleading for intervention in the Palatinate so strenuously that James I had him arrested—had persuaded the King to allow a small band of Brownite separatists to establish Plymouth Colony in 1620.⁵² John Winthrop also turned to the colonization of New England in response to a geopolitical crisis in Europe: the pivotal moment in his decision to lead an army of Puritan colonists to settle Massachusetts Bay was the capitulation of Christian IV of Denmark in May 1629. With the crushing of the Protestant Church militant’s last credible champion, Habsburg victory in the European theatre seemed to have been assured. God ‘hath smitten all other churches before our eyes’, he informed his wife, and while England had not yet fallen, the failure of its armies in the pathetic sideshow of the Thirty Years War at La Rochelle was ominous. It was time, he wrote, to consider the possibility that the Almighty would provide ‘a shelter and a hiding place for us’ in the New World.⁵³

⁵⁰ Dury, The Interest of England in the Protestant Cause (London, 1659), 1–2. ⁵¹ John Smith, A Description of New England (London, 1616), 43–4. ⁵² Bunker, Making Haste from Babylon, 28–31; John Winthrop to Margaret Winthrop, 23/1/1621, in Winthrop Papers, Volume I, 238. ⁵³ John Winthrop to Margaret Winthrop, 15/5/1629, in The Winthrop Papers, Volume II: 1623–30 (Boston, 1931), 91.

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To Winthrop, this was no less a military expedition than any which had gone to the Low Countries, the Reich, or Huguenot France; it was, in essence, the ‘long march’ of English Protestantism. When he attempted to vindicate the colonial project by proving the dictum that the justice of an action lay in its piety rather than its success, every example he offered was a military intervention. Biblical endorsement came from the Israelite war with Benjamin recounted in Judges 20. Historical endorsement came from the Schmalkaldic League’s war against Charles V at the beginning of the wars of religion. Contemporary endorsement came, unsurprisingly, from the piety of ‘the King of Denmark and other princes of the union’, who ‘had ill success in assisting the Palatinate’.⁵⁴ The same was true of the personnel to be enlisted in the New England expedition: ‘the constant practice in all other like cases’, Winthrop wrote, ‘might be a rule in this: in all foreign expeditions we stick not to employ our best statesmen and we grouch not the want of their service at home, while they are employed for the good of other things abroad.’⁵⁵ Still more importantly, Winthrop was not retreating to the New World but opening up a new front. He had begun his earliest remarks on the expedition with the promise of ‘carrying the Gospel into those parts to raise a bulwark against the Kingdom of Antichrist which the Jesuits labour to rear in all parts of the World’.⁵⁶ Winthrop was referring to Spain: there was no one else, since the Scottish baronet William Alexander and the Britanno-Huguenot merchant David Kirke had expelled the French authorities (albeit briefly) from Nova Scotia and Quebec.⁵⁷ This agenda was of singular significance to the early history of Massachusetts, for it was not an eccentricity of Winthrop alone. Above all, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was devised to reform and empower an England its projectors regarded as an elect nation, raised by divine providence to be the new Israel that would reunify and redeem Christendom. As the historian Francis Bremer has written, those who sought refuge in New England believed that ‘it was England’s task . . . to restore the medieval unity of Europe by bringing all men under the Reformed Protestant banner’.⁵⁸ The colony would be a spiritual appendage to its motherland, nourishing the cause of reformation across the Atlantic by its inspirational example as a ‘city upon a hill’ visible to ‘the eyes of

⁵⁴ John Winthrop, ‘Objections Answered: First Draft’, in ibid., 135. See similarly John Winthrop, ‘Reasons to be Considered, and Objections with Answers’, in ibid., 145. ⁵⁵ John Winthrop, ‘General Conclusions and Particular Considerations: Early Draft’, in ibid., 127. In a later draft, ‘things’ was altered to ‘churches’: ibid., 133. ⁵⁶ John Winthrop, ‘General Observations for the Plantation of New England’, in ibid., 111. ⁵⁷ Historians have paid very little attention to these episodes: see Francis Parkman, France and England in North America, 2 vols. (New York, 1983), I, 317–20; Henry Kirke, The First English Conquest of Canada (London, 1871), passim. Winthrop’s fleet mingled with Kirke’s squadron on its Atlantic crossing: Winthrop Papers, Volume II, 249–51. ⁵⁸ Bremer, The Puritan Experiment (New York, 1976), 34. See similarly Bremer, Puritan Crisis, 68; Bremer, Congregational Communion, 108; Perry Miller, Errand into the Wilderness (Cambridge, MA, 1956), 10–13.

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all people’, and through prayer and the rest of the panoply of devotional acts which retained causative powers in the Puritan mind.⁵⁹ The definitive statement of Massachusetts’s role in England’s mission to redeem Christendom was Edward Johnson’s history of the colony, published in the 1650s. Johnson told his readers that his fellow migrants were ‘for England’s sake . . . going from England to pray without ceasing for England’, but his horizons were broad enough to encompass the reform of all Europe. ‘Oh ye French,’ he implored, ‘ye Germans . . . Christ is now coming to your aid . . . Oh Italy! The seat and centre of the Beast, Christ will now pick out a people from among you for himself . . . Oh ye Spaniards and Portuguese, Christ will show you the abominations of the beastly whore, who hath made your nations drunk with the wine of her fornication.’ Johnson’s unusually clear depiction of the geopolitical dénouement of this providence is telling. When the Puritan foresaw the surrender of ‘new upstart kingdoms, dukedoms, or what else can be named’ to the universal empire of Christ, he was not speaking of Christ in a corporeal sense. Rather, once ‘the whole civil government of people upon Earth’ had been reoriented towards the service of Christ, he argued, ‘there shall not be any to move the hand . . . and then shall the time be of breaking spears into mattocks, and swords into scythes’. Thus, in shades at least vaguely reminiscent of Erasmus, was the peace of Christendom to be restored.⁶⁰

‘A Holy Asylum’ The orders last rehearsed are buds of empire, such as with the blessing of God may spread the arms of your commonwealth, like a holy asylum to the distressed world, and give the Earth her Sabbath of years, or rest from her labours, under the shadow of your wings. James Harrington, humanist philosopher, on English imperium, 1656⁶¹ The origins of the Civil War did not lie exclusively in foreign policy, but England’s relationship with Europe was certainly amongst its principal causes, and the conflagration is indecipherable in isolation from the wars of religion that continued to rage across the Channel. Jonathan Scott has gone so far as to say that the war was ‘part of [a] single European conflict’, while John Morrill has contended

⁵⁹ Winthrop, ‘A Model of Christian Charity’, in Winthrop Papers, Volume II, 295; Bremer, Puritan Crisis, 79. On Puritan attitudes towards the causal power of prayer, see John Morrill, ‘William Dowsing, the Bureaucratic Puritan’, in John Morrill et al. (eds.), Public Duty and Private Conscience in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford, 1993), 173–203. ⁶⁰ Edward Johnson, Wonder-Working Providence of Sion’s Saviour in New England, ed. J. Franklin Jameson (New York, 1910; repr. 1967), 53, 59–60, 34–5. ⁶¹ James Harrington, The Oceana and Other Works (London, 1771), 180.

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that the execution of Charles I was the last act of the European wars of religion.⁶² The Massachusetts Puritans celebrated the victory of Parliament over the King as a triumph of their own redemptive mission. John Dury asserted that the House of Stuart had been punished ‘because they did not endeavour to help the Lord against the mighty, that is, to protect the churches abroad by those means they had in their hands . . . and because the way of their policy did lead them rather to side with the common adversaries for self-ends to betray the cause, rather than to uphold it’.⁶³ Unsurprisingly, then, the victors of the Civil War were quickly besieged with calls to reverse the foreign policy that the Stuarts had generally pursued for the previous four decades. Hugh Peter, whose parting shot to the affairs of Europe had been an indictment of the King’s acquiescence in the Emperor’s punitive peace treaty with the Palatinate, returned to England and set about reviving Rohan’s plan for English policy in 1646.⁶⁴ Closely paraphrasing the Duke, he declared that ‘we should have continued the patrons of the Protestant cause, as the King of Spain the Catholic, and so preserved the faithful, which Germany and Rochelle would have thanked us for’. Peter, however, promoted a vision more aggressive than the maintenance of the balance of power between France and Spain. Underlying this change of tone was the realization that England’s capacity for foreign intervention had increased markedly. For Rohan, England’s prowess lay in the future. For Peter, the Civil War was an act of providence that had raised the Kingdom to great power: ‘the Lord hath made us warlike’, he declared, ‘and we are become formidable to our neighbours’.⁶⁵ Peter married the customary call for alliances with Protestant powers like Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands with demands for military intervention on the Continent.⁶⁶ England, he asserted, ‘should have rewarded the proud’ and ‘kept our war at a distance’ by attacking her enemies overseas, rather than awaiting the arrival of war at home.⁶⁷ Reflecting on the German states that had made common cause with the Emperor in the Thirty Years War, he mused: ‘I know not why we might not march into Bavaria and Lorraine before they come unto us, and make them pay all arrears.’ Indeed, the abandonment of German Protestants remained a sore point. He confessed to be ‘divided between Ireland and the Palatinate’ as the next destination for Parliament’s New Model Army, before adding wryly, ‘I quiet myself in this, that we may do both’. Yet there was more to Peter’s

⁶² Scott, ‘England’s Troubles 1603-1702’, in Smuts (ed.), Stuart Courts and Europe, 28; Morrill, ‘The Religious Context of the English Civil War’, in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, vol. 34 (1984), 178. ⁶³ Dury, An Earnest Plea for Gospel Communion in the Way of Godliness (London, 1654), 75–7. ⁶⁴ John Humfrey to John Winthrop, London, 18/12/1630, in Winthrop Papers, Volume II, 336. ⁶⁵ Hugh Peter, God’s Doing, and Man’s Duty (London, 1646), 28. ⁶⁶ Peter, Mr Peter’s Last Report of the English Wars (London, 1646), 8–9. ⁶⁷ Peter, God’s Doing, and Man’s Duty, 22.

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proposal than settling scores. He laid down as a dictum that wherever ‘foreign threatenings were in earnest’, the army should ‘be sent to encounter them, and teach peasants to understand liberty’—a clear echo of Bacon’s train of thought.⁶⁸ Peter combined military interventionism with the attitudes that underlay the New England project. The first of these was the inspirational character of England’s purifying. ‘Germany’ was ‘lifting up her lumpish shoulder, and the thin-cheeked Palatinate looking out a prisoner of hope’, the ‘over-awed French peasant’ was recalling ‘his long lost liberty’, and the Dutch were remembering ‘their neighbour England, who cemented their walls with blood and bought their freedom’. In sum, ‘all Protestant Europe seems to get new colour in her cheeks’.⁶⁹ Neither were the advantages of colonization forgotten. Peter assessed their commercial value with the mercantilist truism that ‘the support of trade is the strength of this island’.⁷⁰ Alongside this went the dream of dispossessing Spain of the West Indies, which many Puritans had come to regard as synonymous with the episode in the fall of Antichrist allegorically described as the drying of the Euphrates.⁷¹ The foreign policy of the English Republic which emerged from the upheavals of the 1640s reflected this interventionist tradition and a decisive breech with the Stuart approach. Oliver Cromwell, the Puritan parliamentarian general who held power as Lord Protector between 1653 and 1658, not only employed Peter as his personal chaplain but shared much of his ethos. ‘God has not brought us hither where we are but to consider the work we may do in the World as well as at home,’ he would tell the Council of State in 1654.⁷² In practice, this injunction was manifest in a tissue of concerns. The defence of Protestantism abroad and the preservation of the English Republic against external subversion were certainly amongst them, but like the debates of the previous decades the Protector’s foreign policy was sustained by an underlying sense of Christendom.⁷³ Of course, Cromwell took enthusiastically to the role of champion of the Protestant international. The massacre of the Waldensian Christians by the Duke of Savoy in 1655 provided an opportunity for the Protector to rattle the godly sabre, threatening military intervention and organizing days of fasting and charitable collections.⁷⁴ These gestures answered an outpouring of popular fury. The poet John Milton, the Republic’s Secretary for Foreign Tongues, used his verses On the Late Massacre in Piedmont to urge:

⁶⁸ Peter, Last Report, 10, 6. ⁶⁹ Peter, God’s Doing, and Man’s Duty, 22–3. ⁷⁰ Peter, Last Report, 9. ⁷¹ Peter, God’s Doing, and Man’s Duty, 28. ⁷² Edward Montagu, ‘Notes on the Debates in the Protector’s Council Concerning the Last Indian Expedition’, in C. H. Firth (ed.), The Clarke Papers, Volume III (London, 1899), 207. ⁷³ Cf. Steven Pincus, Protestantism and Patriotism (Cambridge, 1996), 191, echoing Charles Korr, Cromwell and the New Model Foreign Policy (Berkeley, 1975), 7, 210; Roger Crabtree, ‘The Idea of a Protestant Foreign Policy’, in Ivan Roots (ed.), Cromwell (London, 1973), 160–89. ⁷⁴ See Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat (London, 2007), 29.

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        Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones Lie scattered on the Alpine mountains cold.⁷⁵

It was unclear whether the Lord in question was God or Cromwell. Throughout his reign, the Protector never abandoned the search for an alliance of northern Protestants; this was largely fruitless, although he did make peace with the Dutch. To this was married a quest for Continental sally ports that might ease military interventions in Europe. His efforts to lease Bremen from Charles X of Sweden failed, but Dunkirk was captured from Spain in 1658. Alongside this went indefatigable diplomatic meddling, reaching its crescendo with his attempt to place a Protestant or tolerant Catholic prince on the throne of the Reich in the imperial election of 1657.⁷⁶ Yet the Protector’s most significant diplomatic achievement was the alliance he concluded with France between 1655 and 1657. This policy spanned the divide between the interests of Christendom and Protestantism. Cardinal Mazarin, France’s chief minister, had instructed his envoy to propose ‘the renewal of those old alliances which were contracted in other times . . . and that experience has shown are very useful to the peace of Christendom’. The English Council of State had already decided in 1654 that France was to be preferred, as ‘not so bitter against the Protestants’, to Spain, ‘the greatest enemy to the Protestant in the World’.⁷⁷ This outlook rested on the considerable degree of confessional ambiguity which Bourbon France retained until Louis XIV began to erode the Edict of Nantes in the 1660s. Indeed, Peter spoke of the country’s ‘Protestant leaders’ and Henry IV, the dynasty’s Calvinist founder, remained a hero amongst English Protestants.⁷⁸ After his death, the Bourbon monarchy had become the principal ally of German Protestants during the Thirty Years War, albeit through the logic of dynastic hostility to the Habsburgs. Cromwell’s regime espoused devotion to an overarching Christendom alongside its sectarian duty to the Reformation abroad. In 1655, the Protector told a Swedish ambassador that his policies ‘were directed to no other ends than libertatem religionis and freedom of trade’.⁷⁹ David Smith has demonstrated that the AngloFrench alliance negotiations turned on the toleration of English Catholics and French Protestants.⁸⁰ Neither were the Protectorate’s cross-confessional alliances ⁷⁵ John Milton, ‘On the Late Massacre in Piedmont’, in Milton, The Complete Works of John Milton, Volume III, ed. Barbara Lewalski and Estelle Haan (Oxford, 2012), 245. See similarly Sir Samuel Morland, The History of the Evangelical Churches of the Valleys of Piedmont (London, 1658). ⁷⁶ See Timothy Venning, Cromwellian Foreign Policy (Basingstoke, 1995), 133–136, 202–7. ⁷⁷ Mazarin and the Council of State quoted in Korr, Cromwell and the New Model Foreign Policy, 62, 93. ⁷⁸ Peter, Last Report, 10. ⁷⁹ Christer Bonde to Charles X, London, 28/9/1655, in Michael Roberts (ed.), Swedish Diplomats at Cromwell’s Court, 1655–1656 (London, 1988), 161. ⁸⁰ David Smith, ‘Diplomacy and the Religious Question: Mazarin, Cromwell, and the Treaties of 1655 and 1657’, in Revue Électronique d’Études sur le Monde Anglophone, vol. 11, no. 2 (July 2014), unpaginated.

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solely targeted against Spain. Indeed, Cromwell described the threat of Habsburg universal monarchy as secondary to that of the Ottoman Empire. He went so far as to pledge support for Catholic Venice against that ‘most potent enemy of the Christian faith’. This promise was redeemed in early 1655 when an Ottoman fleet, sailing to reinforce the Turkish army besieging the Venetian stronghold of Candia, was destroyed by Robert Blake’s squadron at Porto Farina (Ghar-el-Melh).⁸¹ However, while Cromwell upheld his premium on religious liberty and free trade consistently, it was not always the end of the matter: he had also taken a hearty draught of the New England approach to geopolitics.⁸² The rationale for his ‘Western Design’ against Spanish America in 1654 seems to have been grounded in a similar understanding of providence to that which had underwritten Winthrop’s mission to the New World. Peter had described the conquest of the West Indies as the allegorical drying up of the River Euphrates, which Revelation depicted as preceding the fall of Babylon, transposed by early modern Protestants to Rome. Yet it seems more likely that Cromwell came to the idea through his correspondence with John Cotton, the most eminent Puritan divine in Boston. The Rhode Island preacher Roger Williams told the younger John Winthrop in 1655 that ‘the Protector had strong thoughts of Hispaniola and Cuba, Mr Cotton interpreting the Euphrates to be the West Indies’.⁸³ Decades later, the elderly Reverend John Higginson of Salem recounted the Cotton story to the Massachusetts jurist Samuel Sewall. He added, however, that Cromwell had told John Leverett—leader of the expedition’s New England contingent— ‘’twas drying up Euphrates, and he intended not to desist until he came to the gates of Rome’.⁸⁴ There could scarcely be a clearer example of the role English Puritans expected the colonization of the New World to play in the pacifying of the Old. Cromwell’s foreign policy was often born of contingency and its successes were mixed, at best; but it drew its principles from a hinterland of Puritan thinking about England’s place in the world which spanned the Atlantic and reached back to Elizabethan origins. The faithful in New England supplied the rationale for his ill-fated foray to the Caribbean, but it also endorsed the ‘precious favour’ of

⁸¹ Cromwell quoted in Venning, Cromwellian Foreign Policy, 235. On the Battle of Porto Farina, see Michael Baumber, General-at-Sea (London, 1989), 202–5. ⁸² On Cromwell as a tolerant figure, see James Vardaman, ‘Lord Baltimore, Parliament, and Cromwell: A Problem of Church and State in Seventeenth-Century England’, in Journal of Church and State, vol. 4, no. 1 (May 1962), 31–46. ⁸³ Roger Williams to John Winthrop the Younger, Providence, 15 February 1655, in Glenn LaFantasie (ed.), The Correspondence of Roger Williams, 2 vols. (Hanover, 1988), II, 428. Most of the Cotton–Cromwell correspondence was lost when patriots gutted the house of Thomas Hutchinson— New England’s foremost colonial historian as well as its Lieutenant-Governor—during the imperial crisis: see Samuel Mather to Samuel Mather, 9/6/1784, in Sargent Bush, Jr (ed.), The Correspondence of John Cotton (Chapel Hill, 2001), 461n. ⁸⁴ Samuel Sewall, The Diary of Samuel Sewall, 3 vols. (Boston, 1878–82), I, 436–7.

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       

alliances in Europe.⁸⁵ In exile, this community continued to recognize that a godly course in geopolitics entailed concerns like ‘the liberty of Germany’ as well as the protection of coreligionists abroad.⁸⁶ These nuances were reflected in how the leaders of Massachusetts navigated relations with the colony’s French neighbours after their possessions in Nova Scotia and Quebec were restored under the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1632. Early colonists like Edward Trelawny, Henry Vane, and John Winthrop himself had seen them as a commercial threat akin to the Dutch of New Netherland, but they had stopped well short of the confessional hostility customarily aimed at the Spanish.⁸⁷ A Jesuit delegation which arrived from Nova Scotia in 1646 suffered no greater indignity than being left to amuse itself on Sunday with ‘such books in French and Latin’ as the Puritans had—we may well imagine what sort of texts these were.⁸⁸ Winthrop’s handling of a civil war between rival claimants to the governorship of Acadia during the 1640s brought the position of the French into even sharper relief. Some, including the strenuous Puritan John Endecott, opposed the giving of any aid to ‘the idolatrous French’ and attacked the Governor’s decision to permit Charles de Saint-Étienne de la Tour to recruit crews in Massachusetts.⁸⁹ In general, however, the debate revolved around Atlantic geopolitics and Christian charity more than anti-popery. Winthrop’s fiercest detractors were primarily concerned that New England’s intervention in the domestic upheavals of Acadia might give France an excuse to intervene in the Civil War raging in England. ‘The daggers we draw here’, they warned, ‘may happily prove swords in Christendom for ought we know.’⁹⁰ Winthrop’s answer was twofold. He invoked ‘God’s providence’ in ‘offering us the opportunity to save a distressed neighbour’. Hand in hand with charity went an appeal to one element of international law the Puritan party had come to know well—and not without a little chagrin—during the previous decades. The Governor could not conceive of how English volunteers in La Tour’s army could provoke a war between England and France. After all, he wrote, Englishmen ‘have served the States against the Spaniards, and the Spaniards against the States, the

⁸⁵ Clifford Shipton (ed.), ‘The Autobiographical Memoranda of John Brock, 1636-1659’, in Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, vol. 53, pt. 1 (Worcester, 1944), 103. See similarly Roger Williams to John Winthrop the Younger, 23/3/1655, in LaFantasie (ed.), Williams Correspondence, II, 434. ⁸⁶ Winthrop, ‘Reasons to be Considered’, in Winthrop Papers, Volume II, 145. ⁸⁷ See Edward Trelawny to Robert Trelawny, Boston, 10/1/1636, Henry Vane Jr to Henry Vane, Boston, 26/7/1636, John Winthrop to the Lord Commissioners for Foreign Plantations, Boston, 6/9/ 1638, in Everett Emerson (ed.), Letters from New England (Amherst, MA, 1976), 185, 208, 222. ⁸⁸ John Winthrop, Winthrop’s Journal: ‘History of New England’, ed. James Hosmer, 2 vols. (New York, 1908), II, 286. ⁸⁹ John Endecott to John Winthrop, Salem, 19/6/1643, in Thomas Hutchinson (ed.), A Collection of Original Papers Relative to the History of the Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay (Boston, 1769), 127. ⁹⁰ Richard Saltonstall et al. to John Winthrop et al., Ipswich, 14/7/1643, in ibid., 129–31.

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Swedes against the Emperor, and e contra, without any breach of peace between those nations’.⁹¹ The general dearth of sources, magnified by the primitiveness of public life in the colony during the 1640s, means that it is impossible to present a Virginian discourse of Cromwellian foreign policy comparable to that of New England. However, some inkling may be garnered from the writings of Sir William Berkeley, the royalist governor deposed by Parliament in 1652 and reappointed by Charles II on the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. Berkeley had sworn to die in defence of the House of Stuart during the Civil War (he failed), but like many of those who had projected colonies in the New World he was also a longterm critic of Charles I’s foreign policy. Around 1637 he had even authored a play, The Lost Lady: A Tragicomedy, which betrayed his frustration at England’s passivity in European affairs.⁹² The fruition of these superficially contradictory positions was a Discourse and View of Virginia, written in 1662, in which he both endorsed the Protector’s forward policy against Spain while blaming him for its failures. England’s ‘power and strength in America’ would yet sustain ‘the respect we have from most of the princes and states of Europe’. Charles II’s, however, would meet with greater success than his usurping predecessor. ‘Our King’s subjects’ swords are more sharp than the Spaniards, which we had lately evidenced, but that God would not suffer the worst of men, Cromwell, to glory in the bravest of achievements.’⁹³ William Berkeley and Hugh Peter were profoundly different Englishmen, but there was an air of similarity in their view of England’s business in the world. The foreign policies espoused by the Protectorate shared natural affinities with the customary expectations of the Puritan party, but the godly never held a monopoly over these principles of grand strategy, and Cromwell’s popularity as their champion was not confined to such a small—if vocal—part of the English population. In 1656, Roger Williams heard that the war with Spain had ‘turned the face and thoughts of so many English so that the saying of thousands now is crown the Protector with gold’; although, he added, ‘the sullen yet cry crown him with thorns’.⁹⁴ Among these was the reconciled Royalist Edmund Waller, whose Panegyric to My Lord Protector dwelt extensively on England’s late-established salience in the European states system. Heaven, he wrote, . . . has placed this island to give law, To balance Europe, and her states to awe.

⁹¹ Winthrop, ‘Answer to the Ipswich Letter about La Tour’, 21/8/1643, in ibid., I, 139, 143. ⁹² Warren Billings (ed.), The Papers of Sir William Berkeley, 1605–1677 (Richmond, 2007), 14. ⁹³ Sir William Berkeley, ‘A Discourse and View of Virginia’, 1/1662, in ibid., 165, 167. ⁹⁴ Roger Williams to John Winthrop, Jr, Providence, 21/2/1656, in LaFantasie (ed.), Williams Correspondence, II, 448.

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       

England had become the ‘sacred refuge of mankind’, and Cromwell destined to . . . in triumph ride O’er vanquished nations, and the sea beside, While all your neighbour-princes unto you Like Joseph’s sheaves pay reverence, and bow.⁹⁵

John Locke, yet a young fellow of Christ Church, Oxford, produced a celebratory ode hailing the Protector as a new Augustus, tasked ‘to rule in peace that world you gained by war’.⁹⁶ Few aspects of the Protectorate proved so marketable to the English public as its foreign policy. The humanist philosopher James Harrington has lately achieved recognition as a prophet of maritime empire, the man chiefly responsible for dissolving the classical conundrums of overexpansion and collapse through an uncorruptive mastery of the sea; yet there is something teleological to this reading. It is indeed beyond question that Harrington developed Bacon’s theories about republican liberty and sea power in the service of his ideal commonwealth, the titular ‘Oceana’ of his masterwork that was a thinly veiled mirror of Cromwell’s republic. However, in their haste to find the origins of British imperialism overseas, scholars have often seemed oblivious to his contribution to the great matter of his age, the reconstruction of Europe. For the philosopher’s venture in this direction was not only supremely influential but came closest to reconciling the humanist traditions of intervention with the Puritan ideas of providence and national election. Harrington displayed no qualms about casting Oceana as the agent of the world’s redemption from the medieval, Gothic empires that were collapsing all about him. This role was a matter of public duty, for the commonwealth ‘was given as a magistrate of God to mankind, for the vindication of common right, and the law of nature’, and thus obliged to act when ‘thy brother cries to thee in affliction’. Oceana was the ‘rose of sharon’, a providential flowering of divine grace and ordained ‘to the end that the world may be governed with righteousness’. But it was also a Ciceronian utopia, fated to undertake ‘the patronage [rather] than the empire of the world’, and hence to ‘spread the holy arms of [the] commonwealth like a holy asylum’.⁹⁷ After all, there was a cosmopolitan flavour to the struggle against tyranny as well as that against popery; indeed, it was this spirit that

⁹⁵ Edmund Waller, A Panegyric to My Lord Protector (London, 1655), 2, 10. ⁹⁶ John Locke, ‘Verses on Oliver Cromwell’, in Locke, Political Essays, ed. Mark Goldie (Cambridge, 1997), 201. See similarly Thomas Mayhew, Upon the Death of His Late Highness, Oliver Lord Protector (London, 1658). ⁹⁷ Harrington, Oceana and Other Works, 180 Harrington, The ‘Commonwealth of Oceana’ and ‘A System of Politics’, ed. Pocock (Cambridge, 1992), 221; following Cicero, On Duties, ed. M. T. Griffin and E. M. Atkins (Cambridge, 1991), Book II, §27. Further on the millenarian elements of Harrington’s republican thought, see Pocock, Machiavellian Moment, 383–400.

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animated the republican radical Algernon Sidney to inscribe his prayer for ‘revenge for the blood of the just’ in the visitors’ book at the University of Geneva, during the wanderings of his exile in the 1660s.⁹⁸ These Eurocentric instincts lured Harrington, in the train of writers as disparate as Francis Bacon and Edward Johnson, to the task of liberating his country’s benighted neighbours. Oceana would serve the synonymous ‘cause of mankind’ and ‘cause of God’ by interposing on behalf of ‘oppressed people’ to throw off ‘their yoke’. Thereafter she would ‘take the course of Rome’, eschewing the domineering expansion of Athens and Lacedaemon, and instead making a present of civil and spiritual liberty to those nations that were capable of it—he might as well have paraphrased Cromwell’s address to the Swedish ambassador. The Commonwealth would further imitate the example of republican Rome as the tributary head of an unequal league, furnished with men and money by those dependent states of whose freedoms she was the protector. Certainly, maritime commerce was to be a vital sinew of Oceana’s power, and one of more ‘health and beauty’ than the ‘nerve of war’ that Columbus had presented to the King of Spain in the shape of American gold. Yet Harrington’s prospect was resolute in its determination to see ‘the people of the World . . . uplifted from the dregs of the Gothic empire’; like Hakluyt half a century earlier, English expansion was but one instrument in the redemption of Christendom from sin and slavery.⁹⁹ Harrington went beyond his humanist predecessors by showing the English a path not simply to greatness but to hegemony; and by issuing the urgent warning that if she tarried long, France, Spain, or Italy would recover their natural strength and ‘shall certainly govern the World’. His contention that it was as lawful for ‘a commonwealth to aspire to the empire of the world’ as it was ‘for it to do its duty, or to put the World into a better condition than it was before’ brought the philosopher closer to the main currents of evangelism than of humanism.¹⁰⁰ As John Pocock once observed, Oceana thus ‘displays a millennial aspect beyond anything to be found in Hobbes . . . Leviathan can only expect Christ’s kingdom at the end of time; Oceana may be that kingdom already come’, and without any regard to the rule of the saints.¹⁰¹ Nevertheless, there was more to Harrington’s case than the sleight-of-hand substitution of providential patronage for tyrannical hegemony. Like most English republicans, he recognized that civil freedom—as indispensable to arms for him as for Bacon—was impossible within any state under foreign domination. As Quentin Skinner has written, the English republicans held ‘that it is only possible

⁹⁸ Algernon Sidney, Discourses Concerning Government, ed. Thomas West (Indianapolis, 1990), xxxii. Original text: ‘sit sanguinis ultor justorum’. ⁹⁹ Harrington, Oceana and Other Works, 188. And see Pocock, Machiavellian Moment, 392–3. ¹⁰⁰ Harrington, Oceana and Other Works, 188, 185. ¹⁰¹ Pocock, Machiavellian Moment, 399.

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       

to be free in a free state’.¹⁰² However, since early modern humanists saw economic independence as essential to political autonomy, they also appreciated that the balance of trade could allow polities to gain supremacy over one another. As international trade grew more central to state interests, this opened the possibility—as Sophus Reinert has recently argued—that ‘true independence required the current, even pre-emptive submission of others’.¹⁰³ In such a world, where wealth and liberty were competitive concepts, universal monarchy re-emerged as something of an inevitability. Hence, it became conceivable that the only tolerable outcome was to lodge such power in the most benign hands available. These currents of thought would exercise enormous influence over Anglo-British strategic thinking over the following century. Edmund Waller’s assertion that England had become the arbiter of the European system by the mid-1650s was quite absurd, but it was far less absurd than it would have been in the mid-1580s. Historians formerly accused Cromwell of being mired in an Elizabethan view of foreign affairs, but the truth of this claim is no more than tangential. The Protectorate completed a work that had begun the day after Henry VIII’s repudiation of the Catholic Church and the Roman Empire. It had redefined England’s place in the European system as that of a balancing, avenging, and pacifying power—the preserver, above all, of a continent of free states, rather than one subjected to a tyrannical universal monarchy. This conception was indispensably Protestant, but seldom sectarian.¹⁰⁴ In the tradition of those who had shaped interventionist discourse since the beginning of the Dutch Revolt, it promoted an irenic disposition amongst the Reformed and a steadfast devotion to the interests of Christendom as a whole. Anti-popery was ubiquitous, as was care for foreign coreligionists, but few important commentators described the Continent’s religious divisions in Manichean terms. Perhaps critically, while English discourses of grand strategy occasionally strayed into the apocalyptic, for the most part they treated of a natural world governed by providence. If the ‘liberty of Christendom’ had once connoted freedom from religious error, ‘the liberties of Europe’ had come to mean freedom from civil and spiritual coercion, for both states and citizens. Protestantism was just as much a foundation of international law as a fountainhead of prophetic revelation; faith furnished the earthly cities with languages of liberty and codes of intercourse as surely as it presented pilgrims with a map to the heavenly city.

¹⁰² Skinner, Liberty Before Liberalism (Cambridge, 1998), 59–60. ¹⁰³ Sophus Reinert, ‘Rivalry: Greatness in Early Modern Political Economy’, in Philip Stern and Carl Wennerlind (eds.), Mercantilism Reimagined (Oxford, 2014), 352. ¹⁰⁴ The distinction between European policies shaped by resistance against ‘universal monarchy’ and the advance of ‘true religion’ is thus untenable: cf. Pincus, ‘The English Debate over Universal Monarchy’, in Robertson (ed.), Union for Empire, 38.

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‘What Can Be Hoped For?’ What can be hoped for, but that the chains with which the tyrannous and treacherous Grand Signior of France had fettered Europe, will now be broken? Cotton Mather, Massachusetts clergyman, on the Glorious Revolution, 1690¹⁰⁵ If the threat of Habsburg universal monarchy provides an effective ordering principle for the analysis of geopolitical discourse in England between Elizabeth I’s reign and the Interregnum, the rise of France brings less coherence to the period after 1660 than is often presumed. Only in the War of the Austrian Succession was France established as the intractable foe in the struggle for Europe; the role it would retain in the British imaginary until the breaking of Napoleon in 1815. This is not to say that the Bourbon monarchy was not accounted the greatest threat to the European system for protracted periods during the years preceding. After all, the French and British monarchies fought for a quarter of a century in three wars between 1666 and 1714. It is, however, to contend that those Restoration writers who criticized Cromwell as the man who ‘broke the balance betwixt the two crowns of Spain and France’, thus laying a foundation for ‘the future greatness’ of the latter ‘to the unspeakable prejudice of all Europe in general and of this nation in particular’, were not speaking to some revealed truth.¹⁰⁶ Well into the eighteenth century, many Englishmen rejected the proposition. At first glance, the Restoration regime was blessed with an unusually strong consensus on the place of the Stuart monarchy in the European system. Charles II’s propagandists grasped enthusiastically after the more ambitious elements of the Cromwellian platform. The Earl of Castlemaine, a Catholic courtier and husband of the King’s mistress, recognized geopolitical rivalry as a ‘law of nature’, ensuring that weakness abroad would invariably precede assailment from without. In response, other polemicists invited Charles to raise the House of Stuart to become ‘arbitrators of Christendom’ and act as ‘law-givers’ to Europe, ‘holding within the palms of their hands the results of war and peace’.¹⁰⁷ By the same token, the Cavalier Parliament was more harmonious on the nature of the universal monarchist threat than many of its successors, although it was less consistent on the locus of that threat. While Charles initially followed the anti-Spanish policy of his immediate predecessors, the focus of Restoration ¹⁰⁵ Cotton Mather, The Wonderful Works of God Commemorated (Boston, 1690), 37. ¹⁰⁶ Slingsby Bethel, The World’s Mistake in Oliver Cromwell (London, 1668), 4; Edmund Ludlow, Memoirs, ed. Firth, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1894), II, 3. ¹⁰⁷ Quoted in Gabriel Glickman, ‘Conflicting Visions: Foreign Affairs in Domestic Debate 1660–1689’, in William Mulligan and Brendan Simms (eds.), The Primacy of Foreign Policy in British History 1660–2000 (London, 2010), 18.

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geopolitical alarm quickly fell on the possibility of Dutch hegemony. This concern was shared by Anglicans and the Presbyterian rump alike. Indeed, the definitive case for war with the United Provinces was made in 1672 by the Earl of Shaftesbury, in spite of the fact that he was a reconciled Presbyterian, whose tenure as Lord Chancellor would end in a decisive break from the King and his foreign policy. The English and French crowns, he declared, knew their interests well enough ‘to join against them, who were the common enemies of all monarchies, and, I may say, especially to ours, their only competitor for trade and power at sea, and who only stand in their way to a universal empire as great as Rome’. Coining a phrase destined to be much repeated during the following century, Shaftesbury invoked Cato the Elder’s speech on the Punic Wars: ‘delenda est Carthago, that government was to be brought down’.¹⁰⁸ Commercial rhetoric attained a new level of prominence in vindications of Charles II’s two wars with the Dutch (1665–7 and 1672–4), but, as in earlier times, trade was generally conceived as a factor in overturning the balance of power. Royalist Anglicans laboured this connection with particular vehemence, including Sir Philip Warwick, who declared that ‘Holland hath for a time . . . pursued the sea monarchy as eagerly as Charles V and Francis I did the land monarchy’.¹⁰⁹ If Englishmen found this prospect particularly provocative, it was perhaps because the supposed Dutch strategy was discomfortingly close to the native paths to preeminence advertised by writers like Bacon, Harrington, and their successors. Although the Dutch were Protestant, this was not a secular version of the hegemonic threat. When the historian Steve Pincus argued that the ‘European debate was about universal monarchy, not about the true religion’, he drew a distinction without a difference.¹¹⁰ Quite apart from the fact that the term was wrapped up in decades of confessional polemic by the 1660s, or that the very idea of a balance of power was rooted in Protestant jurisprudence, ‘universal monarchy’ had always alluded to the protection of all Christendom as much as the repression of particular Catholic powers. Yet the religious justifications for these conflicts were broader, as Tony Claydon has recently demonstrated. Like the parliamentarian protagonists of the first Anglo-Dutch War (1652–4), Restoration writers attacked the United Provinces as a union of immoral, avaricious, cruel, and treacherous sectaries scarcely deserving the name Christians, let alone Protestants.¹¹¹ Ultimately, this had the effect of expelling the Dutch from ¹⁰⁸ Earl of Shaftesbury, Delenda est Carthago, or the Lord Chancellor Shaftesbury’s Speeches in Parliament (London, 1712), 4–5. ¹⁰⁹ Warwick quoted in Pincus, ‘The English Debate Over Universal Monarchy’, in Robertson (ed.), Union for Empire, 42. See further: ibid., 40–3. ¹¹⁰ Ibid., 38. This is a persistent weakness in Pincus’s argument. See further ibid., 54–62. ¹¹¹ Tony Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 1660–1760 (Cambridge, 2007), 140–4. Cf. Roger Williams to the Massachusetts General Court, Providence, 5/10/1654, in LaFantasie (ed.), Williams Correspondence, II, 411: ‘this late war with Holland, however begun with zeal against God’s enemies (as some in Parliament said) . . . ’.

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Christendom entirely—a repetition of a device once used to liken Habsburg Spain to the Ottoman Turks. One pamphleteer, Henry Stubbe, even announced that ‘I should injure Christendom to make the United Netherlands a part thereof ’.¹¹² Enmity towards the Dutch, however, was not to define the era: by the early 1670s, even as the war with the United Provinces rattled on, a decisive shift of strategic opinion recast Louis XIV of France as the target of all the opprobrium English political discourse reserved for an aspiring universal monarch.¹¹³ This was partly the result of a conscientious Dutch propaganda campaign, sometimes worked through sympathetic English penmen like Andrew Marvell; others needed no invitation.¹¹⁴ The evident superiority of French arms demonstrated in the War of Devolution (1667–8) and the Franco-Dutch War (1672–8), which threatened at various times to leave the entirety of the Netherlands in Louis’s hands, abetted the project. The French threat was widely recognized in the political nation. Shaftesbury, who had broken with the King and moved into opposition the previous year, was an eager convert to the cause by 1675. In a speech to the House of Lords he declared that France had eclipsed the Dutch even in wealth and maritime power, and were poised to seize ‘perpetual mastery of the seas’.¹¹⁵ As France overthrew the balance of power in the west, he warned that ‘a general peace’ was ‘the thing in the World this nation hath most reason to apprehend’, for its terms would be too ‘advantageous . . . to the French, and disadvantageous to the House of Austria’.¹¹⁶ In the process, he invoked the venerable tradition of geopolitical thinking about the Bourbon–Habsburg balance of power in English discourse. Meanwhile, the Earl of Danby, who had become Charles’s chief minister in 1673, adopted an almost indistinguishable stance, effecting the marriage of the Duke of York’s daughter to William of Orange and forming an alliance with Sweden and the Netherlands.¹¹⁷ By the time of his fall in late 1678 Danby had brought England to the verge of war with France, hiring Marchamont Nedham to denounce the French lust for ‘universal monarchy abroad’ in a highly popular pamphlet. Nedham, a one-time republican scrivener and friend of John Milton, saw in England the makeweight of the European system, without whose intervention the Continent was ‘as dangerous as the company of lions and tigers’.¹¹⁸ ¹¹² Stubbe quoted in Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 147. See further ibid., 144–51. ¹¹³ See Pincus, ‘English Debate Over Universal Monarchy’, 43–52; Pincus, ‘From Butterboxes to Wooden Shoes: The Shift in English Popular Sentiment from Anti-Dutch to Anti-French in the 1670s’, in Historical Journal, vol. 38, no. 2 (1995), 333–61. ¹¹⁴ Jeremy Black, A System of Ambition? British Foreign Policy 1660–1793 (Harlow, 1991), 129–31; Tim Harris, Restoration (London, 2005), 71–2; Andrew Marvell, The Prose Works of Andrew Marvell, ed. Annabel Patterson et al., 2 vols. (New Haven and London, 2003), II, 180–1; Sheehan, ‘Theory and Practice of the Balance of Power’, 28–9. ¹¹⁵ Shaftesbury, Two Speeches (Amsterdam, 1675), 8–9. ¹¹⁶ Shaftesbury , Two Speeches (London? 1675), 8. ¹¹⁷ See Black, System of Ambition, 21, 132; Harris, Restoration, 61. ¹¹⁸ Marchamont Nedham, Christianissimus Christianandus (London?, 1678), 3, 17.

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For most of the following thirty years, the whole arsenal of English rhetoric against universal monarchy was turned on the Bourbon monarchy. Louis was attacked as an aggressive expansionist, a standing threat to the security of his neighbours, and a persecutor of Protestants. Like the Habsburg kings before him, he was branded a ‘western Turk’ and ejected from Christendom as a man whose conduct in the geopolitical realm belied his claim to Christianity. Louis aided his English contemnors by adopting the most impolitic set of policies since Crassus invaded Parthia. His Edict of Fontainebleau revoked the toleration of the Huguenots that Henry IV had declared in 1598 and ushered in a new era of persecution. At the same time, he deprived France of the one mitigating element of its Catholicism in the eyes of its Protestant neighbours. Gentili had only been able to liken Philip II to the Ottoman Sultan Murad III; pamphleteers in the 1680s could point out that Louis XIV had maintained cordial relations with Mehmed IV even while Turkish armies laid siege to Vienna. As in an earlier period, none of these positions entailed the repudiation of cross-confessional alliances.¹¹⁹ While denunciations of universal monarchy during the late Stuart period focused on France, they were remarkably consistent with the case that had been made against various branches of the Habsburg family before the 1660s. This consistency was demonstrated with unusual clarity by a set of essays on geopolitics published in 1701 by the Tory polemicist Charles Davenant, as the Treaty of the Grand Alliance between England, Austria, and the Netherlands announced its defiance of the French quest ‘to oppose the liberty of Europe’ and establish ‘the empire over all’.¹²⁰ Davenant began with a long history of English resistance to potential hegemons, reaching through Louis XIV to Elizabethan and Jacobean responses to the exorbitant power of Spain. Since 1488, he contended, Englishmen had proven themselves ‘active in preserving the liberties of the rest of mankind, whereupon their own freedom depended’ by challenging this threat wherever it arose.¹²¹ Yet his argument did more than convey a sense of historical coherence. It was telling that his essay on the horrors of ‘universal monarchy’ was couched as a reply to Pedro de Mexía, one of Charles V’s chief propagandists, and included an argument about the limited extent of the Roman Empire.¹²² Echoing a case made by English interventionists since the late sixteenth century, he warned of the natural propensity of hegemonic powers to spread war and misery, lapse into tyranny, corrupt their inhabitants, and culminate— inevitably—in religious persecution. To strengthen the confessional undertone, he

¹¹⁹ See Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 152–92. ¹²⁰ Quoted in Black, System of Ambition?, 29. ¹²¹ Charles Davenant, Essays Upon I. The Balance of Power; II. The Right of Making War; III. Universal Monarchy (London, 1701), 29. ¹²² See Pagden, Lords of All the World, 38–9.

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indulged in the common rhetorical device of placing the French and Spanish policies alongside those of the Ottomans.¹²³ Throughout the cries, scares, and blasts of war between the 1670s and the 1710s, English writers invoked a tissue of confessional, sectarian, and secular concerns to justify their wars with France; as such, it is impossible to parody the debate as simply ‘anti-popish’. While the contrast Davenant drew between a more peaceable (if fractious) balance of power and a blood-suckled hegemony certainly appealed to biblical injunctions against bloodshed, it must be acknowledged that religion had long since lost its monopoly on the moral compass in international relations.¹²⁴ Humanists invoked classical philosophy, prudence, and law to defend sovereign power and religious liberty from foreign domination and persecution—this was as true of Davenant in the 1700s as Gentili in the 1590s. While religious ends could be served by such secular arguments, geopolitical discourse remained more fundamentally Protestant in other ways. As in the preceding period, the effect was altogether more expansive than ‘anti-popery’. The apocalyptic idiom was floating on an ebb tide, although it remained conspicuous in the political discourse of clergymen.¹²⁵ In its place, Whigs were increasingly drawn to the natural law theories of philosophers like John Locke— once a client of Shaftesbury and later of the Junto leader Sir John Somers. Locke was a fervent advocate of William III’s design ‘for the redeeming of England and with it all Europe’ from Louis XIV, and universal monarchy was utterly antithetical to the political theory outlined in his Two Treatises of Government.¹²⁶ Founded in the consent of discrete communities, Locke’s commonwealths remained in a state of nature with respect to one another: the Lockean state system was multipolar, not hegemonic. This conclusion is hardly surprising given the provenance of natural law: from the Spanish theologian Francisco de Vitoria, it had been employed to provide a basis for international law alternative to the universal power of the Pope or the Emperor.¹²⁷ The natural law argument was chiefly theological for three reasons. Firstly, it was taken as given that the only judicial power in the state of nature was that of Christ: hence, wars between states, like rebellions against rulers, were described as ‘appeals to heaven’—perhaps the most common trope of early modern geopolitical discourse.¹²⁸ A universal monarch was thus the most ungodly kind of usurper. ¹²³ Davenant, Essays, 278–97. For a Whig example of similar consistencies, see Laurence Dickey, ‘Power, Commerce, and Natural Law in Daniel Defoe’s Political Writings, 1698-1707’, in Robertson (ed.), Union for Empire, 65–8; Daniel Defoe, An Argument Showing that a Standing Army with Consent of Parliament is not Inconsistent with a Free Government (London, 1698). ¹²⁴ Davenant, Essays, 291–2. ¹²⁵ Thompson, Britain, Hanover, and the Protestant Interest, 17. ¹²⁶ John Locke to Charles Mordaunt, Viscount Mordaunt, Whitehall, 21/2/1689, in Mark Goldie (ed.), Locke: Selected Correspondence (Oxford, 2002), 136. ¹²⁷ See Antony Anghie, Imperialism, Sovereignty, and the Making of International Law (Cambridge, 2005), esp. 17–23. ¹²⁸ Classically, Locke, Two Treatises of Government, ed. Peter Laslett (Cambridge, 1988), 427; Jeremy Whitman, The Verdict of Battle (Cambridge, MA, 2012).

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As a New England pastor later declared, ‘no mere creature is worthy to receive universal empire; to be King over all . . . but Jesus is worthy to receive power and dominion over all creatures, both in Heaven and Earth’.¹²⁹ Secondly, as the first treatise had demonstrated at some length, the rights of individuals and societies of individuals to be free from ‘the mercy of another’ were predicated upon scriptural exegesis, including that of the Tudor divine Richard Hooker, and the biblical injunction against suicide above all.¹³⁰ The theological underpinnings were more apparent still in the writings of Locke’s defenders, such as Bishop Benjamin Hoadly.¹³¹ Thirdly, natural law arguments served to reject the pre-Thomist Catholic notion that Protestant authorities could be deposed because dominium was only legitimate if founded on grace.¹³² Later philosophers of natural sociability like the third Earl of Shaftesbury dispensed with many of the contractual premises of earlier theories of natural law. Nevertheless, they too maintained the vision of a world composed of ‘free and independent’ peoples, bound together in discrete ‘national brotherhood[s]’.¹³³ Even so, as we shall see, neither set of naturalist theories forswore an enduring connection to mankind. As had been the case during the Thirty Years War, Louis XIV’s supposed bid for universal monarchy darkened the domestic political landscape as well as the international prospect. Fear of French hegemony went hand in hand with two mounting concerns about the course of the Stuart regime at home. As the 1670s wore on, a growing number of polemicists began to charge the King with adopting an absolutist style of government patterned after the French example (the morbo Gallico, as some quipped), while plotting to restore Catholicism at home as Louis strove to extirpate Protestantism abroad.¹³⁴ The poet and parliamentarian Andrew Marvell’s celebrated Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government (1677) announced that ‘there has now for diverse years a design been carried on to change the lawful government of England into an absolute tyranny, and to convert the established Protestant religion into downright popery’.¹³⁵

¹²⁹ Joseph Sewall, The Lamb Slain, Worthy to be Praised (Boston, 1745), 13. ¹³⁰ Locke, Two Treatises, I, 42. See W. von Leyden, ‘John Locke and Natural Law’, in John Dunn and Ian Harris (eds.), Locke, 2 vols. (Cheltenham, 1997), I, 115–27. The classical exegesis of the theological character of natural philosophy remains Carl Becker, The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers (New Haven, 1932), passim. ¹³¹ See Benjamin Hoadly, The Original and Institution of Civil Government, Discussed, ed. William Gibson (New York, 2007). ¹³² For example, Locke, ‘Letter Concerning Toleration’, in Locke, Locke on Toleration, ed. Richard Vernon (Cambridge, 2010), 35. ¹³³ Earl of Shaftesbury, Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, ed. Lawrence Klein (Cambridge, 1999), 399–400. ¹³⁴ On De Morbo Gallico, see Laslett, ‘The English Revolution and Locke’s Two Treatises of Government’, in Richard Ashcraft (ed.), John Locke, 4 vols. (London, 1991), I, 43. ¹³⁵ Marvell, An Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Government in England (Amsterdam, 1677), 3. See further Harris, Restoration, 56–82, 137–63; Charles Tarlton, ‘The Exclusion Controversy, Pamphleteering, and Locke’s Two Treatises’, in Historical Journal, vol. 24 (1981), 49–68; J. C. D. Clark, English Society 1660–1832 (2nd edn, Cambridge, 2000), 66–8.

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This climate of fear reached an apogee with the Exclusion Crisis of 1679–81, when a parliamentary opposition attempted to debar the Catholic Duke of York— afterwards James II—from inheriting the throne. Their enemies branded them ‘Whigs’ (it was not a compliment). Matters worsened considerably during the 1680s, as Charles II and his ‘Tory’ ministers (another term of derision) unleashed a series of reprisals that drove several leading Whigs—including Shaftesbury and Locke—into exile and led others, including Algernon Sidney, to the scaffold. Quite apart from cementing Whig suspicions, the reaction of the early 1680s turned out to be a pyrrhic victory for the Tories, too. Within three years of James II’s accession in 1685, the King’s policies had even persuaded some of his closest ministers that the threat to civil and ecclesiastical polity had been far from groundless.¹³⁶ Yet the power of these conspiracy theories was greatly magnified by the claim that they were carried on with the active connivance of the French. Their protagonists, Marvell contended, had ‘applied themselves to [the King of] France . . . the master of absolute dominion, the presumptive monarch of Christendom, the declared champion of popery, and the hereditary, natural, inveterate enemy of our King and nation’.¹³⁷ Locke’s Two Treatises of Government, penned in defence of Shaftesbury’s party in the early 1680s, captured the same mood when it identified ‘delivery of the people into the subjection of a foreign power’ as a just cause for revolution.¹³⁸ Indeed, unlike his attacks on the Tory reaction—a force well and truly spent by the time the revolution unfolded—the remarks in the Two Treatises about foreign submission retained their currency when they were finally published in 1689. There was a germ of truth in these charges, worsening matters still further. Under the secret provisions of the Treaty of Dover (1670), Charles II had received subsidies from Louis and a guarantee of French military support when he chose to announce his conversion to Catholicism.¹³⁹ So powerful were these suspicions that they hamstrung the court’s efforts to pursue a more anti-French foreign policy. Danby’s campaign for a war of intervention came to an abrupt end in the winter of 1678 when he was impeached—ironically, at Louis’s contrivance—for offering England’s neutrality in exchange for French subsidies.¹⁴⁰ James II was far more wary of French power than his predecessor, yet suspicions of popery and absolutism ensured that his foreign agenda was all but stillborn.¹⁴¹ Perhaps more damagingly still, subversion was combined with the impotence of England’s war-making—against Dutch and French alike—to produce a narrative of humiliation. One pamphleteer wrote in 1673 that Charles’s courtiers had been

¹³⁶ See Goldie, ‘John Locke’s Circle and James II’, in Peter Anstey (ed.), John Locke, 4 vols. (London, 2006), 278–302. ¹³⁷ Marvell, Account of the Growth of Popery and Arbitrary Power, 16. ¹³⁸ Locke, Two Treatises, 217. ¹³⁹ On the Treaty of Dover, see Black, System of Ambition?, 128–9. The religious clauses were revealed to only a tiny circle of advisers. ¹⁴⁰ Ibid., 23. ¹⁴¹ Ibid., 135; Harris, Revolution (London, 2006), 185.

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‘paid for making the French King the universal monarch’; England was to be ‘made tributary to the French’ merely to ‘bring down new golden showers into their laps’.¹⁴² Not content with golden showers—the allusion was doubtless to Ovid—one aspiring poet made the following reply to the destruction of Charles II’s fleet, at anchor, in the Medway in 1666: So our great prince, when the Dutch fleet arrived, Saw his ships burned, and as they burned, he swived, So kind was he in our extremest need, He would those flames extinguish with his seed.¹⁴³

It was not all doggerel. Marvell’s epic Last Instructions to a Painter cast the King in the unusual light of both debaucher and rape victim. He likened the advantages to France of England’s war with the Dutch to a skimmington ride and the Medway disaster to a violation: Ruyter the while, that had our ocean curbed, Sailed now among our rivers undisturbed, Surveyed their crystal streams and banks so green And beauties ere this never naked seen. Through the vain sedge, the bashful nymphs he eyed: Bosoms, and all which from themselves they hide.¹⁴⁴

Forever lurking in the recesses of the Restoration mind was the recollection that matters had been different under Cromwell. Marvell’s depiction of the restored King was a far cry from the orations he had addressed to the Protector during the years he had spent as Milton’s amanuensis: A Caesar ere long to Gaul, To Italy an Hannibal, And to all states not free, Shall climacteric be.¹⁴⁵

What had been wishful under the Protectorate seemed wistful during the Restoration. The same note echoed through the Discourses of the more radical Whig Algernon Sidney, who recalled with fondness a time when ‘the reputation and power of our nation rose to a greater height than when we possessed the better

¹⁴² Quoted in Black, System of Ambition?, 131. ¹⁴³ Quoted in Harris, Restoration, 74. ¹⁴⁴ Marvell, ‘The Dutch in the Medway’, from ‘Last Instructions to a Painter’, in H. J. C. Grierson and G. Bullough (eds.), The Oxford Book of Seventeenth-Century Verse (Oxford, 1934), 759. ¹⁴⁵ Marvell, The Poems of Andrew Marvell, ed. Nigel Smith (Harlow, 2003), 278.

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half of France’ (an allusion to the Angevin empire), and ‘all the states, kings, and potentates of Europe, most respectfully, not to say submissively, sought our friendship’. This, he continued sardonically, was some contrast to ‘the important figure we now make in Europe’.¹⁴⁶ The politics of England and Europe were entwined for those who instigated the Revolution of 1688, which abdicated James II, enthroned his nephew and son-inlaw William of Orange, and set the British kingdoms upon a foreign intervention of a scale unprecedented since the fifteenth century. One of its chief defenders, John Locke, was yet to return from his exile when he began warning the new Parliament of the urgency of affairs abroad. ‘If they consider foreign affairs I wonder any of them can sleep’, he wrote from Rotterdam, ‘till they see the nation settled in a regular way of acting and putting itself in a posture of defence and support of the common interest of Europe. The spring comes on apace, and if we be, France will not be idle.’¹⁴⁷ This was the same man who had spoken of the Civil War as one of ‘those tragical revolutions which have exercised Christendom these many years’ and wreaked ‘havoc and desolation in Europe’.¹⁴⁸ It was the same man who would again preach the imminence of ‘ruin, confusion, and disorder which seems to threaten all Europe’ during the next geopolitical crisis at the beginning of the eighteenth century.¹⁴⁹ It is hardly worth debating the primacy of foreign or domestic policy in late Stuart political society, for there was scarcely any sense of separation between the two. Geopolitics was in the marrow of English Whiggery from its beginnings. The affairs of Europe were equally in the marrow of colonial political discourse. New Englanders of the second and third generation continued to espouse concern for the fate of Christendom: the same concern that had propelled their forebears to the battlefields of the Thirty Years War and across the wide Atlantic. The foreboding European prospect was also impressed as a mirror for New England’s own travails; a natural complement to the spiritual desolation that followed the failure of the Puritan experiment in England in 1660 and the internal dissensions of the City on the Hill thereafter. As the 1680s wore on, the intrusion of an authoritarian Stuart regime into colonial government added the danger of local incarnations of popery, arbitrary power, and French conquest to a long list of standing problems.¹⁵⁰

¹⁴⁶ Sidney, Discourses, 278–9. ¹⁴⁷ John Locke to Edward Clarke, Rotterdam, 29/1/1689, in Goldie (ed.), Locke Correspondence, 133. See similarly John Locke to Charles Mordaunt, Viscount Mordaunt, Whitehall, 21/2/1689, in ibid., 134. ¹⁴⁸ Locke quoted in Clark, English Society, 43. See Locke, ‘First Tract on Government’, in Locke, Political Essays, ed. Goldie, 40–1. ¹⁴⁹ John Locke to Benjamin Furly, Oates, 30/5/1701, in Goldie (ed.), Locke Correspondence, 294. See similarly John Locke to Peter King, Oates, 3/3/1701, in ibid., 292–3. ¹⁵⁰ See Owen Stanwood, The Empire Reformed (Philadelphia, 2011), esp. 97. See further Deposition of Caleb Moody, 9/1/1690, Richard Curling’s Testimony, 16/1/1690, in James Baxter (ed.), Documentary History of the State of Maine, Volume V (Portland, 1897), 28–29, 45.

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Anti-popery was as integral to political thinking in Massachusetts as it was to that of the English Whigs; yet the engagement of these colonists with the crises of the 1670s and 1680s showed all the nuance of their metropolitan brethren. Increase Mather, the most influential Massachusetts cleric of his day, received a copy of Nedham’s Chritanissimus Christianandus in 1678, along with a din of alarms about the flexing of French military might in the Low Countries. Ichabod Chauncy, son of another prominent colonist, warned in 1682 that Louis XIV was ‘influencing all councils and courts of Europe’.¹⁵¹ The exiled Cromwellian regicide William Goffe, who had long regretted the Francophile, anti-Dutch trajectory of Restoration foreign policy, received similar news of ‘the cloud hanging over . . . the Protestant interest’ since France had ‘made peace with those in hostility against them’ from apprehensive New Englanders.¹⁵² The persecution of the Huguenots sharpened matters, and as in an earlier period the travails of the Continental faithful retained a striking immediacy. It occasioned a series of sermons from Increase Mather that garnered praise throughout the Atlantic world. ‘Behold!’ the Puritan patriarch cautioned, ‘our neighbour’s house is on fire! It behoves us to look about us!’¹⁵³ Collections were organized for the most distressed.¹⁵⁴ These shoots bore fruit in April 1689 when Boston flattered the Glorious Revolution by imitation and deposed James II’s governor, Edmund Andros; yet neither the causes of discontent, nor their effects, were peculiar to the idiosyncratic climate of Massachusetts. During the decades after 1660, an image of ignominy and treachery had sapped colonial zeal for the restored Stuart regime, including amongst some its most ardent devotees. It was rumoured that a sizeable number of Virginians and New Englanders had backed the Duke of Monmouth’s abortive rising against King James in 1685.¹⁵⁵ By 1688, some colonists were already looking—like England’s revolutionaries—across the North Sea for England’s redemption. Indeed, there is some evidence for a network of Orangeist dissidents in New York and New England, including Increase Mather, whose correspondences with the Low Countries and English Whigs like Charles Mordaunt may have provided advanced notice of William’s intervention.¹⁵⁶ That ¹⁵¹ Samuel Petto to Increase Mather, Sudbury?, 14/5/1678, Ichabod Chauncy to Increase Mather, Bristol, 17/2/1682, in The Mather Papers (Boston, 1868), 342–3, 617. See similarly Richard Blinman to Increase Mather, Bristol?, 18/4/1678, 9/8/1678, William Stoughton to Increase Mather, London?, 13/3/ 1679, in ibid., 330–6, 592; Mather, Diary of Cotton Mather, ed. Worthington Chauncy Ford, 2 vols. (Boston, 1911–12), I, 93. ¹⁵² William Goffe to ?, c.1671, Peter Tilton? to William Goffe, 30/7/1679, in Mather Papers, 130, 225. ¹⁵³ Mather, A Sermon Wherein is Showed that the Church of God is Sometimes a Subject of Great Persecution (Boston, 1682), 18. See similarly Mather, Heaven’s Alarm to the World (Boston, 1682). On the impact of the printed editions, William Leete to Increase Mather, Hartford, 5/7/1682, in Mather Papers, 621. ¹⁵⁴ See Mather, Diary, I, 41. ¹⁵⁵ Stanwood, Empire Reformed, 43. ¹⁵⁶ See David Voorhees, ‘ “To Assert Our Right Before it be Quite Lost”: The Leisler Rebellion in the Delaware River Valley’, in Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, vol. 64, no. 1 (Winter 1997), 19; David Voorhees, ‘The “Fervent Zeale” of Jacob Leisler’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 51, no. 3 (July 1994), 466–8.

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early rebellious propaganda printed in Boston referred to him only as Prince of Orange may indicate an element of forewarning.¹⁵⁷ The Orangeism of Jacob Leisler, both the chief beneficiary and the chief victim of New York’s rehearsal of the English Revolution, not only followed a similar pattern to that of Massachusetts but was still more embroiled in European confessional geopolitics. A German-born adherent of the ultra-orthodox Dutch Calvinist Nadere Reformatie movement, which commanded a significant following in the middle colonies, Leisler’s pedigree was such that even a Winthrop could only have beheld it with envy. As the meticulous research of David William Voorhees has shown, grandfather and father had both been prominent Calvinist leaders in the Reich during the Thirty Years War. Leisler himself had followed a similar path to the military academy established during that conflict by the House of Orange. His own repute in Reformed circles on the Continent was sufficient to furnish his princely ransom when he was taken captive by Algerian pirates. Like many of his coreligionists, he had grown more radical during Louis XIV’s manoeuvres in the early 1680s, and was perhaps the chief benefactor of Huguenot refugees in the colony.¹⁵⁸ Jacob Milbourne, Leisler’s son-in-law and later lieutenant, had also become a vociferous Orangeist during a prolonged stay in Rotterdam.¹⁵⁹ The rebellion they led in Manhattan was a natural culmination of these sympathies—a self-conscious echo, likewise, of the rising of the House of Orange against Spanish rule a century earlier.¹⁶⁰ In much of the colony, opinion was primed for such radical action against what the freeholders of Suffolk County described, in profoundly European terms, as ‘the intended invasion of a foreign French design’ and ‘more than Turkish cruelties’.¹⁶¹ Virginia was a different place from New England or New York; nevertheless, there are some indications amongst a desperately fragmented source base of a concordant tale of alienation. William Berkeley greeted the Restoration with expectations of glories abroad that would overshadow the deeds of the English Republic. At the outbreak of the second Anglo-Dutch War, he met the news that the Duke of York had taken command of the fleet with euphoria. Within a couple of years, however, his mood had been darkened by a series of embarrassing naval defeats, along with a troubling career of French victories. ‘The dreadful revelation of Medway’, perhaps combined with a similar embarrassment in the Hampton Roads, seems to have broken his faith completely. Fatalistically, he wrote to Governor Richard Nicolls of New York in April 1668 with the fearful news ‘that ¹⁵⁷ For example, The Plain Case Stated of Old, but Especially of New England, in an Address to His Highness the Prince of Orange (Boston, 1688?), broadside. ¹⁵⁸ Voorhees, ‘The “Fervent Zeale” of Jacob Leisler’, 451–9, 463–5. ¹⁵⁹ Stanwood, Empire Reformed, 132. ¹⁶⁰ Donna Merwick, ‘Being Dutch: An Interpretation of Why Jacob Leisler Died’, in New York History, vol. 70, no. 4 (Oct. 1989), 373–404. ¹⁶¹ Declaration of the Freeholders of Suffolk County, Long Island, quoted in Stanwood, Empire Reformed, 103.

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we have a league with the French and the Dutch ambassador departed discontented. If so you will have Dutch ships this year at New York.’¹⁶² William Byrd I’s anxiety at the state of English affairs and Virginian defences during the winter of 1688–9 reflected similar misgivings.¹⁶³ Other Virginians appear to have been more militant in their anguish. Philip Ludwell, a powerful planter who had married Berkeley’s widow, was employing the familiar lexicon of anti-popery in his disputes with the Governor, Lord Howard of Effingham. Another planter, William Fitzhugh, deplored the easy use of such rhetoric but was more tangibly committed to the confessional and geopolitical struggles of the European world. He was a major supporter of Huguenot refugees in the Chesapeake, as a French traveller recognized in a memoir of his visit to the region in 1686.¹⁶⁴ As we shall see, a book list from the late 1690s places him unambiguously in the Whig-revolutionary camp.¹⁶⁵ Whatever the precise structure of Virginian Orangeism was, the colonial hierarchy—including Effingham, a High Tory relative of the Earl of Nottingham—proclaimed William and Mary more eagerly than their northern neighbours, quietly assisted a rising that overthrew the Catholic authorities in Maryland, and proved as fervent as any in producing loyal associations during the subsequent decade.¹⁶⁶ As a number of scholars—most recently Owen Stanwood and Thomas Kidd— have observed, the Glorious Revolution and the wars that followed it were like a second baptism for the English empire, harnessing colonies and mother country together in a common struggle against the civil and ecclesiastical tyranny of Louis XIV.¹⁶⁷ However, it will already be apparent that there was much less novelty in this union of purpose than has sometimes been suggested. In fact, it reflected a state of affairs that had existed in one form or another since the beginning of English planting, which had merely fallen into a short abeyance in the reigns of the last Stuart kings.

¹⁶² William Berkeley to Richard Nicolls, Virginia, 4/3/1665, 20/5/1666, 14/11/1667, 26/4/1668, in Billings (ed.), Berkeley Papers, 251, 280, 334, 340. On the Hampton Roads disaster, see ‘Attacks by the Dutch on the Virginia Fleet in Hampton Roads in 1667’, in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 4, no. 3 (Jan. 1897), 229–45. ¹⁶³ William Byrd I to Perry and Lane, Virginia, 5/3/1689, William Byrd I to Howard of Effingham, Virginia, 10/6/1689, William Byrd I to Arthur North, Virginia, 23/7/1689, in Marion Tinling (ed.), The Correspondence of the Three William Byrds of Westover, 1684–1776, 2 vols. (Charlottesville, 1977), I, 96–7, 107–8, 111. ¹⁶⁴ William Fitzhugh to Nicholas Hayward, 20/5/1686, in Richard Davis (ed.), William Fitzhugh and His Chesapeake World, 1676–1701 (Chapel Hill, 1963), 189–91; Durand, A Frenchman in Virginia, ed. and trans. Fairfax Harrison (Richmond, 1923), 67, 70. On Huguenots in Virginia, see David Lambert, The Protestant International and the Huguenot Migration to Virginia (New York, 2010), passim. South Carolina was another major Huguenot refuge: see Jon Butler, The Huguenots in America (Cambridge, MA, 1983), 91–143. ¹⁶⁵ William Fitzhugh to Edward Hayward, 21/7/1698, in Davis (ed.), Fitzhugh Letters, 363–4. ¹⁶⁶ See Stanwood, Empire Reformed, 107–11; William Palmer (ed.), Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts: Volume I (Richmond, 1875), xv, 79. ¹⁶⁷ Stanwood, Empire Reformed; Thomas Kidd, The Protestant Interest (New Haven, 2004); J. M. Sosin, English America and the Revolution of 1688 (Lincoln, NE, 1982); Philip Haffenden, New England in the English Nation 1689–1713 (Oxford, 1974).

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Unsurprisingly, therefore, the flurry of expeditions set about by the northern colonies immediately after 1689 were not the preserve of fundamentalists. Jacob Leisler, whose definition of ‘papist’ was sometimes elastic enough to include fervent New England Congregationalists like Fitzjohn Winthrop, was ultimately destroyed by his persecuting zeal. Unlike the more tempered masterminds of the rebellion in Boston, he and Milbourne ended their days on a Manhattan scaffold.¹⁶⁸ More significant was the fact that the most determined opponents of the insurrections of early 1689 shared with such radicals a common diagnosis of the ills of the European world. One particularly telling example was Gershom Bulkeley, a Connecticut Tory who attacked the upheavals in Boston and New York through the relatively passive press of Philadelphia. ‘Consider the time and state of affairs in the Christian world’, he urged any aspiring agents of discord: ‘it is a time wherein there is a strong engagement to root out the Protestant religion. Europe is upon this account in flames, the axe is laid to our own root’. Hence, ‘it is a time wherein we need to strengthen the things that are weak, to join heart and hand together against French and pagan force and cruelty’.¹⁶⁹ In New York, moderate men like Nicholas Bayard and Robert Livingston, who had clashed with Leisler, were quick to stress that they were ‘of Dutch birth’, members of the Dutch Reformed Church, ‘and most affectionate to the Royal House of Orange’.¹⁷⁰ The plan to conquer the French outpost at Quebec, which the governments of New England and New York began in the immediate aftermath of the insurrections, was the work of an odd coalition of interests. Its supporters ranged from Dutch Voetians like the Leislerian faction and moderate Calvinists like Robert Livingston, to the unreconstructed Bay Colony Puritan Samuel Sewall, Congregationalist pastors like the Mather dynasty, and merchant adventures like John Nelson. They were held together by a common language drawn from English geopolitical discourse. In a pitch that almost recalled John Cotton’s case for the Western Design forty years previously, Livingston advised the leaders of Massachusetts that the ‘downfall of Antichrist was near at hand’ and the reduction of Canada was ‘the only means in all probability to effect it in America’.¹⁷¹ The audience was well disposed to such sentiments. The petition sent to William III by those who had deposed Andros spoke to the interests of ‘the English nation’ and ‘the Protestant interest in general’.¹⁷² European affairs bound the projectors of the ill-fated Canada expeditions in 1690 together, much as they would seventy years later. Like their compatriots in Flanders and Ireland, the colonial militias marched against the walls of Quebec chanting ‘Long Live King William’. John Pynchon, leading a delegation from ¹⁶⁸ See Voorhees, ‘To Assert Our Right Before it be Quite Lost’, 16–17; Stanwood, Empire Reformed, 162. ¹⁶⁹ Gershom Bulkeley, The People’s Right to Election or Alteration of Government in Connecticut (Philadelphia, 1689), 10–11. ¹⁷⁰ A Letter from a Gentleman of the City of New York, to Another, Concerning the Troubles which Happened in that Province in the Time of the Late Happy Revolution (New York, 1698), 4. ¹⁷¹ Robert Livingston quoted in Stanwood, Empire Reformed, 154. On John Nelson’s involvement, see Richard Johnson, John Nelson, Merchant Adventurer (Oxford, 1991). ¹⁷² Petition of Sir William Phips and Increase Mather to William III, 1689, in Mather Papers, 705.

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Massachusetts, told Iroquois emissaries at Albany that William had ‘united the English and Dutch to be as one’ in their resolve ‘to ruin the French King’. Stanwood goes as far as to perceive a striking similarity of imagery between narratives of frontier wars and accounts of atrocities in Europe.¹⁷³ This was an unavoidable conclusion, not least because it seemed to be true in the eyes of their enemies. The French Governor of Quebec, the Comte de Frontenac, seemed to admit the existence of a Stuart plot to deliver up the British kingdoms and colonies to Louis XIV to a captive New England officer in 1689. Had ‘Sir Edmund Andros . . . continued Governor’, Frontenac asserted, ‘we should have had no wars betwixt us, but we should have been all as one people’.¹⁷⁴ Again, the discourse of European universal monarchy was extended to the New World. James II’s resolve to transform his dominions into a great Atlantic power did nothing for his fortunes in the British Isles or the Americas; events in Europe were the price of his crown. Where almost every colony outside New England had rallied to his father’s aid forty years earlier, even the Tory regime in Virginia did not so much as stir in his defence. Hence, when Increase Mather’s son Cotton paid tribute to the events of 1688–9, he offered a vision of Britain and America’s place in the world which could command assent far beyond the City on the Hill. By the Glorious Revolution, the designs of Louis XIV and James II for ‘the subduing of Holland’ and ‘the enslaving of England’ had been confounded, and ‘the Church of God’ rescued ‘from the bloody altar which it was bound upon’. But this was not the end of the matter. The British kingdoms and the United Provinces, united in league by William of Orange, were now poised to embark upon a great war against the universal dreams of France. ‘What can be hoped for’, Mather, the optimistic eschatologist, wondered of the coming campaign, ‘but that the chains with which the tyrannous and treacherous grand seignior of France had fettered Europe, will now be broken?’¹⁷⁵ The present consensus adopts a flagellating tone when it comes to the Glorious Revolution, casting it as a moment of imperial reinvigoration built upon paranoia, xenophobia, and marginalization—in deliberate contrast to the position of grace it once held in the Whig story of English liberty. Certainly, Britons on both sides of the Atlantic displayed fearful, hateful, and ostracizing tendencies towards Frenchmen, Catholics, and a lengthy list of other foes, some more real than others. Yet to depict 1688–9 as the triumph of exclusivity is to elide a great deal of what those years entailed. The coup d’état that drew England, Scotland, Ireland, and their colonies back into a major European war was part of the narrative that this chapter has traced from the 1530s—the refashioning of Britain’s place in Christendom and her role in the European states system. Only beneath a very dull light could such an event appear as insular as it is now fashionable to claim.

¹⁷³ Quoted in Stanwood, Empire Reformed, 138, 165. See further ibid., 148. ¹⁷⁴ ‘Declaration of Silvanus Davis’, in Baxter (ed.), Documentary History Volume V, 147. ¹⁷⁵ Mather, Wonderful Works, 33–4, 37.

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3 ‘Peace and Tranquillity’ The System of Europe in British Grand Strategy

In a secret gallery beneath the Governor’s mansion, Fizle, Androboros’s blackgarbed acolyte, reads his master’s message: we have thought fit to adjourn the intended expedition to a more proper season, because we have, upon due and mature examination been fully convinced, that the Mulomachians, our reputed enemies, are in very deed our good and faithful friends and allies, who, to remove all doubts and scruples, have freely offered to consolidate consistories with us, as also to divide with us the commerce of the World, generously resigning and yielding to us that of the two poles, reserving to themselves only what may lie between them. They have likewise condescended that we shall keep some forts and holds, which by the fortune of the war they could not take from us, and have promised and engaged to raze and demolish some places in their possession to our prejudice, so soon as more convenient are built in their room and place . . . ¹

Whether Robert Hunter’s satire of the enemies he had made as Governor of New York was ever performed is unclear. Suffice to say, other works of drama left an altogether larger imprint on political life during the eighteenth century: a respectable example of Augustan wit, Androboros was no Figaro. Yet the horizons of Hunter’s play were broader than those of Beaumarchais’s. Its author was not merely a colonial official but also—like more than a dozen other American governors of the era—a veteran of the Allied campaigns in Europe during the War of the Spanish Succession. He wrote at a time of political turmoil in his own colony, but also in the midst of a great crisis in international and imperial politics that accompanied the end of that war. The intrusion of these European and geopolitical themes into Hunter’s play is unmistakable and unsurprising. For the Tory and High Anglican establishments personified by Androboros and Fizle were metropolitan as well as provincial. The Francophilia, high-flying Erastianism, and strategic ineptitude of Fizle’s oration read like a parody of a Tory– Anglican thanksgiving sermon for the Treaty of Utrecht, the Tory feat of peacemaking that the Whigs condemned for betraying Britain’s honour, the Protestant interest, ¹ Robert Hunter, Androboros: A Biographical Farce in Three Acts (New York, 1714), 15–16. The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution. D. H. Robinson, Oxford University Press (2020). © D. H. Robinson. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198862925.001.0001

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and the common cause of European liberty in 1714. Even in contexts as ostensibly parochial as Governor Hunter’s feud with Francis Nicholson and his associates, the great debate over British grand strategy stamped its mark on colonial politics. Paranoia about French hegemony, absolutism, and persecution seemed ubiquitous in late Stuart politics, but the consensus disguised a rift over grand strategy that was itself enmeshed with other political and cultural tensions. Central to the debate was the meaning of the ‘balance of power’ and ‘the liberties of Europe’, a vague but arresting set of ideas about the independence and integrity of European states and the advance of European civilization.² These concepts were responsible for a political fissure that was opened by the strains of two wars, in which the British monarchy fought as part of a ‘Grand Alliance’ against Bourbon France. The first of these conflicts, stretching from 1689 to 1697, was prompted by French expansion in the Rhineland and the Low Countries; the second, lasting from 1701 to 1714, by the prospect that the European balance would be overthrown by the passage of the Spanish Crown—Spanish America and the southern Netherlands included—from its Habsburg incumbent to a grandson of Louis XIV. And it would be a grave mistake to imagine that the tensions were dissolved after the latter conflict. Disputes over war and peace still shaped the political landscape in the British Isles—and in British America—through the fractious peace that spanned the years between 1714 and 1740. Moreover, the argument’s reach continued to expand, as it entered new modes of public discourse, opinion, and debate. Grand strategy was the predominant issue in British politics during the decades after the Glorious Revolution. It was a pressing matter in itself, but as we shall see, it was also inseparable from the other great matters of religion, prosperity, trade, empire, and liberty. Its salience was well warranted: the British kingdoms were more tightly bound into the European system after 1688 that at any point in living memory, and this was an age defined by threats of war, rumours of war, and war itself. The strategic debate is often rendered in party terms, although allegiances were too fluid and opinion too varied for the labels ‘Whig’ and ‘Tory’ or ‘Court’ and ‘Country’ to have much meaning outside the adjectives used to describe particular policies and doctrines.³ In many cases, the strategic differences between

² Stephen Conway, Britain, Ireland, and Continental Europe in the Eighteenth Century (Oxford, 2011), 72–3. The conceptual difference between ‘the liberties of Europe’ and ‘the balance of power’ is discussed in Herbert Butterfield, ‘The Balance of Power’, in Herbert Butterfield and Martin Wight (eds.), Diplomatic Investigations (London, 1966), 141–3; Tony Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 1660–1760 (Cambridge, 2007), 199; Michael Sheehan, ‘The Sincerity of the British Commitment to the Maintenance of the Balance of Power, 1714-1763’, in Diplomacy and Statecraft, vol. 15, no. 3 (Sept. 2004), 489, 502. Few would now contend that these conflicts unfolded in ‘a non-ideological period of European history’, as suggested by Ragnhild Hatton, War and Peace 1680–1720 (London, 1969). ³ Brian Hill, The Growth of Parliamentary Parties, 1689–1742 (London, 1976); Brian Hill, British Parliamentary parties, 1742–1832 (London, 1985); Brian Hill, The Early Parties and Politics in Britain, 1688–1832 (London, 1996); Clyve Jones (ed.), Party and Management in Parliament, 1660–1784 (Leicester, 1984); Frank O’Gorman, The Rise of Party in England (London, 1975) Frank O’Gorman, Voters, Patrons, and Parties (Oxford, 1989).

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the advocates of different systems of foreign policy were more relative than absolute. Accordingly, they are sometimes more easily defined by the principles they rejected than those they embraced. Yet the variance was more marked in other respects. For these were not merely competing theories of grand strategy but discordant attitudes towards Britain’s place in Europe, with broad implications for political culture at large. Usually prevalent in the public at large was a ‘blue-water policy’, pursued by Tories both in and out of power, along with the various dissident Whig groups that formed oppositions on a ‘country’ platform after 1714. Tories and Country Whigs sought to achieve foreign objectives using sea power, and made commercial and colonial expansion a strategic priority. Thus far, they echoed the sentiments of Bacon and Harrington, but the similarity ended with navalism. For they also spurned entangling alliances with Continental powers and military interventions in land wars across the Channel as contrary to Britain’s interests, and some went as far as to denounce the entire notion of the balance of power as a chimera. In the end, the Tory-Country vision of a British thalassocracy became a harbinger of insularity and a decisive break with the European orientation of their seventeenth-century forebears. The Court Whigs who dominated—and at times monopolized—ministerial culture between 1688 and 1760 were by no means averse to ventures overseas. However, they rigorously subordinated maritime and colonial interests to the European balance of power, the policing of which retained overriding importance in their ‘continentalist’ policy. Unlike their opponents, Court Whigs endorsed foreign alliances and military interventions on the Continent to achieve these ends. Where Tory and Country ideas pointed towards the creation of a great maritime dominion outside Europe, those of the Court concluded in a benign, British hegemony that would restore peace and liberty to the Continent. It was toward this continentalist vision that public opinion in Britain’s North American colonies tilted during the decades between the Glorious Revolution and the onset of another war in 1740.

‘The General Interest of Europe’ I said the general interest of Europe; because it seems to me that this, alone, should call our councils off from an almost entire application to their domestic and proper business. Henry St John, Viscount Bolingbroke, on Continental connections, 1738⁴

⁴ Viscount Bolingbroke, Political Writings, ed. David Armitage (Cambridge, 1997), 277.

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Three generations of Tory and Country politicians championed navalism and a form of disengagement from Continental affairs: this ‘blue-water’ vision tended to prevail in the periodicals of the day, and the perennial failure of its advocates to overturn Court Whig parliamentary majorities belied its popularity. Despite their exclusion from power in 1714, Tories often performed strongly at elections. Indeed, the historian Eveline Cruickshanks contends that they may have won a plurality of votes in every election between 1714 and 1747, their showing frustrated on each occasion by the electoral system. This is remarkable in itself, but the blue-water constituency was also shared by the Country platform.⁵ Considered together, the popularity of these two persuasions strongly indicates that a plurality—perhaps a majority—of Englishmen drew conclusions about their country’s rightful role in Europe that were at odds with the ‘continentalist’ policies of the Court Whigs who built an ascendancy after 1688. Tories had never been particularly enamoured with the prospect of land wars and continental alliances designed to uphold the European balance of power. It may be telling that the Earl of Danby admitted after 1688 that he ‘never thought things would have gone so far as to settle the crown on the Prince of Orange’.⁶ Tories had supported the ousting of James II because of the threat his ecclesiastical policy posed to the Church of England and its privileges; Continental affairs were secondary. It was in defence of the 1688 settlement that they waged the Nine Years War by affording primacy to the Irish theatre of the conflict.⁷ William III’s godly crusade for the liberation of Europe, on the other hand, inspired little enthusiasm among Tories during the 1690s. Tories might have opposed involvement in the War of the Spanish Succession more fiercely but for Louis XIV’s decision to recognize James II’s son as rightful King of England, Scotland, and Ireland in 1701.⁸ Nevertheless, as late as spring 1702 the Tory Earl of Rochester was still arguing that England should play no more than an auxiliary role in the coming war, confining its commitment to the sea.⁹ The strain of insularity in Tory strategic thinking accompanied a measure of cultural xenophobia and confessional isolation. Francis Atterbury, the High Church prelate on whose mildly hapless shoulders the party leadership fell in ⁵ Eveline Cruickshanks, Political Untouchables (London, 1979), 5; Brendan Simms, ‘“Ministers of Europe”: British Strategic Culture, 1714-1760’, in Hamish Scott and Brendan Simms (eds.), Cultures of Power in Europe During the Long Eighteenth Century (Cambridge, 2007), 110–32, 128–9. ⁶ Danby quoted in Mark Goldie, ‘The Political Thought of the Anglican Revolution’, in Robert Beddard (ed.), The Revolutions of 1688 (Oxford, 1991), 109–10. ⁷ See Steven Pincus, ‘Absolutism, Ideology, and English Foreign Policy: The Ideological Context of Robert Molesworth’s Account of Denmark’, in David Onnekink and Gijs Rommelse (ed.), Ideology and Foreign Policy in Early Modern Europe (1650–1750) (Farnham, 2011), 32–3. ⁸ On Tory isolationism see Geoffrey Holmes, British Politics in the Age of Anne (rev. edn, London, 1987), 64; Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 185. ⁹ See Holmes, British Politics, 73, 73n. Similarly, Gabriel Glickman, ‘Conflicting Visions: Foreign Affairs in Domestic Debate 1660-1689’, in William Mulligan and Brendan Simms (eds.), The Primacy of Foreign Policy in British History 1660–2000 (London, 2010), 25.

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the late 1710s, was once heard to remark that he ‘scarce ever knew a foreigner settled in England . . . but became a Whig in a little time after his mixing with us’.¹⁰ His suspicion that the national interest was being subverted by Whig cosmopolitanism matched a general reluctance amongst High Churchmen to set the Church of England within a larger community of European Protestants. As Brendan Simms has quipped, Tory Anglicans preferred a creed of ‘Protestantism in one country’.¹¹ So thorough was their aversion to Dissent that many Tories opposed the Act of Union on the grounds that it would expose the Church to Presbyterian influence from Scotland.¹² Doubts about the prudence of Continental interventions were deepened by the repudiation of alliance politics on practical, historical, and intellectual grounds. The supposed duplicity of England’s confederates was the subject of mounting Tory vitriol during the wars of 1689–1714. By 1706, Charles Davenant—once an ardent advocate of the war—was moved to complain that ‘none of the confederates act their part to the utmost strength but ourselves’.¹³ The United Provinces usually bore the brunt of these attacks, which were often made through rhetorical devices that recalled Caroline images of Dutch perfidy.¹⁴ One printer even republished Shaftesbury’s delenda est Carthago speech in 1712.¹⁵ More irenic in its fury was John Arbuthnot’s Law is a Bottomless Pit, which introduced ‘John Bull’ as the personification of an England swindled by false neighbours.¹⁶ Most influential of all was Jonathan Swift’s pamphlet The Conduct of the Allies, an indictment of the betrayals Britain had received at the hands of her co-belligerents during the course of the war. The tract had sold 11,000 copies through three relatively expensive editions by January 1712.¹⁷ The fruition of this mood came with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1714, when a Tory ministry sought a unilateral peace with France, without consulting the allies. With some fleeting exceptions, Tories also refused to fall under the spell of land campaigns on the Continent, and not only because they involved large, allied armies. If moderate Tories like the Earl of Nottingham were swayed to endorse the wisdom of diversionary actions in Flanders, they still upheld the view that ¹⁰ Francis Atterbury quoted in Holmes, British Politics, 67. ¹¹ Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat (London, 2007), 17; similarly Robert Harris, A Patriot Press (Oxford, 1993), 89–91; W. R. Ward, Christianity under the Ancien Régime, 1648–1789 (Cambridge, 1999), 242. ¹² See Holmes, British Politics, 91–2. ¹³ Charles Davenant quoted in Jeremy Black, A System of Ambition? British Foreign Policy 1660– 1793 (Harlow, 1991), 145. ¹⁴ See Holmes, British Politics, 64–9; Glickman, ‘Conflicting Visions’, 26. ¹⁵ Earl of Shaftesbury, Delenda est Carthago (London, 1712). ¹⁶ John Arbuthnot, Law is a Bottomless Pit (London, 1712); John Arbuthnot, John Bull in His Senses (London, 1712); John Arbuthnot, John Bull Still in His Senses (London, 1712). ¹⁷ See Holmes, British Politics, 79–80; M. Sheehan, ‘The Development of British Theory and Practice of the Balance of Power before 1714’, in History, vol. 73, no. 237 (Feb. 1988), 33–4. On the impact of Swift’s pamphlet, see J. A. Downie, ‘The Conduct of the Allies: The Question of Influence’, in C. T. Probyn (ed.), The Art of Jonathan Swift (London, 1978), 108–28.

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maritime offensives were the key to victory. While the Duke of Marlborough’s victories in the Spanish war were a substantial improvement on William III’s performance the previous decade, they too failed to turn Tory opinion, especially as the returns of success steadily diminished. By the end of the war, so low was Marlborough’s stock in Tory circles that Arbuthnot parodied him as ‘Humphrey Hocus’, John Bull’s self-aggrandizing, pocket-lining attorney. Tories developed their own historical imaginary to make sense of Britain’s past entanglements in European geopolitics. Much of this was negative, rounding on the ‘knight errantry’ of Whig ‘Don Quixotes’, their minds deluded by a Gothic mirage eminently comparable to the afflictions of Cervantes’s dilapidated hero.¹⁸ As one historian has written, Tory writers described Whig appeals to England’s medieval incursions into France as mere ‘devices to deceive the credulous into supporting ill-judged and often inconsistent measures’.¹⁹ Long after the 1690s, they described William’s campaigns in the Low Countries as monuments of futility, discrediting the tenets of Whig grand strategy. In their place, Tories established cults around the memory of Elizabeth I and Oliver Cromwell—along with their most famous sailors, Francis Drake and Robert Blake—as leaders who understood the essentially maritime character of English interests.²⁰ As a string of insightful articles by Jeremy Black have demonstrated, this aversion to Continental entanglements reflected a pessimistic view of human nature. Tories doubted that any ‘systems’ could curtail the vices and ambitions of rulers; the idea that a balance of power could be made to function seemed a delusion, committing Britain to a ceaseless train of profitless wars. Swift, an Anglican dean as well as a polemicist, laboured this point aggressively in 1712: ‘How to ensure peace for any term of years is difficult enough to apprehend. Will human nature ever cease to have the same passions? Princes to entertain, designs of interest or ambition, and occasions of quarrel to arise?’ Likewise Samuel Johnson, writing two decades later, warned that foolhardy Whig diplomatists would ‘interest us in the affairs of the whole Earth’, on the absurd premise ‘that no state could either rise or decline in power, either extend or lose its dominions, without affecting our politics and influencing our councils’.²¹ Where Whigs might ¹⁸ Simms, ‘Ministers of Europe’, 127; Black, ‘Foreign Policy and the Tory World in the Eighteenth Century’, in Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, vol. 37, no. 3 (Sept. 2014), 290. ¹⁹ See Andrew Thompson, Britain, Hanover, and the Protestant Interest, 1688–1756 (Woodbridge, 2006), 176; Harris, Patriot Press, 92–3. ²⁰ Gary Evans, ‘Partisan Politics, History, and the National Interest (1700–1748)’, in Onnekink and Rommelse (eds.), Ideology and Foreign Policy, 69–74, 84–5. Foreign policy has been underappreciated as an idiom of historical writing: cf. Linda Colley, In Defiance of Oligarchy (Cambridge, 1982), 86–91; Mark Knights, ‘The Tory Interpretation of History in the Rage of Parties’, in Paulina Kewes (ed.), The Uses of History in Early Modern England (San Francisco, 2006), 347–67; Alexander Pettit, Illusory Consensus (London, 1997); Laird Okie, Augustan Historical Writing (Lanham, 1991). ²¹ Jonathan Swift and Samuel Johnson quoted in Black, ‘Foreign Policy and the Tory World in the Eighteenth Century’, in Black (ed.), The Tory World (Farnham, 2015), 41, 57–8. See further Black, Parliament and Foreign Policy in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge, 2004), 196.

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have seen mechanics, the Jacobite John Caryll saw only entropy, forecasting that the inevitable discord of natural interests in any alliance system would make it ‘sure to be frail and short-lived, consisting of so many independent bodies and interests’.²² This undertone of acquiescence in the unfolding of history as a string of hopelessly incomprehensible events was of a mental world untouched by the birth-pangs of the Enlightenment.²³ Yet Tory grand strategy was not a mere monument to insularity: on the contrary, this impression masks a set of cultural presumptions about Britain’s place in Europe, and Anglo-French relations more specifically. Tories could denounce the spectre of French universal monarchy as vociferously as any Whig, but they recoiled from the more visceral forms of Francophobia that grew in popularity after the Revolution. In keeping with the Gallomania that had afflicted fashionable society during the reign of Charles II, many Englishmen continued to look towards France as the paragon of European culture and taste. Long into the eighteenth century, Tory squires dedicated themselves to learning French and built manor houses in the baroque style that was the vogue across the Channel. The renunciation of France and all things French was an incomplete and factious pursuit.²⁴ Francophilia was political as well as aesthetic. As Gabriel Glickman has noted, even at the height of Danby’s campaign against French hegemony in the 1670s Tories preferred to see France as a natural ally and the persecuting despot Louis XIV as an aberration. A sense of constitutional affinity was partly responsible. From the vantage point of those who kept the faith with the hereditary principle, non-resistance, passive obedience, and prerogative power despite the events of 1688, France was not a font of arbitrary power but the epitome of modern, ‘splendid monarchy’.²⁵ The lingering strength of such sentiments in Tory circles was demonstrated vividly during the trial of Henry Sacheverell—a High Anglican priest whose fiery denunciation of Revolution principles led to his impeachment in 1710.²⁶ Confessional sympathy also played a role. High Churchmen were more equivocal about foreign Protestants than were Latitudinarians and Dissenters. This caution was political as well as theological and ecclesiological. As Tony Claydon has argued, many Tories were unnerved by the associations between Continental Protestants and

²² John Caryll, ‘Reflections upon the Expediency of a War at Present with France’, quoted in Glickman, ‘Conflicting Visions’, 25. ²³ Cf. J. G. A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment (Princeton, 1975), 3–80. ²⁴ Stuart Gallomania is in dire need of reassessment: see Charles Bastide, The Anglo-French Entente in the Seventeenth Century (London, 1914), 62–76; Kathleen Lambley, The Teaching and Cultivation of the French Language in England During Tudor and Stuart Times (Manchester, 1920), 361–80. ²⁵ See Nigel Aston, ‘The Tories and France, 1714-60: Faith and Foreign Policy’, in Black (ed.), Tory World, 70–2; D. Szechi, Jacobitism and Tory Politics, 1710–1714 (Edinburgh, 1984), 45–6; J. P. Kenyon, Revolution Principles (Cambridge, 1977), 170–2. ²⁶ See Colley, In Defiance of Oligarchy, 102–4; Holmes, British Politics, 92–7.

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resistance theories—a connection laboured strenuously by Whigs in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution. The sheltering of dissident Whigs in the Netherlands during the 1680s had hardly varnished Calvinism as a force for civil peace. Of course, Tory-Anglican discomfort is easily exaggerated. Very few went as far as repudiating the European Reformation entirely. If Scottish Calvinists seemed overly troublesome during the union debates of Queen Anne’s reign, men like Atterbury were simultaneously toying with the idea of ecclesiastical union between the Church of England and the Hanoverian Lutherans.²⁷ Importantly, however, the Tory confessional compass was similarly equivocal about French Catholicism. When John Dryden dedicated his edition of Louis Maimbourg’s history of the French wars of religion to Charles II, he celebrated the Bourbons as enemies of both papists and Calvinists, thus reviving the Laudian view of international Christian fellowship for the late seventeenth century.²⁸ Although the French church remained in communion with Rome, many High Churchmen saw much to admire in the independence of Gallican ecclesiology and the elevation of their liturgy. The popularity of the Jansenist theologies that seemed to have rescued St Augustine from the clutches of Jean Calvin only increased this appeal.²⁹ In the years immediately after the Spanish war, the High Church Archbishop of Canterbury William Wake began informal discussions about the prospects of union with some Gallican emissaries.³⁰ Like every Anglican experiment in supranational ecclesiology, the Anglo-Gallican endeavour was abortive. Nevertheless, it typified an Erastian view of Christendom as a brotherhood of episcopal national churches—averse to all forms of ‘Genevan’ subversion—which remained popular amongst the High Churchmen.³¹ This is not to say that Francophilia necessarily entailed opposition to wars with France, let alone support for pro-French foreign policies. Neither is it to contend that Tory views of England’s place in Europe were diametrically opposed to those held by Whigs, or that Whigs were incapable of sharing some of these assumptions. To be sure, Tories opposed the prospect of French hegemony: their support for the Wars of the Grand Alliance may have been equivocal, but it was still substantive. What can be said is that their opposition to continentalist foreign policies was not the product of strategic thinking alone. Tories were culturally

²⁷ Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 264–5, 341–2. ²⁸ Glickman, ‘Conflicting Visions?’, 24. ²⁹ For example, Hildebrand Jacob, The Works of Hildebrand Jacob (London, 1735), 455. On the appeal of Gallicanism and Jansenism, see Glickman, ‘The Church and the Catholic Community, 1660– 1714’, in Grant Tapsell (ed.), The Later Stuart Church, 1660–1714 (Manchester, 2012), 216–42; Ruth Clark, Strangers and Sojourners at Port Royal (London, 1932), passim. ³⁰ See Aston, ‘Tories and France’, 73–5; Norman Sykes, William Wake, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1657–1737, 2 vols. (Cambridge, 1957), I, 252–314. ³¹ See Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 292–3. See further, on High Church overtures to Austrian Catholicism, Aston, ‘Tories and France’, 81; Gabriel Glickman, The English Catholic Community, 1688–1745 (Woodbridge, 2009), 149.

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inclined to meet the Franco-Catholic threat, and its Continental enemies, in more measured terms than the Whigs. The germ of the concordat between the Tories and the other major constituency of blue-water sentiment, the Country tradition, lay in their view of the nexus between war, executive power, and corruption. Needless to say, the Tory affection for episcopal privileges and prerogative power left most of these dissident Whigs cold. Francophilia was not unknown in their quarters, as the Earl of Chesterfield exemplified in his writings on politeness in the 1740s. However, the foremost Country-minded historian of the period, James Ralph, offered as fierce an indictment of Charles II’s proximity to Louis XIV as any contemporary.³² As late as the 1730s, major differences continued to impede alliances between these two traditions; yet there were also a number of precedents for cooperation. Indeed, so thoroughly integrated had one cadre of Country Whigs become at the beginning of the eighteenth century that its leader, Robert Harley, became the acknowledged leader of the Tories before 1714. Spokesmen of both traditions saw Court Whig foreign policy as the capstone of a dangerous system of corruption. Neither Countrymen nor Tories celebrated the advent of the fiscal-military complex that William III and his heirs would use to finance more than a century of continental warfare. Rather, they complained of how a monied interest of ‘stockjobbers’ had abducted the Glorious Revolution to serve its own ends, to the detriment of Tory landowners and virtuous tradesmen. It did not help that the requirements of continentalism were eerily reminiscent of the symptoms of ‘corruption’ described by civic humanists: large standing armies, funded by an ever expanding public debt, all to the good of sectional or alien interests rather than the nation.³³ It seemed as if the whole system of politics and finance which had evolved to support quixotic tilts at a chimerical balance of power foreshadowed nothing but tyranny and decline. After 1714, blue-water sentiment was largely confined to the opposition and embroiled with a critique of the Hanoverian regime. Except in some peripheral Tory circles, this hostility was not born of a desire to revisit the succession. The strength of Jacobitism waxed and waned during the first half of the eighteenth century. The cause of the Pretender claimed such notables as Francis Atterbury, the Duke of Ormonde, and—briefly—Lord Bolingbroke, one of the principal architects of the Utrecht treaty. For Jacobites, French support presented the only vague hope of success and France was the destiny of choice for exiles, including James II and his heirs. Yet the Tory gentry at large failed to support the three ³² See Evans, ‘Partisan Politics, History, and the National Interest’, 66–8; James Ralph, The History of England, 2 vols. (London, 1744–6). ³³ See Colley, In Defiance of Oligarchy, 90–9; Black, ‘Foreign Policy and the Tory World’, 47–51; Evans, ‘Partisan Politics, History, and the National Interest’, 83–4; Pocock, Machiavellian Moment, 450–60; Mark Goldie, ‘The Roots of True Whiggism, 1688-1694’, in History of Political Thought, vol. 1, no. 2 (June 1980), 195–236.

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significant risings of 1715, 1719, and 1745.³⁴ Opposition was not typically a reflection of treasonous desires but a reaction to the anatomy of early Hanoverian government. The exclusion from office of the Tories and a growing band of Country Whigs, especially during the consolidation of Robert Walpole’s ministerial supremacy after 1721, ensured that foreign policy would remain a major idiom of political strife. Its currency was elevated still further by the fact that Walpole’s government perpetuated the system of public finance, standing armies, and political corruption that had taken root in support of continentalism after 1688. Interventionist foreign policies remained contentious, irrespective of the relative peacefulness of British history during the quarter-century that followed Utrecht. These were tumultuous years nevertheless, and while Walpole successfully resisted entry into every major war between 1721 and 1739, his ministry was heartily committed to European diplomacy and acceded to a number of entangling alliances. If Walpole himself may have been something of a bluewater fellow traveller, his propaganda claimed otherwise, and his influence over foreign policy was mitigated by a succession of stridently continentalist secretaries of state, not to mention the King.³⁵ The interventionist proclivities of the first two Georges were inescapable; indeed, the proscription of the Tories was as much a product of Hanoverian disgust at the Utrecht settlement as the stain of Jacobitism. The Hanoverian connection itself made matters more rancorous. Some scholars have argued that Country Whigs differed from Tories in opposing the orientation, rather than the principle, of continentalism.³⁶ Yet both factions claimed to be reacting primarily against the diversion of British foreign policy away from British interests and towards those of a German-born monarch and his Hanoverian patrimony. Within a year of George I’s accession, the Electorate had embroiled Britain in the chaotic ending of the Great Northern War, as the King attempted to use the Royal Navy to press his claim to the Duchies of Bremen and Verden.³⁷ The considerable ire provoked by this episode set the mould for a much repeated pattern, in which Hanover acted as the priming pan for wider conflagrations about the course of British grand strategy. From William Pulteney’s agitations in the 1720s to William Pitt the Elder’s anti-Hanoverian orations in the early 1740s, Country spokesmen attacked continentalism as a front for the misuse

³⁴ See Aston, ‘Tories and France’, 75–8; Holmes, British Politics, 93–4. ³⁵ Simms, ‘Ministers of Europe’, 120. ³⁶ Cf. Black, ‘Foreign Policy and the Tory World’, 35. ³⁷ See Derek McKay, ‘The Struggle for Control of George I’s Northern Policy, 1718–1719’, in The Journal of Modern History, vol. 45, no. 3 (Sept. 1973), 367–86; Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 108–29; Richard Harding, ‘British Maritime Strategy and Hanover, 1714–1763’, in Brendan Simms and Torsten Riotte (eds.), The Hanoverian Dimension in British History, 1714–1837 (Cambridge, 2007), 255–6; Nick Harding, Hanover and the British Empire, 1700–1837 (Woodbridge, 2007), passim.

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of national resources by an alien dynasty and its hired placemen—irrespective of whether the Electorate was actually involved in the crisis of the hour.³⁸ In the 1730s and 1740s, hostility to European entanglements emerged as a major idiom of a revitalized opposition of Whigs and Tories, united by a Country platform refashioned by Lord Bolingbroke on his return from exile. Sloughing off his prior association with the Jacobite cause, his new creed emphasized honest devotion to the national interest over the forces of corruption, now typified by Robert Walpole’s ‘Robinocracy’. Blue-water policy thus found its last refuge in ‘patriotism’, as the new cause was styled.³⁹ Its spokesmen condemned Court Whig ministries for ensnaring Britain in ‘contradictory treaties with every state of Europe’ against her ‘true interest’.⁴⁰ In 1744, the Earl of Halifax scorned the balance of power as a trope employed by successive ministries ‘to subject this unhappy nation to plunder, and to exact subsidies for the neighbouring powers’.⁴¹ The consistency of this language over half a century was remarkable. The ‘patriots’ of the 1740s echoed Swift’s indictment of 1712: ‘no nation was ever so long or so scandalously abused by the folly, the temerity, the corruption, the ambition of its domestic enemies; or treated with so much insolence, injustice, and ingratitude by its foreign friends.’⁴² While blue-water policy was usually an opposition doctrine during the halfcentury after the Glorious Revolution, it also offered an alternative vision of British grand strategy. In practice, few Tories or Country Whigs preached diplomatic or military isolation, although there were some notable exceptions. Under the leadership of the Earl of Nottingham during the early 1690s, English foreign policy took a markedly insular turn, to the consternation of many Whigs.⁴³ When the Earl of Rochester sought to confine England’s role in the War of the Spanish Succession to an auxiliary position in 1702, he envisioned little more than an island guarded by the ‘wooden walls’ of her navy.⁴⁴ Others displayed a more cynical commitment to national self-service. As Lord Bruce remarked in 1734, ‘a neutrality is the thing for the good of England, and consequently proper for us

³⁸ See Graham Gibbs, ‘English Attitudes towards Hanover and the Hanoverian Succession in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century’, in Adolf Birke and Kurt Kluxen (ed.), England und Hannover (Munich, 1986), 33–51; Robert Harris, ‘Hanover and the Public Sphere’, in Simms and Riotte (eds.), Hanoverian Dimension, 183–212; Jeremy Black, ‘Hanover and British Foreign Policy’, in English Historical Review, vol. 120, no. 2 (Apr. 2005), 303–39. ³⁹ Christine Gerrard, The Patriot Opposition to Walpole (Oxford, 1994); Frank O’Gorman, The Long Eighteenth Century (London, 1997), esp. 87–93; Stephen Conway, War, State, and Society in MidEighteenth-Century Britain and Ireland (Oxford, 2006), 143–69. ⁴⁰ Quoted in Glickman, ‘Conflicting Visions’, 27. ⁴¹ Earl of Halifax quoted in Simms, ‘Ministers of Europe’, 117. ⁴² Jonathan Swift quoted in Black, ‘Foreign Policy and the Tory World’, 38–9. ⁴³ Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 41–2; Pincus, ‘Absolutism, Ideology, and English Foreign Policy’, 41–2. ⁴⁴ Holmes, British Politics, 73.

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Tories to support, without any regard to who is for or against it. By this, England may reap the advantage of the follies of other nations.’⁴⁵ In general, however, Tories and Country Whigs preferred to portray blue-water policies as more effectual means of preserving the European system. Despite the prolonged oratorical assault against it, the balance of power was a potent idea in British public discourse, capable of bringing down Walpole, the most formidable minister of the era.⁴⁶ Robert Harley, who led the Tory ministry of 1710–14, toyed with endorsing ‘the maxim to hold the balance’, albeit in the process of affirming the catechism that, in the event of war, it would be in Britain’s interest ‘to carry it on by sea’.⁴⁷ Bolingbroke, who had vied with Harley for the leadership of that government, drew an altogether stronger connection between naval power and European geopolitics in his Country writings of the 1730s. ‘By a continual attention to improve her natural, that is her maritime strength’, he asserted, Britain ‘may be the arbitrator of differences, the guardian of liberty, and the preserver of that balance, which has been so much talked of, and is so little understood’.⁴⁸ The Craftsman, the Country party’s periodical, expressed the same spirit in a series of articles that praised William III’s European adventures but reinvented the King as a navalist and celebrated the independence of an England whose ‘decisions were a law to her allies’.⁴⁹ Yet these remarks should not distract from the bold disengagement from the course of European geopolitics envisaged by Tories, Country Whigs, and patriots. Bolingbroke’s Idea of a Patriot King (1738) could not have been clearer in its insistence that Britain devote her energies ‘to improve her natural, that is, her maritime strength’. This power was essentially defensive, and only matters of gravity enough to affect ‘the general interest of Europe’ should be deemed sufficient to ‘call our councils off from an almost entire application to their domestic and proper business’. Britain’s unique geographic blessings, he concluded, ensured that ‘it can never be our true interest easily and officiously to enter into action, much less into engagements that imply action and expense’.⁵⁰ As the historian Doohwan Ahn has argued, Bolingbroke’s thoroughgoing rejection of continentalism was underpinned by his view of the fall of Athens, another seaborne empire which had been deluded and destroyed by the false interest of preserving the liberties of its neighbours in the Peloponnesian War.⁵¹

⁴⁵ Viscount Bruce quoted in Black, ‘Foreign Policy and the Tory World’, 52. ⁴⁶ See Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 289–90. ⁴⁷ Robert Harley quoted in Holmes, British Politics, 66–7. ⁴⁸ Bolingbroke, Political Writings, 278. ⁴⁹ Quoted in Evans, ‘Partisan Politics, History, and the National Interest’, 88. ⁵⁰ Bolingbroke, Political Writings, 277–8. ⁵¹ Doohwan Ahn, ‘From “Jealous Emulation” to “Cautious Politics”: British Foreign Policy and Public Discourse in the Mirror of Ancient Athens (ca. 1730-1750)’, in Onnekink and Rommelse (eds.), Ideology and Foreign Policy, 109–19.

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Bolingbroke’s thalassocracy was part of a tradition of thinking about a British empire of the seas, free of the inconveniences of Continental entanglements. John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, who authored the Country Whig tracts known as Cato’s Letters during the early 1720s, had similarly contended that naval power and a civic militia were sufficient to serve Britain’s true interests. They too forswore standing armies and interventions on European soil as dangerous and deluded innovations.⁵² Of course, Bolingbroke’s hand in the Treaty of Utrecht— the greatest diplomatic statement of British blue-water thinking—predated the musings of the Augustan Cato. The Idea of a Patriot King absorbed ideas from the Country tradition, but it also perpetuated a Tory theory of seaborne hegemony most closely associated with Charles Davenant, if not the Atlantic commercial imperialism of James II.⁵³ Although it may seem incongruous in the mouths of Tories and Jacobites, the idea of British maritime hegemony was deeply indebted to civic republican lines of thought, and especially those of James Harrington. As we have seen, Harrington was the first to promote naval power as a means by which a commonwealth could grow prosperous and powerful, while preserving its freedom from the fatal effects of territorial expansion and standing armies. Indeed—as Davenant, Trenchard and Gordon, and Bolingbroke himself would also repeat in the eighteenth century— civil liberty would not be the casualty but the foundation of this empire, acting as the mainspring of commercial growth. In this light, it becomes clear how far Bolingbroke’s crusade against Walpole’s subversion of England’s free constitution was tethered to the preservation and aggrandizement of the nation in the geopolitical sphere.⁵⁴ Bolingbroke’s Britain would be a modern Athenian thalassocracy, powerful and immortal; Walpole’s Britain was doomed to mimic the decline of Rome. However, it is not altogether clear that Harrington was faithfully represented by the eighteenth-century advocates of blue-water policy. Oceana had certainly been a naval power, but it was also to be the providential protector of a league of Christian states. Bolingbroke did not deny that his maritime empire would be the arbiter of Europe, but he sang the same tune as other Tories and Country Whigs who ruled out the prospect of Continental land wars and alliances as a matter of principle. Yet how could British maritime prosperity pacify Europe if its gains could not be spent subsidizing European armies? Until the emergence of naval blockades as a viable strategy during the Napoleonic Wars, a vital aspect of the blue-water vision remained hollow. Bolingbroke, his forebears, and followers had found a way to preserve English liberties from the immediate threat of executive ⁵² John Robertson, ‘Universal Monarchy and the Liberties of Europe’, in Nicholas Phillipson and Quentin Skinner (eds.), Political Discourse in Early Modern Britain (Cambridge, 1993), 363–4; John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, Cato’s Letters, 4 vols. (London, 1724), II, 218–30, III, 303–11. ⁵³ Robertson, ‘Universal Monarchy and the Liberties of Europe’, 359–61. ⁵⁴ David Armitage, ‘Empire and Liberty: A Republican Dilemma’, in van Gelderen and Skinner (eds.), Republicanism, 2 vols. (Cambridge, 2002), II, 40–5.

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corruption; they had not the slightest idea of how to preserve liberty abroad or to restrain a Continental hegemon. In the final analysis, there was nothing more than ‘wooden walls’, and good students of 1588 and 1688 knew how fickle the Channel winds could be.

‘A Just Balance of Power’ The first project of this league, setting aside private reasons of state, was the maintaining the balance of power in Europe. This has been the foundation of all the wars in our age against the French, and in the last ages against the Spaniard and the Emperor. A just balance of power is the life of peace. Daniel Defoe, English writer, on the Grand Alliance, 1700⁵⁵ Court Whiggery was the great beneficiary of the Glorious Revolution. Its adherents were the preponderant power in British politics during the reigns of William III and Anne, and they dominated the ministries of the early Hanoverians to the exclusion of almost all competitors. Yet there was always a veneer of vulnerability to their ascendancy, and they were usually on the back foot culturally and in the clashes of polemics that shaped public politics. This was especially the case when it came to the preservation of the balance of power through military and diplomatic interventions in European affairs. In many respects, this ‘continentalist’ creed was the defining shibboleth of Court Whiggery, but it was generally unpopular with the metropolitan British public. Continentalism was not, however, as vague and amorphous a creed as some scholars have often suggested.⁵⁶ In fact, it was considerably more credible than the blue-water alternative. It also continued to hold an edge over navalism in terms of nomenclature: perhaps most tellingly, the word ‘Empire’ still had more currency as a term for the Holy Roman Reich in Germany than Britain’s dominions abroad until at least the mid-eighteenth century.⁵⁷ Continentalism rested on a mix of prudence and altruism. On the one hand, it encapsulated an altruistic desire ‘to set all Europe free’ from would-be hegemons.⁵⁸ According to the Earl of Stair, ‘we want a balance of power in order, by that, to maintain the peace of Europe’.⁵⁹ On the other hand, the commitment to the European theatre was also buoyed by a doctrine of forward defence. The ⁵⁵ Daniel Defoe, The Two Great Questions Considered (London, 1700), 15. ⁵⁶ M. S. Anderson, ‘Eighteenth-Century Theories of the Balance of Power’, in R. Hatton and M. S. Anderson (eds.), Studies in Diplomatic History (London, 1970), 184–5. Similarly Conway, Britain, Ireland, and Continental Europe, 72. ⁵⁷ See Doohwan Ahn and Brendan Simms, ‘European Great Power Politics in British Public Discourse, 1714-1763’, in Mulligan and Simms (eds.), Primacy of Foreign Policy, 94. ⁵⁸ Duke of Devonshire quoted in Glickman, ‘Conflicting Visions’, 27. ⁵⁹ Earl of Stair quoted in Black, System of Ambition?, 153.

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British Isles could only be secured from invasion and subversion by the likes of French-backed Jacobite insurrections through an active policy beyond its shores. In 1716, the Earl of Sunderland—a leading Court Whig and soon to be effective chief minister—attacked the ‘old Tory notion that England can subsist by itself whatever becomes the rest of Europe’, which he considered ‘so justly exploded since the Revolution’.⁶⁰ The Continent—especially northern France, the Low Countries, and northern Germany—was the counterscarp of England’s fortifications, the marshalling ground of invasion fleets, and the sally port of British expeditions. The fates of island and continent were entwined. The sine qua non of Court Whig foreign policy for more than a century after 1688 was an entangling network of Continental alliances, accompanied by a commitment to furnish men and money for a land war on European soil. As we have seen, the roots of this doctrine were as old as the interventions of the late sixteenth century, and much as Elizabeth and Cromwell had made common cause with France, its advocates continued to endorse cross-confessional compacts in the later seventeenth century. In 1667 Sir Richard Temple was again underlining the virtues of ‘foreign alliances’—composed of ‘not only Protestants but all who are on a distinct foot, as the Portugale’ and ‘the Catholic princes of Germany’—as the best way of ‘obviating that design’ of universal monarchy.⁶¹ By the beginning of the eighteenth century, Court Whig strategic thinking had borne fruit in the Grand Alliance—an accord, retrospectively known as the ‘Old System’, between the British kingdoms, the United Provinces, and the Habsburg monarchy. Much as Locke’s most pressing fear as he raced back to London in January 1689 was the danger of an accommodation between Austria and France, likewise in 1701 the House of Commons pledged its support for a war ‘in conjunction with the Emperor and the States-General, for the preservation of the liberties of Europe, the prosperity and peace of England, and for reducing the exorbitant power of France’.⁶² Such alliances were indispensable.⁶³ As the English journalist Daniel Defoe explained in a pamphlet of 1700, ‘every King in the World would be the universal monarch if he might, and nothing restrains but the power of neighbours . . . Hence’, he argued, ‘comes leagues and confederacies’, like the Germano-Swedish alliance against the Habsburgs during the Thirty Years War.⁶⁴ Some Whigs went as far as to propose the conversion of alliances into full political unions. Such a measure was occasionally mooted in England and Holland ⁶⁰ Earl of Sunderland quoted in ibid., 117. ⁶¹ Richard Temple quoted in Steven Pincus, ‘The English Debate over Universal Monarchy’, in Robertson (ed.), A Union for Empire (Cambridge, 1995), 57. ⁶² John Locke to Edward Clarke, Rotterdam, 29/1/1689, in Mark Goldie (ed.), Locke: Selected Correspondence (Oxford, 2002), 133; House of Commons, 12/6/1701, quoted in Black, A System of Ambition?, 142. ⁶³ See Holmes, British Politics, 70. ⁶⁴ Defoe, Two Great Questions Considered, 15. On Defoe, see further Sheehan, ‘Theory and Practice of the Balance of Power’, 35–6; Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 201–3.

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during the personal union under William III: Locke’s correspondent Benjamin Furly registered his hope to see ‘a union betwixt these nations, upon a national bottom’ as the war clouds gathered anew in 1700.⁶⁵ If the notion of an AngloDutch union never attracted popular acclaim, unionists met much greater success in the three kingdoms themselves. Security and geopolitical concerns provided the compelling rationale for the Act of Union between England and Scotland that ushered the United Kingdom of Great Britain into existence in 1707.⁶⁶ To this success must be added Court Whig endorsement of the personal union with Hanover after the accession of George I in 1714.⁶⁷ It was left to the Quaker leader William Penn to carry continentalism to its most radical expression in his Essay Towards the Present and Future Peace of Europe of 1693. Penn’s proposal for a pan-European diet that would replace the ‘tragedies of this war in Germany, Flanders, Ireland, and at sea’ with a peaceable system of arbitration should not be mistaken for a pacifistic enterprise. His was certainly a plan for perpetual peace in Europe, but to that end he endowed the diet with coercive powers to suppress geopolitical miscreants. Considering his past warnings of Louis XIV as an aspiring universal monarch who represented the greatest threat to England since the Spanish Armada in 1588, and his hope that William III would have ‘the honour of proposing and effecting’ Penn’s ‘great and good design’, it may be questioned how far his thoughts differed from typical Court Whigs on the pressing need for a military alliance to curb French power. It was equally a reflection of immediate geopolitical circumstances that moved Penn to advertise his plan for a pan-European diet as a way of coordinating Christian resistance against the Ottoman Empire, immediately after the march on Vienna.⁶⁸ Whig continentalism was accompanied by greater faith in the possibility of regulating the balance of power than Tories could muster. Such confidence was not entirely novel: humanists had always described the pursuit of the balance as the business of prudent statesmen, while others treated it as a manifestation of natural law. Towards the end of the seventeenth century, natural philosophy allowed Whigs to conceive of the geopolitical system as a physical mechanism, a balance composed of inferior balances and moved like an orrery by natural interests, which could be discerned by empirical study. However, continentalists also recognized the predictive limits of these natural mechanics—the tendency of bad rulers to act contrary to natural interest amongst them. After all, as Defoe’s remarks on princely ambition demonstrated, natural science notwithstanding, ⁶⁵ Benjamin Furly to John Locke, Rotterdam?, c.26/12/1700, in Goldie (ed.), Locke Correspondence, 290. ⁶⁶ Allan Macinnes, Union and Empire (Cambridge, 2007), 243–76. ⁶⁷ See Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 262–4; Simms, ‘Ministers of Europe’, 118–19. ⁶⁸ See: William Penn, ‘An Essay Towards the Present and Future Peace of Europe’, in Penn, The Political Writings of William Penn, ed. Andrew Murphy (Indianapolis, 2002), 402, 418; Penn, ‘A Persuasive to Moderation to Church Dissenters in Prudence and Conscience’, in ibid., 311; F. H. Hinsley, Power and the Pursuit of Peace (Cambridge, 1967), 38–40.

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Whigs and Tories shared basic Christian presumptions about postlapsarian psychology.⁶⁹ Nevertheless, Court Whigs expressed more confidence in the capacity of statesmen to navigate the geopolitical system through the study of natural interests. Bishop Benjamin Hoadly, one of Walpole’s more adroit public defenders, founded his vindication of Britain’s Continental connections on what Jeremy Black has called the ‘Whig assumption of lasting, because natural alliances’, such as those between Protestant powers.⁷⁰ One effect of this approach was to elevate the study of history. George I founded Regius professorships at Cambridge and Oxford primarily to equip his diplomats with the knowledge necessary to their craft. To the same end, William Pitt the Elder recommended to his nephew the works of the German jurist Samuel von Pufendorf, who had mastered the analysis of state interests.⁷¹ The balance of power was thus a natural mechanism that required human regulation, but to infer that the concept was secular would be naïve. For the notion of preserving the balance remained beholden to providence. In this respect, Britain’s role in the European state system rested on a curious harmony between Enlightenment thinking and national election. Many Augustan commentators echoed the Hanoverian jurist Ludwig Martin Kahle in affirming that ‘amongst all the other potentates, the Kings of England, by some act of providence, strove to maintain this balance in the general affairs of Europe’.⁷² The balance of power and the alliances that sustained it were no less indebted to Protestant precepts than was the idea of religious liberty.⁷³ Much like their opponents, Court Whig polemicists fashioned an English historical narrative to justify their strategic visions. Since the Tory and Country myths of Elizabethan and Cromwellian navalism were well established, continentalists exhumed the Hundred Years War—the last occasion prior to 1689 when large armies had mounted major campaigns under the English flag on European soil.⁷⁴ The struggle of the Plantagenet dynasty to assert its right to the French crown was reinvented as a trial of national strength, or even a vindication of honour, justice, and law among nations. The battles of Edward Longshanks, the ⁶⁹ Jeremy Black, ‘The Theory of the Balance of Power in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century’, in Review of International Studies, vol. 9, no. 1 (Jan. 1983), 56–8. Jeremy Black, Parliament and Foreign Policy, 196. Of course, many elements of this analysis preceded Newtonian physics, as demonstrated by the pre-Newtonian theory of natural-interest-driven geopolitics presented by Samuel Pufendorf, An Introduction to the History of the Principal Kingdoms and States of Europe, trans. Jodocus Crull, ed. Michael J. Seidler (Indianapolis, 2013). ⁷⁰ Black, ‘Foreign Policy and the Tory World’, 41. ⁷¹ Simms, ‘Ministers of Europe’, 123. ⁷² Ludwig Martin Kahle quoted in Thompson, Britain, Hanover, and the Protestant Interest, 35. See Ludwig Martin Kahle, La Balance de l’Europe Considerée come la Règle de la Paix et de la Guerre (Göttingen, 1744), 72. Such sentiments call into question the secularizing of causation in Augustan historical writing: cf. Okie, Augustan Historical Writing, 4. ⁷³ Cf. Thompson, Britain, Hanover, and the Protestant Interest, 202–3. ⁷⁴ See Glickman, ‘Conflicting Visions?’, 23.

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Black Prince, and Henry V were juxtaposed with feats of arms by William III, Marlborough, and foreign allies like Prince Eugene of Savoy, all exalted in the Whig histories of Defoe, John Oldmixon, and Bishop Burnet.⁷⁵ The same body of writing heaped scorn on Charles II and other disengaged navalists for standing idle while the liberties of Europe were suppressed by Louis XIV—the paradigm, Hoadly sneered in a pamphlet of 1718, for blue-water policies ever since.⁷⁶ The Treaty of Utrecht—which shattered the modus vivendi that Tories and Whigs had developed during the Wars of the Grand Alliance and transformed the strategic rift into an indelible scar on the British political landscape—became the central act of Whig historiography. For the Tories, the separate peace put an end to a costly war of dubious necessity, yielded innumerable benefits to British commerce, and left French power tolerably bounded. Indeed, Harley hired Defoe to persuade moderate Whigs that the settlement had left Europe finely balanced between the Houses of Bourbon and Habsburg, even with Louis XIV’s grandson on the throne of Spain.⁷⁷ For most Whigs, however, it was simply a dark irony that the Treaty of Utrecht was the first such agreement to use the words ‘balance of power’.⁷⁸ France appeared to have been left rampant in western Europe, with Spain in her power and the Netherlands at her mercy. In the words of one MP, the settlement was proof ‘that many who have put on the face of true Englishmen, and whom we have taken for such, are rotten at the heart’. Not content with betraying England alone, the Tories, wrote a Whig peer, had broken ‘the laws of honour and justice’ by abandoning the allies.⁷⁹ Court Whigs would invoke this Tory act of betrayal for decades to come.⁸⁰ Critically, the policing of the balance itself continued to be more important than antipathy to any particular power.⁸¹ The focus of British policy shifted away from France in the late 1710s to face the renewed threat of Spain and, in northern Germany, the novel problem of Russian influence. So sweeping was this reorientation that an alliance was concluded with France, to the pleasure of the French regent, the Duke of Orléans: ‘peace, from what you say, is the English system’, he wrote to his minister, Archbishop Guillaume Dubois in 1718, ‘it is also mine’.⁸²

⁷⁵ See Evans, ‘Partisan Politics, History, and the National Interest’, 75–82; Conway, Britain, Ireland, and Continental Europe, 79–80. ⁷⁶ See David Jones, The Secret History of Whitehall (London, 1697); Nathaniel Crouch, The Secret History of the Last Four Monarchs of Great Britain (London, 1691); White Kennet, A Complete History of England, 3 vols. (London, 1706); John Oldmixon, The Secret History of Europe, 2 vols. (London, 1715), esp. I, 1–50; Gilbert Burnet, Bishop Burnet’s History of His Own Time, 2 vols. (London, 1724– 1734); Paul Rapin de Thoyras, The History of England, trans. N. Tindal, 15 vols. (London, 1730), esp. XIII–XIV. On Hoadly, Evans, ‘Partisan Politics, History, and the National Interest’, 66; Benjamin Hoadly, The French King’s Thanks to the Tories of Great Britain (London, 1718). ⁷⁷ Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 204–6. ⁷⁸ See Sheehan, ‘Theory and Practice of the Balance of Power’, 36. ⁷⁹ William Jessop and Lord Cowper quoted in Holmes, British Politics, 79–80. ⁸⁰ See Black, Parliament and Foreign Policy, 183. ⁸¹ See Simms, ‘Ministers of Europe’, 124. ⁸² Duke of Orléans quoted in Black, System of Ambition?, 153.

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This new alignment continued into the late 1720s, when the Emperor Charles VI’s alliance with Philip V of Spain under the Treaty of Vienna (1725) revived the threat of Habsburg hegemony. The response was a renewal of the Anglo-French compact under the Treaty of Hanover (1725). This system survived until 1731, by which time British statesmen had again grown wary of French power and resolved to resurrect the Anglo-Austrian accord with another Treaty of Vienna. The events of the late 1720s ward against viewing the British strategic debate as a duel between different xenophobias. Indeed, it was Bolingbroke who had first raised the prospect of a resurgent Austrian threat in 1711.⁸³ It has often been suggested that Britain’s reluctance to intervene in major Continental wars between 1714 and 1739, and especially the War of the Polish Succession (1733–5), was due to the caution of Robert Walpole, the domineering minister of the period. In foreign-policy terms, the narrative runs, Walpole was a closet blue-water Tory—notwithstanding his apprenticeship in the Marlborough– Godolphin ministry. This is not without foundation. In January 1734, he wrote irritably that ‘by some gentlemen’s way of talking, one would imagine that the ministers of England were the ministers of Europe . . . If any unforeseen accidents abroad . . . produce any untoward effects or occasion any troubles or commotions in Europe, the ministers of England are immediately loaded with the whole.’⁸⁴ However, the notion that blue-water sentiment prevailed during Walpole’s supremacy is questionable. Although Britain avoided a major war between 1714 and 1739, the early years of the Court Whig ascendancy were still years of feverish diplomatic activity. Whatever Walpole’s private views may have been, his propaganda was always stridently continentalist. Hoadly’s sympathetic Enquiry into the Reasons of the Conduct of Great Britain (1727) made some gestures towards the efficacy of naval power, but it also discussed Anglo-Dutch maritime interests through the lens of the balance of power and lauded every concert of powers since the Grand Alliance.⁸⁵ If Walpole looked gun-shy in the face of Spanish insults in the late 1730s, this was primarily owing to his reluctance to start a naval war that might drive Spain back into the arms of France and upset the balance of Europe—a testament if ever there was one to the paramountcy of Continental concerns.⁸⁶ Other major influences on policy—not least George I and the Duke of Newcastle— were implacable interventionists. Both paled in comparison to George II, however, a soldier-king who came to the throne with a longing to recreate the Grand Alliance and relive the glories of William III and Marlborough. Although the King’s efforts to ⁸³ Ibid., 146. ⁸⁴ Robert Walpole quoted in Simms, ‘Ministers of Europe’, 117. Similarly Black, System of Ambition?, 156. ⁸⁵ Benjamin Hoadly, An Enquiry into the Reasons of the Conduct of Great Britain with Relation to the Present State of Affairs in Europe (Boston, 1727), esp. 38–40, 61–2, 72–8, 84–91. On the efficacy of Walpole’s geostrategic propaganda, see Ahn, ‘From “Jealous Emulation” to “Cautious Politics”’, 114. Cf. William Gibson, Enlightenment Prelate (London 2004), 211. ⁸⁶ Simms, ‘Ministers of Europe’, 129–30.

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lead Britain into the Polish war were frustrated (the Electorate did send Hanoverian troops to the Imperial army), he succeeded in reinvigorating Anglo-Dutch relations with the marriage of his daughter to the Prince of Orange in 1734.⁸⁷ The role of religion in the strategic debate was not reduced to that of mere providential causation; Court Whigs retained the commitment of their forebears to the defence of Protestantism abroad and Christendom in general. As Andrew Thompson has demonstrated, enthusiasm for the Reformed cause remained a potent aspect of British public discourse long after 1714. Confessional solidarity served as the main counter to charges of Hanoverian subversion, and the marriage of the Princess Royal to William of Orange was widely celebrated as a boon to the Protestant interest—especially in light of the refusal of a French proposal the previous decade.⁸⁸ While their Latitudinarian and Dissenting inclinations left most Whigs ill-disposed to the Erastian idea of an international fraternity of state churches, they eagerly supported the equally venerable notion of a brotherhood of Reformed churches united in opposition to popery.⁸⁹ The Court Whigs had not, however, forsaken the idea of Christendom. Archbishop Wake, the initiator of the Gallican conversations, may have been a High Anglican, but he was a Whig in politics, and undermining the papacy was as much his intention as a union of episcopal churches.⁹⁰ He shared the general Protestant enthusiasm for signs of reformation in the Catholic world. Much as faith bridged the divide between foreign and domestic affairs, so too the ‘liberties of Europe’ were entwined in the Whig mind with freedom at home. For their spokesmen, foreign intervention also entailed recognition of the right of rebellion, in accordance with the rationale of texts like the Vindiciae, Contra Tyrannos, and to the chagrin of non-resistance Tories.⁹¹ The finest example of the interplay of native and foreign liberty is to be found in Steve Pincus’s reinterpretation of Robert Molesworth’s Account of Denmark (1694). Long misconstrued as a republican indictment of metropolitan corruption, the tract was far more immediately concerned with the brief Tory turn of English foreign policy in the early 1690s, in parallel with the spread of French-style absolutism on the Continent. Louis XIV, Molesworth wrote, ‘has instructed the court of Denmark, as well as the other princes and states of Europe’ in the art of tyranny. In the same vein as scores of Whig polemicists and historians like Oldmixon, the spread of French manners and practices was seen to go arm in arm with French influence. Molesworth concluded with a paean to the prospects of English intervention at ‘the head of more than a Protestant league’, exercising ‘a right to intermeddle in ⁸⁷ Stephen Baxter, ‘The Myth of the Grand Alliance in the Eighteenth Century’, in Paul Sellin and Stephen Baxter, Anglo-Dutch Cross Currents (Los Angeles, 1976), 45–7, 50–3. ⁸⁸ See Thompson, Britain, Hanover, and the Protestant Interest, 161–76. ⁸⁹ Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 334. ⁹⁰ Conway, Britain, Ireland, and Continental Europe, 166–7. ⁹¹ Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 254–5.

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the affairs of Europe beyond what we ever pretended to in any of the preceding reigns’.⁹² It must be remembered that the republican idiom itself had long insisted that domestic liberty could be no more than an illusion if the state was dominated by a foreign hegemon.⁹³ Continentalist strategic thinking was not simply the product of cultural Francophobia and anti-popery; nevertheless, Louis XIV was pressed into service as the foil in a Court Whig Kulturkampf, epitomized by the writings of the third Earl of Shaftesbury. In politics, Shaftesbury was a Court Whig in the Country tradition. He celebrated 1688 as the aversion of a design to reduce England ‘to the service of the usurpations and treacheries of that neighbouring crown that has aimed so long at the subjection of all Europe’.⁹⁴ Yet unlike those Whigs who used the Country tradition to condemn the corruption of the post-revolutionary state, Shaftesbury mobilized Harringtonian philosophy to defend the settlement of 1688 as a milestone in the history of liberation and the unfolding of modernity. Hence, he argued in his 1701 tract Paradoxes of State, the Country tradition had become synonymous with that of the Court.⁹⁵ In the absence of a meaningful distinction between Court and Country, Shaftesbury asserted that the only true conflict in British politics was ‘between those that are in a French, and those that are in an English interest’.⁹⁶ Unsurprisingly, he identified those scheming to subjugate England to the popery and slavery of Louis XIV with the Tories. The principal object of his ire was not, however, diplomatic or political betrayals but a Francophile culture of submission, egoism, decadence, and immorality at court and in church.⁹⁷ As Lawrence Klein argues, Shaftesbury asserted that French culture had followed Rome in corrupting the classical values on which liberty depended. This was not, however, the rustic freedom traditionally associated with the civic republicanism, but the cultivated, oratorical freedom of Cicero—as such, it represented a significant advance in the English humanist tradition.⁹⁸ The essence of Shaftesbury’s project was thus to devise an alternative discourse of culture, manners, and morals in keeping with the politics of Whiggery and capable of challenging the cultural hegemony of Francophile Tories. Of central importance was the creation of a culture of public discourse, which he cast as the cornerstone of modern liberty.⁹⁹

⁹² Quoted in Pincus, ‘Absolutism, Ideology, and English Foreign Policy’, 47–8. Cf. Evans, ‘Partisan Politics, History, and the National Interest’, 64. ⁹³ Quentin Skinner, Liberty Before Liberalism (Cambridge, 1998), 59–60. ⁹⁴ Earl of Shaftesbury, Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, ed. Lawrence Klein (Cambridge, 1999), xvii. ⁹⁵ Lawrence Klein, Shaftesbury and the Culture of Politeness (Cambridge, 1994), 141, 151. ⁹⁶ Shaftesbury quoted in ibid., 141. ⁹⁷ Shaftesbury, Characteristics, xvii–xviii, 155–94. ⁹⁸ Klein, Shaftesbury, 148–9, 189. ⁹⁹ Shaftesbury, Characteristics, xvii–xix; Klein, Shaftesbury, 198. On the cultural idioms of Whiggery and their importance, see Kenneth Silverman, A Cultural History of the American Revolution (New York, 1976), 82–4.

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Yet Shaftesbury’s ambitions extended beyond the protection of the Glorious Revolution to the liberation of all Europe—and herein lay the first part of a Court Whig theory of benign hegemony. The Earl wrote at a moment when, in Klein’s words, ‘an increasing sense of British leadership not just in European politics but also in European culture’ was spreading amongst his contemporaries.¹⁰⁰ While French universal monarchy would bring the triumph of courtly barbarism and ‘a new age of ignorance and superstition’, Britain’s eventual victory over France would foreshadow the rise of a new European public culture. Embracing polite discourse and aesthetic refinement rather than submission and superstition, this would be the triumph of those ‘liberties of Europe’ that Britain had fought to protect. To this end, his Letter Concerning the Art or Science of Design—written in the depths of the Spanish war—concluded with a prophecy that victory would accompany the advance of liberty and its concomitants—art, science, knowledge, and politeness—throughout Christendom.¹⁰¹ Shaftesbury’s Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times offered a further meditation on Britain’s pre-eminent role in this great moment of European history: we are now in an age when liberty is once again in its ascendant. And we are ourselves the happy nation who not only enjoys it at home but, by our greatness and power, give life and vigour to it abroad and are the head and chief of the European league, founded on this common cause.¹⁰²

This was hardly a surprising conclusion, considering that Shaftesbury viewed membership of a state as the artifice by which individuals were joined ‘to the general society of mankind’.¹⁰³ Once again, nationality and cosmopolitan sentiment were fluid, not opposing, ideas. So ran the Court’s rejoinder to the bluewater prophecies of Davenant, Trenchard, Gordon, and Bolingbroke; the heir to Harrington’s Ciceronian vision of a commonwealth that would undertake ‘the patronage [rather] than the empire of the world’.¹⁰⁴ Of course, the final irony of Court Whig grand strategy was that, despite its overriding emphasis of the balance of power in Europe, it often proved more attentive to Britain’s maritime, commercial, and colonial interests than the alternative. Shaftesbury himself had gestured to the New World as a refuge of last resort for freeborn Britons. He warned of the possibility that British policy would come under ministers who—‘having no thought of liberty for themselves, can have much less for Europe or their neighbours’—would make Britain ‘at last feel a ¹⁰⁰ Shaftesbury, Characteristics, xvi. ¹⁰¹ Klein, Shaftesbury, 193–4, 207–11; T. C. W. Blanning, The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture (Oxford, 2002), 309. ¹⁰² Shaftesbury, Characteristics, 100. ¹⁰³ Ibid., 400–1. ¹⁰⁴ James Harrington, The ‘Commonwealth of Oceana’ and ‘A System of Politics’, ed. Pocock (Cambridge, 1992), 221.

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war at home, become the seat of it and, in the end, a conquest’. In that event, he suggested that Englishmen might tread the paths of their Saxon ancestors and remove their nation to ‘some distant climate’, much as it had once been brought from ‘the remoter parts of Germany to this island’.¹⁰⁵ This was a theory of ius migrationis—a concept worthy, as we shall see, of much greater discussion by early American historians minded to emphasize the idea of translatio imperii. Whig commercial imperialism was as old as the Whig party itself, dating from the first Earl of Shaftesbury, not his grandson. The first Earl was the leading force behind the settlement of Carolina during the 1660s. This plantation took its shape from the same tradition that had moulded the colonial projects of the early seventeenth century, spawned by the desire to overturn the Spanish hegemony in the New World that had so distorted the European system. In a spirit which would have been familiar to the leaders of the Virginia Company, Shaftesbury and the other proprietors of the new colony promised that ‘planting and trade’ would ‘lay a way open to get all the Spanish riches’.¹⁰⁶ Long into the eighteenth century, those involved in England’s colonial enterprises looked to the creation of alternative economies that might unravel the trade monopolies of other powers. Much as Berkeley had suggested in 1662 that Virginia would one day ‘supply us with all those commodities which now we have at great charge and hazard from Turkey, Persia, Greece, Poland, and Russia; the wines, oils, and fruits of France and Spain’, so forty years later Lord Bellomont, Governor of New England and New York, offered to provide ‘all the shipping of England with naval stores . . . at cheaper rates than . . . Sweden and Denmark’.¹⁰⁷ Commercial imperialism was bound up with the new mercantilist system of trade regulations, the Navigation Acts, which had coalesced during the midseventeenth century. At the heart of this system and the science behind it was belief in an inseparable connection between commerce and national wealth. Thomas Mun, one of the earliest mercantilists, wrote in 1664 that ‘money begets trade and trade increaseth money’—a dictum fated to be widely echoed.¹⁰⁸ As Duncan Ivison explains, it was primarily through this means that colonies— plantations and trading posts that would serve as friendly entrepôts rather than drains on the metropolitan population—were brought into the emerging

¹⁰⁵ Shaftesbury, Characteristics, 402. ¹⁰⁶ Shaftesbury quoted in Barbara Arneil, ‘John Locke, Natural Law, and Colonialism’, in History of Political Thought, vol. 13, no. 4 (1992), 603. See further Langdon Cheves (ed.), The Shaftesbury Papers (Charleston, 2000), 325–7. ¹⁰⁷ Sir William Berkeley, ‘A Discourse and View of Virginia’, 1/1662, in Warren Billings (ed.), The Papers of Sir William Berkeley, 1605–1677 (Richmond, 2007), 165; Earl of Bellomont to John Locke, Boston, 7/9/1699, in Goldie (ed.), Locke Correspondence, 280. ¹⁰⁸ Thomas Mun, England’s Treasure by Foreign Trade (Oxford, 1949), 14. Cf., for example, John Locke, ‘Some Considerations on the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and Raising the Value of Money’, in Locke, Locke on Money, ed. Patrick Kelly, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1991), I, 223–4.

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discourse of political economy.¹⁰⁹ Critically, writers like Thomas Cradocke, Josiah Child, and John Locke—Whigs all—emphasized the dependence of the domestic economy on overseas commerce. ‘Trade’, Locke noted, ‘is twofold’, benefiting not only ‘carriage’ but also ‘domestic manufacture’.¹¹⁰ England was not the first country to put these theories into practice. Long before the unfettered exposure to Dutch political economy that followed the Glorious Revolution, English mercantilists had found inspiration from the models of commercial expansion pioneered by the Netherlands. If wealth was the end of commerce, then power was the end of wealth: hence, although late-seventeenth-century writings about commerce and colonies are usually cast as contributions to thinking about imperial expansion and longevity, they belong more immediately to geopolitical discourse. From the time of Benjamin Worsley, the original architect of the Navigation Acts and, later, another associate of Shaftesbury, mercantilists discussed trade as an aspect of competition between states. The acquisition of commercial monopolies, Worsley asserted in the 1650s, would ‘daily raise and strengthen’ England, while ‘the kingdoms about us will, and must necessarily as much decay and weaken’.¹¹¹ As he explained at the beginning of his 1651 tract The Advocate, Worsley was writing against both ‘the design of Spain . . . to get the universal monarchy of Christendom’ and the Dutch effort ‘to lay a foundation to themselves for engrossing the universal trade, not only of Christendom, but indeed, of the greater part of the known world’.¹¹² It was therefore natural that Locke, facing the French threat at the end of the century, turned to mercantilist principles to explain how a prince might make himself ‘too hard for his neighbours’. As he noted, ‘the chief end of trade is riches and power which beget each other’: commercial success would ensure that England’s enemies could not ‘on any occasion, engross naval and warlike stores, and thereby endanger us’.¹¹³ None of these arguments bear out the old fallacy that

¹⁰⁹ See Duncan Ivison, ‘Locke, Liberalism, and Empire’, in Peter Anstey (ed.), The Philosophy of John Locke (London, 2003), 90. The charge that colonies were drains on population had been conclusively refuted in the 1650s. See Thomas Leng, ‘Commercial Conflict and Regulation in the Discourse of Trade in Seventeenth-Century England’, in The Historical Journal, vol. 48, no. 4 (2005), 933–54. ¹¹⁰ Locke, ‘Trade’, in Locke, Political Essays, ed. Goldie (Cambridge, 1997), 222. See further Barbara Arneil, ‘Trade, Plantations, and Property: John Locke and the Economic Defence of Colonialism’, in The Journal of the History of Ideas, no. 55 (1994), 598; Barbara Arneil, John Locke and America (Oxford, 1996), 106. ¹¹¹ Benjamin Worsley quoted in Leng, ‘Commercial Conflict and Regulation’, 946. See similarly Josiah Child quoted in J. Thirsk and J. P. Cooper (eds.), Seventeenth-Century Economic Documents (Oxford, 1972), 70. ¹¹² Benjamin Worsley, The Advocate (London, 1651), 1, quoted in Leng, ‘Commercial Conflict and Regulation’, 947. ¹¹³ Locke, Two Treatises of Government, ed. Peter Laslett (Cambridge, 1988), II, 42; Locke, ‘Trade’, 221; Locke, ‘Some Considerations’, 223; Locke quoted in Ashcraft, ‘Political Theory and Political Reform: John Locke’s Essay on Virginia’, in John Dunn and Ian Harris (eds.), Locke, 2 vols. (Cheltenham, 1997), I, 281n.

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mercantilists held commercial competition to be a ‘zero-sum game’—a blind alley if ever there was one.¹¹⁴ Rather, mercantilists were more generally concerned with the geopolitical leverage provided by commercial prosperity—leverage which could often be put to salutary effect. In the mature works of Charles Davenant, mercantilism did indeed provide the intellectual ballast of blue-water strategic thinking; however, it was just as frequently invoked by continentalists as the natural ancillary of European intervention. Worsley was an associate of John Dury, who seems to have used The Advocate to further his efforts in support of Cromwell’s design for a Protestant alliance with Sweden.¹¹⁵ The interventionist sensibilities of Berkeley have already been established. And as we have also seen, Locke (like his friend Bellomont) was enthusiastic about William III’s continentalism. It is far from coincidental that the Board of Trade, on which he served during the 1690s, devoted much of its energies to financing the Nine Years War. The debate over recoinage and commercial expansion during the middle of the decade turned on which measure would prove more effective ‘towards the use of the war’. Prior to his turn against the Grand Alliance, a young Davenant had focused on the balance of trade as a means of supporting the efforts of ‘the confederates’.¹¹⁶ For the early Whigs, the value of trade and colonization lay largely in the extent to which they facilitated an active European policy. This combination was still apparent in Hoadly’s marriage of naval action to vigorous diplomacy in his defence of Walpole’s behaviour during the crisis of the late 1720s and, indeed, in the war policy of Pitt the Elder thirty years thereafter. Like many of their Tory and Country opponents, Court Whigs laboured the importance of liberty to commercial and colonial expansion. During his involvement with the Carolina project, Locke had listed ‘naturalisation easy, freedom of religion’ and ‘certainty of property’ as indispensable ‘promoters of trade’. In the Two Treatises, he would later portray the establishment of ‘laws of liberty to secure protection and encouragement to the honest industry of mankind’ amongst the duties of ‘wise and godlike’ princes.¹¹⁷ In the 1690s, Whig ministers pounced on the Tory colonial official Sir Edmund Andros as the archetype of an arbitrary ruler. Sir John Somers, one of the leaders of the Whig Junto that held power during the middle of the decade, acted in court for those who had deposed Andros ¹¹⁴ On this issue, see Steve Pincus, ‘Rethinking Mercantilism’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, vol. 69, no. 1 (Jan. 2012), 3–34; Cosimo Perrotta, ‘Is the Mercantilist Theory of the Balance of Trade Really Erroneous?’, in History of Political Economy, vol. 23 (1991), 301–35; Andrea Finkelstein, Harmony and the Balance (Ann Arbor, 2000). ¹¹⁵ Leng, ‘Commercial Conflict and Regulation’, 947. ¹¹⁶ For example, John Cary, An Essay on the State of England in Relation to its Trade, its Poor, and its Taxes, for Carrying on the Present War against France (London, 1695); Charles Davenant, An Essay Upon the Ways and Means of Supplying the War (London, 1695). See further Peter Laslett, ‘John Locke, the Great Recoinage, and the Origins of the Board of Trade: 1695-1698’, in Richard Ashcraft (ed.), John Locke, 4 vols. (London, 1991), I, 181–209. ¹¹⁷ Locke, ‘Trade’, 222; Locke, Two Treatises, II, 42.

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from the governorship of New England in April 1689.¹¹⁸ Others later contrived with James Blair, the Church of England’s commissar in Virginia, to have Andros dismissed from his subsequent appointment as Governor of the Old Dominion. In both instances, a strong emphasis was placed on the potential for arbitrary rule to undermine prosperity and power.¹¹⁹ For Court Whigs like Locke, however, the liberty of colonies continued to exist within the unequal leagues proposed by Bacon and Harrington; federal theories of empire were yet to be developed. It went almost without saying that plantations were to be, in Bellomont’s words, ‘of service to England’.¹²⁰ The fact that the existence of subordinate commonwealths jarred with the natural-law vindication of independent polities was not lost on some inhabitants of the former. Where Locke maintained that England’s interests justified the restriction of Irish woollen manufacture, William Molyneux maintained that the Two Treatises themselves confirmed Ireland’s status as a ‘complete kingdom within itself’, to be run in the interests of its own people.¹²¹ The weakness of this objection lay in the fact that, at least where geopolitics was concerned, natural-law theorists like Locke had not broken decisively with the civic tradition. By presuming that the pre-civil condition was not only natural but commercial too, domination of other polities by economic means remained as feasible in the Lockean scheme as the Harringtonian.¹²² Hence, the humanist presumption that the independence of a commonwealth might require the capacity to give law to other states retained its full resonance. Of course, mercantilists like Locke did not use this argument to justify the exploitation of subordinate polities; nevertheless, the liberty of such states was inevitably tied to the benevolence of others. In this respect, England’s colonies appeared in a position of dependence remarkably similar to its European allies. By the conclusion of the Peace of Utrecht, then, the combinations of Continental intervention and maritime expansion pioneered by Bacon and Harrington had flowered into Court Whig strategic doctrine. Europe was to be restored to its ancient wholeness, but it was not to fall under the shadow of a French or Austrian universal monarchy. Instead, the strategic, commercial, and cultural visions sculpted by the likes of Locke, Hoadly, and the Shaftesbury family looked to a system of free states, their independence confirmed (and, of course, bounded) by a benign British hegemony. ¹¹⁸ See J. M. Sosin, English America and the Revolution of 1688 (Lincoln, NE, 1982), 131. ¹¹⁹ See Ashcraft, ‘Political Theory and Political Reform’, 283–5. ¹²⁰ Earl of Bellomont to John Locke, Boston, 7/9/1699, in Goldie (ed.), Locke Correspondence, 180. ¹²¹ William Molyneux, ‘The Case of Ireland’, in Goldie (ed.), The Reception of Locke’s Politics, 6 vols. (London, 1999), I, 271, 274; closely following Locke, Two Treatises, II, 4. Cf. Locke, ‘A Proposal to Discourage Woollen Manufacture in Ireland’, in H. R. Fox Bourne, The Life of John Locke, 2 vols. (London, 1876), I, 365. ¹²² Cf. John Dunn, The Political Thought of John Locke (Cambridge, 1969), 160.

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‘The Expectation of a Universal Monarchy’ As in the last autumn the English nation under a Queen of blessed memory saw the fall of the Spaniards from the expectation of a universal monarchy, so may we under the most auspicious reign of Queen Anne see the defeat of the unjust endeavours of the French King, and the balance of Europe yet kept in the Crown of England. Joseph Dudley, Governor of Massachusetts, on the War of the Spanish Succession, 1702¹²³ By the close of the War of the Spanish Succession, the contours of British– American public opinion had taken on a decidedly Court Whig–continentalist flavour; not even the public expressions of the most reactionary quarter of the Massachusetts clergy could be classified in the mere terms of anti-popery, much less eschatology. As the Presbyterian pastor Benjamin Colman remarked in his thanksgiving sermon for the Act of Union, Britain was waging just wars against ‘the terror of Europe’, Louis XIV, both because he was ‘a furious enemy as to our holy religion’ and because his insatiable ‘thirst after dominion’ was incompatible with ‘the peace and rights of his neighbours’.¹²⁴ Conversely, his Congregationalist neighbour Ebenezer Pemberton explained, Britain had become ‘the refuge of the distressed both at home and abroad; the powerful asserter not only of the liberties civil and sacred of her own people, but also of the common rights of mankind, in generous compassion to oppressed neighbours’.¹²⁵ A fifth of the men of Massachusetts and half of those of New Hampshire were under arms during the Spanish war—the highest mobilization rate in the European world—and they knew that their war effort was enwound with the greater struggle across the Atlantic.¹²⁶ In 1705, the Boston pastor Thomas Bridge advised his congregation that ‘the consideration of the state of things in Europe, calls upon us both to be expert in war, and to be ready for service’. England was ‘engaged in a just war against a . . . disturber of the common peace’, and colonists were implored to be ‘thankful for the victories obtained by the confederates, and our nation in particular’. Nevertheless, he acknowledged, ‘who can tell when the sword will be put into the scabbard; and what service we may be called unto?’¹²⁷ Such preparedness was as much spiritual as physical, of course. Another minister, ¹²³ ‘Minutes of Council in Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay’, 16/6/1702, in Noel Salisbury et al. (eds.), Calendar of State Papers: Colonial Series, America and West Indies, 45 vols. so far (London, 1860–), XX, 608. ¹²⁴ Benjamin Colman, A Sermon Preached Before His Excellency the Governor, and Her Majesty’s Council (Boston, 1708), 27, 30. ¹²⁵ Ebenezer Pemberton, The Divine Original and Dignity of Government Asserted (Boston, 1710), 79. ¹²⁶ On mobilization, see Stephen Saunders Webb, Marlborough’s America (New Haven, 2013), 113–14, 233. ¹²⁷ Thomas Bridge, The Knowledge of God (Boston, 1705), 50.

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Benjamin Keach, had made a similar plea for popular piety in Philadelphia a decade earlier. All military enterprises, he contended, were doomed to failure if their projectors remained in ‘rebellion against God’.¹²⁸ The ordeal of John Williams, pastor of Deerfield, Massachusetts, in the vulnerable north of the Connecticut River Valley, showed Bridge’s advice in action. Following a dawn raid by a Franco-Indian war party on 29 February 1704, in which much of his congregation and his own family were slaughtered, he and other survivors were force-marched through the winter snows to captivity in Canada. Williams saw a wider prospect to his misfortunes than most of his subsequent historians, for the redemption he narrated on his return to Boston in December 1706 was not only an introspection on salvation; it was also a journey through the American theatre of the War of the Spanish Succession.¹²⁹ At Montreal and Quebec, he recalled, the abducted New Englanders were confronted by Jesuits who ‘boasted’ of what the French monarchy ‘would do in Europe’ and ‘having the World . . . in subjection to them’, once his clients were set on the thrones of England, Spain, and the Empire. Two months later, Marlborough’s Anglo-Dutch-German army routed the armies of France at Blenheim, saving the Reich from Bourbon domination.¹³⁰ Williams greeted the news with delight. ‘From this day forward’, he remarked of the Jesuits’ vainglorious prophecies, ‘God gave them to hear sorrowful tidings from Europe’, in ‘news every year more distressing and impoverishing to them’, as a torrent of victories restrained the power of France on the far continent. These were providential observations, but there was nothing Manichean to Williams’s confessional geopolitics, as his relief at the salvation of Austria demonstrated. ‘Their enemies increased,’ he reported, ‘the Duke of Bavaria [was] so far from being Emperor that he is dispossessed of his Dukedom’, and ‘France so far from being strengthened by Spain, that the Kingdom of Spain like to be an occasion of weakening and impoverishing their own Kingdom’. If a merciful God was Williams’s redemption, Marlborough was his revenge.¹³¹ As for his endorsement of Continental alliances, such an attitude surely came naturally to colonists accustomed to thinking of the British Empire itself as a league united in common purpose.¹³²

¹²⁸ Benjamin Keach, God Acknowledged (Philadelphia, 1738), 37. ¹²⁹ Cf. John Demos, The Unredeemed Captive (New York, 1994), passim; John Demos, A Little Commonwealth (Oxford, 2000), passim; Evan Haefeli and Kevin Sweeney, ‘Revisiting the Redeemed Captive:’, in William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, vol. 52, no. 1 (Jan. 1995), 3–46; Evan Haefeli and Kevin Sweeney, Captors and Captives (Amherst, 2003), passim. ¹³⁰ The most thorough study of Marlborough’s Bavarian campaign remains Winston Churchill, Marlborough: His Life and Times, 2 vols. (repr., Chicago, 2002), I, 740–884; see more recently Richard Holmes, Marlborough (London, 2008), 249–97; Webb, Marlborough’s America, 58–99. The battle was also widely known in the eighteenth-century English-speaking world as Höchstadt. ¹³¹ John Williams, The Redeemed Captive, Returning to Zion (3rd edn, Boston, 1758), 31–3. ¹³² Cf. Stanwood, Empire Reformed, 121, 146.

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In Massachusetts, England’s crusade to defend the liberties of Europe from universal monarchy was the catalyst for a modicum of wartime unity between bitterly opposed traditions. When he returned to the colony of his birth as its Governor in June 1702, Joseph Dudley was met with hostility from a provincial elite that recalled his participation in Edmund Andros’s dominion government. He chose to rally the unreceptive General Court by invoking the struggle against French hegemony and its historical context. ‘As in the last autumn the English nation under a Queen of blessed memory saw the fall of the Spaniards from the expectation of a universal monarchy,’ he began, conjuring memories of Elizabeth I’s wars with Philip II, ‘so may we under the most auspicious reign of Queen Anne see the defeat of the unjust endeavours of the French King, and the balance of Europe yet kept in the Crown of England.’¹³³ He appealed to Fitz-John Winthrop—Governor of neighbouring Connecticut and a New Englander of a different stripe—in the same terms, noting their common struggle ‘against the common enemy of the liberty of Europe and of the Protestant religion’.¹³⁴ A common perspective on England’s place in the European system bound colonists as disparate as Williams and Dudley together. As the latter wrote to the Duke of Marlborough himself, ‘every English subject in the plantations’ had been inspired by his ‘great and unparalleled services and successes against the common enemy of Christendom’.¹³⁵ Similar harmonies were achieved in New Hampshire and Rhode Island, where Governor and Assembly toasted a war levied ‘not only for [Queen Anne’s] own subjects, but for the balance of Europe’, saluting ‘those two great and renowned Generals, the Duke of Marlborough and Prince of Savoy’.¹³⁶ European victories like Blenheim and Ramillies occasioned thanksgiving days throughout New England.¹³⁷ Similarly continentalist sentiments can be discerned, albeit less clearly, in the Chesapeake. As Governor of Virginia, Francis Nicholson met the beginning of the Spanish war by professing to the Board of Trade that ‘if that Hector of Christendom [Louis XIV] durst meet [King William] in the field of battle, I hope in God that His Majesty would have the same good fortune as Edward III

¹³³ ‘Minutes of Council in Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay’, 16/6/1702, in Salisbury et al. (eds.), Calendar of State Papers, XX, 608. See similarly Joseph Dudley’s Proclamation, in ‘Journal of Colonel Nicholson at the Capture of Annapolis, 1710’, in Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, Volume I (Halifax, 1878), 102–4. ¹³⁴ Joseph Dudley to Fitz-John Winthrop, Boston, 6/9/1703, in The Winthrop Papers Part 5 (Boston, 1889), 153. ¹³⁵ Joseph Dudley quoted in Webb, Marlborough’s America, 114. ¹³⁶ Address of the Governor and Company of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations to the Queen, 23/8/1710, in Salisbury et al. (eds.), Calendar of State Papers, XXV, 161–85; Address of the Governor, Council and Representatives of New Hampshire to the Queen, in ibid., 231–47. ¹³⁷ See Philip S. Haffenden, New England in the English Nation 1689–1713 (Oxford, 1974), 241; FitzJohn Winthrop to Robert Treat, 17/12/1705, in Winthrop Papers, Part 5, 321.

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and the Black Prince had over the French King John’.¹³⁸ These allusions to the capture of the King of France at the Battle of Poitiers, during the Hundred Years War, were unusual in a Tory like Nicholson; it is worth remembering that he was addressing Whig trade commissioners. More conventionally Tory were the addresses of the Virginian and Maryland councils against the anointing of James II’s exiled son as rightful King of England.¹³⁹ In a similar vein, the fast sermon preached by Robert Paxton referred its listeners not to medieval forays on the Continent, but to the Spanish Armada.¹⁴⁰ Yet Virginia had a Whig–Continentalist tradition too. William Byrd I reported of the colony’s preparations for war that ‘we live in a storm and continual hurry, as if the universal flame depended on us’.¹⁴¹ Thanksgivings were held for Continental victories. Nicholson’s proclamation of such a day for Blenheim spoke of a ‘just and necessary war . . . for disappointing the boundless ambition of France’; he was also obliged to praise the role of his personal enemy Daniel Parke, Marlborough’s Virginian aide-de-camp and the bearer of his victory despatches.¹⁴² William Byrd II, amidst diverting himself by reading sundry polemics against Henry Sacheverell, followed the progress of Marlborough’s army closely. His thanksgivings were less pious: ‘in the afternoon we were merry and made the Quaker captain drink the Queen’s health on his knees’.¹⁴³ Another planter, William Fitzhugh, had already stocked his library with almost the full canon of Whig– continentalist histories in 1698, along with resistance theories like George Buchanan’s De Jure Regni apud Scotus.¹⁴⁴ Such sentiments were surely galvanized by the arrival of Alexander Spotswood, Marlborough’s quartermaster-general, to replace Nicholson as Governor in 1710. He set about redesigning Williamsburg, the new colonial capital, in keeping with classical, Whiggish tastes, and constructed his own miniature Blenheim Palace, Marlborough’s country house. The original, it was said, occupied the background of Spotswood’s state portrait.¹⁴⁵

¹³⁸ Francis Nicholson to the Council of Trade and Plantations, Williamsburg, 25/2/1702, in Salisbury et al. (eds.), Calendar of State Papers, XX, 23–5. Cf. Francis Nicholson to the Duke of Shrewsbury, Annapolis, 18/3/1696, in ibid., XIV, 649–57. ¹³⁹ ‘Loyal Address of the Governor and Council of Virginia to the King’, Williamsburg, 21/3/1702, ‘Humble and Loyal Address of the Governor, Council, and General Assembly of Maryland to the King’, Annapolis, 24/3/1702, in Salisbury et al. (eds.), Calendar of State Papers, XX, 153–70. ¹⁴⁰ Robert Paxton, ‘A Fast Sermon’, Robert Paxton Manuscript Sermon Book, MS.Am1561, Houghton Library, 6–7. ¹⁴¹ William Byrd I to Philip Ludwell, Virginia, 6/7/1702, in Marion Tinling (ed.), The Correspondence of the Three William Byrds of Westover, 1684–1776, 2 vols. (Charlottesville, 1977), I, 186. ¹⁴² Francis Nicholson, ‘Proclamation of Thanksgiving for the Battle of Blenheim’, 15/12/1704, in William Palmer (ed.), Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts: Volume I (Richmond, 1875), 86–8. ¹⁴³ William Byrd II, The Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover, 1709–1712, ed. Louis Wright and Marion Tinling (Richmond, 1941), 225–39, 309, 427, 465. ¹⁴⁴ William Fitzhugh to Edward Hayward, 21/7/1698, in Richard Davis (ed.), William Fitzhugh and His Chesapeake World, 1676–1701 (Chapel Hill, 1963), 363–4. ¹⁴⁵ See Webb, Marlborough’s America, 334–5.

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The most significant colonial campaigns of the war, against Nova Scotia and Quebec in 1710 and 1711, offer rather surprising demonstrations of the strength of continentalism in colonial discourse—surprising, because they were the direct fruit of the blue-water turn taken by the new Tory ministry of Harley and Bolingbroke. Samuel Vetch, a Scottish adventurer who was the principal advocate of these campaigns in the colonies themselves, played on the government’s navalist predilections effectively. In the west, he asserted, was an alternative means of eclipsing the Sun King.¹⁴⁶ However, some of those involved with the expedition sang a different tune. Thomas Hesketh, who preached the thanksgiving sermon on the conquest of Port Royal, espoused unequivocally continentalist concerns. His interests lay not in designs for maritime or colonial expansion but ‘to procure an honourable and a lasting peace, to Her Majesty, and High Allies’. This was not the language of blue-water policy in the age of Jonathan Swift.¹⁴⁷ Confirmation of these continentalist inclinations came with the clamour of colonial frustration aroused by the Treaty of Utrecht. This was a repetition of the irony of 1688 from the colonial perspective: like Andros before them, the peace commissioners had expanded the borders of British America; not enough, however, to atone for the abandonment of the common cause across the Atlantic. Cotton Mather lamented that ‘the World is delivered up for the united power of France and the wealth of Spain, to impose what chains they please upon it’. This was the work, he concluded, of Francophile Tories at court: ‘men of revolutionprinciples in this island are little regarded; whilst those of the French mode are like to carry the day’.¹⁴⁸ The old Puritan Samuel Sewall had the General Court strike the word ‘happy’ from its proclamation of the peace.¹⁴⁹ The Pennsylvanian assemblyman Isaac Norris also complained of Britain’s abandonment of the common cause. ‘I observe how oppressed in thought you poor Whigs are,’ he told an English correspondent, ‘but I really pity the circumstances the Dutch are pushed into and fear an after reckoning.’ The English, he quipped, had relinquished their reputation for having ‘more honesty than policy’.¹⁵⁰ The Virginian picture is customarily murkier, but there are abundant indications of similarly continentalist criticism. Philip Ludwell, a long-term leader of the colony’s Whigs, received a string of disconsolate letters from the former Maryland Governor Nathaniel Blakiston on the turn of the negotiations. He wrote in April

¹⁴⁶ See G. M. Waller, Samuel Vetch (Chapel Hill, 1960), 177–9. The pun is from Samuel Vetch, A Poem, Humbly Dedicated to the Queen upon her Birthday (London, 1707), 7. ¹⁴⁷ Thomas Hesketh, Divine Providence Asserted (Boston, 1710), ii. ¹⁴⁸ Cotton Mather to Wait Winthrop, Boston, 15/7/1712, 6/8/1712, 19/11/1712, in The Mather Papers (Boston, 1868), 409, 411, 414. See similarly Cotton Mather to Samuel Penhallow, Boston, 17/4/ 1712, in Cotton Mather, Diary of Cotton Mather, ed. Worthington Chauncy Ford, 2 vols. (Boston, 1911–12), II, 171–4. ¹⁴⁹ Samuel Sewall, The Diary of Samuel Sewall, 3 vols. (Boston, 1878–82), II, 365. ¹⁵⁰ Isaac Norris to Benjamin Coote, 28/11/1712, Norris Family Papers, no. 0454, vol. 7b, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

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1710 that the hopes of success in Spain were fading, which, together with the ‘unaccountable and amazing changes in the ministry with the desolation [sic.?] of a good Parliament’, had created ‘a dark aspect to things here’. The following year, he wrote with dismay at England’s separate negotiations with France: ‘probity and integrity becomes all societies of mankind. I would have us approve ourselves faithful confederates whatever happens.’ Meanwhile, the dismissing of Marlborough, ‘that man who has been a scourge to the common enemy’, was an act of cold ‘ingratitude’.¹⁵¹ Two entries in a commonplace book of William Byrd II spoke to the same context. One rebutted the Tory charges of profligacy by stressing Marlborough’s probity, observing that his duchess could claim to be ‘the contented wife of a husband, who after having commanded the army twenty years remains still as poor as an English poet, or a German count’. Another offered an injunction against faithless allies, noting that ‘Heaven is the never failing confederate of a state that acts uprightly’.¹⁵² In New York, denunciation of the treaty marked the climax of a campaign waged by Governor Robert Hunter, formerly another of Marlborough’s staff officers, to build a Whig oligarchy in the province. Unlike its neighbour to the north, the Hudson River colony was home to a powerful Tory faction led by the rector of Trinity Church, William Vesey—a High Anglican who gloried in comparisons with Henry Sacheverell.¹⁵³ As his funeral sermon for a previous Governor, Lord Lovelace, had demonstrated, he did not share the Boston clergy’s pleasure in itemizing a man’s services to the common cause in Europe.¹⁵⁴ Hunter recognized Vesey as a stalking horse for the foremost Tory in colonial politics, Francis Nicholson, who was now governing Nova Scotia from the unwelcoming climes of Boston, where he was dogged by rumours of Francophilia and Jacobitism.¹⁵⁵ The parody of his rivals that Hunter presented in his satire Androboros (1714) pilloried the title character (an avatar for Nicholson), along with his henchman Fizle (Vesey), by associating their political machinations in the colony with the threat of French hegemony and the pitfalls of Tory navalism. Androboros abandons his military campaign against the ‘projects for universal dominion’ levied by a ‘haughty monarch’ upon discovering that ‘our reputed enemies are in very deed our good and faithful friends and allies’. He reports with delight that these allegorical Frenchmen ‘have freely offered to consolidate consistories with us, as also to divide with us the commerce of the World, generously resigning and ¹⁵¹ Nathaniel Blakiston to Philip Ludwell, London, 28/4/1710, 18/1/1711, in ‘Some Colonial Letters’, in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 4, no. 1 (July 1896), 18, 21. ¹⁵² Byrd, The Commonplace Book of William Byrd II of Westover, ed. Kevin Berland et al. (Chapel Hill, 2001), 132, 135. ¹⁵³ On Vesey, see Webb, Marlborough’s America, 324–5. ¹⁵⁴ William Vesey, A Sermon Preached in Trinity Church in New York (New York, 1709), 20–1. ¹⁵⁵ On rumours of Nicholson’s Jacobitism and Francophilia, see Webb, Marlborough’s America, 313–14.

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yielding to us that of the two poles, reserving to themselves only what may lie between them’. The parallels with Whig indictments of Utrecht—the futility of colonial campaigns, overfondness for the Gallican church, and the aggrandizement of France—are inescapable.¹⁵⁶ Where Dudley employed the crusade against universal monarchy to bring an element of unity to Massachusetts politics, Hunter used it to attack his enemies. To Cotton Mather, the Hanoverian succession presented a salve for the ailments which had issued from the High Tory betrayal of Britain’s honour, Europe’s liberties, and the Protestant interest at Utrecht. Here was a King, he preached, ‘in whose dominions Lutherans and Calvinists live easily with one another’, who would not be a pawn of the High Church party. As for the ‘grand fear of this day upon the World’—the threat that an ‘ambitious monarch should arrive to the universal empire of Europe’—the accession of George I was ‘a wonderful blast of God’, ensuring that ‘all endeavours to grasp at that universal empire will come to nothing’.¹⁵⁷ Throughout the subsequent decades, this decidedly Whiggish combination of Hanoverian loyalism, concern for European liberties, and ecumenical Protestantism was a foundational trope of colonial discourse about the British Empire’s place in the world. As in a previous period, it coloured both domestic and foreign affairs. The New York assembly met the failure of Francis Atterbury’s Jacobite plot in 1723 as a triumph for both the King’s ‘pious endeavours to unite Protestants’ and his ‘successful measures for . . . establishing the peace of Europe’, which had won him the gratitude of foreign princes. The colony’s judiciary agreed that the foiling of the plot was of ‘great consequence to all His Majesty’s good subjects, the Protestant interest, and happiness of Europe’.¹⁵⁸ These were surely allusions to the Quadruple Alliance, which had garnered praise from figures as diverse as Samuel Sewall and Alexander Spotswood earlier in the decade.¹⁵⁹ Coinciding as it did with the complex diplomatic manoeuvres between the Hanover and Vienna blocs of the late 1720s, George I’s death in 1727 occasioned another outpouring of continentalist sentiment. The New England pastor Thomas Foxcroft declared in his eulogy that the late King—fittingly a descendant of the Elector Palatine deposed after White Mountain—had become ‘a powerful protector of innocence and preserver of the peace and tranquillity of the nations’, who

¹⁵⁶ Hunter, Androboros, 7, 15. Cf. Webb, Marlborough’s America, 315–16. ¹⁵⁷ Cotton Mather, The Glorious Throne (Boston, 1714), 34–6. ¹⁵⁸ ‘Address of the Governor, Council and Representatives of New York to the King’, 29/5/1723, ‘Address of the Justices, Attorney General, Officers and Grand Jury of the Supreme Court of New York to the King’, 11/6/1723, in Salisbury et al. (eds.), Calendar of State Papers, XXXIII, 251–71. See similarly Francis Knapp, Gloria Britannorum (Boston, 1723), 23–24, 30; Peter Clark, Christian Bravery (Boston, 1736), 34. ¹⁵⁹ Samuel Sewall to Jeremiah Dummer, 23/2/1720, in Sewall et al., The Letter Book of Samuel Sewall, 2 vols. (Boston, 1886–8), II, 109; Alexander Spotswood to Secretary Craggs, 20/5/1720, in R. A. Brock (ed.), The Official Letters of Alexander Spotswood, 2 vols. (Richmond, 1882), II, 340–1.

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acted ‘as the common arbitrator between contending powers, and the grand security of public treaties’. It was his wish ‘that the admirable schemes he hath projected, will be pursued by his illustrious successor, for preserving the balance of Europe’.¹⁶⁰ The New York assembly remarked that George I’s ‘wise and steady conduct’ had ‘effectually placed the balance of Europe in hands’. They also complimented his successor’s ‘early zeal and undaunted courage in defence of the liberties of Europe and the Reformed interest’—a reference to George II’s service in Marlborough’s army two decades before.¹⁶¹ As the prospect of renewed war in Europe grew ever larger during the early 1730s, votes of confidence in Hanoverian interventionism continued to cross the Atlantic. In 1732, the Virginian burgesses again expressed ‘gratitude for the principal share His Majesty had in settling the peace of Europe on a lasting foundation’.¹⁶² As if to reinforce their continentalism, colonial commentators were also forward in endorsing European alliances after 1714—especially if they approximated to the ‘Old System’ which had proved so effective against Louis XIV. The council and assembly of New Hampshire made the renewal of entangling alliances a point of emphasis in an address to the King of 1726, congratulating his ‘successful negotiations in forming and entering into such powerful alliances’ that would benefit ‘the tranquillity’ of Britons, ‘the general peace of Europe’, and ‘the distresses of our Protestant suffering brethren abroad’.¹⁶³ The marriage of the Princess Royal to the Prince of Orange in 1734, recalling the union of William and Mary more than half a century earlier, was a moment of particular rejoicing. Here, declared the Council of Virginia, was ‘an alliance which . . . strengthens the Protestant interest and the liberties of Europe’.¹⁶⁴ In stark contrast to the temperament of withdrawal from Continental affairs that prevailed amongst the metropolitan public in the decades after Utrecht,

¹⁶⁰ Thomas Foxcroft, God the Judge, Putting Down One, and Setting up Another (Boston, 1727), 27– 8, 30. See similarly Benjamin Colman, Fidelity to Christ and the Protestant Succession in the Illustrious House of Hanover (Boston, 1727), ii; Joseph Sewall, Jehovah is the King and Saviour of His People (Boston, 1727), 21; ‘Address of the Pastors and Ministers of New England to George II’, 31/5/1727, in Colman Papers, Ms N-1013, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston; Samuel Checkley, The Duty of a People to Lay to Heart and Lament the Death of a Good King (Boston, 1727), 11–12. ¹⁶¹ ‘Address of the Governor, Council, and Assembly of New York to the King’, 2/10/1727, in Salisbury et al. (eds.), Calendar of State Papers, XXXV, 376–88. ¹⁶² ‘Address of the Council and Burgesses of Virginia to the King’, Williamsburg, 20/7/1732, in ibid. IXL, 172–90. See similarly Oliver Peabody, An Essay to Revive and Encourage Military Exercises (Boston, 1732), 16. ¹⁶³ ‘Address of the Lt. Governor Council and Representatives of New Hampshire to the King’, 21/5/ 1726, in Salisbury et al. (eds.), Calendar of State Papers, XXXV, 129–39. ¹⁶⁴ ‘Address of the Council in Assembly to Lieutenant Governor Gooch’, Virginia, 27/8/1734, in ibid., XLI, 181–95. See similarly ‘Address of the Lieutenant Governor, Council, and Assembly of New York to the King’, New York, 23/11/1736, in ibid., XLII, 335–54; Jonathan Belcher to Thomas Coram, Boston, 6/10/1733, in Jonathan Belcher et al., The Letterbooks of Jonathan Belcher, 1731–1743, 2 vols. (Boston, 1893–4), I, 393; Ford et al. (eds.), Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, 51 vols. (Boston, 1919–84), XII, 8–9, 40, XIV, 102; Roger Price, A Sermon Preached at the King’s Chapel (Boston, 1738), 17; Samuel Mather, The Fall of the Mighty Lamented (Boston, 1738), 22.

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British-Americans expressed a greater desire to interfere in European affairs. The afflictions of oppressed Protestants in France, Hungary, Germany, and Poland continued to draw the prayers and the ire of their brethren in the New World.¹⁶⁵ Others continued to take it for granted that a forward British policy in Europe would be decisive in resolving the travails of the Continent, from the designs of Charles VI to the Polish succession. ‘The fate of a general flame in Europe’, mused Jonathan Belcher, Governor of Massachusetts, in November 1734, ‘must depend partly on a general action upon the Rhine, but more on the Westminster deliberations.’¹⁶⁶ Indeed, the loudest criticism of British foreign policy during the period came from advocates of a more bellicose stance on the European side of the Atlantic. Responding to the confrontation with Spain and Austria in the late 1720s, William Byrd II issued a series of unambiguous calls for war, each in a continentalist framework. ‘At this distance’, he wrote, ‘we think the allies of [the Treaty of] Hanover, and particularly Great Britain, hath shared a very unusual patience in bearing so long with the peevish humour of the Spaniards. Certainly they might have been beat into temper and reason, in half the time they have been argued into it.’¹⁶⁷ Like his neighbour, the tobacco magnate Robert ‘King’ Carter, Byrd looked forward to the dismissal of the pacific Walpole once George II had consolidated his power.¹⁶⁸ As in contemporary Britain, Francophobia was not quite as entrenched or unsubtle in the colonies as it is sometimes made to appear. We have already seen how British-Americans invoked continentalist arguments for the constraint of powers other than France. In the late 1720s, it was again the threat posed by an Austro-Spanish bloc that animated the strategic debate, while men like William Byrd found solace in the Anglo-French accords that would tie the ‘whole force’ of Spain to the Pyrenees in the event of war.¹⁶⁹ By the early 1700s, the likes of John Williams had come to see the Holy Roman Empire as an ally. Nevertheless, antipathy toward the Habsburgs, which had a far more venerable pedigree in

¹⁶⁵ See Thomas Kidd, ‘ “Let Hell and Rome Do Their Worst”: World News, Anti-Catholicism, and International Protestantism in Early-Eighteenth-Century Boston’, in The New England Quarterly, vol. 76, no. 2 (June 2003), esp. 282–7; BNL, 1/2/1720, 2/9/1725, 15/4/1725; BG, 27/7/1725; Cotton Mather, Suspiria Vinctorum (Boston, 1726), passim; Israel Loring, The Duty of an Apostasising People to Remember From Whence They are Fallen (Boston, 1737), 23–4. ¹⁶⁶ Jonathan Belcher to the Bishop of London, Boston, 2/11/1734, in Belcher, Belcher Letterbooks, II, 139. See similarly Peter Clark, Christian Bravery (Boston, 1736), 34. ¹⁶⁷ William Byrd II to Micajah Perry, Virginia, 28/7/1728, in Tinling (ed.), Byrds Correspondence, I, 383. See similarly William Byrd II to the Earl of Orrery, Virginia, 29/6/1727, 26/5/1729, in ibid., I, 363, 395. Cf. Robert Carter to John Carter, Rappahannock, 13/7/1720, Robert Carter to William Dawkins, Rappahannock, 14/7/1720, 25/3/1721, Robert Carter to Thomas Evans, Rappahannock, 23/7/1720, in Louis Wright (ed.), Letters of Robert Carter, 1720–1727 (San Marino, 1940), 8, 25, 39, 92. ¹⁶⁸ William Byrd II to Baron Boyle of Broghill, Virginia, 12/2/1728, in Tinling (ed.), Byrds Correspondence, I, 372; Robert Carter to ?, 21/5/1728, in Robert Carter Letterbooks, Carter Family Papers, Mss1.C2468a. 3–4, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond. ¹⁶⁹ William Byrd II to the Earl of Orrery, Virginia, 29/6/1727, in Tinling (ed.), Byrds Correspondence, I, 362.

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colonial discourse, was not extinguished by the Wars of the Grand Alliance. Indeed, Cotton Mather’s sermon on the death of Louis XIV married both enmities when he prophesied that ‘all the attempts from the House of Bourbon, as well as those from the House of Austria, in grasping after the universal monarchy of Europe, shall come to nothing’.¹⁷⁰ Neither were Frenchmen perceived as unalloyed enemies of the faith. It was entirely in keeping with his zeal for the Reformation that Mather spent much of the second half of his life looking, expectantly, to its arrival in France. At the same time as Archbishop Wake began his Gallican intrigues, the controversy between the Gallican and ultramontane parties of the French church over the excommunication of the Jansenists elevated Mather’s optimism to new heights. As if by way of contributing to Wake’s project, he produced ‘an instrument in the French tongue, that is calculated for the awakening of the people there’, and made arrangements to have it disseminated on the other side of the Atlantic.¹⁷¹ He had earlier devised a similar project for Spanish America.¹⁷² Yet within the lingering ambiguity was a slow hardening of Francophobia, catalysed by imperial shadow-boxing and proxy warfare in North America itself. Colonial alarm at French settlement along the Mississippi and in the Illinois country, which threatened to encircle the British colonies on the Atlantic coast, sounded almost as soon as the enterprise began. In 1709, William Penn urged the Duke of Marlborough to make acquiring the new colony of Louisiana a priority at the peace table.¹⁷³ John Stewart of Carolina, a mercurial figure who claimed to be an illegitimate descendant of James I, agitated likewise for its reduction ‘in the ensuing peace of Christendom’.¹⁷⁴ These fears were amplified by the growth of the Louisiana settlement after Utrecht, which prompted Alexander Spotswood to strengthen Virginia’s western defences.¹⁷⁵ Significantly, colonists interpreted the danger within its European geopolitical context. A pamphlet published in 1720— possibly penned by the Pennsylvanian magnate James Logan—emphasized that Louis XV’s government was disrespecting ‘the firmest alliance between the two Crowns’ of England and France. The design ‘to enlarge his dominions in America’, meanwhile, was directly contrived to offset his ‘losing towns and battles in Europe’ during the Spanish war.¹⁷⁶

¹⁷⁰ Mather, Shaking Dispensations (Boston, 1715), 47. ¹⁷¹ Mather quoted in Howard Rice, ‘Cotton Mather Speaks to France: American Propaganda in the Age of Louis XIV’, in New England Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 2 (June 1943), 198. See further Mather, Une Grande Voix du Ciel a la France (Boston, 1725); Cotton Mather to Wait Winthrop, Boston, 9/11/1712, in Mather Papers, 414. ¹⁷² See Mather, La Fe del Christiano (Boston, 1699). ¹⁷³ Webb, Marlborough’s America, 189. ¹⁷⁴ John Stewart to the Earl of Dartmouth?, Carolina, 8/6/1712, in Salisbury et al. (eds.), Calendar of State Papers, XXVI, 293–310. ¹⁷⁵ See Alexander Spotswood to the Board of Trade, 14/8/1718, in Brock (ed.), Spotswood Letters, II, 295–8; William Byrd II to the Earl of Orrery, Virginia, 6/3/1720, in Tinling (ed.), Byrds Correspondence, I, 327. ¹⁷⁶ Some Considerations on the Consequences of the French Settling Colonies on the Mississippi (London, 1720), 37, 39.

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In the north, the contest was bloodier, but its lessons were similar to those drawn further south. While the British ministry was consolidating its alliance with the French regency, New Englanders and New Yorkers found themselves fighting a proxy war with some Wabanaki Indian groups, supposedly animated by a French Jesuit called Sebastian Ralé, himself—it was alleged, and not without some proof—under orders from the Governor of Quebec.¹⁷⁷ The provincial governments articulated their grievances by invoking European diplomacy. In a threatening letter, John Wentworth, Governor of New Hampshire, told his French counterpart ‘that we esteem what he has done . . . not only unneighbourly, but an open breech of the Treaty of Utrecht’.¹⁷⁸ In an equally menacing tone, Samuel Shute, Dudley’s successor as Governor of Massachusetts, reminded Ralé that ‘the French are obliged to assist us against our enemies’ under the Quadruple Alliance. ‘It seems strange to me’, he continued, ‘that when there is so strict a union and peace at home between the two nations, there should be the least mention of a war abroad in the plantations.’¹⁷⁹ Eventually, New England took action. Ralé was hunted down and killed at a Wabanaki village on the Kennebec River. But the war had its reverses. The following year a troop of Massachusetts militiamen under John Lovewell was ambushed and massacred at a place called Piggwacket. Seemingly oblivious to hyperbole, his elegists compared the fallen captain to Gustavus Adolphus.¹⁸⁰ Again, the conflicts of Europe stamped their mark on how colonists understood the contest for mastery in the New World. Experiences like Ralé’s War raise the possibility that the ascent of Whig continentalism in British America was not purely a product of intellectual and discursive traditions, the collapse of colonial Toryism after 1714, or the cosmopolitan propensities that were rejuvenated by transatlantic commercial revolutions and evangelical awakenings in the 1720s and 1730s.¹⁸¹ It may also be conjectured that geography played an integral part, especially since some colonists said so. The long and porous land border with New France, Louisiana, and Florida

¹⁷⁷ See Samuel Penhallow, ‘The History of the Wars of New-England with the Eastern Indians’, in Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society, Volume I (Concord, 1824), 44, 89, 102; Joseph Heath and John Minot to Samuel Shute, Merry-Meeting Bay, 1/5/1719, in ‘The Pincheon Papers’, in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Second Series, Volume VIII (Boston, 1819), 265; ibid., 249, 253, 266; Ford (ed.), Massachusetts House Journals, V, 170, VI, 168–90, 206–7, 230. ¹⁷⁸ Instructions of Governor John Wentworth, in Collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society Volume VI (Concord, 1850), 211. For a New Yorker’s reaction, see Dixon Fox, Caleb Heathcote, Gentleman Colonist (New York, 1971), 165–71. ¹⁷⁹ Samuel Shute to Sebastian Ralé, Boston, 21/2/1718, in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, First Series, Volume 5 (Boston, 1798), 118. ¹⁸⁰ Thomas Symmes, Lovewell Lamented (Boston, 1725), 11–12. See further Kidd, ‘Let Hell and Rome Do Their Worst’, 274. Similarly, William Williams, Martial Wisdom Recommended (Boston, 1737), 12. ¹⁸¹ On the collapse of colonial Toryism, see Alison Olson, Anglo-American Politics, 1660–1775 (Oxford, 1973), 106–13; W. A. Speck, ‘The International and Imperial Context’, in Jack Greene and J. R. Pole (eds.), Colonial British America (Baltimore, 1984), 403; Sosin, English America and Imperial Inconstancy, 73–5, 90–1, 210–12, 228–30.

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ensured that British-Americans were exposed far more immediately to the motions of the European system than their brethren across the ocean. As the Virginia clergyman Peter Fontaine observed in 1756, ‘though a peace should be concluded at home, and you should reap the benefit of it, till the floating walls are unmanned and laid up, the enemy will make use of that cessation of hostilities to distress us’.¹⁸² There were no English Channels, no wooden walls, to shelter behind in the New World. The enemy, as everyone knew, was always in the forests. America—thousands of miles away but riven by volatile imperial borderlands—often seemed less detached from the European Continent than the British Isles. Somewhat in contrast to the metropolis, continentalists dominated the strategic debate in British North America between 1689 and 1740; nevertheless, although it left little trace and seems to have been confined to the southern colonies, there was a semblance of an alternative blue-water tradition. In 1712, the eccentric John Stewart had declared ‘let us possess Mobile, Montreal, and Quebec, and we shall possess all the traffic of the ocean and become the arbiters of Europe’.¹⁸³ Such myopia did not generally catch on, but one late-life convert was William Byrd II. As late as 1730 he was a classic continentalist, founding his calculations for a naval war with Spain upon Austrian influence in, and the French threat towards, the Iberian peninsula.¹⁸⁴ The renewal of tensions with Spain in the late 1730s found the planter as warlike as ever. ‘It amazes the whole world’, he told the Tory Earl of Egremont, ‘to see the bravest nation in Europe so shamefully treated by one of the most contemptible. Queen Elizabeth would groan in her grave could she be sensible how tame the English are grown, and Oliver Cromwell would rain a greater storm, than that which happened at his death.’ With mock chivalry, he speculated that ‘the best reason I can find out for this unresenting temper, is, that looking upon Spain to be entirely governed by a Queen, we are too well bred to try our strength upon a woman’. Byrd, of course, had never seen such a problem. Yet, as his appeals to Elizabethan and Cromwellian blue-water mythologies— then undergoing something of a cultural renaissance in the Chesapeake—foretold, his strategic thinking had undergone a great revolution. ‘By reading over the history of England,’ he announced, ‘I find we never make war at a less expense, or with greater advantage, than when we stand upon our own legs, and trust altogether to our wooden walls.’ In such a case, ‘there will be no occasion for beggarly allies’, all of whom ‘since the Restoration had treated us like squires’. The very idea of ‘holding the balance of Europe’ was an ‘affectation’, the dubious

¹⁸² Peter Fontaine to Moses Fontaine and John Fontaine, 2/3/1756, in Ann Maury (ed.), Memoirs of a Huguenot Family (New York, 1852), 347. ¹⁸³ John Stewart to the Earl of Dartmouth?, Carolina, 8/6/1712, in Salisbury et al. (eds.), Calendar of State Papers, XXVI, 293–310. ¹⁸⁴ See above, pp. C3.P88-89.

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‘honour of throwing into the light scale as much of our substance as will bring the beam to a level’.¹⁸⁵ Even in this moment, however, Byrd struggled to escape the pull of the European state system. In a letter to Sir Charles Wager of May 1740, just before the recently declared war with Spain melted into the pan-European War of the Austrian Succession, he outlined a set of thoughts which read like a precursor to the Monroe Doctrine. In a major breach with metropolitan navalist thought, Byrd rejected the idea of conquering Spanish posts like Havana in the Americas. Instead, Britain should extend the liberties of Europe across the Atlantic through the ‘happier and more feasible scheme to proclaim liberty and independence to all the Spanish West Indies, and keep a sufficient force in those parts to protect them in it’. Britain was thus to extend a vast protectorate over the restored kingdoms of South America. ‘If any of the posterity of Montezuma, or the Inchi of Peru, be in being’, he demanded, it was high time ‘to restore them to their right and set them on the throne of those countries’. And he firmly expected the support of the tyrannized Spanish Creoles in doing so. The result would not only be justice and honour, with ‘the least effusion of Christian blood’, but the opening of ‘a free trade’ with ‘those fine countries’, to the benefit of ‘all the World’—but under British stewardship.¹⁸⁶ Attitudes would change after 1763, but this vision of a British overseas hegemony that would pacify the Old World gained little traction in America during the great conflagrations of the mid-eighteenth century. Throughout the conflicts of 1739–63—all too often mislabelled as a ‘great war for empire’—continental intervention and the liberties of Europe held the field. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Before turning to the great crisis of the mideighteenth century, we must first turn to the nature of public discourse in the thirteen colonies.

¹⁸⁵ William Byrd II to the Earl of Egremont, Virginia, 8/8/1738, in ibid., II, 535–6. See similarly William Byrd II to John Hanbury, Virginia, 15/9/1739, William Byrd II to ?, Virginia, 17/9/1739, in ibid., II, 537, 539. On blue-water historical mythologies, see further Poems on Several Occasions, by a Gentleman of Virginia (Williamsburg, 1736), 11. It is noteworthy, however, that the same compilation also contained praise for Marlborough: ibid., 22. ¹⁸⁶ William Byrd II to Sir Charles Wager, Virginia, 26/5/1740, in Tinling (ed.), Byrds Correspondence, II, 548.

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4 ‘The Temper of the People’ Public Politics in British America

A rake in London and a planter in Virginia, William Byrd II knew society on both sides of the British Atlantic. In 1730, he wrote to a metropolitan correspondent of the impoverished state of the public sphere in the colony. ‘We do not improve ourselves in politics at coffee-houses, so as to be able to decide the pretensions and interests of all the princes of Europe. We know not how to hold the balance of power, and weigh to a grain the strength and riches of all our neighbouring nations.’ Forty years earlier, his father had similarly observed that he dwelt ‘at the end of the World, and Europe may be turned topsy turvy ere we can hear a word of it’.¹ Uttered over the course of almost fifty years, these remarks illustrated a central dynamic of life in Britain’s North American colonies at the threshold of the mid-eighteenth century. The Byrds placed America at the periphery of a transatlantic system that turned on a European fulcrum. The motions of that system were governed by interactions between the great powers of Europe, and geopolitics thus provided the central idiom of this aspect of public discourse. Life in the periphery required news and understanding of the events at the core. The same correspondence father and son used to register their distance from Europe also served to mitigate that distance. For if his father’s complaint was fairly accurate, William Byrd II’s portrayal of Virginia as a place of quiet withdrawal was nonsense. The contrast between the innocent, colonial isolation and a viceridden metropole rang hollow: genteel London society always remained the love of his life. By 1730, Byrd had been talking politics—to say nothing of gambling and other activities—in the Williamsburg coffee house for more than two decades. His correspondence, meanwhile, was brimming with news and speculation about the affairs of Europe.² To comprehend the impact of discussions of European geopolitics upon colonial political culture during the years of imperial rivalry and imperial crisis between 1739 and 1776, we must first understand the context in which these ¹ William Byrd II to Lord John Boyle, Virginia, 28/7/1730, in Marion Tinling (ed.), The Correspondence of the Three William Byrds of Westover, 1684–1776, 2 vols. (Charlottesville, 1977), I, 432; William Byrd I quoted in Ned Landsman, From Colonials to Provincials (New York, 1997), 31. ² Louis Wright and Marion Tinling (eds.), The Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover, 1709–1712 (Richmond, 1941), 432 and passim. The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution. D. H. Robinson, Oxford University Press (2020). © D. H. Robinson. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198862925.001.0001

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discourses were formed and circulated. William Byrd II wrote from a frontier society that was fast receding from that part of the New World. None of the great changes of the eighteenth century was more significant than the transformation of coastal British North America from rudimentary settlement to civil society.³ Central to this transition was the growth of towns, which furnished the inhabitants of these new urban landscapes and their rural hinterlands with institutions of polite sociability, through which they could engage in public discourse. The development of this infrastructure was an uneven process both temporally and geographically, and by the time of the rebellion many areas—especially in the south—had only reached a state worthy of the term ‘occasional sociability’. Nevertheless, these changes replicated the European public sphere throughout much of British North America. In this respect, the maturing of colonial society was synonymous with a process of Europeanization, and, unsurprisingly, this occurred on a model that was primarily (although neither quintessentially nor exclusively) British. Yet scholars of these trends have paid little attention to politics, preferring to focus on the metamorphosis of social structures and mores and material cultures. It was a process of institutional and social change, but it also entailed a profound if subtle alteration in the nature of colonial discourse. For the topics and modes of political utterance (whether written or spoken) became, like the arenas in which they were articulated, more European. This trend was accentuated by the strengthening of intellectual, cultural, and personal connections between Europe and America—a phenomenon of exponential significance during the eighteenth century. To speak of discourse is also to raise a series of questions about the hermeneutics of historical rhetoric: about the relationships between belief and utterance, idea and action, meaning and legitimacy, agency and context. These issues are historical as well as historiographical. Indeed, few debates loomed larger in eighteenth-century philosophy than that surrounding amour propre—the selfrepresentation and recognition of a person in society. By interrogating the nature of public discourse in the eighteenth century, we can hope to move away from the categories of race, class, sect, and gender which continue to dominate early American social and political historiography, and to replace them with a more compelling hermeneutics of language.

³ See Patricia Bonomi, Under the Cope of Heaven (New York, 1986), 40–1; Patricia Bonomi, The Lord Cornbury Scandal (Chapel Hill, 1998), 166; Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith (Cambridge, MA, 1990), 98; Jon Butler, Becoming America (Cambridge, MA, 2000), 99–113, 170–9; Konstantin Dierks, In My Power (Philadelphia, 2009), 50; Jack Greene, Pursuits of Happiness (Chapel Hill, 1988), 176–88, 198–200.

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‘The Current News’ Persons wanted may be found and spoke with, appointments may be made, the current news heard, and whatever it most concerns us to know. Letter on coffee houses to the New York Journal, 1775⁴ The development of the public sphere in British North America was the colonial manifestation of a western European phenomenon. From the seventeenth century onwards, new forms of commerce and communication and a new mode of discursive public culture emerged in opposition to an existing public representational culture of monarchical and aristocratic display. As Dena Goodman has demonstrated, this sphere was closely related to a private realm of social interaction which had come into existence separate from the intrusions of political authority.⁵ Historians of contemporary Europe have begun to reconsider the impact of this transformation on early modern monarchies.⁶ While political authority was far more negotiable and improvised in the colonies during their foundational period, the public sphere of the eighteenth century nevertheless represented a widening breach with an older form of public life in which the power structures associated with public utterances had been more rigid.⁷ This was a coastal society where all roads led to the Atlantic: not for nothing did colonists describe the globe as ‘terraqueous’. Urbanization bears much responsibility for its emergence. By the middle of the eighteenth century, Boston, Newport, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston—all seats of government with populations ranging between 11,000 and 25,000 people in 1760—had assumed commanding political, cultural, and economic influence over their surrounding hinterlands.⁸ While urban life was undeniably more stable in the northern and middle colonies, it was not as absent from the south as the clustering of large towns in the north might be taken to indicate. Planters fleeing the summer heat of the South Carolina Lowcountry would swell the population

⁴ A Friend to the City, ‘To the Inhabitants of New York’, NYJ, 19/10/1775. ⁵ Dena Goodman, ‘Public Sphere and Private Life’, in History and Theory, vol. 31, no. 1 (Feb. 1992), 1–20. See, classically, Jürgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trans. Thomas Burger and Frederick Lawrence (Cambridge, MA, 1989); further, Craig Calhoun (ed.), Habermas and the Public Sphere (Cambridge, MA, 1992). ⁶ The best account of the politics and culture of the European public sphere is T. C. W. Blanning, The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture (Oxford, 2002), 7–14, 103–82. See further James van Horn Melton, The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe (Cambridge, 2001), 19–77. On England, see Tony Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 1660–1760 (Cambridge, 2007), 220–1; Tim Harris, Restoration (London, 2005), 16–20. ⁷ See Brooks Holifield, Era of Persuasion (Boston, 1989), esp. 155–8; Christopher Grasso, A Speaking Aristocracy (Chapel Hill, 1999), 2–3. ⁸ See Benjamin Carp, Rebels Rising (Oxford, 2007), 4–9; T. H. Breen, American Insurgents, American Patriots (New York, 2010), 17–18.

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of Charleston, perhaps the richest town on the continent at the mid-century. Williamsburg—ordinarily a much smaller settlement than its southern neighbour—would also explode when ‘public times’ brought the colony’s elite to town on matters of public business.⁹ Population was not the critical factor, however: the largest colonial towns remained small and unrefined in comparison to English cities, but their combinations of commercial, ceremonial, and leisurely meeting places underpinned a lively public life nonetheless.¹⁰ An alliance between commercial and civic sociability was crucial. The central role played by merchants in creating the European public sphere, influentially proposed by the sociologist Jürgen Habermas, was replicated in British America. Still, this society was as much polite as it was monied, and to such an extent that these two ways of life cannot easily be separated. Nothing was more important to the rise of the public sphere in Europe or North America than the opening of coffee houses. These establishments attracted their clientele as places to conduct business, but they performed a wider role in the exchanging and debating of news.¹¹ As a correspondent of the New York Journal wrote at the end of the colonial period, these were places ‘of daily general meeting, where we might hear and communicate intelligence from every quarter, and freely confer with one another on every matter that concerns us’. For these reasons, he continued, ‘all cities . . . and large towns that I have seen in the British dominions’ had come to support ‘one or more coffee houses in a genteel manner’.¹² This was no exaggeration. Coffee houses had been founded in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia by the end of the seventeenth century and dozens were soon to follow elsewhere. By the 1730s, they were to be found even in small settlements like Fredericksburg, Virginia, where the coffee house was open for business before both the courthouse and the church.¹³ If this was still a far cry from the 2,000 or so establishments that operated in eighteenth-century London, coffee-house culture was flourishing in British North America before it became commonplace in Paris, Venice, and Vienna.¹⁴ Despite the prominence of merchants and their social institutions, this was not a bourgeois public sphere. Taverns and inns served a similar purpose to these ⁹ Kenneth Silverman, A Cultural History of the American Revolution (New York, 1976), 38; Maurice McInnis, ‘Cultural Politics, Colonial Crisis, and Ancient Metaphor in John Singleton Copley’s Mr and Mrs Ralph Izard’, in Winterthur Portfolio, vol. 34, nos. 2–3 (Summer–Autumn 1999), 87. ¹⁰ On the ‘refinement’ of colonial towns, see Richard Bushman, The Refinement of America (New York, 1992), 154–5. See further Michael Warner, The Letters of the Republic (Cambridge, MA, 1990), 59–61. ¹¹ John Robertson, The Enlightenment (Oxford, 2015), 86–8; Robert Parkinson, The Common Cause (Chapel Hill, 2016), 64; Blanning, Culture of Power, 159; David Shields, Civil Tongues and Polite Letters in British America (Chapel Hill and London, 1997), 55–65. ¹² A Friend to the City, ‘To the Inhabitants of New York’, NYJ, 19/10/1775. ¹³ William Byrd II, The Westover Manuscripts (Petersburg, 1841), 138. ¹⁴ Markman Ellis, The Coffee House (London, 2004), 76–9; Brian Cowan, The Social Life of Coffee (New Haven, 2005), 147–51; William Ukers, All About Coffee (New York, 1922), 105–30.

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‘penny universities’ in the exchange of news and the formation of public opinion.¹⁵ The Maryland physician Alexander Hamilton, whose travelogue of North America in the mid-1740s offers an unusually broad view of social life in the colonies, recorded how the patrons of a tavern in Philadelphia ‘talked there upon all subjects—politics, religion, and trade—some tolerably well’.¹⁶ The distinction between these establishments and coffee houses themselves was often vague. Indeed, by 1700, Samuel Carpenter of Philadelphia was running an inn and a coffee house adjoining each other.¹⁷ Gentlemen’s clubs—fraternal societies that met, as the Maryland printer and clubman Jonas Green put it, to ‘converse, laugh, talk, smoke, differ, agree, argue, philosophise, harangue, pun, sing, dance, and fiddle together’—met in both kinds of premises.¹⁸ Yet taverns remained open to colonists from a wider range of occupations, and obstacles to the admission of women were lower. Established from the earliest phase of settlement, taverns had become ubiquitous in both urban and rural America by the beginning of the eighteenth century. Even in Massachusetts, where Puritan hostility to intemperance died hard, the regulation of drink had all but collapsed by 1720. As the historian David Conroy has argued, this transition ought to be associated with ‘the stirrings of a more popular political culture in Boston’.¹⁹ With respect to the transformation of politics and culture in British America, changing attitudes towards stronger drink were of a piece with the rise of coffee. Taverns and coffee houses loomed large as the commercial edifice of colonial society, but there was another façade which was both more genteel and less exclusively male. These polite spaces ranged beyond the private town houses and manors that colonists built in the neoclassical style popular amongst the English middle class, to public places like the imitations of London’s fashionable Vauxhall Gardens that had appeared in Charleston and New York by the mideighteenth century.²⁰ This vogue was accompanied by the creation of a host of smaller tea gardens, which began to sprout up alongside taverns and coffee houses.²¹ Tea tables, meanwhile, came to offer a tamer version of the coffee house as a place for female conversation—a subversive notion that sparked no end of alarm amongst colonial patriarchs.²²

¹⁵ Peter Thompson, Rum Punch and Revolution (Philadelphia, 1999), 119; David Conroy, In Public Houses (Chapel Hill, 1995), esp. 99–188; Shields, Civil Tongues and Polite Letters, 61–2; Thomas Bender, New York Intellect (Baltimore, 1987), 11–14. ¹⁶ Carl Bridenbaugh (ed.), Gentleman’s Progress (Chapel Hill, 1948), 18. ¹⁷ Mary Goodwin, The Coffee-House of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Williamsburg, 1990), 10. ¹⁸ Quoted in Bridenbaugh (ed.), Itinerarium, facing 48. ¹⁹ Conroy, In Public Houses, 157. ²⁰ Bushman, Refinement of America, 100–1; Julie Flavell, When London was Capital of America (New Haven, 2010), 9–11. ²¹ William Ukers, All About Tea, 2 vols. (New York, 1935), I, 50. ²² Shields, Civil Tongues and Polite Letters, 104–26.

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By the 1760s, public concerts had become commonplace in all the major towns, some of which had opened permanent concert halls. In Charleston, the St Cecilia Society offered stable support to professional musicians. Paid for by subscriptions, in keeping with the same commercial logic that had come to prevail in Britain and parts of Europe, these were arenas of polite sociability. In the words of the historian Kenneth Silverman, ‘many were no more than social gatherings for the eligible’.²³ The same may be said of the vogue for balls, sometimes held as official celebrations of public anniversaries like the King’s birthday, and often arranged alongside celebrations for the masses like bonfires and illuminations.²⁴ Drama faced a greater struggle for the affections of the colonial public, and Lewis Hallam’s American Company of Comedians—almost all of whom had come from England—was the only such troupe of actors to find success before the Revolution. Nevertheless, theatres serving a similar—if wider—social purpose to concert halls had been built in Williamsburg, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston by the end of the Seven Years War. Only in New England did hostility to drama prove more intractable than aversion to instrumental music, although the American company managed a brief run in Newport in 1761, performing a series of ‘moral dialogues’ which seem, in fact, to have been Shakespeare’s Othello.²⁵ There were no public galleries in colonial America, but the visual arts were not irrelevant to polite society.²⁶ Some ambitious works could be found in churches, like Gustavus Hesselius’s version of The Last Supper, which hung in St Barnabas, Queen Anne’s Parish, Maryland, from 1721.²⁷ The Scottish painter John Smibert, who plied his trade in Boston during the 1730s and 1740s, kept a large collection of copies of old masters including Titian and Van Dyck at his studio on Queen Street, which garnered praise (and advertising) as far away as Philadelphia and London.²⁸ Although it was seen by fewer eyes, William Byrd II had accumulated a collection of portraits by celebrated artists at his Westover plantation during the same period.²⁹ More visible were the copies of old masters that the Pennsylvanian painter Benjamin West made for his patrons during his sojourn in Italy in the ²³ Silverman, Cultural History of the American Revolution, 37–46, 60–9. On the commercialization of music in England, see Blanning, Culture of Power, 162–4. ²⁴ See Shields, Civil Tongues and Polite Letters, 145–58. ²⁵ Silverman, Cultural History of the American Revolution, 60–9; Flavell, When London was Capital of America, 9; Michael Morrison, ‘Shakespeare in North America’, in Stanley Wells and Sarah Stanton (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Stage (Cambridge, 2006), 232. ²⁶ The public display of art was in its infancy in metropolitan Britain too, until the 1750s: see Jane Kamensky, A Revolution in Colour (New York, 2016), 86–7. ²⁷ Henri Marceau, ‘ “The Last Supper” by Gustavus Hesselius’, in Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Museum, vol. 26, no. 142, pt. 1 (May 1931), 10–13. ²⁸ Kamensky, Revolution in Colour, 26; Richard Saunders, John Smibert (New Haven, 1995), 67–8; Henry Wilder Foote, ‘Mr Smibert Shows his Pictures, March 1730’, in New England Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 1 (Mar. 1935), 14–28. ²⁹ Wayne Craven, ‘Virginia Portraits’, in Virginia Magazine of History and Bibliography, vol. 92, no. 2 (Apr. 1984), 217.

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early 1760s, which came to adorn many private edifices and public buildings.³⁰ His versions of The Sybil and St Cecilia came to rest in the Governor’s House.³¹ Henry Pelham, brother of the Bostonian artist John Singleton Copley, recorded receiving a tour of the collections held by John Penn, James Hamilton, and William Allen during a visit to Philadelphia in 1774.³² Yet by the latter part of the colonial period, art had ceased to play a purely passive role in British-American sociability. As the historian Carrie Rebora has explained, Copley’s studio had itself become ‘a sociable meeting spot’ for his patrons ‘to see and be seen’ by the townsfolk of Boston—and to be seen painted, perhaps in turquerie with a bright, rococo palette like a fashionable metropolitan Briton.³³ This type of sociability, if not this style of painting, had already been pioneered by the painter William Williams at the sign of Hogarth’s head in Philadelphia and the sign of Rembrandt’s head in New York.³⁴ More than anything else, from the news-sheets read by tavern-goers to the mezzotints perused by Copley’s patrons, print culture was responsible for threading these social institutions together and joining them to a public sphere that was often transatlantic in scope. The spoken world of taverns and coffee houses was based upon the reading and discussion of newspapers and pamphlets, often provided gratis by the owners. The connection was particularly vivid in Philadelphia, where the printer William Bradford purchased the London Coffee House adjacent to his shop.³⁵ As the historian Thomas Leonard has explained, in early America—as in the rest of the European world—‘the reading public, in the first place, talked the news’.³⁶ This represented the expansion throughout the eastern seaboard of the ‘continuum between print and oral modes’ which David Hall detected in the high and low intellectual lives of early Massachusetts.³⁷ It was also a reciprocal relationship. Meeting places furnished printers with news and copy.

³⁰ Kamensky, Revolution in Colour, 83. ³¹ Benjamin West to Joseph Shippen, Florence, 11/5/1762, in E. P. Richardson, ‘West’s Voyage to Italy, 1760, and William Allen’, in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 102, no. 1 (Jan. 1978), 17. ³² Henry Pelham to his mother, Philadelphia, 18/11/1774, in Worthington Chauncey Ford et al. (eds.), Letters and Papers of John Singleton Copley and Henry Pelham, 1739–1776 (Boston, 1914), 272–3. ³³ Carrie Rebora, ‘Transforming Colonists into Goddesses and Sultans: John Singleton Copley, His Clients, and their Studio Collaboration’, in The American Art Journal, vol. 27, nos. 1–2 (1995–6), 28; Isabel Breskin, ‘ “On the Periphery of a Greater World”: John Singleton Copley’s “Turquerie” Portraits’, in Winterthur Portfolio, vol. 36, nos. 2–3 (Summer–Autumn 2001), 97–123. ³⁴ Susan Rather, ‘Benjamin West’s Professional Endgame and the Historical Conundrum of William Williams’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 59, no. 4 (Oct. 2002), 831–4. ³⁵ Parkinson, Common Cause, 64. ³⁶ Thomas Leonard, News for All (New York, 1995), 7. Similarly, Ian Steele, The English Atlantic, 1675–1740 (New York, 1986), 158. Cf. Sandra Gustafson, Eloquence is Power (Chapel Hill, 2000), 141–150, which draws too sharp a distinction between these forms. ³⁷ David Hall, ‘The World of Print and Collective Mentality in Seventeenth-Century New England’, in John Higham and Paul Conkin (eds.), New Directions in American Intellectual History (Baltimore, 1979), 169.

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Table 4.1 Literacy rates British North America New England Boston New York City Chester Co., PA Philadelphia Virginia Elizabeth City Co., VA Perquimans Co., NC South Carolina

Europe 1758–62: 78% 1758–62: 82% 1760–75: 87% 1755–64: 69% 1773–5: 82% 1762–7: 68% 1763–71: 91% 1748–76: 79% 1729–65: 80%

Nine English Parishes Seven English Towns Scotland Rural France Urban France East Prussia

1754–79: 57% 1754–62: 67% 1740–50: 78% 1740–59: 36% 1740–58: 59% 1765: 25%¹

¹ F. W. Grubb, ‘Growth of Literacy in Colonial America: Longitudinal Patterns, Economic Models, and the Direction of Future Research’, in Social Science History, vol. 14, no. 4 (Winter 1990), 453–8. See further Joel Perlmann and Dennis Shirley, ‘When Did New England Women Acquire Literacy?’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 48, no. 1 (Jan. 1991), 50–67; Jennifer Monaghan, Learning to Read and Write in Colonial America (Amherst, MA, 2005), passim; Kenneth Lockridge, Literacy in Colonial New England (New York, 1974), passim; Maris Vinovkis, ‘Introduction: Explorations in Early American Education’, in History of Education Quarterly, vol. 37, no. 2 (Summer 1997), 111–16; Grasso, Speaking Aristocracy, 9.

If this was an oral as much as a literary culture, high rates of literacy still played an instrumental role in the creation of public spaces (see Table 4.1). Although difficult to measure in absolute terms, literacy had always been abnormally high amongst free people in British America compared with the standard in the British Isles, let alone most of continental Europe. By 1750, about three-quarters of colonists had a signatory’s level of literacy, although this number was slightly higher in urban areas and somewhat lower in the rural south. Corresponding rates in England were closer to half, and lower still on the Continent, especially in rural areas. Only the Scots, whose public culture shared a Calvinist affection for reading scripture with many of the colonies, surpassed the British-Americans. Literacy was rarer amongst women than men, especially in the countryside, but evidence still suggest that female literacy was high and rising in the second half of the eighteenth century. Of central importance to the spread of print was a headlong improvement in transatlantic communications, beginning in the late seventeenth century, which increased the availability of British and European print to North American colonists dramatically. The establishment of postal services between Britain and its colonies, along with a network of colonial postmasters embedded in the provincial printing trade, ensured that the exchange of news became less dependent on the voyages of merchants and merchantmen.³⁸ The volume of

³⁸ See Breen, Marketplace of Revolution (Oxford, 2004), xv–xvii; Steele, English Atlantic, 208–9; Timothy Hall, Contested Boundaries (Durham, NC, 1994), 4.

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newspaper imports from London and other English cities is more than amply attested by the amount which was reprinted verbatim in the colonial press. Fashionable metropolitan journals like The Spectator and The Tatler, along with the publications of learned societies, circulated extensively.³⁹ The book trade, like the mezzotints and music that transmitted the artistic tastes of the metropolis to its colonies, became a major aspect of transatlantic commerce. Lists of titles available from booksellers in the New World became regular features of colonial news-sheets, while wealthy colonists could place special orders.⁴⁰ Laurence Sterne’s novels The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (1759–67) and A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy (1768), along with the English translation of Rousseau’s Julie, or the New Heloise (1761), were bestsellers in America as well as Britain.⁴¹ The New Yorker James Rivington’s aspirations as a printer and book trader matched those of his newspaper. His name appeared among the approved sellers listed on the front of David Garrick’s editions of Shakespeare, printed in London during the 1760s and 1770s—the same editions used by the American Company.⁴² Another immediate consequence was the expansion of libraries. Some of these were academic or public institutions— including that at Harvard College, the Library Company and the Loganian Library in Philadelphia, and the Juliana Library in Lancaster, Pennsylvania—all of which were sociable places in themselves. Others were great private collections—like those amassed in the houses of planters like William Byrd and, most famously, Thomas Jefferson—which nevertheless circulated amongst circles of associates.⁴³ Of equal significance was the establishment of colonial printing presses. This was an uneven process. The precocious development of some northern towns— and especially Boston, where printing had begun in the first generation of settlement—far outstripped that of even the largest settlements in the south. Nevertheless, by 1775 about three dozen presses were operating in British North America: sixteen in New England, nine in the middle colonies, six in the Chesapeake, and six in the Carolinas and Georgia. Many of these businesses ³⁹ See John Clive and Bernard Bailyn, ‘England’s Cultural Provinces: Scotland and America’, in William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 11, no. 2 (Apr. 1954), 209; Landsman, Colonials to Provincials, 39; Norman Fiering, ‘The Transatlantic Republic of Letters’, in William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 33, no. 4 (Oct. 1976), 642–60; Anthony Grafton, ‘The Republic of Letters in the American Colonies’, in American Historical Review, vol. 117, no. 1 (Feb. 2012), 1–39. ⁴⁰ For example, William Beverley to Charles Smyth, Virginia, 2/3/1744, in the William Beverley Papers, New York Public Library. On the trade in mezzotints and music, see Silverman, Cultural History of the American Revolution, 12, 33. ⁴¹ Sarah Knott, Sensibility and the American Revolution (Chapel Hill, 2009), 29. ⁴² See, for example, William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, A Tragedy, with Alterations by David Garrick (London, 1767 and 1770), cover. For the American Company’s texts, see Silverman, Cultural History of the American Revolution, 62. ⁴³ See Richard Davis, Intellectual Life in the Colonial South, 1585–1763, 3 vols. (Knoxville, 1978), II, 520–6, 623–6; Charles Landis, ‘The Juliana Library Company in Lancaster’, in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 43, no. 1 (1919), 24–52; Joe Kraus, ‘Private Libraries in Colonial America’, in The Journal of Library History, vol. 9, no. 1 (Jan. 1974), 31–53.

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were connected by partnerships and family ties. Indeed, printing was not so much a masculine trade as a family business in colonial America. In 1736, Ann Franklin succeeded her deceased husband as editor of the Rhode Island Gazette and the colony’s official printer—career paths later followed by Elizabeth Timothy in South Carolina, Katherine Zenger in New York, and Anne Green in Maryland.⁴⁴ Alongside a variety of handbills, pamphlets, and books, most colonial printers were also producing weekly newspapers by the end of the colonial period: thirtyone in 1775. This was a stark expansion since the founding of the colonies’ first successful periodical in 1704, the Boston News-Letter. The rapidly inflating cultural presence of colonial newspapers followed a pattern set in Europe during the late seventeenth century.⁴⁵ These periodicals maintained considerable print runs, ranging between 500 and 2,500 copies per week by the mid-century. James Rivington boasted of 3,500 subscribers to his ambitiously titled New York Gazetteer; or, the Connecticut, Hudson’s River, New Jersey, and Quebec Weekly Advertiser, whereas the tally of subscribers to the Virginia Gazette was probably closer to 800 in 1765. These numbers were comparable to provincial English newspapers, but they served far smaller colonial populations.⁴⁶ As Robert Parkinson’s analysis of the subscriber book for William Bradford’s Pennsylvania Journal reveals, these large circulations could be spread across vast areas, transmitted to rural areas, other colonies, and even across the Atlantic by elaborate networks of agents and couriers.⁴⁷ The growing use of intercolonial shipping lanes during the early part of the eighteenth century further ensured the wide dispersal of news, irrespective of where the papers were initially sold.⁴⁸ Cultural brokers were similarly capable of transmitting German-language periodicals from Pennsylvania to communities as far away as the Shenandoah Valley and Frederick County, Maryland.⁴⁹ As Ian Steele has written, ‘news of England and the courts of Europe were the basic staple’ of the colonial press.⁵⁰ A large proportion of their pages were filled with reprinted extracts from imported British journals, often selected—as contrasts with the climate of opinion in the metropolitan press demonstrate—to

⁴⁴ See Parkinson, Common Cause, 39–41; Ralph Frasca, Benjamin Franklin’s Printing Network (Columbia, 2006), passim; Steele, English Atlantic, 113–88. For a recent survey of pamphlet and book publishing, see Eric Slauter, ‘Reading and Radicalisation: Print, Politics, and the American Revolution’, in Early American Studies, vol. 8, no. 1 (Winter 2010), 5–40. ⁴⁵ Cf. Blanning, Culture of Power, 154–6. ⁴⁶ Steele, English Atlantic, 149. ⁴⁷ Parkinson, Common Cause, 43–63. See similarly Richard Brown, Knowledge is Power (Oxford, 1989), 74; Robert M. Weir, ‘The Role of the Newspaper Press in the Southern Colonies on the Eve of the Revolution’, in Bernard Bailyn and John Hench (eds.), The Press and the American Revolution (Boston, 1981), 113. ⁴⁸ Steele, English Atlantic, 157. ⁴⁹ A. G. Roeber, ‘ “The Origin of Whatever is Not English Among Us”: The Dutch-Speaking and the German-Speaking Peoples of Colonial British America’, in Bernard Bailyn and Philip Morgan (eds.), Strangers Within the Realm (Chapel Hill, 1991), 252–7. ⁵⁰ Steele, English Atlantic, 160.

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support the editorial line. Advices from Europe, almost always transmitted via Britain, reached a high point of almost 80 per cent of bulletins printed during the Seven Years War and continued to dominate the pages of colonial newspapers as late as 1773. Only during the dénouement of the imperial crisis were they overtaken by American affairs. The demand for foreign news about European wars mirrored metropolitan tastes, which had been chiefly responsible for raising the importance of the press in Georgian politics.⁵¹ The vast majority of local news, meanwhile, came from the Atlantic coast; vanishingly little attention was paid to the rest of the American continent. Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to dismiss colonial newspapers as mere digests of British and European opinion. They also acted as conduits for colonists to proclaim their views on current affairs through the same genres popular in the British press—essays, letters, and verses.⁵² (See Table 4.2.) The publishing of other types of print also became an increasingly pan-colonial enterprise as the century wore on. The American Magazine and Historical Chronicle printed by Rogers and Fowle of Boston between 1743 and 1746 was a trailblazer in this respect, sold by a network of booksellers in Boston, New Haven, Newport, New York, and Philadelphia. A decade and a half later, the New Table 4.2 Places named in colonial newspapers (proportional)

1735 1745 1755 1760 1762 1765 1770 1773 1775

Britain

America

Other (principally Europe)

20% 16% 23% 15% 15% 25% 26% 22% 20%

10% 14% 30% 20% 10% 27% 40% 25% 57%

70% 70% 47% 65% 75% 48% 34% 53% 23%¹

¹ Richard Merritt, Symbols of American Community 1735–1775 (Westport, CT, 1966), 62. Willi Adams, ‘The Colonial German-Language Press and the American Revolution’, in Bailyn and Hench (eds.), Press and the American Revolution, 203–4, also detected a notable decrease in the volume of European news carried in Johann Heinrich Möller’s Philadelphische Staatsbote after 1774. See further Charles Clark, ‘The Newspapers of Provincial America’, in Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society, vol. 100, part 2 (Worcester, MA, 1991), 385; Max Savelle, ‘The Appearance of an American Attitude toward External Affairs, 1750–1775’, in The American Historical Review, vol. 52, no. 4 (1947), 656.

⁵¹ Melton, Rise of the Public, 30–1; Robert Harris, A Patriot Press (Oxford, 1993), passim; similarly David Copeland, ‘America, 1750-1820’, in Hannah Barker and Simon Burrows (eds.), Press, Politics, and the Public Sphere in Europe and North America, 1760–1820 (Cambridge, 2002), 143–4, 154. ⁵² On the periodical essay in Anglo-American literature, see Richard Squibbs, Urban Enlightenment and the Eighteenth-Century Periodical Essay (Basingstoke, 2014).

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American Magazine of the New Jersey printer James Parker advertised a list of sellers ranging from Boston to Burlington.⁵³ The Swiss-German pastor John Joachim Zubly’s sermon The Law of Liberty (1775) offers a still more telling example. Preached in Georgia, the published edition, printed by Johann Heinrich Möller of Pennsylvania, was sold by a network of shops in Philadelphia, New York, Charleston, and Savannah.⁵⁴ Not all the text circulating in British North America was printed: there was also a thriving culture of manuscript exchange and letter writing. For as Dena Goodman has demonstrated, private correspondence was a medium of publicity, in the sense that privacy was synonymous with a public sphere independent of the state (although an older meaning of public correspondence also persisted in the guise of official communiqués).⁵⁵ Letters travelled the same routes as the public prints, relying upon the same infrastructure of postmasters and taverns for despatches and collections.⁵⁶ Some of these networks of correspondence were broad enough to reach the heart of continental Europe, although Britain almost always acted as a transatlantic hub—especially through the offices of clergymen and the eight colonial coffee houses operating in London by 1760.⁵⁷ The relationship between correspondence and the press was rhetorical as well as infrastructural. Alongside the frequent printing of newsworthy items culled from private letters, a new genre of letters addressed to the public itself loomed large in colonial newspapers by the mid-century. After printing and writing came seeing. Despite the partial transformation of Newport and some smaller settlements into colonial resort towns, throughout the mid-century the number of colonists who visited such places was dwarfed by the numbers who made the voyage ‘home’ to London, which became the pre-eminent venue for intercolonial socialising—whether amongst planters, merchants, seamen, or slaves.⁵⁸ Travel Europeanized the modes of colonial sociability still further, but it also supported the supremacy of British and European tastes over colonial fashions. Arthur Lee of Virginia, who spent most of the imperial crisis in London, reminisced in later life of the city’s ‘exquisite’ operas, its theatres, and the ‘elegant concert rooms’ where he listened to Bach—to say nothing of the supreme joy of the capital’s politics. ‘Could I be restored to the situation that I enjoyed before the Revolution’, he wrote of his time in ‘the Eden of the World’, then ‘I might be happy’.⁵⁹ ⁵³ See The American Magazine, 9/1743, cover; New American Magazine, 1/1760, cover. ⁵⁴ John Joachim Zubly, The Law of Liberty (Philadelphia, 1775), cover. ⁵⁵ Goodman, ‘Public Sphere and Private Life’, 1–20. ⁵⁶ On letter writing and the establishment of communication networks in the British Empire, see Dierks, In My Power, 9–51. ⁵⁷ See, for example, Wolfgang Splitter, ‘The Fact and Fiction of Cotton Mather’s Correspondence with German Pietist August Hermann Francke’, in The New England Quarterly, vol. 83, no. 1 (Mar. 2010), 102–22; Flavell, When London was Capital of America, 125. ⁵⁸ Flavell, When London was Capital of America, 11–23, 126–7. ⁵⁹ Arthur Lee quoted in ibid., 147–9.

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For travellers as well as correspondents, Britain was also the gateway to Europe. Colonial participation in the Grand Tour—the continental wandering that served as a rite of passage for generations of young Englishmen—increased markedly during the mid-century.⁶⁰ Yet this was not an entirely new departure; neither did it reflect the belated refinement of rustic provincials. At the turn of the eighteenth century, colonists were already to be found mingling with polite European society. Grandson of a goldsmith though he was, it is hardly surprising to find that the supreme coup of William Byrd’s social life was a private audience with Louis XIV, achieved during his visit to the Palace of Versailles in the mid-1690s.⁶¹ More telling is the apparent ease with which Jonathan Belcher, the Puritan future Governor of Massachusetts and a far less worldly character, progressed through the princely courts of northern Europe in 1704. Amidst his continual observance of local economies, habits, customs, and architecture, to say nothing of the military state of the Continent at the height of the War of the Spanish Succession, Belcher visited the English court-in-waiting at Hanover. There he lost at cards to the Electress Sophia, lured the future George I into speaking English, joined in celebrations of the Battle of Blenheim, and conversed for two hours with a mathematician and philosopher he met in a library—Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Later he went on to Berlin, where he played billiards, admired a series of classical busts in the royal palace, and met the recently crowned King of Prussia and suspected him of being a Francophile.⁶² The colonists who followed half a century later were equally capable of navigating continental European society, and in this they were aided by a sense of transatlantic cultural community. Even for a young painter in rural Pennsylvania, as Benjamin West remained in 1760, Italy was self-evidently the ‘mistress of the world’—and his patron, Chief Justice William Allen, agreed.⁶³ During his sojourn in New York, John Singleton Copley had offered a similar mark of respect: ‘I am visited by vast numbers of people of the first rank, who have seen Europe and are admirers of art.’⁶⁴ Across the Atlantic, British-American tourists sought out celebrities of the European world, like the French philosophe and belletrist Voltaire, who were well known in the colonies thanks to the press and the book trade.⁶⁵ ⁶⁰ On the Grand Tour, see Jeremy Black, The British Abroad (New York, 1992), passim; Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 13–66. ⁶¹ Craven, ‘Virginia Portraits’, 213. ⁶² David Crockett (ed.), First American Born (Bowle, MD, 1992), 60–2, 87–90, and passim; see also Michael Batinski, Jonathan Belcher, Colonial Governor (Lexington, KY, 1996), 12–14. ⁶³ Nicholas Wainwright (ed.), ‘Notes and Documents’, in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 102, no. 1 (Jan. 1978), 111; William Allen to Messrs Jackson & Rutherford, Philadelphia, 5/4/1760, in Richardson, ‘West’s Voyage to Italy, 1760’, 10. On West’s sojourn in Italy, see Kamensky, Revolution in Colour, 81–3. ⁶⁴ John Singleton Copley quoted in Rebora, ‘Transforming Colonists into Goddesses and Sultans’, 34. ⁶⁵ A singularly understudied relationship: Georges May, ‘Voltaire et Rousseau Dans le Monde Anglo-Saxon’, in Revue d’Histoire Littéraire de la France, vol. 79, nos. 2–3 (Mar.–June 1979), 402–12; Mary-Margaret Barr, Voltaire in America, 1744–1800 (Baltimore, 1941).

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The Philadelphian physician John Morgan succeeded in dining with him at Château de Ferney in 1764, far surpassing Ralph Izard and Arthur Lee, who found Voltaire showing ‘a disinclination to company’ and a closed door a decade later.⁶⁶ This transaction was reciprocated, albeit unequally, through British America’s own Enlightenment celebrity, Benjamin Franklin, who made several tours of the Continent prior to the Revolution, presenting papers to the French Academy of Sciences and providing the Hanoverian jurist Gottfried Achenwall with a long account of America, to name but two other interactions.⁶⁷ As we shall see, this sense of community was geopolitical and religious as well as cultural, but it was also historical as well as contemporary. The classical world provided as powerful a framework as modern history: the legacy of Rome bound Britain and America to Europe. Indeed, the writings of some colonial tourists in Italy raise the question of whether they were remotely interested in the Italian peninsula of the eighteenth century. The objects of West’s curiosity were ancient; the Renaissance owed its appeal simply as a revival of classical arts and virtues. As the artist later told his biographer, ‘every recreation of the stranger in Rome was an effort of the memory, of abstraction, of fancy’.⁶⁸ Ralph Izard had himself painted alongside his wife by John Singleton Copley in Naples, surrounded by classical motifs, but he had nothing to say about his living Italian hosts other than the inadequacy of their opera.⁶⁹ Socially, these colonial encounters with Europe occurred within a British context. Like a generation of metropolitan tourists, Benjamin West and his associates came to rely on the offices of Sir Horace Mann, Britain’s resident at the Grand Duke of Tuscany’s court in Florence. The same party found itself equally obligated to a network of British merchant houses like Jackson & Rutherford of Leghorn, along with touring British gentlemen like Sir Thomas Robinson.⁷⁰ Another manifestation of the same phenomenon was Benjamin Franklin’s far-reaching dependence on British networks for his entry into European society.⁷¹ And it reflected a broader truth about America’s place in ⁶⁶ John Morgan, The Journal of Dr John Morgan (Philadelphia, 1907), 216–29; Ralph Izard to Henry Laurens, Geneva, 22/8/1774, in Ralph Izard et al., Correspondence of Mr Ralph Izard, Volume I (New York, 1844), 14. ⁶⁷ Gottfried Achenwall, ‘Some Observations on North America from Oral Information by Dr Franklin’, in Leonard Labaree et al. (eds.), The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 40 vols. so far (New Haven, 1959–), XIII, 346–77. J. L. Helibron, ‘Benjamin Franklin in Europe: Electrician, Academician, Politician’, in Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, vol. 61, no. 3 (Sept. 2007), 353–73. ⁶⁸ Benjamin West quoted in Jules Prown, ‘Benjamin West and the Uses of Antiquity’, in American Art, vol. 10, no. 2 (Summer 1996), 33. ⁶⁹ McInnis, ‘Cultural Politics, Colonial Crisis, and Ancient Metaphor’, 85–108; Ralph Izard to Thomas Dea, Naples, 17/1/1775, Ralph Izard to John Strange, London, 13/6/1775, in Izard et al., Correspondence of Mr Ralph Izard, 38, 91–2. ⁷⁰ William Allen to Messrs Jackson & Rutherford, Philadelphia, 5/4/1760, Benjamin West to Joseph Shippen, Florence, 11/5/1762, in Richardson, ‘West’s Voyage to Italy, 1760’, 9, 18. ⁷¹ See Nicholas Wrightson, ‘Franklin’s Networks: Aspects of British Atlantic Print Culture, Science, and Communication, c.1730-60’, DPhil dissertation, University of Oxford, 2007.

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the ‘republic of letters’: as Caroline Winterer has explained, ‘the intellectual life of early America is best imagined first as part of a narrowly British-American Atlantic zone, and only second as part of a broader Atlantic world’.⁷² The eighteenth century witnessed the uneven, but steady, Europeanization of sociability in Britain’s North American colonies. The institutions and norms of social interaction were increasingly those of the public sphere, and the discourses circulating within them were increasingly entangled with British and Continental debates. If the economic reality of colonial life remained—as it would remain long into the nineteenth century—primarily agricultural, the social reality was the mounting predominance of commerce, civility, and publicity; of modes and aesthetics of personal exchange patterned after the refinements of polite, Enlightened Europe. Provincial antipathies had largely been swept away. These developments provided colonists with an ever wider window on European affairs, but that window was glazed with coastal and, ultimately, metropolitan British glass. However, the material reality of coffee houses, inns, little Vauxhalls, news-sheets, letters, and bindings—let alone headcounts of the literate or itineraries of tourists— is but a small part of the transformation of British-American political culture. A more complete picture can only be achieved through study of the ideas and discourses that circulated in the public sphere, and with this in mind, we must now turn to the impact of publicity upon structures of power in the thirteen colonies.

‘The Best Service of the People’ At a time when the minds of all are in such a ferment . . . it is but reasonable to suppose that even the minister of the Prince of Peace, whose business for ordinary is neither war or politics, in such a situation, being a member of civil society, and interested like other men, would improve the times by adapting their public instructions to the best service of the people. John Carmichael, Pennsylvanian clergyman, 1775⁷³ The rise of the public sphere changed the terms on which political power could be acquired, preserved, and exercised. This transformation did not herald the triumph of a particular social class. Neither did it create an insuperable conflict between state and society within early modern monarchies, be they republican monarchies like Great Britain or absolutist regimes like France or Prussia. In many cases, the established authorities that held sway in British North America at the end of its first century ⁷² Caroline Winterer, ‘Where is America in the Republic of Letters?’, in Modern Intellectual History, vol. 9, no. 3 (2012), 603. ⁷³ John Carmichael, A Self-Defensive War Lawful (Philadelphia, 1775), 6.

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adjusted to their new circumstances and continued to thrive. They did so by founding their authority on the public and its opinions. Nevertheless, the forces of publicity widened the social compass of colonial politics, changed fundamentally the rules of political conduct, and altered the language of politics itself. The impact of these forces varied with local arrangements from colony to colony; however, by the onset of the imperial crisis a pattern had emerged along the length of the east coast. As the historian Tim Blanning has written of Europe, ‘by the middle of the eighteenth-century, “the public” had become established as not just a legitimating voice in aesthetic appreciation but as the most authoritative’. This translation of cultural power undermined the representational cultures of monarchical display upon which early modern absolutisms had been founded. Formerly, multitudes of private individuals had merely been spectators to the rites of power. New modes of social intercourse within an egalitarian civil society, combined with individual purchasing power in a market of knowledge and culture, converted these multitudes into publics and enthroned public opinion as the supreme source of political and cultural authority. Categories of class are of no use in describing this change, for these publics contained not only the aspiring bourgeoisie but also aristocrats and clerics released from the fetters of courtly ritual. The new distribution of authority did not spell the end of the old regimes— most of which had another century and a half left in them in 1750. Monarchs from the Hohenzollerns in Prussia and the Habsburgs in Austria relinquished their claims to divine ordination and proprietary dynastism and refashioned themselves—in Frederick the Great’s memorable phrasing—as the ‘first servant of the state’. Lest this be dismissed as something of relevance to the histories of absolutist Europe alone, let it be remembered that this redefinition had already been accomplished in Britain in 1688, and the feat was repeated after 1783 when William Pitt the Younger revitalized loyalist political culture with the language of probity and public service. Few European publics came to hunger for revolution. The republic of letters, the great nexus of Continental opinion, generally wished the new generation of public-spirited despots well. Amongst the powers of Europe, only the French monarchy failed to adjust itself to the new circumstances sufficiently to ensure its survival. France was thus the exception, not the rule, of eighteenth-century European history.⁷⁴ When Americanists working on the period before 1776 have paid attention to the politics of the public sphere, they have tended to see its colonial manifestations in less nuanced terms than European historians.⁷⁵ Jon Butler offered a fine ⁷⁴ Blanning, Culture of Power, 107–11, 181–2, and passim; See further Melton, Rise of the Public (Cambridge, 2001), 19–77. On Pittism, see Boyd Hilton, A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People? (Oxford, 2006), 110–94. ⁷⁵ On this oversight, see David Waldstreicher, ‘Two Cheers for the “Public Sphere” . . . and One for Historians’ Scepticism’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, vol. 62, no. 1 (Jan. 2005), 107–12.

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definition when he spoke of the emergence of ‘a broad, vital avenue for public issues’ in the century before the outbreak of the American Revolution. Yet the groups constituting his public sphere were provincial, disconnected, and prone to act in a manner antithetical to ‘the private, aristocratic politics that typified politics previously in Europe and America’. In this sense, the public sphere was part of the development of a colonial society distinct from monarchical Europe.⁷⁶ Approaching the problem from a discursive vantage point, Christopher Grasso reached an essentially similar argument. ‘The new public culture of the late eighteenth century that rose to oppose authoritarian tyranny’ in Europe, he contended, similarly worked to ‘erode the legitimacy of the church’s and state’s claims to police moral behaviour’ in New England, presaging the rejection of monarchy in favour of republic.⁷⁷ Meanwhile, Gordon Wood tended to describe a British-American ancien régime undermined by an inadequate social structure, devoid of an aristocracy, sufficient networks of patronage, and a state church. These weaknesses were worsened, Wood argued, by new egalitarian social ties, the dissemination of purchasing power, and the ecclesiological upheaval of the Great Awakening. The resultant lack of any widespread familiarity with royal power ensured that metropolitan efforts to exercise authority after 1763 were met with a rapid recourse to republican revolution.⁷⁸ Wood’s student Brendan McConville later argued that the political and social inadequacy of the Hanoverian regime in America was offset by a potent culture of popular royalism, but this political language collapsed into a discordant cacophony under the strains of the imperial crisis, ultimately hastening the revolution.⁷⁹ These scholars quite correctly stop short of claiming that a monarchical society became a democratic society in the years before 1776, but their arguments are disagreeably teleological, especially in the presumption that the triumph of public politics over inadequate social structures drove the collapse of the Hanoverian monarchy in America. In the process, they neglect the fact that in most of the European world old regimes effectively manipulated the public sphere to rehabilitate—and often to expand—their power. Indeed, publicity could even be used to fill vacuums in existing power structures, precisely akin to those created by the truncated nature of colonial society. Membership of the British-American public was achieved by the act of addressing the public itself. With the same breath that sought to sway the opinion of their countrymen in the public sphere, colonists also asserted their place within it, making their own arguments part of the public’s opinion.⁸⁰ Speech and writing ⁷⁶ Butler, Becoming America, 110. ⁷⁷ Grasso, Speaking Aristocracy, 482–4. ⁷⁸ Gordon S. Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (New York, 1993), 81–145. ⁷⁹ Brendan McConville, The King’s Three Faces (Chapel Hill, 2006), 143–315. ⁸⁰ See Keith Michael Baker, ‘On the Problem of the Ideological Origins of the French Revolution’, in Baker, Inventing the French Revolution (Cambridge, 1990), 17–18.

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were thus supremely important in colonial politics. As Robert Ferguson explains, British-Americans found themselves obliged to prove their ‘worthiness for place and preferment by writing about the world at hand’, thereby practising a ‘deft business of securing assent through language’.⁸¹ By its very nature, the colonial public sphere—like its European model—was an essentially neutral vessel, through which flowed a plethora of political discourses.⁸² However, as we shall see, this liberty did not amount to linguistic anarchy. For it was also inherent in the nature of the public sphere that defensible arguments had to be articulated as services to the public interest, and in keeping with public tastes. One correspondent of the New York Mercury embodied this spirit in January 1773 when he addressed a letter ‘To His High Mightiness the Public’.⁸³ As a body of people, the British-American public thus defies class analysis: although vast swathes of the colonial populace were excluded from it, membership was not founded on socio-economic or legal status. The demographic span of people engaged in public business expanded considerably during the eighteenth century, in keeping with the orality of reading, the spread of print, and rising literacy levels. Gary Nash observed a marked change in the languages and modes of argumentation in the colonial press to reflect the fact that ‘a broader audience was being addressed’.⁸⁴ In his case study of Connecticut, Grasso similarly demonstrated the swelling ranks of those entitled to address the public. ‘After midcentury’, he argues, ‘newspapers, essays, and eventually lay orations’, all peddling new rhetorical and literary forms, ‘began to compete with sermons for public attention’.⁸⁵ These preachers, scriveners, lawyers, merchants, and politicians were the foot soldiers of the colonial public sphere. Before half of them were immured in marble as American patriots, this cohort bore a striking similarity to comparable societies in western Europe. The colonial public sphere was certainly not bourgeois, either in its composition or its politics. Wealth was a way of gaining admission to the colonial public sphere, but the culture of the colonial middle class was not defined by capitalism. Hand in glove with the material and associational patterns of Europeanization went the coming into vogue amongst cultivated colonists of refinement and politeness, discourses of social interaction indebted to Whig writers like the third Earl of Shaftesbury and Lord Chesterfield.⁸⁶ In 1717, an English visitor to Boston observed that

⁸¹ Robert Ferguson, The American Enlightenment 1750–1820 (Cambridge, MA, 1997), 4–5. ⁸² On the multiple languages of colonial politics, see Daniel Rodgers, ‘Republicanism: the Career of a Concept’, in The Journal of American History, vol. 79, no. 1 (June 1992), 35–7. ⁸³ ‘To His High Mightiness the Public’, in NYM, 18/1/1773. ⁸⁴ Nash, Urban Crucible, 124. ⁸⁵ Grasso, Speaking Aristocracy, 3–4. ⁸⁶ On politeness in England, see Lawrence Klein, Shaftesbury and the Culture of Politeness (Cambridge, 1994), passim.

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the conversation in this town is as polite as in most cities and towns of England; many of their merchants having travelled into Europe; and those that stay at home having the advantage of a free conversation with travellers, so that a gentleman from London would think himself at home in Boston . . . In the concerns of civic life, as in their dress, tables, and conversation they affect to be as English as possible, there is no fashion in London, but three or four months is to be seen here at Boston.⁸⁷

This was undoubtedly an exaggeration, but it reflected a standard which colonists were growing accustomed to setting for themselves. Thirty years later, Dr Alexander Hamilton couched his judgement in similar terms. ‘The northern parts’ of the continent he ‘found in general much better settled than the southern’, but ‘as to politeness and humanity, they are much alike except in the great towns where the inhabitants are more civilised, especially at Boston’.⁸⁸ As Richard Bushman has demonstrated, this form of gentility—which drew upon novel ideas about sensibility and taste as well as established Christian doctrines of virtue—created a barometer for association (and exclusion) in the theatre of public performance.⁸⁹ Much as refinement had liberated the European aristocracy from the confines of passive courtly display, it also provided a language through which planters, merchants, professionals, and clergymen could interact socially in British America—although not without the endurance of some separate idioms, particularly in the world of art.⁹⁰ Equally, it was a testament to another purpose of travel across the Atlantic and over the Continent: the harvesting of cultural capital to spend on return to the colonies. Jonathan Belcher’s travel diary was not written for edification or amusement but as a prompt for conversation on his return to Massachusetts. The account concluded with advice for future travellers in Germany.⁹¹ Such experiences gave a stamp of refinement, of taste, and of status for those who wished to claim a place in the public life of the colony. Although his tour was vicarious, William Allen’s importing of copies of Renaissance masterpieces served the same agenda. There were differences between genteel publicity and the publicity of the tavern hall, but there was no neat division between high and low publics like that upheld by some historians of contemporary Europe.⁹² The gulf between the salon and Grub Street was much narrower in America, partly because social distinctions

⁸⁷ English observer quoted in Saunders, John Smibert, 61. ⁸⁸ Bridenbaugh (ed.), Itinerarium, 199. ⁸⁹ Bushman, Refinement of America, xiv–xv, and see 30–83; Grasso, Speaking Aristocracy, 188. On the related topic of sympathy, see Nicole Eustace, Passion is the Gale (Chapel Hill, 2008), passim; Knott, Sensibility and the American Revolution, passim. ⁹⁰ Craven, Colonial American Portraiture (Cambridge, 1986), 181. ⁹¹ Crockett (ed.), First American Born, 116–23. ⁹² Cf. Robert Darnton, ‘The High Enlightenment and the Low-Life of Literature in PreRevolutionary France’, in Past & Present, vol. 51, no. 1 (1971), 81–115; John Lough, ‘The Literary Underground Revisited’, in Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, no. 329 (1995), 471–82.

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themselves were narrower. The absence of a colonial aristocracy and extremes of wealth ensured that the elite and the middling sort lived cheek by jowl to the extent that they were nearly synonymous—a testament to Wood’s assessment of the social order as ‘truncated’.⁹³ Even in Virginia, the most hierarchical of the colonies, the stewardship of the planter class relied on the acquiescence of the rest of society.⁹⁴ The role played by printers in sustaining the colonial public sphere was telling in this respect. For all their efforts to be treated as connoisseurs and journalists, eighteenth-century opinion continued to regard printers unambiguously as tradesmen.⁹⁵ This did nothing, however, to diminish their cultural power, which was guaranteed by the nature of public sociability. Throughout its rise, the colonial press brought the supremacy of public opinion into the sharpest relief. Printers were conscious of their position at the heart of the public sphere and frequently articulated their service to the public interest. William Weyman, the printer of the New York Gazette, captured this spirit in an editorial of 1764. He contended that the ultimate purpose of ‘a well-conducted newspaper’ was to ensure that ‘all hurtful opposition to the true interest of Great Britain’ was ‘sensibly weakened’. Through the public prints, ‘the spirited Englishman, the mountainous Welshman, the brave Scotsman, the daring Irishman, and the loyal American may be firmly united and mutually resolved to guard the glorious throne of Britannia’ and ‘each agree to embrace, as British brothers, in defending the common cause’.⁹⁶ Alexander Purdie of the Virginia Gazette made a similar point more economically when he referred to ‘the public, for whose favour I am a candidate’.⁹⁷ This function was seen to be reflective as well as constitutive. The South Carolina patriot Thomas Lynch described the press as a repository of public feeling. In 1774, he wrote to his countryman Ralph Izard enclosing ‘a newspaper, to show the temper of the people of Maryland, as a specimen of that which prevails in all the colonies’.⁹⁸ Freedom of the press, which had become a shibboleth of English Whiggery on both sides of the Atlantic by the early eighteenth century, supported the conception of printing news and opinion as a public service. This was not a libertarian ethos in the modern sense, but one which pitted publicity against both discursive anarchy and political agnosticism. William Livingston, one of the foremost British-American writers of newspaper polemics, declared that ‘an equal unrestraint in writing’ was ‘in direct opposition’ to the ‘fundamental principles’ of the state

⁹³ Wood, Radicalism of the American Revolution, 113–25. ⁹⁴ Jack Greene, ‘Society, Ideology, and Politics: An Analysis of the Political Culture of MidEighteenth-Century Virginia’, in Richard Jellison (ed.), Society, Freedom, and Conscience (New York, 1976), 19–34. ⁹⁵ See Parkinson, Common Cause, 37. ⁹⁶ NYG, 2/7/1764. ⁹⁷ Alexander Purdie quoted in Weir, ‘Role of the Newspaper Press in the Southern Colonies’, 114. ⁹⁸ Thomas Lynch to Ralph Izard, Philadelphia, 26/10/1774, in Paul Smith et al. (eds.), Letters to Delegates of Congress, 1774–1789, 25 vols. (Washington, 1976–2000), I, 247.

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whenever it was ‘prejudicial to the public weal’.⁹⁹ By the same token, if the colonial press was structurally neutral, individual newspapers were not passive vessels but active formers of opinion. Ian Steele explains how John Campbell composed weekly editions of the Boston News-Letters from ‘materials that can be said to represent what he, the colony’s secretary, and his customers regarded as worthy news’.¹⁰⁰ As Willard Frank demonstrated, the editors of the three periodicals known as the Virginia Gazette took this process one step further during the imperial crisis by actively manipulating about 10 per cent of articles to serve the Whig cause.¹⁰¹ Interactions between colonial governments and the press reveal a great deal about the exercise of political power in early America. Like governments and their oppositions in metropolitan Britain, political leaders in the colonies were quick to realize that print could be used to manipulate public opinion.¹⁰² Exactly this kind of politicking raises the question of how free the colonial press actually was—a question which has long (and unduly) blighted its use as a historical source. As we shall see, while it is far from accurate to say that the political elite controlled the newspapers, the fact that it recognized the importance of harnessing the press demonstrated how far colonial politics had been transformed. It was no coincidence that representatives were obliged to echo the commitment of printers to the interests of the people. Colonial newspapers found themselves patronized by political parties and institutions almost from their inception, yet the economics of the colonial print market warded against the development of ‘official’ newspapers like the London Gazette.¹⁰³ The power to appoint postmasters (which conferred a competitive advantage through readier access to news from abroad) and give out lucrative commissions to print official records and documents gave colonial assemblies a measure of financial leverage over the presses. However, even amongst printers with governmental commissions, the imperative of selling copies to a comparatively small colonial population compelled them to address appetites far broader than those of the governing clique and to undertake a much broader range of commercial printing.¹⁰⁴ Bias could be bad for business. In Virginia, one author spent much of the mid-1750s circulating satires in manuscript attacking Governor Robert Dinwiddie and his allies. Where the press was corrupted—as the writer believed it to have been in Dinwiddie’s Virginia—its hold over public

⁹⁹ See Richard Buel, ‘Freedom of the Press in Revolutionary America’, in Bailyn and Hench (eds.), Press and the American Revolution, 60–70; Livingston quoted at 70. See further Parkinson, Common Cause, 36. ¹⁰⁰ Steele, English Atlantic, 149. ¹⁰¹ Willard Frank, ‘Error, Distortion, and Bias in the Virginia Gazettes, 1773-1774’, in Journalism Quarterly, vol. 49 (1972), 739. See further Weir, ‘Role of the Newspaper Press in the Southern Colonies’, 125. ¹⁰² Parkinson, Common Cause, 36. ¹⁰³ Steele, English Atlantic World, 148. ¹⁰⁴ Weir, ‘Role of the Newspaper Press in the Southern Colonies’, 108–13.

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discourse dwindled.¹⁰⁵ It is far-fetched indeed to claim that colonial prints simply reflected the interests of colonial leaders. On the contrary, the contentious style that much of the press had adopted by the mid-eighteenth century testifies to the rise of an adversarial public politics: the newspapers were an arena of political combat, not governmental control. According to Gary Nash, these conflicts had escalated to such heights of vituperation that ‘not even in Philadelphia, the pacifist centre of the American colonies, could politicians avoid rhetorical violence’.¹⁰⁶ Some of this strife spilled over from conflicts between lower houses of assembly and governors, particularly in the printing of declarations, resolutions, and journals of legislative proceedings. Indeed, Robert Weir recounts how the house and governor of North Carolina came to patronize competing printers in New Bern during the 1750s.¹⁰⁷ Yet as much strife raged between competing parties in the lower houses themselves, especially in the middle colonies: assembly patronage networks were seldom monolithic. By the mid-century, dedicated oppositional journals were coming into being, like the short-lived Boston Independent Advertiser (1748–9) and the Independent Reflector (1752–3), an organ of the New York ‘triumvirate’ formed by William Livingston, William Smith, and John Morin Scott. More significant still was the opening of conventional, weekly papers to the same genre of essays. Livingston also published a series of letters under the title ‘The Watch-Tower’ in the New York Mercury during the early 1750s. After the Seven Years War, he and his associates would produce a long-running series entitled ‘The American Whig’; these essays were attacked by a column headed ‘A Whip for the American Whig’, with counter-ripostes presented by ‘A Kick for the Whipper’.¹⁰⁸ Public politics extended beyond print culture. Many of its institutions were overtly politicized. If William Byrd’s diary is to be believed, half of the Virginia legislature practically lived in the Williamsburg coffee house during Alexander Spotswood’s governorship in the early 1710s. The governors themselves were similarly social beings. As a typical example, Alexander Hamilton dined with the Governor of Pennsylvania during a club meeting at a Philadelphia tavern. The New England artist John Greenwood’s Sea Captains Carousing in Suriname, painted during the mid-1750s, depicted no fewer than three governors of Rhode Island in what may be described charitably as Hogarthian ease. Their metropolitan connections also ensured that many governors became the centre of polite colonial society, prominent cultural patrons and—especially in the case of New York’s long-serving Lieutenant-Governor Cadwallader Colden—lynchpins of the ¹⁰⁵ Richard Beale Davis (ed.), The Colonial Virginia Satirist (Philadelphia, 1967). The lawyer John Mercer’s authorship is probable. ¹⁰⁶ Nash, Urban Crucible, 148. Contrast the view offered by Landsman, Colonials to Provincials, 34. ¹⁰⁷ Weir, ‘Role of the Newspaper Press in the Southern Colonies’, 108. ¹⁰⁸ See Dorothy Dillon, The New York Triumvirate (New York, 1949).

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local scientific and philosophical milieu.¹⁰⁹ More dramatic was the domestication of the street as a legitimate theatre of political action. Behaviour formerly associated with mobs found expression in newspaper reports of demonstrations and toast lists—the attribution, in essence, of meaning to crowd action. Popular celebrations of military victories were central to this development, establishing paradigms for later rallies.Politicians were obliged to become more adept at appealing to the public as the century wore on because politics was becoming a more public business. This process, which mirrored developments in England, moved in parallel with the spread of popular debate and—perhaps above all—the growing number of contested elections to empowered lower chambers.¹¹⁰ The structures of power which the public sphere replaced in the colonies were not, however, the ostentatious displays of European princely courts. Power was similarly confined in seventeenth-century English America, but it was also perennially weak. Chief amongst its uninspiring expressions were the ever-collapsing cryptotheocracies of New England and Pennsylvania, along with the ramshackle quasiaristocratic cliques that dominated Virginia and the Carolinas. The Crown briefly attempted to impose a stronger authority in the shape of a vast Dominion of New England stretching from Maine to Delaware, but this effort culminated in overthrow during the Glorious Revolution and the expulsion of its governor, Edmund Andros. Appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia, Andros was again ejected by his constituents in 1698.¹¹¹ In view of this threadbare groundwork, it might be suggested that the public sphere’s impact on colonial politics was far more creative than revolutionary. When General Thomas Gage, the man fated to be the last royally appointed Governor of Massachusetts, wrote in 1772 that ‘democracy is too prevalent in America’ and would pose ‘fatal effects’, he profoundly mischaracterized colonial society.¹¹² For one, as Gage well knew, colonial politics was not especially democratic, although the rules governing who could address the polis had slackened considerably by the end of the imperial crisis. Rather, he failed to recognize that the public sphere had been the backbone of the exercise of power—royal or otherwise—in British America for many decades. As plenty of Gage’s fellow governors were still demonstrating in the early 1770s, there was ample scope for the use of publicity to strengthen Crown authority in the colonies. Indeed, as we

¹⁰⁹ Clive and Bailyn, ‘England’s Cultural Provinces’, 207. ¹¹⁰ See Nash, Urban Crucible, 45–64, 122–4; Butler, Becoming America, 90–123; Bonomi, Lord Cornbury Scandal, passim; Richard Beeman, The Varieties of Political Experience in EighteenthCentury America (Philadelphia, 2007); Greene, ‘Society, Ideology, and Politics’, 22–8; Greene, Pursuits of Happiness, 198–200; Ned Landsman, Crossroads of Empire (Baltimore, 2010), 183–207; Stephen Patterson, Political Parties in Revolutionary Massachusetts (Madison, WI, 1973), passim; Alan Tully, Forming American Politics (Baltimore, 1994), 416–19. ¹¹¹ See Stephen Saunders Webb, 1676 (Cambridge, MA, 1985), passim; James Rice, Tales from a Revolution (Oxford, 2012), passim. ¹¹² Thomas Gage quoted in William Warner, Protocols of Liberty (Chicago, 2013), 11.

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shall see, this was one of the salient lessons of British-American politics during the wars of the mid-eighteenth century. In falling back upon military coercion, Gage spiked the most powerful gun in his political arsenal. The influence of the clergy, the other entrenched power in British America, was equally beholden to the forces of publicity. Of course, the clergy had always been public men in the old sense of the term: throughout the eighteenth century, ministers of all denominations continued to provide set-piece expressions of state ideology through sermons preached on civic occasions like elections, fasts, and thanksgivings. In this respect, they acted a part typical throughout the early modern Protestant world.¹¹³ As an increasing number of such sermons were committed to print and sold in a rapidly expanding marketplace, however, they took on a character less directive and pedagogic, more persuasive and disputative. In this respect, religious leaders bore much responsibility for pioneering many of the forms of sociability and discourse associated with the public sphere. The Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1740s was a particularly seminal moment, when revivalist leaders demonstrated how far the transatlantic public sphere could be harnessed to restructure the staid and patchy ecclesiastical order throughout the colonies.¹¹⁴ As the governors discovered, publicity could create authority, not just upset it. The lessons of this experience were not confined to print culture. Revivalist preaching exacted a major influence over political oratory in the aftermath of the Great Awakening, in a style epitomized by the Virginia burgess Patrick Henry and some of the Boston Massacre orators.¹¹⁵ Some theologians maintained extensive correspondence and publishing networks, some of which reached through English and Scottish ministers to Dissenters on the Continent.¹¹⁶ From his retreat in western Massachusetts, Jonathan Edwards was the driving force behind a transatlantic ‘concert for prayer’ in the late 1740s, while some of Thomas Prince’s sermons on the War of the Austrian Succession went through numerous editions in London. Such strategies were not the exclusive preserve of revivalists, and sermons did not account for the entire literary output of the colonial clergy. Moderates like Jonathan Mayhew enjoyed comparable publishing success and similarly extensive networks of correspondence. Clergymen also entered the public sphere as essayists and, in the cases of Mather Byles of Boston and James Sterling of Chestertown, Maryland, poets too. Reverend William Smith, the Anglican Provost of Philadelphia College, went so far as to found his own magazine and the beginnings of a cultural ¹¹³ Cf. Pasi Ihalainen, Protestant Nations Redefined (Leiden, 2005), 25–85; Cowan, Social Life of Coffee, 147–51; Andrew Preston, Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith (New York, 2012), 95. ¹¹⁴ Hall, Contested Boundaries, passim. ¹¹⁵ Rhys Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia, 1740–1790 (Chapel Hill, 1982), 267–9. ¹¹⁶ See Katherine Engel, ‘The SPCK and the American Revolution: The Limits of International Protestantism’, in Church History, vol. 81, no. 1 (Mar. 2012), 77–103.

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movement. In a similar manner, the Connecticut pastors Ezra Stiles and Jared Eliot, meanwhile, pursued intellectual enquiries and correspondences that would draw them into the transatlantic republic of letters.¹¹⁷ Colleges, which had once done little but educate ministers, also turned outwards. Their commencements became public events, with proceedings recounted in local newspapers.¹¹⁸ Clerical discourse reiterated the righteousness of serving the public interest. Piety and salvation remained the principal concerns of clerical writers, and providential world views remained ubiquitous. Nevertheless, a public political function remained second nature.¹¹⁹ The Pennsylvanian pastor John Carmichael laboured this service in a sermon to the colonial militia in June 1775, shortly after the outbreak of hostilities with regular British forces. Although the clergy’s ‘business for ordinary is neither war nor politics’, he declared, yet ‘in such a situation, being a member of civil society, and interested like other men’, they were obliged to ‘improve the times, by adopting their public instructions to the best service of the people, and not offensive or displeasing to God, whose holy word is a blessed directory in every emergency’.¹²⁰ The British-American clergy would perform this role energetically throughout the upheavals of the eighteenth century. In the decades before 1776, British-Americans engaged in public business by emphasizing their devotion to the public interest, public opinion, and public service; yet each of these publics was the personal conceit of each author. There was no fixed definition. Often the public was national, transatlantic, and British; sometimes it was broader, European, and even human; sometimes it was narrower, American, and regional or even local. Much of this book is devoted to the way colonists navigated these overlapping societies. The creation of the national public and its heavy usage by colonial writers was the most significant development. National identity was hardly a novelty in British America, but the emergence of an integrated, transatlantic public sphere, bound by regular correspondence and commercial printing, made that identity more immediate and normalized the discussion of national issues. Once society ceased to be local, the public could no longer afford to be parochial, and it is noteworthy that some of the most eminent colonial printers were also avid British nationalists—not least Benjamin Franklin. Perhaps inevitably, the improvement of communication was accompanied by the rise of Country Whiggery—the principal beneficiary of popular politics in the English Atlantic—which celebrated ‘patriotism’ as the supreme political virtue.However, the construction of a national public was not achieved by journalism and political thought alone. The discussion ¹¹⁷ See Grasso, Speaking Aristocracy, 187. ¹¹⁸ David Hoeveler, Creating the American Mind (Oxford, 2002), 348–9; see further Silverman, Cultural History of the American Revolution, 9–11, 162. ¹¹⁹ On the enduring hold of the ‘idiom of religion’ over colonial thought, see Bonomi, Cope of Heaven, 3. ¹²⁰ Carmichael, Self-Defensive War, 6.

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of current affairs was joined in a complex nexus with national histories and expectations of the future to create what François Hartog has called a ‘regime of historicity’—a cluster of temporally rooted presumptions about Britain’s politics and culture which acted as a barometer of legitimate political behaviour.¹²¹ None of this made the British colonies remotely exceptional: these trends were entirely of a piece with contemporary developments in western Europe.¹²² The national public inevitably brought colonists into contact with wider international society, in which the pre-eminent national business of warfare and diplomacy took place. This broader, primarily European society has usually been described as a foreign ‘other’, against which British nationality was defined. There is no shortage of truth to this vantage point, but it is far from the whole story. As we have seen, Francophobia was a formative influence on metropolitan British political culture throughout the century, but so was concern for foreign Protestants, Christendom, the balance of power, and the ‘liberties of Europe’. All of these issues placed Britain within an international fraternity, and there is no shortage of analogies to be found in the histories of the other great powers. In this context, it is unsurprising that colonists were capable, from time to time, of addressing a public wider than the transatlantic British nation.

‘The American Mind’ Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing. It was intended to be an expression of the American mind. Thomas Jefferson, recalling the Declaration of Independence, 1825¹²³ This book is a study of several political and cultural discourses that mingled and circulated in and beyond British North America during its late colonial period. Languages of politics are composed of utterances and, as we have seen, these utterances were public acts, regardless of whether they were voiced in the forum or professed privately. Yet the study of public discourse cannot but raise a lengthy list of interpretive difficulties, although their separate valences depend on the aims the ¹²¹ See François Hartog, Regimes of Historicity, trans. Saskia Brown (New York, 2015). ¹²² Cf. Blanning, Culture of Power, 15–25. An intriguing anticipation of this synergy of public and national is explored in Quentin Skinner, ‘Augustan Party Politics and Renaissance Constitutional Thought’, Skinner, Visions of Politics, 3 vols. (Cambridge, 2002), II, 344–67, originally published as ‘The Principles and Practices of Opposition: The Case of Bolingbroke versus Walpole’, in Neil McKendrick (ed.), Historical Perspectives (London, 1974), 93–128. On the provincial English press as a forum for the discussion of national affairs, see Jeremy Black, The English Press, 1621–1861 (Stroud, 2001), 140. ¹²³ Thomas Jefferson quoted in Robert Ferguson, The American Enlightenment 1750–1820 (Cambridge, MA, 1997), 6.

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scholar has in mind. Whatever our intention, however, the thorniest of these interpretive questions is how—and how far—the meaning of past utterances is to be—or can be—established. Historians have often been moved to ask whether public statements were merely rhetorical, related only tangentially to the ideas and forces which motivated them. Others, commonly by way of reply, have treated acts of speech as descriptions of the thoughts and rationales underlying action. The debate boils down to whether political agents act upon heartfelt beliefs or hardheaded calculations, which is contentious indeed where the American patriots are concerned. But, in fact, the question is poorly posed, for it rests on presumptions about the relationship between ideas, utterances, and actions that cannot be proven. One school of thought, then, has treated ideas as epiphenomenal. In the words of its foremost practitioner, the great historian of Georgian party politics Sir Lewis Namier, ideas were the stuff of ‘party names and cant’. The process of intellection was in fact nothing more than the ex post facto rationalization of attitudes determined by economics, social relations, or psychology. To Namier, these were the music of the times, next to which discourse appeared as ‘a mere libretto, often of a very inferior quality’.¹²⁴ Marxist historians did not repudiate the motivational character of ideas quite so entirely, but they nevertheless reduced intellection to an ancillary position, governed by the underlying fiat of socioeconomic relations.¹²⁵ Doubtless buoyed by the climate of cynicism that shrouds the political landscape of the early twenty-first century, the epiphenomenal interpretation has retained much influence over contemporary scholarship. Early Americanists seem particularly inclined to set aside the rhetoric of those who, as Francis Jennings put it, ‘strutted pompously about . . . as they declaimed about refusing to be slaves’.¹²⁶ In its place, much of the field has come to seek the mainsprings of colonial history in relations between classes and genders, in racism and material cultures. Many of these interpretations are so thoroughly at odds with the discursive evidence that they might as well be a species of philosophic history. Another school asserts the causative power of ideas themselves. While this might seem naïve at first glance, it is far from lacking in distinguished advocates, including Herbert Butterfield.¹²⁷ For self-evident reasons, this form of idealism has long appealed to those—now very much out of fashion—minded to write hagiographies for the founding fathers. More recently, Eric Nelson has resuscitated this approach with an argument from his own psychology. ‘It seems to us that our beliefs very frequently determine what we want, not the other way around,’ he declares, adding that other conceptions of intellection are ‘deeply at ¹²⁴ Lewis Namier, Personalities and Powers (London, 1955), 4. ¹²⁵ See Eric Nelson, The Royalist Revolution (Cambridge, MA, 2014), 23n. ¹²⁶ Francis Jennings, The Creation of America (Cambridge, 2000), 3. ¹²⁷ See Herbert Butterfield, George III and the Historians (London, 1957), which might be read as a rejoinder to Namier’s work.

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odds with our understanding of what is going on when we ourselves engage in political debate’.¹²⁸ Altogether more curious is an intermediate position— seemingly popular amongst historians of the American Revolution—which holds that we can somehow distinguish between utterances that reflect sincere belief and those that are merely rhetorical. As Gordon Wood has recently contended, patriot writers ‘did not have to sincerely believe everything they said’.¹²⁹ This is most probably true, but this kind of equivocation on the matter of rhetoric and belief is no more firmly grounded than the other claims. The problem with these approaches is that they all rely upon a piece of information that is simply beyond the historian’s ken: evidence for the internal cognitive processes of dead people does not exist, and one minded to search for it would be better served by a seance than an archive. We cannot know what historical actors were really up to, even if they themselves knew, because no source can provide that knowledge. The written historical record is a compilation of utterances, not a list of beliefs. Some individuals may well form their statements to serve ulterior motives or manipulate their words to charm particular audiences. Others may indeed act upon conscience. We cannot know which. Even the most generous readings of these arguments only succeed in moving the problem rather than resolving it. To be taken seriously, cynics arguing for the supremacy of ulterior motives must surely provide a burden of proof equal to that offered by those who assert the motivational power of ideas. They are throwing stones in their own glasshouses. Nelson’s effort to resuscitate idealism, meanwhile, has failed to provide a more compelling case and instead given manna to his critics. Although one would certainly admit to a more than passing similarity between the description of his own cognitive process and my own, we only have his word for it—and mine, for that matter. Records of private sentiments offer no more than the vaguest inkling of conviction because authorial motivation can never be fully explored—partly for lack of information, partly for the same hermeneutical difficulties we have been discussing. The relationship between belief and action and the origins of beliefs themselves are not uninteresting questions, but they cannot be resolved by the historian’s art.¹³⁰ Once belief has been set aside as unfathomable and the dichotomy of sincerity and cant dismissed along with it, we can make more fruitful enquiries about the impact of ideas, the meaning of utterances, and the process of intellection itself. ¹²⁸ Nelson, Royalist Revolution, 25. See further Nelson, ‘A Response to Gordon Wood’s “Revolutionary Royalism: A New Paradigm?” in American Political Thought 5 (2016)’, Department of Government, Harvard University, 2016, 1–16. ¹²⁹ Gordon Wood, ‘Revolutionary Royalism: A New Paradigm?’, in American Political Thought, vol. 5 (Winter 2016), 136. ¹³⁰ This line of argument rests upon a distinction between authorial motives and authorial intent. Motivation is inaccessible because it precedes action, whereas intention is conveyed by the action itself. See Skinner, ‘Motives, Intentions, and Interpretation’, in Skinner, Visions of Politics, I, 90–102.

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No figure is more significant to this task than the historian of political thought Quentin Skinner, who has done most to move beyond the old stasis and develop more sophisticated theories of meaning and interpretation. Scarcely less noteworthy is the historian of the French Revolution Keith Michael Baker, whose writings on method are of seminal importance to the study of publics and their opinions in the eighteenth-century European world. One way of deciphering the relationship between political ideas and patterns of argument is to consider how the requirements of legitimation constrain speech. As Skinner has written, if we presume ‘that what it is possible to do in politics is generally limited by what it is possible to legitimise’, then ‘what you can hope to legitimise’ must depend ‘on what courses of action you can plausibly range under existing normative principles’.¹³¹ The genius of this line of argument is that it provides a more robust defence of the causative role of thinking than the conventional mode of idealism. For if political ideas are acknowledged to exert such a constraining power over rhetoric, then their influence can no longer be confined to the motivational valence of heartfelt beliefs. Rather, to quote Skinner once again, ‘an agent’s principles will also make a difference whenever there is need to provide an explicit justification for them’; as such, it will be necessary for agents to ‘limit and direct their behaviour in such a way as to render their actions compatible with the claim that they were motivated by some accepted principle’.¹³² On this account, then, ideas play a causal role whether agents act from conviction or behave disingenuously.¹³³ Skinner’s theory rests on the premise that agents are indeed obliged to speak the language of widely held normative principles if they wish to gain political traction, but this claim is open to doubt. How much power this sanction could exert in absolute monarchies prior to the emergence of the modern public sphere is debatable. In a political landscape where publicity was personified in the rites of kingship, and where policy could be carried on by secret du roi, it may be questioned how far those in power were bound by such constraints. Of course, even in the absence of the eighteenth-century public and its institutions, courtiers were still restrained by social mores, and the multitude at large retained the final sanction of uprising. In the context of the public sphere, the force of legitimation as a constraint upon speech becomes altogether clearer. As we have seen, colonial political culture had followed that of Britain and parts of Europe in elevating the public and its opinion as the arbiter of taste and politics. As Baker has written, ‘political

¹³¹ Quentin Skinner, Liberty Before Liberalism (Cambridge, 1998), 105. ¹³² Skinner, ‘Augustan Party Politics’, 366–7. ¹³³ Skinner’s position is essentially negative: he does not presume that agents act from ulterior motives but are constrained in their rhetoric by widely held ideas; rather, he claims that even when agents act disingenuously, ideas retain their causal qualities.

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authority’ had thereby become ‘a matter of linguistic authority’.¹³⁴ This climate encouraged a proof of the curtailing power of this opinion in the shape of the debate about amour propre. Few issues were of greater import to eighteenthcentury philosophers than the relationship between sociability and interpersonal recognition: whether or not an individual’s outward behaviour reflected his interior values and qualities. Several theories might be advanced about the origin of the new premium that colonists placed on trust in commerce and politics. Suffice to say (by way of an agreeably circular argument), the fact that this debate circulated so widely in the European world is significant in itself. To conclude that discourse was shaped by the speaker’s anticipation of public opinion is also to demonstrate that this study is not made of an erudite elite alone. For public spheres of the kind that developed in British North America were widely accessible and their modes of discourse were not hierarchical. On the contrary, we have already demonstrated that elites both social and institutional adjusted their behaviour to seek vindication by the public. In the same breath, this is also to refute the objection that historical speakers might have preferred to assert the legitimacy of their remarks through an appeal to status, position, or some other excellence. In this part of the British Empire, as in other parts of the European world, the rules that had once made such behaviour viable had faded to a veneer of deference. The method at hand does not, therefore, propose a return to an older way of writing about political history, in which elites defined ‘common causes’ for ordinary people to follow.¹³⁵ Rather, it takes the more subtle view that rhetoric was constrained by public opinion, which leaders were often obliged to articulate. This approach to the interpretation of rhetoric is founded upon the contextual study of political ideas, pioneered by scholars like J. G. A. Pocock who wished to reorient the discipline away from a timeless canon of celebrated texts towards the study of languages, idioms, and terms in historical context.¹³⁶ On this understanding, meaning can only be established (to the limited extent that it can be established at all) by placing an utterance in the discursive context to which it was itself a contribution.¹³⁷ Of course, the bounds of this context are not easily defined. Other texts are simple enough, but the same cannot be said for ‘speech’ in the broader sense of the term. Owing to the sheer individuality of the medium, the extraction of a picture’s meaning through comparisons with other images or ¹³⁴ Baker, ‘On the problem of the Ideological Origins of the French Revolution’, 17. ¹³⁵ For recent examples of such criticism, see Barbara Smith, The Freedoms We Lost (New York, 2010), 87–8; Michael McDonnell, ‘Men Out of Time: Confronting History and Myth’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 68, no. 4 (Oct. 2011), 646. ¹³⁶ For retrospective commentaries, see J. G. A. Pocock, Virtue, Commerce, and History (Cambridge, 1985), 1–34; J. G. A. Pocock, ‘The Concept of a Language and the Métier d’Historien’, in Anthony Pagden (ed.), The Languages of Political Theory in Early-Modern Europe (Cambridge, 1987), 19–38. ¹³⁷ Skinner, ‘Interpretation and the Understanding of Speech Acts’, in Skinner, Visions of Politics, I, 103–27.

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writings must entail a quantum of doubt that far exceeds textual analysis. Brush strokes are never repeated with the consistency of letters of the alphabet. If the synchronic aspects of this analysis is straightforward, the diachronic is another matter. Some have demanded proof of the claim that contemporary contexts provide the locus in which the meaning of an utterance should be sought. Indeed, Straussian scholars of political ideas have quipped that the one thing historicists seem incapable of historicizing is historicism itself. This objection is more pithy than prescient. For one, Skinner and Pocock have been at pains to point out that the relevant context is not necessarily immediate—either spatially or temporally.¹³⁸ The point still serves as an important reminder that the search for the right context may be the greatest of all challenges. It can hardly be suggested, however, that the historicist approach finds semantic change elusive, since its very essence is the detection of shifts in usage and association over time.¹³⁹ This mode of interpretation presents a compelling alternative to the study of intellectual genealogies, which runs the risk of becoming distracted by the intent of antecedent authors writing in different circumstances. Whether events themselves are contexts for the interpretation of utterances might seem an altogether thornier question, but in fact it rests on a distinction between ideas and events which is actually without a difference. Events acquire meaning through discourse, not the other way around. As such, it seems redundant to speak of events as unusual in this sense, since for the purpose of demonstrating intent and meaning they too exist as utterances. Whether events motivated cognitive and locutionary acts is a different issue altogether and, like all other questions about the motivation of agents, fundamentally unanswerable. What can be stated is that the use of language to invest an extraordinary range of disparate actions and events with meaning was integral to late colonial and revolutionary politics. After all, this was Jefferson’s very task when he claimed that the Declaration of Independence was ‘an expression of the American mind’.¹⁴⁰ It is this fact which makes the study of discourse essential to the study of political, cultural, and social history. No historian could hope to offer a very penetrating account of the subject at hand without meeting those who spoke for their times on their own terms. By the same token, the notion that the scholar’s business is to undo the ‘epistemic violence’ committed by biased authors would appear to rest on rather shaky presumptions about what can be achieved. Some will find the hermeneutical arguments sketched out in this chapter constrictive, but without a frank admission of the limits of the historian’s art, we remain at risk of giving voice to a set of hunches—or of joining a seance. ¹³⁸ See ibid., 116; following Pocock, ‘Political Ideas as Historical Events: Political Philosophers as Historical Actors’, in Melvin Richter (ed.), Political Theory and Political Education (Princeton, 1980), 147–8. ¹³⁹ Baker, ‘On the Problem of the Ideological Origins of the French Revolution’, 16. ¹⁴⁰ Jefferson quoted in Ferguson, American Enlightenment, 6.

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PART I

THE LIBERTIES OF EUROPE, 1740– 1 7 6 3

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5 ‘Giving Peace to Europe’ Colonial Whigs and the Balance of Power

In July 1759, the body of William Pepperrell, who had become one of New England’s most celebrated men fourteen years earlier as the conqueror of the French fortress of Louisbourg, was interred at Kittery Point, Maine. His eulogist, however, did not pay tribute to the General simply as the defender of New England. Rather, Benjamin Stevens explained how Pepperrell’s expedition had protected the dominions of a distant Catholic princess, preserved the balance of power, and ‘gave peace to Europe’.¹ Colonists like Stevens and Pepperrell lived on the geographical margins of the European world. Nevertheless, as the eulogy demonstrated, they remained deeply concerned with European geopolitics, scrutinizing the workings of the eighteenth-century states system, British policy toward the great powers, and America’s place within it. During the middle decades of the eighteenth century, the European world was convulsed by two major conflicts, the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War. It was in response to these crises that a large, diverse group of literate British-Americans, spread throughout the colonies but united by their participation in a burgeoning public sphere, expressed a complex discourse about the British Empire’s place in the European states system, in keeping with the origins of their colonies and the professions of their ancestors. The discussion of geopolitics in mid-eighteenth-century British North America had two fundamental aspects, both of which grew from the traditions of metropolitan thinking we saw in Chapters 2 and 3. Firstly, colonial discourse continued to place an overriding emphasis on the balance of power as the basis of a rightful European order. Support for ‘the Protestant interest’ was profound, conspiratorial rhetoric about ‘anti-popery’ was ubiquitous, and colonial thinking about international affairs was deeply indebted to Protestant precepts of justice. However, contrary to the claims of religious historians like Mark Noll, in the mid-eighteenth century (as in earlier periods) the colonial view of geopolitics was not centred on an apocalyptic duel between Rome and the Reformation.²

¹ Benjamin Stevens, A Sermon Occasioned by the Death of the Honourable Sir William Pepperrell (Boston, 1759), 17. ² Mark Noll, America’s God (Oxford, 2002), esp. 78–82; Thomas Kidd, The Protestant Interest (New Haven, 2004), 51–73; Owen Stanwood, The Empire Reformed (Philadelphia, 2011), 143–76. Contrast The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution. D. H. Robinson, Oxford University Press (2020). © D. H. Robinson. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198862925.001.0001

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Instead of competition between confessional blocs, colonists tended to envision a state-based geopolitics, organized around the independence of sovereign polities. Accordingly, British-American writers expressed concern for the liberties of Catholic Portugal as freely, and in the same manner, as they did for those of Protestant Prussia and the Dutch Republic. This attitude was illustrated by their approval of cross-confessional alliances, particularly with the Catholic Austrian Habsburg dynasty, which foreshadowed the accord between the revolutionary United States and Catholic France. Of course, their conception of international politics was hardly secular, but the European states system was no longer perceived through a Manichean lens as a struggle between the Reformed and Roman powers. Instead, the states system itself played a decisive role in the formation of colonial ideas about British foreign policy. Secondly, despite living in America, colonists tended to prioritize the policing of the European balance over maritime expansion and their own immediate interests on the western shore of the Atlantic. Despite the protestations of some scholars, there were vanishingly few expressions of ‘terror and frustration’ at Britain’s mid-century European wars.³ In keeping with the contours of opinion that were taking shape at the end of Chapter 3, colonial discourse remained under the hegemony of the Eurocentric, ‘continentalist’ foreign policies of the British Court Whigs after 1739. British-Americans generally eschewed the insularity, selfcentricity, and even Francophile sentiment characteristic of Tory and Country Whig blue-water policies, which had immeasurably larger followings in England. Rather, the tide of colonial public opinion fervently advocated Britain’s role as the ‘arbiter’ of Europe, supporting interventionist policies to protect the balance and ‘liberties’ of the Continent from French universal monarchy, the driving fear of the age. These attitudes represented a striking difference from the polarization of metropolitan attitudes toward Great Britain’s foreign relations. However, they also established a crucial area of common sentiment between the colonial public and the prevailing outlook of metropolitan ministries during the tumult of 1739–63.

‘Freedom’s Juster Claim’ Go on great GEORGE, depressed Austria raise, Sink Bourbon’s House, and brighten Britain’s praise;

the exceptionalist theses of Nathan Hatch, The Sacred Cause of Liberty (New Haven, 1977), 21–54; Harry Stout, The New England Soul (Oxford, 1986), 233–55. ³ Jon Butler, Becoming America (Cambridge, MA, 2000), 118; Jonathan Dull, A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution (New Haven, 1985), 53.

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Still dare assert fair freedom’s juster claim, And humankind shall bless their patron’s name. Bostonian ode on the Battle of Dettingen, 1743⁴ Compared to the Seven Years War, the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–8) has received little attention from historians of early America. Yet it was during this conflict that colonists displayed with greater clarity than ever before the Eurocentric geopolitical outlook that underpinned their engagement with the international upheaval of 1740–63. Like the wars of the Grand Alliance, the Austrian war began in Europe. Emperor Charles VI’s death without male heirs in October 1740 gave France and Prussia a long-awaited opportunity to dismember their old nemesis, the empire of the Austrian Habsburgs. Prussia’s ambitious young king, Frederick II, began the armed struggle, invading the Habsburg province of Silesia in December. Louis XV’s France joined the war the following August, despatching troops against western Austria. By removing the principal counterweight to French power on the Continent, the partition of the Habsburg empire would have undermined the European balance and jeopardized Britain’s strategic interests in Germany and Flanders. The gravity of these dangers quickly surpassed the maritime grievances with Spain that had dominated British politics in the late 1730s, prompting Britain to intervene—first diplomatically, then militarily—in support of the right of Maria Theresa, the Queen of Hungary and Charles’s eldest daughter, to an undivided inheritance of the Habsburg lands. This direct intervention in European geopolitics, employing troops and alliances to preserve the balance and ‘liberties’ of the Continent from the attempt of one power (usually France) to establish a universal monarchy over Europe, remained the essence of Court Whig foreign policy.⁵ The immediate effect in Britain was the revival of continentalism, which had lain comparatively dormant during the previous decade. The immediacy of the Austrian emergency supplanted the minor dispute with Spain, which had borne fruit in the naval War of Jenkins’s Ear in 1739, in metropolitan politics. Robert Walpole—who had clung on through that crisis—was thrown from office for his callous failure to uphold the balance of power. ‘The liberty of and repose of all Europe is almost lost,’ his greatest enemy told the House of Commons; ‘after which we shall not keep ours long’.⁶ He was replaced by a new ministry dominated by Lord Carteret, who in turn gave way to the Pelham brothers—all fierce interventionists committed to the ‘Old System’ and land war in Europe.⁷ The ⁴ ‘On the Late Victory Obtained by His Majesty Over the French at Dettingen’, Boston, 27/9/1743, in American Magazine and Historical Chronicle, 9/1743, 36. Reprinted in BNL, 29/9/1743; PJ, 13/10/1743. ⁵ M. S. Anderson, The War of the Austrian Succession, 1740–1748 (London, 1995), 1–89. ⁶ Brendan Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat (London, 2007), 301–4; Lord Carteret quoted in ibid., 302. ⁷ Jeremy Black, A System of Ambition? British Foreign Policy 1660–1793 (Harlow, 1991), 168–77.

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second consequence of the reanimation of the strategic debate was a resurgence of the blue-water alternative to such policies, championed from the opposition benches by a young William Pitt and echoing throughout the London press.⁸ In stark contrast to the metropolitan landscape, where opposition to foreign entanglements was always palpable, colonial commentators advocated direct, continentalist intervention in European affairs throughout the 1740s with remarkable uniformity. Although their location on the margins of the European world obliged British-Americans to act in the colonial and maritime periphery, the ‘patriot’ outlook so prevalent in the imperial metropolis continued to leave almost no mark upon colonial discourse. Instead, colonists tended to conceive of their own campaigns through a decidedly Eurocentric lens as contributions to the success of continentalist policies across the Atlantic. This was the fruition of the lines of thought about America’s geopolitical relationship that were already coming into being in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Naturally, surviving sources cannot prove the existence of numerical majorities one way or another on any issue; neither is it obvious that such data would be especially useful. Nevertheless, during the middle decades of the eighteenth century, continentalism certainly enjoyed hegemony over a foreign policy discourse that pervaded the early American public sphere. And unlike the earlier period, the breadth of its reach can be demonstrated in the press, pulpits, coffee houses, taverns, letters, and other polite print and oral cultures and social arenas. Its interlocutors were predominantly (although not exclusively) male, concentrated along the coast but with important contributors in the backcountry, primarily but by no means uniformly anglophone, and dominated by a broadly defined elite of printers, clerics, planters, merchants, and professionals, although not to the absolute exclusion of those of humbler means. Colonial newspapers played a central role in the propagation of continentalism. When compared to the blue-water tendencies of the contemporary metropolitan press, the prevalence of continentalist articles among the hundreds of reprinted British pieces strongly suggests a measure of politically motivated editorial selection.⁹ So great is this disparity that it is unlikely to be a coincidence, especially ⁸ Robert Harris, A Patriot Press (Oxford, 1993), 89–91; Jeremy Black, Pitt the Elder (Cambridge, 1992), 49–54. ⁹ Numerous examples of reprinted British opinion articles advocating continental intervention may be found in five colonial newspapers with largely intact files for the 1740s. See BNL, 1/1/1741, 23/7/ 1741, 8/10/1741, 19/11/1741, 10/12/1741, 21/1/1742, 28/1/1742, 25/3/1742, 3/6/1742, 17/6/1742, 22/7/ 1742, 27/1/1743, 21/7/1743, 29/9/1743, 3/11/1743, 10/11/1743, 16/2/1744, 12/7/1744, 26/7/1744, 14/2/ 1745, 7/3/1745, 21/3/1745, 6/6/1745, 21/11/1745; BG, 27/12/1743, 10/1/1744, 5/6/1744, 23/10/1744, 13/ 8/1745, 24/9/1745; BEP, 11/5/1741, 1/6/1741, 12/10/1741, 23/11/1741, 7/12/1741, 19/4/1742, 26/4/ 1742, 21/6/1742, 4/10/1742, 25/10/1742, 13/12/1742, 28/3/1743, 26/11/1744, 13/1/1746; BPB, 19/1/ 1741, 3/8/1741; NYJ, 17/8/1741, 2/11/1741, 29/3/1742, 5/4/1742, 8/11/1742, 31/1/1743, 24/10/1743, 21/ 11/1743, 9/1/1744, 9/4/1744, 28/1/1745. For examples of articles opposing a continental commitment, see BNL, 25/2/1742, 16/6/1743, 18/10/1744, 21/2/1745; BEP, 11/1/1742, 30/4/1744; NYJ, 11/7/1743. Contrast the character of the metropolitan press in Harris, Patriot Press, passim.

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considering the decisive majority of colonial press-writers who endorsed continentalism. The foreign policy zeitgeist echoed through other facets of the early American public sphere. Clergymen, who were also prolific contributors to the press and exercised great influence over colonial discourse as leading public orators and writers, often advocated continentalism with similar fervour in spoken and printed sermons. Pamphlets, legislative journals, material and visual sources, and personal correspondence complemented the enthusiasm of the pulpit and the press for intervention in Europe. Importantly, these sources came from across British America and from diverse social, ethnic, and confessional backgrounds, illustrating not only the broad appeal but also the unifying influence of continentalism among an increasingly heterogeneous population. If a cogent blue-water narrative was widespread in mid-century British America, scarcely any trace of it survives.¹⁰ A chorus of American commentators blame the War of the Austrian Succession on France’s lust for universal monarchy, which seemed to be spreading mayhem and threatening liberty throughout Europe. The Boston Congregationalist minister Thomas Prince alleged that the war sprang from the ‘restless eagerness’ of France ‘to gain the monarchy of Europe’.¹¹ Another writer asserted that France had become as ‘pernicious to the western princes and states, as the Turk has been to the eastern’ in its quest for ‘universal monarchy of the west’.¹² These thoughts were widely shared and circulated throughout the colonies, including in the South. ‘Europe is in flames,’ one colonist wrote to the Virginia Gazette; ‘they are caused by the French, the common Disturbers’.¹³ In fact, the rise of the eastern European powers, and particularly the Prussia of Frederick II ‘the Great’, was far more culpable for the violation of Habsburg sovereignty in 1740. Louis XV had simply taken advantage of the situation. Nevertheless, it is telling that French universal monarchy was the arch-fear among colonists throughout the mid-eighteenth century.¹⁴ Clergymen also justified Britain’s crusade against universal monarchy as a defence of international liberty. The prominent Presbyterian minister Gilbert Tennent of Pennsylvania, who authored the definitive American treatise on the lawfulness of the Austrian war, explained the position in 1747: ‘That kind of war is ¹⁰ See, debatably, Charles Chauncy, Civil Magistrates Must be Just (Boston, 1747), 43; remarks on William Byrd in Chapter 3. ¹¹ Thomas Prince, The Salvations of God in 1746 (Boston, 1746), 12. ¹² Letter, BEP, 27/1/1746. On ‘western Turk’ imagery, see Tony Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 1660–1760 (Cambridge, 2007), 192; Stephen Conway, Britain, Ireland, and Continental Europe in the Eighteenth Century (Oxford, 2011), 165. ¹³ ‘From the Virginia Gazette, 26 June 1746’, in BEP, 11/8/1746 (see also BG, 12/8/1746). For similar expressions, see NYJ, 17/8/1741; BNL, 5/3/1741, 26/7/1744; BEP, 27/1/1746; Arthur Browne, The Folly and Perjury of the Rebellion in Scotland (Boston, 1746), 15; John Gordon, A Thanksgiving Sermon on the Defeat of the Rebels (Annapolis, 1746), 8; William Stith, A Sermon, Preached before The General Assembly, at Williamsburg (Williamsburg, 1746), 33; George Carlyle to John Carlyle, 30/7/1746, Carlyle Papers, Mss1C1995a, Virginia Historical Society; Benjamin Doolittle, A Short Narrative of Mischief Done by the French and Indian Enemy (Boston, 1750), 1. ¹⁴ On Franco-Prussian relations, see letter, BEP, 27/1/1746; Thomas Prince, A Sermon Delivered at the South Church in Boston (Boston, 1746), 24; letter, BNL, 7/2/1745 (reprinted in BPB, 4/3/1745).

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not approved of by God, which is commenced merely to gratify the ambition and avarice of princes, as in Ben-Hadad’s war against Ahab, or the Romans of old, who like the French now, made war upon all countries round about them, merely to enlarge their own dominions by the ruin of others.’ By placing French designs alongside those of pagan aggressors such as Ben-Hadad, an Aram-Damascene conqueror mentioned in the biblical books of Kings, and the hegemonic claims of the Roman Empire, Tennent distinguished between the present struggle against the illegitimate encroachments of French universal monarchy and a second type of war, which ‘Satan excites, and Antichrist carries on, against the Church of God’.¹⁵ The legitimacy of Austria as a polity remained a guarantee against the violation of its sovereignty, irrespective of the infidelity of its Catholic rulers and inhabitants. Tennent’s was in no sense a secular argument—equally in its invocation of duty to the Protestant interest—but it was grounded firmly in geopolitical rather than confessional enmities and in natural law rather than supernatural typology. If the language of universal monarchy was ultimately derived from older attacks on papal universality, the threat of the Antichrist’s campaign against the church militant was no longer immediately manifest in the fabric of the geopolitical system.¹⁶ The conflict of the 1740s was certainly a holy war—a struggle for justice against an apostate foe, fought extensively through prayer and penitence, providing divine rewards and punishments to lead the lapsed toward repentance, reformation, and salvation—but it was not a war between religions. In the absence of confessional solidarity, colonists espoused other vindications of Maria Theresa’s cause. Playing on her youth and femininity, they portrayed the Queen as a damsel in distress. Euphemia Norris wrote to her father, Governor Lewis Morris of New Jersey, ‘I . . . join with the general voice, in wishing her success, as she seems to be a distressed heroine.’¹⁷ Thomas Prince lamented how the French King and his allies ‘most barbarously fell on the estates of that young lady in 1741, but then about twenty four years of age’ and divested her of valuable territories ‘while she had none to help her’.¹⁸ Prince’s allusions to her gender could scarcely be clearer. Neither could those of the Congregationalist pastor Aaron Burr, Sr, when he told the New Jersey assembly that Louis XV ‘would have stripped that lady of the greater part, if not all, [of] her Dominions’. The French ¹⁵ Gilbert Tennent, The Late Association for Defence, Encouraged (Philadelphia, 1748), 6–7. Similarly on the difference between Louis XV and the Antichrist, see Jonathan Edwards to William McCulloch, 7/10/1748, in George Claghorn (ed.), The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 16 (New Haven, 1998), 257; Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard Improved . . . 1748 (Philadelphia, 1747), [viii], [xvi]; Prince, Salvations, 12. On eighteenth-century just war theory, see Jeremy Whitman, The Verdict of Battle (Cambridge, MA, 2012), 99. ¹⁶ Gilbert Tennent, The Late Association for Defence Farther Encouraged (Philadelphia, 1748), 49, stressed that Britain’s current crusade against the French was not mandated by any special divine command. ¹⁷ Euphemia Norris to Lewis Morris, 15/6/1742, in Eugene Sheridan (ed.), The Papers of Lewis Morris, 3 vols. (Newark, 1993), III, 200–1. ¹⁸ Prince, Salvations, 15.

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King emerged from these remarks—in keeping with both an old anti-Catholic trope and the unnatural character of universal monarchy—as something of a geopolitical rapist, violating the natural order of independent states.¹⁹ Support for Maria Theresa’s cause was widespread in the colonies, reflecting the charitable and humane impulses that tempered the influence of reason of state on Whig continentalism. Confident that it would be ‘acceptable to our readers’, William Parks rushed an ‘Account of the Nature of the Pragmatic Sanction’— the agreement outlining her right of undivided succession to the Habsburg lands, which France and Prussia had broken—into an edition of his Virginia Gazette; the details of this document circulated extensively in the colonies.²⁰ John Draper of the Boston News-Letter wrote approvingly of how the Queen had resolved to ‘accept of no proposition of partition, but gloriously struggle, by the assistance of divine providence, to reinstate the [Holy Roman] Empire in all its former liberties’.²¹ This fervour extended to enmity toward Maria Theresa’s Protestant enemies in the German Reich. Prince blamed ‘the unhappy conduct of the King of Prussia’ for French successes in the Austrian Netherlands, while a Pennsylvanian correspondent of the Boston News-Letter expressed his ‘wish [that] news may be confirmed’ of Frederick’s defeat and maiming in Bohemia.²² Austrians also featured prominently in American celebrations. Gentlemen’s clubs such as Boston’s Hospitable Society of Calicoes met in taverns to drink toasts to ‘the glorious Queen of Hungary’, ‘Success to the Allies’, and to prominent Austrian generals ‘Prince Charles of Lorraine’, ‘Prince Lobkowitz, [and] Count Knevenhuller’.²³ Several privateers, the principal colonial contribution to the war effort, sailed with names including the Queen of Hungary, the Prince Charles of Lorraine, and the Pandour (after the famous Croatian contingents in the Austrian service). New York’s Dolphin Inn even hosted an exhibition of lifesize waxworks of the Austrian royal family and other heroes of the war in 1748.²⁴ ¹⁹ Aaron Burr, A Discourse Delivered at Newark (New York, 1755), 12–13. On gender and politics in early America, see Sharon Block, ‘Rape without Women: Print Culture and the Politicisation of Rape, 1765-1815’, in Journal of American History, vol. 89, no. 3 (Dec. 2002), esp. 858–9. On popery and lechery, see Francis Cogliano, No King, No Popery (Westport, 1995), 10–11. ²⁰ ‘From the Virginia Gazette December 11’, in NYJ, 29/3/1742. Similarly, on the Pragmatic Sanction, see Norris Family Diaries, 1717–1762, vol. 5, 1745, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA; Prince, Salvations, 14–16; Josiah Cotton Memoirs, 1726–1756, Ms.SBd-47, 303, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston; Thomas Storey to James Logan, 26/2/1741, in Wilson Armistead (ed.), Memoirs of James Logan (London, 1851), 167; BNL, 24/6/1742, 28/4/1743; NYJ, 9/1/ 1743. ²¹ BNL, 17-24/6/1742. ²² Prince, Sermon Delivered at the South Church, 24; letter, BNL, 7/2/1745. ²³ BPB, 17/10/1743. See further Elaine Breslaw (ed.), Records of the Tuesday Club of Annapolis, 1745–1756 (Urbana, 1988), 34, 38; ‘Address of the Hungarian Club’, NYJ, 18/7/1743; BEP, 10/10/1743; William Willis (ed.), Journals of the Reverend Thomas Smith (Portland, 1849), 111; Benjamin Chew to Samuel Chew, 22/10/1743, Chew Family Papers, 2050, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. ²⁴ On privateers, see NYG, 23/3/1747; ‘Ship Registers for the Port of Philadelphia, 1726–1775, cont.’, in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 24 (1900), 115, 215, 221, vol. 25 (1901), 129; Wilfred Harold Munro, Tales of an Old Sea Port (Princeton, 1917), 37; Nicholas Olsberg (ed.), ‘Ship

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Unsurprisingly, then, British intervention in the European war was warmly welcomed in America. Prince—an archetypal interventionist—wrote approvingly of the manner in which ‘King George with the British nations, touched with [Maria Theresa’s] distresses’ and, viewing the great danger of Europe, knowing the French King was only making all others tools to his own ambition; and considering the wise and just engagement of the British Crown to maintain her possession of the dominions of the House of Austria, of absolute necessity to keep all Europe from being enslaved to the insatiable House of Bourbon;– arose for her deliverance; and resolved, that though all other states and princes should prove perfidious, they would give a glorious instance of their fidelity to sacred treaties, as well as of their wise care for the safety of Europe, and generous tenderness for that young princess (one of her principal friends) in her great distresses.²⁵ George’s personal victory over the French Duc de Noailles at the Battle of Dettingen in Germany in 1743 sparked widespread euphoria in the colonies. Throughout September the colonial press filled its pages with every report of the engagement that came to hand.²⁶ Church bells, cannonades, illuminations, and toasts rang, roared, flared, and washed through the towns of the Atlantic coast. Thanksgivings were held throughout New England, where sermons celebrated the King’s providential success.²⁷ Gilbert Tennent preached similarly from his pulpit in Pennsylvania.²⁸ The legislatures of New York, Massachusetts, and Virginia voted their approval of the King’s recent ‘defence of the liberty of Europe’.²⁹

Registers in the South Carolina Archives, 1734-1780’, in South Carolina Historical Magazine, vol. 74, no. 4 (Oct. 1973), 257; Carl Swanson, Predators and Prizes (Columbia, 1991), 205. On the exhibition, see NYJ, 3/7/1749; NYEP, 18/9/1749. ²⁵ Prince, Salvations, 15–16. ²⁶ For example: NYJ, 29/8/1743; BNL, 1/9/1743, 8/9/1743, 15/9/1742, 22/9/1743, 29/9/1743; BG, 6/9/ 1743, 20/9/1743, 27/9/1743; BEP, 19/9/1743, 26/9/1743. Most Virginia and New York papers are lost for this period. See also Benjamin Chew to Samuel Chew, 16/9/1743, Chew Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. ²⁷ Cotton Memoirs, Ms.SBd-47, 337, Massachusetts Historical Society; BNL, 5/12/1743; James Allen, Magistracy an Institution of Christ upon the Throne (Boston, 1744), 42–3; Jared Eliot, God’s Marvellous Kindness (New London, 1745), 2–7; Ebenezer Gay, The Character and Work of a Good Ruler (Boston, 1745), 28; Willis, Journals, 111; George Dow (ed.), The Holyoke Diaries, 1709–1856 (Salem, 1911), 7; Worthington Chauncy Ford (ed.), Broadsides, Ballads &c. Printed in Massachusetts, 1639–1800 (Boston, 1922), 109. ²⁸ Gilbert Tennent, The Necessity of Thankfulness for Wonders of Divine Mercies (Philadelphia, 1744), 13–14. ²⁹ E. B. O’Callaghan (ed.), Journal of the Legislative Council of the Colony of New-York, 2 vols. (Albany, 1861), II, 822. Likewise in H. R. McIlwaine and John Kennedy (eds.), Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 13 vols. (Richmond, 1905–1915), VII, 76; Worthington Chauncey Ford et al. (eds.), Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, 51 vols. (Boston, 1919–84), XX, 266.

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Two years later, a group of colonists in Prince William County, Virginia, were still minded to christen their new parish ‘Dettingen’.³⁰ Nothing better captured the victory’s significance to British-Americans than a widely circulated doggerel ode, On the Late Victory Obtained by His Majesty Over the French at Dettingen, in which one colonist exhorted the King to raise ‘depressed Austria’, ‘sink Bourbon’s House, and brighten Britain’s praise’ by continuing to ‘assert fair freedom’s juster claim’ until all ‘humankind shall bless their patron’s name’.³¹ Thus did BritishAmericans use the events of the war to endorse and celebrate Britain’s role as the arbiter of the balance and defender of the liberties of Europe. Colonial polemicists also harnessed history to the continentalist bandwagon. During the 1740s colonists vindicated current British interventions in Europe by invoking the campaigns waged in defence of the European balance by William III and the Duke of Marlborough during the wars of 1688–97 and 1701–14. This rhetorical device drew on a powerful facet of British-American culture. Marlborough remained an especially significant cultural icon and the pre-eminent model of British martial masculinity in America. Towns and streets bore his name in most of the thirteen colonies, and his victories typically found a place in colonial chronicles of historical events. Naturally, these continentalist memories preserved European land battles at the expense of naval engagements.³² Blenheim Palace, Marlborough’s home, once imitated by Alexander Spotswood, was a major site of pilgrimage for colonial tourists. A Massachusetts merchant named Benjamin Dolbeare who visited in 1739 returned with a copy of the inscription fixed beneath a marble statue of the Duke, now two decades dead: ‘Anglia et Bavaria Libertatum . . . Gallia Triumphantis . . . Germania ruentis Liberator ac tutamen’— potent words for the building crisis.³³ Clergymen were adept at defending continentalism with the Williamite– Marlburian example. Pastor John Evans of Charleston asked his congregation to recall how Marlborough had crowned Queen Anne’s reign ‘with such surprising victories, as brought the most powerful and most enterprising invader of the rights of men that had appeared for many ages to sue for peace’, whereby he ‘saved not ³⁰ William Meade, Old Churches, Ministers, and Families of Virginia (Philadelphia, 1857), I, 207. ³¹ ‘On the Late Victory Obtained by His Majesty over the French at Dettingen’, 27/9/1743, in American Magazine and Historical Chronicle, 9/1743, 36 (reprinted in BNL, 29/9/1743; PJ, 13/10/1743). For the colonists’ similar response to the defeat of the Jacobite Rebellion in 1746, see Browne, Folly and Perjury, 15; Ebenezer Pemberton, A Sermon Delivered at the Presbyterian Church (New York, 1746), 18; Stith, General Assembly, 16; Prince, Sermon Delivered at the South Church, 18. ³² On paradigms of colonial British martial masculinity, see The English Soldier Encouraged (Boston?, 1745?); Samuel Davies, Religion and Patriotism the Constituents of a Good Soldier (Philadelphia, 1755), 7–9; ‘Epitaph on the late Lord Howe’, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 9/1758, 605; Carl Bridenbaugh (ed.), Gentleman’s Progress (Chapel Hill, 1948), 69. On the predominance of Continental engagements in colonial chronologies, see Franklin, Poor Richard, 1741, [i]. See also Titan Leeds, The American Almanac (Philadelphia, 1745); William Nadir, Mercurius NovAnglicanus (Boston, 1747), [ii]; Franklin, Poor Richard . . . 1748, [xxiv]. ³³ Benjamin Dolbeare Diary, Ms.N-1127, Massachusetts Historical Society. Translation: ‘Liberator of England and Bavaria . . . Triumphant over France . . . Liberator and protector of collapsing Germany.’

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only his own country, but an Empire and all Europe from impending Ruin’. (The Empire in question was, of course, the Holy Roman Empire rather than the British Empire, which was still a novel concept.) Evans then drew a compelling analogy between Marlborough’s endeavours and George II’s ‘considerable victory over the forces of a perfidious neighbour’ at Dettingen in another campaign to save Europe and the House of Austria from the French.³⁴ Likewise, Joseph Parsons of Massachusetts called for the emulation of William III, ‘the deliverer of Europe from the grasping designs of a neighbouring ambitious monarch’, in a sermon of 1744.³⁵ Benjamin Franklin followed suit in his almanac for 1748, describing William as a ‘true hero’ whose ‘care and ‘protection’ was extended to his ‘neighbours . . . and all that are oppressed’.³⁶ Tellingly, this William was not quite an authentic recollection of colonial opinion during the late seventeenth century, when Cotton Mather wrote of the man who saved Protestantism from ‘the bloody altar, which it was bound now upon’.³⁷ In transforming the dead King from the saviour of Protestantism into the liberator of Europe, Parsons and Franklin had remodelled William III on the form of George II to justify the Austrian war. These historical vindications were very similar to those employed by Court Whigs in Britain. Although some metropolitan ‘patriots’ disparaged them as mere ‘devices to deceive the credulous into supporting ill-judged and often inconsistent measures’, colonists showed no such inclination.³⁸ Likewise, allegations that British foreign policy was being manipulated to serve the Hanoverian ends of a Germanborn monarch—ubiquitous in Britain and frequently voiced in Parliament by prominent politicians—were virtually unknown across the Atlantic.³⁹ The metropolitan blue-water idiom remained practically unheard of in British America. Consequently, the attitudes British-Americans adopted toward the colonial and maritime war in which they found themselves embroiled can only be understood by turning to their distinctive, Eurocentric conception of the American theatre.

³⁴ John Evans, National Ingratitude Lamented (Charleston, 1745), 23–4. See also ‘On the late Victory’, in American Magazine and Historical Chronicle, 9/1743, 36. Contrast the account of Augustan historiography given by Gary Evans, ‘Partisan Politics, History, and the National Interest (1700-1748)’, in David Onnekink and Gijs Rommelse (ed.), Ideology and Foreign Policy in Early Modern Europe (1650–1750) (Farnham, 2011), 55–92. ³⁵ Joseph Parsons, Religion Recommended to the Soldier (Boston, 1744), 17–18. On William of Orange in contemporary British debate, see Graham Gibbs, ‘English Attitudes towards Hanover and the Hanoverian Succession in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century’, in Adolf Birke and Kurt Kluxen (ed.), England und Hannover (Munich, 1986), 40–1. ³⁶ Franklin, Poor Richard . . . 1748, [xviii]. ³⁷ Cotton Mather, The Wonderful Works of God Commemorated (Boston, 1690), 33–4. ³⁸ See Andrew Thompson, Britain, Hanover, and the Protestant Interest, 1688–1756 (Woodbridge, 2006), 176; Harris, Patriot Press, 92–3. ³⁹ On these acrimonious British public debates, see Gibbs, ‘English Attitudes’, 33–51; Harris, ‘Hanover and the Public Sphere’, in Brendan Simms and Torsten Riotte (eds.), The Hanoverian Dimension in British History, 1714–1837 (Cambridge, 2007), 183–212. See also the reprint of a British satire of anti-Hanoverian sentiments in BEP, 23/1/1744.

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‘Matters of Thankfulness’ If we consider the late peace relatively, may it not be said that these consequences of it afford matters of thankfulness? Gilbert Tennent, Pennsylvania minister, 1743⁴⁰ The much-celebrated Cape Breton campaign of 1745 demonstrated the centrality of the European balance of power to colonial war-making in North America itself. On 28 June an army of 3,000 New England militiamen captured the French fortress of Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, to the north of Nova Scotia. Despatched on the independent initiative of the Massachusetts General Court and the colony’s governor, William Shirley, the force received only nominal support and belated authorization from metropolitan authorities. Designed to hamstring French trade (a foundation stone of the Bourbon bid for universal monarchy), the expedition was driven by attitudes toward European geopolitics much more than its traditional image as the anti-Catholic crusade of a New English Israel suggests.⁴¹ From the campaign’s inception, its proponents stressed its relevance to the European war. Shirley recognized that the ‘critical conjuncture of affairs’ which followed the death of the new Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII, the renewal of Prussian attacks on Austria, and Britain’s formal declaration of war against France gave the colonies a unique ‘opportunity of promoting His Majesty’s service in the present emergency’.⁴² Thomas Hutchinson recorded how the ⁴⁰ Gilbert Tennent, A Sermon Preached at Burlington in New Jersey (Philadelphia, 1749), 24. ⁴¹ For a narrative of the campaign, see George Rawlyk, Yankees at Louisbourg (Wreck Cove, 1999). For speculation about the commercial advantages of the Louisbourg campaign and its impact on geopolitics, see William Bollan, The Importance and Advantage of Cape Breton (London, 1746), 92, 135–6; letter from a New Englander to a friend in London, in BEP, 22/12/1746; Thomas Prince, Extraordinary Events the Doings of God and Marvellous in Pious Eyes (Boston, 1745), 18; Thomas Prentice, When the People, and the Rulers Among Them, Willingly Offer Themselves to a Military Expedition (Boston, 1745), 35–6; Eliot, Marvellous Kindness, 5; letter, BEP, 13/5/1745; Charles Chauncy, Marvellous Things Done by the Right Hand and Holy Arm of God (Boston, 1745), 25; Robert Auchmuty, The Importance of Cape Breton to the English Nation (London, 1745), 3–4; William Shirley to the Lords of Trade, Boston, 25/7/1744, in Charles Lincoln (ed.), Correspondence of William Shirley, 2 vols. (New York, 1912), I, 137; Jonathan Edwards to a Correspondent in Scotland, Northampton, 11/1745, Jonathan Edwards to William McCulloch, Northampton, 21/1/1747, in Claghorn (ed.), Edwards Letters, 195, 219–20. ⁴² William Shirley to William Greene, Boston, 4/3/1745, in Gertrude Kimball (ed.), Correspondence of the Governors of Rhode Island, 1723–1775, 2 vols. (Freeport, 1969), I, 321. On contemporary American awareness of a turning point in European affairs, see Edward Holland to William Johnson, Albany, 6/4/1745, John Rutherford to Lieutenant Butler, Albany, 9/4/1745, in James Sullivan et al. (eds.), The Papers of Sir William Johnson, 14 vols. (Albany, New York, 1921–62), I, 27–8; Richard Partridge to William Greene, London, 14/4/1745, in Kimball (ed.), Governors’ Correspondence, I, 317; Prince, Extraordinary Events, 21. On previous plans against Louisbourg, see Mary Colman to William Pepperrell, Boston, 21/9/1743, quoted in Byron Fairchild, Messrs. William Pepperrell (Ithaca, 1954), 173; Peter Warren to Josiah Burchett, Squirrel, Boston, 9/7/1739, Peter Warren to Thomas Corbett, Launceston, St. Christopher’s, 6/2/1743, Peter Warren to Thomas Corbett, Launceston, New York, 8/9/1744, in Julian Gwyn (ed.), The Warren Papers, 1736–1752 (London, 1973), 10–12, 32, 38–9; Richard Partridge to William Greene, London, 8/5/1744, in

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project’s advocates within the assembly had argued that ‘if we succeeded, not only the coasts of New England would be free from molestation, but so glorious an acquisition would be of the greatest importance to Great Britain and might give peace to Europe’.⁴³ Accordingly, British-Americans celebrated the largely unexpected capture of Louisbourg as ‘a terrible blow’ to French universal monarchist aspirations in Europe.⁴⁴ As Tennent explained, what ‘peculiarly enhances the value’ of the conquest ‘is, that it gives some check to the ambitious designs and cruel intrigues of a proud and potent prince . . . who disturbs all Europe by his councils and arms, in order to erect a universal monarchy upon the ruins of other kingdoms and states’.⁴⁵ From Louisbourg itself, Andrew Burr claimed ‘that the French King never met with so great a blow’.⁴⁶ Colonists drew the expedition further into the mental world of continentalism and European war through analogies to previous defences of European liberty—particularly the Duke of Marlborough’s campaigns. Celebratory poetry, coming even from colonies that had not joined the expedition, stressed that the New England militia fought for the same ends as those British armies that had won fame in Flanders and Germany. As one New Yorker wrote, When glorious Anne Britannia’s sceptre swayed, And Lewis strove all Europe to invade; Great Marlborough then, in Blenheim’s hostile fields, With Britain’s sons o’erthrew the Gallic shields. The western world and Pepp’rell now may claim As equal honour and as lasting fame.⁴⁷

Kimball (ed.), Governors’ Correspondence, I, 255; Bridenbaugh (ed.), Itinerarium, 114; BNL, 19/4/1744, 2/8/1744; BPB, 23/4/1744. Cf. Donald Chard, ‘The Price and Profits of Accommodation’, in Frederick Allis (ed.), Seafaring in Colonial Massachusetts (Boston, 1980), 131, 42. ⁴³ Thomas Hutchinson, The History of Massachusetts (3rd edn, Boston, 1795), II, 367; William Shirley to the General Court of Massachusetts, 9/1/1745, in Lincoln (ed.), Shirley Correspondence, I, 159. ⁴⁴ John Smibert to Arthur Pond, Boston, 15/3/1745, in Richard Saunders, John Smibert (New Haven, 1995), 258. ⁴⁵ Gilbert Tennent, The Necessity of Praising God for Mercies Received (Philadelphia, 1745), 36–7. For similar sentiments, see letter, BEP, 13/5/1745; ‘On the Surrender of Louisbourg’, BNL, 12/12/1745 (reprinted in BEP, 16/12/1745; American Magazine and Historical Chronicle, 12/1745, 559); BG, 9/7/ 1745; BEP, 15/7/1745; Eliot, Marvellous Kindness, 5; Prentice, When the People, 35–6; Prince, Extraordinary Events, 21; Hull Abbot, The Duty of God’s People to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem (Boston, 1746), 22; Nathaniel Walter, The Character of a Christian Hero (Boston, 1746), 19; Henry Flynt to William Pepperrell, Boston, 20/8/1745, in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, First Series, Volume 1 (Boston, 1792), 51. On contemporary metropolitan attempts to marry overseas campaigns with continentalism, see Richard Harding, ‘British Maritime Strategy and Hanover, 1714– 1763’, Simms and Riotte (eds.), Hanoverian Dimension, 252–74. ⁴⁶ Andrew Burr to Jonathan Law, 7/8/1745, in Albert Bates (ed.), The Law Papers, 3 vols. (Hartford, 1911–14), II, 6. ⁴⁷ ‘On the Taking of Cape-Breton’, NYPB, 22/7/1745 (reprinted in BPB, 29/7/1745; American Magazine and Historical Chronicle, 7/1745, 315). See also ‘On the Taking of Cape-Breton’, NYPB, 25/7/1745 (reprinted in BPB, 29/7/1745; BEP, 29/7/1745; American Magazine and Historical Chronicle,

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Figure 5.1 John Smibert, Sir William Pepperrell (1746), courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.

In like spirit, Thomas Hancock organized the leading citizens of Massachusetts to commission a set of full-length portraits of the leaders of the enterprise from the local painters John Smibert and Robert Feke (see Figures 5.1 and 5.2).⁴⁸ Quoting 7/1745, 314–15); ‘On the Conquest of Cape-Breton, By an Honest Tar’, Williamsburg, 29/8/1745, BPB, 7/10/1745; ‘Lines made upon reading the King of France and Dauphin’s Letters (in your Post-Boy) to the Queen and Dauphiness, concerning the Engagement at Fontenoy’, in NYPB, 9/9/1745 (reprinted in AWM, 12/9/1745). Contrast David Shields, Oracles of Empire (Chicago, 1990), 218. ⁴⁸ Jane Kamensky, A Revolution in Colour (New York, 2016), 55–6.

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Figure 5.2 Robert Feke, Samuel Waldo (1748), courtesy of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine.

the portraits of military heroes on the other side of the Atlantic, there was no precedent for this kind of art in North America itself. The Boston engraver Peter Pelham was also hired to produce three-quarter-length mezzotints for sale to the public (Figure 5.3). Comparisons of the Louisbourg campaign with Marlborough’s endeavours spoke to a contemporary as well as a historical context. In Europe, the war was going against the Anglo-Austrian alliance. A Jacobite Rebellion in the British Isles during 1745 and 1746 had been defeated, but at the cost of diverting troops to Scotland. In the wake of the Jacobites’ defeat, Charles Peale of Chestertown, Maryland, expected a descent on Ireland next, ‘with design again to divert us

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Figure 5.3 Peter Pelham, after John Smibert, William Shirley, Governor of Massachusetts (1746), courtesy of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC. Smibert’s original is lost.

from sending forces to Flanders’, the principal theatre of the war.⁴⁹ From the Low Countries themselves, colonists heard little but bad news as the French armies of Maurice de Saxe overran fortress after fortress.⁵⁰ An article printed in the Boston

⁴⁹ Charles Peale to George Scott, Chestertown, 1/8/1746, in Lillian Miller (ed.), The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family, Volume I (New Haven, 1983), 18. ⁵⁰ On Mons and Ypres: BNL, 16/9/1744, 23/8/1744; Aeth, BPB, 31/1/1746; Brussels, BNL, 8/5/1746; BPB, 12/5/1746; NYJ, 19/5/1746; Antwerp, BPB, 21/7/1746; NYEP, 28/7/1746; BNL, 28/8/1746; Namur, BNL, 20/11/1746; BPB, 9/2/1747, 9/3/1747; Bergen-op-Zoom: NYG, 22/6/1747, 12/10/1747, 19/10/ 1747, 26/10/1747, 9/11/1747, 18/1/1748; NYEP, 19/10/1747, 14/12/1747; BPB, 26/10/1747, 23/11/1747, 25/1/1748, 1/2/1748; BEP, 26/10/1747, 30/11/1747, 4/1/1748; NYJ, 9/11/1747, 25/1/1748, 7/3/1748; BG, 8/12/1747, 15/12/1747; BEP, 26/10/1747, 30/11/1747, 4/1/1748. All of these issues contained long accounts of the state of Bergen and the conduct of the siege. On the near-total collapse of the Dutch front in 1747–8, see Anderson, Austrian Succession, 171–4; on colonial attitudes toward the Jacobite

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News-Letter lamented: ‘all the acquisitions of the great Duke of Marlborough in ten campaigns, which rendered the reign of Queen Anne so glorious, are now entirely lost back to the French in three campaigns only’.⁵¹ None of these events, however, dampened British-American optimism for great European victories yet to come. In early 1747, for example, the progress of Britain’s Austrian and Sardinian allies against French forces in Italy and Provence led the Virginian magnate Thomas Lee to conclude that ‘in Europe the advantage has been much on the side of the King and his allies, and there is hope of peace with Spain, after which France must come in’.⁵² The promise of Dutch mobilization after the elevation of William IV to the stadholderate and the hire of Russian auxiliaries further stoked such optimism.⁵³ Tellingly, the lengthy vindications of the land war by Prince and Tennent were penned towards its conclusion.⁵⁴ News of phantom victories, like the Duke of Cumberland’s having ‘totally routed’ the French before Bergen-op-Zoom in 1747, found gullible audiences in the colonies.⁵⁵ This optimism was misplaced: Dutch forces remained lethargic, the Russians never arrived, and there was no second Dettingen—let alone a repeat of Blenheim.⁵⁶ Louisbourg was a vital compensation in this climate of defeat. Commentators throughout British America weighed the project against European campaigns, both as recompense for defeats across the Atlantic and as a successor to Marlborough’s expeditions. One poet used the capture of the fortress to mock the French court’s Rebellion, Jonathan Hawkins, ‘Imperial ’45: The Jacobite Rebellion in Transatlantic Context’, in Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol. 24, no. 1 (Jan. 1996), 24–47. On the geopolitical significance of the ’45, see F. J. McLynn, France and the Jacobite Rising of 1745 (Edinburgh, 1981). ⁵¹ BNL 20/11/1746. See similarly Willis (ed.), Journals, 15/8/1745, 120. ⁵² Thomas Lee to Conrad Weiser, Stratford, 6/6/1746, Thomas Lee to Conrad Weiser, Belveue, 15/2/ 1747, in Richard Peters Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. See similarly Prince, Salvations, 26; Thomas Foxcroft, A Seasonable Memento for New Year’s Day (Boston, 1747), 71; Lewis Morris to Peter Warren, Kingsbury, 3/2/1746, in Sheridan (ed.), Morris Papers, III, 442–3; Richard Partridge to William Greene, London, 31/10/1746, in Kimball (ed.), Governors’ Correspondence, II, 29. ⁵³ See letter, Philadelphia, 5/4/1748, in NYG, 11/4/1748; Prince, Salvations, 26; Nathanael Ames, An Astronomical Diary (Boston, 1747), [xv]; William Douglass quoted in NYG, 20/7/1747. On metropolitan enthusiasm for the Russian auxiliaries, see Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 312–13; Reed Browning, The War of the Austrian Succession (Stroud, 1994), 334–5; NYEP, 17/6/1745; NYEP, 21/3/ 1748 (from London Magazine, 11/1747); also in NYJ, 5/6/1749; Letter, Rhode Island, 31/1/1746, in NYEP, 24/2/1746; BG, 22/3/1748; BEP, 30/5/1748, 27/6/1748, 4/7/1748; Henry Laurens to Richard St. John, Charleston, 19/3/1748, in P. M. Hamer et al. (eds.), The Papers of Henry Laurens, 16 vols. (Columbia, 1968–2002), I, 125. On this ‘Dutch revolution’, see Browning, Austrian Succession, 302–6; NYJ, 17/2/1747; BEP, 29/6/1747; NYG, 6/7/1747 (from General Advertiser, 27/4/1747); BNL, 2/7/1747; NYJ, 6/7/1747; NYG, 6/7/1747; Jonathan Edwards to William McCulloch, Northampton, 7/ 10/1748, in Claghorn (ed.), Edwards Letters, 255–6; Richard Partridge to the Governor of Rhode Island, London, 20/5/1747, in Kimball (ed.), Governors’ Correspondence, II, 48; NYG, 3/8/1747; NYG, 13/7/ 1747; BEP, 27/9/1747; NYG, 13/7/1747. Similarly, John Richard to Henry Van Rensselaer, New York, 10/7/1747, in the Van Rensselaer-Fort Papers, New York Public Library. ⁵⁴ For example, BNL, 21/3/1745; BEP, 21/4/1746 (reprinting the Daily Advertiser, 15/1/1746). ⁵⁵ BEP, 2/11/1747 (reprinted in NYEP, 9/11/1747; summarized in NYG, 9/11/1747). See similarly BPB, 2/9/1745, 16/9/1745; BNL, 11/7/1745, marginalia to the Readex edition; NYG, 31/8/1747, 27/7/ 1747. ⁵⁶ See Browning, Austrian Succession, 306.

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singing of Te Deums after Dettingen (an engagement Louis XV claimed, speciously, to have won): Forbear, proud prince, your gasconades, Te Deum cease to sing When Britons fight, the Grand Monarch Must stoop to Britain’s King.⁵⁷

Having read the jubilant letters of Louis XV and the Dauphin on the French victory at Fontenoy printed in James Parker’s New York Post-Boy, another colonist asked similarly: Proud France, why such excessive joy; For victory gained at Fontenoy? What can your heroes vainly boast? For Tournai many thousands cost; And Louisbourg you’ve lately lost.⁵⁸

Although the campaign had happened in North America—the only theatre in which colonists themselves could act decisively—this was not blue-water policy of the traditional metropolitan kind. The liberties of Europe and the crusade against French universal monarchy remained their overriding concern. Louisbourg was the Blenheim of the Austrian war. Consequently, when Louisbourg was returned to France under the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748), British-Americans were not scarred with an indelible mark of British betrayal, as scholars continue to claim despite the near-total lack of contemporary evidence.⁵⁹ The overwhelming majority of colonists who recorded their opinions on the subject understood and generally approved of the rationale behind exchanging Louisbourg for France’s extensive conquests in the Austrian Netherlands, which posed a mortal threat to the European balance and British security. As Benjamin Stevens remarked in his eulogy for William Pepperrell, the expedition’s commander, ‘although this valuable Acquisition was by treaty of peace ceded to our enemies . . . in return the French gave up all their conquests in the Netherlands, and all the advantages of a most successful war on

⁵⁷ BNL, 12/12/1745; BEP, 16/12/1745; American Magazine and Historical Chronicle, 12/1745, II, 559. ⁵⁸ NYPB, 9/9/1745 (reprinted in AWM, 12/9/1745). ⁵⁹ Some examples of this commonplace scholarly claim are William Pencak, War, Politics, and Revolution in Provincial Massachusetts (Boston, 1981), 127; Kidd, God of Liberty (New York, 2010), 27; Andrew Preston, Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith (New York, 2012), 62–3. On the negotiations, see J. M. Sosin, ‘Louisburg and the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1748’, in William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, vol. 14, no. 4 (Oct. 1957), 516–35.

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the continent; and our conquest of Cape-Breton gave peace to Europe’.⁶⁰ Americans regretted the loss of their prize, but their appreciation of the continentalist creed and knowledge of the international context provided ample comfort. As Tennent preached in 1749, ‘if we consider the late Peace relatively . . . these consequences of it, afford matter of thankfulness’.⁶¹ In the short term, the building of a British naval station at Halifax compensated for the loss.⁶² Most importantly, however, British-Americans recognized that the superior importance of the European balance of power (which had motivated the extraordinary crusade in the first place) called on them to make this sacrifice for the greater good of Europe. During the subsequent decade, the claim that the conquest of Louisbourg had thwarted French designs for universal monarchy and given peace to Europe became a popular British-American refrain.⁶³ These celebrations stood in stark contrast to colonial denunciations of the Treaty of Utrecht—vilified in American discourse after its ratification in 1713 as ‘the fatal cause of most of the evils we have suffered’, in which a ministry of Francophile Tories had betrayed Europe to Louis XIV by resigning Marlborough’s conquests and abandoning Britain’s Continental allies.⁶⁴ The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle left no such impression. Decisive victory had eluded the allies, but the Austrian war had concluded with the Habsburg empire largely intact and the balance of Europe sustained—albeit narrowly and temporarily.⁶⁵ Rather than fostering resentment at the betrayals of a

⁶⁰ Stevens, Death of the Honourable Sir William Pepperrell, 17. ⁶¹ Tennent, Sermon Preached at Burlington, 24. ⁶² See Otis Little, The State of Trade in the Northern Colonies Considered (Boston, 1749), vi; letter, BEP, 26/6/1749; BPB, 6/8/1750; BG, 13/6/1749; William Douglass, A Summary, Historical and Political, Of the First Planting, Progressive Improvements, and Present State of the British Settlements in North America, 2 vols. (Boston, 1751), II, 8. ⁶³ For example, see Cotton Memoirs, Ms.SBd-47, 352–3, Massachusetts Historical Society; Samuel Cooper, A Sermon Preached to the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company (Boston, 1751), 40; Burr, Discourse Delivered at Newark, 13–14; William Clarke, Observations On the Late and Present Conduct of the French (Boston, 1755), dedication; John Lowell, The Advantages of God’s Presence with His People in an Expedition Against their Enemies (Boston, 1755), iii; Nathaniel Ames, An Astronomical Diary (Boston, 1756), n.p.; William Shirley, Memoirs of the Principal Transactions of the Last War (3rd edn, Boston, 1758), iv; Benjamin Franklin to the Printer of the London Chronicle, 9/5/1759, in Leonard Labaree et al. (eds.), The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 40 vols. so far (New Haven, 1959–), VIII, 349–50. ⁶⁴ Andrew Eliot, A Sermon Preached October 25th 1759 (Boston, 1759), 18. For similar descriptions, see William Byrd II to Sir Charles Wager, Virginia, 17/2/1741, in Marion Tinling (ed.), The Correspondence of the Three William Byrds of Westover, 1684–1776, 2 vols. (Charlottesville, 1977), II, 581–2 Burr, Discourse Delivered at Newark, 10–11; Thomas Foxcroft, Grateful Reflections on the Signal Appearances of Divine Providence (Boston, 1760), 22; James Otis, A Vindication of the Conduct of the House of Representatives . . . (Boston, 1762), 9. For contemporary indictments of the treaty, see Cotton Mather to Samuel Penhallow, Boston, 17/4/1712, in Cotton Mather, The Diary of Cotton Mather, 2 vols. (Boston, 1911–12), II, 171–4; Cotton Mather to Wait Winthrop, Boston, 6/8/1712, in Mather Papers, 411; Isaac Norris to Benjamin Coote, Philadelphia, 28/11/1712, in the Norris Family Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Even the Virginia House of Burgesses was reticent in offering its praise: see House of Burgesses to Alexander Spotswood, 11/1713, in Palmer (ed.), Calendar of Virginia State Papers, I, 169. ⁶⁵ Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 353.

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mother country whose interests were diverging inexorably from those of its colonies, Britain’s entanglement in European geopolitics during the mideighteenth century exposed American enthusiasm for the British Empire as a great power and strengthened the sentimental and ideological bonds between colonies and metropolis. Even the treaty’s few colonial opponents attacked it on continentalist grounds by stressing the possibility of victory in the European land war. The Boston physician William Douglass insisted that the imminent intervention of Holland and Russia on the Anglo-Austrian side would have meant that, irrespective of Louisbourg’s fate, ‘the reduced towns and forts in Flanders, must have been returned’, ending the war with a lasting victory instead of a doomed truce.⁶⁶ The Boston Independent Advertiser, which attacked Governor Shirley and imperial policy throughout its short existence, also opposed the peace as defeatist. Condemning enemies of the war effort ranging from illicit traders in Newport to incompetent ministers in London via indolent Dutchmen, this periodical— carrying on its masthead a picture of Britannia freeing a dove from a rock emblazoned with three fleurs-de-lis—was actually among the strongest advocates of the vigorous deployment of British power in the cause of European liberty. When one writer feared that ‘this goodly land itself . . . may be the purchase of a future peace’, he was attacking the conduct of the war, not the orientation of foreign policy. The grievance of 1748 was defeat, not European wars or entanglements themselves.⁶⁷ All of these writers agreed that resisting French ‘schemes for universal monarchy’ should be the principal concern of British foreign policy in Europe and America.⁶⁸ The conquest and rendition of Louisbourg helped to sustain Europe’s centrality in British–American geopolitical discourse after 1748. However, much as the episode had persuaded British statesmen to think more systematically about the strategic importance of the New World, the exchange of the fortress had also convinced some colonists that the balance of Europe might now tilt upon an American axis.⁶⁹ The events of the fraught period between the end of the Austrian war and the beginning of a new European conflict in 1756 would test these conclusions.

⁶⁶ Douglass, Summary, II, 9–11. For a similar rationale, see Thomas Lee to Conrad Weiser, 10/8/ 1747, Richard Peters Papers, collection no. 0498, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. On the Russian auxiliaries, see Browning, Austrian Succession, 334–5. ⁶⁷ IA, 14/11/1748. On despondence at defeat rather than betrayal, see also James Lockwood, Man Mortal (New Haven, 1756), x; Thomas Hutchinson, The History of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, ed. John Hutchinson (London, 1828), 1. ⁶⁸ IA, 10/10/1748. See also IA, 29/8/1748, 7/11/1748; James Parker in NYG, 26/9/1748. Widely reprinted letters from the Westminster Journal also urged the government to fight on: BNL, 10/11/1748, 25/11/1748, 2/3/1749, 6/4/1749; NYEP, 12/12/1748, 20/3/1749, 1/5/1749; BEP, 17/7/1749, 16/10/1749. ⁶⁹ On the impact of the Louisbourg episode upon British strategic culture, see Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 334.

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In the years after 1748, it was widely believed in British America that the menace of French universal monarchy was growing yet stronger, as the opponents of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle had forecast. Much of this impression was based on France’s power in Europe. The formidable size of its military and population, along with an ambitious programme of naval rearmament, testified to its potency. As early as June 1750, Henry DeForest of the New York Evening Post drew his readers’ attention to an ‘alarming’ article on ‘the increasing power of the House of Bourbon’.⁷⁰ The diplomatic prowess of the Bourbons was the decisive advantage. In the early 1750s, France appeared energized by the support of a cabal of deluded European states prepared to advance its projects even to their own ruin. This opinion was partly based on the French Bourbons’ dynastic connections. Aaron Burr observed in 1755 that the House was ‘now arrived to a very high pitch of grandeur and power, being in possession of France, Spain, Italy, Sicily, and Naples’, which would likely ‘join against any other power in Europe’. What made the outlook even worse, Burr continued, was the prospect ‘that the King of Prussia may join them on a new rupture, who seems at present to hold the balance of Europe in his hands’.⁷¹ The ‘Virginia Sentinel’, a series of letters probably authored by the local Anglican clergyman James Maury, met the declaration of a new war between Britain and France in 1756 with a bleak assessment indeed: ‘under Louis XIV, France, with but few and weak allies, made a stand against the principal powers of Europe . . . I know not that she has since declined in riches, in the number of her inhabitants, or in her alliances’.⁷² Britain’s diplomatic position seemed comparatively disastrous, as the ‘Old System’ of alliances with the United Provinces and the Habsburgs collapsed.⁷³ Colonists continued to indict the duplicity, indolence, and decline of the Dutch throughout the decade.⁷⁴ With Prussia firmly lodged in the French camp during ⁷⁰ NYEP, 18/6/1750 (comment on an article from Old England, 24/2/1750). See similarly Jonathan Law to George Clinton, Milford 6/7/1749, in Bates (ed.), Law Papers, III, 321; NYEP, 27/3/1749, 19/3/ 1750; BPB, 4/9/1749, 19/2/1750, 25/3/1754; NYJ, 17/9/1750, 4/2/1751 (reprinting the Westminster Journal, 6/10/1750); Archibald Kennedy, Observations on the Importance of the Northern Colonies under Proper Regulations (New York, 1750), passim; William Livingston et al., The Independent Reflector, ed. Milton Klein (Cambridge, MA, 1963), No. IX, 25/1/1753, 115; ‘To the Inhabitants of Pennsylvania’, in PG, 5/9/1754; Robert Hale’s Chronicle, 3 vols., French and Indian War Collection, American Antiquarian Society, I, 16. ⁷¹ Burr, Discourse Delivered at Newark, 14–15. See similarly: Prince, God Destroyeth the Hope of Man (Boston, 1751), 20. ⁷² ‘Virginia Sentinel IX’ (original VG edition lost; reprinted in BEP, 11/10/1756). Maury’s authorship has not been definitively proven: see David Copeland, Debating the Issues in Colonial Newspapers (Westport, 2000), 14. ⁷³ On the collapse of the Old System, see Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 397–8; Simms, Europe (London, 2013), 108–9; Black, System of Ambition?, 184; H. M. Scott, ‘ “The True Principles of the Revolution”: The Duke of Newcastle and the Idea of the Old System’, in Black (ed.), Knights Errant and True Englishmen (Edinburgh, 1989), 73–4. ⁷⁴ See, for example, NYEP, 22/10/1750 (reprinted from Westminster Journal, 21/7/1750), 21/1/1751 (reprinted from Westminster Journal, 6/10/1751); NYG, 1/10/1750 (reprinted from Newcastle Journal, 21/7/1750), 12/11/1750 (reprinted from Westminster Journal, 1/9/1750); NYM, 28/7/1755, supplement; Jonathan Mayhew, Two Discourses Delivered November 23rd, 1758 (Boston, 1758), 24; Benjamin

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the early 1750s, prospects were little better in Germany.⁷⁵ Some British-Americans maintained a (misplaced) faith in Austria. In 1755, a group of Philadelphia Freemasons, including Benjamin Franklin, drank a toast to ‘our brother Francis, Emperor of Germany’.⁷⁶ In November 1757, the American Magazine was still contending that ‘the Germanic body’, united behind a Habsburg Emperor who understood the interests of his House, ‘would be always an equal, if not an overmatch for France, without the assistance of any other power whatsoever’.⁷⁷ However, this example of the colonists’ ability to endorse continental connections which broke the bounds of confession was of little comfort by the mid-1750s. Not only had the Anglo-Austrian pact fallen short of its objectives in the previous conflict, but in 1756 Maria Theresa abandoned the Old System entirely by forming an alliance with France. Small wonder that the Pennsylvanian merchant Edward Shippen warned his son in 1757 that ‘our situation is not to be jested with’, since ‘we are certainly in a poor weak condition compared with the power of France’.⁷⁸ In this context, British-Americans associated the plague of violence in the backcountry during the early 1750s with the persistent menace of French universal monarchy. The avarice of colonial land speculators and the unsteady balance of power in the Ohio Valley emphasized by most historians were certainly of great significance, but this focus upon the minutiae of rivalry in America obscures this broader geopolitical picture.⁷⁹ Colonists contended that confrontations in the Franklin to Isaac Norris, London, 9/6/1759, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, VIII, 404; NYM, 6/8/ 1759; ‘A New Song on the Successes of the Year Past’, in George II Reigns, Pitt is Secretary of State (New Hampshire, 1760), broadside; Roger More, Poor Roger (New York, 1760), [37]; Hale’s Chronicle, American Antiquarian Society, I, 7, 26, 30, 39; II, 53; NYEP, 30/12/1751, 13/4/1752 (reprinted from Westminster Journal, 28/12/1751; reprinted in the BG, 21/4/1752); NYG, 24/2/1752; BEP, 18/6/1753; Goldsbrow Banyar to William Johnson, New York, 18/5/1756, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, II, 473. On Dutch decline, see Derek McKay and H. M. Scott, The Rise of the Great Powers (London, 1983), 57, 64. An attempt to renew the Anglo-Dutch alliance in 1758 failed: see Richard Middleton, The Bells of Victory (Cambridge, 1985), 92–4. ⁷⁵ On Anglo-Prussian antagonism during the early 1750s, see BG, 8/5/1753; NYM, 9/7/1753 (letter from New London 22/6/1753); NYG, 18/6/1753 (reprinted in BEP, 2/7/1753). On this stand-off, see Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 371. ⁷⁶ NYM, 30/6/1755 (Philadelphia, 26/6/1755). Similarly Burr, Discourse Delivered at Newark, 12–13. On Franklin’s attendance, see ‘Extracts from the Diary of Daniel Fisher, 1755’, in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 17, no. 3 (1893), 273. ⁷⁷ ‘An Introduction to the Account of European Affairs’, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 11/1757. This may be the work of Reverend William Smith. ⁷⁸ Edward Shippen III to his son, Lancaster, 19/7/1757, in the Edward Shippen III Letterbooks, American Philosophical Society. ⁷⁹ For recent examples of the orthodox view, see Fred Anderson, Crucible of War (London, 2000), 11–73; Daniel Baugh, The Global Seven Years’ War, 1754–1763 (Harlow, 2011), 35–71; Jonathan Dull, ‘Great Power Confrontation or Clash of Cultures? France’s War Against Britain and its Antecedents’, in Warren Hofstra (ed.), Cultures in Conflict (Lanham, 2007), 69; François Furstenberg, ‘The Significance of the Trans-Appalachian Frontier in Atlantic History’, in The American Historical Review, vol. 113, no. 3 (June 2008), 650–1; Eric Hinderaker and Peter Mancall, At the Edge of Empire (Baltimore, 2001), 100–1; Eric Hinderaker, Elusive Empires (Cambridge, 1997), 139–40; Warren Hofstra, ‘ “The Extension of His Majesty’s Dominions”: The Virginian Backcountry and the Reconfiguration of Imperial Frontiers’, in Journal of American History, vol. 84, no. 4 (Mar. 1998), 1312; Rhys Isaac, Landon

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west, Nova Scotia, and the Caribbean were local manifestations of a sustained, global pattern of post-war French aggression in pursuit of European hegemony, which was doomed to end in a ‘universal war’ that John Banister of Virginia expected would ‘make the Earth tremble in the struggle of nations for dominion’.⁸⁰ This was not entirely paranoid: the Memoir on the French Colonies in Northern America submitted to Versailles by the Marquis de La Galissonière in 1750 had indeed identified the Ohio as the place where the issue of ‘superiority in Europe’ would be settled, although he was concerned with curbing what he understood to be Britain’s bid for international pre-eminence.⁸¹ Hence, British-Americans continued to raise a cry against the global danger of Bourbon designs. In his widely distributed ‘Watch-Tower’ essays, the New York lawyer, polemicist, and future patriot William Livingston claimed that France’s ‘boundless ambition and incessant machinations to disturb the peace of the World are enough to alarm all Europe against them’.⁸² His associate Archibald Kennedy similarly warned that France was ‘animated by the prospect of universal dominion’.⁸³ For another future patriot, the Charleston merchant Henry Laurens, events

Carter’s Uneasy Kingdom (Oxford, 2004), 137; James Titus, The Old Dominion at War (Columbia, 1991), 11; Richard White, The Middle Ground (Cambridge, 2011), 223–38. Similarly, Anderson, Crucible of War, 79–83; Paul Mapp, The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire, 1713–1763 (Chapel Hill, 2011), 283–311. ⁸⁰ John Banister to Robert Bolling, Virginia, 12/5/1755, in John Banister Correspondence, Virginia Historical Society, MSS B2254 a. On clashes in North America, see BEP, 18/9/1749; NYJ, 26/12/1748, 8/ 10/1750, 22/10/1750 (letter from Chinecto 4/10/1750); NYG, 15/12/1749 (Boston, 4/12/1749); NYEP, 25/9/1749, 9/10/1749, 7/5/1750, 29/10/1750; BNL, 12/10/1749; BEP, 4/9/1749, 1/10/1750; Jonathan Edwards to Thomas Hubbard, Stockbridge, 31/8/1751, Jonathan Edwards to John Paice, Stockbridge, 24/2/1752, Claghorn (ed.), Edwards Letters, 399–400, 440; ‘letter from a gentleman in Johnston County to a correspondent in Newbern, North Carolina, 15/7/1753’, in NYM, 12/11/1753; William Fairfax to Governor Robert Dinwiddie, 15/5/1753, in Wilmer Hall (ed.), Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia, Volume V (2nd edn: Richmond, 1967), 427. On the Caribbean, see letter, Barbados, 10/2/1749, NYG, 3/4/1749; NYJ, 30/7/1749; letter, Barbados, 17/1/1749, BPB, 6/3/1749; NYM, 18/3/ 1754; SCG, 12/2/1754. ⁸¹ See Baugh, Global Seven Years’ War, 5–8; Baugh, ‘Withdrawing from Europe: Anglo-French Maritime Geopolitics, 1750-1800’, in International History Review, vol. 20, no. 1 (1998), 14–16; Frank Brecher, Losing a Continent (Westport, 1998), 158; Catherine Desbarats, ‘France in North America: The Net Burden of Empire During the First Half of the Eighteenth Century’, in French History (1997), 1–28; Simms, Europe, 108. An alternative, less persuasive, view is found in Matthew Ward, Breaking the Backcountry (Pittsburgh, 2003), 35, which maintains the geostrategic distinction of the European and American theatres. The powers’ behaviour in America, sanctioned by metropolitan governments, also calls into question the pacific conception of British and French foreign policy in the early 1750s offered by Scott, The Birth of a Great Power System, 1740–1815 (Harlow, 2006), 75. ⁸² Livingston, Watch-Tower VIII’ in NYM, 13/1/1755 (reprinted in VG, 21/3/1755). Similarly Livingston, ‘Watch-Tower IX’ in NYM, 20/1/1755 (reprinted in BEP, 17/2/1755; VG, 28/3/1755); Livingston, ‘Watch-Tower XXXV’, in NYM, 21/7/1755; Archibald Kennedy, Serious Considerations on the Present State of the Affairs of the Northern Colonies (New York, 1754), 3; Theodorus Frielinghuysen, Wars and Rumours of Wars (New York, 1755), 29; Benjamin Young Prime, ‘Britain’s Glory, or Gallic Pride Humbled: A Pindaric Ode Composed on the Taking of Quebec’, in Prime, The Patriot Muse (London, 1764), 48. ⁸³ Kennedy, Serious Considerations, 7. Similarly, Livingston, ‘Watch-Tower XXXVII’, in NYM, 4/8/ 1755.

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between 1748 and 1755 confirmed that the French were ‘the pest of all human society in every part of the Globe’ whose ‘wicked schemes . . . tend principally to shackle all Europe’.⁸⁴ Burr likewise denounced the ‘insatiable thirst’ of the French kings ‘after arbitrary power and universal monarchy’ and their efforts at ‘enslaving the rest of Europe’ as ‘the source and spring of our present troubles’.⁸⁵ Meanwhile, at Albany, the Dutch minister Theodorus Frielinghuysen cautioned that ‘nothing can satiate their unbounded ambition, or prescribe limits to their enterprising disposition, than universal empire on Earth’.⁸⁶ Colonists still recognized that the seemingly perennial conflict with France was a struggle for the liberties of the European world, but the decisive importance of Louisbourg to the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle convinced many that America might play a salient role in the thwarting of Bourbon aspirations to universal monarchy. Reverend Jonathan Mayhew, one of New England’s most influential clergymen, told the Massachusetts General Court in 1754 that the struggle for mastery in America was a cause ‘whereon the liberties of Europe depend’, for ‘of so great consequence is the empire of North America’ that defeat there ‘must turn the scale of power greatly in favour of the only monarch, from whom those liberties are in danger; and against that prince, who is the grand support and bulwark of them’.⁸⁷ A chorus of colonists agreed, including Frielinghuysen, who presaged that, if France prevailed in North America, Britain would ‘crumble into dust’ and ‘all Europe shall feel the consequence, and condole with us that the balance is broke, and our friendly allies swallowed up by the Grand Monarchy [France]. The Dutch, the Germans, the Danes, and the rest, are all inevitably to share our unhappy fate.’⁸⁸ Livingston, similarly, promised that if America ‘was suffered to fall into the hands of the French’, Great Britain would ‘cease to be any longer an independent power’ and France would ‘subject all Europe to her despotic sway’.⁸⁹ Daniel Dulany of Maryland was alluding to the same train of thought in 1755 when he ⁸⁴ Henry Laurens to John Knight, Charleston, 24/7/1755, Henry Laurens to Sarah Nickelson, Charleston, 1/8/1755, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, I, 300, 309. ⁸⁵ Burr, Discourse Delivered at Newark, 5, 8. Similarly, ‘To the Freemen of the County of Philadelphia’, in PJ, 30/9/1756 (reprinted in the BEP, 18/10/1756). ⁸⁶ Frielinghuysen, Wars and Rumours of Wars, 29. ⁸⁷ Mayhew, A Sermon Preached in the Audience of His Excellency William Shirley (Boston, 1754), 46–7. ⁸⁸ Frielinghuysen, Wars and Rumours of Wars, 34–5. For similar perspectives, see Hutchinson et al., ‘Representation of the Present State of the Colonies’, 9/7/1754, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, V, 372; Kennedy, Serious Considerations, 6; Thomas Barton, Unanimity and Public Spirit (Philadelphia, 1755), 11–12; Lewis Evans, Geographical, Historical, Political, Philosophical and Mechanical Essays (Philadelphia, 1755), 31; Solomon Williams, The Duty of Christian Soldiers (New London, 1755), 25; James Maury to John Fontaine, 10/1/1756, in Ann Maury (ed.), Memoirs of a Huguenot Family (New York, 1852), 395; Memorial of New London to the General Assembly of Connecticut, 7/2/1757, in Bates (ed.), The Fitch Papers (Hartford, 1918), I, 290–1; Matthias Harris, A Sermon, Preached in the Church of St. Peters (Philadelphia, 1757), 13; William Livingston et al., A Review of the Military Operations in North-America (New Haven?, 1758), 15; James Sterling, A Sermon, Preached Before His Excellency the Governor of Maryland (Annapolis, 1755), 22, 44. ⁸⁹ Livingston, Review of the Military Operations, 6. See also 98.

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remarked that ‘we, who were scarcely known out of our own country, have now the eyes of all Europe turned upon us, as our importance begins to be understood’.⁹⁰ Confident of their growing significance in the international system, BritishAmericans began to explore new strategies through which they might reprise the feat of the New England militiamen and give peace to Europe once again. Inspired directly by the example of Louisbourg, some now advocated the exchange of American conquests to preserve the European balance as a model for future British strategy. ‘Suppose we and our allies should be beat and distressed upon the continent of Europe,’ the Boston postmaster Ellis Huske argued; ‘it is only giving up some one or other of our conquests in America, and we may whenever we please, or the general state of Europe requires it, reconcile jarring interests and purchase repose.’⁹¹ While Huske’s case for American expansion promised short-term diplomatic advantages, other colonists envisaged the gradual creation of a vast and populous North American empire, which would eventually overcome France’s great demographic superiority and provide Britain with sufficient might to dictate peace terms to the powers of Europe. These thoroughly Eurocentric projections rested upon new economic ideas, which—in a departure from older, more static conceptions of the link between colonial trade and metropolitan power—placed greater emphasis on future growth through territorial and population expansion.⁹² The idea found its most notable expression in Franklin’s Observations concerning the Increase of Mankind (1755)—a highly influential treatise which predicted that Britain would grow ‘tenfold in numbers and strength’ from her American possessions.⁹³ Yet as early as 1745, Shirley had promised that the expansion of British America, unfettered by French Canada, would ultimately ‘lay a foundation for a superiority of British power upon the continent of Europe’.⁹⁴ And within the same milieu ought to be placed the bold plans for westward and Pacific expansion laid out by figures like Arthur Dobbs, Governor of North Carolina, in 1731, and ⁹⁰ Daniel Dulany, ‘Military and Political Affairs in the Middle Colonies in 1755’, addressed to Charles Carroll, Sr., Annapolis, 9/12/1755, in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 3, no. 1 (1879), 12. ⁹¹ Ellis Huske, The Present State of North America (Boston, 1755), 62–3. ⁹² These traditional mercantilist doctrines are explored in G. M. Waller, Samuel Vetch (Chapel Hill, 1960), 116; Dixon Fox, Caleb Heathcote, Gentleman Colonist (New York, 1971), 146–62; Stanwood, Empire Reformed, 152–5. ⁹³ Franklin, Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind, in Clarke, Observations, 12–14. Contrast the view of Franklin’s political economy and its relationship to geopolitics offered by Joyce Chaplin, The First Scientific American (New York, 2006), 142–7; Walter LaFeber, ‘Foreign Policies of a New Nation’, in William Appleman Williams (ed.), From Colony to Empire (New York, 1972), 9–37. It is possible that Franklin would have known of Shirley’s prediction. Statistical support was later provided by Ezra Stiles: A Discourse on the Christian Union (Boston, 1761), esp. 121n. ⁹⁴ William Shirley to the Duke of Newcastle, 29/10/1745, in Lincoln (ed.), Shirley Correspondence, I, 284–5.

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William Byrd II’s scheme for a British commercial protectorate over Spanish America.⁹⁵ Some of these projects had a touch of competitive nationalism. In 1752, the Philadelphian magnate William Allen enthused the following year about ‘the honour’ that would ‘redound’ to the province of Pennsylvania if a set of its inhabitants succeeded, where Englishmen had failed, in discovering the NorthWest Passage.⁹⁶ Although this new geopolitical calculus seems reminiscent of blue-water policy, it was not of the metropolitan kind, and it retained a strong vein of continentalism at its core. For one, British-American discourse was actually eschewing the disavowal of territorial empire popular amongst metropolitan ‘patriots’ in order to perpetuate its traditional continentalist creed upon a stage irreversibly expanded by the events of the 1740s. By maintaining their pre-eminent concern for the fate of Europe, colonists remained continentalists at heart.⁹⁷ As we shall see, this was still the case when ideas of American expansion returned to prominence after the conclusion of the Seven Years War. Moreover, the events of the 1740s had demonstrated the symbiosis of American campaigns and success on the European continent. The exchange of Louisbourg may have proven that colonial victories could save Europe, but it also demonstrated that advances in America—whatever their long-term promises for the increase of British power—could be undone by defeats across the Atlantic. These limitations were confirmed by a string of disasters, ranging across all theatres, at the outset of the Seven Years War.⁹⁸ In 1755, General Edward Braddock’s column of British regulars was massacred by a Franco-Indian ambush at Monongahela; the following summer, the fall of Fort Oswego, the gateway to Canada, threatened the northern colonies with invasion.⁹⁹ If the Massachusetts ⁹⁵ Cf. Mapp, Elusive West, 101–21. ⁹⁶ William Allen to Thomas Penn, Philadelphia, 18/11/1752, in E. P. Richardson, ‘West’s Voyage to Italy, 1760, and William Allen’, in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 102, no. 1 (Jan. 1978), 5. ⁹⁷ On British patriots and maritime empire, see David Armitage, The Ideological Origins of the British Empire (Cambridge, 2000), 185. Contrast the interpretation of colonial discourse in Eliga Gould, The Persistence of Empire (Chapel Hill, 2000), 62–4. ⁹⁸ For a narrative of the catastrophe, see Middleton, Bells of Victory, 5–6. ⁹⁹ On Monongahela, see Anderson, Crucible of War, 94–123, 150–7, 185–202; Baugh, Global Seven Years’ War, 111–40, 195–203; Hinderaker and Mancall, Edge of Empire, 104–15; and for a colonial reaction, Breslaw (ed.), Records of the Tuesday Club, 570. On Oswego and the threat of invasions, see Johann Martin Boltzius to Samuel Urlsperger, Ebenezer, Georgia 16/2/1755, in Russell Kleckley and Jürgen Gröschl (eds.), The Letters of Johann Martin Boltzius, 2 vols. (Lewiston, 2009), II, 61; Charles Carroll, Sr., to Charles Carroll, Jr., Annapolis, 26/7/1756, in Ronald Hoffman et al. (eds.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley: The Peregrinations of a Revolutionary Aristocrat . . . , 3 vols. (Williamsburg, 2001), I, 31; Charles Chauncy, A Second Letter to a Friend (Boston, 1755), 12; letter, Albany, 2/4/1757, in NYM, 11/ 4/1757; Cornelius Cuyler to Cornelius Cuyler, Jr., Albany, 14/11/1757, in Cornelius Cuyler Letter Books, 3 vols., American Antiquarian Society; Henry Laurens to Stephenson, Holiford, & Co., Charleston, 29/12/1755, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, II, 54; Sterling, Sermon Preached Before His Excellency, 39; John Adams to John Wentworth, Worcester, 9/1756, in Robert Taylor et al. (eds.), Papers of John Adams, 14 vols. so far (Cambridge, MA, 1977–), I, 18; John Hall to George Washington, Halifax, 5/7/1757, in W. W. Abbot et al. (eds.), The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series, 10

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legislator John Choate thought this news felt ‘something like the end of the World’, worse was to come.¹⁰⁰ The ignominious defeat of Admiral John Byng’s squadron off the Mediterranean island of Minorca on 20 May 1756 unleashed a storm of recrimination throughout the colonies. As the New York councillor Peter Wraxall reported, ‘all the World rave at Byng’.¹⁰¹ By late summer 1756, colonists were lambasting the total failure of the British ministry’s maritime and colonial policies.¹⁰² The famed Massachusetts theologian Jonathan Edwards bemoaned that these embarrassments had made the English ‘contemptible in the eyes of the nations of Europe’.¹⁰³ In Charleston, Laurens was alarmed that ‘the French are gaining ground upon us each way very fast’ in both ‘Europe and North America’.¹⁰⁴ The Boston pastor Samuel Cooper judged that ‘British affairs either in Europe or America’ were never ‘brought to a more important crisis’.¹⁰⁵ In Virginia, the prominent planter Peter Randolph reported ‘a damp on all our spirits here to find the French so well succeed in all their schemes’.¹⁰⁶ After the Minorca catastrophe, Wraxall yearned for the colonies to ‘be able to transmit better news to them than they send us’, but this was looking decidedly unlikely.¹⁰⁷ In desperation, colonists clung to their faith in continentalism. In July 1756, Laurens prayed that the English ‘may defeat this [French] vols. (Charlottesville, 1983–95), IV, 282; Willis (ed.), Journals, 20/6/1757; John Moncure, ‘Fast Day Sermon on I Kings XXI’, in Edward Bond (ed.), Spreading the Gospel in Colonial Virginia (Lanham, 2004), 529–30; NYM, 1/11/1756. ¹⁰⁰ John Choate to John Osborn, 23/8/1756, quoted in John Schutz, William Shirley (Chapel Hill, 1961), 240. ¹⁰¹ Peter Wraxall to William Johnson, New York, 6/8/1756, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, II, 532. Similarly, Henry Laurens to Thomas Mears, Charleston, 13/8/1756, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, II, 282; Willis (ed.), Journals, 6/9/1756, 168; Henry Laurens to John Knight, Charleston, 10/8/1756, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, II, 278; letter to BG, 8/11/1756; NYM, 23/5/1757; BEP, 1/11/1756, 15/11/1756 (from Westminster Journal, 4/9/1756), 31/1/1757 (from London Magazine, 10/1756), 21/3/1757; VG, 22/4/1757; BEP, 16/5/1757; NYG, 28/3/1757. See also Hale’s Chronicle, American Antiquarian Society, I, 37; NYG, 23/5/1757; NYM, 30/5/1757. Many early accounts proclaimed Byng victorious. For example, Alexander Colden to Cadwallader Colden, New York, 18/5/1756, in Alexander Wall et al. (eds.), Letters and Papers of Cadwallader Colden, 9 vols. (New York, 1918–37), V, 79; NYM, 30/8/1756 (letter, Antigua, 23/7/1756), 6/9/1756. On Minorca and the Byng affair, see Baugh, Global Seven Years’ War, 193–5. ¹⁰² See, for example, Alexander Colden to Cadwallader Colden, London, 11/8/1756, in Wall (ed.), Colden Papers, V, 87. Similarly, William Fairfax to George Washington, Belvoir, 22/1/1757, in Abbot (ed.), Washington Papers, IV, 99; John Adams to John Wentworth, Worcester, 9/1756, in Taylor (ed.), Adams Papers, I, 18. ¹⁰³ Jonathan Edwards to Gideon Hawley, Stockbridge, 9/10/1756, in Claghorn (ed.), Edwards Letters, 690. ¹⁰⁴ Henry Laurens to Peter Furnell, Charleston, 2/10/1756, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, II, 328. See, similarly, Henry Laurens to James Smith, Charleston, 15/10/1756, Henry Laurens to Augustus and John Boyd & Co., Charleston, 15/11/1756, Henry Laurens to Robert Greenway, Charleston, 10/12/ 1756, in ibid., II, 340, 352, 368. ¹⁰⁵ Samuel Cooper, A Sermon Preached in the Audience of His Honour Spencer Phips (Boston, 1756), 40. ¹⁰⁶ Peter Randolph to William Byrd III, Chatsworth, 20/9/1757, in Tinling (ed.), Byrds Correspondence, II, 627. ¹⁰⁷ Peter Wraxall to William Johnson, New York, 6/8/1756, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, II, 532. See similarly William Fairfax to George Washington, Belvoir, 13–16/8/1756, in Abbot (ed.), Washington Papers, III, 347; BG, 22/8/1757; Letter to the NYG, 6/6/1757.

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scheme in Europe’, for ‘we see but very little prospect of it being done in America’.¹⁰⁸ His wish was about to be answered.

‘We May Look on All These Victories as Our Own’ We may look on all these victories as our own. Our safety is wrapped up in those glorious events of war. Amos Adams, Massachusetts clergyman, on the German war, 1759¹⁰⁹ The outbreak of the Seven Years War owed little to the containment of French power, let alone simmering tensions in North America. The Austro-Prussian struggle for mastery in Germany, initiated by Frederick II’s invasion of Silesia in 1740, prompted an epochal realignment of continental alliance systems in the Diplomatic Revolution of 1756. The need to recover their pre-eminence in the Reich prompted the Habsburgs to forsake fifty years of British friendship and three centuries of Francophobia, to make common cause with the Bourbons under the Treaty of Versailles. Newly vulnerable, Prussia and George II’s AngloHanoverian dominions formed a defensive alliance at the Convention of Westminster.¹¹⁰ Soon afterwards, Frederick—encircled by France, Austria, and Russia—ignited a new war with a pre-emptive invasion of Saxony, an ally of the Habsburgs, in August 1756.¹¹¹ Far from viewing these distant events as dangerous entanglements or irrelevances, colonial observers interpreted the efforts of the new Franco-AustroRussian compact to dismember Prussia as cause for another crusade to preserve the liberties of Europe from Bourbon hegemony. The North Carolina assembly embodied this outlook. ‘The unnatural alliance of the three greatest powers in Europe against the King of Prussia’, it declared in November 1757, ‘not only threatens the liberties there, but must in their consequences extend to these remote parts.’¹¹² Frederick, a Connecticut parson wrote, was preserving the liberties of Europe by standing firm against ambitious powers who were ‘ready to think they were able to give law to the world’.¹¹³ William Smith’s American ¹⁰⁸ Henry Laurens to Devonsheir, Reeve, and Lloyd, Charleston, 19/7/1756, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, II, 264. ¹⁰⁹ Amos Adams, Songs of Victory (Boston, 1759), 20. ¹¹⁰ On the Diplomatic Revolution, see McKay and Scott, Rise of the Great Powers, 181–2. ¹¹¹ On Frederick’s invasion of Saxony and the beginning of the Seven Years War in Europe, see Scott, ‘Prussia’s Emergence as a Great Power, 1740-1763’, in Philip Dwyer (ed.), The Rise of Prussia, 1700–1830 (Harlow, 2000), 168–70. ¹¹² Upper House of the North Carolina General Assembly to Arthur Dobbs, 23/11/1757, in William Saunders (ed.), The Colonial Records of North Carolina, 10 vols. (Raleigh, 1886–90), V, 871. ¹¹³ Nathaniel Taylor, Praise due to God for all the Dispensations of His Wise and holy Providence (New Haven, 1762), 15–16. See also American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 12/1757; James

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Magazine declared still more forcefully that ‘it will ever be incumbent upon us to manifest a just concern for the liberties of the German Empire’, along with the King of Prussia—‘the guardian of the Germanic constitution’ and holder of ‘the great balance of power against France’.¹¹⁴ By suggesting that Frederick’s successes against ‘the great monarchies, the most powerful in Europe’ would make ‘his renown . . . far exceed that of all the heroes in history’, Benjamin Franklin hailed the King with the same language he had used during the 1740s to celebrate William III as a champion of international liberty.¹¹⁵ Since the Seven Years War was the only major eighteenth-century conflict fought (largely by coincidence) between Protestant and Catholic alliances, Frederick’s campaigns were also portrayed as the deeds of a Protestant hero.¹¹⁶ The Boston minister Samuel Langdon hailed him as the defender of European Protestantism against a confederacy that ‘aimed at nothing less in the end than an entire extirpation of the Protestant religion’.¹¹⁷ To another pastor, Thomas Frink, he was a providential figure whom ‘God has raised up’ to ‘give law at the head of a mighty army to the Empress Queen, to the King of France, and the other contending powers of Europe’.¹¹⁸ Perhaps most remarkably, the Prussian alliance penetrated into the most intimately American of theological speculations. The grand poetic narrative of New England’s war compiled by Joseph Fisk combined apocalyptic prophecies with frequent glances ‘across the main’, where ‘the King of Prussia’s great success’ had ‘reduced his foes to great distress’.¹¹⁹ Even religious geopolitics remained quintessentially European.¹²⁰ Nowhere, it seems, was the Bowdoin, A Paraphrase on Part of the Economy of Human Life (Boston, 1759), 8; Samuel Cooper, A Sermon Preached before His Excellency Thomas Pownall (Boston, 1759), 24–5; Isaac Norris to Benjamin Franklin, 15/1/1759, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, VIII, 229; Adams, Songs of Victory, 11; Jonathan Mayhew, Two Discourses Delivered October 25th, 1759 (Boston, 1759), 14; John Rowe to Philip Cuyler, 24/9/1759, in Anne Cunningham (ed.), Letters and Diary of John Rowe (Boston, 1903), 337–8; ‘Extracts written originally in German’, in New American Magazine, 2/1760, 61–4; Hale’s Chronicle, American Antiquarian Society, II, 42. ¹¹⁴ ‘Introduction to the Account of European Affairs, Continued’, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 12/1757. ¹¹⁵ Benjamin Franklin to David Hall, London, 8/4/1759, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, VIII, 321. ¹¹⁶ Cf. Thompson, ‘The Confessional Dimension’, in Simms and Riotte (eds.), Hanoverian Dimension, 177–8. ¹¹⁷ Samuel Langdon, Joy and Gratitude to God (Portsmouth, 1760), 28. See also Mayhew, Discourses Delivered November 23rd, 1758, 22; Henry Lee to Richard Lee, 22/2/1758, Custis-Lee Family Papers, MSS.17558, Library of Congress, Washington; Amos Adams, The Expediency and Utility of War (Boston, 1759), 26; Thaddeus Maccarty, The Advice of Joab to the Host of Israel (Boston, 1759), 7; Eliphalet Williams, God’s Wonderful Goodness, in Succeeding the Arms of His People (New London, 1760), 22. ¹¹⁸ Thomas Frink, A King Reigning in Righteousness, and Princes Ruling in Judgement, (Boston, 1758), 69. ¹¹⁹ Joseph Fisk, A Brief Review of the Campaigns in America (Boston, 1760), 15, 30. Cf. the impression given by Anderson, A People’s Army (Chapel Hill, 1982), 218–23, which quotes only the verses for 1755. ¹²⁰ This fact is comprehensively overlooked in the extant literature on American providentialism and millennialism during the Seven Years War: see Sacvan Bercovitch, The American Jeremiad

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irreligious Frederick’s confessional propaganda more effective than in British America, where colonists commended the ‘truly noble, Christian, and humane sentiments’ of his public addresses, which were routinely printed.¹²¹ Jonathan Mayhew even told his congregation that failure to support the agnostic Prussian King ‘would have some affinity to infidelity and atheism’!¹²² However, as colonial sympathy for the ‘persecutions’ of the Catholic Portuguese during the Spanish invasion of Portugal in 1762 would demonstrate, confessional solidarity was by no means the full story of British-American Prussophilia.¹²³ Britain and Prussia seemed to be bound together in a humane and godly cause. Reacting to the new alliance, the New York minister Ebenezer Pemberton expected it to make ‘the proud oppressors of the Earth tremble, and their royal diadems totter on their heads’.¹²⁴ Reflecting on the ‘surprising revolution . . . in the political system of Europe’ by which ungrateful Austria had betrayed her erstwhile British ally, Samuel Cooper saw the Anglo-Prussian accord as auspicious. ‘The safety of Britain, of the Protestant interest, and the liberties of Europe’, he declared, were now ‘closely connected with the success of our sovereign’s illustrious ally, the King of Prussia’.¹²⁵ The popular Virginian preacher Samuel Davies agreed. While Britain’s ‘generous resentment’ had been raised against ‘French perfidy and Austrian ingratitude’, he argued, ‘the merit of Frederick . . . , the second champion of liberty and the Protestant religion’ had ‘erased the memory of past differences’—principally the Prussian betrayal of the common cause in the 1740s—‘and made him [a] friend and ally’.¹²⁶ As the future Massachusetts patriot James Bowdoin rhapsodized in 1761, George and Frederick were

(Madison, WI, 1978); Ruth Block, Visionary Republic (Cambridge, 1985), 116–17; Nathan Hatch, ‘The Origins of Civil Millennialism in America’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, vol. 31, no. 3 (July 1974), 407–30. ¹²¹ VG, 28/11/1751. See also BEP, 18/8/1755, 6/3/1758, 9/3/1761; BNL, 14/2/1745; NYEP, 11/3/1745. On Frederick’s confessional propaganda, see Christopher Clark, Iron Kingdom (London, 2006), 217–18. ¹²² Mayhew, Discourses Delivered November 23rd, 1758, 22. Similarly Maccarty, Advice of Joab, 7; Langdon, Joy and Gratitude, 42. ¹²³ Samuel Haven, Joy and Salvation by Christ (Portsmouth, 1763), 21; Henry Laurens to John Ettwein, 7/4/1762, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, III, 94; Henry van Schaack to William Johnson, 7/ 10/1762, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, III, 894. ¹²⁴ Ebenezer Pemberton, A Sermon to the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company (Boston, 1756), 13. On the Seven Years War as proof of the Old System’s ‘basic principle: fighting France in Europe’, see Scott, ‘True Principles of the Revolution’, 75. On the terms of the Convention of Westminster, see BG, 5/4/1756; NYM, 3/5/1756. ¹²⁵ Samuel Cooper, A Sermon . . . Upon Occasion of the Success of His Majesty’s Arms (Boston, 1759), 24. ¹²⁶ Samuel Davies, A Sermon Delivered at Nassau Hall (New York, 1761), 11. Austrian ingratitude was further reflected in ‘An Epigram on the Pope Conferring the Title “Apostolic Majesty” on the Queen of Hungary’, in The New American Magazine, 11/1759—‘For not the least likeness was seen / Betwixt the Apostles and Hungary’s Queen, / Till Judas the traitor arising to sight, / Set her merit in true Apostolic light / And all the World owns His Holiness right’; BG, 13/9/1756; NYM, 10/9/1759; BEP, 27/ 7/1761.

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Support for the Prussian alliance, which included substantial subsidy payments from the British Treasury to finance Frederick’s armies, reflected the continuing power of continentalism over colonial strategic thinking. When Jonathan Mayhew declared that British-Americans ‘may justly look upon all the successes and victories of His Prussian Majesty as our own’, for Prussia and Britain were united by ‘one common cause . . . wherein they have unsheathed the sword’, he was not simply speaking sentimentally.¹²⁸ Colonists understood the vital importance of a strong front in Germany. The ‘Virginia Sentinel’ believed that ‘the land army of France, her principal force’ had been ‘rendered almost useless’ by the alliance with Prussia, which had ‘assumed the guardianship of the German dominions of our good King’. This allowed Britain to focus its campaigns on the sea and the colonies: for Maury, blue-water ventures were utterly dependent on a successful continental policy.¹²⁹ Another Anglican clergyman, the future patriot William Smith of Philadelphia, imposed a similar caveat on his endorsement of a vigorous maritime policy in the American Magazine in September 1758: ‘let us, therefore, if it should be thought necessary, at this juncture, to send forces to Germany’.¹³⁰ The prominent Marylander Charles Carroll, Sr, agreed: while Britain amassed her forces in America and at sea, ‘by supplies to the King of Prussia we shall keep her fully employed on the continent’.¹³¹ His son Charles, Jr, later the only Catholic signatory of the Declaration of Independence, approved, declaring ‘that the best way of forwarding our aims in America is to pursue the war in Europe with the utmost vigour’.¹³² In 1761, the Massachusetts legislator Robert Hale took a similarly holistic approach when he made his calculation that ‘King George has actually in pay 400,000 armed men’ by ‘including the men maintained in Prussia by subsidies’.¹³³ Yet the war still had to be won in North America. Surrounded by the combined power of France, Austria, and Russia, it was evident that Prussia and Hanover

¹²⁷ Bowdoin, Economy of Human Life, 8. ¹²⁸ Mayhew, Discourses Delivered November 23rd, 1758, 23. Similarly Adams, Songs of Victory, 20. On subsidies, see George William Fairfax to George Washington, New York, 17/10/1757, George William Fairfax to George Washington, London, 6/12/1757, in Abbot (ed.), Washington Papers, V, 18, 69. ¹²⁹ ‘Virginia Sentinel IX’ (original VG edition lost; reprinted in BEP, 11/10/1756). See similarly Huske, Present State, 59; Henry Bouquet to John Hunter, Charleston, 16/2/1758, in S. K. Stevens et al. (eds.), The Papers of Henry Bouquet, 5 vols. (Harrisburg, 1951–84), I, 304. ¹³⁰ The American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 9/1758. See similarly ‘Foreign Affairs’, in New American Magazine, 7/1758. ¹³¹ Charles Carroll, Sr., to Charles Carroll, Jr., London, 13/1/1758, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, I, 61. ¹³² Charles Carroll, Jr., to Charles Carroll, Sr., 11/2/1758, in ibid., 66. ¹³³ Hale’s Chronicle, American Antiquarian Society, III, 7.

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were fighting for their survival.¹³⁴ Colonists knew that, while the war could be lost in Germany, it could not be won there. If the liberties of Europe were to be preserved in perpetuity, ‘arbitress’ Britain would have to assert its dominance in North America. As the makeweight of the balance of power, this was the only theatre in which French aspirations to universal monarchy could be permanently curtailed and long-term forecasts of British supremacy consummated. In consequence, the colonial campaigns of the Seven Years War were waged in close dialogue with affairs across the Atlantic, as British-Americans drew inspiration from—and sought to give succour to—the common cause in Europe. It was in this spirit that Reverend Samuel Auchmuty of New York explained to his congregation at Trinity Church on New Year’s Day 1760 that the war opened ‘an unbounded prospect . . . to my view’ that ‘extends even to Asia, Europe, Africa, and America’.¹³⁵ Colonial commentators contended that Britain’s success in its colonial and maritime struggles with France would yield long-term advantages to all Europe, especially after the campaigns of 1759 and 1760 had culminated in the conquest of all Canada. When peace was concluded in 1763, the Anglican missionary East Apthorp declared that such victories would ‘check . . . the enterprising and encroaching genius of that nation . . . for the remainder of the present age’.¹³⁶ Apthorp followed the tone set by many early reactions to the taking of Quebec and Montreal. His theological arch-nemesis, Jonathan Mayhew, said the campaigns had set such ‘bounds’ to ‘the power and ambitious views of France’ that it warranted ‘a day of general thanksgiving throughout Europe’.¹³⁷ Britain’s conquests, a correspondent of the Boston Gazette agreed, were ‘putting it out of [France’s] power ever to disturb the British dominions or their neighbours’, so that she might never again ‘endanger the natural rights and liberties of mankind’.¹³⁸ The corporation of New York even promised that Britain would ‘give law to her neighbours . . . , humble the united arrogance of the most presumptuous

¹³⁴ There were, of course, a couple of fanciful exceptions penned by colonists optimistic that Frederick of Prussia and Ferdinand of Brunswick (the Hanoverian commander) would give law to France from the wall of Paris: Prime, ‘The Lamentation of Louis XV on Occasion of the Conquests of the English’, in Prime, Patriot Muse, 69; Prime, ‘A Song on the Spanish war’, in ibid., 84–5; ‘The Royal Comet’, Kent, Maryland, 14/7/1758, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 8/1758. ¹³⁵ Samuel Auchmuty, ‘Deuteronomy 11:12, New Years’ Day 1760’, in the Auchmuty Sermons, Trinity Church, New York, Box 33. ¹³⁶ East Apthorp, The Felicity of the Times (Boston, 1763), 10–11. See similarly Jason Haven, The Duty of Thanksgiving to God (Boston, 1759), 16; Thomas Pownall to the General Court of Massachusetts, 16/8/1757, in Ford (ed.), Massachusetts House Journals, XXXIV, 82; Samuel Chandler, A Sermon Preached at Gloucester (Boston, 1759), 23; Williams, Christian Soldiers, 25; Barton, Unanimity and Public Spirit, 11–12; Lowell, Advantages of God’s Presence, 20; Harris, Sermon Preached in the Church of St. Peters, 13; Joseph Emerson, The Fear of God (Boston, 1758), 20; Adams, Songs of Victory, 22. ‘Memorial of New London to the General Assembly of Connecticut’, 7/ 2/1757, in Bates (ed.), Fitch Papers, I, 290–1. ¹³⁷ Jonathan Mayhew, Two Discourses Delivered October 9th, 1760 (Boston, 1760), 48. ¹³⁸ Letter to BG, 13/4/1761.

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opposers; and support the tottering fortunes of dependent states’.¹³⁹ These arguments accompanied a renaissance of Franklin’s ideas about population, imperial expansion, and British power in the late 1750s, when they were echoed by acolytes as various as Mayhew, his fellow pastors John Mellen and David Hall, and the future loyalist Governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Hutchinson.¹⁴⁰ Indeed, this tradition of thinking led Gilbert Tennent to promise that a vast American empire ‘will give [Britain] vastly more weight in the scale of Europe, if not (in a course of time) constitute her the arbitress of it’.¹⁴¹ Nevertheless, a wealth of colonial literature also cautioned that failure in the colonial theatre would let down the transatlantic common cause in the immediate term. In one typical warning, Mayhew asserted that, should France ‘become superior by sea’ via the conquest of America, ‘the liberties of Great Britain, and perhaps of Europe, are no more’.¹⁴² Against this backdrop, colonial complaints about defeats in North America became increasingly urgent. In his Earnest Address to the Colonies of 1758, William Smith lamented that, ‘had we only done our part in America’ in 1757, while Frederick of Prussia was driving the French from Germany, ‘the pride of France would have been effectually humbled, and we should probably now have been rejoicing in an honourable peace’. The failure of Britain’s American campaigns the previous year, he believed, obliged ‘the nation, in concert with the King of Prussia . . . to make one grand push more for the general cause’. On ‘our success this campaign’, he speculated, ‘may depend whether we shall dictate a peace to the French, or they to us’.¹⁴³ In a reciprocal manner, news of Prussian successes also comforted the colonists, especially during the series of reverses at the beginning of the war. When news of the Prussian victory at Lobositz reached Virginia in December 1756, the planter and future patriot Edmund Pendleton immediately recognized it as ‘a brave stroke for our affairs’, which were now ‘in a mending way’.¹⁴⁴ Soon afterwards, ¹³⁹ ‘The Cordial Address of the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the Ancient City of New York, in Common Council Convened’, in BG, 8/12/1760. ¹⁴⁰ See: Mayhew, Discourses Delivered October 9th, 1760, 42–3; letters, BG, 13/4/1761; James Maury to John Fontaine, 10/1/1756, in Maury (ed.), Memoirs of a Huguenot Family, 392–3; Hutchinson, Collection of Original Papers, I; Mayhew, Sermon Preached in the Audience of His Excellency, 39; Mayhew, Discourses Delivered October 25th, 1759, 44; John Mellen, A Sermon Preached at the West Parish in Lancaster (Boston, 1760), 35–7; David Hall, Israel’s Triumph (Boston, 1761), 16. ¹⁴¹ Gilbert Tennent, A Sermon On I Chronicles XXIX, 28 (Philadelphia, 1761), 14. See also Mayhew, Discourses Delivered October 25th, 1759, 60–1; Benjamin Franklin to Lord Kames, 3/1/1760, in Labaree (ed.), Papers of Benjamin Franklin, IX, 7; NYM, 3/5/1762. ¹⁴² Mayhew, Discourses Delivered October 25th, 1759, 46. My italics. Similarly, Richard van Alstyne, Empire and Independence (New York, 1965), 10; Thomas Barnard, A Sermon Preached to the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company (Boston, 1758), 25; Samuel Davies, The Curse of Cowardice (Woodbridge, 1759), i; Adams, Expediency and Utility, 14; Adams, Songs of Victory, 17–20; Samuel Woodward, A Sermon Preached October 9 1760 (Boston, 1760), 15. ¹⁴³ William Smith, ‘An Earnest Address to the Colonies’, in Horace Wemyss Smith (ed.), Life and Correspondence of the Reverend William Smith, 2 vols. (Philadelphia, 1880). An almost identical observation was made by ‘Watchman V’ in PJ, 11/5/1758 (reprinted in NYM, 22/5/1758). Similarly, The American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 2/1758. ¹⁴⁴ Edmund Pendleton to William Preston, 21/12/1756, in David Mays (ed.), The Letters and Papers of Edmund Pendleton, 1734–1803, 2 vols. (Charlottesville, 1967), 11.

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as prospects continued to deteriorate in backcountry Pennsylvania, the assemblyman and cleric Richard Peters could at least console the colony’s (German) Indian agent, Conrad Weiser, with news that ‘the King of Prussia has gained a second victory over the Austrians’.¹⁴⁵ These events heartened British-Americans throughout the war.¹⁴⁶ In 1760, the New England pastor John Mellen recalled how, ‘while our affairs . . . put on a gloomy discouraging aspect, both at home and in the colonies, we were frequently surprised with advices from Germany of the Prussian Bravery, and the vast achievements and matchless heroism of that successful and renowned monarch’.¹⁴⁷ Prussian deeds were also invoked to encourage warlike zeal in the colonies. In March 1758, Joseph Shippen of Philadelphia hoped that his ode On the Glorious Victory Obtained by the Heroic King of Prussia would ‘contribute ever so little to raise an imitation of his noble and almost divine achievements in the cause of religion and liberty’.¹⁴⁸ Similarly, a Maryland poet—perhaps the clergyman James Sterling—dwelt on a similar theme, writing: O’er ocean from Europe his [Frederick’s] influence hurled Shall animate here, O George, thy new world.¹⁴⁹

¹⁴⁵ Richard Peters to Conrad Weiser, Philadelphia, 2/1/1757, in the Conrad Weiser Papers, Collection 0700, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. ¹⁴⁶ See, for example, Benjamin Franklin to David Hall, London, 9/12/1757, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, VII, 288; George Mercer to George Washington, Charleston, 17/8/1757, in Abbot (ed.), Washington Papers, IV, 371–2; Hale’s Chronicle, American Antiquarian Society, I, 28, 34, 36; BG, 6/ 3/1758 (from NHG, 17/3/1758): attributed to an American author in J. A. Leo Lemay, A Calendar of American Poetry in the Colonial Newspapers and Magazines, 3 vols. (Worcester, 1972), III, 187. Some typical examples of colonial reports of Prussian victories: NYM, 21/1/1758, 13/2/1758, 20/10/1760, 15/ 1/1761; Beverley Robinson to George Washington, New York, 1/3/1758, William Ramsay to George Washington, Williamsburg, 17/10/1758, in Abbot (ed.), Washington Papers, V, 98, VI, 80; Willis (ed.), Journals, 171, 174, 179–80, 186, 188, 191; James Grant to Henry Bouquet, Carlisle, 11/7/1758, Lewis Ourry to Henry Bouquet, Fort Bedford, 29/1/1761, in Stevens (ed.), Bouquet Papers, II, 186, V, 273–4; Benjamin Church to Robert Treat Paine, London, 3/12/1758, in Stephen Riley and Edward Hanson (eds.), The Papers of Robert Treat Paine, 3 vols. so far (Boston, 1992–), II, 122; Richard Shuckburgh to William Johnson, New York, 15/2/1762, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, III, 635; Robert Hanson (ed.), The Diary of Dr Nathaniel Ames (Camden, ME, 1998), 14–20/1/1759, 31/10/1759, I, 26, 35; Noble Jones to Noble Jones Jr., Georgia, 10/9/1760, in John Simpson (ed.), The Jones Family Papers, 1760–1810 (Savannah, 1976), 9; VG, 13/11/1759; BEP, 13/10/1760; PG, 22/1/1761; NYG, 28/2/1757; Benning Wentworth to Cadwallader Colden, Portsmouth, 18/10/1761, in Wall (ed.), Colden Papers, VI, 85; BEP, 8/3/1762, 13/9/1762; Samuel Frink, The Marvellous Works of Creation and Providence (Boston, 1763), 34, 36–7; James DeLancey to William Pitt, New York, 28/10/1759, Arthur Dobbs to William Pitt, Brunswick, 31/10/1759, in Gertrude Kimball (ed.), Correspondence of William Pitt, 2 vols. (New York, 1906), II, 204–5; John Williams to John Burk, Hafield, 13/8/1758, ‘John Burk Correspondence’, in the ‘French and Indian War Collection’, American Antiquarian Society. ¹⁴⁷ Mellen, Sermon Preached at the West Parish, 20. See also Joseph Shippen, ‘On the Glorious Victory Obtained by the Heroic King of Prussia’, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 3/ 1758, 280; letter, Louisbourg, 2/10/1759, NYM, 22/10/1759; ‘Royal Comet’, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 8/1758, 550–2; ‘Canada Forever: A New Thanksgiving Song’, in George II Reigns; Smith, ‘Earnest Address to the Colonies’, 192. ¹⁴⁸ Joseph Shippen (‘Anandius’), ‘On the Glorious Victory Obtained by the Heroic King of Prussia’, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 3/1758. ¹⁴⁹ ‘The Royal Comet’, Kent, Maryland, 14/7/1758, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 8/1758. On Sterling’s authorship see Lemay, Poetry Calendar, II, 194.

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A letter from Louisbourg after the conquest of Quebec in September 1759 paid tribute to this idea, attributing the success to ‘General WOLFE with his little army of Prussians’.¹⁵⁰ Frederick himself played an especially conspicuous role in the celebration of colonial victories. The giant float which was moored in the Delaware River as the centrepiece of a pageant celebrating the recapture of Louisbourg in 1758 included a large tower with ‘Charles Frederick’ inscribed on it, in praise of the Prussian ally.¹⁵¹ A year later, a Bostonian mason called Thomas Dawes celebrated the fall of Quebec by hanging a picture of Frederick in his window alongside Generals Wolfe and Amherst.¹⁵² These typical displays reflected a broader cultural groundswell of Prussophilia, which further encouraged British-Americans to imagine their endeavours as part of a transatlantic, cosmopolitan, common cause against French universal monarchy.¹⁵³ Much of this phenomenon coalesced around a personality cult of Frederick himself, variously hailed as ‘that truly great, but much-endangered monarch’, ‘the miracle man of our time’, and ‘the wonder of Europe’.¹⁵⁴ Frederick’s name filled the gap left by the Austrian royals in the naming of privateers: in a diplomatic revolution of his own, Thomas Gruchy, formerly master of the Queen of Hungary, now sailed the King of Prussia.¹⁵⁵ John Ormsby taught the young ladies of Annapolis to dance to the tune of the King of Prussia’s Minuet.¹⁵⁶ Outside Philadelphia, a settlement was founded bearing the

¹⁵⁰ Letter, Louisbourg, 2/10/1759, to the NYM, 5/10/1759. Amherst was praised in a similar vein by Mayhew, Discourses Delivered November 23rd, 1758, 25. ¹⁵¹ NYM, 11/9/1758 (Philadelphia 7/9/1758). Why anglophone writers persistently added ‘Charles’ to the name of Frederick the Great remains elusive: no biography lists all of the Prussian King’s names—I am indebted to Tim Blanning for this information. On the taking of Louisbourg, see Hugh Boscawen, The Capture of Louisbourg, 1758 (Oklahoma, 2011). ¹⁵² Letter fragment, 24/10/1759, in ‘The French and Indian War Collection’, American Antiquarian Society. See similarly ‘Canada Forever: a New Thanksgiving Song’; BG, 15/10/1759, 22/10/1759; Daniel Claus to William Johnson, Montreal, 2/6/1762, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, III, 753. ¹⁵³ On ‘Prussophilia’ in the contemporary British Isles, see Manfred Schlenke, England und das Friderizianische Preußen (Freiberg, 1963), 236–48; Eda Sagarra, ‘Frederick II and his Image in Eighteenth-Century Dublin’, in Hermathena, no. 142 (Summer 1987), 50–8; Black, System of Ambition, 193. ¹⁵⁴ Cooper, Success of His Majesty’s Arms, 24–5; Johann Conrad Steiner, Schuldigstes Liebes und Ehren Denkmahl (Philadelphia, 1761), 31. My translation. Original text: ‘dem Wundermann unserer Zeit, dem grossen, preiswürdigsten König von Preussen’; NYM, 31/7/1758 (Newport, 22/7/1758), 2/10/ 1758 (Portsmouth, 20/9/1758). See similarly Abraham Keteltas, The Religious Soldier (New York, 1759), 9; Frink, King Reigning, 55n; ‘The Royal Comet’, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 8/1758. A similar, but weaker, personality cult gathered around Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, the commander of the Hanoverian army: see, for example, The Military Glory of Great Britain (Philadelphia, 1762), 6–7; NYM, 26/6/1758; Mayhew, Discourses Delivered October 25th, 1759, 11. ¹⁵⁵ BG, 25/4/1757. See further ‘The Log of Dr. Joseph Hinchman, Surgeon of the Privateer Brig Prince George, 1757’, in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 29, no. 3 (1905), 268n; NYM, 28/11/1757. ¹⁵⁶ Manuscript book of John Ormsby, Maryland dancing master, dated 30/1/1758, in John Talley (ed.), Secular Music in Colonial Annapolis (Urbana, 1988), 300. The King of Sardinia’s Minuet and Marshal Belleisle’s Minuet were also reminders of the European war: see ibid., 287, 293.

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name ‘King of Prussia’. While remodelling his house at Mount Vernon, George Washington expended considerable effort to acquire a bust of Frederick to sit beside Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Charles XII of Sweden, the Duke of Marlborough, and his Austrian ally Prince Eugene in his own pantheon of military worthies.¹⁵⁷ Washington’s overly specific size requirements frustrated the plan: he was offered some poets instead, but the Colonel was not interested.¹⁵⁸ Colonists revealed an equally voracious appetite for literature about the King. Frederick’s character was a subject of extraordinary fascination; colonial newspapers and almanacs brimmed with anecdotes, characters, verses, reflections, and depictions.¹⁵⁹ English and German presses in Philadelphia printed a strange prophecy of the King’s life, supposedly unearthed in the Bodleian Library.¹⁶⁰ Frederick’s own writings drew much attention, with translations of his correspondence, poetry, and historical writings appearing frequently in colonial periodicals.¹⁶¹ The Boston Gazette recommended W. H. Dilworth’s Life ‘for the entertainment and improvement of the British youth of both sexes’: in Pennsylvania, the German printer Christophe Saur produced a German edition of the biography with his own appendices.¹⁶² Colonial bookshops like Garrat Noel’s in New York were full of volumes on Prussian soldiers, history, military treatises, and infantry regulations.¹⁶³ Perhaps most remarkably, the sermons of David Hirschel Fränkel, Arch-Rabbi of Berlin, on Frederick’s victories were reprinted in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. German editions of this artefact of Prussian state patriotism were produced, but the numerous English translations demonstrate that Frederick’s fortunes were treated as a matter of general ¹⁵⁷ George Washington’s invoice to Robert Cary & Co., Mount Vernon, 20/9/1759, in Abbot (ed.), Washington Papers, VI, 355. ¹⁵⁸ Invoice from Robert Cary & Co. to George Washington, London, 15/3/1760, in ibid., VI, 400. ¹⁵⁹ ‘Anecdotes of the King of Prussia’ in BPB, 16/9/1754; ‘A Character of the King of Prussia’, in NYM, 26/12/1757; ‘Reflections on the King of Prussia’s Success’, in BEP, 24/4/1758 (from London Magazine, 11/1757); ‘Weatherwise’, Father Abraham’s Almanac (Philadelphia, 1758), [vi]–[viii]; ‘Ode on the Late Victory Obtained by the King of Prussia’, Philadelphia, 10/2/1758; Philandrea, ‘On the Complete Victory Gained by His Prussian Majesty’, Philadelphia, 25/2/1758, both in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 2/1758; ‘The Third Psalm Paraphrased, Alluding to His Prussian Majesty’, in New American Magazine, 4/1758; ‘A Parallel of Julius Caesar and the King of Prussia’, in ibid., 9/1759. ¹⁶⁰ A Most Remarkable Prophecy Concerning Wars and Political Events (Philadelphia, 1760); Hoechstmerkwuerdige Prophezeyung von Wichtigen Kriegs und Welthändeln (Philadelphia, 1760). ¹⁶¹ ‘The Character of the Present King of Prussia, Drawn by Mr. Voltaire’, in New American Magazine, 3/1758; ‘Mr. Voltaire’s Letter to His Prussian Majesty, Translated’, in ibid., 11/1758; ‘Translation of an Epistle from the King of Prussia to Monsieur Voltaire’, in ibid., 5/1759; Frederick II, The Relaxation of War; or the Hero’s Philosophy (Philadelphia and New York, 1758); reprinted in NYG, 7/ 8/1757; NYM, 3/7/1758; New American Magazine, 4/1758; BPB, 12/3/1753; BG, 13/3/1753. On Frederick’s historical writings, see Clark, Iron Kingdom, 186. ¹⁶² BG, 18/2/1760. W. H. Dilworth, The Life and Heroic Actions of Frederick II, King of Prussia (Boston, 1760). Saur’s edition: W. H. Dilworth, Das Leben und Heroische Thaten des Königs von Preussen, Friedrichs des II (Germantown, 1761). Frederick was a major presence in the Staatsbote of Saur’s rival Johann Heinrich Möller: see A. G. Roeber, Palatines, Liberty, and Property (Baltimore, 1993), 204–5. ¹⁶³ See NYM, 16/10/1758.

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British-American concern.¹⁶⁴ The New York Gazette’s advertisement for the edition described it as ‘a phenomenon of literature, which has engaged the attention of the whole German Empire’.¹⁶⁵ The North American theatre of the Seven Years War was conceived by its local protagonists, both strategically and culturally, as part of the transatlantic struggle of a common European cause against the threat of French universal monarchy. Enthusiasm for the German war as a prerequisite, counterpart, and guarantor of colonial expansion brought British–American opinion into harmony with the policies of William Pitt. As Britain’s chief minister from 1757, Pitt’s programme of vigorous warfare in all theatres was widely credited for reversing the cycle of defeat with which the conflict had begun. In treating colonial and maritime warfare as ancillaries to continental intervention, his strategy was a development of the Court Whig tradition of foreign policy to which British-Americans had adhered throughout the 1740s, but also a significant modification of his own position during those years. Colonists were aware of these affinities. In May 1758, James Parker’s New American Magazine reprinted a vindication of George II’s intervention in the Austrian war, penned sixteen years previously, as a piece ‘which seems so well to suit the present times, and the great success we have reason to hope for, by the vigorous proceedings of the present ministry’.¹⁶⁶ The experience of almost two decades led colonists to accept, almost intuitively, the Prime Minister’s famous dictum of ‘conquering America in Germany’.¹⁶⁷ As we shall see in Chapter 4, the consistency of colonial political culture with Pittite foreign policy had vital consequences for provincial and imperial politics. The continuing popularity of continentalism in the colonies was even more striking because such policies remained deeply controversial in metropolitan Britain, which actually experienced revivals of anti-German feeling during the Seven Years War.¹⁶⁸ The defeat of the Hanoverian army at Hastenbeck in 1757, completing a trilogy of disasters begun by Oswego and Minorca, created a new cause célèbre for advocates of blue-water policy and an end to continental connections. The subsequent Convention of Kloster-Zeven, in which George II agreed to declare his German Electorate neutral and acquiesce in a partial French occupation, resurrected oppositional criticisms of the King’s dynastic baggage as a ¹⁶⁴ David ben Naphtali Hirschel Fränkel, A Thanksgiving Sermon for the Important and Astonishing Victory Obtained on the Fifth of December 1757 (9th London edn, repr. Boston and New York, 1758); 10th London edn, repr. Boston, 1758); ‘Account of a Remarkable Sermon Preached at Berlin by a Jew’, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 6/1758 (an abridgement); David ben Naphtali Hirschel Fränkel, Eine Danck-Predigt Wegen des Wichtigen und Wundervollen Siegs, Welchen Sr. Konig. Maj. in Preussen am 5 ten Dezember 1757 (Philadelphia, 1758), the German original; Fränkel, A Thanksgiving Sermon for the Astonishing Victory Obtained on the Fifth of December, 1762 (Philadelphia, 1763). ¹⁶⁵ NYG, 26/6/1758. See similarly BEP, 17/7/1758. ¹⁶⁶ ‘On the Change of Some Late Measures’, in New American Magazine, 5/1758. ¹⁶⁷ On Pitt’s policy, Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 424–5; Middleton, Bells of Victory, 148. ¹⁶⁸ On British attitudes, see Middleton, Bells of Victory, 73; Conway, Britain, Ireland, and Continental Europe, 58.

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dangerous encumbrance.¹⁶⁹ This time, there were some anti-Hanoverian murmurings in America, too. Parker’s New York Gazette published a sequence of British articles attacking the policy of ‘preferring the safety of Flanders, Holland, and Hanover to our own property’.¹⁷⁰ An introduction to one of the pieces recorded the editor’s confidence that ‘the public will not be displeased on reading at this time [negative] political sentiments with regard to that district being so nearly allied to the Crown of Great Britain’.¹⁷¹ Yet colonists remained overwhelmingly supportive of continental intervention. News of Hanover’s capitulation was initially met with disbelief. The British General John Stanwix, bivouacked near Carlisle, Pennsylvania, told George Washington that ‘nobody believes the story of the Duke of Cumberland’s defeat’. His men assured themselves that it was ‘some small skirmish only’ and ‘of no consequence’.¹⁷² The fact that this mood was superseded by widespread anger at how Hanover had been ‘shamefully given up’ (in the words of the Pennsylvania ‘Watchman’) was itself a testament to colonial enthusiasm for the German war.¹⁷³ Once again, defeat was their grievance, not entanglement itself. The American Magazine lamented that the affair would ‘distress the state of affairs in Germany, and embarrass our faithful ally the King of Prussia’, who would find himself exposed on all sides. In such a situation, the author lauded George II’s assurance to Frederick ‘that the crown and nation of England would support him to the last, with firmness and vigour’, in spite of the Convention.¹⁷⁴ Parker’s Gazette itself, although occasionally resentful of the Hanoverian connection, continued to celebrate the Prussian alliance, even reprinting the British ‘Probus’ letters, which favoured the despatch of British contingents to Germany.¹⁷⁵ Indeed, when Hanover re-entered the war at Pitt’s instigation and defeated a French army at Krefeld the following year, Parker greeted the news with delight and printed an extraordinary edition with the latest advices from the German front, hurried by post-horses from Philadelphia for the purpose.¹⁷⁶ ¹⁶⁹ On the gloomy reception of the invasion of Hanover and the Convention of Kloster-Zeven in Britain, see Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 435. This critique, it must be stressed, did not go unchallenged by any means. See Conway, Britain, Ireland, and Continental, 56–8. ¹⁷⁰ NYG, 6/2/1758. Similarly NYG, 14/11/1757, 9/1/1758 (reprinting The Monitor, 10/1757). ¹⁷¹ NYG, 7/11/1757. ¹⁷² John Stanwix to George Washington, Camp near Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 19/9/1757, in Abbot (ed.), Washington Papers, IV, 416. ¹⁷³ ‘Watchman V’ in PJ, 11/5/1758 (reprinted in NYM, 22/5/1758). ¹⁷⁴ The American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 11/1757. ¹⁷⁵ NYG, 9/10/1758, 16/10/1758, 30/10/1758. See further NYG, 31/12/1757 (reprinting the Sentinel), 30/1/1758, 6/2/1758, 27/3/1758, 10/4/1758 (from London Magazine, 12/1757). ¹⁷⁶ NYG, 14/9/1758. On the re-entry of Hanover into the Seven Years War, see Black, System of Ambition, 193; Uriel Dann, Hanover and Great Britain 1740–1760 (Leicester, 1991), 115; Middleton, Bells of Victory, 38. For similarly jubilant reactions, see: Mayhew, Discourses Delivered November 23rd, 1758, 12; Hanson (ed.), Ames Diary, I, 35, 77–8; William Johnson, ‘Journal of Niagara Campaign, 1759’, 11/10/1759, David van der Heyden to William Johnson, Albany, 10/10/1759, William Johnson to William Farquhar, Camp at Oswego, 10/1759, Henry van Schaak to William Johnson, Albany, 7/10/ 1762, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, XIII, 155, III, 145, 147, 892–3; John Rowe to Daniel Wier,

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The flood of naval and colonial victories between 1758 and 1760 strengthened colonial support for Britain’s intervention in the European theatre. Defeats in Flanders had unravelled victories in North America during the Austrian war; after 1760, British-Americans had cause to fear that French advances in Germany would force the restitution of Canada. The worst of these nightmares revolved around a potential French conquest of Hanover, through which Louis XV hoped to engineer another Aix-la-Chapelle-style status quo antebellum peace with the British.¹⁷⁷ As the New England minister Jonathan Townsend warned, ‘should things go ill on our side in Europe, the advantages here would soon be swallowed up, and trembling would again take hold upon us’.¹⁷⁸ Charles Carroll, Sr, feared that the conquest of the Electorate would give France ‘more than an equivalent in their hands wherewith to purchase such a peace as may be agreeable to them’.¹⁷⁹ A Virginian planter who had recently retired from military service captured the Eurocentric anxiety circulating throughout the colonies in the final years of the war. ‘We are in pain here for the King of Prussia—and wish Hanover safe,’ George Washington wrote in 1760, ‘these being events in which we appear to be much interested.’¹⁸⁰ British-Americans had recognized the great danger presented by continental connections to British policy outside Europe; their response was not to disown these connections but to retain them, galvanizing the global concert against French hegemony. The fact that colonial enthusiasm for the European theatre persisted (contrary to common scholarly opinion) after the conquest of Canada was especially telling in light of the major crisis of metropolitan continentalism which dominated the final years of Britain’s war.¹⁸¹ The accession of George III after his grandfather’s death in October 1760 saw the coronation of an English-born monarch with navalist sympathies and little interest in his Hanoverian patrimony. Pitt was forced from power. The young King and his new chief minister, the Earl of Bute, turned the rhetoric of Crown and ministry against the great expense of the

Boston, 2/10/1760, in Cunningham (ed.), Rowe Papers, 378; Adams, Songs of Victory, 20; Mather Byles, A Sermon Delivered March 6th, 1760 (New London, 1760), 14. ¹⁷⁷ On French strategy, see Dull, ‘Great Power Confrontation’, 71–2. On the exposure of Hanover, see Anderson, Crucible of War, 125–6; W. Mediger, ‘Great Britain, Hanover, and the Rise of Prussia, in Hatton and Anderson (eds.), Studies in Diplomatic History, 212–13; Middleton, Bells of Victory, 2–3. ¹⁷⁸ Jonathan Townsend, Sorrow Turned into Joy (Boston, 1760), 5. See similarly Mayhew, Discourses Delivered November 23rd, 1758, 23; Henry Gordon to Henry Bouquet, Pittsburgh, 15/8/1759, in Stevens (ed.), Bouquet Papers, III, 564; Eliot, Sermon Preached October 25th 1759, 41; Williams, God’s Wonderful Goodness, 15, 17; Mellen, Sermon Preached at the West Parish, 37; Mayhew, Discourses Delivered October 9th, 1760, 51. ¹⁷⁹ Charles Carroll, Sr., to Charles Carroll, Jr., Annapolis, 9/2/1759, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, I, 93. ¹⁸⁰ George Washington to Richard Washington, 10/8/1760, in Abbot (ed.), Washington Papers, VI, 453. For similar statements, see Daniel Claus to William Johnson, 20/11/1760, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, III, 284; Noble Jones to Noble Jones Jr., 29/1/1761, in Simpson (ed.), Jones Papers, 11. ¹⁸¹ Cf. Pencak, War, Politics, and Revolution, 150; Anderson, Crucible of War, 453.

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German war and towards blue-water ventures with immediate, patriot dividends. This was a timely shift. Israel Mauduit’s bestselling, highly negative Considerations on the German War had turned metropolitan public opinion against the entangling accords with Hanover and Prussia. A growing number of metropolitan Britons now contended that British colonial conquests should be retained at all costs, whatever gains France might make in Europe.¹⁸² As the prospect of a peace treaty drew nearer, such arguments became highly significant. Although the retention of Canada spoke most immediately to British-American interests, the new metropolitan vindications of blue-water policy received a decidedly lukewarm response in the colonies. Mauduit’s pamphlet and various responses circulated extensively—although nowhere was demand large enough to prompt an American reprint, in conspicuous contrast to biographies of Frederick the Great.¹⁸³ Similar British voices like the Monitor had not, of course, been entirely unheard and unheeded during the previous years.¹⁸⁴ Mauduit was praised by Mayhew and Charles Carroll, Jr, but neither actually embraced his criticism of continental connections. ‘However various the opinions of people may be respecting the advantage or disadvantage of continental connections to Great Britain,’ the Boston clergyman had meditated in 1758, ‘while such connections actually subsist, Great Britain is nearly concerned and interested in all the successes of her allies.’¹⁸⁵ Likewise, in December 1761, Carroll was delighted to see the new ministry ‘supporting the measures of our late great minister’, Pitt, ‘to prosecute the German war with the utmost vigour’.¹⁸⁶ A few colonists did begin to oppose the intervention, but rarely without caveat.¹⁸⁷ Weatherwise’s almanac moved from virulent praise for Frederick II in ¹⁸² On this controversy, see Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 469; Jeremy Black, America or Europe? British Foreign Policy, 1739–1763 (London, 1998), 175–81; Anderson, Crucible of War, 479–86. On Bute’s foreign policy, see Karl Schweizer, ‘Lord Bute, William Pitt, and the Peace Negotiations with France, April-September 1761’, in Schweizer (ed.), Lord Bute: Essays in Reinterpretation (Leicester, 1988), 41–55. On the shift of British foreign policy after 1760 more broadly, see Black, ‘The Crown, Hanover, and the Shift in British Foreign Policy in the 1760s’, in Black (ed.), Knights Errant, 113–34; J. G. A. Pocock, ‘Monarchy in the Name of Britain: The Case of George III’, in Hans Blom et al. (eds.), Monarchisms in the Age of Enlightenment (Toronto, 2007), 285–302. ¹⁸³ On the circulation of Mauduit’s pamphlet in America, see Alexander Lunan to Henry Bouquet, Philadelphia, 28/5/1761, in Stevens (ed.), Bouquet Papers, V, 511–12. One answer to Mauduit’s pamphlet was reprinted in the colonies: A Letter from a Meeting of the Brethren Called Quakers, to the Authors of the Pamphlet Called ‘Considerations on the German War’ (Boston, 1761). ¹⁸⁴ See, for example, BEP, 19/12/1757 (from Monitor, 3/9/1757); NYM, 22/1/1759 (from Monitor, 2/ 9/1758). ¹⁸⁵ Mayhew, Discourses Delivered November 23rd, 1758, 20n. Cf. Jonathan Mayhew to Jasper Mauduit, Boston, 17/11/1762, in Jasper Mauduit, Agent in London for the Province of the Massachusetts Bay, 1762–1765 (Boston, 1918), 87. Mayhew was already familiar with the Mauduits’ foreign-policy perspective before the publication of Considerations: see Jasper Mauduit to Jonathan Mayhew, London, 28/2/1755, and 1/9/1755, in Mayhew Papers, Bortmann Collection, Boston University. ¹⁸⁶ Charles Carroll, Jr., to Charles Carroll, Sr., 1/1/1761, Charles Carroll, Jr. to Charles Carroll, Sr., 19/12/1761, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, I, 193, 241. ¹⁸⁷ See the testament of Henry Hulton to Robert Nicholson, 24/1/1761, in Neil Longley York (ed.), Henry Hulton and the American Revolution (Boston, 2010), 208.

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1759 to a celebration of the anti-Hanoverian rhetoric Pitt had employed prior to his premiership in its next edition, although, as Parker’s Gazette demonstrates, hostility to the Prussian alliance did not always accompany criticism of the Hanoverian connection.¹⁸⁸ Colonists who advocated the abandonment of Prussia and Hanover to serve discrete Anglo-American ends often stressed that such a policy would only be reasonable in disastrous circumstances. The New York official Goldsbrow Banyar claimed that the renunciation of ‘all continental connections’ and the retention of ‘all our conquests in America’ would become necessary only if Frederick exposed the Electorate by making a separate peace with France. In the meantime, he hoped that Britain could enable the Prussian King ‘to keep his head up another campaign by a fleet in the Baltic and a large succour of troops’.¹⁸⁹ In the naval aspect of his proposal, Banyar’s zeal for the European theatre exceeded even Pitt’s.¹⁹⁰ Once again, the seemingly critical colonial voice was actually disparaging Britain’s lack of commitment to the European war. On the whole, however, British-Americans simply refused to see the resolution of the Seven Years War as a choice between European and colonial priorities. Led by Franklin in London, colonial lobbyists fighting for the retention of Britain’s conquests in North America feared the possibility that Canada might be relinquished in order to preserve gains in the Caribbean, not the geopolitical status quo in Europe.¹⁹¹ Franklin’s celebrated intervention The Interest of Great Britain Considered (1760) sought to demonstrate the superior value of Canada to the French West Indies, not Hanover and Prussia.¹⁹² Indeed, his argument was rooted in enhancing Britain’s ability to fight a future European campaign. ‘In case of another war,’ he told his Philadelphian associate John Hughes, ‘if we keep possession of Canada the nation will save two or three million a year now spent in defending the American colonies and be so much the stronger in Europe by the addition of the troops now employed on that side of the water.’¹⁹³ The author of Considerations upon the Act of Parliament (1764) would also phrase the question as a choice between parting with ‘what we had gained, or might gain, in the West Indies, Africa, and elsewhere’ and ‘what we had conquered or might conquer in North America’ in order to ‘obtain the desired settlement of affairs in

¹⁸⁸ Abraham Weatherwise, Father Abraham’s Almanac (Philadelphia, 1759), [vi–xvi]. On the subtlety of Pitt’s views at that time: Black, Pitt, 109–10; Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 406–8; Nick Harding, Hanover and the British Empire, 1700–1837 (Woodbridge, 2007), 149–50. ¹⁸⁹ Goldsbrow Banyar to William Johnson, 28/4/1760, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, III, 229. ¹⁹⁰ See Middleton, Bells of Victory, 58. ¹⁹¹ Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Ringold, London, 26/11/1761, Benjamin Franklin to Joshua Babcock, London, 10/12/1761, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, IX, 388, 397; John Rowe to Messrs John Jameson & Son, Boston, 30/9/1760, in Cunningham (ed.), Rowe Papers, 377. ¹⁹² Benjamin Franklin, The Interest of Great Britain Considered with Regard to her Colonies (London, 1760). On this aspect of the debate, see William Grant, ‘Canada vs. Guadeloupe: An Episode of the Seven Years’ War’, in American Historical Review, vol. 17 (1912), 735–43. ¹⁹³ Benjamin Franklin to John Hughes, London, 7/1/1760, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, IX, 13–14.

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Germany’.¹⁹⁴ In a clear attack on the metropolitan blue-water policy, the volume of poetry produced by Harvard to celebrate George III’s accession asserted that those ‘who consider the freedom of Britons to be only their own concern, discern not the political connexions between the different states of mankind’. Britain, it concluded, was liberty’s ‘fortress to which they, whose freedom is in danger, resort for protection’.¹⁹⁵ As far as most colonial commentators were concerned, victory in North America did not question the necessity of fighting the menace of French universal monarchy in all theatres, either strategically or morally. As Gilbert Tennent declared in his sermon on George II’s death—after the conquest of Canada— colonists still faced a ‘critical conjuncture of a war with numerous and potent nations’ who were ‘combined in an unjust, extraordinary, and formidable confederacy, to ruin entirely a Protestant prince’—Frederick of Prussia. The danger remained, he continued, ‘either of his losing his crown or our losing our late acquisitions to preserve it’.¹⁹⁶ Even at the end of the conflict, the New Hampshire cleric Samuel Haven was still reflecting evocatively on the ‘miraculous’ survival of ‘that little principality’.¹⁹⁷ Accordingly, British-Americans continued to fixate on the often troubling prospects of the continental theatre, demanding news from correspondents across the Atlantic and chronicling European events.¹⁹⁸ The accession in January 1762 of the Prussophile Tsar Peter III, who withdrew Russia from its military compact with France and Austria and the war in Germany, delighted colonists.¹⁹⁹ Even the perennially anxious Banyar now hoped that ‘the King of Prussia will by the new Tsar being his friend extricate himself at last’.²⁰⁰ Peter’s murder in a conspiracy ¹⁹⁴ Considerations upon the Act of Parliament (Boston, 1764), 4–5. ¹⁹⁵ Dedication, in Pietas et Gratulatio Collegii Cantabrigiensis Apud Novanglos (Boston, 1761), vii– viii. Charles Evans attributed this dedication to the English-born governor Francis Bernard, but the author’s reference to his New Englander ancestors renders this unlikely. ¹⁹⁶ Tennent, Sermon on I Chronicles XXIX, 14, 27. Similarly, John Rowe to Thomas Saul, Boston, 20/ 10/1761, in Cunningham (ed.), Rowe Papers, 401; Goldsbrow Banyar to William Johnson, New York, 29/3/1762, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, III, 659; Samuel Quincy to Robert Treat Paine, Boston, 1/1/1762, in Riley and Hanson (eds.), Paine Papers, II, 212; Charles Carroll, Jr., to Charles Carroll, Sr., 8/1/1762, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, I, 252; Adams, Songs of Victory, 19. ¹⁹⁷ Haven, Joy and Salvation, 31–2. ¹⁹⁸ For example, Isaac Norris to Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia, 15/1/1759, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, VIII, 227; NYM, 29/4/1761; Hale’s Chronicle, American Antiquarian Society, II, 58–67; III, passim. On the uncertainty of events in Europe as late as 1763, see Matt Schumann, ‘The End of the Seven Years’ War in Germany’, in Mark Danley and Patrick Speelman (eds.), The Seven Years’ War (Leiden, 2012), 518. ¹⁹⁹ On the Russian contribution to the war in northern Germany, see Scott, ‘Prussia’s Emergence’, 172; Hale’s Chronicle, American Antiquarian Society, II, 7. Contrast, above, n.62; NYJ, 12/2/1750 (from London Review, 4/11/1749), 20/8/1750 (from London Review, 14/4/1750); NYEP, 12/2/1750 (Lord Hyndford’s speech to Tsarina Elizabeth; also in the BPB, 29/1/1750), 19/2/1750 (from London Review, 4/11/1749), 12/3/1750 (from Westminster Journal). On Peter III’s Prussophilia, see Theodor Schieder, Frederick the Great, ed. and trans. H. M. Scott and Sabina Berkeley (London, 2000), 156. ²⁰⁰ Goldsbrow Banyar to William Johnson, 31/5/1762, in Sullivan (ed.) Johnson Papers, III, 749. Similarly, Peter du Bois to William Johnson, Albany, 9/11/1761, Robert Leake to William Johnson, New York, 12/4/1762, in ibid., III, 563–564, 681; Charles Carroll, Jr. to Charles Carroll, Sr., 17/3/1762,

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that elevated his wife Catherine II to the Russian throne prompted a corresponding outburst of anger and foreboding amongst British-Americans, who feared a renewed offensive against Prussia from the east.²⁰¹ For one colonist, the coup was ‘a heavy stroke to the King of Prussia. I dread the consequences’.²⁰² Nathaniel Ames of Dedham, Massachusetts, gave his view of these events more succinctly in the privacy of his diary: ‘Emperor of Russia is murdered by orders of his bitch of a wife Kate.’²⁰³ When peace with France was finally concluded under the treaties of Paris and Hubertusburg in 1763, colonists celebrated the resolution of the war as the triumph of a common international cause against French universal monarchy. As the New York Indian commissioner William Johnson wrote, ‘all Canada [is] ceded to us by France, Florida by Spain, and the River Mississippi to be our boundary towards Louisiana’; but this was also a truly general peace, ‘by which Portugal is saved, and France taken off the King of Prussia’s shoulders’.²⁰⁴ In Charleston, Henry Laurens offered another fitting tribute to the continentalist spirit in which Americans had fought for almost twenty-five years when he lauded the ‘honourable peace’ that ‘we have been able to give . . . to our neighbours’.²⁰⁵ Likewise, Samuel Auchmuty preached on New York’s Thanksgiving Day of how ‘the hopes of a restless and ambitious enemy’ had been ‘disappointed, their dreams of conquest vanished into air, and instead of universal empire, the phantoms of an

Charles Carroll, Sr. to Charles Carroll, Jr., Annapolis, 29/6/1762, Charles Carroll, Jr. to Charles Carroll, Sr., 4/7/1762, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, I, 255, 262, 265; Joseph Sewall, A Sermon Preached . . . on the Joyful News of the Reduction of Havana (Boston, 1762), 27; Hanson (ed.), Ames Diary, 7–8/4/1762, I, 86; John Rowe to Richard Willtshire, Boston, 10/4/1762, in Cunningham (ed.), Rowe Papers, 419; Caecilius Calvert to Horatio Sharpe, London, 24/4/1762, in William Hand Browne (ed.), Archives of Maryland Volume XIV (Annapolis, 1895), 45; Francis Bernard to Jeffrey Amherst, Boston, 5/5/1762, in Colin Nicholson (ed.), The Papers of Francis Bernard, 5 vols. so far (Charlottesville, 2007–), I, 209; Willis (ed.), Journals, 24/11/1762, 192. ²⁰¹ On Catherine’s foreign policy immediately after taking power, see Isabel de Madariaga, Russia in the Age of Catherine the Great (London, 1981), 187; John Alexander, Catherine the Great (Oxford, 1989), 122. The new Tsarina did not, in fact, resume the war with Prussia. ²⁰² William Corry to William Johnson, Albany, 18/10/1762, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, III, 907. See similarly NYM, 4/10/1762; BG, 4/10/1762; Charles Carroll, Jr. to Charles Carroll, Sr., 6/8/1762, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, I, 272; Lewis Ourry to Henry Bouquet, Fort Bedford, 21/10/ 1762, in Stevens (ed.), Bouquet Papers, VI, 123. ²⁰³ Hanson (ed.), Ames Diary, 21/10/1762, I, 78. At the other end of Europe, a similar narrative could be told of the Spanish invasion of Portugal, Britain’s other continental ally, in 1762. See, for example, BEP, 27/9/1762, 4/10/1762, 11/10/1762, 18/10/1762; John Rowe to Richard Willtshire, Boston, 10/4/1762, in Cunningham (ed.), Rowe Papers, 419–20; Henry van Schaak to William Johnson, Albany, 7/10/1762, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, III, 894; Henry Laurens to John Ettwein, Charleston, 7/4/1762, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, III, 94; Haven, Joy and Salvation, 21. ²⁰⁴ William Johnson to Henry Gladwin, Johnson Hall, 8/4/1763, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, IV, 81. ²⁰⁵ Henry Laurens to John Knight, 14/2/1763, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, III, 253–4. See similarly James Horrocks, Upon the Peace (Williamsburg, 1763), 5; Haven, Joy and Salvation, 35; Considerations Upon the Act of Parliament, 5.

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illusive imagination, they were unable to defend themselves, or protect their coasts and colonies’.²⁰⁶ The sacrifice of 1748 had been vindicated in 1763. However, although it seemed that the preservation of the liberties of Europe was now assured, many colonists gave a more ambiguous response to the Treaty of Paris, with profound consequences for Anglo-American relations in the post-war world. In order to understand why, we must first explore the impact of the European great power struggles on political culture in the thirteen colonies during the middle decades of the eighteenth century.

²⁰⁶ Auchmuty, ‘Thanksgiving Sermon on Psalm 27:6 preached at St. George’s Chapel’, 11 August 1763, Auchmuty Sermons, Trinity Church, Box 33.

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6 ‘The Patron of Mankind’ Geopolitics and Colonial Nationalism

As the Seven Years War convulsed the European world in February 1758, the Lutheran pastor Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg wrote from the backwoods of Pennsylvania to correspondents in Germany that ‘all good Protestants in this part of the World pray in public and in private for our country’s father George II and especially also for the King of Prussia’.¹ Mühlenberg’s observation was the product of a set of ideological, cultural, and social transformations, intimately related to the British-American experience of international upheaval during the mideighteenth century. Debates about British foreign policy, conducted in a burgeoning North American public sphere at a time of great international tumult, exercised a formative influence over the development of distinctively colonial discourses of royalism and British nationalism. Mühlenburg’s remarks thus captured the nexus of several idioms of politics, which entrenched the authority of the Hanoverian regime and encouraged sociocultural convergence in the thirteen colonies during the conflicts of 1739–63. The devotion to a Hanoverian–British dynastic and national mission across the Atlantic which lay at the core of these sentiments was an essential component of imperial solidarity. The mid-eighteenth century witnessed the zenith of British national sentiment in the thirteen colonies, but to see this phenomenon as merely imitative of the metropolis is simplistic. Scholars have explored the material and ritual life of this aspect of the ‘anglicization’ thesis painstakingly, but analyses of its politics are usually shallow. Their presumption (it seems) has been that attitudes can be adopted or imported in the same way as a legal procedure or a patriotically themed teapot. Americanists have thus tended to define colonial British nationalism by a banal attachment to Protestantism and liberty, and a deep-seated ‘antipopery’ and xenophobia (particularly against the French). When this outline escapes the bounds of what W. R. Ward called ‘the narrowing of the Anglican mind’, the focus falls firmly on British communities and interests across the oceans, rather than the other side of the Channel. In other words, heavily ¹ Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg to G.A. Francke and F.M. Ziegenhagen, Providence, 1/21758, in Kurt Aland (ed.), Die Korrespondenz Heinrich Melchior Mühlenbergs, 5 vols. (Berlin, 1986–2002), II, 335: my translation. Original text: ‘Was redliche Protestanten sind in diesem Theil der Welt, die beten öftenlich und privatum für unsern Landes=Vater Georg 2te und usonderheit auch für Sr: Majestät den König von Preußen’. The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution. D. H. Robinson, Oxford University Press (2020). © D. H. Robinson. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198862925.001.0001

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influenced by the work of T. H. Breen, they have simply presumed that Linda Colley’s image of eighteenth-century Britishness can simply be projected across the Atlantic.² The reality is rather different: the discourse of colonial British nationalism was fashioned by colonial polemicists. To be sure, they worked largely from metropolitan source material, but they were not simply the importers of an ideology of nationhood. The ‘shrinkage’ of the Atlantic during the consumer revolution was only an instrumental factor.³ Indeed, the choice of what to import was itself a creative act. For, as we have seen at length in foregoing chapters, the picture extracted from Colley’s influential work is now hopelessly outdated. Augustan Britain may well be described as ‘Protestant, commercial, and free’, but only because this epithet is so vague that it hides the tempestuous debate about the meaning of Britishness within that society.⁴ Liberty and Protestant fellowship were subjects of factious debate; xenophobia was convoluted, changeable, and offset by a great measure of cosmopolitanism. But while the meaning of British nationality was contested, it was not anarchic. In fact, it was often enmeshed with doctrines of foreign policy—unsurprisingly, since national self-definition is usually done in an international context. During the middle of the eighteenth century, British-Americans fashioned a form of British national sentiment in keeping with their continentalist geopolitical thinking. Assertively British in its loyalties though this was, it was distinctively American in character: the product of colonial writers in the colonial milieu. Its advocates placed their devotion to Protestant Britishness alongside a sense of ² See particularly T. H. Breen, ‘Ideology and Nationalism on the Eve of the American Revolution: Revisions Once More in Need of Revising’, in Journal of American History, vol. 84, no. 1 (June 1997), 29–31; Linda Colley, Britons (New Haven, 1992), esp. 19–54. In keeping with Colley’s account, see Kathleen Wilson, The Sense of the People (Cambridge, 1995), esp. 137–205; Robert Harris, A Patriot Press (Oxford, 1993), 94, 122; W. R. Ward, Christianity under the Ancien Regime, 1648–1789 (Cambridge, 1999), 242; Eliga Gould, The Persistence of Empire (Chapel Hill, 2000), 35–71; Tony Claydon, Europe and the Making of England, 1660–1760 (Cambridge, 2007), 273–5; David Hendrickson, Peace Pact (Lawrence, Kansas, 2003), 55–64. On colonial nationalism, see further Paul Varg, ‘The Advent of Nationalism, 1758-1776’, in American Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 2 (Summer 1964), 175–80; Jack Greene, Pursuits of Happiness (Chapel Hill, 1988), 175; Jack Greene, Creating the British Atlantic (Charlottesville, 2013), 337–9, 342–4; Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, This Violent Empire (Chapel Hill, 2010), 4; Woody Holton, ‘How the Seven Years’ War Turned Americans into (British) Patriots’, in Warren Hofstra (ed.), Cultures in Conflict (Lanham, 2007), 127–43. On the rituals and materiality of colonial British nationalism, see Richard Bushman, King and People in Provincial Massachusetts (Chapel Hill, 1985), 14–17; T. H. Breen, The Marketplace of Revolution (Oxford, 2004), 72–101; Brendan McConville, The King’s Three Faces (Chapel Hill, 2006), 119–28. Some continue to treat the mid-eighteenth century as a seed time of Anglophobia and a new, distinct Americanness. See Harry Ward, ‘Unite or Die’ (Port Washington, 1971), 246; Jon Butler, Becoming America (Cambridge, MA, 2000), 127; Thomas Bender, A Nation Among Nations (New York, 2006), 81. ³ On this process, see Breen, Marketplace of Revolution, 21–4; Breen, ‘ “Baubles of Britain”: The American and Consumer Revolutions of the Eighteenth Century’, in Past and Present, no. 119 (May 1988), 73–104. ⁴ Contrast the more homogeneous impression given in a comprehensive synthesis by Greene, ‘Empire and Identity from the Glorious Revolution to the American Revolution’, in P. J. Marshall (ed.), The Oxford History of the British Empire, Volume II (Oxford, 1998), 208–30.

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benign entanglement in Christendom and European civilization. They marked the British out as a unique nation in the system of Europe, but also as a nation uniquely involved in the affairs of Europe. The result was a nationalism dramatically different from what was to be found in the metropolis: more militant, more Whig, and more cosmopolitan. For while there was no shortage of like-minded Whigs in the British Isles, the powerful, insular strand of metropolitan British identity found little traction in the colonies. As we have seen in previous chapters, American soil was unfertile ground for such ideas, in geopolitics or political culture. This species of nationalism bore little resemblance to the canonical theories of scholars like Benedict Anderson, Ernest Gellner, and Eric Hobsbawn— unsurprisingly, since their conceptions were all but designed to confine nationalism to late modern industrial capitalist societies—but it was a species of nationalism nonetheless, and not merely a sense of nationality.⁵ The British colonial experience was of a piece with an eruption of nationalisms that took place throughout the European world in the middle of the eighteenth century, precipitated by the sudden ascent of international (over dynastic or confessional) conceptions of conflict between polities, which displaced dynastic and confessional priorities during the Seven Years War.⁶ In British North America, as elsewhere, nationalism altered the political landscape fundamentally. As David Bell explains in his work on the ‘cult of the nation’ in eighteenth-century France, the nationalist’s agenda is not simply to praise, defend, and strengthen the nation, but ‘actively to construct one’.⁷ In America, the creative work was to realize a national mission, which reached far beyond the entrenching of ‘patriotic’ notions of civic duty—namely, the redemption of European civilization from the tyranny and slavery offered by the French.⁸ And by invoking historical narratives, religious mores, and contemporary geopolitics, colonial polemicists and preachers sought to make this a British national mission and the cause of humanity itself. The formation of a nation state was not part of this programme: like many nineteenth-century British nationalists, their eighteenth-century forebears in North America found no difficulty in conceiving of nationalism in an imperial context and with edges that blurred into leadership of an international cause. This too was in keeping with the character of many other early modern nationalisms, ⁵ The works of Benedict Anderson, Ernest Gellner, and Eric Hobsbawm have been discussed and critiqued widely enough for there to be little reason to rehearse the debate once again here. ⁶ On this European phenomenon, see T. C. W. Blanning, The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture (Oxford, 2002), 185–265; David Bell, The Cult of the Nation in France (Cambridge, MA, 2001), 78–106; Stephen Conway, ‘War and National Identity in the Mid-Eighteenth-Century British Isles’, in The English Historical Review, vol. 116, no. 468 (Sept. 2001), 863–93. ⁷ Bell, Cult of the Nation in France, 3. ⁸ Caspar Hirschi, The Origins of Nationalism (Cambridge, 2012), esp. 47, comes perilously close to conflating nationalism and civic virtue.

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undoubtedly reflecting the confessional origins of many nationalist idioms.⁹ As a result of these factors, nationalist thinking in the thirteen colonies was neither particularly dependent on a multipolar world view nor necessarily exclusionary.¹⁰ The immediate consequences for colonial political culture were several. Firstly, royalism lost most of its autonomy. Enlisted as the arch-protector of the balance and liberties of Europe, the King became the subject of a personality cult based upon the embodiment of national virtues. He thus came to resemble a new kind of moral leader—a national demagogue.¹¹ For the time being, the results were salutary. At a time of extraordinary strain, the fusion of Britishness with the Hanoverian dynasty nurtured popular support for the regime and its projects in Europe and America. In parallel with the enthusiasm, however, it also established a form of monarchy answerable to the nation. The consequences of that innovation would unfold after the war. Secondly, colonial society itself was galvanized. The thirteen colonies had been growing more heterogeneous as a result of expansion, migration, and schism since the middle of the seventeenth century.¹² During the mid-eighteenth century, British-American nationalists played upon the cosmopolitan flavour of their variant of Britishness to foster cultural coalescence. In this endeavour, they were joined by cultural brokers within ethnic and religious minorities themselves, spying an opportunity to become full participants in colonial public life. The capacity for absorption was not unlimited, however, as some colonists discovered to their discomfort between 1740 and 1763.

‘Let the British Lion be Roused’ Up, then, my countrymen, let the British lion be roused in our breasts. William Livingston, New York’s Watch-Tower, 1755¹³ In the fractious geopolitical context of the early 1750s, colonial polemicists developed a bellicose, nationalist creed centred on the role of the British nation as the defender of European liberty. This was not the first manifestation of national sentiment in British America. Identification with English and British nationalities had been widespread throughout British America since the early ⁹ On the Mosaic origins of national sentiment, see Colin Kidd, British Identities Before Nationalism (Cambridge, 1999), 34–72. ¹⁰ See Adrian Hastings, The Construction of Nationhood (Cambridge, 1997), 4. Cf. Hirschi, Origins of Nationalism, 40. ¹¹ This appellation is given en passant to William Pitt the Elder by Rhys Isaac, Landon Carter’s Uneasy Kingdom (Oxford, 2004), 160–1. Cf. Blanning, Culture of Power, 356. ¹² See Butler, Becoming America, 8–49. ¹³ William Livingston, ‘Watch-Tower IX’, in NYM, 20/1/1755 (reprinted in BEP, 17/2/1755; VG, 28/ 3/1755).

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eighteenth century.¹⁴ As we have seen, the combination of these attachments with affinities for the wider European world was also well established. The relationship between geopolitical and nationalist discourses was reciprocal. Just as this peculiar nationalism was fostered by enthusiasm for an interventionist foreign policy, its cosmopolitan undertone nourished a desire to intervene in European affairs. And as with the triumph of continentalism, the geographic exposure of the colonies was probably responsibly for the uncompromising ‘frontier’ form of British nationalism that took root in North America. It was in its ferocity that the British nationalism which emerged in the colonies during the mid-century marked a new departure. In the absence of the Tory and patriot narratives that held the Court Whig vision in check at home, British nationalism was a force more monolithic in the colonies than in the metropolis, where attitudes towards the place of the British in the world remained ‘more complex and fractured’.¹⁵ These circumstances left an indelible mark upon the politics of the colonial nationalist creed, accounting for much of its radicalism. The unmitigated emphasis of Britain’s duty to act as ‘arbiter of Europe’—and especially its apotheosis as a providential destiny of benevolent universal monarchy—reached well beyond the aspirations of mainstream metropolitan Whiggery, which were consistently circumscribed by the influence of opposition voices.¹⁶ The nationalist turn of the early 1750s was shaped by geopolitics, and its political agenda focused on the prevention of a French universal monarchy. There was more to this than a general hatred of a particular foreign ‘other’ instilled by contemporary bloodletting. Renewed French encroachments during these years seemed to confirm that their lust for universal monarchy was insatiable, dispelling the slender hope that the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle would serve as the foundation of a lasting peace. On his return to Massachusetts in 1752, Governor Shirley spoke to the general mood of British America when he declared that ‘the sword must settle the controversy’.¹⁷ Meanwhile, the legacy of Louisbourg’s role in restoring the European balance, the collapse of the Grand Alliance, and Britain’s poor performance in the Austrian war continued to underline the importance of harnessing American strength to British power. Colonial British nationalism endured long after this particular moment had passed; nevertheless, it was in this context that its prophets sought an ideology to ¹⁴ Cf. Joseph Conforti, Saints and Strangers (Baltimore, 2006), 163–72; Ned Landsman, From Colonials to Provincials (New York, 1997), 8–31; Owen Stanwood, The Empire Reformed (Philadelphia, 2011), 143–76; Philip Haffenden, New England in the English Nation (Oxford, 1974), 38–71; Francis Bremer, Puritan Crisis (New York, 1989), 323–72. ¹⁵ On the metropolitan zeitgeist, see Jeremy Black, Debating Foreign Policy in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Farnham, 2011), 216. ¹⁶ Cf. Anthony Pagden, Lords of All the World (New Haven and London, 1995), 8. ¹⁷ William Shirley quoted in Thomas Hutchinson, The History of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, ed. John Hutchinson (London, 1828), 16. See also BPB, 20/8/1753.

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galvanize support for Britain’s providential role within the international system. The excellence of the British constitution, and the other shibboleths of civicminded Country Whiggery, appeared as instruments to this end as much as objects in themselves.¹⁸ Neither were the architects and polemicists of colonial British nationalism focused upon a project of ‘breaking down the distinctions between colonist and Briton’ within the British Empire, which would not become a major concern until the 1760s.¹⁹ One of the founding fathers of colonial British nationalism was a New York Scot named Archibald Kennedy, who became convinced of the need for someone to rouse his fellow colonists against the French menace during the early 1750s.²⁰ Like many contemporary nationalists, he settled upon the Athenian orator Demosthenes as his model.²¹ The times called for ‘the champion of our liberties’ to ‘now stand forth’, he declared; for ‘never were cases more parallel than that of Greece and ours, when Demosthenes, by his powerful eloquence, raised such a spirit of liberty in his countrymen the Athenians, ready to sink, and upon the brink of destruction, as saved his country’.²² Several newspapers echoed Kennedy’s call in times of great stress by printing ‘some passages of Demosthenes’s Orations, extracted from a late translation, and recommended to the serious consideration of Britons’.²³ No one answered this call more enthusiastically than another New Yorker, the lawyer and politician William Livingston. Seeking to demonstrate the French threat to British-Americans throughout the continent, Livingston’s Watch-Tower articles were widely reprinted in his own colony and beyond, even featuring in periodicals like James Parker’s New York Gazette, which had refused to print his controversial writings on provincial issues.²⁴ Nevertheless, he was simply a leading exponent amongst a large number of polemicists who exploited the expanding colonial press to disseminate their call to arms.²⁵ The invocation of Demosthenes immediately raises an important contrast with metropolitan discourse. In their adulation of the Athenian, Kennedy and many of his followers were almost certainly influenced by Lord Bolingbroke’s praise for the orator in his letter On the Spirit of Patriotism, written in 1736 and published in

¹⁸ Cf. David Waldstreicher, ‘Rites of Rebellion, Rites of Assent’, in Journal of American History, vol. 82, no. 1 (June 1995), 43; Varg, ‘Advent of Nationalism’, 171–3. ¹⁹ Cf. Timothy Shannon, Indians and Colonists at the Crossroads of Empire (Ithaca, 2000), 101. ²⁰ See the brief life by Milton Klein, ‘Archibald Kennedy: Imperial Pamphleteer’, in Lawrence Leder (ed.), The Colonial Legacy, 2 vols. (New York, 1971), II, 75–105. ²¹ Cf. Hirschi, Origins of Nationalism, 215–19. ²² Archibald Kennedy, Serious Considerations on the Present State of the Affairs of the Northern Colonies (New York, 1754), 7. See further Archibald Kennedy, Serious Advice to the Inhabitants of the Northern-Colonies (New York, 1755), 8; letter to The New American Magazine, 1/1758. ²³ NYM, 25/4/1757; BEP, 4/4/1757. ²⁴ See Milton Klein, The American Whig (New York, 1993), 368. ²⁵ See, for example, George Pilcher, Samuel Davies (Knoxville, 1971), 167.

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1749.²⁶ A major exponent of the Country ideology, Bolingbroke was an important influence upon colonists. However, in keeping with their rejection of the Country critique of continentalism, British-Americans did not follow his lead in using Demosthenes to attack the decay of a ‘Periclean’ Britain deluded by a ruinous balance-of-power foreign policy.²⁷ Instead, as we shall see, this appropriation of an icon of Country opposition coincided with an enduring concern for the common cause of European liberty. Colonial British nationalists joined together the views of the Seven Years War as a clash of nations and a clash of international causes. Pitting the national character of the English as defenders of European liberty against that of the French as expansionist tyrants, the duel which sat at the heart of the conflict was not merely cast as a contest between nations but as a struggle of liberty and civilization against tyranny and bondage. It was thus that the ‘opposite character of the two nations’ came to serve as the pivot of William Livingston’s call to arms.²⁸ In this respect above all, colonial British nationalism was inextricable from geopolitical discourse. Hence, when Samuel Cooper looked back in 1763 upon ‘this truly national war’, he was referring not only to the united efforts of the transatlantic British nation but also to the broader geopolitical nature of the struggle.²⁹ Accordingly, the Francophobia of the 1750s was novel in its overriding emphasis of national character over dynastic malignance, as British-Americans held the slavish devotion of the French to King Louis responsible for enabling his schemes of universal monarchy. Their experience of European geopolitics lay at the heart of this image. ‘For our knowledge of that people’, Livingston remarked, ‘we are chiefly indebted to the frequent wars with which Europe has been so repeatedly harassed.’ These conflicts, he continued, had arisen from ‘the national character . . . of those disturbers of the peace of Christendom’.³⁰ This analysis was shared throughout the colonies. ‘The [French] slaves are content to starve at ²⁶ Viscount Bolingbroke, ‘On the Spirit of Patriotism’, in Bolingbroke, Political Writings, ed. David Armitage (Cambridge, 1997), 211–15. An edition was published in America by Franklin and Hall that year: Bolingbroke, Letters on the Spirit of Patriotism (Philadelphia, 1749). ²⁷ Cf. Doohwan Ahn, ‘From “Jealous Emulation” to “Cautious Politics”: British Foreign Policy and Public Discourse in the Mirror of Ancient Athens (ca. 1730-1750)’, in David Onnekink and Gijs Rommelse (eds.), Ideology and Foreign Policy in Early Modern Europe (1650–1750) (Farnham, 2011), 110–12; David Armitage, ‘A Patriot for Whom? The Afterlives of Bolingbroke’s Patriot King’, in the Journal of British Studies, vol. 36, no. 4 (Oct. 1997), 408–9. ²⁸ Livingston, ‘Watch-Tower IX’, in NYM, 20/1/1755 (reprinted in BEP, 17/2/1755; VG, 28/3/1755); Livingston, ‘Watch-Tower VIII’, in NYM, 13/1/1755 (reprinted in VG, 21/3/1755). Similarly: Livingston, ‘Watch-Tower XXXIX’, in NYM, 18/8/1755. ²⁹ Samuel Cooper, A Sermon Upon Occasion of the Death of Our Late Sovereign George II (Boston, 1761), 34. Cooper was echoing Benjamin Franklin, The Interest of Great Britain Considered with Regard to her Colonies (London, 1760; various colonial reprints), 22. ³⁰ Livingston, ‘Watch-Tower XXXVII’, in the NYM, 4/8/1755. Similarly Livingston, ‘Watch-Tower XXXVIII’, in the NYM, 11/8/1755 (reprinted BEP, 25/8/1755); John Lowell, The Advantages of God’s Presence with His People (Boston, 1755), 20; William Vinal, A Sermon on the Accursed Thing That Hinders Success and Victory in War (Newport, 1755), 17; Samuel Webster, Soldiers, and Others, Directed and Encouraged (Boston, 1756), 9.

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home,’ Jonathan Mayhew observed from Boston, ‘in order to injure free men abroad and to extend their territories by violence and usurpation.’³¹ Frenchmen were ‘slaves in the first principles of their education,’ argued one writer in the New York Mercury, ‘formed for a ready and blind submission to the will of an absolute monarch, to devote themselves and their fortunes to the pleasure and ambition of their prince.’³² Ambition also made the French a faithless people. ‘Their perfidy in solemn treaties’ was held to be ‘a trite proverb’.³³ As such, Henry Laurens of South Carolina stated that ‘there is no dealing with that ambitious, deceitful people but at the muzzle of our guns’.³⁴ Thus, by the early 1750s ‘the insatiable and rapacious spirit of the House of Bourbon’ was perceived less as the policy of a malevolent dynasty and more as the chief expression of an odious national character.³⁵ These observations were grounded in perceptions of the European French, into which the Québécois were subsumed, and against which their actions were measured.³⁶ By 1763, ‘anti-Gallicanism’ had become a pervasive creed in the colonies, employed as variously as the title of a series of letters in the American Magazine, of a privateer, and even of a friendly society in New Hampshire.³⁷ Anti-popery was also being superseded by Francophobia; although accounts of French religious persecutions continued to circulate as writers periodically

³¹ Jonathan Mayhew, A Sermon Preached in the Audience of His Excellency William Shirley (Boston, 1754), 34. ³² ‘A Summary View of the Present State of this Continent in General’, in the NYM, 23/9/1754. Similarly, ‘Watchman V’, in the PJ, 11/5/1758. ³³ James Sterling, A Sermon Preached Before His Excellency the Governor of Maryland (Annapolis, 1755), 44. Similarly, VG, 14/3/1755 (reprinting a letter to PG); Theodorus Frielinghuysen, Wars and Rumours of Wars (New York, 1755), 29, 35; Kennedy, Serious Advice, 13; William Clarke, Observations on the Late and Present Conduct of the French (Boston, 1755), 26; Isaac Stiles, The Character and Duty of Soldiers Illustrated (New Haven, 1755), 19; Thomas Pollen, Sermon Preached in Trinity Church (Newport, 1755), 10; Ellis Huske, The Present State of North America (London and Boston 1755), 55; Chauncy Graham, Some Few Reasons Suggested, Why the Heathen are at Present Permitted to Rage in the British Colonies in North America (New York, 1756), 4; Silvanus Conant, The Art of War, the Gift of God (Boston, 1759), 11; Samuel Woodward, A Sermon Preached October 9th 1760 (Boston, 1760), 15; Cadwallader Colden to the Council and Assembly of New York, 3/3/1762, in E. B. O’Callaghan (ed.), Journal of the Legislative Council of the Colony of New York, 2 vols. (Albany, 1861), II, 688. ³⁴ Henry Laurens to Sarah Nickelson, Charleston, 1/8/1755, in P. M. Hamer et al. (eds.), The Papers of Henry Laurens, 15 vols. (Columbia, SC, 1968–2002), I, 309. ³⁵ Governor Arthur Dobbs to the North Carolina Assembly, 1754, quoted in Roger Ekirch, Poor Carolina (Chapel Hill, 1981), 115. ³⁶ See, for example, Kennedy, Serious Considerations, 15; Samuel Davies, Religion and Patriotism the Constituents of a Good Soldier (Philadelphia, 1755), 22; Vinal, Sermon on the Accursed Thing, 16 (citing Huske, Present State); Robert Eastburn, A Faithful Narrative of the Many Dangers and Sufferings, as well as Wonderful and Surprising Deliverances of Robert Eastburn (Philadelphia, 1758), 25; Woodward, Sermon Preached October 9th 1760, 14; NYM, 16/8/1756, 22/8/1757; Charles Carroll, Sr, to Charles Carroll, Jr, Annapolis, 26/7/1756, 14/9/1756, in Ronald Hoffman et al. (eds.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley: The Peregrinations of a Revolutionary Aristocrat . . . , 3 vols. (Williamsburg, 2001), I, 28–30. ³⁷ Robert Hale’s Chronicle, 3 vols., French and Indian War Collection, American Antiquarian Society, I, 49; ‘Records of the Anti-Gallican Friendly Society of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 1758–1808’, American Antiquarian Society.

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felt obliged ‘to keep alive a just indignation against the treacherous bloody religion of France’.³⁸ Colonial thought continued to shift away from the division of Christendom along confessional lines towards a functional, instrumental, geopolitical understanding of popery working upon national character as much as hardening kingly hearts. James Sterling told his Maryland audience that popery was merely a means by which France’s rulers controlled their slaves. Catholic theology was simply ‘too gross, too affrontive to common sense, to be believed by their wise men’, but was ‘submitted to as their main engine of state; and so’, he thought, ‘would Mahometism, if equally and essentially subservient to their grand scheme’.³⁹ Ironically, by turning the French enemy from an apocalyptic foe into an uncivilized and national enemy, British-Americans continued to normalize relations with the French, despite the endurance of hostility for decades to come. Some certainly continued to think in a millenarian framework, but this must be qualified. Nathan Hatch contends that, ‘far from withdrawing from the imperial conflict, New Englanders’ (and other colonists, we presume, for he cites Samuel Davies of Virginia) ‘translated it into genuinely cosmic categories’.⁴⁰ Yet this was a dwindling dimension of colonial attitudes to foreign affairs: national rhetoric, not eschatology, prevailed in the discussion of geopolitics from the 1750s onwards, in sermons as in other forms of literature. By fixing upon the British nation a providential destiny to defend the balance and liberties of Europe, colonists defined their own national character in terms diametrically opposed to that which they constructed for the French. Referring explicitly to the people rather than the Crown, William Smith of Philadelphia enthused in 1757 that Britons had risen to be ‘the terror of the Earth, the protectors of the oppressed, the avengers of justice, and the scourge of tyrants’.⁴¹ ‘Since the Revolution,’ the clergyman Aaron Burr, Sr, reflected in Newark, ‘Great Britain has been the principal means of restraining the lawless ambition of France, and preventing her further unrighteous encroachments on her neighbours.’⁴² Samuel Davies drew a similar nationalist dichotomy: ‘the balance of power, the liberty, the peace, and religion of Europe, as well as the independency, the freedom,

³⁸ NYG, 17/1/1757. Similarly, NYJ, 18/3/1751; BPB, 9/12/1754. ³⁹ Sterling, Sermon Preached Before His Excellency, 44. ⁴⁰ Nathan Hatch, ‘The Origins of Civil Millennialism in America’, in William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, vol. 31, no. 3 (July 1974), 420, 422. ⁴¹ William Smith, The Christian Soldier’s Duty (Philadelphia, 1757), 24. Similarly, ‘An Address to the Several British Colonies upon the Northern Continent of America’, in the New American Magazine, 1/1758 (reprinted in NYM, 20/2/1758); Joseph Treat, A Thanksgiving Sermon Occasioned by the Glorious News of the Reduction of the Havana (New York, 1762), 12; Address of the New York Assembly to George III, 19/5/1761, in Journal of the Votes and Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Colony of New York, 2 vols. (New York, 1764–6), II, 663; William Smith, Indian Songs of Peace (New York, 1752), 16. ⁴² Aaron Burr, A Discourse Delivered at Newark (New York, 1755), 15.

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the commerce, and the territories of Britain and her colonies’, he declared, ‘have been the prize in dispute’ between the two nations—‘a prize equal to the whole world to us’.⁴³ This claim about the nature of British national identity was inextricable from the view of Britain as the arbiter of Europe which characterized the foreign policy discourses popular in contemporary British North America. Accordingly, Sterling’s sermon to the Maryland legislature in 1755 argued that the example of the Dutch—who ‘rose almost instantaneously’ to ‘the pompous denomination of high and mighty, the monopolisers of commerce, the controllers of Kings, and the arbiters of Europe’ after defeating their Spanish assailants early in the seventeenth century—ought to make ‘a free and mercantile people [that is, the British] glow with emulation’.⁴⁴ ‘We have been growing greater and more respectable among the powers of Europe’, Samuel Langdon of Massachusetts reflected: ‘we have been able to claim the sovereignty of the seas, and hold the balance on the continent’.⁴⁵ Upon the conquest of Canada, the Massachusetts House of Representatives registered its delight to see Great Britain confirmed as ‘the leading and most respectable power in the whole World; a power distinguished above all others by the sentiments of moderation in the highest prosperity, and by the benevolence and humanity exercised towards the vanquished’.⁴⁶ The New Hampshire clergyman Samuel Haven spoke for many in 1763 when he rejoiced at how ‘we who were destined by Bourbon and Austria to be the tail, are, by the holy arm of our God, become the head of the nations’.⁴⁷ Through this lens, many colonists interpreted the American theatre of the Seven Years War as an import of the Anglo-French struggle for the fate of Europe. Consequently, the shared blood of Britons on both sides of the Atlantic was a major theme of colonial thinking about the nature of the conflict and also a source of colonial British nationalism. At the beginning of the war, Sterling called upon his Maryland audience to remember that their foes were but ‘the emigrant successors of those whom your heroic predecessors so often vanquished’ in Europe. ‘While you read of what has been done in the fields of Crecy, Poitiers, Agincourt, and Blenheim’, he ordered, invoking English and British victories both ancient and recent, ‘tell your bounding hearts the same blood enriches your own veins, and ensures approaching victory!’⁴⁸ ‘The French in America’, a New England clergyman agreed, ‘are no more able to stand before the English

⁴³ Samuel Davies, A Sermon Delivered at Nassau Hall (New York, 1761), 13. ⁴⁴ Sterling, Sermon Preached Before His Excellency, 26. ⁴⁵ Samuel Langdon, Joy and Gratitude to God (Portsmouth, 1760), 25. ⁴⁶ House of Representatives to Francis Bernard, 23/12/1760, in Worthington Chauncey Ford et al. (eds.), Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, 51 vols. (Boston, 1919–84), XXXVIII, 115 (reprinted in the BG, 29/12/1760). ⁴⁷ Samuel Haven, Joy and Salvation by Christ (Portsmouth, 1763), 32. My italics. ⁴⁸ Sterling, Sermon Preached Before His Excellency, 45.

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here . . . than they are in Europe.’⁴⁹ ‘If you have a drop of British blood in your veins,’ Samuel Davies declared in his call to arms of 1756, ‘exert yourselves on this occasion.’⁵⁰ Despite the primacy of Englishness in these accounts, which was a characteristic of colonial as much as metropolitan British nationalism, colonists also placed some emphasis on British unity. A discourse by the New England minister Thomas Frink used England’s first Tudor King, Henry VII, to illustrate the ethnic unity of the peoples of the British Isles. As Anchises had prophesied of Augustus in Virgil’s Aeneid, he argued, ‘this is he, the man whom thou hast heard so often promised’, because in Henry ‘concentrated the royal Saxon, Norman, and British lines’ and by his marriage policy ‘he laid the foundation of uniting the two kingdoms of England and Scotland under one king’.⁵¹ The King embodied British national identity not only as the architect of foreign policy but also ethnically—by implication, this remained true of the reigning Hanoverian monarch. Shared national history proved no less influential than transatlantic consanguinity, but the colonial usage of the British past was different from that of their metropolitan brethren—especially where the history of foreign relations was concerned. According to Jeremy Black, metropolitan Britons presented their nation ‘not as pacific, but as responding to foreign threats’ and embraced a narrative focused upon the quintessential myth of Elizabeth I and the repulse of the Spanish Armada.⁵² In accordance with their more interventionist and continentalist sensibilities, British-Americans fashioned a more bellicose historical narrative in tune with their martial ‘frontier’ nationalism. In New England, pastor Thomas Frink portrayed Elizabeth I not as the saviour of England’s shores from an invasion force but as ‘a righteous avenger’, whom ‘the whole Christian world’ beheld ‘as the preserver of the peace of Europe’.⁵³ The Delaware Anglican minister Matthias Harris also recounted a national history based not upon the stout defence of an early modern fortress Britain but of crusades in the cause of liberty. ‘Let us remember from whom we are sprung’, he cried, ‘and often reflect that we are the descendants of those brave Britons, who have for many ages been the assertors of the common rights of mankind and the glorious vindicators of the liberties of a free people’, to which ‘the plains of Agincourt and Crecy, of Blenheim and Ramillies’ would testify.⁵⁴ In a flourish typical of this militant national historicizing, an ‘Essay on Luxury and Discord’ in the New American Magazine declared that ‘the tremendous names of our Henries and our Edwards, or Agincourt and Poitiers, or those of more recent though not less illustrious ⁴⁹ ⁵⁰ ⁵¹ ⁵² ⁵³ ⁵⁴

Lowell, Advantages of God’s Presence, 20. Samuel Davies, Virginia’s Danger and Remedy (Williamsburg, 1756), 44. Thomas Frink, A King Reigning in Righteousness (Boston, 1758), 51–2. Jeremy Black, America or Europe? British Foreign Policy, 1739–1763 (London, 1998), 165. Frink, King Reigning, 54. Mathias Harris, A Sermon Preached in the Church of St. Peters (Philadelphia, 1757), 43–4.

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memory, Marlborough, Blenheim, Ramillies’, should lead the French to ‘tremble at the very aspect of an Englishman’.⁵⁵ It was a reflection of the colonists’ enthusiasm for British participation in European land wars that BritishAmerican nationalists memorialized European land battles to the almost complete exclusion of naval exploits. Colonial writers displayed a novel eagerness to appeal to the medieval past, which had rarely been invoked during the previous war, to strengthen the interventionist characteristics of British nationalism. Henry V, the English King whose defeat of a larger French army at Agincourt in 1415 had been immortalized in transatlantic English culture by Shakespeare, provided a comforting model in the ominous international context of the mid-1750s. An essay in the New York Mercury invited ‘every Englishman’ to ‘invoke the heroic spirits of his brave countrymen, who marched with a King of England [Henry V] through the conquered dominions of France, and prescribed his own terms to her humble monarch’—an appealing thought in the dark days of 1754.⁵⁶ In a sermon delivered in Maryland, Thomas Cradock hailed the ‘fortunate reign’ of ‘our King Henry V’, when ‘France [was] almost subdued, the Dauphin driven to a corner of the kingdom, and our King allowed by treaty the successor of the reigning prince, and coining money in their capital’. These events, like Edward III’s ‘glorious victories of Crecy, Durham [Neville’s Cross], Najera, and Poitiers’, struck the preacher as conspicuous examples of the martial feats that united national endeavour could accomplish.⁵⁷ The ‘Virginia Sentinel’ even concluded its response to news of the declaration of war by quoting the famous ‘once more unto the breach, dear friends’ speech, spoken by the King in the third act of Shakespeare’s Henry V.⁵⁸ These were heartening invocations in periods of despair. The more recent past, from the campaigns of William III and Marlborough against Louis XIV to George II’s contemporary interventions in the affairs of continental Europe, was by no means submerged beneath the tide of medieval exemplars. Having already served as vindications of continentalist foreign policy during the Austrian war, these figures were now employed to shape the nationalist discourse in like manner. When the Massachusetts minister John Lowell sought to reassure his congregation of the superiority of the English over the French, for example, he did so by urging them to recall how ‘our forces under King William of immortal memory, and the glorious Duke of Marlborough’ had ‘with ease reduced and conquered them’.⁵⁹ Preaching in New Jersey, Aaron Burr similarly found comfort and confidence in the knowledge that only a few decades previously ‘the ⁵⁵ ‘Essay on Luxury and Discord’, in New America Magazine, 6/1758 (reprinted in NYM, 7/8/1758). ⁵⁶ ‘Summary View’, in NYM, 23/9/1754. ⁵⁷ Thomas Cradock, ‘Sermon on Luke XI’, in the F. Garner Ranney Archives of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. ⁵⁸ ‘Virginia Sentinel IX’, reprinted in BEP, 11/10/1756; quoting William Shakespeare, Henry V, III:i. ⁵⁹ Lowell, Advantages of God’s Presence, 19–20.

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Duke of Marlborough, by his valour, and good conduct, almost reduced France to the last extremity’.⁶⁰ In this instance above all, the colonists’ resoundingly Whig attitudes towards international affairs brought nationalism and royalism together in perfect harmony. For not only was George II’s foreign policy the epitome of Britain’s national destiny of geopolitical pre-eminence, but the difference of the King’s character from that of Louis XV also mirrored the inverse characters of the British and French nations. The ethnic and historicist strains of colonial British nationalism did not preclude a religious dimension. While their emphasis on eschatology continued to diminish, British-American clergymen nevertheless repeatedly cast their nation in a providential light as ‘the British Zion’.⁶¹ This mirrored their use of Davidic analogies for King George’s efforts to pacify Europe.⁶² Like the ethnic and historical dimensions of colonial British nationalism, the religious element was as exceptionalist in its assertion of superiority over other nations as it was unsympathetic to isolationist impulses. Colonists continued to stress the place of the British within an international community in religious terms, but this community was not confined to the Protestant interest. Indeed, it was in this vein, at a time when Britain’s principal ally was Austria, that Thomas Prince beheld both ‘the wonderful salvations God has wrought for the whole British Empire’ and also for ‘the allies in general’.⁶³ This cosmopolitan impulse of colonial British nationalism, reiterated with vigour in many forms, would have an important impact upon colonial society. Unity of national purpose was thus expressed in shared discourses of nationalism along the length of the Atlantic coast, which were conspicuous for their popular and cultural character. As we have seen in the previous section, Englishlanguage newspapers throughout the colonies propagated the same nationalist

⁶⁰ Burr, Discourse Delivered at Newark, 10. Similarly: Harris, Sermon Preached in the Church of St. Peters, 46; Amos Adams, Songs of Victory (Boston, 1759), 18–19; Nathanael Ames, An Astronomical Diary (Boston, 1763), [21]. ⁶¹ For example, Gilbert Tennent, The Necessity of Thankfulness for Wonders of Divine Mercies (Philadelphia, 1744), 12–13; Hull Abbot, The Duty of God’s People to Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem (Boston, 1746), 6n; Ebenezar Pemberton, A Sermon Delivered at the Presbyterian Church (New York, 1746), 5, 7; Thomas Foxcroft, A Seasonable Memento for New Year’s Day (Boston, 1747), 55, 70–1. The Revivalists’ pan-British sentiments were quite possibly reinforced by those of the Anglican itinerant George Whitefield: see, for example, George Whitefield, Britain’s Mercies and Britain’s Duty (Boston, 1746), 15–16, 20–1. Contrast the case for American eschatological nationalism advanced by Sacvan Bercovitch, The American Jeremiad (Madison, WI, 1978); Hatch, ‘Civil Millennialism’, 407–30; Harry Stout, The New England Soul (Oxford, 1986). ⁶² See Ebenezer Gay, The Character and Work of a Good Ruler (Boston, 1745), 28; James Allen, Magistracy an Institution of Christ Upon the Throne (Boston, 1744), 23–4; Tennent, Necessity of Thankfulness, 13; Jared Eliot, God’s Marvellous Kindness (New London, 1745), 2–7; Langdon, Joy and Gratitude, 26; Gilbert Tennent, A Sermon on I Chronicles XXIX (Philadelphia, 1761), 13; Cooper, Death of our Late Sovereign, 31; Johann Conrad Steiner, Schuldigstes Liebes und Ehren Denkmahl (Philadelphia, 1761), 26–7; cf. Marie Ahern, The Rhetoric of War (New York, 1989), 69. ⁶³ Thomas Prince, The Salvations of God in 1746 (Boston, 1747), 11.

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gospel, often reprinting the same popular polemics. Anglophone colonial clergymen of most denominations from Maine to Georgia also tended to sing from a similar nationalist hymnal.⁶⁴ Members of this group were extraordinarily prolific in their contribution to the discursive creation of colonial British nationalism as preachers, poets, press-writers, and teachers. Aesthetics mattered too. British nationalism was disseminated through music as well as the written or printed word, especially in the clubs of colonial gentlemen. Organizations like the Tuesday Club of Annapolis, Maryland, took to singing and playing bellicose British songs like Stand Round My Brave Boys (George Handel’s response to the Jacobite Rebellion) and Henry Purcell’s military odes To Arms and Britons Strike Home, songs essentially about the European theatre of the war.⁶⁵ The great popularity of Handel in America is particularly telling.⁶⁶ As Georg Friedrich Händel, the composer had come to London from Hanover in advance of his patron, the future King George I. As a favourite of both the court and the public, he settled into writing oratorios, often in English, which appealed to a British public that disliked the Catholic, absolutist connotations of opera. These works often celebrated the Hanoverian monarchy and Britain’s elect nationhood amongst the powers of Europe, particularly in evidence in the Te Deum he wrote on the victory at Dettingen in 1743.⁶⁷ Such patriotic music was not purely an elite phenomenon. By 1760, British-Americans were buying and singing cheap copies of the British marching song The Recruiting Officer, modified for the colonial theatre and sometimes printed alongside the original, Anglo-nationalist, Francophobic version of Yankee Doodle.⁶⁸ In a number of colonial households, British-American women like Grace Galloway of Philadelphia accrued collections of martial, patriotic verses such as To Arms, My Brave Boys and Come My Lads With Souls Befitting.⁶⁹ Nationalism made its impression upon visual art, too, with Handel’s role taken by William Hogarth.⁷⁰ Colonists themselves were overcome by a vogue for militarystyle portraiture. In 1729, John Smibert had painted Jean Paul Mascarene, Governor of Nova Scotia, by quoting a portrait of Colonel James Otway executed before his

⁶⁴ See James Bell, Empire, Religion, and Revolution in Early Virginia, 1607–1786 (Basingstoke, 2013), 127. ⁶⁵ John Barry Talley, Secular Music in Colonial Annapolis (Urbana, 1988), 85–9, 97–9. ⁶⁶ On Handel’s popularity, see Kenneth Silverman, A Cultural History of the American Revolution (New York, 1976), 33. ⁶⁷ Blanning, Culture of Power, 266–79. ⁶⁸ The Recruiting Officer, Together with Yankee Doodle (Boston?, 1762?), broadside. See also Ward, Unite or Die, 250–1, on this song in Maryland. ⁶⁹ Joseph Galloway Family Papers, Library of Congress, box 1. ⁷⁰ On Hogarth’s popularity, see Silverman, Cultural History of the American Revolution¸12; Karol Schmiegel, ‘Encouragement Exceeding Expectation: The Lloyd-Cadwalader Patronage of Charles Willson Peale’, in Winterthur Portfolio, vol. 12 (1977), 100.

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journey to America—a style repeated in his contribution to the Louisbourg series a decade and a half later.⁷¹ Palettes had become brighter, more rococo, by the 1750s, but the artists of the generation after Smibert held to his preference for allusions to the European war. The fanciful outfits of the colonial soldiers Joshua Winslow and William Brattle, as painted in Boston by the young John Singleton Copley, made their wearers look as if they had stepped off the field of Minden, rather than the backwoods of Nova Scotia. Ironically, his portrait of the British regular Major George Scott was much truer to the American reality.⁷² The martial vogue was not confined to soldier sitters. Copley’s painting of Abigail Belcher was a quotation of an earlier attempt at Galatea, wrapped in a tissue of military reds and golds. Likewise his portrait of the Maine magnate Nathaniel Sparhawk, completed in 1764, and echoing both Smibert’s portrayal of Pepperrell (Figure 5.1) and Thomas Hudson’s image of the British soldier George Townshend. The art historian Wayne Craven was quite correct to say that something about Sparhawk’s surroundings did not ring true. It was a flight of fancy, transporting the sitter, Doric columns, and all from rural New England to the heart of European civilization.⁷³ Much the same could be said of the wartime work of Joseph Blackburn, also in New England, and Benjamin West and John Wollaston in the middle colonies. The General Court of Massachusetts made the most spectacular contribution when, echoing a metropolitan fashion for public monuments, it paid for a memorial to Lord Howe, killed at Ticonderoga in 1758, in the nave of Westminster Abbey, amongst the best of Britain’s military heroes.⁷⁴ Yet more powerful cultural stirrings were underway, particularly in Philadelphia. At the town’s new college, Reverend William Smith was establishing a coterie that offered the aesthetic equivalent of the political nationalism of Kennedy, Livingston, and their ilk in New York and beyond. An early public expression of Smith’s project was a performance of the Scottish composer Thomas Arne’s masque about King Alfred, staged by his students in 1757. Invoking an Anglo-Saxon king whose persistence in adversity was held to have saved the early English kingdom from extirpation at the hands of pagan Norsemen was an apt decision, as the war swung against the Anglo-Prussian alliance in Europe and America. One of the notes in the Pennsylvania Journal, which printed much of the performance over four issues, explained that the story of Alfred’s ‘delivery’ of England ‘from the cruelties of [Viking] invaders’ was ‘an exact representation of our present state and condition under the outrages of a savage enemy’.

⁷¹ See Richard Saunders, John Smibert (New Haven, 1995), 71. ⁷² Jane Kamensky, A Revolution in Colour (New York, 2016), 56–62. ⁷³ Wayne Craven, Colonial American Portraiture (Cambridge, 1986), 337–44; Kamensky, A Revolution in Colour, 97–100; Carol Troyen, ‘John Singleton Copley and the Grand Manner: “Colonel Nathaniel Sparhawk” ’, in Journal of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, vol. 1 (1989), 96–103. ⁷⁴ Holger Hoock, Empires of the Imagination (London, 2010), 44.

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The operetta proceeded, intermingled with further music by Handel, until the apparitions of Edward III, the Black Prince, and William of Orange rose from the shades of the future to comfort the vexed King.⁷⁵ It closed with a rendition of Arne’s most famous work, Rule, Britannia! However, there was more to Smith’s reworking of Arne than another endorsement from historical mythology; it was also a work of prophecy. Rallying the mideighteenth-century British audience, the hermit responsible for summoning the unborn apparitions promises Alfred that soon, Shall Britain date her rights and laws restored: And one high purpose rule her sovereign’s heart; To scourge the pride of France, that foe professed To England and to freedom.

Then, he foresees, will: thy commerce, Britain, grasp the World: All nations serve thee; every foreign flood, Subjected pays its tribute to the Thames.

It was at this juncture that Smith appended a composition of his own, a ‘prophecy of the future greatness of England’ that extended to the rise of arts and sciences in the American colonies.⁷⁶ The connection between Britain’s future hegemony and the cultural and scientific progress of America was not incidental; it was, in fact, the other half of the work of European liberation.⁷⁷ And in this respect the project begun at the College of Philadelphia resembled closely the cultural project of the third Earl of Shaftesbury. This fact is inescapable in the pages of the American Magazine that Smith founded as a platform for his own views and those of his protégés. Amidst the news of the European war and Pindaric odes to Frederick the Great we have already discussed, and the other pieces of poetry and artistic criticism, were a series of letters called ‘The Antigallican’ that wove the magazine’s editorial line. Beginning with a protestation of ‘irreconcilable’ enmity to ‘French power, French customs, French policy, and every species of slavery’, the essays warned against ⁷⁵ PJ, 27/1/1757 (reprinted in NYM, 7/3/1757); and quoted in Silverman, Cultural History of the American Revolution, 290–1, 302. This college is now the University of Pennsylvania. Similarly, on Alfred, Frink, King Reigning, 48–51. See further Nathaniel Evans, Ode, on the Late Glorious Successes of His Majesty’s Arms (Philadelphia, 1762), 11; Francis Hopkinson, An Exercise, Containing A Dialogue and Ode (Philadelphia, 1761), 4–5; ‘The Royal Comet’, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle for the British Colonies, 8/1758. On the evolution of the Alfred cult, see Simon Keynes, ‘The Cult of King Alfred the Great’, in Anglo-Saxon England, vol. 28 (1999), 225–346. ⁷⁶ Quoted in Blanning, Culture of Power, 290–1, 302. ⁷⁷ Cf. Albert Boime, Art in an Age of Revolution, 1750–1800 (Chicago and London, 1987), 119–122.

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‘the enormous growth and influence of those evils’—of the ‘servility, fawning, and truckling’ which went hand in glove with the French pursuit of ‘that beloved illusive phantom universal monarchy’, as it recapitulated. The antidote, ‘Antigallican’ suggested, was devotion to the ‘public welfare’ and the maxim of ‘salus populi suprema lex’ that had underpinned ‘Greek liberty and Roman grandeur’.⁷⁸ As the rest of Smith’s project testified, in keeping with the provost’s addendum to Alfred, this spirit was to be recovered by the cultivation of arts and sciences. His student Francis Hopkinson enthused in an ode on the accession of George III, delivered at the College’s commencement in May 1762: rejoicing science, with each polished art, Beneath his reign shall with success conspire To form the manners, humanise the heart, And virtuous thoughts, and virtuous deeds inspire. The sweets of liberty shall care beguile, And justice still her happy influence spread.⁷⁹

Nathaniel Evans, another of Smith’s coterie, remarked the following year: Now, welcome peace, on Britain’s isles, Pour all th’ effusion of thy smiles; And bud, beneath those happy skies Religion, learning, virtue rise; And, spreading wide their reign, Salute each distant plain, From east to west, from pole to pole, Till baleful discord hide her guilty head, And all her furious sons submit to thy control.⁸⁰

The pursuit of cultural and scientific improvement was, in effect, the continuation of the struggle of civilization against French barbarity in peacetime. At the heart of this Kulturkampf was a claim to the lineage of the classical world, and in this respect Smith was more part of a cultural brotherhood than a founding father. The College of Philadelphia was not alone, for one. Commencements offered similar celebrations of British nationhood from Harvard to William and Mary.⁸¹ Even in Pennsylvania, Smith was able to take ⁷⁸ ‘The Antigallican’, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 11/1757, 4/1758, 7/1758. ⁷⁹ Francis Hopkinson, An Exercise Containing a Dialogue and Ode (Philadelphia, 1762), 6. ⁸⁰ Nathaniel Evans, A Dialogue on Peace (Philadelphia, 1763), 26. ⁸¹ For behaviour at the College of Philadelphia, see PJ, 27/1/1757, and Hopkinson, Dialogue and Ode; at Princeton, Military Glory of Great Britain; at Harvard, Joseph Hooper, ‘Oratorio Salutatoria et

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advantage of an emerging tradition. Benjamin West, the most famous figure in his orbit, had already made the most significant foray into neoclassicism during the American period of his life under the influence of another. His Death of Socrates, commissioned—and possibly conceived—by the Pennsylvanian gunsmith William Henry in the mid-1750s, invoked the Socrates-as-patriot excavated by Voltaire some years earlier. Where the Hubert-François Gravelot engraving on which the scene was supposedly based had the doomed philosopher looking to his followers, West’s version turned Socrates toward a band of soldiers wearing sympathetic countenances, and had him raise the cup as if making an oath to those also bound to die in service of their country. Painted at the height of Benjamin Franklin’s campaign against the pacifist Pennsylvanian assembly (more on which in the next chapter), it was a work of immediate political relevance.⁸² Nevertheless, The Death of Socrates was also the first of West’s history paintings, the genre he would use to elevate the British Empire to the heights of ancient Rome after 1763. The greatest ornament of this effort, of course, was the marriage of Christian martyrdom, virtuous sacrifice, and British glory in The Death of General Wolfe (1770). The antiquarian Joseph Wilcocks published his Roman Conversations decades afterwards, but this work was based on discussions held with West and others in Italy during the early 1760s. One conversation commented on the similarity of Tacitus’s account of Rome’s grief on the death of Germanicus with the popular lamentation for James Wolfe; as Jules Prown has speculated, it is possible that the conception of his masterpiece was already taking shape in West’s mind before the end of the Seven Years War.⁸³ Whether this is true or not, West was not the only young colonial artist trying to marry the British war effort to the glories of the ancient world. In Boston, the young John Singleton Copley was already trying his hand—immaturely to be sure—at ambitious canvases like Galatea and The Return of Neptune, allegories of empire which had already been impressed into the service of British nationalism on the other side of the Atlantic by the likes of Handel and the organizers of the celebration for the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (Figures 6.1 and 6.2).⁸⁴ These were allegories of maritime power—although Britain was inescapably such a power— but, in cultural terms, they were an assertion of centrality in European civilization.

Oratorio Valedictoria, c.1763’, in Houghton Library, Harvard University. Contrast the antagonistic image of the colleges as schools of anti-monarchist republicanism in David Hoeveler, Creating the American Mind (Oxford, 2002), 349. ⁸² Scott Paul Gordon, ‘Martial Art: Benjamin West’s The Death of Socrates, Colonial Politics, and the Puzzles of Patronage’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 65, no. 1 (Jan. 2008), 68–93; Boime, Age of Revolution, 118–119. ⁸³ Jules Prown, ‘Benjamin West and the Uses of Antiquity’, in American Art, vol. 10, no. 2 (Summer 1996), 40–1. ⁸⁴ Kamensky, Revolution in Colour, 33–6; Carrie Rebora et al. (eds.), John Singleton Copley in America (New York, 1995), 168–70.

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Figure 6.1 John Singleton Copley, Galatea (c.1754), courtesy of the Museum of Fine Art, Boston.

Figure 6.2 John Singleton Copley, The Return of Neptune (c.1754), courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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The politics of British neoclassicism were still embryonic in North America during the Seven Years War, but they would mature in the years after 1763 and they illuminate an important point about colonial thinking about the place of Britain and America in the world. Much ink has been spilled on the idea of translatio studii and translatio imperii in mid-century British-American political culture, prompted by George Berkeley’s prophecy of the westward movement of empire and arts, or Benjamin Franklin’s musings on population growth and its likely effect on the seat of power. John Smibert had come to the Americas in Berkeley’s entourage, and the back of his notebook was filled with collections like: Let lawless powers in the east remain And never cross the wide Atlantic main Here flourish learning, trade and wealth increase The happy fruits of liberty and peace

And ‘an inscription upon a stone dug up at Plymouth in New England’: The eastern world enslaved, its glory ends And empire rises where the sun descends.⁸⁵

Yet these musings say vanishingly little about relations within the British world. For the society which produced these thoughts did not consider Britain to be preeminent in empire or in arts. Until the early 1760s, the budding universal monarch was the King of France. And in the arts, Rome, the fountainhead of the baroque opulence to which the Counter-Reformation had given birth, was the ‘mistress of the world’. The transfer of political and cultural power which colonists were hoping for in the mid-eighteenth century was not from London to Philadelphia but from the hegemons of continental Europe to a rising British Empire.

‘The Arbiter of Europe’ George, the Mighty, the Just, the Gentle, and the Wise; George, the father of Britain and her colonies, the guardian of laws and liberty, the protector of the oppressed, the arbiter of Europe, the terror of tyrants and France; George the friend of man, the benefactor of millions. Samuel Davies, Virginia preacher, 1761⁸⁶

⁸⁵ Andrew Oliver et al. (eds.), The Notebook of John Smibert (Boston, 1969), 102–3. ⁸⁶ Davies, Sermon Delivered at Nassau Hall, 3.

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One effect of the new British nationalism was to bolster colonial royalism. The image of George II as the providential guardian of the liberties of Europe—a mirror of the nation itself—became a key part of British-American attitudes toward kingship. Indeed, during the wars of 1740–63 British-Americans created a personality cult around the King, subjecting him to intense devotion as the bulwark of international liberty, Christ’s church, and the British Empire. Long neglected by historians, the early American monarchy is now attracting scholarly attention, particularly in works by Brendan McConville and Eric Nelson. Older studies tended either to tie a kingly ‘nursing father’ of empire and constitution to older arguments about political thought or to take monarchical culture as a starting point from which to narrate the rise of republicanism.⁸⁷ The new scholarship, however, has pushed beyond these arguments, contending that royalism was central to colonial politics, thought, and culture until at least the eve of the American rebellion. Yet McConville offers only a single passing reference to the King’s image as ‘an upholder of British power and the European Protestant interest’, while Nelson’s study, which begins in the late 1760s, does not explore this dimension of British-American conceptions of kingship at all.⁸⁸ Yet foreign policy was central to contemporary British and European ideas of executive power. When Gilbert Tennent asserted that the King’s duty to be ‘a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil’ applied to the international as much as the domestic sphere in his treatise on the Austrian war, he was speaking in a broad European tradition, as were the colonial ministers who invoked a Davidic image of monarchy as warrior kingship in providential causes.⁸⁹ The King’s foreign-policy function was no less salient in the public sphere. As the historian Hannah Smith writes, the relationship between this executive role and an enduring ‘Protestant soldierly ideal’ established the considerable ‘potential’ of ‘popular Protestant monarchy’, not dissimilar to what Frederick the Great achieved, at times, in Prussia.⁹⁰ Although this ideal generally ⁸⁷ For examples of these previous studies, see Benjamin Price, Nursing Fathers (Lanham, 1999); Bushman, King and People in Provincial Massachusetts. ⁸⁸ McConville, King’s Three Faces, 66; Eric Nelson, The Royalist Revolution (Cambridge, MA, 2014). ⁸⁹ Gilbert Tennent, The Late Association for Defence Encouraged (Philadelphia, 1748), 16. On the blurring of the domestic and external sword in early modern political thought, see J. H. Burns, ‘Jus Gladii and Jurisdictio: Jacques Almain and John Locke’, in Historical Journal, vol. 26, no. 2 (June 1983), 369–74. On foreign policy and contemporary British theories of executive power, see Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, ed. Anne M. Cohler et al. (Cambridge, 1989), 156–7; David Lieberman, ‘The Mixed Constitution and the Common Law’, in Mark Goldie and Robert Wokler (eds.), The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought (Cambridge, 2006), 317–46, esp. 326; Hannah Smith, Georgian Monarchy (Cambridge, 2006), 22–32; David Armitage, Foundations of Modern International Thought (Cambridge, 2013), 84. On Davidic warrior kingship, see Allen, Magistracy, 23–4; Tennent, The Necessity of Thankfulness, 13; Gay, Character and Work, 28; Langdon, Joy and Gratitude, 26; Cooper, Death of Our Late Sovereign, 31; Steiner, Schuldigstes Liebes, 26–7; Tennent, A Sermon on I Chronicles XXIX, 13. ⁹⁰ Smith, Georgian Monarchy, 22, 31. See further Stephen Baxter, ‘The Myth of the Grand Alliance in the Eighteenth Century’, in Paul Sellin and Stephen Baxter, Anglo-Dutch Cross Currents (Los Angeles, 1976), 48. On George II and his reign, see Andrew Thompson, George II (New Haven, 2011).

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remained only a latent source of kingly popularity in Britain, the short-lived metropolitan euphoria over Dettingen displayed its continuing relevance despite the sharp decline in the monarch’s actual powers over foreign policy during the eighteenth century.⁹¹ In the colonies, the King’s place in the international system resonated more loudly and for much longer. The conflict of the 1740s witnessed the consolidation of a personality cult around the figure of George II. The naming of ‘King George’s War’ reflected neither colonists’ ignorance of the Austrian Succession, nor a sense ‘that the costs of war had been forced upon them’, but rather the centrality of the King to their geopolitical narrative.⁹² As we have seen, many colonial vindications of continentalism cast George II as the arbiter of Europe during the 1740s, through negotiation as well as warfare.⁹³ And the King was a ubiquitous figurehead of the American as well as the European theatre (see Figure 6.3). A Virginian poet’s verses on the taking of Louisbourg not only reaffirmed the European ends of the campaign, but also invoked George’s role as arbiter of the balance of power: Long may he live and with full power reign, To curb the French, and check the pride of Spain: Then shall we see the balance well restored, And Europe settled by our sovereign lord.⁹⁴

Moreover, in the absence of any noticeable Tory or Country critique of foreign policy in colonial discourse, the Hanoverian controversies of the early 1740s and

Figure 6.3 George II Indian Peace Medal (1757), courtesy of Museums Victoria, Melbourne. ⁹¹ On this constitutional shift, see Jeremy Black, Parliament and Foreign Policy in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge, 2004), 200–32. ⁹² Andrew Preston, Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith (New York, 2012), 46. ⁹³ On negotiation, see BNL, 24/6/1742, 19/1/1744; letter, NYEP, 24/2/1742. ⁹⁴ ‘On the Conquest of Cape-Breton’, Williamsburg, 29/8/1745, in BPB, 7/10/1745, 2.

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late 1750s—allegations that George had shown favouritism toward Hanoverian interests, policies, and troops, which badly eroded the King’s popularity in Britain—largely passed Americans by amid a wave of pro-Hanoverian feeling.⁹⁵ This was unsurprising: George’s conspicuous displays of concern for his subjects across the North Sea were naturally more comforting than alarming to those on the far side of the Atlantic. Indeed, the French invasion of Hanover in 1757 engendered feelings of compassion amongst British-Americans for George II and his German Electorate. The Boston minister Samuel Cooper said that his fellow colonists felt not only for the King’s ‘German subjects, while they suffered so much, and were in danger of a repeated and still greater desolation’, but also for ‘our gracious sovereign’ himself in that time of anguish.⁹⁶ In Virginia, the planter George William Fairfax commiserated with George Washington that the affair ‘will have a bad tendency, and perplex our good old King’.⁹⁷ The image of the Hanoverian monarch as guardian of European liberties from the menace of French universal monarchy continued to flourish into the 1750s, with the King and his ancestors persistently praised as ‘the patrons and bulwark of liberty’.⁹⁸ It endured until his death in 1760, shortly after he had featured with unequalled prominence in colonial celebrations of the conquest of Canada. If elation at the global victories of 1759–60 prompted these expressions, it is nevertheless revealing that the focus of British-American joy fell so firmly on the King as the arbiter of Europe. To Samuel Cooper, George was ‘a refuge to oppressed states; the scourge of tyrants; and a powerful friend to distressed and injured princes’.⁹⁹ The Virginia preacher Samuel Davies called him ‘the protector of the oppressed, the arbiter of Europe, the terror of tyrants and France’.¹⁰⁰ ⁹⁵ On the Hanoverian controversies in Britain, see Stephen Conway, Britain, Ireland, and Continental Europe in the Eighteenth Century (Oxford, 2011), 58. ⁹⁶ Samuel Cooper, A Sermon . . . Upon Occasion of the Success of His Majesty’s Arms (Boston, 1759), 26–7. Similarly, John Rowe to Philip Cuyler, Boston, 24/9/1759, in Anne Cunningham (ed.), Letters and Diary of John Rowe (Boston, 1903), 337–8; Jonathan Mayhew, Two Discourses Delivered October 25th, 1759 (Boston, 1759), 12; Lewis Ourry to Henry Bouquet, Fort Bedford, 9/10/1759, in S. K. Stevens et al. (eds.), The Papers of Henry Bouquet, 5 vols. (Harrisburg, 1951–84), IV, 206; Jason Haven, The Duty of Thanksgiving to God (Boston, 1759), 15; Edmund Pendleton to William Preston, Caroline County, 26/ 9/1757, in David Mays (ed.), The Letters and Papers of Edmund Pendleton, 1734–1803, 2 vols. (Charlottesville, 1967), 13. On the desolation of Hanover and Hesse by the Duc de Richelieu’s army in the winter of 1757–8, see Uriel Dann, Hanover and Great Britain 1740–1760 (Leicester, 1991), 119; Eliga Gould, Among the Powers of the Earth (Cambridge, MA, 2012), 18–19. ⁹⁷ George William Fairfax to George Washington, New York, 17/10/1757, in W. W. Abbot et al. (eds.), The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series, 10 vols. (Charlottesville, 1983–95), V, 18. ⁹⁸ Jonathan Mayhew, A Sermon . . . Occasioned by the Much Lamented Death of His Royal Highness Frederick (Boston, 1751), 29. See also William Livingston et al., The Independent Reflector, ed. Klein (Cambridge, MA, 1963), 309–10; Thomas Prince, God Destroyeth the Hope of Man (Boston, 1751), 21; Nicholas Scull, Kawanio Che Keeteru (Philadelphia, 1756), 3; Ebenezer Pemberton, A Sermon Preached in the Audience of The Honourable His Majesty’s Council (Boston, 1757), 25. ⁹⁹ Cooper, Death of Our Late Sovereign, 30. ¹⁰⁰ Davies, Sermon Delivered at Nassau Hall, 3. For similar expressions, see Thomas Young, A Poem Sacred to the Memory of James Wolfe (New Haven, 1761), 15; Jonathan Mayhew, A Discourse Occasioned by the Death of King George II (Boston, 1761), 31; Jason Haven, A Sermon Preached To the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company (Boston, 1761), 23; Hopkinson, Dialogue and Ode, 4–5; Pietas et

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Tellingly, the positive memory of George’s defence of Austria survived the defection of the Habsburgs to a French alliance in 1756. Benjamin Prime’s eulogy, published by the New York Mercury in 1761, rhapsodized of Dettingen: Witness, ye regions, where he once was seen, Brave in the cause of the Hungarian queen.¹⁰¹

Exultations such as this were possible because British-American commentators did not advance George II to the leadership of one camp within the international system, still less of Christendom. Rather, they placed him above the system entirely, as the makeweight of an ever-shifting balance of power. This mantle was inherited by his successor. A volume of poetry produced by Harvard to celebrate George III’s accession proclaimed the King nothing less than ‘the patron of mankind’.¹⁰² As the future patriot James Bowdoin put it in his contribution, ‘he gives peace to the nations’.¹⁰³ Indeed, by the end of the war some colonists were hailing the British King as the holder of a new kind of benevolent ‘universal monarchy’, which might ‘give law to Europe’—an idea which would find enormous traction during imperial controversies after 1763.¹⁰⁴ The King’s salient role in British-American foreign policy discourse offers historians a different way of understanding the origins and power of royalism in colonial political culture. Most studies have placed the foundations of colonial monarchism in two areas. Gordon Wood and others underscore the role of patriarchal social and political structures, which ultimately proved inadequate to stave off republican challenges in America’s ‘truncated’ society.¹⁰⁵ Brendan McConville and Eric Nelson, while not always averse to this claim, place their emphases on the importance of an increasingly Tory political culture and thought verging on ‘neo-absolutism’, which would be transformed only on the eve of the Revolution.¹⁰⁶ Rooting American royalism in colonial discussions about monarchy and foreign policy follows the latter approach by privileging the cultural over the social and structural, but it does so without jettisoning the well-established primacy of Whig ideas in British-American politics. Mid-eighteenth-century warfare, long Gratulatio Collegii Cantabrigiensis Apud Novanglos (Boston, 1761), 12, 21–5, 29–30, 49; NYM, 26/1/1761; Steiner, Schuldigstes Liebes, 25, 28; The Military Glory of Great Britain (Philadelphia, 1762), 4, 15. ¹⁰¹ NYM, 26/1/1761, reprinted in Benjamin Young Prime, The Patriot Muse (London, 1764), 75. ¹⁰² Dedication, in Pietas et Gratulatio, vii–viii. ¹⁰³ James Bowdoin?, ‘IX, in Pietas et Gratulatio, 25 (my translation). Original text: ‘Dat populis pacem’. ¹⁰⁴ James Maury to John Fontaine, Fredericksville Parish, Louisa County, 10/1/1756, in Ann Maury (ed.), Memoirs of a Huguenot Family (New York, 1852), 395; Robert Livingston quoted in Stephen Conway, War, State, and Society in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Britain and Ireland (Oxford, 2006), 233. ¹⁰⁵ Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (New York, 1993), 81–145; McConville, King’s Three Faces, 145–91; Isaac, Landon Carter’s Uneasy Kingdom, 173–84. ¹⁰⁶ McConville, King’s Three Faces, 192–219; Nelson, Royalist Revolution, 29–65.

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thought to have merely entrenched ‘Christian republicanism’ in colonial political culture, also established a popular cult of providential kingship.¹⁰⁷ In an increasingly republican political landscape, the Hanoverian monarchy continued to prosper in America thanks to its image as the godly champion of international liberty. It was the emergence of the public sphere that enabled these discourses of royalism and foreign policy to amass their political and cultural power. Far from being a uniquely American development, the growing importance of the public again reflected a European trend, which was eroding the representational cultures that had traditionally underlain monarchical politics on the Continent.¹⁰⁸ Instead of undermining monarchy per se, this process made successful kingship increasingly beholden to political popularity and public opinion rather than patronage systems and paternalistic cultures. The American monarchy was invigorated during the mid-eighteenth century because popular acclaim for George II’s foreign policy entrenched the King’s charismatic authority, as his conspicuous interventions ‘in liberty’s and Europe’s cause’ aligned him closely with popular Whig ideas.¹⁰⁹ Importantly, these defences of international liberty insulated George II from suspicions of domestic tyranny. As William Livingston declared, here was ‘a prince, formed for the friend of the nation, and the defender of the liberties of Europe’.¹¹⁰

‘Of Whatever Sect or Nation’ In this time of danger, take away from us all the seeds of contention and division, and unite the hearts and counsels of all of us, of whatever sect or nation, in one bond of peace, brotherly love, and generous public spirit. Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia printer, 1747¹¹¹ By creating an image of Britain’s role in Europe which was inherently sympathetic to cosmopolitan sentiments, the tightly woven web of geopolitical discourses, nationalism, and royalism opened a new avenue for colonists of non-English origins to identify culturally with Britain. The Seven Years War thus acted as an important catalyst of social and cultural coalescence within the otherwise heterogeneous societies of the thirteen colonies. While scholars have tended to

¹⁰⁷ Contrast the rise of ‘Christian republicanism’ in Mark Noll, America’s God (Oxford, 2002), 80–2. ¹⁰⁸ On the European context, see James van Horn Melton, The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe (Cambridge, 2001), 33–42; Blanning, Culture of Power, passim. ¹⁰⁹ American Magazine and Historical Chronicle, 9/1743, 36. ¹¹⁰ ‘The Different Effects of an Absolute and a Limited Monarchy’, 21/12/1752, in Livingston, Independent Reflector, 81. ¹¹¹ Benjamin Franklin, Plain Truth (Philadelphia, 1747), 22.

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emphasize the unifying influence of religious toleration, legal and property practices, common hostility to Indians and blacks, and the experience of multicultural coexistence itself, this ideological force for sociocultural convergence between the European inhabitants of British North America has been largely overlooked.¹¹² This process unfolded in two ways. Firstly, some polemicists actively promoted conceptions of identity which would appeal to colonists of non-English origins, seeking to strengthen British-American society for the international struggle— and, often, to serve lesser political purposes too. Secondly, and of far greater significance, cultural brokers within ethnic and religious minorities took advantage of these discourses as a means of identifying with, or even refashioning themselves as, loyal colonial Britons. This was a desirable end in many parts of North America, where the penalties on appearing to stand against the boisterous tide of Britishness could be severe—as a number of groups were reminded to their cost during the mid-century. The role of British-American doctrines of geopolitics, royalism, and nationalism in shaping public political discourse was, therefore, only the salient manifestation of a more expansive impact upon colonial society. The diffusion of nationalism and its subsets acted as a means of impressing internal unity upon an increasingly (and perhaps dangerously) fractured society— a project which many considered essential for British America to endure the strains of international war. As Benjamin Franklin recognized in 1747, while making an abortive appeal to the British patriotism of Pennsylvania’s German population, the war proved the necessity of ‘unit[ing] the hearts and counsels of all of us, of whatever sect or nation’ in vigorous devotion to the common cause. Power was the objective here: ‘union’, he declared, ‘would make us strong and formidable’.¹¹³ For now, he was only referring to Pennsylvania. In this respect, the British-American nationalist agenda was analogous to the projects of ‘offensive modernisation’ undertaken by eighteenth-century rulers in central and eastern Europe, as they strove to strengthen their polities against external dangers by internal social reform.¹¹⁴ Appropriately, the escalating heterogeneity of the colonies was also largely the product of another defensive strategy which replicated contemporary European practice, whereby large numbers of ‘foreign Protestants’ had been transplanted to buffer settlements that would assert British authority in disputed areas of the backcountry.¹¹⁵ The ¹¹² Cf. Ned Landsman, Crossroads of Empire (Baltimore, 2010), 111–43; Alan Taylor, American Colonies (London, 2002), 320–3; Peter Silver, Our Savage Neighbours (New York, 2008), passim; Jon Sensbach, A Separate Canaan (Chapel Hill, 1998), passim; Bernard Bailyn, The Peopling of British North America (New York, 1986), esp. 3–43; Butler, Becoming America, esp. 16–36; A. G. Roeber, Palatines, Liberty, and Property (Baltimore, 1993), 243–82. ¹¹³ Franklin, Plain Truth, 21–2. ¹¹⁴ On the concept of offensive modernization, see Brendan Simms, The Struggle for Mastery in Germany, 1779–1850 (Basingstoke, 1998), 23–4. ¹¹⁵ See Warren Hofstra, ‘ “The Extension of His Majesty’s Dominions”: The Virginia Backcountry and the Reconfiguration of Imperial Frontiers’, in Journal of American History, vol. 84, no. 4 (Mar. 1998), 1284–6; and on an earlier period, David Lambert, The Protestant International and the

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impulse to draw these new settlers into a wider British nation thus acted as the natural extension of this older policy.¹¹⁶ The Eurocentric predisposition of the British-American foreign policy consensus added an unusually porous quality to colonial British nationalism. Colonists of non-British origins were able to exploit this character as they strove to vindicate their loyalty to the King and nation, or to refashion themselves entirely as loyal colonial Britons. The experience of the European war was vitally important to this process, as rites of celebration and attitudes towards external affairs common to British and continental European settlers became insistent integrative forces. Of course, the profoundly British character of colonial nationalism ensured that this convergence happened upon thoroughly British terms, rendering the fashionable description ‘Euroamericans’ highly deceptive of contemporary colonial culture.¹¹⁷ Nevertheless, cultural brokers and leaders within ethnic and religious minorities themselves, rather than anglophone propagandists, were chiefly responsible for redefining their position within the transatlantic British nation via the diplomatic, cultural, and historical contours of the transatlantic, international struggle. In light of this development, Brendan McConville’s recent claim that during the colonial period ‘an empire of many peoples came to be ruled by a King with many faces’ requires some revision. If constitutional understandings of the British Empire amongst different social groups were diverging in British North America, a common conception of the King’s international role and an analogous sense of national mission were simultaneously inculcating a sense of cultural unity, which would prove remarkably resilient.¹¹⁸ When it came to the integration of other ethnic groups from the archipelago off Europe’s north-western coast, the Anglocentric tendency of British nationalism seems to have proven a smaller problem in America than in the British Isles.¹¹⁹

Huguenot Migration to Virginia (New York, 2010), 87–144. For comparison, see the following works on internal colonization plans in contemporary continental Europe: Roger Bartlett and Bruce Mitchell, ‘State-Sponsored Immigration into Eastern Europe in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries’, in Roger Bartlett and Karen Schonwalder (eds.), The German Lands and Eastern Europe (Basingstoke, 1999), 91–114; Simms, Struggle for Mastery, 33; Steven Hochstadt, ‘Migration in Pre-Industrial Germany’, in Central European History, no. 16 (1983), 195–224; Franz Szabo, Kaunitz and Enlightened Absolutism, 1753–1780 (Cambridge, 1994), 338–40. ¹¹⁶ David Hackett Fischer, Albion’s Seed (New York and Oxford, 1989), 635, calculates that ‘ninety per cent of the backsettlers were either English, Irish, or Scottish; and an actual majority came from Ulster, the Scottish Lowlands, and the north of England’. Roeber, ‘ “The Origin of Whatever is not English Among Us”: The Dutch-Speaking and the German-Speaking Peoples of Colonial British America’, in Bernard Bailyn and Philip Morgan (eds.), Strangers within the Realm (Chapel Hill, 1991), 244, agrees that, while slightly under 10 per cent of the population of British North America was German by 1775, the number was perhaps as high as 33 per cent in Pennsylvania. ¹¹⁷ In rejecting this term, I am in agreement here with Greene, Creating the British Atlantic, 341; Maura Farrelly, ‘American Identity and English Catholicism in the Atlantic World’, in Coffman et al. (eds.), Atlantic World, 393. ¹¹⁸ McConville, King’s Three Faces, 141. ¹¹⁹ On the Anglocentrism of metropolitan British national identity, see Colley, Britons, 105–18.

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Welsh colonists bought into the idea of Britannic unity readily, replicating many of the rituals of their English neighbours.¹²⁰ Notwithstanding the ubiquitous caricatures of rebellious Scottish Jacobites and seditious Irish Papists, Catholic Irishmen and Highlanders were few. Most colonial Scotsmen were lowland Protestants of vigorous loyalism (Kennedy was of this heritage, as was Livingston’s only British grandparent), while the so-called ‘Scots-Irish’ comprehended a mixture of Ulster Presbyterians and Anglo-Scottish Borderers whose devotion to the Hanoverian cause and the memory of William of Orange sometimes verged on the fanatical.¹²¹ Despite its high level of social integration with the British majority, the position of the Dutch populace in British-American society was a hostage to the fortunes of foreign policy.¹²² During the Austrian war, the perceived idleness of the United Provinces in the European theatre aggravated long-term suspicion of the loyalties of the Dutch in America, and particularly at Albany.¹²³ One New York Dutchman wrote in 1747 that his English neighbours chastised his Dutch countrymen as ‘tools to France’, adding ‘it has grieved me to the heart, to hear the company say, “G-d d–n the Dutch sons of b- - - - - -s, if the D- - -l had them England would be happy” ’.¹²⁴ The problem was somewhat abated by the mobilization of the United Provinces towards the end of the war, which allowed New York Dutchmen to partake more fully of the tribulations of the European conflict.¹²⁵ As the same

¹²⁰ On the Welsh, see McConville, King’s Three Faces, 73; David Shields, Civil Tongues and Polite Letters in British America (Chapel Hill, 1997), 193–4. ¹²¹ Fischer, Albion’s Seed, 621, 639; Ned Landsman, Scotland and Its First American Colony, 1683–1765 (Princeton, 1985), 163–91. ¹²² On Dutch social integration, see Roeber, ‘Origin of Whatever is not English’, 223–36. ¹²³ Similarly Jonathan Law to William Shirley, Hartford, 17/5/1746, in Albert Bates (ed.), The Law Papers, 3 vols. (Hartford, 1911–14), II, 220; George Clinton to William Johnson, New York, 7/9/1747, William Johnson to Goldsbrow Banyar, Fort Johnson, 14/3/1758, William Corry to William Johnson, Albany, 3/7/1756, William Johnson to Cadwallader Colden, Fort Johnson, 20/2/1761, 19/3/1761, and 18/6/1761, Robert Hunter Morris to William Johnson, Philadelphia, 23/1/1755, in James Sullivan et al. (eds.), in The Papers of Sir William Johnson, 14 vols. (Albany, 1921–62), I, 113; II, 498; III, 341, 365, 408; IX, 153; Klein, ‘William Livingston’s A Review of the Military Operations in North America’, in Leder (ed.), Colonial Legacy, II, 109. For violent episodes, see Thomas Butler to William Johnson, Oneida, 7/4/1757, William Johnson to Goldsbrow Banyar, Fort Johnson, 10/2/1761, Warren Johnson, ‘Journal of Warren Johnson 29 June–3 July 1760’, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, II, 702; III, 328–9; XIII, 187, 191, 193–4, 201. BEP, 23/11/1741, 18/7/1743, 8/10/1744, 22/10/1744, 31/12/1744 (reprinting the Craftsman), 11/11/1745; NYJ, 5/7/1742, 12/7/1742, 27/8/1745, 1/9/1746; BPB, 1/11/1742, 9/4/1744, 30/4/1744, 25/3/1745, 2/9/1745, 6/10/1746; BG, 31/1/1744; BNL, 27/9/1744, 3/1/1745, 21/2/1745 (reprinting Westminster Journal, 10/1744, 11/1744), 4/9/1746, 11/9/1746, 2/10/1746, 30/10/1746; NYEP, 21/1/1745 (reprinting the Gentleman’s Magazine), 6/10/1746; NYJ, 13/10/1746. See further, although the anti-imperial interpretation is unpersuasive, Stefan Bielinski, ‘The People of Colonial Albany, 1650-1800’, in William Pencak and Conrad Wright (eds.), Authority and Resistance in Early New York (New York, 1988), 15. ¹²⁴ NYG, 13/7/1747. ¹²⁵ See, for example, Henry Ten Broeck to Henry Van Rensselaer, Piscataway Landing, 24/5/51744; John Richard to Henry Van Rensselaer, New York, 10/7/1747; John Richard to Henry van Rensselaer, New York, 17/2/1748, in Van Rensselaer-Fort Papers, New York Public Library; BEP, 29/6/1747, 27/9/ 1747; NYG, 6/7/1747 (reprinting General Advertiser, 27/4/1747), 13/7/1747; BNL, 2/7/1747; NYJ, 17/2/ 1747, 6/7/1747; Jonathan Edwards to William McCulloch, Northampton, 7/10/1748, in George Claghorn (ed.), The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 16 (New Haven, 1998), 255–6.

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correspondent of the New York Gazette wrote upon reading the call to arms delivered by the Dutch statesman Onno Zwier van Haren to the States General, ‘that was a speech of a true Dutchman’ and ‘whoever acted otherwise than he proposed, were traitors to their country’.¹²⁶ However, in 1750 the New York press was still vigorously printing and reprinting articles that attacked the ingratitude, weakness, and neutrality of Britain’s nominal ally.¹²⁷ The problem posed by the dilapidated state of Anglo-Dutch relations was substantially alleviated when the Seven Years War created an opportunity for members of the minority to refashion themselves as loyal colonial Britons like their neighbours. Prominent Dutch colonists sought to create a sense of British-American unity by appealing to an increasingly distant history of Anglo-Dutch endeavours for the cause of European liberty. Chief amongst them, unsurprisingly, was William Livingston, who was himself three-quarters Dutch, closely related to the Van Burgh and Schuyler families, and bilingual. ‘What a number of years did our British forefathers oppose the tyranny of France? How long those in the Netherlands the yoke of Spain?’ he asked, seeking to root a common identity in a common European struggle against tyranny.¹²⁸ Others, like the pastor Abraham Keteltas, seemed to eschew their former identities entirely in an attempt to appear unequivocally British. In a long oration about past British glories delivered in 1750, he urged his congregation to abandon their actual ancestry and instead ‘let the glorious victories of your renowned [British] ancestors . . . warm your breasts, and make you dauntless like lions’.¹²⁹ Relations between British colonists and the growing German population of North America had also come under great strain during the 1740s. Concentrated in Pennsylvania and smaller enclaves in the south and the backcountry, these settlers were isolated from their anglophone neighbours by geography, language, customs, and denomination to a far greater extent than the New York Dutch. Early efforts to draw these new migrants into British-American society failed. Benjamin Franklin’s appeal to ‘brave and steady’ Germans with experience of fighting the French in Europe fell on deaf ears, as few volunteered to join the private militia he founded in 1747.¹³⁰ This response further undermined interethnic relations. ‘In the last war’, he later remarked bitterly, ‘our Germans showed

¹²⁶ NYG, 13/7/1747. ¹²⁷ For example, NYEP, 22/10/1750 (reprinting Westminster Journal, 21/7/1750), 21/1/1751 (reprinting Westminster Journal, 6/10/1751); NYG, 1/10/1750 (reprinting Newcastle Journal, 21/7/ 1750), 12/11/1750 (reprinting Westminster Journal, 1/9/1750); NYM, 28/7/1755, supplement. ¹²⁸ Livingston, ‘Watch-Tower XXXIX’ in NYM, 18/8/1755. Similarly, Livingston, ‘Watch-Tower XLII: Address to Governor Hardy’, in NYM, 8/9/1755; Kennedy, Serious Advice, 12. ¹²⁹ Abraham Keteltas, The Religious Soldier (New York, 1759), 15. ¹³⁰ Franklin, Plain Truth, 21. See Alan Houston, Benjamin Franklin and the Politics of Improvement (New Haven, 2008), 137–40 on British-Americans’ inclination towards absorbing minorities, contrary to the racist and exclusionary image often cast over Franklin’s Observations.

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a general disposition that seems to bode us no good.’¹³¹ Rumours that the Pennsylvania Germans had adopted a position of neutrality in the struggle between Britain and France, that the French were conspiring to lure them to their own settlements in the Ohio Valley, or even that ‘there are many Germans and Dutch among the [French] troops’ to the westward were soon treated as credible.¹³² Many agreed with Archibald Kennedy’s suspicion that ‘Philadelphia may one day repent the vast importation of those people amongst them’.¹³³ Unsurprisingly, widespread condemnation for being ‘stupid, stubborn, rebellious, even traitorous’ provoked an angry reaction from German colonists, which helped to prolong these tensions well into the 1750s.¹³⁴ Foreign policy was certainly not the only issue responsible for this dispute, but it was a disproportionately incendiary one. Led by the printer Christoph Saur, the German minority largely shunned the conciliatory efforts of a few Englishmen and a smaller number of their own kinsmen, including the Lutheran missionary Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg, as a self-interested Anglo-bourgeois plot to sacrifice poor German farmers to the interests of wealthy English businessmen.¹³⁵ European affairs could offer no comfort either during the Austrian war. Irrespective of the British Crown’s protestations of support for the Protestant interest, the overwhelmingly Protestant German minority in North America—and especially the Salzburger community settled in Georgia, whose relatives had been granted refuge from Habsburg persecution by Frederick William I of Prussia—had no interest in supporting a war to defend the House of Austria. During the subsequent war, however, the British and German populaces of North America were brought to an unprecedented—although not unmitigated— degree of cultural harmony. In the exposed west of Pennsylvania, the largest concentration of German colonists found themselves living in one of the key battlegrounds of the Seven Years War in North America. Yet a profound anxiety for the fate of their German fatherland, as well as a propensity to interpret the bloodbath in the backcountry in Francophobic, rather than anti-Indian, terms,

¹³¹ Benjamin Franklin to Peter Collinson, Philadelphia, 9/5/1753, in Leonard Labaree et al. (eds.), The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 40 vols. so far (New Haven, 1959–), IV, 485. See Houston, Franklin and the Politics of Improvement, 137–9; Edmund Morgan, Benjamin Franklin (New Haven, 2002), 73. Similarly, letter from Pennsylvania, 1/8/1754, in VG, 28/2/1755. ¹³² William Johnson, ‘Intelligence from Canada’, Fort Johnson, 14/2/1757; William Johnson, ‘Indian Intelligence’, Fort Johnson, 23/4/1757 and 28/4/1757, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, II, 677, 723; Reverend William Smith to Bishop Thomas Secker, Philadelphia, 1/11/1756, in E. B. O’Callaghan (ed.), Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York, 11 vols. (Albany, 1853?–1861), VII, 165–6. ¹³³ Archibald Kennedy, The Importance of Gaining and Preserving the Friendship of the Indians to the British Interest (New York, 1751), 9. Similarly, Benjamin Franklin to James Parker, Philadelphia, 20/3/1751, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, IV, 121. ¹³⁴ Ibid., V, 204n–205n. ¹³⁵ See Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg to Benjamin Franklin, Providence, 3/8/1754, in ibid., V, 418–21; Christoph Saur to ?, Germantown, 6/9/1755, in Horace Wemyss Smith (ed.), Life and Correspondence of the Reverend William Smith, 2 vols. (Philadelphia, 1880), I, 94–6.

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guided them to a far more fundamentally Eurocentric understanding of the conflict than has been presumed.¹³⁶ This outlook acted as a bridge to a much stronger attachment to the British Empire. The advent of an Anglo-Prussian alliance in the so-called Diplomatic Revolution of 1756 created a more attractive avenue for German cultural identification with Britain. The pact between George II and Frederick of Prussia allowed German colonists to celebrate British, Prussian, and Hanoverian victories with their British neighbours. Infatuation with King Frederick during the protracted period of colonial Prussophilia naturally became a major area of common ground between British and German settlers. This began at the popular level, as communities like the Salzburger settlement at Ebenezer, Georgia, frequently ‘rejoiced and [were] aroused’ at news of his victories.¹³⁷ These attitudes were often expressed in prayer. Mühlenberg, Pennsylvania’s leading Lutheran, reported to Halle in 1758 that his congregations were praying fervently for the success of both George II and the King of Prussia.¹³⁸ The convergence of English and German celebrations and prayers was mirrored in correspondence between British and German colonists. When Henry Laurens wrote to inform the Moravian missionary John Ettwein that ‘we have a report here . . . that the King of Prussia has lately gained a signal victory over the Russian army’, he was also using the European war to extend the bounds of the British nation in America.¹³⁹ The same perspective was adopted enthusiastically by the German-language press in a radical change of tone, which both brought it into line with Englishlanguage newspapers and strongly influenced colonial German society. The dominance of the Saur family—long sceptical of the designs of the British Empire in general and the colony of Pennsylvania in particular—was ended by the arrival (permanent from 1760 onwards) of Johann Heinrich Möller, an Anglophile printer of Swiss origin, trained by Franklin earlier in the 1750s, who had formerly worked for the Hanoverian army.¹⁴⁰ As the historian A. G. Roeber writes, his newspaper, Der Wöchentliche Philadelphische Staatsbote, ‘promulgated support for Britain’s continental ally’ and encouraged a ‘deeply cosmopolitan, acculturated, pro-British posture’.¹⁴¹ Both of these attitudes were concisely expressed in his decision to print Johann Conrad Steiner’s German eulogy for George II, in which this German Pennsylvanian pastor observed how ‘the Lord made our King ¹³⁶ Cf. Klaus Wust, The Virginia Germans (Charlottesville, 1969), 58–73, whose narrative of the German experience of American warfare refers exclusively to Indian threats. ¹³⁷ Johann Martin Boltzius to G.A. Francke, Ebenezer, 31/3/1759, in Russell Kleckley and Jürgen Gröschl (eds.), The Letters of Johann Martin Boltzius, 2 vols. (Lewiston, 2009), II, 667. See similarly Johann Boltzius to G.A. Francke, Ebenezer, 4/1/1757, 13/5/1762, 30/12/1763, in ibid., II, 652–4, 715–16, 719, 748. ¹³⁸ Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg to G.A. Francke and F.M. Ziegenhagen, Providence, 1/2/1758, in Aland (ed.), Korrespondenz Mühlenbergs, II, 335. ¹³⁹ Henry Laurens to John Ettwein, Charleston, 24/11/1761, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, III, 87. ¹⁴⁰ See Ralph Frasca, Benjamin Franklin’s Printing Network (Columbia, 2006), 107. ¹⁴¹ Roeber, Palatines, Liberty, and Property, 202, 204–5.

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great among the kings of the earth’ as an advocate of ‘riches, honour, happiness, peace, and freedom in the world’, and concluded by applauding his alliance with ‘the great, prize-winning King of Prussia’.¹⁴² More dramatically still, by the end of his life Saur himself recognized the magnitude of the war and began to revise both his views and his publications.¹⁴³ His almanacs began to celebrate the global Seven Years War, drawing approving parallels between the present struggle and the Thirty Years War. After his death in 1758, his son continued to spread the message, printing, amongst other things, a German translation of W.H. Dilworth’s life of Frederick the Great, with new appendices, in 1761.¹⁴⁴ More conspicuous, however, was the younger Christoph Saur’s decision to celebrate and eulogize British history and British heroes of the conflict, especially the conqueror of Quebec, James Wolfe.¹⁴⁵ With wide readerships in the German community, the publications of Möller and like-minded printers purposefully sought out the brokers of local opinion throughout British America, shaping German attitudes towards membership of the British Empire with an agenda grounded in the experience of Anglo-Prussian common endeavour in Europe.¹⁴⁶ Some demonstrated this change in attitude starkly indeed: as if to assuage his countrymen’s failure to support Franklin’s association in the late 1740s, Peter Kalb formed his own corps of German volunteers to assist in the defence of South Carolina.¹⁴⁷ The impact of the cultural groundswell of Prussophilia during the Seven Years War was all the greater for its role in establishing a political idiom and literature common to both British and German settlers. The enthusiasm with which anglophone colonists embraced King Frederick’s personality cult was particularly significant. Next to King George himself, only William Pitt rivalled the King of Prussia as a popular icon amongst Britons in America.¹⁴⁸ The Anglo-Prussian

¹⁴² Steiner, Schuldigstes Liebes, 25, 28, 31: my translation. Original text: ‘Ja, hat nicht der Herrn unsern König vor und unter den Konigen der Erden herrlich gemacht?’; ‘Recht hohe und grosse Wohltäter, die uns zu Reichthum, Ehre, Gluck, Friede, und Freiheit in der Welt verhelfen; wahrlich, ein solcher hoher Wolhrhater war unser König gegen sein Volk’; ‘dem grossen, preiswürdigsten König von Preussen’. ¹⁴³ On Saur’s change of tune, see Aaron Fogelman, Hopeful Journeys (Philadelphia, 1996), 141; Roeber, ‘Origin of Whatever is not English’, 276–7, neither of which do justice to the European dimension. ¹⁴⁴ W. H. Dilworth, Das Leben und Heroische Thaten des Königs von Preussen, Friedrichs des II (Germantown, 1761). ¹⁴⁵ On Wolfe, see Christoph Saur, Der Hoch-Deutsch Americanische Calender (Germantown, 1761). On English history, see Christophe Saur, Der Hoch-Deutsch Americanische Calender (Germantown, 1763); Christophe Saur, Der Hoch-Deutsch Americanische Calender (Germantown, 1764). ¹⁴⁶ On the influence of the Staatsbote, see Roeber, Palatines, Liberty, and Property, 204–5. ¹⁴⁷ Roeber, ‘Origin of Whatever is not English’, 277. ¹⁴⁸ Cooper, Success of His Majesty’s Arms, 24–5. Similarly, NYM, 31/7/1758, 2/10/1758; Keteltas, Religious Soldier, 9; Frink, King Reigning, 55n; Benjamin Franklin to David Hall, London, 8/4/1759, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, VIII, 321. On ‘Prussophilia’ in the contemporary British Isles, see Manfred Schlenke, England und das Friderizianische Preußen (Freiberg, 1963), 236–48; Eda Sagarra, ‘Frederick II and his Image in Eighteenth-Century Dublin’, in Hermathena, no. 142 (Summer 1987), 50–8.

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alliance was invoked in order to stress the importance of broader Anglo-German unity. Perhaps tellingly, the Maryland poet James Sterling emphasized the consanguinity of the houses of Hanover and Hohenzollern: Yet why should we wonder that this [vice] he [Frederick] disdains; When the blood of good George flows rich in his veins?¹⁴⁹

Critically, wartime Prussophilia also led British and German settlers to share popular literature to an unprecedented extent, as the same material circulated in both languages, including the widely printed sermons of David Hirschel Fränkel and W. H. Dilworth’s Life. Long-standing tensions between religious groups came under similar pressure, as British nationalism and the European conflict to which it was tied became potent, unifying forces amongst the contentious Protestant denominations of North America.¹⁵⁰ This too was a reaction against the dangerous, enervating, and widely feared consequences of internal religious strife. ‘Persecution and intolerance are not only unjust and criminal in the sight of God,’ the Boston minister Jonathan Mayhew observed, ‘but they also cramp, enfeeble, and diminish the state, and many states, in other respects politic enough, have hereby greatly prejudiced themselves and strengthened their rival neighbours.’¹⁵¹ Such thoughts were not confined to Dissenters. In a sermon preached in North Carolina during the tumultuous year of 1758, as the fortunes of war swung slowly towards the Anglo-Prussian-Hanoverian alliance, the Anglican clergyman Alexander Stewart declared that ‘if ever a Protestant people . . . ought to be of one mind, it ought to be at such a time as this, when our civil and religious liberties are alike threatened by our common enemy’. He called upon all churches to unite behind their King, for ‘the cause of His Majesty is the cause of liberty, of truth, of religion, nay, of that very toleration which the dissenters of every denomination enjoy’.¹⁵² Common support for the common cause realized these dreams of confessional unity. Preachers from almost all colonial churches defended the crusade of King and nation for the liberties of Europe. As we have seen, despite the myriad of theological differences and personal enmities between them, the Boston Arminian Congregationalist Jonathan Mayhew, the Massachusetts Calvinist Thomas Prince, the Virginian Anglican William Stith, the S.P.G. missionary East Apthorp, the Pennsylvanian Presbyterians William Currie and Gilbert Tennent, the Dutch ¹⁴⁹ ‘The Royal Comet’, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 8/1758. ¹⁵⁰ On religious tensions in colonial America, see Noll, America’s God, 114–37; Susan Juster, Disorderly Women (Ithaca, 1994), 14–45; Daniel Vaca and Randall Balmer, ‘Anglicanism and its Discontents: Protestant Diversity and Disestablishment in British America’, in Stephen Stein (ed.), The Cambridge History of Religions in America, Volume I (Cambridge, 2012), 429–50; Geordan Hammond, John Wesley in America (Oxford, 2014), 159–89. ¹⁵¹ Mayhew, Sermon Preached in the Audience of His Excellency, 10. ¹⁵² Alexander Stewart, ‘The Validity of Infant Baptism’, in Robert Cain and Jan-Michael Poff (eds.), The Church of England in North Carolina (Raleigh, 2007), 550–1.

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Huguenot Abraham Keteltas, the Lutherans Johann Conrad Steiner and Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg, and the Dutch-Reformed Theodorus Frielinghuysen defended a common conception of Britain’s role at the forefront of an international crusade for liberty. Even some pacifist Quakers, like Benjamin Gilbert, preached the justice of Britain’s cause against universal monarchy, even if they opposed the taking up of arms. Much like ministers of other denominations, this context led the Pennsylvanian to assert in 1748 that ‘each King in Christendom’ had ‘laws in his realm, to govern, rule, and protect those subjects that reside therein, and doth extend no farther’.¹⁵³ In a display symptomatic of this union of sentiment, the Anglican, Presbyterian, Baptist, Moravian, Dutch, French, and even Jewish congregations in New York indulged in common rituals of thanksgiving for the Treaty of Paris in 1763.¹⁵⁴ A similar process may even have been affecting some of the Indians in alliance with the British Crown, albeit in rather less precise terms. As the Stockbridge Indians explained to the Mohawks in 1747, ‘we behold’ King George ‘as a strong tree with spreading roots standing fast having godly limbs and leaves. Let us gather about him and stand around him and if he falls let us fall with him.’¹⁵⁵ The use of a tree, the Iroquois symbol of ‘the protection and security that people found in union under the law’ (in Paul Wallace’s words), as a symbol for George II by these Algonquians in an appeal to the Mohawks speaks volumes about the image of the King as a powerful protector, standing stalwart for tranquillity against vexatious enemies.¹⁵⁶ Indeed, the Iroquois idea of the ‘great white roots of peace’, a gospel of universal pacification, was not unlike some Christian conceptions of a benign universal monarchy. English writers certainly thought so: a song placed in the mouth of an Iroquois bard named Maratho called The Tree of Peace envisioned ‘George, who’s great on lands and seas’, setting . . . a Tree of Peace, Th’ Earth, and the Great Lake to grace; May the nations love its shade! And its verdure never fade!¹⁵⁷

Albeit to a lesser degree than its mediation of differences between colonists of European origins, George II’s foreign policy and the British national mission provided a tentative basis for a degree of Anglo-Indian cultural unity.¹⁵⁸ ¹⁵³ Benjamin Gilbert, Truth Vindicated and the Doctrine of Darkness Manifested (Philadelphia, 1748), 15. ¹⁵⁴ NYM, 15/8/1763. ¹⁵⁵ The Stockbridge Indians to the Mohawks, 1747?, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, I, 126. Similarly, William Johnson to the Mohawks, 20/3/1748, in ibid., I, 900. ¹⁵⁶ On the significance of the tree to the Iroquois, see Paul Wallace, The White Roots of Peace (Philadelphia, 1946), 7. ¹⁵⁷ William Smith, Indian Songs of Peace (New York, 1752), 16. On the provenance of this curious publication, see David Shields, Oracles of Empire (Chicago, 1990), 211–15. ¹⁵⁸ Contrast Daniel Richter, The Ordeal of the Longhouse (Chapel Hill, 1992), 276.

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It is safe to assume that colonists of many origins embraced these discourses for many different reasons, including mundane interests of personal and political selffashioning; yet, if anything, this was but another tribute to the potency of this nexus of geopolitics, royalism, and nationalism in British-American culture. Indeed, the greatest testament to its power was the danger faced by those who did not conform to its expectations. For subscription to the British-American nationalist creed was no longer necessarily a matter of choice by the mid-1750s— as some social, religious, and political groups on both sides of the Atlantic discovered. The lens of geopolitics and national allegiance acted not only as a cause for dispute in itself but as a comprehensive channel for the expression of an array of unrelated grievances. The abiding distrust of Catholics throughout British America, already bound up with geopolitics, thrived in the climate of bellicose nationalism.¹⁵⁹ After the Jacobite Rebellion, Benjamin Franklin became particularly fearful of ‘priests among us’, who might ‘give an enemy good encouragement’ by stirring up colonists ‘of the same religion with those who of late encouraged the French to invade our mother-country’.¹⁶⁰ Although Catholics were now a minority in the province their ancestors had settled as a refuge, these sentiments abounded on the grandest scale in Maryland. The Protestant pastor Chauncey Graham declared that many of his neighbours were ‘of the same religion and without doubt in the same interest with our national enemies’.¹⁶¹ The fact that Quakers met with similar treatment, however, revealed that entrenched anti-popery was not the only influence at work. In a heated exchange of treatises on the lawfulness of war in 1748, William Currie of Philadelphia revealed the importance of nationalism itself when he accused his Quaker interlocutor Richard Smith of writing as ‘one who was engaged in a foreign interest’ rather than as ‘a true and loyal English subject’.¹⁶² Suspicions did not always stop short of violence. Military setbacks could cause existing antagonisms to boil over. When news of the defeat of Braddock’s army at Monongahela reached Philadelphia on 18 July 1755, the Virginian Daniel Fisher observed Pennsylvanian townsmen ‘assembling in great numbers, with an intention

¹⁵⁹ See Serena Zabin, Dangerous Economies (Philadelphia, 2009), 132–58 on the fascinating case of John Ury, an itinerant French teacher hanged for being a Jesuit agent provocateur; George Clarke to the Lords of Trade, New York, 20/6/1741, 24/8/1741, in O’Callaghan (ed.), Colonial History of New York, VI, 198–202. ¹⁶⁰ Franklin, Plain Truth, 6. See Franklin, Letter from Quebec, [i]–[iii]. Similarly, Jack Greene (ed.), The Diary of Landon Carter of Sabine Hall, 1752–1778, 2 vols. (Charlottesville, 1965), 111–12, 115. ¹⁶¹ Graham, Some Few Reasons, 19. See further Maura Farrelly, Papist Patriots (Oxford, 2012), 203; Sterling, Sermon Preached Before His Excellency, 46; the Maryland House of Delegates to Governor Horatio Sharpe, in the PG, 20/7/1755 (reprinted in the BEP, 11/8/1755); Kennedy, Serious Considerations, 12; Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Pownall, 8/1756, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, VI, 497–8; Harris, Sermon Preached in the Church of St. Peters, 37; George Washington to Robert Dinwiddie, Winchester, 24/4/1756, in Abbot (ed.), Washington Papers, III, 46. ¹⁶² William Currie, A Treatise on the Lawfulness of Defensive War (Philadelphia, 1748), iv.

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of demolishing the mass house belonging to the Roman Catholics’.¹⁶³ Military successes did not offer a much greater degree of security. During Philadelphia’s celebrations for the taking of Louisbourg on 4 August 1758, another mob prowled through the town smashing the unlit windows of Quaker houses.¹⁶⁴ Repression was as much a feature of public policy as crowd action. The colonial legal system made many individuals suffer for their alleged treachery. Punitive laws continued to multiply in Maryland.¹⁶⁵ Charles Carroll, Sr, a prominent Catholic who was already afflicted by penal taxation on a scale that made him consider emigration, reported that ‘we are threatened with the introduction of the English penal laws into this province’.¹⁶⁶ Punishments were often much harsher. The same year, a man named James Castles was arraigned before the quarter sessions in Chester County, Pennsylvania, accused of calling George II a usurper and offering a bounty for volunteers to join the French forces in the west. He was pilloried with a board fixed to his back reading, ‘I stand here for speaking seditious words against the best of kings’.¹⁶⁷ The Acadians, French settlers who had remained in Nova Scotia after the British annexation of 1713, paid the greatest price. An insurrection against British rule led by the Jesuit Abbé Le Loutre in the early 1750s—the latest in a series of real and imagined conspiracies—finally convinced Governor William Shirley of Massachusetts to abandon attempts to ‘absorb’ the recalcitrant populace.¹⁶⁸ Seven thousand men, women, and children were rounded up at bayonet point, and the two-thirds of this number who survived the initial journey were dispersed throughout the other British colonies.¹⁶⁹ Those who found themselves in Maryland were forbidden to reside with Catholic families, in case their seditious influence should be magnified.¹⁷⁰ These mistrusted inhabitants of British America’s northern frontier were replaced with a buffer colony on the Georgia model, composed primarily of English veterans and German Protestants.¹⁷¹ ¹⁶³ ‘Extracts from the Diary of Daniel Fisher, 1755’, in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 17, no. 3 (1893), 274. ¹⁶⁴ ‘Diary of Hannah Callender’, in ibid., vol. 12, no. 4 (Jan. 1889), 433. ¹⁶⁵ Farrelly, Papist Patriots, 136, 204–6. ¹⁶⁶ Charles Carroll, Sr, to Charles Carroll, Jr, Annapolis, 26/7/1756, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, I, 28. ¹⁶⁷ NYM, 9/6/1755 (dated Philadelphia, 5/6/1755). ¹⁶⁸ See Peter Doll, Revolution, Religion, and National Identity (Cranbury, New Jersey, 2000), 49–52; Geoffrey Plank, An Unsettled Conquest (Philadelphia, 2001), 111, 125. On absorption plans, which were closely associated with the policies of the (Huguenot) Lieutenant Governor Paul Mascarene, see Doll, Revolution, Religion, and National Identity, 45. ¹⁶⁹ The best account of the removal of the Acadians is Plank, Unsettled Conquest, 140–57. See Otis Little, The State of Trade in the Northern Colonies Considered (London, 1748; Boston, 1749), 25; William Shirley to the Duke of Newcastle, Boston, 15/8/1746 and 20/10/1747, in Charles Henry Lincoln (ed.), Correspondence of William Shirley, Governor of Massachusetts and Military Commander in America, 1731–1760, 2 vols. (New York, 1912), I, 336–7, 405. ¹⁷⁰ Charles Carroll, Sr, to Charles Carroll, Jr, Annapolis, 26/7/1756, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, I, 30. See further Maura Farrelly, Papist Patriots (Oxford, 2012), 177–8. ¹⁷¹ See Doll, Revolution, Religion, and National Identity, 53–54, 63.

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Yet even the Catholics were not without their own mediators of colonial British nationalism. The behaviour of the Carroll family of Maryland, prominent planters of Irish Jacobite descent, epitomized the difficult negotiation of faith and nationality undertaken by many of their coreligionists in British America.¹⁷² Like other members of his family, Charles Carroll, Jr—a committed Catholic who spent most of the Seven Years War at a Jesuit school in France—frequently lamented the plight of British and Irish Catholics in their native lands.¹⁷³ Yet the Carrolls were also active participants in a correspondence network that was deeply concerned for the fortunes of the British and allied cause. Indeed, this network penetrated young Charles Carroll’s dormitory in the Jesuit schools of Saint-Omer and, somewhat ironically, Louis-le-Grand. In its confines, the young man took vicarious pleasure in the success of the Anglo-Prussian alliance against the French and their allies. He used exchanges with his like-minded father to praise repeatedly ‘the measures of our late great minister’, Pitt, especially condoning his resolve ‘to prosecute the German war with the utmost vigour’.¹⁷⁴ There was more to this than quiet conformity to prevailing attitudes: like the shapers of Dutch and German opinions, the Carrolls had their own, fundamentally Catholic rationale for this manner of cultural identification and integration. Charles Jr, who had undertaken a detailed survey of French politics and society during his sojourn there in the late 1750s, warned his father that, although ‘we suffer at present in Maryland for our religion’, nevertheless ‘if you repair to France you will only exchange religious for civil tyranny, and in my opinion of the two the greatest evil’. For ‘civil oppression’, he continued, ‘has nothing to console us’, whereas ‘religious persecutions are always attended with the consolation at least of not going unrewarded’—better to suffer on Earth for peace thereafter than just to suffer on Earth.¹⁷⁵ This spiritual concern persuaded him ‘to live under an English government rather than under any other: Catholic, I mean, for I know of no Catholic country where that greatest blessing, civil liberty, is enjoyed’. Considering the favourable views Carroll was forming of interventionist British foreign policies during the same period, he was clearly no fan of French hegemony. Speaking of the danger,

¹⁷² On the Jacobite origins of the Carroll family, see Ronald Hoffman, Princes of Ireland, Planters of Maryland (Chapel Hill, 2000), 46–59. ¹⁷³ Charles Carroll, Jr, to Charles Carroll, Sr., 10/12/1759, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, I, 140. ¹⁷⁴ Charles Carroll, Jr, to Charles Carroll, Sr., 1/1/1761; and similarly: 11/2/1758, 19/12/1761; Charles Carroll, Sr., to Charles Carroll, Jr, London, 13/1/1758, in ibid., I, 193, 66, 241, 61. On the correspondence network in America, see Daniel Dulany, ‘Military and Political Affairs in the Middle Colonies in 1755’, in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 3, no. 1 (1879), 12. On the experience of Maryland Catholics in French Jesuit schools and its relationship to national identity, I am in firm disagreement with Farrelly, Papist Patriots, 183. The question is not addressed in Hoffman, Princes of Ireland, 140–56. ¹⁷⁵ Charles Carroll, Jr, to Charles Carroll, Sr., 30/2/1760, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, I, 150.

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Figure 6.4 Joshua Reynolds, Charles Carroll (1763), courtesy of the Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven.

he declared: ‘should I ever be able to be so happy to protect the innocent, I would not abandon them because weak, nor court their enemies and mine with presents of slavery and fear’. He was not proposing quiet acquiescence in Protestant British rule, either. ‘Whatever country I settle in,’ he continued, ‘its welfare and my honour shall be the chief and sole principle of my actions.’¹⁷⁶ Carroll had seen France from closer and with less prejudiced eyes than most British-Americans; his conscious choice was devotion to the British Empire and rejection of the alternative on grounds almost identical to those of his Protestant countrymen. One of Carroll’s first acts as a committed British gentleman was to seek out Joshua Reynolds in London to have him paint his portrait (Figure 6.4).¹⁷⁷ Much like British-American discourses of geopolitics, colonial British nationalism and its subsets revealed how the process of anglicization could catalyse the development of qualities distinctive of British North America, and different from those of its metropolitan motherland. While remaining firmly and enthusiastically ¹⁷⁶ Charles Carroll, Jr, to Charles Carroll, Sr., 1/1/1761, in ibid., I, 193. ¹⁷⁷ Fintan Cullen, ‘Charles Carroll of Carrollton: Painting the Portrait of an Irish-American Aristocrat’, in Eighteenth-Century Ireland, vol. 25 (2010), 156.

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loyal to Britain, settlers of varying origins had nevertheless taken control of their own identity, harnessing it to a potent ideology which was an equally idiosyncratic feature of the British-American political and cultural milieu. In the process, the popularity of the Hanoverian regime was enhanced, the solidarity of the British Empire strengthened, and the convergence of colonial society accelerated. Yet colonial British nationalism also formed the basis of a cultural sanction, by which British-Americans judged the legitimacy of political conduct. As we shall see in the next chapter, these judgements were not always conducive to imperial harmony.

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7 ‘In a National Light’ War and the Ethics of Imperial Politics

One dark night in June 1772, Captain Simeon Potter and a number of other Rhode Islanders torched the grounded customs schooner HMS Gaspee in protest at British colonial policy. Thirty years earlier, he had been famous throughout the American continent as a leading privateer in the naval war against France and Spain. At first glance, the account of Potter’s celebrated raid on French Guyana in 1744 preserved in a letter by one of his prisoners, a Jesuit missionary named Fauque, seems to confirm the image of an American patriot in the making. Fauque believed that his captors came from ‘Rodelan . . ., a kind of little republic, which did not pay any tribute to the King of England’. Yet the events which the missionary recorded aboard Potter’s ship, tellingly named Prince Charles of Lorraine after the Austrian commander-in-chief, belied this impression. The Rhode Islander vindicated his strike on the French settlement with recourse to the affairs of Europe: ‘the King of France had first declared war against the King of England’. Later, Fauque watched the crew celebrate the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot by reciting long ballads about English history and chanting choruses of ‘long live the King’.¹ Shortly after his return to Newport, Potter took to the local press to voice his outrage at being denied anchorage by the Dutch authorities in Surinam, again invoking European diplomacy: ‘how far this is consistent with the treaty between England and Holland’, he demanded to know, ‘I for my part must leave others to determine’.² This privateer captain fashioned himself as a loyal soldier, fighting the enemies of his King, his nation, and the common cause. Potter embodied an ethos of wartime conduct moulded upon the contours of colonial British nationalism, which would exercise a formative influence over the conduct of North American and imperial politics during the conflicts of 1739–63. The language of politics bequeathed to the North American public sphere by colonial British nationalists and geopolitical commentators provided a lexicon for expressions of fidelity to the Hanoverian regime in wartime, but it also shaped a powerful cultural sanction on political behaviour. On the one hand, colonists fused Christian and civic humanist ideas and rituals of public duty with Britain’s ¹ ‘Letter of Father Fauque’, in Wilfred Harold Munro, Tales of an Old Sea Port (Princeton, 1917), 59, 65–6. ² Simeon Potter, letter, Newport, 4/1/1745, in NYEP, 4/2/1745. The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution. D. H. Robinson, Oxford University Press (2020). © D. H. Robinson. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198862925.001.0001

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role in the international system, contributing to the development of an ethic of national service. On the other, British-Americans cultivated the habit of appealing to the nation and its interest as the supreme arbiter (next to God) of legitimate political action.³ Hence, although recent scholars have been inclined to study prerevolutionary American politics in strongly provincial and structural terms, the mid-century was actually a time in which transatlantic, national issues and public discourses played a seminal part in assemblies as well as out of doors.⁴ Colonists applied this sanction to their own public conduct, but they also employed it as a language of censure on an imperial scale. This culture of politics was expressed in voluntary acts undertaken by colonial British nationalists to support Britain’s European wars, ranging from prayer and penitence to privateering and militia associations. Yet, as the conflict continued, the institutions of provincial politics found themselves under mounting pressure to pursue bellicose policies commensurate with the peculiarly warlike tenor of colonial sensibilities. The formation of a union of the colonies under the British Crown to coordinate military actions in North America was a particular objective of British-American nationalists. Despite the summoning of the Albany Congress in 1754, this aim proved elusive. However, the same climate of opinion fostered the rise of a new generation of colonial politicians, many of whom strove to identify themselves with advocacy of the common cause and vigorous warfare against the French. Importantly, the domestic ramifications of this cultural sanction enjoyed a reciprocal relationship with the culture of monarchic nationalism whence they sprang, as the motives and experiences of national war galvanized one another in turn. The consequences were not, however, always so conducive to imperial harmony when colonial British nationalists imposed similar demands on the behaviour of metropolitan ministries. It was by fulfilling these expectations that William Pitt became an immensely popular figure in the colonies during the Seven Years War, but British-Americans were not so enthusiastic about all the factions of parliamentary politics. Matters came to a head over the terms of the Treaty of Paris, when colonial observers chastised Lord Bute’s new government for squandering Pitt’s victories and betraying the common cause. In reviving long-standing suspicions about Tory subversion and Francophile sedition, the dénouement of the mid-century cycle of conflict left an ambiguous legacy for the political landscape

³ On this point, I have been influenced by the compelling exegesis of this theme in contemporary western European politics offered in T. C. W. Blanning, The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture (Oxford, 2002), 185–356. ⁴ Richard Beeman, The Varieties of Political Experience in Eighteenth-Century America (Philadelphia, 2004), passim, esp. 276–92; Jon Butler, Becoming America (Cambridge, MA, 2000), 90; Gary Nash, The Urban Crucible (Cambridge, MA, 1986), 122–7; Alan Tully, Forming American Politics (Baltimore, 1994), 213–352; Rhys Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia, 1740–1790 (Chapel Hill, 1982), 209–40.

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in British America, fomenting some of the divisions that would characterize the post-war imperial crisis.

‘The True English Spirit’ The true English spirit seems to be revived, and Great Britain, unable any longer to bear the insults of this haughty enemy, calls out ‘To Arms’ and rouses up the hardy sons of America to unsheathe the sword of justice. Robert Treat Paine, chaplain and lawyer, 1755⁵ In tandem with widespread awareness of the broader European conflict, colonial British nationalism exercised a strong influence over the conduct of ordinary colonists between the onset of the Austrian war and the close of the Seven Years War. The effect was most pronounced in the spiritual lives of British-Americans, as they bound themselves to the common cause through rites of prayer and reformation devised to support the arms of Britain and her allies in Europe. Nationalist expectations shaped more material contributions to the war effort, too. Privateers found themselves obliged to behave as godly British mariners of the King, under threat of financial and personal ruin. The protagonists of the land war in North America, meanwhile, were increasingly judged against the standard of celebrated soldiers in Europe. Those who did not fall short were incorporated into national mythologies. The most significant popular British-American contributions to the common cause were made through religious practices. From the beginning of the midcentury conflict, pious colonists employed prayer as a causative act to support the distant war, as their ancestors had done since the earliest days of settlement. As the Boston pastor Charles Chauncy explained, ‘this is the only way, wherein we, who live at such a distance, can help our King and nation’. Like many others, the Philadelphia minister William Currie put these words into action when he beseeched divine intercession for ‘the people of Britain, and all the rest of Europe’ to ‘still the rage of war among the nations’ and give King George ‘victory over his enemies’ during a fast day in 1748.⁶ In June 1757, the Boston Evening Post ⁵ Robert Treat Paine, ‘There is a Time for War and a Time for Peace’, Lake George, 16/11/1755, Robert Treat Paine Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society, Ms N-641, P-392, Reel 11. ⁶ Charles Chauncy, The Counsel of Two Confederate Kings (Boston, 1746), 43; William Currie, A Sermon Preached in Radnor Church (Philadelphia, 1748), 22–3; See similarly Charles Chauncy, Civil Magistrates Must be Just (Boston, 1747), 43; John Moncure, ‘Fast Day Sermon on I Kings XXI’, in Edward Bond (ed.), Spreading the Gospel in Colonial Virginia: Sermons and Devotional Writings (Lanham, MD, 2004), 526; Miles Selden, ‘The Great Duty of Public Worship, 1758’, in ibid., 534–5; Ebenezer Pemberton, A Sermon Delivered at the Presbyterian Church (New York, 1746), 22; Hull Abbot, The Duty of God’s People to Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem (Boston, 1746), 20; Arthur Browne,

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even printed a list of appropriate supplications for military events in Europe and the Mediterranean.⁷ Especially in a time of religious revival, these were not idle expressions but demonstrations of the fundamentally providential conception of causation in human affairs, which—despite the ridicule of some colonists—remained dominant in British North America.⁸ Neither was it confined to Calvinists, as the prominent New York Anglican Samuel Johnson’s Demonstration of the Reasonableness, Usefulness, and Great Duty of Prayer (1760) illustrated.⁹ These rituals engaged all parts of colonial society. Provincial governments legislated to guarantee that fast and thanksgiving days were appointed to provide a communal forum for these wartime devotions. Working with several revivalists in America and Scotland, the celebrated Massachusetts Calvinist theologian Jonathan Edwards attempted to systemize this duty in a transatlantic ‘concert for prayer’ to aid the common cause in the 1740s.¹⁰ British-Americans took these rituals very seriously indeed. On a Virginian thanksgiving day in 1760, Colonel James Gordon of Lancaster was incensed that ‘our parson did not think proper to favour us with a sermon according to the Governor’s orders’.¹¹ Others, like William Douglass, who questioned the power of prayer and providence, inspired angry reactions from a colonial audience fearful that such impiety would provoke divine wrath.¹² If anything, this form of confessional militarism was becoming more pervasive during the mid-eighteenth century—a time of structural growth for the colonial churches.¹³ This was partly a product of the Great Awakening, but it was The Folly and Perjury of the Rebellion in Scotland (Boston, 1746), 16; John Gordon, A Thanksgiving Sermon on the Defeat of the Rebels (Annapolis, 1746), 2; William Stith, A Sermon Preached Before the General Assembly (Williamsburg, 1746), 29–31; Thomas Cradock, Two Sermons (Annapolis, 1747), 8; and, in secular discourse, letter dated 21/1/1746 to the BEP, 27/1/1746; Jonathan Law, ‘Proclamation of a Fast’, in the BNL, 14/4/1743; Henry Barclay, ‘Psalm 62, 1757; Easter 1760’, in the Barclay Sermons, Trinity Church, vol. 3. ⁷ BEP, 27/6/1757. ⁸ This phenomenon remains curiously neglected by early modern historians. An important exception is John Morrill, ‘William Dowsing, the Bureaucratic Puritan’, in John Morrill et al. (eds.), Public Duty and Private Conscience in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford, 1993), 197–203. For a seventeenth-century colonial example, see Edward Johnson, Wonder-Working Providence of Sion’s Saviour, ed. J. Franklin Jameson (New York, 1967), 53. ⁹ See Edwards Beardsley (ed.), Life and Correspondence of Samuel Johnson (New York, 1874), 256–7. Similarly, James Maury to John Fontaine, Fredericksville Parish, Louisa County, 9/8/1755, in Ann Maury (ed.), Memoirs of a Huguenot Family (New York, 1852), 381. ¹⁰ Jonathan Edwards to John MacLaurin, Northampton, 12/5/1746, in sGeorge Claghorn (ed.), The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 16 (New Haven, 1998), 206. See Marsden, Jonathan Edwards, 315; Jonathan Edwards, An Humble Attempt to Promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God’s People (Boston, 1747). ¹¹ James Gordon, ‘Journal of Colonel James Gordon’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 11, no. 3 (Jan. 1903), 198. ¹² See BG, 14/6/1748, and contemporary editions of the BNL. ¹³ Patricia Bonomi, Under the Cope of Heaven (New York, 1986), 84–7, 126–7; similarly Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith (Cambridge, MA, 1990), 98; and for an exemplar, George Pilcher, Samuel Davies (Knoxville, 1971), 164.

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accelerated by the pressures of war. The government of Pennsylvania—unfamiliar with such rituals from its heritage of pacifist Quaker rule—relied on the advice of the New England émigré Benjamin Franklin to implement its own programme of spiritual violence in the late 1740s.¹⁴ Indeed, by the end of the Austrian war, even some Quakers were embracing the ‘duty to put up our prayers’ for the cause of George II.¹⁵ In New Jersey, the Boston-born Governor Jonathan Belcher also attempted to implement the warlike spiritual regimen of Massachusetts, introducing fasts and thanksgivings, and calling Gilbert Tennent to preach.¹⁶ This spiritual warfare was embraced at the most mundane level. The Boston merchant Thomas Hancock reminded John Rous, captain of his privateer Young Eagle, to keep a godly order of regular divine services aboard ship, ‘without which you cannot hope for success’, for why else would God take heed of ‘your petitions (which will be joined by all good people well-wishers to the British nation)’—that is, all supporters of the common cause, wherever they were on Earth.¹⁷ It was, perhaps, in this context that naming a Boston privateer the Queen of Hungary made exemplary sense. Simeon Potter of the Prince Charles of Lorraine, who spent much of one cruise arguing with a captive Jesuit about the Reformation, claimed that the piety of his crew outshone that of any French or Spanish vessel—a fact which would surely sway the court of Heaven.¹⁸ William Smith of Philadelphia made a similar suggestion during his campaign for backcountry Anglican missionaries in the mid-1750s, contending that if the settlers were ‘animated with the true spirit of Protestantism’ by a properly organized religious life, ‘they would be as a wall of brass round these colonies’.¹⁹ Yet spiritual warfare also directed colonial attentions to the grandest possible canvas, as they reflected on the relationship between providential favours and the spiritual well-being of the British Empire as a whole. Treating the European conflicts as a divine judgement, British-Americans called for a national spiritual reformation.²⁰ The disasters of 1756 and 1757 marked a particular nadir, ¹⁴ Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography and Other Writings, ed. Alan Houston (Cambridge, 2004), 93; Benjamin Franklin, ‘Proclamation for a General Fast’, in Leonard Labaree et al. (eds.), The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 40 vols. so far (New Haven, 1959–), III, 226–9. ¹⁵ Samuel Smith, Necessary Truth (Philadelphia, 1748), 23. ¹⁶ Michael C. Batinski, Jonathan Belcher, Colonial Governor (Lexington, 1996), 160–1. ¹⁷ Thomas Hancock et al. to John Rous, 24/12/1741, quoted in W. T. Baxter, The House of Hancock (Cambridge, MA, 1945), 82. Similarly, Oliver Partridge to John Burk, Hatfield, 10/8/1759, ‘John Burk Correspondence’, in the ‘French and Indian War Collection’, American Antiquarian Society. ¹⁸ Munro, Old Sea Port, 67–8. ¹⁹ Reverend William Smith to Bishop Thomas Secker, Philadelphia, 1/11/1756, in E. B. O’Callaghan (ed.), Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York, 11 vols. (Albany, 1853?–1861), VII, 165. ²⁰ On the conflicts as divine judgement, see Jonathan Edwards to John MacLaurin, Northampton, 12/5/1746, in Claghorn (ed.), Edwards Letters, 204–5; Thomas Prince, The Salvations of God in 1746 (Boston, 1747), 11. Similarly, Thomas Prince, A Sermon Delivered at the South Church in Boston on August 14, 1746 (Boston, 1746), 35; BNL, 29/1/1747, advertisements; NYEP, 2/10/1749 (reprinting The Fool, 15/6/1749); and for an overly provincial view of an imperial phenomenon, see George Marsden, Jonathan Edwards (New Haven, 2003), 318.

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promoting the same anxieties about British power that afflicted the contemporary metropolis.²¹ The English clergyman John Brown’s thundering indictment of the nation’s moral decline, preached in the aftermath of Admiral Byng’s humiliating defeat at Minorca, found such a keen colonial readership that an American edition was printed in Boston.²² Colonists echoed his sentiments. To Pastor John Tucker of Newbury, Massachusetts, the loss was a ‘sore judgement of war’ on the British nation.²³ Somewhat more dramatically, a young John Adams exploded: ‘all the powers of Europe are astonished and cry, “where is the British navy that made such a sublime ringing in the World?” ’²⁴ Colonists attributed God’s wrath to moral and spiritual corruption, drawing from a language of Christian humanism which paralleled the emphasis of ‘classical virtues’ found in Country ideology.²⁵ William Livingston put it most succinctly: the ‘corruption, venality, luxury, profaneness, debauchery, and voluptuousness of the nation’ were calling for divine judgement, which was now evidently forthcoming.²⁶ The hated Admiral Byng became an exemplar of these vices, but he was merely the epitome of a national weakness, of which Americans themselves were equally culpable.²⁷ In his sermon on the death of Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1751, Thomas Prince chastised his own congregation for encouraging ‘God’s awful progress in his destroying judgements’, from the ‘most expensive war’ of 1739–48 to the ‘vexatious rebellion’ of 1745–6.²⁸ Likewise, the news writer who described the return of Cape Breton as ‘that Black Day’ was not condemning ²¹ On moral anxiety in Britain, see Brendan Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat (London, 2007), 413. ²² John Brown, An Estimate of the Manners and Principles of the Times (reprinted Boston, 1758). On Browne’s sermon, see Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 435; Jeremy Gregory, ‘Homo Religiosus: Masculinity and Religion in the Long Eighteenth Century’, in Tim Hitchcock and Michèle Cohen (eds.), English Masculinities 1660–1800 (London and New York, 1999), 94. Similarly, Gideon Mailer, ‘Europe, the American Crisis, and Scottish Evangelism: The Primacy of Foreign Policy in the Kirk?’, in William Mulligan and Brendan Simms (eds.), The Primacy of Foreign Policy in British History 1660–2000 (London, 2010), 119–20. ²³ John Tucker, God’s Goodness, Amidst His Afflictive Providences, a Just Ground of Thankfulness and Praise (Boston, 1757), 17. See similarly Nathaniel Potter, A Discourse on Jeremiah 8th, 20th (Boston, 1758), 23. ²⁴ John Adams to John Wentworth, Worcester, 9/1756, in Robert Taylor et al. (eds.), Papers of John Adams, 14 vols. so far (Cambridge, MA, 1977–), I, 18. For colonial reaction to the trial and execution of Admiral John Byng, see Henry Laurens to John Knight, Charleston, 10/8/1756, Henry Laurens to Thomas Mears, Charleston, 13/8/1756, in P. M. Hamer et al. (eds.), The Papers of Henry Laurens, 15 vols. (Columbia, 1968–2002), II, 278, 282; William Willis (ed.), Journals of the Reverend Thomas Smith and the Reverend Samuel Deane (Portland, 1849), 6/9/1756, 168; Peter Wraxall to William Johnson, New York, 6/8/1756, in James Sullivan et al. (eds.), in The Papers of Sir William Johnson, 14 vols. (Albany, 1921–62), II, 532; Letter to BG, 8/11/1756; NYM, 23/5/1757; BEP, 1/11/1756, 15/11/1756 (reprinting Westminster Journal, 4/9/1756), 31/1/1757 (reprinting London Magazine, 10/1756), 21/3/ 1757; VG, 22/4/1757; BEP, 16/5/1757; NYG, 28/3/1757; Robert Hale’s Chronicle, 3 vols., French and Indian War Collection, American Antiquarian Society, I, 37; NYG, 23/5/1757; NYM, 30/5/1757. ²⁵ On Christian Humanism, see Gregory, ‘Homo Religiosus’, 91–7. ²⁶ William Livingston to Noah Welles, 8/8/1757, quoted in Milton Klein, The American Whig (New York, 1993), 383. Similarly, on luxury, see letter to NYM, 11/2/1752; ‘Virginia Sentinel X’ (original edition in the VG lost; reprinted in NYM, 25/10/1756). ²⁷ NYM, 27/12/1756. ²⁸ Frederick Prince, God Destroyeth the Hope of Man (Boston, 1751), 30.

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metropolitan political betrayal, but their own iniquity for causing this divine punishment upon the British nation.²⁹ The spiritual reformation for which many British-Americans called was truly national in scope. When Aaron Burr declared in 1755 that ‘infidelity has of late years been spreading fast in the Kingdom, and is evidently growing on the present generation’, this rebuke extended from the British Court itself to his own audience in New Jersey. God was threatening to abandon his new Israel, just as he had abandoned the Jews, and the culpability was thoroughly transatlantic: he questioned, ‘does not destruction threaten the British nation and her American colonies from the same quarter?’³⁰ Paraphrasing the popular periodical Britain’s Remembrancer, Burr was particularly keen to criticize those whose faddish navalism had supplanted a proper reliance on ‘the God of Battles’.³¹ In 1759, Samuel Davies was still calling out in his Virginian wilderness for ‘a thorough national reformation’, which would accomplish ‘what millions of money and thousands of men, with guns and swords and all the dreadful artillery of death, could not do: it will procure us peace again, a lasting, well-established peace’.³² These were not late examples of Jeremiad preaching; during the mid-century, national reformation was the fulcrum of a wide compass of spiritual warfare, more vital to the common cause than cannon, which colonists used to dissolve the distance between themselves and the European theatre. Privateering was the most significant material contribution made by British America to Britain’s mid-century conflicts. Newport and New York outfitted over a hundred privateers during the course of the Austrian war; Philadelphia, Charleston, and Boston launched dozens more. Almost 40,000 colonists served aboard these ships between 1739 and 1748: more men than served in the British armies at Dettingen or Minden or the naval squadrons at Cape Finisterre or Quiberon Bay, and far more than any land campaign in America.³³ BritishAmericans were well aware of the industry’s magnitude. The colonies projected a naval force, one much reprinted article claimed, that was ‘equal . . .to that of the Crown of Great Britain in the time of Queen Elizabeth—an era remembered as a golden age of English navigation.³⁴ Popular enthusiasm was pronounced. Onefifth of the populace of New York watched the launching of the Greyhound in

²⁹ BEP, 14/8/1749; NYJ, 21/8/1749; NYG, 21/8/1749. Original Gothic type. ³⁰ Aaron Burr, A Discourse Delivered at Newark (New York, 1755), 24–5, 27–8. Similarly, Carol Karlsen and Laurie Crumpacker (eds.), The Journal of Ether Edwards Burr, 1754–1757 (New Haven, 1984), 19/7/1755, 136; Jonathan Edwards to Joseph Paice, Stockbridge, 24/2/1752, in Claghorn (ed.), Edwards Letters, 441; Henry Laurens to Thomas Horne & Co., Charleston, 29/12/1756, in Hamer (ed.) Laurens Papers, II, 387. ³¹ Burr, Discourse Delivered at Newark, 36. ³² Samuel Davies, The Curse of Cowardice (Woodbridge, 1759), 18. See further Pilcher, Samuel Davies, 167. ³³ Carl Swanson, Predators and Prizes (Columbia, 1991), 118. ³⁴ PG, 30/8/1744; NYPB, 3/9/1744.

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1744.³⁵ In Newport, the travelling Maryland physician Alexander Hamilton marvelled that privateering was ‘the whole subject of discourse’.³⁶ Although profitable wartime cruises against enemy shipping served the financial interests of colonial merchants, public discourse imposed a firm sanction on the conduct of privateers. This was an essential part of mid-century warfare, which was encouraged as such by governments mindful that not even the largest navies of the era could dominate the seas unaided. Hence, as the historian Carl Swanson contends, in the realm of colonial privateering during the Austrian war ‘private vice . . .was public virtue’.³⁷ Yet this marriage was based on a strict prenuptial agreement. Swanson argues that British-American privateers undertook unprofitable acts like attacking enemy warships (carrying little plunder) from a sense of ‘patriotic fervour’, but the prevailing currents of colonial culture left them with little choice in the matter.³⁸ Failure to perform such national duties could mean the ruin of reputation and finances. When a rumour reached Boston that Captain Waterhouse of the Hawk had declined to pursue a smaller French privateer on the grounds that it would make a meagre prize, Governor Shirley admonished its owners. Threatening to withdraw their letter of marque if such behaviour was repeated, he declared that privateering must be ‘conducted with a public spirit and a due regard to the general protection and interest of His Majesty’s subjects’.³⁹ The reprimand was printed as a reminder to others. However, Waterhouse was also subjected to an altogether more damning popular censure, branded thereafter with ‘a reputation for cowardice’.⁴⁰ Such repulsive behaviour prompted Benjamin Franklin to write a short rhyme, comparing it to the exemplary naval virtue displayed at the Battle of La Hogue during the Nine Years War: as far as he was concerned, private men-of-war were to conduct themselves like the real thing in parlous times.⁴¹ The Pennsylvanian Militia Association, which was formed in 1747 by businessmen and artisans under Franklin’s leadership to compensate for the pacifist, Quaker-dominated assembly’s refusal to finance a force of its own, was similarly inspired by an ethos that transcended the defence of one colony. The structure of the Association was heavily influenced by the loyal associations formed in Britain to resist the Jacobite invasion in 1745. One of its leading supporters, Reverend William Smith, later acknowledged as much, making particular reference to the ³⁵ Swanson, Predators and Prizes, 14. ³⁶ Carl Bridenbaugh (ed.), Gentleman’s Progress (Chapel Hill, 1948) , 31/8/1744, 172. On the fame of Rhode Island’s privateering industry, see ibid., 16/7/1744, 20/8/1744, 102, 151; NYPB, 18/6/1744. On privateering in the south, see Robert Pringle to John Richards, Charleston, 26/9/1739, in Walter Edgar (ed.), The Letterbook of Robert Pringle, 2 vols. (Columbia, 1972), I, 134–5. ³⁷ Swanson, Predators and Prizes, 27, 132, 143–8. ³⁸ Ibid., 219. ³⁹ BG, 7/8/1744. ⁴⁰ Bridenbaugh (ed.), Itinerarium, 10/8/1744, 136. Illicit traders received similar treatment: John Stoddard to Roger Wolcott, Northampton, 22/5/1748, in Albert Bates (ed.), The Law Papers, 3 vols. (Hartford, 1911–14), III, 237–8; NYG, 26/9/1748 (reprinting the IA, 8/1748). ⁴¹ Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard Improved (Philadelphia, 1747), [xiv]. Cf. the favourable treatment of Captain Robert Troup in NYG, 26/9/1748.

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force Bishop Thomas Herring had gathered to defend York.⁴² The iconography of the organization—which claimed the allegiance of 10,000 men, a battery on the Delaware River, and a number of cannon (which Franklin had charmed from Governor Clinton of New York with a case of madeira) by the end of the Austrian war—strengthened this similarity with flags woven in the image of the Duke of Cumberland, the hero of the hour after his defeat of the Franco-Jacobite threat at Culloden in 1746.⁴³ The oral and literary culture of the movement brought it still closer to the European war. It was in defence of the Association that Gilbert Tennent wrote his two Eurocentric defences of the lawfulness of the conflict; indeed, the first was preached at the Association’s inaugural meeting.⁴⁴ Franklin himself wrote in Plain Truth, the movement’s catechism, of the importance of their endeavours to the war as a whole, which ‘rages over a great part of the known world’.⁴⁵ Colonial campaigns against New France were infused with similarly bellicose discourses of British nationalism. As the future signatory of the Declaration of Independence, Robert Treat Paine, observed in a sermon to the New England militia during the Crown Point campaign of 1755, ‘the true English spirit seems to be revived’ and ‘rouses up the hardy sons of America to unsheathe the sword of justice’.⁴⁶ The experience of fighting colonial campaigns itself seems to have inculcated nationalist sentiments. The Calvinist preacher Nathanael Walter, for example, may have marched off to Louisbourg encouraging his men to defend their ‘New-English Israel’, but he returned praising ‘every British heart’ and ‘English bravery’.⁴⁷

⁴² William Smith, ‘Preface’ to Thomas Barton, Unanimity and Public Spirit (Philadelphia, 1755), xv. On this phenomenon in Britain, see Jonathan Oates, The Jacobite Campaigns (London, 2011), 145–59. These dynamics, particularly the relationship between nationalism and voluntarism—central to the Association’s raison d’être—are overlooked in recent literature: see Alan Houston, Benjamin Franklin and the Politics of Improvement (New Haven, 2008), 60–91; Jessica Roney, Governed by a Spirit of Oppression (Baltimore, 2014), 134–5; Marc Egnal, A Mighty Empire (Ithaca, 1988), 75–6. These voluntary movements received detailed coverage in the colonial press, including Franklin’s newspaper: see BG, 7/1/1746; BEP, 13/1/1746. ⁴³ IA, 25/4/1748. On the strength of the Association, see David Shields, Civil Tongues and Polite Letters in British America (Chapel Hill, 1997), 192–3. There were many attempts to copy Franklin’s scheme: see PG, 19/11/1747; PJ, 26/11/1747; BEP, 7/12/1747, 14/12/1747, 11/1/1748, 18/1/1748; BNL, 10/12/1747; NYG, 14/12/1747 (emphasizing sedition as particularly relevant to New York); NYJ, 21/12/ 1747; Edmund Randolph, History of Virginia, ed. Arthur Shaffer (Charlottesville, 1970), 165–6; ‘Some Thoughts on the Virginia Sentinel III’, in NYG, 28/6/1756 (reprinted in BEP, 9/8/1756); Pilcher, Samuel Davies, 164; John Abraham Lidenius, The Lawfulness of Defensive War (Philadelphia, 1756), 14. ⁴⁴ Milton Coalter, Gilbert Tennent, Son of Thunder (New York, 1986), 131. On the relationship between Franklin’s organization and Tennent’s discourses on the war, see Houston, Politics of Improvement, 71. ⁴⁵ Benjamin Franklin, Plain Truth (Philadelphia, 1747), 4. ⁴⁶ Paine, ‘Time for War’. See, similarly, ‘Copy of a Letter from a Sailor on Board One of the Ships in Admiral Boscawen’s Fleet in Louisbourg harbour, to his Friend in Boston’, in New American Magazine, 9/1758. ⁴⁷ Nathanael Walter, The Character of a True Patriot (Boston, 1745), 17; Nathanael Walter, The Character of a Christian Hero (Boston, 1746), 20. See further Stephen Conway, War, State, and Society in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Britain and Ireland (Oxford, 2006), 240–1. Cf. R. H. Harding, ‘The Growth

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Invocations of the Duke of Marlborough and his soldiers as paradigms of virtuous martial masculinity were central to the nationalist way of colonial warmaking. The narrator of a ballad on the capture of Louisbourg in 1745, for example, justified his authority to speak of military matters by associating himself with the War of the Spanish Succession: In Anna’s reign a soldier I have been, But years forbid that I should go again, My hands are feeble yet my heart is true, With prayers and wishes it will go with you.⁴⁸

Samuel Davies made a more eye-catching use of the same rhetorical device in 1755, when he urged his Virginian parishioners to arise with ‘such a temper as Addison ascribes with so much justice to the famous Marlborough and Eugene’. No colonist, he ventured, exhibited such virtue more than ‘that heroic youth Colonel Washington, whom I cannot but hope providence has hitherto preserved in so signal a manner, for some important service to his country’.⁴⁹ The transformation of mid-eighteenth-century colonial heroes into figures of national myth reflected a transition in colonial society. From the earliest days of European settlement, privateering and frontier-ranging had been staple employments for members of a so-called ‘crew culture’—high-risk occupations for the male sojourners of the Atlantic world, with scant affinity to any dynastic, national, or confessional causes.⁵⁰ Perhaps New England was an early exception, portraying backcountry rangers like the elder Benjamin Church and James Lovewell as godly soldiers, building a temple in the wilderness like Nehemiah’s builders, sword in hand, and comparable to heroes of the Reformation like Gustavus Adolphus.⁵¹ The military cults of the mid-eighteenth century marked a divergence from both traditions. Rangers and colonial militias were now likened to the protagonists of European conflicts. In the aftermath of the Seven Years War, the ranger Robert Rogers would briefly become the epitome of a patriotic warrior on both sides of of Anglo-American Alienation: The Case of the American Regiment, 1740-1742’, in The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol. 17, no. 2 (1989), 161–84. ⁴⁸ English Soldier Encouraged, broadside. See similarly Bridenbaugh (ed.), Itinerarium, 69; ‘Epitaph on the Late Lord Howe’, Kent, Maryland, 14/8/1758, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 9/ 1758. ⁴⁹ Samuel Davies, Religion and Patriotism the Constituents of a Good Soldier (Philadelphia, 1755), 7, 9. Similarly, Benjamin Young Prime, ‘The Unfortunate Hero’, in Prime, The Patriot Muse (London, 1764), 30. Prince Eugene of Savoy had commanded the Habsburg armies in the War of the Spanish Succession. ⁵⁰ ‘Crew culture’ is perhaps the least understood aspect of the European expansion overseas. See James Belich, Making Peoples: A History of the New Zealanders from Polynesian Settlement to the End of the Nineteenth Century (London and Auckland, 1996), 428–36. ⁵¹ See Thomas Church, Entertaining Passages Relating to King Philip’s War (Boston, 1716); Thomas Symmes, Lovewell Lamented (Boston, 1725).

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the Atlantic. The most successful privateers became national celebrities: the exploits of Simeon Potter and Thomas Gruchy were meticulously plotted in the press throughout the colonies, while the Jesuit Father Fauque observed a commensurately monarchist and nationalist sentiment aboard Potter’s ship.⁵² Even captives on the Canadian frontier, following the example set by John Williams in the Jesuit mission at Quebec in 1704, depicted themselves as vicarious protagonists of European campaigns. Pastor John Norton, the foremost ‘redeemed captive’ of the Austrian War, delighted in taunting his captors, including a French officer, an Irish Jacobite, and the Governor of Quebec with ‘pieces of news, but none very good for the French’, mainly drawn from across the Atlantic.⁵³

‘The Glorious Cause’ The great and important business of the Ohio we have always considered in a national light not as Virginians, but as Britons, and what difficulties will not a Briton surmount, what dangers will he not encounter, when he is engaged in the glorious cause of his King and country? The Council of Virginia, 1755⁵⁴ The sanctioning power of colonial British nationalism was brought to bear with equal ferocity upon the formal channels of provincial politics, especially by those who demanded more vigorous colonial support for the European war. In much of America, the principal expression of this spirit was a form of competitive nationalist fervour, initially driven by the idea of emulating or surpassing the example set by the ‘gallant thunderbolts’ of New England during the Austrian war, when—as William Livingston recalled—their pivotal conquest of Louisbourg had been ‘justly celebrated through all Europe’.⁵⁵ Indeed, as early as 1746 one Virginian had declared that the episode should inspire other colonies to aggressive action.⁵⁶

⁵² For example, their mutual taking of the Valiant, in BEP, 13/5/1745; Bridenbaugh (ed.), Itinerarium, 7/7/1744, 85; Munro, Old Sea Port, 66. See similarly Governor Charles Hardy to the Lords of Trade, New York, 4/3/1757, enclosing Richard Haddon to Messrs. Nathaniel Marston, Jaspar Parmer & Co. of New York, Peggy off Cape Corientes, 29/12/1756, in O’Callaghan (ed.), Colonial History of New York, VII, 219–20. ⁵³ John Norton, The Redeemed Captive (Boston, 1748), 21–2, 25. Further examples from the mideighteenth century include Munro, Old Sea Port, 66; letter from Louisbourg, 2/10/1759 in NYM, 22/10/ 1759; ‘The Royal Comet’, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 8/1758, 550–2. ⁵⁴ Virginia Council, 5/5/1755, in H. R. McIlwaine and John Kennedy (eds.), Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 13 vols. (Richmond, 1905–15), III, 1133. ⁵⁵ William Livingston to Noah Welles, 9/12/1745, in the Johnson Family Papers, Sterling Library, Yale University, Ms.31. ⁵⁶ ‘A Virginian’ to VG, 26/6/1746 (reprinted in BEP, 11/8/1746, and the BG, 12/8/1748). See similarly Philip Livingston to Roger Wolcott, Manor Livingston, 25/3/1746, in Bates (ed.), Law

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The like-minded Archibald Kennedy similarly warned New Yorkers that, unless they roused themselves, they would have to bear the ‘disgrace to [them] and their children forever’ of seeing ‘the prize and glory carried off by a parcel of New England men’ once again in the coming war.⁵⁷ Less contentiously, but in the same spirit, James Sterling used a sermon of 1755 to urge the Maryland assembly to follow the example of that ‘handful of undisciplined farmers, fresh from the plough’, who, by taking the ‘impregnable Cape Breton . . .as an equivalent for all Flanders, purchased a peace for Europe’.⁵⁸ In addition to these calls, many British-Americans urged their countrymen to overcome the divisions between the colonies, which seemed especially galling next to the unity and coherence of New France.⁵⁹ Such recriminations had already begun during the Austrian war. Reverend John Evans of South Carolina had warned in 1745 that ‘our murmurings and divisions are our shame’, and ‘if a house or family divided against itself cannot prosper and flourish nor stand long, much less a kingdom’ with ‘so many enemies watching for an opportunity to plunder and build upon our ruins’.⁶⁰ Two years later, Joseph Chew of Maryland wrote a public letter to a Virginian friend urging the southern colonies to assist the conquest of Canada.⁶¹ In Pennsylvania, the German Indian agent Conrad Weiser underlined the importance of ‘a very able counsel and unity among the English colonies in North America’.⁶² By the outbreak of the next conflict, reproaches had become still more common. In 1754, the freeholders of western New Jersey publicly attacked their assembly for refusing to ‘render unto Caesar’ and aid Virginia in the defence of George II’s lands on the Ohio.⁶³ The lack of reconciliation continued to infuriate colonists. Esther Burr, wife of Aaron, declared in 1755 that ‘nothing discourages me so much about our public affairs as the growing divisions between the provinces . . .They seem’, she continued, ‘to have a jealous eye over one another for fear one should share more than their part in the honour (when indeed I see no honour to share in).’⁶⁴ Outside New England, little progress was made in rousing British America during the 1740s, but prospects improved dramatically during the 1750s. One Papers, II, 193; William Smith, The History of the Province of New York, ed. Michael Kammen, 2 vols. (Cambridge, MA, 1972), II, 97. ⁵⁷ Archibald Kennedy, Serious Advice to the Inhabitants of the Northern-Colonies (New York, 1755), 50. ⁵⁸ James Sterling, A Sermon Preached Before His Excellency the Governor of Maryland (Annapolis, 1755), 42. Likewise, Theodorus Frielinghuysen, Wars and Rumours of Wars (New York, 1755), 44. ⁵⁹ See Houston, Politics of Improvement, 161. ⁶⁰ John Evans, National Ingratitude Lamented (Charleston, 1745), 23; Prince, Salvations, 24–5. ⁶¹ Joseph Chew to PJ, 19/11/1747; NYG, 30/11/1747; BG, 1/12/1747; BEP, 7/12/1747. ⁶² Conrad Weiser to Thomas Lee, Heidelberg, Lancaster County, 4/10/1750, in the Conrad Weiser Papers, Collection 0700, in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ⁶³ BG, 20/8/1754. Similarly, Philip Livingston to Roger Wolcott, New York, 12/2/1746, William Shirley and Peter Warren to Jonathan Law, Boston, 4/7/1746, in Bates (ed.), Law Papers, II, 185, 253. ⁶⁴ Karlsen and Crumpacker (eds.), Journal of Esther Burr, Newark, 29/11/1755, 171.

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major result was the attempt of the delegates at the Albany Congress of June 1754 to form a colonial union capable of more effective war-making.⁶⁵ This was certainly a conference rife with duplicity and land speculation, but its political side was not merely a subterfuge. Timothy Shannon is right to describe the negotiations as less an exercise in American state-building than in ‘British empire-building’; however, transatlantic geopolitics, rather than reforging the bonds between colonies and metropolis along firmer and more equitable lines, was the central issue.⁶⁶ By general consensus, power projection was the primary purpose of colonial union—an unsurprising fact, considering the predominance of leading colonial British nationalists like Franklin and Livingston amongst its foremost advocates. If it could be accomplished, the Virginian clergyman James Maury argued quite typically, ‘the whole strength’ of British America ‘might be easily and successfully exerted against any of the enemies of Great Britain in this quarter of the world’.⁶⁷ This outlook was intimately informed by a view of European geopolitics and the overriding fear of French universal monarchy. The year 1754 was, after all, pivotal in the development of the colonial discourse of grand strategy, during which Jonathan Mayhew proclaimed that the struggle for mastery of the continent was an event ‘whereon the liberties of Europe depend’.⁶⁸ Delegates reflected this mood. Invoking Demosthenes once again as an enemy of universal monarchy, William Livingston remembered the meeting at Albany as a scene of ‘patriot spirit’, which ‘might very properly be compared to one of the ancient Greek conventions for supporting their expiring liberty against the power of the Persian Empire, or that Louis of Greece, Philip of Macedon’.⁶⁹ This was a partisan recollection, but it was ⁶⁵ On the history of the concept, and various partial attempts, see Harry Ward, ‘Unite or Die’ (Port Washington, 1971), 138. ⁶⁶ Timothy Shannon, Indians and Colonists at the Crossroads of Empire (Ithaca, 2000), 10, 198; Fred Anderson, Crucible of War (London, 2000), 79–84. ⁶⁷ James Maury to John Fontaine, Fredericksville Parish, Louisa County, 9/8/1755, in Maury (ed.), Memoirs of a Huguenot Family, 382. Similarly, ‘Summary View’, in NYM, 23/9/1754; William Livingston et al., A Review of the Military Operations in North America (London, 1757; repr. Boston, 1758), 97; Smith, History of New York, II, 224; William Shirley to Robert Hunter Morris, Boston, 21/10/ 1754, in Charles Lincoln (ed.), Correspondence of William Shirley, 2 vols. (New York, 1912), II, 96; Archibald Kennedy, The Importance of Gaining and Preserving the Friendship of the Indians to the British Interest (New York, 1751), 18; Archibald Kennedy, Serious Considerations on the Present State of the Affairs of the Northern Colonies (New York, 1754), 6, 14–15; Archibald Kennedy, Serious Advice, 4–7; Roger Wolcott to James DeLancey, Windsor, 27/11/1753, in Albert Bates (ed.), The Wolcott Papers (Hartford, 1916), 402; A Virginian to BEP, 21/12/1754; Jonathan Mayhew, A Sermon Preached in the Audience of His Excellency William Shirley (Boston, 1754), 35; Colonel James Innes to the Governor of Pennsylvania, Winchester, 12/7/1754, in BPB, 5/8/1754; Ellis Huske, The Present State of North America (London and Boston 1755), passim; William Clarke, Observations on the Late and Present Conduct of the French (Boston, 1755), 33–4; William Vinal, A Sermon on the Accursed Thing That Hinders Success and Victory in War (Newport, 1755), 21; Cadwallader Colden to ?, 8/1/1756, in Alexander Wall et al. (eds.), The Letters and Papers of Cadwallader Colden, 9 vols. (New York, 1918–37), V, 65; Robert Eastburn, A Faithful Narrative of the Many Dangers and Sufferings (Philadelphia, 1758), 34. ⁶⁸ Mayhew, Sermon Preached in the Audience of His Excellency, 46–7. ⁶⁹ Livingston, Review of the Military Operations, 15.

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neither isolated nor wholly unwarranted. The congress’s public declaration, probably written by Thomas Hutchinson of Massachusetts, similarly emphasized ‘how great a stride [France] would make towards a universal monarchy if the British colonies were added to their dominions, and consequently the whole trade of North America engrossed by them’.⁷⁰ Theodorus Frielinghuysen, who preached to the delegates, similarly contended that ‘all Europe shall feel the consequence’ of French victory in North America, ‘and condole with us that the balance is broke, and our friendly allies swallowed up by the Grand Monarchy. The Dutch, the Germans, the Danes, and the rest, are all inevitably to share our unhappy fate.’⁷¹ John Adams, whose views on colonial union during the mid-1750s have been described as an early example of support for an American empire independent of Great Britain, was actually much closer to the outlook of the colonial British nationalists who dominated proceedings at Albany.⁷² In a letter of October 1755 to his friend Nathan Webb, Adams used Franklin’s population estimates to predict that, within a century, colonial maritime resources would achieve ‘mastery of the seas’ and grant America such power that ‘the united force of all Europe will not be able to subdue us’. Like Franklin, he believed these events ‘may transfer the great seat of empire into America’. Yet none of these remarks were at odds with the presumption—ubiquitous in colonial discourse and endorsed by Franklin— that this future would unfold within the British Empire. Adams confused the situation, however, by adding that a policy of ‘divide et impera’ was being used to frustrate this hopeful prospect. Kept ‘in distinct colonies’, he warned, ‘some great men in each colony, desiring the monarchy of the whole, will destroy each other’s influence and keep the country in equilibrium’.⁷³ Fifty years later, the retired President Adams claimed that he had been referring to a British plot to maintain America in its disunited and dependent condition.⁷⁴ This explanation, however, is questionable. A more plausible explanation, in keeping with the cultural currents of mideighteenth-century British America, suggests that the elderly Adams was being disingenuous. The young New Englander’s conspiracy theory seems to have been

⁷⁰ Hutchinson et al., ‘Representation of the Present State of the Colonies’, 9/7/1754, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, V, 372. On Hutchinson’s lead authorship of this memorial and the likely assistance of other delegates, see ibid., V, 367n. ⁷¹ Frielinghuysen, Wars and Rumours of Wars, 34–5; Clarke, Observations, 45. ⁷² For example: Egnal, Mighty Empire, 50; Richard van Alstyne, Empire and Independence (New York, 1965), 1. ⁷³ John Adams to Nathan Webb, Worcester, 12/10/1755, in Taylor (ed.), Adams Papers, I, 5. Adams’s political views before 1775 have received remarkably little scrutiny in comparison to some other leading patriots. See Colin Nicholson, ‘The Revolutionary Politics of John Adams, 1760-1775’, in David Waldstreicher (ed.), A Companion to John Adams and John Quincy Adams (Malden, MA, 2013), 60–77; John Ferling, John Adams: A Life (Knoxville, TN, 1992), 36–144. ⁷⁴ Shannon, Crossroads of Empire, 3, 8. See also John Adams to Mercy Warren, Quincy, 20/7/1807, in ‘Correspondence between John Adams and Mercy Warren’, in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Fifth Series, Volume 4 (Boston, 1878), 338.

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guided by Francophobia, not opposition to British rule. Adams prefaced his remarks on the transfer of empire with the condition, ‘if we can remove the turbulent Gallics’. In October 1755, shortly after Monongahela and in the midst of a major invasion scare, the eviction of the French from America was very much in doubt—‘if’ was truly the word.⁷⁵ Once we recognize that the war with France was the great matter at hand, defeating those who sought to keep the colonies disunited reads like another step towards the conquest of Canada, not the sloughing-off of metropolitan rule. Importantly, this letter was written shortly after the publication of Mayhew’s acclaimed election sermon of 1754, in which the Boston clergyman (whom Adams would later praise) warned that ‘for extending the French dominions in America, [France] hath ever adopted this maxim . . .divide et impera’.⁷⁶ The central role of James DeLancey—Lieutenant-Governor of New York and a hate figure in New England since the Crown Point campaign—in the defeat of the Albany union plan seems especially significant at this juncture. For DeLancey (the ultimate provincial demagogue and certainly one of Adams’s ‘great men’) had long been accused of subverting New York’s war effort to sustain a lucrative illicit trade with the French at Montreal.⁷⁷ Adams’s remarks on the failure of colonial union in the 1750s did not anticipate the American rebellion; instead, they reflected his belief in the reality of widespread French subversion undermining the British Empire.⁷⁸ As we shall see, he was not alone. The union project failed on the floors of the provincial assemblies, frustrated primarily by intercolonial rivalries, but the effect of colonial British nationalism and geopolitical discourses upon conventional politics in North America was sufficiently profound to compensate. Throughout the colonies, it became an increasingly vibrant idiom of debate. By 1755, as national fervour spread through the colony, the Virginia Council was asserting that ‘the great and important business of the Ohio’—a key part of the American theatre—‘we have always considered in a national light not as Virginians, but as Britons’.⁷⁹ Similarly, North Carolina assemblymen explained their support for more vigorous war measures on the grounds that ‘the unjust seizing of His Majesty’s Germanic

⁷⁵ John Adams to Nathan Webb, Worcester, 12/10/1755, in Taylor (ed.), Adams Papers, I, 5. ⁷⁶ Mayhew, Sermon Preached in the Audience of His Excellency, 37. Mayhew was hardly unique in holding this belief. ⁷⁷ On allegations against the DeLancey family pertaining to illicit trade with Canada, see Patricia Bonomi, A Factious People (New York, 1971), 151–7; Mary Lou Lustig, Privilege and Prerogative (London, 1995), 63–4. On DeLancey’s political career, see Stanley Nider Katz, ‘Between Scylla and Charybdis: James Delancey and Anglo-American Politics in Early Eighteenth-Century New York’, in Alison Olson and Richard Brown (eds.), Anglo-American Relations, 1675–1775 (New Brunswick, 1970), 92–108. ⁷⁸ NB: even the elderly Adams admitted to having been swept up in the British ‘miracles’ of 1759–62: see John Adams to Mercy Warren, Quincy, 20/7/1807, in ‘Correspondence between Adams and Warren’, 340. ⁷⁹ Virginia Council, 5/5/1755, in H. R. McIlwaine and John Pendleton Kennedy (eds.), Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 13 vols. (Richmond, 1905–15), III, 1133.

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Dominions by the French’ (the Duc de Richelieu’s invasion of Hanover in 1757) demonstrated that ‘their scheme of attaining universal monarchy will be prosecuted whenever they have it in their power’.⁸⁰ These protestations of zeal for the common cause, heard within and outside the council chamber, correlated with a substantial increase in military expenditure and a flurry of warlike legislation, which mobilized most of British North America to a degree which had hitherto been idiosyncratic of New England.⁸¹ The power of these policies and exhortations was magnified by the fact that they ran in tune with a long-standing current of public criticism outside the assemblies. This popular spirit was succinctly encapsulated by one address printed in the New American Magazine in January 1758: ‘you are removed, O my countrymen’, its author asserted, ‘from that glorious foundation upon which you were placed by your ancestors’, for ‘to hold the balance of power, to have armies ever ready to succour the oppressed . . .was their chief emulation and pride’.⁸² This was an allusion to the feats of ancestors on the other side of the Atlantic. The legislative and electoral consequences accompanying this shift in rhetoric were transformative. By the end of the decade, wartime political pressures had shattered old oligarchies and caused major realignments in many colonial legislatures. This was not really the outcome of a conflict between pro- and anti-war parties.⁸³ As Alan Tully has written, the DeLancey–Jones coalition in New York, which was

⁸⁰ North Carolina Assembly to Arthur Dobbs, 23/11/1757, in William Saunders (ed.), Colonial Records of North Carolina, 10 vols. (Raleigh, 1886–90), V, 871. ⁸¹ Details of these war measures can be found in Tully, Forming American Politics, 143, 152; Smith, History of New York, II, 63, 67–71, 87–88, 100; James Titus, The Old Dominion at War (Columbia, 1991), 143–7; H. R. McIlwaine and John Pendleton Kennedy (eds.), Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, VIII, 409–10, 485, 491–2; Hale’s Chronicle, American Antiquarian Society, I, 40, 43; Terry Lipscomb (ed.), The Colonial Records of South Carolina (Columbia, 1989), 88–9, 128–9, 355–6, 488–92; Roger Ekirch, Poor Carolina (Chapel Hill, 1981), 113, 115–16; Gordon Wood, The Americanisation of Benjamin Franklin (New York, 2004), 60–1; Anderson, Crucible of War, 159–62; William Hanna, Benjamin Franklin and Pennsylvania Politics (Stanford, 1964), 99; Frederick Tolles, James Logan and the Culture of Provincial America (Boston, 1957), 158. New England had already mobilized extensively: see Worthington Chauncey Ford et al. (eds.), Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, 51 vols. (Boston, 1919–84), XX, 276–327; William Pencak, War, Politics, and Revolution in Provincial Massachusetts (Boston, 1981), 119; Robert Zemsky, Merchants, Farmers, and River Gods (Boston, 1971), 130–3. ⁸² ‘Address to the Several British Colonies’, in New American Magazine, 1/1758. Similarly: Smith, The Christian Soldier’s Duty (Philadelphia, 1757), 29; Mayhew, Two Discourses Delivered October 25th, 1759 (Boston, 1759), 46; Thomas Barnard, A Sermon Preached to the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company (Boston, 1758), 25; Davies, Curse of Cowardice, i; Amos Adams, The Expediency and Utility of War (Boston, 1759), 14; Amos Adams, Songs of Victory (Boston, 1759), 17–20; Samuel Woodward, A Sermon Preached October 9th 1760 (Boston, 1760), 15; Mathias Harris, A Sermon Preached in the Church of St. Peters (Philadelphia, 1757), 25; Benjamin Stevens, A Sermon Preached at Boston (Boston, 1761), 61; James Otis, Jr, A Vindication of the Conduct of the House of Representatives (Boston, 1762), 8–10. ⁸³ Contrast Egnal, Mighty Empire, esp. 6–15. See the powerful response by Rhys Isaac, Landon Carter’s Uneasy Kingdom (Oxford, 2004), 150–1. Egnal’s argument has long been made of New York: see Stanley Katz, Newcastle’s New York (Cambridge, 1968), 172; Lustig, Privilege and Prerogative, 63–4.

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dethroned in 1758 by an electoral backlash against its perceived martial lethargy, actually ‘pursued the war effectively within their understanding of the realities of New York politics and financial resources’.⁸⁴ Such realism, however, was made to look outmoded (and even seditious) by the bellicose fury of the Livingston faction. Shortly after their electoral victory, William himself took the opportunity of writing the assembly’s address on the annus mirabilis victories of 1759. The result was a panegyric to the union of colonial British nationalism with Whig continentalism, focusing on the global ramifications of a war waged ‘to chastise the ambition of France’. Such military successes, Livingston declared, deserved ‘to inspire every benevolent breast with suitable anticipations of the general happiness of mankind’—frontier defence was a rather antiquated issue next to the advance of the common cause of European liberty.⁸⁵ A similar transformation unfolded in Virginia, as the new nationalist rhetoric gradually extended itself over the province’s politics to create a mood of ‘intense British patriotism’ (in the words of Jack Greene) among the provincial elite.⁸⁶ This fervour overcame political deadlock and overthrew the cautious policy of John Robinson, the long-serving Speaker of the House of Burgesses, prompting a series of reforms and supply bills.⁸⁷ In a dramatic volte-face from the previous decade, when New Englanders had chastised the indolence of Virginia,⁸⁸ by 1757 the Massachusetts politician Robert Hale was cheerfully noting the Old Dominion’s financial contributions to the war in his chronicle.⁸⁹ The change in appetite was illustrated by a confrontation over military spending between Robinson and Landon Carter, a young planter. The Speaker’s policy of pursuing limited defensive measures while awaiting aid from England was out of touch with the times. Now, Carter declared, was the occasion ‘to give up all in the cause rather than be the subjects of a foreign prince’.⁹⁰ Legislative upheaval was nowhere more pronounced than in Pennsylvania, where resentment had been building against the rule of pacifist Quakers in wartime for some years. Franklin’s Association was the most dramatic example

⁸⁴ Tully, Forming American Politics, 143. ⁸⁵ Livingston, Address of the Assembly to James DeLancey, 10/12/1759, in Journal of the Votes and Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Colony of New York, 2 vols. (New York, 1764–6), II, 607. ⁸⁶ Jack Greene, ‘Society, Ideology, and Politics: An Analysis of the Political Culture of MidEighteenth-Century Virginia’, in Richard Jellison (ed.), Society, Freedom, and Commerce (New York, 1976), 42. On the Virginia elite, see Albert Tillson, Gentry and Common Folk (Lexington, KY, 1991), 45. ⁸⁷ On militia reform, see Titus, Old Dominion at War, 143–7; see further McIlwaine and Kennedy (eds.), Virginia Burgesses Journals, VIII, 409–10, 485, 491–2. ⁸⁸ See, for example, ‘Verses on the Virginia Capitol Fire’, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, III, 139. Original italics and capitals. Acclaimed in Jonas Green to Benjamin Franklin, Annapolis, 25/7/1747, in ibid., III, 154. Similarly, ‘Tom Type’ to NYPB, 8/9/1746 (reprinted in BPB, 22/9/1746). ⁸⁹ Hale’s Chronicle, American Antiquarian Society, I, 40, 43. ⁹⁰ Jack Greene (ed.), The Diary of Landon Carter of Sabine Hall, 1752–1778, 2 vols. (Charlottesville, 1965), 112. Cf. Isaac, Landon Carter’s Uneasy Kingdom, 151–2.

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of criticism from out of doors, but there were others. Efforts were made to bar Quakers from public office, while—more innocuously—the Schuylkill Fishing Company mocked pacifism by purchasing its own ‘navy’ of skiffs.⁹¹ The pressures of the 1750s, however, entirely overturned the landscape of Pennsylvanian politics. In March 1755, the assembly voted £10,000 to support the soldiers in Massachusetts; the following autumn, it was finally moved to create a militia of its own; next, the tax-exempt status of the proprietary Penn family’s lands came under attack as another obstacle to the mobilization of the colony’s resources.⁹² The proposal to transform Pennsylvania into a royal colony, which became the pet project of Franklin and his allies, thus grew out of the military necessities of the Seven Years War. Under irresistible pressure, the pacifists finally abandoned the assembly, which fell under the control of Franklin and his pro-war Quaker ally, Isaac Norris.⁹³ An ambitious programme of war measures immediately followed.⁹⁴ The distinctively bellicose and geopolitically expansive ideology of colonial British nationalism was the motif that united the successors of dismissed oligarchies. As Thomas Pownall, who had recently intrigued his way into the governorship of Massachusetts, declared in his inaugural speech to the General Court in 1757, ‘the war is no longer about a boundary’, but ‘whether the French shall wrest from British hands the power of trade’ and ‘drive us out of this continent’—a question which ‘must determine the future and perhaps the final fates of the British or French government’. French victory, Pownall reminded the representatives, would end in a gargantuan catastrophe for the British Empire: ‘if our colonies and trade are ruined, where is our naval power? If our fleets become inferior, where is our dominion? And if our naval dominion is lost,’ he continued, ‘Great Britain is no more a free government, and the British colonies no more a people.’⁹⁵

⁹¹ See Lewis Morris to William Shirley, Kingsbury, 20/2/1745, Lewis Morris to George Clinton, Kingsbury, 3/2/1746, Lewis Morris to Peter Warren, Kingsbury, 3/2/1746, in Eugene Sheridan (ed.), The Papers of Lewis Morris, 3 vols. (Newark, 1993), III, 362, 440–3; Shields, Civil Tongues and Polite Letters, 193; Samuel Finley, The Curse of Meroz (Philadelphia, 1757), passim. See relatedly ‘Ode to the Inhabitants of Pennsylvania’, in PG, 30/9/1756, and PJ, 30/9/1756. Contrast the primacy of politics with the ‘emotional’ conception of Pennsylvania’s engagement with the war in Nicole Eustace, Passion is the Gale (Chapel Hill, 2008), 202–7. ⁹² Wood, Americanisation of Benjamin Franklin, 60–1; Hanna, Franklin and Pennsylvania Politics, 88. ⁹³ ‘To the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, the Petition of Your Majesty’s Dutiful and Loyal Subjects’, in Charles Stille, ‘The Attitude of the Quakers in the Provincial Wars’, in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 10, no. 3 (Oct. 1886), 296–7; Tolles, James Logan, 158; ‘Letter from a Tradesman in Philadelphia to his Friend in the Country’, in PJ, 27/5/1756 (reprinted in BEP, 14/6/ 1756); ‘To the Freemen of the County of Philadelphia’, in PJ, 30/9/1756 (reprinted in BEP, 18/10/1756). ⁹⁴ Anderson, Crucible of War, 162; Hanna, Franklin and Pennsylvania Politics, 99; Tully, Forming American Politics, 152 ⁹⁵ Thomas Pownall to the General Court of Massachusetts, 16/8/1757, in Ford (ed.), Massachusetts House Journals, XXXIV, 82. This speech anticipated the theory of empire, commerce, and geopolitics that Pownall would expound in a successful post-war tract on imperial administration: see Thomas Pownall, The Administration of the British Colonies, 2 vols. (5th edn, London, 1774), esp. I, 10–11.

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The timing of these upheavals is illuminating: by 1756, a tide of colonial British nationalism was sweeping the colonies towards offensive mobilization. According to Fred Anderson, a ubiquitous political deadlock was only broken when William Pitt promised, in a letter of December 1757 which reached the colonies in March the following year, that the British Treasury would underwrite much of the cost of the war. Within a month, he writes, ‘the continental colonies resolved to put more than 23,000 provincials under arms’.⁹⁶ Yet as we have seen, the real deadlock was already being broken down by cultural forces from within British America, which had roused the colonies to throw their weight into the balance of power. Pitt’s memorandum was important, solving practical financial questions and evading the thorny questions of intercolonial cooperation which had scuppered previous efforts. However, it also came at the culmination of a series of developments native to colonial politics. British-Americans did not need partial parliamentary subsidies to realize the necessity of vigorous warfare against the French—this much was already widely recognized in the public sphere and assembly chambers. In most cases, it is unknowable whether colonists, especially in their public political utterances, spoke the language of colonial British nationalism and support for the common cause for reasons of political calculation or from actual ideological conviction. Yet, if anything, the possibility that many were engaged in an exercise of public self-fashioning highlights its importance to mid-eighteenthcentury colonial politics. It is unlikely that these protestations of commitment to the British cause were primarily a façade created to solicit metropolitan favour. As we have seen, the cultural presence of the discourses in question ran much deeper than this would have required. Devotion to the common cause was a characteristic of pastoral advice as much as transatlantic politicking. As we have also seen, this process of armament had already begun apace in the mid-1750s, occurring in correlation with a commensurate cultural change. Moreover, active colonial concern for the European theatre continued long after the North American theatre had been wound down.⁹⁷ If the discourses of colonial British nationalism were sometimes employed as part of a political charade, it seems more likely that the colonial public itself was the intended audience. After all, these critiques of political action emerged principally from the pulpit and the press—two organs with a minimal part in intraimperial negotiations, but extraordinary power in the provincial setting. Events like the legislative demise of the DeLanceys and the ascent of the Livingstons was not the work of metropolitan administrators but colonial voters. Furthermore, this public was often happy to forego the imperial niceties of celebrating transatlantic harmony, in order to apply the same cultural sanction to politicians on the other side of the Atlantic. ⁹⁶ Anderson, Crucible of War, 227. ⁹⁷ On troop recruitment in America after 1760, see Anderson, Crucible of War, 518–19.

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‘The Victors Mourn’ Our allies blush, our neighbours scorn, The vanquished triumph, and the victors mourn. Benjamin Prime, New York poet, 1763⁹⁸

British-American conceptions of geopolitics, and the political and cultural discourses with which they became entwined, exercised a formative influence of lasting importance over colonial attitudes towards metropolitan British politics, and particularly party distinctions. In exile after the Revolution, Thomas Hutchinson—one of the pre-eminent colonial statesmen of the century and the last civil governor of provincial Massachusetts—recalled that ‘the terms Whig and Tory had never been much used in America’ before the onset of the imperial crisis after 1763, when ‘the officers of the Crown’ began to be ‘branded with the name of Tories’ as a ‘term of reproach’. Yet Hutchinson also hinted that the party which had later driven him from both public office and the land of his birth was not unaware of the pedigree of this abusive nomenclature: ‘the common people,’ he continued, ‘as far as they had been acquainted with the parties in England, all supposed the Whigs to have been in the right, and the Tories in the wrong.’⁹⁹ ‘Whig’ and ‘Tory’ were therefore terms of political and moral judgement more than descriptions of actual party divisions, but their use was nevertheless rooted in political history. Colonists undoubtedly drew upon a number of historical narratives in forming this typology, including folk memories of the Civil War and seventeenth-century strife, which numerous historians have explored.¹⁰⁰ By contrast, the impact of party conflict over Britain’s eighteenth-century European wars has been largely neglected. Yet recollections of the conduct of British foreign relations in the recent past had a major effect upon this lexicon. This aspect of the British-American view of metropolitan politics placed ministers in London

⁹⁸ Prime, ‘On the Peace of Fontainebleu’, in Prime, Patriot Muse, 88. ⁹⁹ Thomas Hutchinson, The History of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, ed. John Hutchinson (London, 1828), 103. ¹⁰⁰ See Brendan McConville, The King’s Three Faces (Chapel Hill, 2006), 92–104, 266–74; Eric Nelson, The Royalist Revolution (Cambridge, MA, 2014), 29–65; Pauline Maier, American Scripture (New York, 1997), 50–56, 71–2; Alan Rogers, Empire and Liberty (Berkeley, 1974), 4–7; Alfred Young, ‘English Plebeian Culture and Eighteenth-Century American Radicalism’, in Margaret Jacob and James Jacob (eds.), The Origins of Anglo-American Radicalism (London, 1984), 187–212; Greene, ‘Political Mimesis: A Consideration of the Historical and Cultural Roots of Legislative Behaviour in the British Colonies in the Eighteenth Century’, in Greene, Negotiated Authorities (Charlottesville, 1994), 185–214; J. G. A. Pocock (ed.), Three British Revolutions (Princeton, 1980), passim; Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (enlarged edn: Cambridge, MA, 1992), 28–54; Craig Yirush, Settlers, Liberty, and Empire (Cambridge, 2011), 6. Cf. Marie Peters, ‘ “Names and Cant”: Party Labels in English Political Propaganda, c.1755-1765’, in Parliamentary History, vol. 3 (1984), 103–27.

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under the scrutiny of some deeply entrenched colonial preconceptions—and suspicions—about their leaders across the Atlantic. By 1763, colonists had come to associate a pantheon of ‘Whig’ ministers— surmounted by William Pitt—with Britain’s crusade for European liberty against universal monarchy. Conversely, public discourse also discerned a long-standing ‘Tory’ faction, tarnished with a career of Jacobite sympathies and weakness (or worse) in dealing with the French. Pitt’s colonial admirers proved especially keen on casting his political enemies, and above all the Earl of Bute, in this light. The British-American reaction to the terms of the Treaty of Paris, which was considerably more contentious than has been recognized by scholars eager to portray the peace of 1763 as a moment of pacific euphoria, not only exemplified many of these propensities but also helped to establish the transatlantic lines of political division which shaped the imperial crisis. William Pitt, who was hailed throughout British America as the architect of victory in the Seven Years War, acquired the only personality cult which rivalled George II and Frederick of Prussia in cultural prominence throughout the thirteen colonies. Like the two monarchs, he appeared on banners and toast lists in public celebrations, while almanacs carried his biographies and portraits. In December 1758, the New York Mercury even advertised ‘a beautiful print in miniature of that truly great patriot Mr Secretary Pitt, adapted for watches’, for the bargain sum of sixpence.¹⁰¹ As one poet enthused in a broadside celebrating the reduction of Quebec, Long live that Pitt of freedom, Who rules the helm of state!¹⁰²

Likewise, a soldier of General Forbes’s expedition to the Ohio in 1758 wrote that success was certain ‘if Mr. Pitt be preserved, whose great soul animates all our measures, infuses new courage into our soldiers and sailors, and inspires our generals and admirals with the most commendable conduct’.¹⁰³ It was no coincidence that the captured Fort Duquesne was renamed Pittsburgh.¹⁰⁴

¹⁰¹ NYM, 11/12/1758. ¹⁰² ‘Canada Forever: a New Thanksgiving Song’, in George II Reigns, Pitt is Secretary of State (New Hampshire, 1760), broadside. See similarly John Maylem, The Conquest of Louisbourg (Boston, 1758), i; Thomas Young, A Poem Sacred to the Memory of James Wolfe (New Haven, 1761), 6; Benjamin Church, ‘XI’, in Pietas et Gratulatio Collegii Cantabrigiensis Apud Novanglos (Boston, 1761), 35; Samuel Chandler, A Sermon Preached at Gloucester (Boston, 1759), 21; Thomas Foxcroft, Grateful Reflections on the Signal Appearances of Divine Providence (Boston, 1760), 31; Samuel Davies, A Sermon Delivered at Nassau Hall (New York, 1761), 14; Prime, ‘An Ode on the Surrender of Louisbourg’, in Prime, Patriot Muse, 34. ¹⁰³ ‘Letter from General Forbes’ Army’, in PG, 14/12/1758, reprinted in S. K. Stevens et al. (eds.), The Papers of Henry Bouquet, 5 vols. (Harrisburg, 1951–84), II, 614. ¹⁰⁴ See John Mellen, A Sermon Preached at the West Parish in Lancaster (Boston, 1760), 22.

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This acclaim stemmed not only from popular ecstasy but more particularly from the specific policy of ‘winning America in Germany’ which Pitt adopted during his premiership of 1757–61.¹⁰⁵ Of course, this was a dramatic volte-face from the populist anti-Hanoverian stance he had adopted in the early 1740s, widely celebrated in Britain but utterly ignored in the colonies.¹⁰⁶ His new global strategy struck a chord with the sense of transatlantic symbiosis which had come to characterize colonial geopolitical discourse by the mid-1750s. Pitt seemed to have overturned the disastrous policies which colonists had blamed for a succession of transatlantic reverses, from the loss of Minorca and Oswego to the humiliating acquiescence in Hanoverian neutrality at the Convention of Kloster-Zeven during 1756 and 1757.¹⁰⁷ Against this backdrop, Gilbert Tennent declared, Pitt had roused ‘the sleeping genius of the nation from a state of inglorious ease, sordid pusillanimity, and sorry congresses [Kloster-Zeven], to war and arms’.¹⁰⁸ Likewise, in March 1759, Livingston observed ‘what a surprising alteration in affairs is one honest minister capable of producing’; thinking it ‘a pity that the old cabal’ (the previous ministry) ‘had not been hanged seven years ago’.¹⁰⁹ Similarly, Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg wrote with barely concealed glee in October 1760 of how the ‘noble party in England’ had been ‘swallowed up by the Pit [sic]’.¹¹⁰ As if to further underline the transatlantic character of Pitt’s grand strategy, various newspapers regaled their readers with the speeches of the ‘great patriot’ in favour of continued support for Prussia.¹¹¹ Tellingly, colonial writers associated Pitt with a line of British leaders who had earned fame from the international struggle. Tennent asserted that Pitt was a second Marlborough, and therefore ought to be considered

¹⁰⁵ Cf. Carol Knight, ‘A Certain Great Commoner: The Political Image of William Pitt, First Earl of Chatham, in the Colonial Press’, in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 123 (1979), 131–42; Isaac, Landon Carter’s Uneasy Kingdom, 153–61. ¹⁰⁶ On Pitt’s opposition to the Hanoverian connection during the 1740s, see Robert Harris, A Patriot Press (Oxford, 1993), 4, 122. ¹⁰⁷ See John Stanwix to George Washington, Camp near Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 19/9/1757, George William Fairfax to George Washington, New York, 17/10/1757, in W. W. Abbot et al. (eds.), The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series, 10 vols. (Charlottesville, 1983–95), IV, 416, V, 18; Charles Carroll, Sr., to Charles Carroll, Jr, Annapolis, 9/2/1759, in Ronald Hoffman et al. (eds.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley: The Peregrinations of a Revolutionary Aristocrat . . ., 3 vols. (Williamsburg, 2001), I, 93; ‘Watchman V’ in PJ, 11/5/1758 (reprinted in NYM, 22/5/1758); American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 11/1757; Andrew Eliot, A Sermon Preached October 25th 1759 (Boston, 1759), 41. Likewise, Eliphalet Williams, God’s Wonderful Goodness (New London, 1760), 15, 17; Mellen, Sermon Preached at the West Parish, 37; Henry Laurens to Peter Furnell, Charleston, 2/10/1756, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, II, 328. ¹⁰⁸ Gilbert Tennent, A Sermon on I Chronicles XXIX (Philadelphia, 1761), 16. ¹⁰⁹ William Livingston to Noah Welles, 21/3/1759, in the Johnson Family Papers, Yale University. ¹¹⁰ Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg to G.A. Francke and F.M. Ziegenhagen, Providence, 9/10/1760, 1/2/1758, in Kurt Aland (ed.), Die Korrespondenz Heinrich Melchior Mühlenbergs, 5 vols. (Berlin, 1986–2002), II, 425, 335: my translation. Original text: ‘und vom Pit verschlungen wurde’. ¹¹¹ For example, BEP, 13/12/1762, 27/12/1762; NYM, 21/12/1762.

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‘the darling and pride of the nation, the wonder of Europe, and the scourge of France’.¹¹² To the Connecticut pastor Eliphalet Williams, meanwhile, he was the greatest English minister since the Elizabethan statesmen Walsingham and Burleigh had contended with Spanish power in Europe during the late sixteenth century.¹¹³ By 1760, Pitt was considered so central to the successful conduct of the war that many colonists were deeply fearful of his dismissal. Tennent had even used his funeral oration on George II’s death to depict him as a kind of surrogate king, declaring it an ‘encouraging circumstance that our deceased sovereign left so able, faithful, and resolute a minister at the helm of the nation’.¹¹⁴ Everything, it was feared, might be undone by his fall. As Jonathan Mayhew had warned as early as 1758, if God chose to punish his ungrateful people, ‘there may possibly be a sudden change in the administration, as much for the worse as a late one was for the better’.¹¹⁵ The news that Pitt had indeed been forced out of power, which reached the colonies in late 1761, left much of British America stricken. Mayhew reported to his English confidant Thomas Hollis that it ‘occasioned much discourse even here; and a very general sorrow’.¹¹⁶ Many colonists simply refused to believe that it could be permanent, and rumours that he was about to be restored continued to spread.¹¹⁷ This climate of fear and sorrow drew its strength from a broader colonial view of metropolitan politics, which instilled an arresting fear of those who might replace Pitt at the head of the British government. Pastors like Samuel Davies continuously warned that ‘all the honours and acquisitions of a well conducted and successful war may be ingloriously lost by the intrigues of negotiation’, for ‘the best of kings . . . may have evil counsellors’.¹¹⁸ Indeed, this threatening prospect had been a prominent political theme of colonial sermons since the premature death of Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1751 had raised the prospect of a regency after George II’s death. This fear was not confined to Dissenters. As Henry Barclay, the Anglican Rector of Trinity Church, New York, cautioned in his sermon on the Prince’s funeral, ‘history furnishes us with too many examples of

¹¹² Tennent, Sermon on I Chronicles XXIX, 17. ¹¹³ Williams, God’s Wonderful Goodness, 24. ¹¹⁴ Tennent, Sermon on I Chronicles XXIX, 16. ¹¹⁵ Jonathan Mayhew, Two Discourses Delivered November 23rd, 1758 (Boston, 1758), 24. ¹¹⁶ Jonathan Mayhew to Thomas Hollis, Boston, 6/4/1762, in Bernhard Knollenberg (ed.), ‘Thomas Hollis and Jonathan Mayhew: Their Correspondence, 1759-1766’, in Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 3rd series, vol. 69 (Boston, 1947), 128. ¹¹⁷ See William Corry to William Johnson, Albany, 16/12/1761, Richard Shuckburgh to William Johnson, New York, 8/2/1762, Charles Williams to William Johnson, New York, 18/4/1763, Henry van Schaak to William Johnson, Albany, 30/10/1763, James Rivington to William Johnson, New York, 7/ 12/1763, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, III, 592, 628; IV, 94, 222, 263; Robert Hanson (ed.), The Diary of Dr Nathaniel Ames, 2 vols. (Camden, 1998), 20/2/1762, I, 83. ¹¹⁸ Davies, Sermon Delivered at Nassau Hall, 18.

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the confusions and calamities that have attended minor reigns’, when ‘we have subtle and vigilant adversaries both at home and abroad’.¹¹⁹ Dread of corrupt counsel was a commonplace of early modern political theory, but the spectre of the Tory party as a long-standing subversive force attached a more alarming meaning to this threat. Belief in this conspiracy was not merely a facet of eighteenth-century ideology or psychology, but prescribed by memories and historical narratives.¹²⁰ The threat was so nebulous that its various strands are difficult to isolate, but geopolitical history was certainly a central influence. Recollections of the conclusion of the War of the Spanish Succession proved to be especially influential. Indeed, the Massachusetts pastor Andrew Eliot would remark in 1759 that this event had been ‘the fatal cause of most of the evils we have suffered’.¹²¹ This claim about British history carried considerable political charge. Long into the mid-century, colonial polemicists like Thomas Prince perpetuated a belief that, by accepting a soft peace at Utrecht in 1714, the Tory ministry of 1710–14 had ‘broke the Grand Alliance, vastly increased the power of the House of Bourbon, yielded it the Spanish monarchy, [and] paved the way for the Pretender’.¹²² Likewise, Aaron Burr reflected in 1755 on how Queen Anne had been duped into turning out the ‘wise, faithful, and truly patriot ministry’ of Sidney Godolphin and the Duke of Marlborough. In their place, he continued, had risen ‘a set of mercenary and treacherous men, who miserably betrayed her, and sacrificed to gain, the honour and interest of their country, shamefully abandoned their allies, and patched up a separate peace with France, on terms the most scandalous and disadvantageous’.¹²³ Importantly, this schema bore little relation to meaningful party divisions: Godolphin and Marlborough could both be classed as moderate Tories, while the ministries of Walpole and Pelham, whose foreign

¹¹⁹ Barclay, ‘On the Death of His Royal Highness Prince Frederick, Trinity Sunday 1751’, in Barclay Sermons, Trinity Church Archives, vol. 22. See similarly Jonathan Mayhew, A Sermon . . .Occasioned by the Much-Lamented Death of His Royal Highness Frederick (Boston, 1751), 16–17; Prince, God Destroyeth, 19–20. On the dangers of factionalism, see Browne, Folly and Perjury, 3; Abbot, Duty of God’s People, 13–14; ‘A Song on Occasion of the Present War’, in New American Magazine, 5/1758; ‘On Liberty’, in ibid., 12/1758. ¹²⁰ Cf. Wood, ‘Conspiracy and the Paranoid Style: Causality and Deceit in the Eighteenth Century’, in Wood, The Idea of America (New York, 2011), 81–123; Bailyn, ‘A Note on Conspiracy’ in Bailyn, Ideological Origins, 144–59. ¹²¹ Eliot, Sermon Preached October 25th 1759. ¹²² Thomas Prince, A Sermon Delivered at the South Church (Boston, 1746), 21. ¹²³ Burr, Discourse Delivered at Newark, 10–11. Similarly, Evans, National Ingratitude, 23; Prince, Salvations, 13, 18; Foxcroft, Grateful Reflections, 22; William Douglass, A Summary, Historical and Political, of the First Planting, Progressive Improvements, and Present State of the British Settlements in North America, 2 vols. (Boston, 1753), II, 9, 11; NYG, 25/7/1748; ‘The Antigalican, No. VII’, in American Magazine and Monthly Chronicle, 7/1758; Otis, Vindication, 9; William Byrd II to Sir Charles Wager, Virginia, 17/2/1741, in Marion Tinling (ed.), The Correspondence of the Three William Byrds of Westover, 1684–1776, 2 vols. (Charlottesville, 1977), II, 581–2.

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policies colonists had occasionally tarred with the Tory brush, were unquestionably Whigs.¹²⁴ Colonists were also particularly keen to conflate ‘Toryism’ with the greatest enduring spectre of Hanoverian public discourse, Jacobitism. As Hutchinson explained, perhaps with some indignation, those who ‘might have been called Tories in England’ received ‘the name of Jacobites in America’.¹²⁵ This faction remained an object of grave fear during the mid-eighteenth century, and BritishAmericans were well aware of its position within a wider geopolitical context of French subversion. During the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, for example, Prince had forecast that the foreign and colonial policies of those who intended to restore the House of Stuart would end with everything ‘in subjection to the French Empire’.¹²⁶ Jonathan Mayhew’s Discourse on Unlimited Submission (1750), commonly mischaracterized as an early assault on the ‘militaristic Anglocentric turn in British policy’, should also be read in this context, considering its lengthy attacks on Tory Jacobites in the same breath as illicit traders and other common scapegoats for the setbacks of the recently concluded Austrian war.¹²⁷ The debate over the Treaty of Paris breathed fresh life into these political suspicions, which came to focus firmly on the man responsible for Pitt’s downfall. It was the Earl of Bute’s fortune to be the favourite of the new king, George III; it was his misfortune to be Scottish, Tory, and named John Stuart. This pedigree left him extremely vulnerable to accusations of Jacobitism, which began to flood in from most quarters of the British Empire. By the end of 1762, colonists had even heard of ‘great murmurings in England against the Scots minister Lord Bute’. ¹²⁴ On foreign policy and the fall of Walpole in British-American rhetoric, see, for example, BEP, 12/ 6/1742 (reprinting Gentleman’s Magazine, 3/1742), a telling example of editorial selection. On the Pelham ministry, see Livingston quoted in Lustig, Privilege and Prerogative, 98. Similarly Peter Collinson to Cadwallader Colden, London, 6/4/1757, Alexander Colden to Cadwallader Colden, London, 20/5/1757 in Wall (ed.), Colden Papers, V, 140, 144; John Custis to Peyton Randolph, 6/10/ 1742, in Josephine Little Zuppan (ed.), The Letterbook of John Custis IV of Williamsburg, 1717–1742 (Lanham, MD, 2005), 233. Cf. Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 289. ¹²⁵ Hutchinson, History of Massachusetts, 103. ¹²⁶ Prince, Sermon Delivered at the South Church, 16, 18. Similarly: Gordon, Sermon on the Defeat of the Rebels, 2, 7; Jonathan Law to Roger Wolcott, Milford, 1/1746, in Bates (ed.), Law Papers, II, 171; Jonathan Edwards to John MacLaurin, Northampton, 12/5/1746, in Claghorn (ed.), Edwards Letters, 204; Cradock, Two Sermons, 9; Abbot, Duty of God’s People, 17–18; Chauncy, Counsel of Two Confederate Kings, 24, 28. The tremendous impact of the Jacobite Rebellion on British-American political culture is largely overlooked. Jonathan Hawkins, ‘Imperial ‘45: The Jacobite Rebellion in Transatlantic Context’, in The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol. 24, no. 1 (Jan. 1996), 24–47, is a noteworthy exception. Cf. Geoffrey Plank, Rebellion and Savagery (Philadelphia, 2005), passim; Edmund Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom (New York, 1975), 371–3. ¹²⁷ Jonathan Mayhew, Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers (Boston, 1750), 9n, 40–2. See further Jonathan Mayhew to George Benson, Boston, 17/10/1750, in Mayhew Papers, Bortmann Collection, Boston University. Cf. Chris Beneke, ‘The Critical Turn: Jonathan Mayhew, the British Empire, and the Idea of Resistance in Mid-EighteenthCentury Boston’, in the Massachusetts Historical Review, vol. 10 (2008), 27–39. On the revitalization of the Jacobite threat between 1745 and 1759, see Paul Kléber Monod, Jacobitism and the English People, 1688–1788 (Cambridge, 1789), 345; Claude Nordmann, ‘Choiseul and the Last Jacobite Attempt of 1759’, in Eveline Cruikshanks (ed.), Ideology and Conspiracy (Edinburgh, 1982), 201–17.

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Richard Shuckburgh of New York reported: ‘tis thought the people will not submit to be under his direction of government’.¹²⁸ The prospect that Bute and his acolytes would repeat the Tory betrayal of the common cause at Utrecht by signing a weak peace with France was central to the mistrust of the new ministry in British America. The retention of Canada, which was widely seen as one of the key foundations of Britain’s benevolent international hegemony in years to come, appeared to fall into particular jeopardy by the change of the ministry.¹²⁹ There is little question which faction Benjamin Franklin, one of the leaders of the campaign in London to retain Canada under any future treaty, had in mind when he offered ‘a melancholy reflection’ that ‘there should be among us such selfish wretches, and such enemies to their country, who had rather see it sink a while hence and its bitterest enemies triumph’.¹³⁰ In America, Jonathan Mayhew struck a similar note: as disparaging the cause of Frederick the Great was tantamount to atheism, advocating the return of Canada to the French ‘might be looked upon as a kind of treason’.¹³¹ Canada was not, of course, the only issue. For the Boston lawyer Samuel Quincy, the news that ‘Mr. Pitt is not like to be restored and the present ministry are for making a separate peace with France on any terms, exclusive of the King of Prussia’ marked the nadir of a run of bad news in late 1762.¹³² William Livingston, unsurprisingly, joined this chorus, demanding harsh peace terms that would prevent any power from ‘interfering with the balance of power in Europe’, adding ominously than he had ‘never met with so scurvy a treaty in all history’ as the meek terms offered to the capitulating Québécois.¹³³ The lineages and connotations of this rhetoric were obvious. Although colonists were generally content with the European and American settlements in 1763, this joy was seldom unmitigated.¹³⁴ Despite the retention of ¹²⁸ Richard Shuckburgh to William Johnson, New York, 6/12/1762, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, III, 960. See Frank O’Gorman, ‘The Myth of Lord Bute’s Secret Influence’, in K. W. Schweizer (ed.), Lord Bute: Essays in Reinterpretation (Leicester, 1988), 57, 74. Anti-Scottish sentiment was rife in the thirteen colonies. An illuminating example is to be found in James Maury to John Fontaine, Fredericksville Parish, Louisa County, 9/8/1755, in Maury (ed.), Memoirs of a Huguenot Family, 382. ¹²⁹ On Pitt’s attitudes towards retaining Canada, see George William Fairfax to George Washington, Winchester, 25/7/1758, in Abbot (ed.), Washington Papers, V, 329; letter to BEP, 17/11/1760; Philip Lawson, The Imperial Challenge (Montreal, 1989), 21. ¹³⁰ Franklin, ‘A Description of Those, Who, at Any Rate, Would Have a Peace with France’, in the London Chronicle, 24/11/1759, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, VIII, 447. ¹³¹ Jonathan Mayhew, Two Discourses Delivered October 9th, 1760 (Boston, 1760), 47. ¹³² Samuel Quincy to Robert Treat Paine, Boston, 1/1/1762, in Stephen Riley and Edward Hanson (eds.), The Papers of Robert Treat Paine, 3 vols. so far (Boston, 1992–), II, 212. ¹³³ William Livingston to Noah Welles, 21/31759, 13/1/1761, in the Johnson Family Papers, Yale University. ¹³⁴ For positive reactions to the peace, see George Washington to Beverley Robinson, Mount Vernon, 8/5/1763, in Abbot (ed.), Washington Papers, VII, 218; James Horrocks, Upon the Peace (Williamsburg, 1763), 5; William Johnson to Henry Gladwin, Johnson Hall, 8/4/1763, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, IV, 81; Samuel Haven, Joy and Salvation by Christ (Portsmouth, 1763), 34–5; Considerations upon the Act of Parliament (Boston, 1764), 5.

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Canada, suspicions of Tory-Jacobite sedition inspired a significant chorus of dissatisfaction, which followed the lead of William Pitt and other figures now confined to the British opposition in condemning the Treaty of Paris for its leniency.¹³⁵ This mood was spread widely enough throughout British America to draw the attention, and sometimes ire, of observers from Charleston to Boston. Agitated by the strength of such sentiment in Virginia during a business trip to the colony, Benjamin Franklin (who was content with the treaty) complained that the disaffected would have remained unsatisfied ‘even if instead of Canada and Louisiana they had obtained a cession of the Kingdom of Heaven’.¹³⁶ The detractors believed that the territories and privileges returned to France and Spain under the Treaty of Paris—particularly the right of access to the Newfoundland fishery and the return of Guadeloupe and Cuba—had laid a foundation, much like Utrecht, for the resurgence of Bourbon strength. As the New England physician Benjamin Church declared, ‘what we seemed to have is taken away from us, and given to the enemies of Britain’. These included, he continued, ‘all the conquests and victories gained in the West Indies, which were of immense value, together . . . with the free cod fishery’—a nursery of seamen which would permit the recovery of the French navy.¹³⁷ American concerns were not the only issues at stake; indeed, Henry Laurens admitted that the opponents of the Treaty of Paris in South Carolina approved of the peace ‘so far as [it] relates to [British America’s] security and interest’.¹³⁸ Accordingly, the New York poet Benjamin Prime struck a familiarly despondent note in his lament On the Peace of Fontainebleu: Britannia, MISTRESS OF THE WORLD NO MORE! By foes deluded, by false friends betrayed, And rifled of the spoils her conquests made; Cursed with a treaty, whose unequal terms Check in mid-progress her victorious arms.

¹³⁵ On opposition to the peace terms in Britain, see Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 495–6, 503–4; Jeremy Black, Parliament and Foreign Policy in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge, 2004), 100. ¹³⁶ Benjamin Franklin to William Strahan, Virginia, 9/5/1763, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, X, 261. See further Witham Marsh to William Johnson, New York, 30/1/1763, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, IV, 34; John Watts to Moses Franks, New York, 10/2/1763, in Dorothy Barck (ed.), Letter Book of John Watts (New York, 1928), 124; Henry Laurens to John Knight, Charleston, 14/2/1763, Henry Laurens to Isaac King, Charleston, 15/2/1763, Henry Laurens to John Ettwein, Charleston, 10/11/1763, Henry Laurens to Lachlan McIntosh, Charleston, 29/12/1763, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, III, 253–4, 258, IV, 40, 115; ‘A Few Thoughts on the Method of Improving and Securing the Advantages Which Accrue to Great Britain from the Northern Colonies’, in NYM, 27/8/1764; Robert Whytt to Colden, Edinburgh, 16/5/1763, in Wall (ed.), Colden Papers, VI, 219. ¹³⁷ Benjamin Church, Liberty and Property Vindicated (Hartford, 1765), 8. On French naval rebuilding, see Jonathan Dull, ‘Great Power Confrontation or Clash of Cultures? France’s War Against Britain and its Antecedents’, in Warren Hofstra (ed.), Cultures in Conflict (Lanham, 2007), 72; VG, 4/11/1763. ¹³⁸ Henry Laurens to Isaac King, Charleston, 15/2/1763, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, III, 258.

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Faced with the infidelity of the British ministry, the return of conquests in the Caribbean, the abandonment of her continental allies, and the certainty of a renewal of the French threat, he continued with an indictment of Britain’s diplomatic humiliation: ‘The vanquished triumph, and the victors mourn.’¹³⁹ Prime’s appraisal was intentionally partisan, carrying a judgement about British political parties which other colonists made even more explicitly. The devotion of the Pennsylvanian botanist John Bartram to William Pitt in his assessment of the Treaty of Paris was so intense that it became an object of ridicule for his correspondent across the Atlantic, Peter Collinson. The Englishman goaded Bartram with sarcastic talk of ‘glorious Pitt’, who ‘so presides in my dear John’s mind [that] he is insensible to complaints, except on the sorry peace that hath given so great an empire to Britain’.¹⁴⁰ Meanwhile, Jonathan Mayhew—one of the most verbose opponents of the treaty in the colonies—wrote that its terms made him ‘almost tremble for the consequences’. Turning his fire on Bute and his cabal of Francophile Tories, the Reverend prayed that God would ‘unite the hearts of all wise and good men . . .who love liberty and Great Britain, and hate French ambition and Scotch politics’.¹⁴¹ This line of criticism did not dissipate. In 1774, John Adams’s Novanglus letters were still attacking the peacemakers for destroying ‘that system of policy, the most glorious for the nation that ever was formed’, along with the manner in which ‘its chief conductor’—Pitt—had been ‘discarded before it was completed’.¹⁴² Other detractors cautioned that the scale of Britain’s achievement was not as great as it seemed. In 1762, Henry Laurens had feared the ramifications of Britain’s hunger for a war with Spain: ‘our repeated success has certainly tainted us with haughtiness’, he wrote. If she became intoxicated by her power ‘to make free with the interests of our neighbours as if we had a right to dictate law to them all’, he warned, it would inspire ‘envy and jealousy or fear of the growing power of Britain’.¹⁴³ He hoped a moderate peace would not alienate Britain’s allies and leave ¹³⁹ Prime, ‘On the Peace of Fontainebleu’, in Prime, Patriot Muse, 87–8. Original capitals. See similarly L. H. Butterfield (ed.), The Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, 4 vols. (Cambridge, MA, 1961), I, 186–7; ‘Some Hints to People in Power on the Melancholy Situation of our Colonies in North America’, in NYM, 30/1/1764 (reprinted from Gentleman’s Magazine, 10/1763); BEP, 31/12/1764, 7/1/ 1765; BG, 7/1/1765; ‘Some Memoirs of the Family of Cavendish’, in NYM, 11/2/1765 (reprinted from London Magazine, 10/1764). ¹⁴⁰ Peter Collinson to John Bartram, London, 23/8/1763, in Edmund Berkeley and Dorothy Berkeley (eds.), The Correspondence of John Bartram, 1734–1777 (Gainesville, 1992), 607. Collinson’s italics. See similarly Peter Collinson to John Bartram, London, 7/4/1763, in ibid., 588. ¹⁴¹ Jonathan Mayhew to Thomas Hollis, Boston, 21/11/1763, in Knollenberg (ed.), ‘Hollis-Mayhew Correspondence’, 140–1. ¹⁴² Adams, ‘Novanglus No. 2’, in C. Bradley Thompson (ed.), The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams (Indianapolis, 2000), 158. ¹⁴³ Henry Laurens to John Ettwein, Charleston, 7/4/1762, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, III, 94. Similarly: John Watts to Gedney Clarke, New York, 2/12/1763, in Barck (ed.), Watts Letter Book, 205; Butterfield (ed.), Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, 1/2/1763, I, 233. This did not stop Laurens celebrating the ‘glorious’ conquest of Havana: see Henry Laurens to Gedney Clarke, Charleston, 12/10/ 1762, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, III, 133. The Spanish war met with overwhelming approval in

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it overexposed.¹⁴⁴ Some were less sanguine. In his sermon upon the peace Henry Caner, one of the leading Anglican clergyman in the colonies, exhibited a similar concern when he observed that ‘no treaties can be so far relied on, as to dispense with a constant state of preparation, or to neglect securing the most suitable and natural alliances’.¹⁴⁵ As usual, John Adams was more aggressive. When the General Court of Massachusetts hailed Great Britain as ‘the leading and most respectable power in the whole World’ after the conquest of Montreal, he responded that ‘England falls short in more and more important particulars, than it exceeds the Kingdom of France’. Its navy alone provided the advantage; its army was inconsequential; and—critically—as for diplomacy, ‘Holland, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, and all Italy has refused to follow us, and Austria, Russia, Sweden, and indeed almost all the states of Germany, the Prince of Hesse excepted, have followed France. The only power’, he asserted, ‘that has consented to follow us is Prussia, and indeed upon recollection it seems to me we followed Prussia.’ To Adams, it seemed ‘we are the leading power without followers’.¹⁴⁶ Despite the scale of Britain’s victories between 1758 and 1762, many colonists were acutely aware that the British Empire and the international system remained far from secure. Even the optimistic Franklin saw the Treaty of Paris in terms of Britain’s position to fight the next round of conflict from a position of strength.¹⁴⁷ As we shall see, the ambiguous conclusion and uncertain legacy of the Seven Years War would shape the years of crisis that tore the Empire apart after 1763.

America: see Jonathan Mayhew to Thomas Hollis, Boston, 6/4/1762, in Knollenberg (ed.), ‘HollisMayhew Correspondence’, 128; Hanson (ed.), Ames Diary, 20/2/1763, I, 74; letter, Barbados, 28/1/ 1762, to NYM, 8/3/1762. ¹⁴⁴ Henry Laurens to Thomas Mears, Charleston, 15/2/1763, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, III, 255. ¹⁴⁵ Henry Caner, The Great Blessings of Stable Times (Boston, 1763), 7. ¹⁴⁶ Butterfield (ed.), Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, 2/1/1761, 186–7. ¹⁴⁷ Benjamin Franklin to Richard Jackson, Philadelphia, 8/3/1763, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, X, 208. Similarly, Benjamin Franklin to William Strahan, Philadelphia, 28/3/1763, in ibid., X, 236.

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PART II

A BR I T I S H E M P I R E , 1 7 6 3– 1776

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8 ‘Magna Britannia’ European Crisis, British Isolation, and Colonial Longing

Henry Laurens, Charleston merchant, was decidedly displeased with his visit to Westminster by November 1773. A full decade had passed since his joyous reaction to the Treaty of Paris. During the intervening years, the expectations of power and prosperity with which many colonists greeted the peace had come to nought. In the capital, Laurens found cliques of moribund legislators sitting ‘as tame as an ox’ on the benches of the House of Commons while the Empire lunged ever closer to its ruin. Leisure and politicking appeared to be their only concern, he thundered in a letter to the Georgia politician James Habersham, ‘not how to expunge the national debt, to stop the torrent of bribery and corruption, to dissolve the Family Compact, nor to unite Great Britain and Ireland or the mother country with her dissatisfied children in America’.¹ Rather than the establishment of British pre-eminence, by 1773 it was becoming clear that the peace had been followed by embarrassment abroad, weakness at home, and political ossification. Laurens’s reality was a far cry from the ‘fancy’ of Jonathan Mayhew in his sermon on the victories of 1759, when he foresaw ‘a venerable sire talking after this manner to his child, of things that came to pass in old times’: of the defeat of that ‘far distant country, called France in those days’, when ‘George II, an excellent King, sat upon the British throne, and a certain wise and good man, named Pitt, was his minister’, whereupon the people of British America ‘grew and flourished mightily, and filled the whole land’.² If any single sensation defined the imperial crisis of 1763–76, it was this divorce of experience from expectation. The unfolding of history scuppered the cosy chronology of Britain’s rise to benign hegemony.³ The deterioration of the European states system after 1763 was a pivotal part of this process. The Treaty of Paris consummated a dramatic expansion of British power, but it gave way to an uncertain peace in which Britain’s international preeminence was neither confirmed nor assured. The worries of those who had

¹ Henry Laurens to James Habersham, Westminster, 23/11/1773, in P. M. Hamer et al. (eds.), The Papers of Henry Laurens, 16 vols. (Columbia, 1968–2002), IX, 160. ² Jonathan Mayhew, Two Discourses Delivered October 25th, 1759 (Boston, 1759), 61–2. ³ Cf. Reinhart Koselleck, ‘Concepts of Historical Time and Social History’, in Koselleck, The Practice of Conceptual History, trans. Todd Samuel Presner et al. (Stanford, 2002), 119. The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution. D. H. Robinson, Oxford University Press (2020). © D. H. Robinson. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198862925.001.0001

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criticized the treaty as overly lenient quickly crystallized around the entirely realistic fear of Bourbon revanchism. This anxiety was widespread in North America, where it prompted a series of war scares and an obsession with the spectre of British decline. By no means had colonists forgotten about ‘the abstract needs of an empire that was, to all appearances, no longer at risk’, as Fred Anderson has claimed.⁴ Post-war British-American political culture was not exhausted in insular social strife and legal wrangling about colonial rights;⁵ neither did geopolitics exert a purely impersonal force.⁶ More than any other factor, the fast approach of another great power conflict in the European world gave unity to the imperial crisis. Thus, to borrow Paul Schroeder’s observation on the coming of the French Revolution, in the decade before 1775 America—like Europe in the decade before 1789—‘was not heading inexorably toward revolution, but toward war’.⁷ For between 1763 and 1775 the British world was rocked by a dual crisis, international as well as imperial. The imminent threat of renewed foreign hostilities encouraged colonial patriots to react against ill-judged reforms that threatened to enfeeble British power. The crisis of Anglo-American relations after the Seven Years War was a contest about preserving imperial strength as much as defending colonial liberty. With growing verve, British-American critics chastised the metropolitan government for betraying not only the national interest but the very essence of a national identity built around the humane exercise of power abroad. Indeed, many came to view British policy as so perverse and debilitating that it could only be the result of a French conspiracy. The solution to this crisis favoured by the emerging faction of colonial ‘patriots’ was a tried and tested one: the return of William Pitt and his allies to power. Meanwhile, colonial polemicists continued to react directly to the motions of the European states system, and particularly Britain’s movements within it. The turn towards isolationism which scholars have detected in post-war British foreign policy was not mirrored by a collapse of British-American interest in the mother country’s standing amongst the great powers.⁸ Indeed, if colonists spoke with ⁴ Fred Anderson, Crucible of War (New York, 2000), 602. Cf. Jeremy Black, Parliament and Foreign Policy in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge, 2004), 101. ⁵ See, for example, Barbara Smith, The Freedoms We Lost (New York, 2010); Staughton Lynd and David Waldstreicher, ‘Free Trade, Sovereignty, and Slavery: Toward an Economic Interpretation of American Independence’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 68, no. 4 (Oct. 2011), 597–630; Woody Holton, Forced Founders (Chapel Hill and London, 1999); Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (New York, 1993), esp. 81–145; Paul Rahe, Republics Ancient and Modern (Chapel Hill, 1992), 543–782; Steven Dworetz, The Unvarnished Doctrine (Durham, NC, 1990); Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (enlarged edn, Cambridge, MA, 1992); J. G. A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment (Princeton and London, 1975), ch. 15. ⁶ Cf. Eliga Gould, Among the Powers of the Earth (Cambridge, MA, 2012), esp. 96–104; Jonathan Dull, A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution (New Haven, 1985), 3–39; Leonard Sadosky, Revolutionary Negotiations (Charlottesville, 2009), passim. Craig Yirush, Settlers, Liberty, and Empire (Cambridge, 2011), 264. ⁷ Paul Schroeder, The Transformation of European Politics, 1763–1848 (Oxford, 1994), 52. ⁸ On the triumph of blue-water sentiments in post-war Britain, see Black, Parliament and Foreign Policy, 102–3.

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mounting confidence about their own heightened importance in the imperial system, they were aware that this was largely a product of Britain’s increasingly complicated relations with Europe. Yet movements of the balance of power during the post-war period eroded colonial faith in the British project. Concerns about the Empire’s declining power and influence appeared to be vindicated by a succession of geopolitical crises in the European world after 1768. These emergencies would compel British-American observers to reassess Britain’s place in the World, and their own place in the British Empire.

‘One Universal Despotism’ If Britain, which has long been the principal supporter of liberty in Europe . . . should in destroying her colonies destroy herself; . . . what would become of those few states which are now free? What of the Protestant religion? The former might, not improbably, fall before the Grand Monarch on this side of the Alps [France]; the latter before the . . . Grand Vicar of Satan [Rome], beyond them; and so, at length, one universal despotism swallow up all! Jonathan Mayhew, Boston pastor, 1766⁹ Before the end of the Seven Years War, factions at the French court had already begun plotting to recover the maritime and commercial parity with Britain which their country had lost during the reverses of 1757–60. Étienne-François, Duc de Choiseul, chief minister and variously secretary of state for foreign affairs, war, and the navy between 1758 and 1770, spent much of his political ascendancy preparing for a naval war of revenge. This revanche would cut Britain’s overbearing influence down to size, restoring the European balance of power and France’s pre-eminent role as the ‘moral arbiter’ of continental affairs.¹⁰ If Louis XV’s ministers were inconsistent in the pursuit of this foreign policy—distracted by economic crises, the restlessness of Russia in eastern Europe, and the danger of provoking a pre-emptive assault by Britain herself—Bourbon revanchism was nevertheless a persistent and recurrent theme of post-war geopolitics.¹¹ As ⁹ Jonathan Mayhew, The Snare Broken (Boston, 1766), 22. ¹⁰ On French revanche plans, see François Crouzet, ‘The Second Hundred Years’ War: Some Reflections’, in French History (1996), 434; Ramon Abarca, ‘Classical Diplomacy and Bourbon “Revanche” Strategy, 1763-1770’, in Review of Politics, no. 32 (1970), 313; P. J. Marshall, The Making and Unmaking of Empires (Oxford, 2005), 275; John Hardman and Munro Price (eds.), Louis XVI and the Comte de Vergennes (Oxford, 1998), 43–73. ¹¹ On the direction of French foreign policy after 1763, see Dull, Diplomatic History of the American Revolution, 36; Sudipta Das, Myths and Realities of French Imperialism in India, 1763–1783 (New York, 1992), 8–16; H. M. Scott, ‘The Importance of Bourbon Naval Reconstruction to the Strategy of Choiseul after the Seven Years’ War’, in The International History Review, vol. 1, no. 1 (Jan. 1979), 17–18, 34–5; H. M. Scott, The Birth of a Great Power System, 1740–1815 (Harlow, 2006), 143–5; Gould, Among the

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Hamish Scott writes, during these years ‘the principal aim of France, and of her ally Spain, was usually to undermine Britain’s supremacy’.¹² Britons remained highly sensitive to the prospect of a reprisal for the humiliation their country had inflicted on the Bourbon powers in the previous war. Ministers continued to form foreign policy around an intractable rivalry with France and Spain.¹³ The fact that metropolitan commentators were largely oblivious to the significant decline of French influence on the European continent, together with indictments of the leniency of the peace and Britain’s post-war isolation by Pittites and followers of the London radical John Wilkes, increased the gravity of the threat. Nervous Britons identified points of vulnerability everywhere. They fretted about French shipbuilding, the apparent resurrection of Bourbon naval power in India and the Caribbean, supposed intrigues among the Indians of the North American backcountry and the subjugated Canadians, the weakness of the border with Spanish Louisiana, and even the Jacobite menace in Ireland.¹⁴ The reality of Anglo-French tensions was exposed by a series of unresolved disputes over outlying colonies like the Turks Islands and Gambia, as well as unexecuted provisions of the Treaty of Paris like the Manila ransom and the demolition of Dunkirk. Such quarrels were occasionally settled by less than tactful displays of British naval supremacy, which hardly nourished a spirit of détente.¹⁵ The year 1763 brought peace between states; it did not bring peace of mind. Across the Atlantic, British-Americans subscribed to the same cluster of lingering geopolitical anxieties, which—contrary to subsequent belief—had scarcely been diminished by the conquest of Canada.¹⁶ The Maryland preacher Jonathan Boucher struck a telling note in his sermon on the Treaty of Paris: ‘France and Great Britain’—‘the two foremost nations of the World’—‘have just now sheathed the sword’. This was the wistful language of truce, not of a victor’s peace.¹⁷ As early as 1764, the Boston patriot James Otis, Jr, asserted that ‘the known temper Powers of the Earth, 96; Daniel Baugh, ‘Naval Power: What Gave the British Naval Superiority?’, in Leandro Prados de la Escosura (ed.), Exceptionalism and Industrialisation (Cambridge, 2004), 253–4. ¹² Scott, Birth of a Great Power System, 214. ¹³ Ibid., 217. ¹⁴ See Nicholas Tracy, Navies, Deterrence, and American Independence (Vancouver, 1988), 2–4; Scott, Birth of a Great Power System, 145; Brendan Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat (London, 2007), 504–8, 514–21; Eamonn O’Ciardha, Ireland and the Jacobite Cause (Dublin, 2002), 325–7. ¹⁵ See Scott, Birth of a Great Power System, 218; Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 518–19; Tracy, Navies, Deterrence, and American Independence, 42. ¹⁶ Cf. Jack Greene, ‘The Seven Years’ War and the American Revolution: The Causal Relationship Reconsidered’, in Peter Marshall and Glyn Williams (eds.), The British Empire Before the American Revolution (London, 1980), 85–105; Richard van Alstyne, Empire and Independence (New York, 1965), 25; Lawrence Henry Gipson, ‘The American Revolution as an Aftermath of the Great War for Empire, 1754–1763’, in Political Science Quarterly, vol. 65, no. 1 (Mar. 1950), 86–104. Contrast John Murrin, ‘The French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the Counterfactual Hypothesis: Reflections on Lawrence Henry Gipson and John Shy’, in Reviews in American History, vol. 1, no. 3 (Sept. 1973), 307–18. ¹⁷ Jonathan Boucher, A View of the Causes and Consequences of the American Revolution (London, 1797), 11.

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of France’ provided sufficient reason to expect a new assault at ‘the first fair opportunity’.¹⁸ Stephen Watts, a finalist in a College of Philadelphia essay competition on the advantages of imperial unity in 1766, similarly warned that ‘France, our ever-watchful enemy, will be ready to seize any advantage that may offer’.¹⁹ In his survey of the colonies, the traveller Alexander Cluny sustained this focus on the national character of the French, remarking that the disregard they had demonstrated for previous accords ‘sufficiently shows their intention in the infringements already made by them upon the bounds set them by the Treaty of Paris’.²⁰ An amorous New Yorker even reminded a young lady that whole nations dance: gay frisking France, Has led Great Britain many a dance: And some still think that France and Spain, Intend to make us dance again.²¹

The Boston Sons of Liberty were especially alarmed by Bourbon revanchism: ‘forewarned, forearmed!’ their committee of correspondence informed John Wilkes, ‘the French and Spaniards never will forget nor forgive the severe drubbing they received in the last war’.²² Colonists continued to express a pervasive culture of Francophobia. Elizabeth Smith, a marital cousin of John Adams, deemed it ‘depravity indeed that so many nations should endeavour to ape those large baboons’—an allusion, undoubtedly, to John Arbuthnot’s christening of Louis XIV as ‘Lewis Baboon’

¹⁸ James Otis, Jr, The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved (Boston, 1764), 64. See similarly Daniel Shute, A Sermon Preached to the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company (Boston, 1767), 37–8; Jonas Clarke, The Importance of Military Skill (Boston, 1768), 25–6; James Rivington to William Johnson, New York, 3/5/1769, John Blackburn to William Johnson, London, 4/5/1771, in James Sullivan et al. (eds.), The Papers of Sir William Johnson, 14 vols. (Albany, NY, 1921–62), VI, 734, VIII, 94; A Militia Man, ‘In PEACE prepare for War’, Boston, 6/4/1770, in BG, 9/4/1770 and 23/4/1770; ‘The Dougliad No. 6: On Government’, in NYM, 14/5/1770; A Military Countryman, Roxbury, 22/5/ 1770, to the BEP, 11/6/1770; Samuel Stillman, A Sermon Preached to the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company (Boston, 1770), 28–9; A Military Countrymen, ‘To the Public: Fellow Countrymen and Citizens’, in BG, 27/1/1772; Foresight to the Essex Gazette, 25/2/1772 (reprinted in BG, 2/3/1772); BG, 9/3/1772; Philadelphia, 8/6/1772, in NYJ, 11/6/1772; Henry Laurens to James Laurens, Westminster, 11/3/1773, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, VIII, 609; ‘To war, or not to war, that is the question’, London Magazine, 5/1773 (reprinted in NYM, 9/8/1773); Jeremy Belknap, A Sermon on Military Duty (Salem, 1773), 17; John Trumbull, M’Fingal (Philadelphia, 1775), 7; Charles Carroll, Jr, to Edmund Jennings, 14/10/1766, in Ronald Hoffman et al. (eds.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley: The Peregrinations of a Revolutionary Aristocrat . . . , 3 vols. (Williamsburg, 2001), I, 418. ¹⁹ Stephen Watts, ‘An Essay on the Reciprocal Advantages of a Perpetual Union between Great Britain and her American Colonies’, in William Smith (ed.), Four Dissertations on the Reciprocal Advantages of a Perpetual Union between Great Britain and her American Colonies (Philadelphia, 1766), 74. ²⁰ Alexander Cluny, The American Traveller (Philadelphia, 1770), 35. ²¹ ‘The Universal Dance – To a Young Lady’, in NYJ, 21/11/1771. ²² Committee of the Boston Sons of Liberty to John Wilkes, Boston, 4/11/1769, in Robert Taylor et al. (eds.), Papers of John Adams, 14 vols. so far (Cambridge, MA, 1977–), I, 235.

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in his History of John Bull.²³ Such sentiments retained a strong geopolitical undertone. A letter of April 1769 to the editor of the American Magazine claimed that the Bourbon dynasty still ‘endeavoured to attain’ the ‘universal monarchy’ after which Louis XIV had lusted.²⁴ During a tour of France in 1773, Henry Laurens tellingly observed that the French people were ‘full of hopes of a treaty . . . of alliance between France and England’, which he ‘hope[d] never will happen’.²⁵ As in Britain, colonial concerns often focused on French naval rebuilding, a recurring theme in American newspapers.²⁶ By the end of 1764, the potential consequences had already been demonstrated by an Anglo-French naval stand-off over the ownership of the Turks Islands. Maritime rivalry in the Caribbean would become a fixture of post-war geopolitics.²⁷ Colonists were also gravely haunted by the prospect of a seaborne reconquest of Canada, which remained a serious fear throughout the imperial crisis. ‘The French’, the Indian agent Daniel Claus predicted from Montreal in 1768, ‘will soon retake this country’.²⁸ There was consternation too at violations of British fishing rights off Newfoundland. ‘The French seem to be meddling here in the American seas beyond their limits according to the treaty of peace,’ one Ferrylander complained.²⁹ Alongside the naval threat sat an abiding fear of intrigues amongst the Indians. Many colonists detected a French conspiracy behind the major native uprising known as Pontiac’s War, which devastated much of western Pennsylvania, the Ohio Valley, and the Illinois country between 1763 and 1765. Sir William Johnson, the overseer of Anglo-Indian relations in the northern colonies, believed that the insurrection had been ‘excited by private orders from France, who would probably give us all the disturbance in their power’.³⁰ Such suspicions persisted ²³ Elizabeth Smith to Isaac Smith, Jr, Weymouth, 13/4/1768, in L. H. Butterfield et al. (eds.), Adams Family Correspondence, 12 vols. so far (Cambridge, MA, 1963–), I, 64. ²⁴ American Magazine, 4/1769. ²⁵ Henry Laurens, ‘Travel Journal’, 23/4/1773, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, IX, 12. ²⁶ See, for example, NYG, 19/3/1764; Benjamin Franklin to Henry Bouquet, Philadelphia, 16/8/1764, in Leonard Labaree et al. (eds.), The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, 40 vols. so far (New Haven, 1959–), XI, 317; Committee of the Boston Sons of Liberty to John Wilkes, Boston, 4/11/1769, in Taylor (ed.), Adams Papers, I, 233–5; BEP, 4/3/1765; Probus to BEP, 9/5/1768; digest of newspapers in NYGWPB, 6/ 3/1769, 27/11/1769, 9/4/1770. On French naval rebuilding, see Scott, ‘Importance of Bourbon Naval Reconstruction’, 19, 31–4; Scott, Birth of a Great Power System, 217–18; Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 508, 574; Robert and Isabelle Tombs, That Sweet Enemy (London, 2006), 143. ²⁷ On the Turks Islands affair, see for example: NYM, 9/7/1764, 6/8/1764, 27/8/1764 (Philadelphia 23/8/1764), 19/11/1764, 14/1/1765; NYG, 9/7/1764 (Philadelphia 5/7/1764), 5/22/1764; BEP, 22/10/ 1764, 25/3/1765; Francis Bernard to the Massachusetts General Court, 10/1/1765, House of Representatives to Francis Bernard, 11/1/1765, in Worthington Chauncey Ford et al. (eds.), Journals of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts, 51 vols. (Boston, 1919–1984), XLI, 142, 147; and on the Caribbean at large: NYM, 13/4/1767, 14/3/1768 (New Haven, 26/2/1768), 17/8/1772, 28/12/1772; BG, 31/12/1770; BEP, 10/8/1772 (Salem 4/8/1772). ²⁸ Daniel Claus to William Johnson, Montreal, 3/8/1768, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VI, 303. ²⁹ Letter from Ferryland, Newfoundland, 26/11/1764, in NYG, 1/4/1765. See similarly: letter from St. John’s, Newfoundland, 28/10/1765, in NYG, 24/2/1766. ³⁰ William Johnson to John Stuart, Johnson Hall, 17/9/1765, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, IV, 848. See, similarly, Cadwallader Colden to Lord Halifax, New York, 22/12/1763, Cadwallader Colden to William Johnson, Fort George, New York, 6/1/1765, in Colden Letter Books, 2 vols. (New York,

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long after the uprising had been pacified. In a statement typical of colonial opinion, Sir William’s son, Guy Johnson, warned in 1771 that ‘whenever war commences . . . our enemies will endeavour to afford us some employment this way by inciting all the Indians they can to disturb us. Indeed it has been their study so to do, since the reduction of Canada’.³¹ A particularly colourful product of this paranoia was the impeachment of Robert Rogers, a celebrated ranger during the Seven Years War and subsequently commander of the western post at Michilimackinac, for ‘holding secret correspondence with the enemies of Great Britain and forming conspiracies’.³² By the time the story reached the east coast, it was reported that Rogers had conspired with the French and Indians to massacre his own garrison, ‘take Detroit . . . and enter the French service’, before moving to ‘fall upon New England and Carolina’.³³ Colonists could still perceive petty backcountry rivalries through the grand lens of transatlantic European geopolitics. 1877–8), I, 273, 443; Francis Fauquier to Lord Halifax, Williamsburg, 31/1/1764, George Reese (ed.), The Official Papers of Francis Fauquier, 3 vols. (Charlottesville, 1980–3), III, 1073; Samuel Wharton to Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia, 23/11/1764, 19/12/1764, Charles Thomson to Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia, 18/12/1764, David Hall to Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia, 20/12/1764, Benjamin Franklin to David Hall, London, 14/2/1765, George Croghan to Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia, 12/ 12/1765, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XI, 476, 523, 528, 530, XII, 65, 395; William Johnson to Thomas Gage, Johnson Hall, 19/2/1764, William Johnson to Cadwallader Colden, Johnson Hall, 22/1/ 1765, J. Capucin to Baptiste Campau, du Poste Vincent, 7/6/1765, Indian Conference, Johnson Hall, 25–26/2/1765, William Johnson to Thomas Gage, Johnson Hall, 25/7/1765, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, II, 331, IV, 638–9, 763–4, XI, 609, 869; BEP, 4/3/1765 (Charleston 11/1/1765); NYG, 19/3/1764 (letter from Detroit, 3/12/1763), in 14/5/1764 (Philadelphia 10/5/1764: letter from Fort Pitt, 26/4/ 1764); NYM, 21/5/1764 (Detroit, 4/1/1764), 25/6/1764 (Philadelphia 21/6/1765), 6/5/1765 (Charleston 9/3/2765), 23/6/1765 (Boston 16/9/1765), 19/8/1765 (Philadelphia 15/8/1765: letter from Fort Pitt). For a narrative of Pontiac’s War, see Anderson, Crucible of War, 535–53; 617–32; Richard White, The Middle Ground (Cambridge, 1991), 269–314. Further, on British-American conspiracy theories during the conflict, Anderson, Crucible of War, 537, 545; Colin Calloway, The Scratch of a Pen (Oxford, 2006), 125–8; Gregory Dowd, A Spirited Resistance (Baltimore, 1992), 26; David Narrett, Adventurism and Empire (Chapel Hill, 2015), 35, 61–2; Robert Owens, Red Dreams, White Nightmares (Norman, OK, 2015), 29–32; Matthew Ward, Breaking the Backcountry (Pittsburgh, 2003), 229. ³¹ Guy Johnson to James Rivington, Johnson Hall, 13/2/1771, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 1137–8. See similarly Committee of the Boston Sons of Liberty to John Wilkes, Boston, 4/11/1769, in Taylor (ed.), Adams Papers, I, 235; Baynton, Wharton, and Morgan to Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia, 28/8/1766, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIII, 401; George Turnbull to William Johnson, Detroit, 9/9/1769, Thomas Gage to William Johnson, New York, 9/10/1769, 18/11/1769, 18/3/ 1771, William Johnson to Thomas Gage, Johnson Hall, 19/10/1769, 23/11/1769, 28/3/1771, 24/5/1771, 6/8/1772, William Johnson to Benjamin Roberts, Johnson Hall, 1/2/1771, William Johnson to Lord Hillsborough, 18/2/1771, George Croghan to Charles Edmonstone, 19/2/1771, John Blackburn to William Johnson, London, 1/8/1771, William Johnson to Frederick Haldimand, Johnson Hall, 26/1/ 1774, William Johnson to Lord Dartmouth, Johnson Hall, 2/5/1774, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 159, 212, 221, 256, 263, 1120, 1148, 1149, VIII, 35, 45–6, 111–12, 206, 562, 1016, 1142; Cluny, American Traveller, 37–8; NYM, 9/6/1766 (Pastoral letter from the Synod of Philadelphia and New York), 2/5/1768 (Philadelphia, 28/4/1768: letter from Detroit, 26/2/1768); 8/8/1768 (letter from Philadelphia); 2/7/1770 (letter, reprinted in BG, 9/7/1770), 23/2/1775 (Charleston, 6/2/1775); NYGWPB, 28/7/1768 (Philadelphia, 25/7/1768); NYJ, 16/7/1772 (Providence 6/7/1772). ³² Benjamin Roberts to Frederick Christopher Spiesmacher, Michilimackinac, 20/8/1767, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, V, 629. ³³ Letter from Michilimackinac, 24/2/1768, in NYGWPB, 18/7/1768 (Quebec 23/6/1768). See further George Turnbull to Thomas Gage, Detroit, 23/2/1768 in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VI,

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France’s European alliances with Austria and Spain, which—unlike Britain’s wartime accord with Prussia—persisted after 1763, remained central to the colonial world view.³⁴ An essay printed in the Pennsylvania Chronicle in 1769 warned that the Bourbons and Habsburgs had ‘resolved to lay down their resentments, and to parcel out Europe between them’.³⁵ Thomas Wharton of Philadelphia declared in 1771 that ‘there is not the least doubt of an alliance offensive and defensive being entered into between France, Spain, and Austria and that they had agreed to commence hostilities against us’.³⁶ Charles Carroll, Jr, was similarly nervous. ‘France has lost so much by the late war’, he stated, that ‘she will when sufficiently prepared seek some opportunity of renewing it: Spain from a jealousy of our growing power and her connections with France will probably be engaged to take part in the quarrel against us’.³⁷ The endurance of Louis XV’s Family Compact with his distant cousin, Charles III of Spain, was especially significant in perpetuating the Bourbon threat in the Americas. Colonists were initially optimistic about the transfer of control over Louisiana from France to the comparatively placid Spanish. A series of naval clashes, Indian intrigues, local manifestations of despotism, and the spectre of Spanish revanchism quickly paved the way for new hostilities to develop. By 1767, the South Carolina Gazette was advocating the punishment of Spain’s ‘daring insults’, so that ‘the Dons’ would ‘be made to know themselves and not to forget who were their conquerors’.³⁸

121; letter from Detroit 11/5/1768, in NYM, 13/6/1768 (reprinted NYJ, 16/6/1768 and BG, 20/6/1768); PC, 21/7/1768; NYM, 25/7/1768; NYJ, 7/7/1768. Rogers himself was willing to play the geopolitical card: see Robert Rogers, ‘Estimate of the Fur and Peltry Trade in the District of Michilimackinac, 1767’, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia. ³⁴ On the Bourbon Family Compact, see Jeremy Black, The Rise of the European Powers, 1679–1793 (London, 1990), 137; Scott, Birth of a Great Power System, 214–16. ³⁵ Brutus to the Craftsman, PC, 3/4/1769. ³⁶ Thomas Wharton to William Johnson, Philadelphia, 29/1/1771, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 1111. See similarly American Magazine, 6/1769; NYG, 4/3/1765 (London Chronicle, 8?/12/1764); Probus to BEP, 9/5/1768; BEP, 16/1/1769 (Political Register, 15/10/1768); NYJ 16/12/1768 (Philadelphia 5/12/1768); NYG, 5/4/1764; James Rivington to William Johnson, New York, 5/6/1769, 4/12/1769, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 7, 286; in a different vein, John Carroll to Daniel Carroll, 2/1769, in Thomas Hanley (ed.), The John Carroll Papers: Volume 1 (Notre Dame, 1976), 6. ³⁷ Charles Carroll, Jr, to Edmund Jennings, 14/10/1766, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, I, 418. ³⁸ SCG, 10/7/1767 (reprinted in NYM, 3/8/1767; NYGWPB, 6/8/1767; NYJ, 6/8/1767). See further BEP, 16/1/1764 (New York 2/1/1764); 15/7/1765 (New York 8/7/1765); NYM, 1/7/1765 (Kingston 4/4/ 1765; reprinted in BG, 15/7/1765); letter from Pensacola, 19/8/1769, in NYM, 2/10/1769 (reprinted in NYJ, 5/10/1769); NYJ, 16/11/1769 (Charleston 5/10/1769); NYM, 24/9/1770 (Charleston 9/8/1770); BG, 7/1/1771 (Salem 1/1/1771); Agricola to NYM, 28/12/1772 (reprinted in NYJ, 24/12/1772); BEP, 21/11/ 1774 (New Haven 11/11/1774); Committee of the Boston Sons of Liberty to John Wilkes, Boston, 4/11/ 1769, in Taylor (ed.), Adams Papers, I, 235. Cf. early optimism: James Habersham to William Knox, Savannah, 13/3/1764, in The Letters of Hon. James Habersham (Savannah, 1904), 18; Gottfried Achenwall, ‘Some Observations on North America from Oral Information by Dr. Franklin’, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIII, 376. See further Robin Fabel, Colonial Challenges (Gainesville, 2000), 95–9; Narrett, Adventurism and Empire, 47–51.

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The immediate consequence of this climate of geopolitical fear was a series of war scares, which became almost a fact of colonial life from 1768 onwards. Much as they had clamoured for news from the German front during the Seven Years War, colonists remained highly sensitive to ‘news from afar, of distant war’, as the almanac maker Nathaniel Ames put it.³⁹ Both private correspondence and the colonial press were filled with rumours of hostilities, mobilizations, and rapprochements, ranging from the Bosphorus to the Bay of Biscay, as BritishAmericans attempted to calculate the imminence of a new rupture. One Bostonian writer remarked in January 1769 that ‘from letters, public prints, &c, we learn that Asia was swimming in blood; that the affairs of Europe were in a critical situation, the Turks, Russians, Poles &c. actually engaged in hostilities, which with the conduct of France respecting Corsica, made many apprehend that the war would soon become general’.⁴⁰ His apprehensions seem to have been very widely shared by his countrymen throughout British America. As we shall see, the crises caused by the French invasion of Corsica (1768) and the Anglo-Spanish stand-off over the Falkland Islands (1770–1) lent exceptional urgency to these speculations. Nevertheless, such fears remained prominent long after these episodes had ended. In October 1774, ‘bets of ten to one’ were being laid in Newport ‘that war between France, Spain, Great Britain, and Portugal, will be declared within four months’.⁴¹ Tellingly, during a period of recuperation from the cut and thrust of continental politics on his farm at Braintree that summer, John Adams’s thoughts had turned to the French King’s death, which he considered ‘a great event in the political system of Europe’ and ‘a mighty link in the ³⁹ Samuel Briggs (ed.), The Essays, Humour, and Poems of Nathaniel Ames (Cleveland, 1891), 366. ⁴⁰ BG, 23/1/1769. For further examples of rumours of war and peace, see: BG, 27/4/1767 (New York 20/4/1767); NYM, 16/11/1767 (London 11/9/1767); NYM, 13/11/1769; BEP, 27/6/1768 (New York, 20/ 6/1768); NYGWPB, 17/4/1769 (Salem 4/4/1769), 19/3/1770; NYM, 18/2/1771 (Charleston 24/1/1771); letter from Frederick II of Prussia to Voltaire, in NYGWPB, 9/7/1770; A Citizen, letter, 6/1/1772, to PC, 22/1/1772; A Philadelphian, letter, PC, 17/2/1772; BEP, 22/6/1772 (New York 15/6/1772); House of Representatives to Thomas Hutchinson, 20/11/1770, in Harry Cushing (ed.), The Writings of Samuel Adams, 4 vols. (New York, 1904–8), II, 61; Benjamin Franklin to Noble Jones, London, 3/7/1771, Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Smith, London, 6/2/1772, Benjamin Franklin to William Franklin, London, 5/5/1772, 7/9/1774, Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Cushing, London, 15/9/1774, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XVIII, 159, XIX, 72, 132, XXI, 288, 308; James Rivington to William Johnson, New York, 18/9/1769, 19/2/1770, 3/5/1770, 29/7/1771, Dirk van der Heyden to William Johnson, London, 15/9/1770, James Rivington to William Johnson, 6/5/1771, 13/5/1771, New York, 24/9/1770, 19/11/1770, Thomas Moncreiffe to William Johnson, New York, 16/2/1771, 16/3/1771, William Johnson to John Blackburn, Johnson Hall, 25/5/1771, John Blackburn to William Johnson, London, 15/6/1771, 1/8/1771, 31/8/1771, Joseph Chew to William Johnson, New London, 28/11/1770, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VIII, 181, VII, 402, 630, VIII, 903, VII, 913, 1015, 1144, VIII, 25, 98, 104, 113, 147, 205, 242–243, 203, VII, 1024; Henry Laurens to Felix Warley, Chelsea, 6/11/1771, Henry Laurens to John Lewis Gervais, Chelsea, 7/11/1771, Henry Laurens to William Williamson, Westminster, 28/11/1771, Henry Laurens to James Laurens, Westminster, 5/12/1771, 12/12/1771, 19/ 4/1773, Henry Laurens to Robert Deans, Geneva, 28/5/1773, Henry Laurens to Richard Oswald, Geneva, 31/5/1773, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, VIII, 33, 37, 56, 69–70, 95–6, 691, IX, 51–2, 56; George Mercer to George Washington, Dublin, 18/12/1770, in W. W. Abbot et al. (eds.), The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series, 10 vols. (Charlottesville, 1983–95), VIII, 419. ⁴¹ BEP, 14/11/1774 (Newport 31/10/1774).

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chain of causes in American politics’. Adams did not deem himself ‘enough acquainted with the state of the French, Spanish, and German courts to predict with any confidence what revolutions will succeed the death of Louis XV’. However, he continued, ‘if two young fellows at the head of the German Empire and the French monarchy, both warm and active, don’t make mischief in Europe, it will be a wonder’.⁴² Even as George III’s troops massed in Boston, colonists continued to expect an international rupture across the Atlantic ahead of a civil war in British North America. The gravity of the Bourbon threat arose partly from paranoia, but it was also eminently rational. Even at times when France and her allies posed no imminent danger, warfare remained the essential regulatory mechanism of the European state system.⁴³ As we shall see in the next chapter, the spectre of revanchism— whether real or illusory—provided a sense of urgency to colonial speculations about the British Empire’s power, commerce, and constitution. More immediately, it also coloured the manner in which British-American patriots reacted against the imperial reforms of successive metropolitan ministries after 1763. From the beginning of the imperial crisis, American patriots identified incendiary colonial reforms with the erosion of British power. By employing an iconographic language derived from the mid-century European wars, Benjamin Franklin’s widely disseminated cartoon Magna Britannia (1765; Figure 8.1) offered a stark depiction of the potential impact of misguided legislation on Britain’s international standing. Reminding his readers of how ‘the late successful and flourishing state of Great Britain’ had ‘aided the King of Prussia against the powerful armies of Hungary and Russia, supported Portugal against the Spaniards, and reduced France and Spain to the most advantageous terms of accommodation’, Franklin warned that the alienation of Britain’s colonies jeopardized this pre-eminence. Indeed, he claimed, Britain was now ‘sliding off the world, no longer courted by the powers of Europe, no longer able to sustain its balance, no longer respected or known among nations’.⁴⁴ Patriots attacked policies like the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act not only as affronts to liberty and economic interests but also on the grounds that they ‘in a great measure tend to enfeeble the nation’, as one Bostonian writer declared.⁴⁵ ⁴² John Adams to James Warren, Braintree, 25/7/1774, in Taylor (ed.), Adams Papers, II, 116. Joseph II had succeeded his father, Francis Stephen, as Holy Roman Emperor in 1765. ⁴³ See classically Schroeder, Transformation of European Politics, 5–11. ⁴⁴ Benjamin Franklin, Magna Britannia: Her Colonies Reduced (Philadelphia, 1765), broadside. Franklin was particularly indebted to two British cartoons: Britannia Dismembered and Disembowelled (1749) and The English Lion Dismembered (c.1756): see further ‘Magna Britannia: Her Colonies Reduced’, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIII, 67n; Alan Houston, Benjamin Franklin and the Politics of Improvement (New Haven, 2008), 177–9. ⁴⁵ Considerations Upon the Act of Parliament (Boston, 1764), 6. See similarly Oxenbridge Thacher, The Sentiments of a British American (Boston, 1764), 13–14; Otis, Rights of the British Colonies, 27; Charles Chauncy, A Discourse on ‘the Good News from a Far Country’ (Boston, 1766), 8–9; John Dickinson, The Late Regulations Respecting the British Colonies on the Continent of America Considered

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Figure 8.1 Benjamin Franklin, Magna Britannia, her Colonies Reduced (1765), courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

British-American commentators warned against a dangerous alienation of colonial affections from the mother country, with potentially disastrous consequences for British commerce.⁴⁶ Perceived metropolitan attempts to restrain westward expansion and discourage migration to newly annexed territories fostered ire phrased in similar terms. The anger initially aroused by the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which sought to restrict trans-Appalachian settlement as a means of pacifying the Indians, reached its summit with the withdrawal of regular forces from the Mississippi forts in 1768 and abandonment of the Vandalia colony plan (Philadelphia, 1765), 14–16, 32–4; Stephen Johnson, Some Important Observations Occasioned by and Adapted to the Public Fast (Newport, 1766), 16–17; Maurice Moore, The Justice and Policy of Taxing the American Colonies (Wilmington, 1765), 15–16; A British American to Rind’s VG [20?]/5/1766 (reprinted in BG, 11/8/1766); Henry Laurens, ‘Extracts from the Proceedings of the Court of ViceAdmiralty (Philadelphia, 1768)’, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, VI, 215; Observations on Several Acts of Parliament (Boston, 1769), 21–4; Benjamin Franklin, ‘Colonist’s Advocate No. VIII’, in Public Advertiser, 5/2/1770, Benjamin Franklin to the Massachusetts House of Representatives Committee of Correspondence, London, 15/5/1771, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XVII, 60, XVIII, 103. ⁴⁶ See, for example, Dickinson, Late Regulations, 25–9; Daniel Dulany, Considerations on the Propriety of Imposing Taxes in the British Colonies (2nd edn, Annapolis, 1765), 43–6; Samuel Adams, James Otis, Jr, et al. to Dennys DeBerdt, Boston, 20/12/1765, House of Representatives to Benjamin Franklin, 6/11/1770, in Cushing (ed.), Adams Writings, I, 63, II, 55; Henry Laurens, ‘Extracts from the Proceedings of the Court of Vice-Admiralty (Philadelphia, 1768)’, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, VI, 216; House of Representatives to Thomas Hutchinson, 24/4/1771, in Ford (ed.), Massachusetts House Journals, XLVII, 241; cf. Anderson, Crucible of War, 712–13.

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in 1773.⁴⁷ Some colonists also couched the controversy over the appointment of an American bishop in strategic terms, contending that the loss of spiritual liberties would ‘disturb and depopulate’ America, ‘and spoil the fairest prospect of establishing a glorious, rich, and happy empire, which the world ever saw’.⁴⁸ The divisive effects of ministerial behaviour were met with particular alarm. The Rhode Island clergyman Stephen Johnson spoke for many colonists in 1766 when he declared it a duty to resist such policies in the national interest, for ‘a kingdom divided against itself, cannot stand’.⁴⁹ As the Philadelphian Charles Thomson reflected in the context of a growing international crisis in November 1769, ‘while England placed at the head of the empire superintended the whole’ via ‘the wisdom of her councils . . . she might have laughed at the compacts of the Bourbon family, and defied the united powers of Europe. But alas’, he lamented, ‘the folly of a weak administration has darkened the prospect.’⁵⁰ Colonial patriots cautioned that foreign powers would exploit the divisions in the British Empire. ‘The French’, a correspondent of the Boston Evening Post wrote in March 1765, ‘rejoice in the measures taken to alienate the affections of the colonies from their mother country’. Therefore, he continued, those ‘who stir up and impose those measures’ ought to ‘be considered as enemies to His Majesty our sovereign, and the whole British nation’.⁵¹ A group of Virginian merchants registered a similar concern a few months later. ‘Do you think that all your rival powers in Europe would sit still?’ they questioned, urging their metropolitan brethren to ‘recollect what happened in the Low Countries a century ago’, when England itself had taken advantage of the Dutch Revolt to weaken Spain.⁵² Henry Laurens struck a similar note. ‘Our national house is divided against itself ’, he warned, adding that ‘if it is not soon reunited’, then ‘one day or other the French

⁴⁷ See Richard Bland, An Inquiry into the Rights of the British Colonies (Williamsburg, 1766), 4; Some Observations of Consequence (Philadelphia, 1768), 46; NYGWPB, 7/11/1768 (Philadelphia 3/11/ 1768: letter from Pensacola, 27/9/1768); Benjamin Roberts to William Johnson, Montreal, 11/5/1769, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VI, 756; Memorial of the Virginia House of Burgesses, 13/12/1769, in H. R. McIlwaine and John Kennedy (eds.), Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 13 vols. (Richmond, 1905–15), XI, 335; Humanity to BEP, 20/1/1772; ‘Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman of Credit at Pensacola to His Friend in this City’, in NYGWPB, 29/5/1769; George Croghan to Benjamin Franklin, New York, 27/1/1767, Benjamin Franklin to Richard Bache, London, 3/2/1773, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIV, 12–13, XX, 38; Narrett, Adventurism and Empire, 53–4; Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 581. On the resultant breakdown of British authority in the west, see Patrick Griffin, American Leviathan (New York, 2007), 94–7. ⁴⁸ American Churchman, ‘The American Whig No. 13’, NYGWPB, 6/6/1768. See similarly ‘Sentinel No. 15’, in NYGWPB, 14/7/1768; ‘A Kick for the Whipper No. 50’, in NYGWPB, 19/6/1769. ⁴⁹ Johnson, Some Important Observations, 40. ⁵⁰ Charles Thomson to Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia, 26/11/1769, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XVI, 239–40. ⁵¹ Letter to BEP, 25/3/1765. ⁵² ‘To the Committee of Merchants in London’, Virginia, 6/6/1766, in NYJ, 1/1/1767. See similarly Charles Lee, Strictures on a Pamphlet Entitled ‘A Friendly Address to All Reasonable Americans on the Subject of our Political Confusions’ (Boston, 1775), 6n; Dickinson, An Essay on the Constitutional Power of Great Britain over the Colonies in America (Philadelphia, 1774), 73n.

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may embrace an opportunity to retaliate our righteous acts’.⁵³ Likewise, a Boston poet styled ‘Nov-Anglus’ wrote: whilst pride and envy raise domestic broils; Bourbon rejoice and Hispania smiles By Family-Compact these joint-plans pursue And Albion’s sad catastrophe’s in view.⁵⁴

In London, Benjamin Franklin agreed. ‘Europe has its reasons’ for wishing success to colonial resistance, he told the Massachusetts clergyman Samuel Cooper: ‘it fancies itself in some danger from the growth of British power, and would be glad to see it divided against itself. Our prudence’, Franklin hoped, would ‘long postpone the great satisfaction our enemies expect from our dissensions’.⁵⁵ The alarm persisted into the 1770s. In 1774, the Boston silversmith Paul Revere continued to place French and Spanish characters, grinning opportunistically, in satirical allegories of the imperial crisis like The Able Doctor (Figure 8.2).⁵⁶ A young pamphleteer lately arrived from the West Indies, Alexander Hamilton, likewise warned that the French, ‘a jealous, politick, and enterprising people’ would surely ‘seize the opportunity to recover their former losses’ which ‘they have sustained on former occasions’.⁵⁷ John Dickinson was particularly attentive to the danger. In his widely read Farmer’s Letters, the Pennsylvanian lawyer had imagined ‘some future historian’ recording the fall of the British Empire. ‘As she was thought to be grown too powerful, by the successful conclusion of the late war she had been engaged in’, he speculated, the defeated nations had hoped that ‘civil discords would afford opportunities of revenging all the injuries supposed to be received from her’.⁵⁸ As late as April 1774, he wrote despondently to Arthur Lee about the failure of all efforts to bring about reconciliation. ‘In all human ⁵³ Henry Laurens to William Cowles & Co., Charleston, 26/12/1767, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, V, 532–3. See similarly A British American to Rind’s VG, [20?]/5/1766 (reprinted in BG, 11/8/1766); Nicholas Ray, The Importance of the Colonies of North America and the Interest of Great Britain with Regard to Them Considered Together (New York, 1766), 5; the reprints of ‘North Briton No. 191’ in BEP, 21/4/1766 and NYM, 5/5/1766; The Power and Grandeur of Great Britain (Philadelphia, 1768), 20; Benjamin Franklin to London Chronicle, 27–29/20/1768, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XV, 243–4; poetry from Middlesex Journal 17/10/1772, in NYJ, 10/12/1772; John Joachim Zubly, The Law of Liberty (Philadelphia, 1775), 25. ⁵⁴ Nov-Anglus, ‘The Prophetic Complaint’, in BG, 24/4/1769. ⁵⁵ Benjamin Franklin to Samuel Cooper, London, 30/9/1769, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XVI, 211. See further A Friend to both Countries [Benjamin Franklin], ‘Reply to Coffee-House Orators’, in London Chronicle, 9/4/1767, reprinted in ibid., XIV, 103–4; See similarly ‘The Dougliad No.6: On Government’, in NYM, 14/5/1770. ⁵⁶ ‘The Able Doctor, or America Swallowing the Bitter Draught’, in Royal American Magazine, 6/ 1774 (reprinted in Taylor (ed.), Adams Papers, II, 89). ⁵⁷ Alexander Hamilton, ‘The Farmer Refuted’, in Harold Syrett (ed.), The Papers of Alexander Hamilton, 27 vols. (New York and London, 1961–87), I, 156. ⁵⁸ John Dickinson, Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies (3rd edn, Philadelphia, 1769), 82.

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Figure 8.2 The Able Doctor (1774), courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Britannia turns her head while France and Spain conspire, as British ministers, presided over by Lord Bute (holding the sword of martial law), abuse America with the Tea Act and the Boston Port Act.

probability, the same delusions will still prevail, he lamented, ‘till France and Spain, if not other powers, long jealous of Britain’s force and fame, will fall upon her embarrassed with an exhausting civil war . . . then turn their arms on these provinces.’⁵⁹ In one vital respect, the patriots’ insistence that misguided colonial reforms imperilled the liberties of the entire British Empire was part of their concern for its very survival. One writer warned the readers of the Boston Evening Post that measures like the Stamp Act, which ‘tend to sap the foundation of British freedom in general’ would ‘make Great Britain, again, the scorn of all the nations on the globe, as not wise enough to improve either the successes of war, or the blessings of peace’.⁶⁰ In the same spirit, other patriots fashioned America as a bulwark of British liberty, whose resistance might restore strength to the whole Empire.

⁵⁹ John Dickinson to Arthur Lee, Fairhill?, 29/4/1775, in Paul Smith et al. (eds.), Letters to Delegates of Congress, 1774–1789, 25 vols. (Washington, 1976–2000), I, 332. See similarly James Duane, ‘Notes for a Speech in Congress’, 23–5/5/1775?, in ibid., I, 391; An American to MS (reprinted in NYJ, 30/6/ 1774); John Laurens to Henry Laurens, Chancery Lane, 7/12/1774, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, IX, 651; ‘Essex’ to D.C., New Jersey, 18/3/1775, in NYJ, 6/4/1775. ⁶⁰ Letter to BEP, 12/8/1765. See similarly House of Burgesses and Council to the House of Commons, 18/12/1764, in McIlwaine and Kennedy (eds.), Virginia Burgesses Journals, X, 304; Charles Carroll, Jr, to Unknown, 30/9/1765, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, I, 381.

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A sermon preached in South Carolina urged the members of the Planters’ Society to exert ‘all your talents’ on behalf of ‘all North America, and eventually the whole British Empire’ against the ‘hazard of being plunged into disgrace and ruin, by measures subversive of freedom’.⁶¹ Others were more pessimistic, especially during the latter years of the crisis. Admonitions of increasing vehemence warned that the alienation of the colonies from the mother country would culminate in the destruction of both. The Philadelphian author of Some Observations of Consequence (1768) cautioned his readers that ‘a lordly faction at home renders thee contemptible abroad’. He attacked colonial reforms as ‘awfully preposterous’ measures, in light of ‘the growing envy of jealous confederates against England’ that ‘may too soon cause her to want the utmost fidelity and assistance of all her subjects, in every quarter of our extensive empire’.⁶² Without reconciliation, a correspondent informed the Boston Gazette, Britain would ‘sink under the united force of all their enemies, the French and Spaniards’.⁶³ Loyalists and patriots both anticipated that a civil war—which Dickinson expected to rank in scale of devastation with the Wars of the Roses and the upheavals of the seventeenth century—would leave the exhausted Empire fatally vulnerable to invasion.⁶⁴ Then ‘a neighbour nation might step in and enslave the whole’, the Massachusetts pastor Joseph Emerson predicted, ‘and both be swallowed up by a flood of popery and tyranny’.⁶⁵ Likewise, Hamilton prophesied that

⁶¹ A Sermon Preached at the Anniversary Meeting of the Planters’ Society (Charleston, 1769), 8. See similarly ‘Sentinel No. 16’, in NYGWPB, 14/7/1768; The Salvation of American Liberty (New York, 1770), broadside (reprinted in NYGWPB, 21/5/1770); Samuel Cooper to Benjamin Franklin, Boston, 15/8/1774, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XXI, 276. ⁶² Some Observations of Consequence, 47–8, 51. ⁶³ An American, letter, 28/10/1772 to BG, 2/11/1772. See similarly An American, ‘To the Good People of England, Scotland, and Ireland’, in BG, 6/1/1772; ‘Foresight’, New Hampshire, 2/1772, to Essex Gazette (reprinted in BEP, 2/3/1772); Observation, ‘To the Printers in this land of liberty’, in BG, 27/9/1773; ‘To the Gentlemen Officers in the Army’, in BEP, 28/11/1774 and 12/12/1774; Izrahiah Wetmore, A Sermon Preached Before the Honourable General Assembly (New London, 1773), 23; Benjamin Prescott, A Free and Calm Consideration of the Misunderstandings and Debates Which Have of Late Years Arisen (Salem, 1774), Peter Whitney, The Transgression of a Land Punished by a Multitude of Rulers (Boston, 1774), 68; Moses Mather, America’s Appeal to the Impartial World (Hartford, 1775), 50–1; 33; Zubly, Law of Liberty, xvi–xvii; Abigail Adams to Catherine Sawbridge Macaulay, 1774, in Butterfield (ed.), Adams Family Correspondence, I, 178–9; Henry Laurens to William Manning, Charleston, 22/5/1775, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, X, 130. On the fall of America with Britain, see: Habersham to John Edwards of Charleston, Savannah, 25/5/1775, in Habersham Letters, 245; Dickinson, ‘Notes for a Speech in Congress’, 23–25/5/1775?, Duane, ‘Notes for a Speech in Congress’, 23–25/5/1775?, in Smith (ed.), Letters to Delegates, I, 379, 391; Robert Beverley quoted in Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 588. On loyalist opinion, see Boucher, A Letter from a Virginian to the Members of the Congress (Boston, 1774), 6–7; Thomas Coombe, A Sermon Preached Before the Congregations of Christ Church and St. Peter’s (Philadelphia, 1775), 6; Benjamin Rumsey to William Rumsey, 1775?, Rumsey Family Papers, Library of Congress. ⁶⁴ See John Dickinson to Arthur Lee, Philadelphia, 27/10/1774, in Smith (ed.), Letters to Delegates, I, 250. ⁶⁵ Joseph Emerson, A Thanksgiving Sermon Preach at Pepperrell (Boston, 1766), 14. See further Benjamin Franklin, ‘On Civil War’, Public Advertiser 25/8/1768 (reprinted in PC 28/11–5/12/1768; Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XV, 193).

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‘ruin, like a deluge, would pour in from every quarter’ upon the shattered union. Having reduced America ‘to a state of vassalage’, he claimed, Britain ‘would herself become a prey to some triumphant neighbour’.⁶⁶ These gloomy expectations continued to urge reconciliation on all parties even after the outbreak of violence. On hearing news of the exchange of fire at Lexington Green, Henry Laurens wrote: ‘I recommend strongly to have always in view a happy reconciliation with the mother country and hopes of saving her and ourselves from that destruction intended by a wicked minister for both.’⁶⁷ For these colonists, the best hopes of survival clearly lay in union with Britain. As the Swiss-born pastor John Joachim Zubly of Georgia had asserted a decade earlier, ‘we must sink or swim together’.⁶⁸ Moreover, patriots were conscious of the fact that Britain’s fall from grace and empire would have dire consequences for the European system as a whole. As the New York politician Robert Livingston wrote in 1765, the question at the heart of the imperial crisis was whether Britain’s ‘empire and trade shall be so extended as to make her the envy of the world, or being debilitated by the universal disaffection of the colonies she shall fall into decay and be finally ruined by the superior power of her European enemies’.⁶⁹ A decade later ‘A Patagonian’ was still reminding the readers of the Boston Gazette that ‘BRITAIN in FIRM UNION with her COLONIES may still keep the World in awe, and maintain her dignity and independence against the united powers of Earth’. Without them, however, ‘though at present’ Britain remained ‘the GLORY and TERROR of the World, she must quickly condescend . . . to become a province of some neighbouring nation’.⁷⁰ This could only result in a general catastrophe for the European world. ‘Britain’, Jonathan Mayhew asserted in his sermon on the repeal of the Stamp Act, ‘has long been the principal supporter of liberty in Europe’. If she ‘should in her destroying her colonies destroy herself ’, then ‘those few states which are now free’ would ‘fall before the Grand Monarch’ of France. In the end, he warned, ‘one universal despotism’ would ‘swallow up all’—a disaster ‘to America, to Britain, to Europe, to the world’.⁷¹

⁶⁶ Hamilton, ‘A Full Vindication of the Measures of the Congress’, in Syrett (ed.), Hamilton Papers, I, 54–5. See Hamilton, ‘The Farmer Refuted’, in ibid., I, 156. ⁶⁷ Henry Laurens to John Laurens, Charleston, 9/5/1775, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, X, 116. ⁶⁸ John Joachim Zubly, The Stamp Act Repealed (Savannah, 1766), 21. ⁶⁹ Robert R. Livingston to John Sargent, 20/12/1765, Livingston Papers, New York Public Library. ⁷⁰ A Patagonian to BG, 21/2/1774. See similarly John Hancock, An Oration Delivered March 5, 1774 (Boston, 1774), 13–14; ‘A Conference Between His Britannic Majesty and His Subjects’, in BEP 20/2/ 1775; letter to BG, 5/5/1766. ⁷¹ Mayhew, Snare Broken, 22. Following Mayhew, Henry Cumings, A Thanksgiving Sermon Preached at Billerica (Boston, 1767), 20. See similarly Homespun [Benjamin Franklin] to The Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser, 15/1/1766, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIII, 47–8; Watts, ‘Essay on the Reciprocal Advantages’, 74; Boston Freeholders’ Address to the Farmer, in NYGWPB, 4/ 4/68 (Boston 24/3/1768; reprinted in NYM, 11/4/1768); Alexander Martin, America, A Poem (Philadelphia, 1769?), 13–15.

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‘Blow Up the Coals’ I fancy that intriguing nation [France] would like very well to meddle on occasion, and blow up the coals between Britain and her colonies; but I hope we shall give them no opportunity. Benjamin Franklin, colonial agent, 1767⁷² The idea of conspiracy has been central to scholarship on the origins of the American Revolution since the late 1960s.⁷³ Yet the atmosphere of sedition that clouded the imperial crisis was heavily reliant on the geopolitical context in which it occurred. Colonial patriots suspected that corrupt ministers in London were pawns of a French plot to weaken the British Empire against its European rivals. This frame of mind granted a potent afterlife to the image of imperial politics which had reached maturity during the Seven Years War. Many BritishAmericans interpreted the misguided, metropolitan measures of the post-war years as a peacetime manifestation of the same policy that had supposedly led to a lenient peace in 1763—a continuity which historians have missed. Since like problems called for like solutions, patriots clamoured for the return to office of a Pittite ministry, hoping that it would restore Britain to the position of power and pre-eminence last achieved in 1762. Underlying these events was the continuing valence of colonial British nationalism as a political sanction. Colonial patriots contended that foreign powers would not only exploit divisions within the British Empire but also had helped to foment those divisions in the first place. In most cases, this was a paranoid fantasy, yet the belief was not entirely inaccurate. Benjamin Franklin, who was amongst the most active propagators of the conspiracy theory, knew from personal experience that its roots lay in fact. In a letter to his son of August 1769, Franklin deduced from the courtesies shown to him by a French ambassador in London that the Bourbons wished to ‘blow up the coals between Britain and her colonies’. Several years later, he complained of becoming a tourist attraction for European diplomats, ‘who begin to hope Britain’s alarming power will be diminished by the defection of her colonies’.⁷⁴ His imagination was not running wild. The French court had been praying for discord between Britain and her American colonies since the early 1760s, sending agents to monitor opinion and make contacts on both

⁷² Benjamin Franklin to William Franklin, London, 28/8/1767, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIV, 244. ⁷³ Bailyn, ‘A Note on Conspiracy’ in Bailyn, Ideological Origins, 144–59; Wood, ‘Conspiracy and the Paranoid Style: Causality and Deceit in the Eighteenth Century’, in Wood, The Idea of America (London, 2011), 81–123. ⁷⁴ Benjamin Franklin to William Franklin, London, 28/8/1767, 19/8/1772, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIV, 244, XIX, 259. See, for example, Count Ludovico Barbiano de Belgioioso to Benjamin Franklin, 30/9/1772, in ibid., XIX, 305.

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sides of the Atlantic.⁷⁵ For the time being, such overtures alarmed Franklin. ‘There are emissaries from France, who endeavour to foment the difference between Great Britain and her colonies’, he warned in a Public Advertiser article of 1773, before urging its readers to ‘disappoint this subtle and perfidious nation’.⁷⁶ Other colonists shared Franklin’s suspicions. Nicholas Ray of New York, also resident in London, warned that ‘every power in Europe would encourage [America] to rebellion, whereby they would greatly weaken this kingdom, and advance their own interest’.⁷⁷ These theories soon filtered across the Atlantic. The author of The Power and Grandeur of Great Britain, printed in Philadelphia in 1768, asked, ‘what card remains for France to play’ if she still wished to ‘contend for universal monarchy’ and become ‘the envy, the terror, and the disturber of Europe’? Instead of military force, the writer answered, ‘it is the interest of France . . . to weaken its rival, by detaching [the colonies] from her’.⁷⁸ A letter to the Virginia Gazette counselled its readers to beware ‘a policy truly consistent with the experience that we have of our common enemy’. ‘France’, it claimed, ‘will not . . . pursue her schemes of universal monarchy by hazarding another peddling in America for it, when she sees she can do the business so much nearer home, through the impolicy of the state managers.’⁷⁹ The same theme appeared in colonial doggerel. Verses published in the Boston Gazette asserted that: . . . Britain’s enemies ever gladly strive To interrupt their union and promote Discord between them and contention dire; That so dividing them, their foes may join In league offensive to o’erthrow them both.⁸⁰

This danger required an urgent remedy. As a correspondent of the same newspaper wrote in January 1772, ‘the enemies of our nation have long been sowing the seeds of discord, and kindling the fire of contentions’. If they were not soon extinguished, these flames might ‘consummate the misery of the nation, and end in its total extinction’.⁸¹ ⁷⁵ Tombs, That Sweet Enemy, 155–6. ⁷⁶ Benjamin Franklin, ‘An Infallible Method to Restore Peace and Harmony’, in Public Advertiser 8/ 9/1773, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XX, 389. See similarly ‘The Mother Country: A Song’, in ibid., XII, 432. ⁷⁷ Ray, Importance of the Colonies of North America, 9. See similarly Stephen Sayre, The Englishman Deceived (London, 1768; repr. New York, 1768), 3–4. ⁷⁸ Power and Grandeur, 6. ⁷⁹ ‘The Remainder of the Piece from the Virginia Gazette begun in our last’, in NYJ, 15/6/1769 (reprinted from VG, 20/4/1769). ⁸⁰ ‘[Illegible] and his IMPS employed: A Poem’, in BG, 7/9/1772. ⁸¹ An American, ‘To the Good People of England, Scotland, and Ireland’, in BG, 6/1/1772. See similarly Richard Salter, A Sermon Preached Before the General Assembly (New London, 1768), 9; Watts, ‘Essay on the Reciprocal Advantages’, 53; ‘An Extract’, in NYG, 17/3/1766.

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Acting on suspicions such as these, some colonists wondered whether British ministers might have risen to the bait which Franklin had so far declined. Writing in the guise of ‘the Earl of Clarendon’, John Adams blamed the Stamp Act crisis on ‘a few abandoned villains, whose lust of gain and power would at any time fasten them in the interest of France or Rome or Hell’.⁸² Likewise, Pastor Stephen Johnson blamed the recent upheavals on ‘a corrupt, Frenchified party in the nation’.⁸³ The only way to bring about the reconciliation of Britain and America, a correspondent of the Essex Gazette agreed, was to ‘remove these Gallican pensioners from the helm, and call up the true patrons of your constitutional rights’. Otherwise, the Empire would ‘soon fall a prey into the hands of your inveterate and implacable enemies, and lose all’.⁸⁴ The same suspicions were also cast over colonial loyalists, who found themselves accused of acting ‘with a true French spirit’.⁸⁵ In New York, one writer speculated that the incarcerated Alexander McDougall—a patriot sometimes styled by his supporters as ‘the American Wilkes’—had been ‘sent to gaol chiefly by a French interest’.⁸⁶ As if by custom, these accusations initially fell on Lord Bute, despite his retirement from the political stage years earlier. In 1765, the Bostonian artist John Singleton Copley produced an engraving—immediately plagiarized by the Philadelphian printer Robert Wilkinson—entitled The Deplorable State of America, which depicted Bute taking a bag of gold from an allegorical French figure in exchange for stirring up trouble between Britain and her colonies.⁸⁷ This was a typical attack, encapsulating the American variant of a conspiracy theory about Bute’s ‘secret influence’ over his successors popular amongst Wilkite journalists in the metropolis.⁸⁸ Out of power, the Scottish Tory Stuart Earl continued to serve as a symbolic conduit through which colonial discourse was again flooded with suspicions of Tory, Francophile, Jacobite, Scottish, and

⁸² [John Adams] Earl of Clarendon to ‘William Pym’, BG, 20/1/1766, in Taylor (ed.), Adams Papers, I, 163. ⁸³ Johnson, Some Important Observations, 15. ⁸⁴ Letter to Essex Gazette 1/11/1768 (reprinted in BG, 7/11/1768). See similarly: NYG, 16/12/1765; letter to BEP, 3/2/1766; letter to BG, 5/9/1768; letter to BEP, 9/1/1769; William Patten, A Discourse Delivered at Halifax (Boston, 1766), 21; A Friend to Military Government [Benjamin Franklin], ‘An Open Letter to Lord North’, in Public Advertiser, 15/4/1774, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XXI, 186; Adams, ‘Novanglus No. 6’, in Bradley Thompson (ed.), The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams (Indianapolis, 2000), 218. ⁸⁵ Letter to BEP, 5/20/1767 (reprinted in NYM, 26/20/1767); see also James Otis, Brief Remarks on the Defence of the Halifax Libel (Boston, 1765), 4, 20. ⁸⁶ NYJ, 1/3/1770. ⁸⁷ John Singleton Copley, The Deplorable State of America (Boston, 1765); following him, Robert Wilkinson, The Deplorable State of America (Philadelphia, 1765)—dramatic elaborations of a British original: see illustrations in Ann Uhry Abrams, ‘Politics, Prints, and John Singleton Copley’s Watson and the Shark’, in The Art Bulletin, vol. 61, no. 2 (June 1979), 270. ⁸⁸ See Kathleen Wilson, The Sense of the People (Cambridge, 1995), 212–14; Frank O’Gorman, ‘The Myth of Lord Bute’s Secret Influence’, in K. W. Schweizer (ed.), Lord Bute (Leicester, 1988), 57–81; Peter D. G. Thomas, George III (Manchester, 2002), 31–2.

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Popish sedition, of the type which had circulated habitually since the Hanoverian succession.⁸⁹ Since the villain of the piece also happened to be the villain of the peace, patriots underscored the continuities between the leniency of the Treaty of Paris and the efforts of later ministries to weaken the bonds between Britain and America. This allegation presented a contemporary version of the charge that the traitorous Treaty of Utrecht and the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715 had been products of Tory subversion. In his sermon on the repeal of the Stamp Act, Joseph Emerson preached that ingratitude for the victories of the Seven Years War had moved God ‘to suffer a change in the ministry at home’. The new government, he claimed, had subsequently made a peace ‘inglorious to the nation’, before establishing a scheme of colonial reform which ‘saps the very foundations of liberty, and opens a wide door to tyranny and oppression’.⁹⁰ A broadside published in New York reminded its readers of how ‘a venal and corrupt ministry had sacrificed to our natural enemies . . . the honour and glory purchased to the nation in the last war’ by concluding ‘an inglorious peace’. Now, the same ministers had ‘cast their eyes on this country, with a design to subjugate it to their tyranny and venality’.⁹¹ This narrative echoed an oppositional discourse across the Atlantic, the fruits of which were regularly imported through colonial newspapers like the ⁸⁹ See Benjamin Church, Liberty and Property Vindicated (Hartford, 1765), 5–7; Church, The Times: A Poem (Boston 1765), 4, 10; The Lamentation of Pennsylvania on Account of the Stamp Act (Philadelphia, 1765); Liberty, Property, and No Excise (Boston, 1765); Oppression: A Poem (Boston, 1765), 2–3, 5–8, 16–20; C.P., A Letter to His Most Excellent Majesty George III (New York, 1765), broadside; Otis, Brief Remarks, 14–16; Thomas Plant, Joyful News to America: A Poem (Philadelphia, 1766), 4; Good News for America (Philadelphia, 1766), broadside; John Carmichael, A Self-Defensive War Lawful (Philadelphia, 1775), 30–1; David Jones, Defensive War in a Just Cause Sinless (Philadelphia, 1775), 20; Zubly, Law of Liberty, 24n; NYM, 12/8/1765 (Boston 5/8/1765); Hampden to Pym, in BG 27/1/1766; NYM, 9/6/1766; letter to BG, 4/5/1767 (reprinted in NYM, 18/5/1767); NYM, 7/12/1767 (Newport 28/11/1767); William Livingston, ‘The American Whig No. 3’, in NYGWPB, 28/3/ 1768; NYGWPB, 14/5/1770; Corrector Impudentis to BEP, 4/11/1771; NYM, 30/12/1771; A Farmer’s Son, ‘To the KING’, in BEP, 17/2/1772; Praedicus, ‘To the Public’, in BG, 18/10/1773; L. H. Butterfield (ed.), The Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, 4 vols. (Cambridge, MA, 1961), 12/3/1774, II, 92; Jack Greene (ed.), The Diary of Landon Carter of Sabine Hall, 2 vols. (Charlottesville, 1965), 8/6/1774, 29/7/1775, II, 821, 931. Some examples of anti-Popery: Jonathan Mayhew, Popish Idolatry (Boston, 1765), 50–1; Emerson, Thanksgiving Sermon, 12; Butterfield (ed.), Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, 8/12/1766, I, 326; A Puritan to BG, 11/4/1768; BG, 18/4/1768, 21/11/1774 (Newport 14/4/ 1774); Charles Willson Peale to Thomas Allwood, Annapolis, 30/8/1775, in Lillian Miller (ed.), The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family, Volume I (New Haven, 1983), 144. The role of anti-popery in patriot discourse has been extensively studied; however, it is almost exclusively cast as an ancestral fear, while it drew much of its strength from the contemporaneous geopolitical fear of French revanchism. See further Francis Cogliano, No King, No Popery (Westport, 1995), esp. 41–51; Thomas Kidd, God of Liberty (New York, 2010), 58–66; Brendan McConville, The King’s Three Faces (Chapel Hill, 2006), 261–73; Charles Metzger, The Quebec Act (New York, 1936), 10–36; Andrew Preston, Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith (New York, 2012), 77–81. ⁹⁰ Emerson, Thanksgiving Sermon, 10. ⁹¹ Salvation of American Liberty, broadside (reprinted in NYGWPB, 21/5/1770). See similarly ‘Hampden to Pym no. 3’, in BG, 23/12/1765; Plant, Joyful News for America, broadside; Moestus to BEP, 21/12/1767; Some Observations of Consequence, 54; Anti-Pope to the Puritan, in BG, 22/4/1768; ‘To the People’, in PC 14/6/1773; Adams, ‘Novanglus No. 2’, in Thompson (ed.), Revolutionary Writings of John Adams, 158 Adam, ‘Novanglus No. 11’, in ibid., 275–6.

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New York Gazette.⁹² Nothing aroused more attention in the metropolitan or provincial press than a pamphlet of 1769 by a Plymouth physician, Dr Samuel Musgrave, which held that British ministers had taken bribes from a French ambassador, the Chevalier d’Eon, in exchange for granting a generous peace.⁹³ The Continental Congress itself propagated this narrative of foreign betrayal and domestic subversion. The ‘inglorious peace’ of 1763, it declared in an Address to the British People of October 1774, was the work of ‘a minister of principles, and of a family unfriendly to the Protestant cause, and inimical to liberty’. Later, ‘under the influence of that man, a plan for enslaving your fellow subjects in America was concerted, and has ever since been pertinaciously carrying into execution’.⁹⁴ Congress’s Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms of July 1775 reprised the same argument. ‘The new ministry’ of 1762, it declared, ‘finding the brave foes of Britain, though frequently defeated, yet still contending, took up the unfortunate ideas of granting them a hasty peace’ and then turned to ‘subduing her faithful friends’—the American colonists who had played so great a part in the wasted victory.⁹⁵ From the vantage point of most patriots, the challenge at hand was to overthrow the corrupt ministry which was destroying the Empire and return to the fondly remembered glory days of 1758–62. Historians have tended to claim that American agitators styled themselves ‘sons of liberty’ in homage to a speech in the House of Commons by Colonel Isaac Barré, one of the principal metropolitan opponents of the Stamp Act. Tellingly, however, the phrase had a more venerable lineage in colonial political discourse as a label for those who had resisted the geopolitical aspirations of France.⁹⁶ The celebrations which followed the repeal of the Stamp Act in 1766 and other major milestones of the imperial crisis closely adhered to the rituals which had accompanied the military victories of the mid-century conflicts. The wartime sermons of figures including William Smith and Gilbert Tennent were reprinted across the colonies, while Joseph Emerson explicitly likened his repeal sermon to a

⁹² See, for example, ‘A letter to the Earl of –‘, in NYG, 16/12/1765; London 11/11/1765, in NYG, 3/2/ 1766; ‘A Parallel, Drawn between the Administration in the Last Four Years of Queen Anne, and the First Four of George III’, in NYG, 8/9/1766. ⁹³ News of the Musgrave Affair circulated widely in North America. See, for example, BEP, 20/11/ 1769, 27/11/1769; NYC, 20/11/1769, 23/11/1769; NYGWPB, 20/11/1769, 11/12/1769; NYJ, 17/11/1769, 14/12/1769, 22/2/1770; PC, 20/11/1769, 27/11/1769, 4/12/1769, 5/3/1770, 19/3/1770; James Rivington to William Johnson, New York, 27/11/1769, 4/12/1769, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 269, 285. ⁹⁴ ‘Address to the People of Great Britain’, 21/10/1774, in Henry Johnston, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay: Volume 1 (New York, 1890), 101. See similarly Second Petition from Congress to the King, 8/7/1775, in Julian Boyd et al. (eds.), The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 40 vols. so far (Princeton, 1950–), I, 219–20. ⁹⁵ ‘Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms’, 26/6–6/7/1775, in Boyd (ed.), Jefferson Papers, I, 214. See also the drafts, ibid., I, 193–4, 200, 206. ⁹⁶ Cf. Robert Ferguson, The American Enlightenment 1750–1820 (Cambridge, MA, 1997), 7.

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military thanksgiving.⁹⁷ Jonathan Mayhew even contended that the repeal ‘had given more pleasure to three million good subjects’ than ‘the triumphs of their armies, from Lake Superior eastward to the isles of Manila’.⁹⁸ The elderly pastor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Nathaniel Appleton, went still further: Britain’s disruptive enemies had been defeated, he preached, and the reunited empire again stood ‘ready upon every occasion to strengthen one another’s hands for mutual safety against the common enemy’.⁹⁹ In 1774, William Smith of Philadelphia was still seeking the restoration of ‘that harmony from which, in our better days, Great Britain and her colonies derived mutual strength and glory, and were exalted into an importance that, both in peace and war, made them the envy and terror of the neighbouring nations’.¹⁰⁰ Since the Empire seemed to be assailed by a familiar blend of French aggression and Tory sedition, patriots turned to a familiar solution. Britain’s ills stemmed from the dismissal of William Pitt; they could be repaired by his return to power. As we shall see in the next chapter, American patriots tended to conceive of the British Empire as a league superintended by a Parliament holding authority over external affairs and commercial regulation. In this very spirit, their answer to the imperial crisis lay not in a change of constitution but a change in ministry. Colonial patriots stressed the continuity of Pitt’s conspicuous role in the repeal of the Stamp Act with his part in reversing Britain’s fortunes during the Seven Years War. In the process, they sharpened the contrast with the wartime and peacetime betrayals of Lord Bute and his supposed followers. ‘Pitt once more rises’, a Boston poet celebrated, predicting that henceforth, Should Gallic foes but dare attempt our coast, Pitt’s head and heart and thunder we can boast; These ruined France, and humbled haughty Spain, In both worlds triumphed, and ruled all the main. Britain to other worlds shall now be joined, And all her sons in one firm league combined. True ancient faith shall close unite each soul, Great George’s realms extend from pole to pole.¹⁰¹

⁹⁷ See William Smith reprinted in BG, 7/10/1765, NYM, 21/10/1765; Gilbert Tennent, The Blessedness of Peace-Makers Represented (Philadelphia, 1766), passim; Emerson, Thanksgiving Sermon, 8–10. Cf. Peter Bastian, ‘Celebrating the Empire in the Changing Political World of Boston, 1759-1774’, in Australasian Journal of American Studies, vol. 16, no. 1 (July 1997), 26–44. ⁹⁸ Mayhew, Snare Broken, 15. See similarly David Rowland, Divine Providence Illustrated and Improved (Providence, 1766), 17; Salter, Sermon Preached Before the General Assembly, 39; letter, 14/7/ 1768 to NYM, 25/7/1768. ⁹⁹ Nathaniel Appleton A Thanksgiving Sermon on the Total Repeal of the Stamp Act (Boston, 1766), 17–18. ¹⁰⁰ William Smith quoted in NYM, 27/6/1774 (Philadelphia 20/6/1774). ¹⁰¹ ‘A Dream’, in BG, 31/3/1766.

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To John Dickinson, Pitt was ‘the victor of his country’s foreign and domestic foes’; to Charles Chauncy, ‘the saviour . . . both of the nation and these colonies, not only from the power of France, but from that which is much worse, a state of slavery under the appellation of Englishmen’.¹⁰² The Virginian planter Landon Carter scribbled a similar sentiment, describing Pitt and his allies as: Viri Honoratissimi Qui Britanniam Magnam Conservabant Fovendo LIBERTATAS America Britannicae.¹⁰³

The personality cult Pitt had enjoyed in British America at the turn of the 1760s was reinvigorated. Reprints of his speeches gushed from almost every colonial printing press.¹⁰⁴ Medals were struck, celebrating ‘the man who, having saved the parent, pleaded with success for her children’; busts were exchanged; statues were installed in New York and Charleston; the patriot painter Charles Willson Peale produced a pair of portraits, pointing to a Phrygian cap and clad in a toga of military scarlet and gold; the engraved version sold throughout the colonies.¹⁰⁵ Throughout the decade following the repeal, colonists continued to refer to Pitt a ‘the guardian of Britain and preserver of America’.¹⁰⁶ Bickerstaff ’s Almanac for 1772 celebrated him as the ‘first of patriots’, the guarantor of ‘Britain’s glory’, from whom ‘contending realms accept control’. The verse concluded: War deals destruction, peace her olive brings, As thy [Pitt’s] supreme direction governs kings. Where’er thou bidst, the wreaths of conquest fall, The guide, the friend, the guardian of us all.¹⁰⁷

¹⁰² John Dickinson, An Address to the Committee of Correspondence in Barbados (Philadelphia, 1766), 15; Chauncy, Good News from a Far Country, 31. See similarly Appleton, Total Repeal of the Stamp Act, 22–3; Mayhew, Snare Broken, iv; NYM, 4/5/1767 (letter, Boston, 27/4/1767, to BEP); ‘Hail Pitt . . . ’ in BEP, 26/5/1766; NYM, 2/12/1765; Dulany, Considerations on the Propriety of Imposing Taxes, 18–19; Henry Laurens to John Lewis Gervais, Charleston, 1/9/1766, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, V, 182; BEP, 12/8/1765 (reprinted in NYM, 19/8/1765); Charles Carroll, Jr, to Edmund Jennings, 14/10/1766, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, I, 418. ¹⁰³ Greene (ed.), Carter Diary, I, 330. See ibid., I, 403–4; Rhys Isaac, Landon Carter’s Uneasy Kingdom (Oxford, 2004), 178; and similarly Butterfield (ed.), Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, 28/3/1766, I, 308. ¹⁰⁴ For example, William Pitt, Mr Pitt’s Speech (New York, 1766); Pitt, The Speeches of the Right Honourable Mr Pitt . . . (Philadelphia, 1766). ¹⁰⁵ Franklin Dexter (ed.), Extracts from the Itineraries and Other Miscellanies of Ezra Stiles (New Haven, 1916), 22/4/1767, 214–15; Harvard College to Benjamin Franklin, 1/4/1769, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XVI, 7. On Peale’s painting, see Charles Sellers, ‘Virginia’s Great Allegory of William Pitt’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 9, no. 1 (Jan. 1952), 58–66. ¹⁰⁶ Pelopidas to BG, 26/10/1767 (reprinted in NYJ, 12/11/1767). See similarly ‘A short view of the administration of Secretary Pitt’, in MS, 7/1/1771. ¹⁰⁷ Benjamin West, Bickerstaff ’s Boston Almanac (Boston, 1771), [1].

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Almost to the end, colonists clung to this view of imperial politics. Observing the interventions of Pitt (now ennobled as the Earl of Chatham) in an ill-fated House of Lords debate on imperial reconciliation in January 1775, a young Bostonian named Josiah Quincy still thought him comparable to the great patriotic orators Marcellus, St Paul, and Demosthenes.¹⁰⁸ Even in the dismal failure of Pitt’s reconciliation bill that February, which barely received a reading in Parliament, American patriots continued to identify him as the hero of their vision of a just and avenging empire. The resolves in favour of taking up arms, which the Virginia House of Burgesses adopted in June 1775, offer the most striking example. Pitt, they declared, ‘had shown to the World that Great Britain and her colonies, united firmly under a just and honest government, formed a power which might bid defiance to the most potent enemies’. However, they lamented, ‘with a change of ministers . . . a total change of measures took place’, threatening ‘a total annihilation of its weight in the political scale of the World’.¹⁰⁹ British-American culture remained enthusiastically royalist. The Hartford pastor Eliphalet Williams described the Hanoverian royal family in 1769 as ‘encircled with beams of glory . . . to be the check and scourge of tyrants, to defend the Protestant religion, and public liberties’.¹¹⁰ Colonists continued to stress the King’s geopolitical role. In an address to George III, the New Jersey House of Representatives remarked that ‘the Empire of the British dominions was, by the favour of divine providence, for the felicity of those dominions, and of Europe in general, established in your illustrious house’.¹¹¹ Similarly, a New York poet commented that it was the duty of British kings to ‘guard all Europe from th’ oppressive arm’.¹¹² Unsurprisingly, therefore, patriots looked to the throne for relief during the imperial crisis. Writers like William Livingston threw themselves upon ‘the moderation and humanity of our present sovereign’.¹¹³ A correspondent of the

¹⁰⁸ Josiah Quincy, ‘London Journal 1774-1775’, 20/1/1775, in Daniel Coquillette and Neil York (eds.), The Major Political and Legal Papers of Josiah Quincy Junior, 5 vols. so far (Charlottesville, 2005–), I, 252–7. On Pitt’s reconciliation proposals and their failure in the House of Lords, see Gordon Wood, The Americanisation of Benjamin Franklin (New York, 2004), 150–1; Jeremy Black, Pitt the Elder (Cambridge, 1992), 291–4. ¹⁰⁹ Resolves of the House of Burgesses, 10/6/1775, in McIlwaine and Kennedy (eds.), Virginia Burgesses Journals, XIII, 213. ¹¹⁰ Eliphalet Williams, A Sermon Preached in the Audience of the General Assembly (Hartford, 1769), 27. See similarly Andrew Eliot, A Sermon Preached Before His Excellency (Boston, 1765), 48; Benjamin Franklin to Mary Stevenson, Paris, 14/9/1767, Benjamin Franklin to Deborah Franklin, London, 5/6/ 1771, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIV, 253, XVIII, 118; Benjamin Rush to Ebenezer Hazard, London, 22/10/1768, in L. H. Butterfield (ed.), Letters of Benjamin Rush, 2 vols. (Princeton, 1951), I, 68. See McConville, King’s Three Faces, passim; Isaac, Landon Carter’s Uneasy Kingdom, 175–6. ¹¹¹ Printed in BEP, 25/8/1768. See similarly Eliot, Sermon Preached Before His Excellency, 15; Ebenezer Gay, The Devotions of God’s People Adjusted to the Dispensations of His Providence (Boston, 1771), 17. ¹¹² NYJ, 19/7/1770. See further NYJ, 26/7/1770. ¹¹³ William Livingston, ‘The American Whig No. 12’, in NYGWPB, 30/5/1768.

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Boston Evening Post urged the ‘slumbering’ monarch to ‘rouse and shake the dust that hangs upon you’, in order to address the problem of Britain’s decline.¹¹⁴ Colonists produced numerous addresses, both public and private, to the King during the 1760s and 1770s. George III’s assent to the repeal of the Stamp Act prompted a wave of adulation throughout British America, as patriots praised ‘a favour from the best of earthly monarchs’.¹¹⁵ However, while some patriots did suggest that Parliament’s intervention in colonial affairs encroached on the King’s prerogative, there is little to suggest that many saw the reinvigoration of discretionary royal power as the solution to the imperial crisis.¹¹⁶ As we have seen, patriots looked primarily to a change in ministry to heal the rift between Britain and America. The King was not an impotent factor in this scheme, but if George III had a particular role, it lay in the dismissal of subversive cabals and the summoning of new ministers. This was hardly a radical constitutional innovation spawned by Bolingbroke’s theory of patriot kingship. The Hanoverian monarchs were not absolutists, but they had largely retained this facet of royal power and remained the centre of ministerial government.¹¹⁷ Surely it was to this power that patriots like the author of A Letter to His Most Excellent Majesty (1765) were referring. This New York broadside called on George III to ‘rouse’ and ‘escape the snare, and act as did great George your grandsire’—the man who had broken with the Whig Old Corps and raised Pitt to the premiership.¹¹⁸ Beneath the celebrations, speculations, and accusations, nationalism continued to impose the ultimate public sanction on imperial politics. In an atmosphere of revanchism, war scares, and subversion, the criteria which American patriots

¹¹⁴ Plain Truth to BEP, 7/6/1773. See similarly Vox Populi (Boston, 1765), broadside; Jones, Defensive War, 26–7; Mather, America’s Appeal, 63. ¹¹⁵ Samuel Stillman, Good News From a Far Country (Boston, 1766), 32. See similarly ‘True Briton’ to ‘The Watchmen of Westminster, in NYG, 31/3/1766; Mayhew, Snare Broken, 24; Benjamin Throop, A Thanksgiving Sermon Upon the Occasion of the Glorious News of the Repeal of the Stamp Act (New London, 1766), 15; NYJ, 26/3/1767. See William D. Liddle, ‘ “A Patriot King, or None”: Lord Bolingbroke and the American Renunciation of George III’, in The Journal of American History, vol. 65, no. 4 (Mar. 1979), 957–60; Benjamin Price, Nursing Fathers (Lanham, 1999), 187–93; similarly, on a later part of the crisis, Hannah Spahn, Thomas Jefferson, Time, and History (Charlottesville and London, 2011), 119–20. ¹¹⁶ See, for example, James Lovell, An Oration Delivered April 2nd 1771 (Boston, 1771), 15–16. Contrast Eric Nelson, The Royalist Revolution (Cambridge, MA, 2014), 29–65; McConville, King’s Three Faces, 192–219; and above, Chapter 6. Indeed, Dulany, Considerations on the Propriety of Imposing Taxes, 42, reiterated warnings against trusting to blind faith in hereditary authorities over ‘those guards and securities of liberty, which the constitution of a free government hath provided’. ¹¹⁷ On the remarkable power of Hanoverian monarchs over the composition of their ministries, see John Cannon, The Fox-North Coalition (Cambridge, 1969), esp. 230. Of course, it was also practically necessary for the King to appoint ministers capable of commanding majorities in both houses of Parliament. See Richard Pares, King George III and the Politicians (Oxford, 1953), esp. 93–142; Thomas, George III, esp. 237–40. Contrast the impression given in Nelson, Royalist Revolution, 19–20. ¹¹⁸ C.P., Letter to George III, broadside.

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applied to legitimate public conduct across the Empire were still governed by the distinctive colonial idea of Britishness. The most recent conflicts had strengthened this strand of colonial culture, especially through the personality cult that had developed around James Wolfe. With the exception of William Pitt, no one was praised more emphatically or more regularly in post-war America than the General who had lost his life capturing Quebec in 1759. Epitaphs for the fallen conqueror resounded from the pulpit and the press into the 1770s.¹¹⁹ The Conquest of Canada, a play written by the one-time colonial officer George Cockings, was widely printed and performed at the new Southwark Theatre in Philadelphia in March 1773.¹²⁰ Copies of the Philadelphian artist Benjamin West’s masterpiece, The Death of General Wolfe (1770), found their way to the colonies through the hands of merchants like John Roosevelt of New York.¹²¹ Britain’s role as the arbiter and avenger of European liberties remained central to this identity. For Reverend William Smith, it remained the case in 1766 that ‘the cause of liberty, civil and religious, is the cause of Britain herself ’.¹²² Like the metropolitan Wilkites, colonial patriots continued to stress that the history of British liberty was part of a broader, international narrative.¹²³ Preachers and polemicists continued to celebrate the ‘patriot kings’ of medieval and seventeenthcentury England who had resisted the French and defended liberty.¹²⁴ Some writers even signed themselves as ‘Alfred’.¹²⁵ American tourists continued to tour the Duke of Marlborough’s battlefields and dance to songs named after him.¹²⁶ The ‘wisdom of all’ William III’s ‘measures for the common liberties of

¹¹⁹ Stillman, Preached to the Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company, 11–12; letter to BEP, 23/7/ 1770; Eli Forbes, The Dignity and Importance of the Military Character (Boston, 1771), 15–17; Nathaniel Evans, Poems on Several Occasions (Philadelphia, 1772), passim; ‘Epitaph on General Wolfe’, in NYJ, 11/2/1773; PC, 22/3/1773; NYM, 14/2/1774; MS, 30/3/1775. Similarly, on the Marquess of Granby, NYM, 21/1/1765, 28/1/1771. On the Wolfe cult, see Nicholas Roger, ‘Brave Wolfe: The Making of a Hero’, in Kathleen Wilson (ed.), A New Imperial History (Cambridge, 2004), 239–59. ¹²⁰ PC, 22/4/1773; George Cockings, The Conquest of Canada (Albany, 1773), passim. ¹²¹ NYJ, 11/6/1772. See also PC, 28/10/1771. ¹²² Smith, ‘An Eulogium on the Delivery of Mr. Sargent’s Prize Medal’, in Smith (ed.), Four Dissertations, 10. Consider the masthead of the BG during the 1760s and early 1770s; and, for example, ‘Translation from a Swedish Author’, in NYG, 22/9/1766. ¹²³ See John Wilkes, The History of England from the Revolution to the Accession of the Brunswick Line, Volume I (New York, 1768), esp. 5, 17–34; John Wilkes to Duke of —, Paris, 12/12/1766, in NYM, 20/7/1767; Wilkes quoted in Nelson, Royalist Revolution, 30. Cf. Wilson, Sense of the People, 218, which focuses on Anglocentric historicism. Wilkes’s biographers do not appear to have appreciated his efforts to place English liberty in a European and geopolitical context: Thomas, John Wilkes (Oxford 1996); Arthur Cash, John Wilkes (New Haven, 2006). ¹²⁴ Noah Welles, Patriotism Described (New London, 1764), 22–3; Instructions of Newburyport to its Representative, in BG, 4/11/1765; letter from London, NYM, 16/4/1764; Martin, America, 11–12; ‘Henry V’ to the Essex Gazette, reprinted in MS, 10/12/1770; Simeon Howard, A Sermon Preached to the Ancient and Honourable Artillery-Company (Boston, 1773), 29. ¹²⁵ For example, NYC, 14/12/1769; BG, 6/2/1769, 2/10/1769, 21/2/1774. ¹²⁶ See John Morgan, The Journal of Dr John Morgan (Philadelphia, 1907), 201–2; Henry Laurens, ‘Travel Journal’, 23/4/1773, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, IX, 11; Daniel Bailey, A New and Complete Introduction to the Grounds and Rules of Music (Boston, 1766), 9, 28; Briggs (ed.), Ames Almanacs, 353.

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Europe’ (and the frequent failure of Parliament to support them) was still invoked.¹²⁷ By the late 1760s, a succession of British governments stood accused of betraying this identity. Patriot poets were particularly adept at levelling this charge. Benjamin Church’s epic The Times (1765) presented a tale of stark decline during the King’s short reign. At his succession, he recalled: Successful war has added wide domain, And conquered oceans scarce his fleets contain, United Gaul and Spain his easy prey, And but compact to give their realms away.

Now, scarcely ‘one lustrum’ later: . . . sad reverse! With doubling sighs I speak, A flood of sorrow coursing down my cheek, The salient heart for George forgets to bound, Dark disaffection sheds her gloom around.¹²⁸

Four years on, the New Jersey poet Alexander Martin’s verses on America drew a dim contrast between the uninspiring condition of the British Empire at the present time and the former days in which ‘famed Agincourt, Poitiers, and Crecy’ had shown the prowess of Englishmen: With freedom’s cause their mighty souls were fired While prostrate nations at their blows expired.¹²⁹

Colonists struggled to fathom this transformation. ‘When my memory retraces the noble struggles of the late memorable period’, a correspondent of the Boston Gazette puzzled in 1767, ‘and I contemplate the gloomy aspect of the present day’, he could only wonder whether ‘the true, generous magnanimity of British heroes be entirely lost in their degenerate progeny’, or if ‘the lion of the wood but sleeps’.¹³⁰ Events in the international sphere would provide an answer.

¹²⁷ Letter to VG, 2/2/1769 (reprinted in NYJ, 30/3/1769). Similarly NYM, 24/12/1766; Edmund Randolph, An Oration in Commemoration of the Founders of William and Mary College (Williamsburg, 1771), 8–9. ¹²⁸ Church, The Times, 6. ¹²⁹ Martin, America, 12. ¹³⁰ Hyperion to BG, 5/10/1767 (reprinted in NYJ, 22/10/1767). See similarly James Rivington to William Johnson, New York, 9/4/1765, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, IV, 395; letter to BEP, 23/7/ 1770; letter from a New York gentleman to a friend in Philadelphia in NYJ, 26/7/1770; Charles Chauncy, Trust in God (Boston, 1770), 18n–19n; Quincy, ‘Political Commonplace 1770–’, in Coquillette and York (eds.), Quincy Papers, I, 121; John Adams to James Warren, Braintree, 25/7/ 1774, in Taylor (ed.), Adams Papers, II, 116.

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‘The Rights of Free States’ Justice seems to have forsaken the old world . . . The rights of free states and cities are swallowed up in power. ‘Rusticus’, a Pennsylvanian polemicist, 1773¹³¹ During the years after 1763, American patriots were deeply concerned about the uncertainty of British power in the international sphere. As the Connecticut pastor Chauncey Whittelsey remarked in early 1765, ‘the state of affairs in the nation . . . appears dark and threatening’. Not only was Britain mired in debt and plagued by Popery, but ‘France and Spain [were] evidently seeking a quarrel with us, the King of Prussia disgusted with us, the Dutch either indolent or covetous, or diffident of us’.¹³² The clergyman’s ominous diagnosis reflected a growing sense of dissatisfaction with the dénouement of the Seven Years War. The peace, it seemed, had merely nurtured Bourbon revanchism while leaving Britain weakened and isolated. Such anxieties were shared by the metropolitan opposition, whose dire warnings seeped into colonial discourse through the press.¹³³ The sum of these fears would be realized by a series of geopolitical crises that convulsed the European world after 1768 and changed the politics, culture, and history of British North America forever. The peaceful resolution of the Stamp Act crisis proved to be a false dawn. In its aftermath, Benjamin Franklin had confidently informed the Pennsylvania assembly that, owing to the apparent reorientation of the Continental powers towards domestic affairs, they might ‘reasonably expect a tranquillity of some duration’.¹³⁴ A year later he had grown more pessimistic, denouncing the ‘court intrigues and cabals’ of metropolitan politicians, who would be better employed pursuing ‘such measures as might extend our commerce, pay off our debts, secure allies, and increase the strength and ability of the nation to support a future war’.¹³⁵ A column in the Newport Mercury struck a similar note. While upheavals in Poland, Geneva, Corsica, and Portugal portended a new European war, it seemed that ‘the interest of the [British] nation’ had been ‘almost forgot amidst the struggles of power and place’ occupying the attention of its leaders.¹³⁶ ¹³¹ Rusticus, A Letter from the Country to a Gentleman in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, 1773), broadside. See similarly Benjamin Rush to Ebenezer Hazard, London, 22/10/1768, in Butterfield (ed.), Rush Letters, I, 68–9. ¹³² Chauncey Whittelsey to Ezra Stiles, New Haven, 9/3/1765, in Dexter (ed.), Itineraries and Other Miscellanies, 586–7. ¹³³ See, for example, A Spittalfield Weaver to the St James Chronicle 11/7/1765 (reprinted in BEP, 16/9/1765); letter to Gentleman’s Magazine, 6/1767, in PC, 5/10/1767; Regulus to the London Chronicle, 30/6/1768, in NYJ, 15/9/1768. ¹³⁴ Benjamin Franklin to the Pennsylvania Assembly Committee of Correspondence, London, 10/6/ 1766, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIII, 299. ¹³⁵ Benjamin Franklin to Galloway, London, 8/8/1767, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIV, 228. ¹³⁶ NYG, 25/5/1767 (Newport 18/5/1767).

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Imprudent metropolitan administrators were only partially responsible for the country’s inability to intervene in Continental affairs. The Seven Years War had consummated the rise of two new ‘eastern powers’, Prussia and Russia, along with the resurgence of Austria. The result was a fissure in the European system, as the interests and concerns of these invigorated monarchies diverged from those of the western states. Not until the 1800s would a power once more prove capable of intervening effectively in both halves of the Continent, and not until then would the affairs of all Europe again revolve around the containment of France. These changes placed Britain on the margins of Europe. Its concentration on naval power and its continuing fixation with the Bourbon threat—a trait which now made it unique among the great powers—diminished its interest, influence, and capacity for intervention in Continental affairs. For the time being, Britain would be practically ostracized from the international system.¹³⁷ Few Britons in the colonies or the metropolis appreciated that these systemic changes had occurred; instead, many simply concluded that absolutism had acquired free rein over the European continent. In this context, the obsession of American patriots with the advance of tyranny abroad assumed its full magnitude. When John Adams scribbled the observation that liberty ‘has been compelled to skulk about in corners of the Earth’ in his notes for the Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, the statement was timely, not doctrinal.¹³⁸ Reverend George Micklejohn preached in a similar vein at Hillsborough, North Carolina, in 1768. ‘How happy would millions think themselves at this hour, who know no other law than the imperious will of some arbitrary prince, could they change situations with us,’ he asked his congregation.¹³⁹ Micklejohn was speaking at the height of a local insurrection known as the Regulators’ Movement, but his vindication of George III’s benign reign was based upon an explicit contrast with European tyranny. As we shall see, absolutism across the Atlantic was high on the colonial agenda that year. The author of the widely circulated missives To the Inhabitants of the British Colonies in America—perhaps John Dickinson—was even more strident. ‘The passion of despotism’, he complained in 1774, had been ‘raging like a plague for about seven years past’ and had ‘spread with unusual malignity

¹³⁷ See Scott, Birth of a Great Power System, 143–50; Tracy, Navies, Deterrence, and American Independence, 42; N. A. M. Rodger, The Command of the Ocean (London 2004), 328–9. ¹³⁸ John Adams, ‘Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law: Fragmentary Notes’, in Taylor (ed.), Adams Papers, I, 106. ¹³⁹ George Micklejohn, ‘Sermon’, Hillsborough, 25/9/1768, in William Powell (ed.), The Correspondence of William Tryon, 2 vols. (Raleigh, 1980–1), II, 195. See similarly Briggs (ed.), Ames Almanacs, 382–3; Silas Downer, A Discourse Delivered in Providence (Providence, 1768), 5; Alfred [Samuel Adams] to BG, 2/10/1769, in Cushing (ed.), Adams Writings, I, 393; Williams, Sermon Preached in the Audience of the General Assembly, 28; Quincy, ‘Political Commonplace, 1770’, in Coquillette and York (eds.), Quincy Papers, I, 149–50; A Freeholder to BEP, 1/3/1773; Elisha Fish, The Art of War Lawful and Necessary (Boston, 1774), 14; Josiah Quincy, Observations on the Act of Parliament Commonly Called the Boston Port Bill (Boston, 1774), 63, 70; Benjamin Kent to John Adams, Boston, 23/9/1774, in Taylor (ed.), Adams Papers, II, 171.

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through Europe’. Already, he continued, ‘Corsica, Poland, and Sweden have sunk beneath it’, while no state had ‘interposed for the relief of their distressed fellow creatures’.¹⁴⁰ Not for nothing did the Boston Sons of Liberty feel the need to toast ‘the downfall of arbitrary and despotic power in all parts of the Earth’.¹⁴¹ Only with the advent of a succession of major geopolitical crises in 1768 did colonists realize the enormity of Britain’s strategic predicament, as well as its ramifications for both sides of the Atlantic. The Corsican Crisis (1768–9), the Falklands Crisis (1770–1), and the struggle for pre-eminence in eastern Europe among Prussia, Russia, and Austria (1768–74), along with a handful of lesser emergencies, dulled the lustre of British geopolitical pre-eminence in the colonial world view. Not only did Britain’s perceived acquiescence in these events suggest that the Empire was far from being the ‘arbiter of Europe’, but its apparent complicity in the spread of tyranny on such occasions raised disconcerting questions about the safety of its American colonies. The Corsican Crisis of 1768–9 was but the latest in a series of international disputes over the Mediterranean island, which had operated as an autonomous republic since 1755. However, the involvement of the French, who had bought sovereignty over the territory from its nominal Genoese overlords, made this episode a matter of major geopolitical importance. Having formerly acted as the republic’s principal supporter, Britain’s total failure to resist its invasion by France in 1768 prompted widespread anger, called British power into question, and hastened the fall of the Grafton ministry. Meanwhile, the Corsican rebellion became a popular symbol of heroic liberty. Few figures were more widely revered than its leader, Pasquale Paoli, who came to Britain as an exile after the final defeat of his forces at the Battle of Ponte Novu in May 1769.¹⁴² Nevertheless, geopolitical considerations, rather than sympathy for foreign opponents of absolutism in general, were primarily responsible for colonial interest in the affairs of Corsica. British-Americans followed events in the western Mediterranean closely.¹⁴³ As early as April 1765, George Washington had received details of the coming conflict from a correspondent in Leghorn; two years later colonial newspapers were already proudly reporting ‘that the brave Corsicans continue inflexible in their resolution of freeing their country from Genoese tyranny’.¹⁴⁴ This early ¹⁴⁰ ‘To the Inhabitants of the British Colonies in America, No. 4’, in PG (reprinted in MS 7/7/1774, BEP, 11/7/1774, BG, 11/7/1774). ¹⁴¹ BEP, 22/8/1768. See similarly NYJ, 8/9/1768. ¹⁴² On the Corsican crisis and its effect in British politics, see H. M. Scott, British Foreign Policy in the Age of the American Revolution (Oxford, 1990), 115–22. ¹⁴³ The only extended attempt to explore colonial attitudes toward Corsica is rather dated: George Anderson, ‘Pascal Paoli: An Inspiration to the Sons of Liberty’, in Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, vol. 26 (1924–6), 180–210. See also Benjamin Carp, Defiance of the Patriots (New Haven, 2010), 3; James Hutson, ‘Intellectual Foundations of Early American Diplomacy’, in Diplomatic History, vol. 1, no. 1 (Oct. 1977), 9. ¹⁴⁴ Andrew Burnaby to George Washington, Leghorn, 29/4/1765, in Abbot (ed.) Washington Papers, VII, 365; NYJ, 28/5/1767 (Newport 18/5/1767).

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interest was magnified enormously during the crisis itself, as the press was deluged with coverage of Corsican affairs.¹⁴⁵ Paoli and his followers met with rapturous support in British America. Toasts wishing ‘the support of the friends of liberty’ to ‘the truly heroic Paschal Paoli, and all the brave Corsicans’ became ubiquitous at gatherings of ‘the sons of liberty’ and similar organizations throughout the colonies.¹⁴⁶ In New York, a club called ‘The Knights of Corsica’ emerged.¹⁴⁷ Accounts of the insurrection circulated, including an influential memoir by the Scotsman of letters James Boswell, from which Josiah Quincy extracted his definition of liberty.¹⁴⁸ The depiction of the Corsicans as a people fighting and dying for ‘their country and the cause of liberty’ was fundamental to colonial enthusiasm for their resistance.¹⁴⁹ Paoli himself became the centre of a personality cult that rivalled those of the Seven Years War, revered as an opponent of French hegemony more than royal tyranny. Not only did he figure personally in most toasts to the Corsican resistance, but in April 1769 a group of Philadelphians even held a celebration of his birthday at Burn’s tavern. Among the healths drunk that evening were ‘may the attempts of France upon Corsica, meet with the same fate as those of Persia upon Greece—repulsed with shame’.¹⁵⁰ A town in Pennsylvania was named after Paoli; a child was named after him in New York.¹⁵¹ In Philadelphia, it was reported with singular pride that the home-grown artist Henry Benbridge had been employed to paint the hero’s portrait (Figure 8.3).¹⁵² These colonists were profoundly disgruntled with Britain’s response to the crisis. The invasion of Corsica was a dangerous example of French aggression. As one poet warned in the New York Journal, ¹⁴⁵ For examples of long accounts of Corsican affairs, including reports of battles, declarations, and speeches, see: American Magazine, 1/1769, 2/1769, 6/1769, 7/1769, 8/1769; NYGWPB, 15/8/1768, 3/10/ 1768, 7/11/1768, 12/12/1768, 26/12/1768, 20/3/1769 (Philadelphia 16/3/1769), 26/6/1769, 24/7/1769, 21/8/1769, 28/8/1769, 25/9/1769 (London Chronicle, 22/6/1768). This was typical of colonial periodicals. ¹⁴⁶ BEP, 22/8/1768. See similarly: BEP, 18/8/1766, 26/9/1768 (Petersham), 12/6/1769, 13/11/1769 (New York 2/11/1769); BG, 18/8/1766, 1/9/1766, 21/3/1768, 22/8/1768, 10/4/1769 (Philadelphia 23/3/ 1769), 12/6/1769, 21/8/1769, 13/11/1769 (New York 2/11/1769); NYM, 20/3/1769, 6/11/1769, 26/3/ 1770; NYGWPB, 20/3/1769, 26/3/1770; NYJ, 13/8/1767, 30/4/1768, 8/9/1768, 30/3/1769 (Philadelphia 23/3/1769); 20/7/1769 (Boston 18/6/1769), 22/3/1770; PC, 17/4/1769; The Following Patriotic Toasts . . . (New York, 1770), broadside. ¹⁴⁷ NYM, 18/6/1770. ¹⁴⁸ See ‘An Account of Corsica, and the Memoirs of the Famous Paschal Paoli, the Commander in Chief of the Corsicans’, in PC, 6/6/1768; Quincy, ‘Of Liberty’, in ‘Political Commonplace 1770’, in Coquillette and York (eds.), Quincy Papers, I, 165–6; ‘Corsica’, in American Magazine, 1/1769; NYJ, 30/ 11/1769. ¹⁴⁹ NYC, 18/12/1769. Similarly: NYJ, 21/4/1768, 23/11/1769; NYGWPB, 6/3/1769, 21/8/1769. ¹⁵⁰ BG, 24/4/1869 (Philadelphia 13/4/1769); see also NYGWPB, 17/4/1769. ¹⁵¹ NYC, 31/8/1769. See further Benjamin Rush to Catharine Macaulay, London, 18/1/1769, in Butterfield (ed.), Rush Letters, I, 70–1; James Rivington to William Johnson, New York, 4/12/1769, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 286; Margaret Macartney to James Iredell, 13/2/1770, in Don Higginbotham (ed.), The Papers of James Iredell, 3 vols. so far (Raleigh, 1976–), I, 41. ¹⁵² NYJ, 23/3/1769 (Philadelphia). See Francis Beretti, ‘The First Portraits of Pascal Paoli’, in The British Art Journal, vol. 2, no. 3 (spring/summer 2001), 69–71.

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Figure 8.3 Henry Benbridge, Pascal Paoli and his Staff at the Battle of Ponte Novu (1769), courtesy of the Musée Pascal Paoli, Morosaglia. FRANCE! By thy bribery spreading o’er, Thou dost thy foes enthral: By arms, but few, by tricking more: But none, by right, at all.¹⁵³ ¹⁵³ ‘Translation of the Latin epigram on the conquest of Corsica by the French, in our last’, in NYJ, 30/11/1769. See further letter to American Magazine, 4/1769; ‘Corsica: An Ode’, in NYJ, 7/9/1769;

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Throughout the colonies, British-Americans registered their horror at Britain’s inaction in the face of such a glaring affront to the liberty and peace of Europe, the two primary responsibilities of the mother country’s role in the international sphere. In a widely reprinted tirade, one correspondent of the New York Journal was left aghast by the ‘wonderful meanness of the surrounding powers that suffer [the Corsicans] to be crushed by infamous combinations’. It seemed astonishing to him that Britain, ‘the asylum, the deliverer of the oppressed of all nations . . . has not yet appeared to assist the noble Corsicans against their cruel ungenerous oppressors’.¹⁵⁴ The North Carolina politician and future loyalist Henry McCulloh complained that ‘the measures of administration seem in general very disagreeable, especially as they relate to Corsica’.¹⁵⁵ A Bostonian writer was similarly appalled by Britain’s choice to ‘remain a tame spectator of the ruin of that magnanimous little nation’.¹⁵⁶ Other polemicists joined the chorus of lamentation for the ‘scandal of humanity’, to which the abandonment of Corsica amounted, contending that such ‘impolitic conduct’ had rendered Britain ‘the contempt of all Europe’.¹⁵⁷ To the poet Thomas Hopkinson, the episode was ‘the shame of modern ages’.¹⁵⁸ Opposition polemics targeting the ministry’s indolence appeared in the colonial press. None were more widely celebrated than the letters of Junius, which enjoyed a large readership in America.¹⁵⁹ In London itself, Franklin’s Magna Britannia

‘Another translation of the Latin epigram, which was inserted in our paper two weeks ago’, in NYJ, 7/ 12/1769; NYGWPB, 25/12/1769 (Boston 14/12/1769). ¹⁵⁴ ‘To the Printer of Poet’s Corner’, in NYJ, 17/11/1768 (reprinted in PC, 5/12/1768; BEP, 28/11/ 1768). ¹⁵⁵ Henry McCulloh to William Tryon, London, 15/7/1768, in Powell (ed.), Tryon Correspondence, II, 108. ¹⁵⁶ NYGWPB, 19/12/1768 (Boston 8/12/1768). ¹⁵⁷ NYJ, 6/10/1768; BEP, 10/10/1768 (Philadelphia 26/9/1768). See similarly letter to NYJ, 30/7/ 1767; ‘To the Printer: Remarks and Reflections on our Late Advices from Home’, in NYJ, 6/8/1767 (reprinted in BG, 24/8/1767); NYC, 14/12/1769; NYJ, 27/10/1774; American Magazine, 9/1769; BEP, 21/8/1769; BG, 21/8/1769; NYJ, 12/1/1769 (lines from PG on the new year); ‘Liberty’s Address to the Britons on Behalf of the Corsicans’, in NYJ, 23/3/1769; Thomas Young to John Wilkes, Boston, 6/9/ 1769, in ‘John Wilkes and Boston’, in Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 3rd series, vol. 47 (Oct. 1913–June 1914), 209–10. ¹⁵⁸ Thomas Hopkinson, Liberty, A Poem (Philadelphia, 1769), 8–9. The attribution to Thomas Hopkinson, a Virginian clergyman, was made by Charles Evans; Francis Hopkinson is a more likely author. ¹⁵⁹ ‘A Short Narrative of a few interesting facts relating to Corsica’, in PC, 16/10/1769 (London Magazine, 6/1769); NYM, 20/11/1769 (Public Advertiser, 2/9/1769); NYGWPB, 20/11/1769 (London Evening Post); Tullius to Bute, in NYM, 27/11/1769; Junius to Oxford Magazine, in American Magazine, 9/1769; letter to London Chronicle 21/6/1769, in NYGWPB, 12/9/1769; Letter to London Chronicle, 30/6/1768, in NYM, 19/9/1768; NYGWPB, 4/1/1769 (Political Register, 15/10/1769); Lucius Verus to the Public Ledger, 11/9/1769, in NYC 21/12/1769; Gervase Parker Bushe, The Case of Great Britain and America (Philadelphia, 1769), 13–14. On the influence of Junius, see Mason to George Brent?, Gunston Hall, 6/12/1770, in Robert Rutland (ed.), The Papers of George Mason 1725–1792: Volume 1 (Chapel Hill, 1970), 127; Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 562–3.

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cartoon was exhumed and reprinted in the Political Register alongside a denunciation of the ministry’s Corsican policy.¹⁶⁰ It was all a far cry from the image Britain had once enjoyed as a crusader in the cause of international liberty. As one poet put it, with mounting wistfulness, in April 1769, . . . blast the Heaven! May still abortive be, Their [France’s] deep laid schemes, and they become a prey, As heretofore to our great George’s arms.¹⁶¹

Not long after the fate of Corsica was sealed, Britain was engulfed in another crisis overseas. In June 1770, a Spanish squadron evicted the small British garrison from Port Egmont on the Falkland Islands, an archipelago in the southern Atlantic which had aroused the Admiralty’s interest as a potential base for expansion into the Pacific.¹⁶² This invasion of King George’s territory by a Bourbon power was swept up into a major international emergency, as metropolitan Britons began baying for Iberian blood. Their countrymen across the Atlantic, who saw acquiescence in the face of foreign encroachments on British colonies as an especially unappealing precedent, joined the chorus. By December, Hugh Gaine of the New York Mercury reported that ‘Falkland’s Island seems at present to engross the attention of the public’.¹⁶³ Throughout the gravest war scare since the early 1750s, colonists called for aggression.¹⁶⁴ In Massachusetts, an ode on New Year’s Day hoped that 1771 would witness George in his extensive reign, Subdue the pride of haughty Spain.¹⁶⁵

A pair of merchants in Toronto, following the dispute in the newspapers, similarly hoped that ‘if they thus wantonly force us to a war . . . we will drub them as well as we did the last’.¹⁶⁶ Garrisons were strengthened along the Louisiana border and ¹⁶⁰ See Benjamin Franklin, ‘Magna Britannia: Her Colonies Reduced’, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIII, 70n; Political Register, 12/1768, facing 321. ¹⁶¹ Nov-Anglus, ‘The Prophetic Complaint’, in BG, 24/4/1769. ¹⁶² On the settlement of the Falklands, see Alan Frost, The Global Reach of Empire (Melbourne, 2003), 58–60. On the Falklands Crisis, see Scott, British Foreign Policy, 140–56; Peter Whiteley, Lord North (London, 1996), 95–100; Julius Goebel, The Struggle for the Falkland Islands (New Haven, 1927). ¹⁶³ NYM, 17/12/1770. See further James Rivington to William Johnson, New York, 12/11/1770, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 998; NYM, 26/11/1770; NYGWPB, 19/11/1770 (Philadelphia 15/11/ 1770), 26/11/1770; BEP, 19/11/1770. ¹⁶⁴ PC, 19/11/1770 (New York 15/11/1770), 3/12/1770; NYGWPB, 3/12/1770 (London Chronicle, 11/9/1770); MS, 13/12/1770; NYM, 31/12/1770 (Boston 24/12/1770); James Rivington to William Johnson, New York, 24/12/1770, 7/1/1771, 30/9/1771, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 1047, 1074, VIII, 283. ¹⁶⁵ MS, 1/1/1771. ¹⁶⁶ Wade and Keiuser to William Johnson, Teronto, 6/4/1771, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VIII, 63.

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General Thomas Gage, commanding the British forces in America from his headquarters in New York, began preparations to invade the colony.¹⁶⁷ Across the town, John Singleton Copley took the portrait of the great military engineer John Montresor—of Gibraltarian birth, appropriately—in the broil of storm clouds, clutching a field manual (Figure 8.4).¹⁶⁸ Most colonial legislatures were in recess when the crisis broke, but the Massachusetts House of Representatives, which was in session, pledged its support to the Crown and undertook to pass a new militia bill.¹⁶⁹ Other assemblies also declared their support and began undertaking defensive measures.¹⁷⁰ Since no war

Figure 8.4 John Singleton Copley, John Montresor (1771), courtesy of the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit.

¹⁶⁷ See Narrett, Adventurism and Empire, 57–8. ¹⁶⁸ Carrie Rebora et al. (eds.), John Singleton Copley in America (New York, 1995), 300–3. Cf. the context offered by Jane Kamensky, A Revolution in Colour (New York, 2016), 189. ¹⁶⁹ Ford (ed.), Massachusetts House Journals, XLVII, 169, 175, 225–50. ¹⁷⁰ See North Carolina Assembly to William Tryon, Newbern, 26/1/1771, William Tryon to Robert Howe, Newbern, 28/1/1771, in Powell (ed.), Tryon Correspondence, I, 590, II, 597; Daniel Horsmanden to Lord Dunmore, 13/12/1770, in E. B. O’Callaghan (ed.), Journal of the Legislative Council of the

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was forthcoming, the sincerity of these declarations cannot be assessed conclusively. Nevertheless, they reflected the warlike fervour of colonial society at large, and in the predatory geopolitical environment of the early 1770s American assemblies had every reason to be sincere. Perhaps the representatives also spied an opportunity to prove the protestations of loyalty which they had issued throughout their disputes with ministries in London. Indeed, in the immediate aftermath of the crisis, Benjamin Franklin advised the Massachusetts politician Thomas Cushing ‘what a glory would it be for us to send, on any trying occasion, ready and effectual aid to our mother country’.¹⁷¹ Anxious to avoid a repeat of the Corsican embarrassment, the new prime minister, Lord North, moved swiftly to resolve the crisis in Britain’s favour. The Royal Navy was mobilized, and the Spanish, prompted by their French allies, backed down.¹⁷² Some colonists were relieved. The Virginian planter William Nelson was glad that Spanish privateering would not inflate the cost of insuring tobacco ships. In New York, Hugh Gaine printed a copy of an endorsement of North’s moderation written by the celebrated Englishman of letters, Dr Samuel Johnson. Henry Laurens was simply pleased to see the continuance of peace.¹⁷³ The typical colonial response, however, was one of hostility to the settlement. Following the lead of the Pittite opposition in Parliament and the press, American patriots claimed that Britain had been duped and humiliated by the Bourbons. Pitt’s speeches on the crisis, in which he indicted the ministry for having ‘delivered up the nation defenceless to a foreign enemy’, were widely disseminated.¹⁷⁴ In response, a Bostonian poet observed: Behold our land an easy prey, To Bourbon House, or Papal See . . . The traitors that have overthrown, Great Britain’s honour with its crown.¹⁷⁵

Colony of New York, 2 vols. (Albany, 1861), II, 1758; Benjamin Hillman (ed.), Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia, Vol. VI (Richmond, 1966), 8/6/1771, VI, 384–5. ¹⁷¹ Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Cushing, London, 10/6/1771, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XVIII, 125–6. ¹⁷² See Whiteley, Lord North, 98–9; Peter Thomas, Lord North (London, 1976), 46–8. ¹⁷³ William Nelson to Lord Hillsborough, Virginia, 27/5/1771, in John van Horne (ed.), The Correspondence of William Nelson (Charlottesville, 1975), 140; Samuel Johnson, Thoughts on the Late Transactions Respecting Falkland’s Islands (New York, 1771), passim; Henry Laurens to James Habersham, Charleston, 15/4/1771, Henry Laurens to Thomas Franklin, Westminster, 26/12/1771, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, VII, 491–492, VIII, 119–20. ¹⁷⁴ See NYM, 11/2/1771; MS, 1/2/1771; BEP, 4/2/1771 (London 6/12/1770); BG, 4/2/1771; PC, 11/2/1771. ¹⁷⁵ ‘On Reading the Late Speech of the Earl of Chatham’, in BEP, 25/2/1771.

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British tracts in support of Pitt’s position also circulated in the colonial press. The sharply critical Junius letters resurfaced, while Isaiah Thomas of the Massachusetts Spy elected to juxtapose ‘A Short View of the Administration of Secretary Pitt’, which listed his victories over France and Spain, with a tacit condemnation of the North ministry’s blindness to the strategic importance of the Falklands.¹⁷⁶ Indeed, so negative was the British-American response that one of the North settlement’s few colonial supporters complained to the New York Mercury that American newspapers ‘have been crowded by [articles] of the gentlemen in opposition to the Ministry’.¹⁷⁷ Colonial writers themselves went on the offensive. Spain was simply ‘amusing’ Britain with ‘a show of recompense . . . until the whole Bourbon league can act, united and with their strongest force, against us’, the New York printer James Rivington warned.¹⁷⁸ ‘If we are to have a peace,’ Charles Carroll, Jr, cautioned, ‘it will be a patched up peace or rather a suspension from hostilities till France and Spain can go to war with better hopes of success.’ Later he added, ‘I know what answer I would make to the haughty Castilian, were I the British minister.’¹⁷⁹ Perhaps following the lead of John Adams, who condemned North’s achievement as ‘mean, dastardly, and obsequious to a foreign power’, the Massachusetts House of Representatives offered a barbed address on the episode.¹⁸⁰ ‘Such an act of hostility’, they declared, ‘could not but be followed with the most spirited resolution on the part of the British administration, to obtain a satisfaction fully adequate to the insult offered to His Majesty, and the injuries his subjects there have sustained’—no such resolution had been forthcoming.¹⁸¹ Likewise, the Virginian merchant Arthur Lee later reflected in his Memoir of the American

¹⁷⁶ MS, 7/1/1771; Junius to Public Advertiser, in BG 15/4/1771. See further NYJ, 20/9/1770; MS, 8/9/ 1770; PC, 10/9/1770 (Lucius to London Chronicle, 16/6/1770); NYJ, 26/9/1770 (letter to London Evening Post); NYJ, 22/11/1770; NYM, 24/12/1770 (letter to London Chronicle 10/4/1770); PC, 21/1/ 1771 (London Chronicle, 20/10/1770); MS, 29/11/1770 (Canterbury 8/9/1770); PC, 10/6/1771; NYM, 24/2/1772 (London Gazette, 11/12/1771); PC, 9/3/1772 (letter to London Evening Post); BG, 28/3/1774; John Blackburn to William Johnson, London, 15/11/1770, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 1001. See John Cannon (ed.), The Letters of Junius (Oxford, 1978), esp. 217–25. ¹⁷⁷ Letter to NYM, 22/7/1771. ¹⁷⁸ James Rivington to William Johnson, New York, 3/12/1770, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 1029. ¹⁷⁹ Charles Carroll, Jr to Edmund Jennings, 8/4/1771, Charles Carroll, Jr to William Graves, 14/8/ 1772, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, II, 556, 631. See further Charles Carroll, Sr., to Charles Carroll, Jr, 12/4/1771, in ibid., II, 558. See similarly: ‘A Friend to the Distressed’ to BG, 11/2/ 1771; Hugh Wallace to William Johnson, New York, 8/4/1771, William Johnson to Thomas Gage, Johnson Hall, 18/4/1771, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VIII, 67, 75; Samuel Adams to Arthur Lee, Boston, 13/11/1771, ‘Candidus’ [Samuel Adams], 3/2/1776, in Cushing (ed.), Adams Writings, II, 276, III, 265; NYJ, 18/4/1871; letter to MS, 21/3/1771; Junius Americanus, ‘To General Gage’, in Pennsylvania Journal, reprinted in NYJ, 24/11/1774. ¹⁸⁰ John Adams to Isaac Smith, Jr, Boston, 11/4/1771, in Butterfield (ed.), Adams Family Correspondence, I, 74. ¹⁸¹ House of Representatives to Thomas Hutchinson, 24/4/1771, in Ford (ed.), Massachusetts House Journals, XLVII, 241.

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Revolution, ‘everyone knows by what a shameful submission’ the British government had ‘appeased the wrath of Spain’.¹⁸² Throughout the controversies over Corsica and the Falklands, eastern Europe was in a state of upheaval, as the monarchies of Prussia, Russia, and the Habsburgs vied for pre-eminence in the absence of Anglo-French dominance.¹⁸³ This crisis was of less immediate concern to the British colonists, but it still left an important mark on the colonial world view. For one, the Russo-Ottoman war of 1768–74, which constantly threatened to embroil other European states, was second only to the Falklands crisis as a catalyst of war scares in North America.¹⁸⁴ The colonial press followed its course intently, while some colonists even detected apocalyptic significance in the conflict.¹⁸⁵ However, if British ministers remained keen on the prospect of a Russian alliance in the aftermath of 1763, British-American opinion was more circumspect.¹⁸⁶ Although many were inclined to support Catherine II’s crusade against the Muslim Ottomans, others—like the Philadelphian sea captain John Macpherson—continued to regard her as ‘the northern whore of Russia’.¹⁸⁷ Others spoke in weightier terms. In 1767, Arthur Lee warned his brother that by ‘encouraging . . . so tremendous a power’, Britain ‘may be cherishing a serpent, which will strike us to the heart’.¹⁸⁸ Nothing played a greater role in confirming this hostility than Russian intervention in the Kingdom of Poland after the Seven Years War. Colonial interest in the disintegrating Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth initially focused on the persecution of the same Protestant dissenters—the so-called ‘Dissidents’—which Russia and Prussia would use as a pretext for their interventions in the Kingdom’s internal politics. American newspapers placed a special emphasis on reporting ‘the critical situation of our fellow Protestants in Poland’ ¹⁸² Arthur Lee, ‘Memoir of the American Revolution’, in Richard Henry Lee (ed.), Life of Arthur Lee . . . , 2 vols. (Boston, 1829), I, 251–2. ¹⁸³ See Scott, Birth of a Great Power System, 144. ¹⁸⁴ See further NYGWPB, 6/3/1769, 17/4/1769; James Rivington to William Johnson, New York, 3/ 5/1769, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VI, 734. On the First Russo-Ottoman War, see Schroeder, Transformation of European Politics, 19–23. ¹⁸⁵ See, for example, American Magazine, 8/1769; ‘Copies of two letters from Lieutenant Mackenzie, in the Russian service . . . ’, in NYM, 3/12/1770, 11/10/1773; NYGWPB 17/9/1770, 19/11/1770; ‘Accounts of Two Important Victories Gained Lately by the Russians Over the Turks’, in NYJ, 25/10/ 1770, BEP, 15/10/1770; Joseph Chew to William Johnson, New London, 14/11/1770, James Rivington to William Johnson, New York, 3/12/1770, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 999, 1029; NYJ, 15/11/ 1770, 27/12/1770, 14/2/1771; Charles Carroll, Sr., to Charles Carroll, Jr, 12/4/1771, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, II, 558; Benjamin Franklin to William Franklin, London, 3/2/1772, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIX, 56; PC, 10/4/1773, 11/10/1773, 18/10/1773. On apocalyptic views of the conflict, see ‘To the Public’, in NLG, 15/12/1770 (reprinted in MS, 3/1/1771); Wade and Keiuser to William Johnson, Teronto, 6/4/1771, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VIII, 63; Hugh Brackenridge, A Poem on Divine Revelation (Philadelphia, 1774), 18; Samuel Cooper, A Discourse on the Man of Sin (Boston, 1774), 34. ¹⁸⁶ On the prospect of an Anglo-Russian alliance, see Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 528–531, 547–8; James Rivington to William Johnson, 15/5/1770, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 671. ¹⁸⁷ John Macpherson, Macpherson’s Letters (Philadelphia, 1770), 80. ¹⁸⁸ Arthur Lee to a brother, London, 1767, in Lee (ed.), Life of Arthur Lee, I, 187. See similarly Peter Hasenclever to William Johnson, London, 28/2/1770, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 430; Coombe, Sermon Preached Before the Congregations, 19–20.

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after 1767, while healths drunk to ‘the Protestant interest’ at sons of liberty gatherings often specified the plight of the Dissidents.¹⁸⁹ A correspondent of the New York Mercury even advised ‘the distressed illustrious Stanisław Augustus Poniatowski’, the reputedly enlightened Polish King, to expel the ‘unrelenting bigoted bloody bishops’ who were responsible for oppressing ‘the more cruelly distressed inhabitants of Poland’.¹⁹⁰ However, British-Americans soon registered an equal aversion to the series of foreign interventions which culminated in the partition of a third of Poland’s territory and population between Russia, Prussia, and Austria in 1773.¹⁹¹ Scholars have long recognized the impact of these events on American constitutional design during the late 1780s, but little attention has been paid to colonial reactions at the time.¹⁹² Benjamin Franklin had already denounced external meddling during the disputed election of Stanisław II Augustus as King in 1764. ‘The Poles are cutting one another’s throats a little about their election’, he wrote; but ‘if they are fond of this privilege, I don’t know that their neighbours have any right to disturb them in the enjoyment of it: and yet the Russians have entered their country with an army, to preserve peace! And secure the freedom of the election!’¹⁹³ During the partition itself, a chorus of colonial opinion expressed sympathy for ‘the distressed Poles’.¹⁹⁴ When the fiery English Country Whig and soldier of fortune Charles Lee, who would later become a general in the Continental Army, arrived in Boston in August 1774, he was feted not only for his service in America during the Seven Years War but also for his more recent adventures as an aide-de-camp to the Polish King, ‘that great, that virtuous, but unfortunate prince’ in the estimation of the Boston Evening Post.¹⁹⁵ Colonists denounced the partitioning powers for undermining the liberties of Europe. In 1772, Franklin himself lamented caustically that ‘miserable Poland is in a fair way of being pacified too, if the entrance of more foreign armies into it can produce peace’.¹⁹⁶ A Philadelphian broadside likewise expressed its horror to ¹⁸⁹ NYJ, 12/3/1767, 21/4/1768 (Boston), 8/9/1768, 26/3/1772; NYGWPB, 9/4/1767, 11/8/1768, 5/6/ 1769; NYG, 21/9/1767; BG, 22/8/1768, 13/3/1769 (New York 6/3/1769) BEP, 22/8/1768, 21/8/1768 (Liberty Tree Tavern, Dorchester); Briggs (ed.), Ames Almanacs, 382. ¹⁹⁰ Anglican to NYM, 28/8/1769. ¹⁹¹ On the partition of Poland, see Schroeder, Transformation of European Politics, 11–19; Isabel de Madariaga, Russia in the Age of Catherine the Great (London, 1981), 221–31. For colonial coverage of Polish politics during the partition, see American Magazine, 1/1769, 2/1769, 6/1769, 7/1769, 8/1769; NYGWPB, 3/10/1768, 26/12/1768, 28/8/1769, 11/12/1769, 29/10/1770, 12/11/1770; other periodicals similarly. ¹⁹² See, for example, Frederick Marks, Independence on Trial (Baton Rouge, 1973), 3–51. ¹⁹³ Benjamin Franklin to Henry Bouquet, Philadelphia, 16/8/1764, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XI, 317–18. ¹⁹⁴ BEP, 12/6/1769; BG, 12/6/1769. ¹⁹⁵ BEP, 22/8/1774. On Charles Lee’s career in Poland, see Richard Butterwick, Poland’s Last King and English Culture (Oxford, 1998), 129–31, 163–4; Charles Lee to Sidney Lee, Warsaw, 3/4/1765, Charles Lee to Stanisław II August, London, 20/10/1767, in The Lee Papers: Volume I (New York, 1872), 38–9, 55–9. ¹⁹⁶ Benjamin Franklin to William Franklin, London, 5/5/1772, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIX, 132.

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discover that ‘justice seems to have forsaken the old world’, since ‘three public robbers’ had ‘taken possession of a neighbouring kingdom and divided it among themselves as lawful booty’.¹⁹⁷ The enduring colonial fondness for Frederick the Great was fatally undermined by his leading role in the affair.¹⁹⁸ BritishAmericans began to dwell more extensively upon Prussian tyranny.¹⁹⁹ ‘All men and states, however divine they may appear, are often so unguarded as to manifest their humanity—if not their deviltry,’ the almanac-maker Nathaniel Ames wrote in 1775, ‘as we have some late instances, one is the King of Prussia.’²⁰⁰ While dining with the Rhode Island delegation to the Continental Congress, John Adams was delighted to join a toast to ‘the brave Dantzickers’—the inhabitants of the largest city in the Prussian partition, Danzig—‘who declare they will be free in the face of the greatest monarch in Europe’.²⁰¹ The most damning indictment was left to Thomas Jefferson. During his retirement, he reflected in a letter to John Adams that ‘a wound indeed was inflicted on this character of honour’—as a code of practice in eighteenth-century international relations—‘by the partition of Poland’. Yet his indignation went further, for ‘France, England, Spain’, he argued, ‘shared in it only inasmuch as they stood aloof and permitted its perpetration’.²⁰² In August 1773, a Virginian poet had struck the same note: Humanity bled, When the vile plot was laid ... This the lion [Britain] discerned, But seemed no more concerned.²⁰³

¹⁹⁷ Rusticus, Letter from the Country, broadside. See further James Hutton to Benjamin Franklin, 23/ 10/1772, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIX, 344; Voltaire to the Chevalier Vansommer at London, in NYGWPB, 24/10/1768. ¹⁹⁸ For lingering expressions of Prussophilia in the colonies, see Henry Laurens to Martin and Stevens, Charleston, 1/3/1764, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, IV, 193; Morgan, Journal, 226; ‘The Bullfinch and the Sparrow: A Fable, by the King of Prussia’, in PC, 11/5/1767; NYJ, 8/9/1768, 20/7/1769, 17/8/1769 (Philadelphia, 10/8/1769); BEP, 22/8/1768, 12/6/1769, 21/8/1769; BG, 22/8/1768, 21/8/1769; A Military Countryman to BEP, 27/9/1773 (reprinted in BG, 27/9/1773). ¹⁹⁹ See Civis to Pennsylvania Journal, reprinted in NYJ, 14/7/1774; Anna Cienciala, ‘The American Founding Fathers and Poland’, in Jaroslaw Pelenski (ed.), The American and European Revolutions, 1776–1848 (Iowa City, 1980), 115; A Mechanic, To the Worthy Inhabitants of New York (New York, 1773), 4. ²⁰⁰ Briggs (ed.), Ames Almanacs, 456. See similarly Ralph Izard to George Dempster, Bath, 28/1/ 1776, in Ralph Izard et al., Correspondence of Mr Ralph Izard, Volume I (New York, 1844), 183. ²⁰¹ Butterfield (ed.), Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, 2/9/1774, II, 119. On British attitudes towards Prussian designs on Danzig, see Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 585. ²⁰² Jefferson to Adams, 1/1–2/2/1816, in Jefferson Looney (ed.), The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, Volume 9 (Princeton, 2012), 345–7; see Piotr Wandycz, ‘The American Revolution and the Partitions of Poland’, in Pelenski (ed.), American and European Revolutions, 97; Cienciala, ‘American Founding Fathers’, in ibid., 117. ²⁰³ ‘On the State of Poland: The Cannibals, a Song’, in VG, 5/8/1773.

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With the possible exception of Sir William Johnson, few Americans actually expected Britain to intervene directly in Poland.²⁰⁴ Nevertheless, the event was symptomatic of the same disturbing truth which the Corsican and Falklands crises unveiled during the same years. The peril and anarchy which had typified geopolitics before 1763 had not been pacified by the Treaty of Paris. Absolutism, it appeared, was more rampant than ever on the European continent. Far from superintending international relations as the epicentre of a benevolent universal monarchy, by 1773 Britain seemed to present a vulnerable and isolated figure to the predatory eyes of the world. Alongside the great crises of Corsica, the Falklands, and Poland, this image was darkened further by a less than strident performance in a series of smaller international predicaments, all of which came to the attention of the colonies. Portuguese flirtations with the Family Compact went largely unaddressed,²⁰⁵ as did the increasingly quarrelsome stance taken by Prussia against the Hanoverian monarchy during the early 1770s.²⁰⁶ These diplomatic conflicts largely explain the eagerness of patriots to argue that British ministries would be better served by taxing their ‘scurvy’ Portuguese and German allies rather than their loyal Americans colonists.²⁰⁷ During the Danish coup of 1772, the British Court failed to capitalize on public anger at scurrilous (if largely accurate) allegations about the private life of Denmark’s Queen, who was George III’s sister.²⁰⁸ And meanwhile, Britain was powerless to prevent the restoration of absolutism in Sweden—another intervention well within the compass of its naval power.²⁰⁹ By the late 1760s, colonial observers were articulating a palpable sense of British decline. In September 1769, the Boston patriot Thomas Young was spreading

²⁰⁴ See William Johnson to John Blackburn, Johnson Hall, 20/1/1774, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VIII, 1007. ²⁰⁵ See NYG, 17/3/1766; BG, 27/4/1767 (New York 20/4/1767); NYJ 28/5/1767 (Newport 18/5/1767); NYG, 7/12/1767 (Philadelphia 3/12/1767); Democritus to BG, 21/3/1768; James Rivington to William Johnson, 3/9/1770, James Rivington to William Johnson, New York, 4/2/1771, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 870, 1129. Cf. colonial enthusiasm for the Portuguese immediately after the peace, exhibited in Benjamin Franklin to Lord Kames, Cravenstreet, London, 2/6/1765, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XII, 159. ²⁰⁶ See Charles Carroll, Sr., to Charles Carroll, Jr, 12/4/1771, in Hoffman (ed.), Dear Papa, Dear Charley, II, 558; John Blackburn to William Johnson, London, 7/4/1773, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VIII, 758; NYM, 20/12/1773. ²⁰⁷ Guy Johnson (on behalf of William Johnson) to James Rivington, Johnson Hall, 13/2/1771, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VII, 1137. ²⁰⁸ On the Struensee affair as a crisis of British diplomacy, see Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat, 564. For colonial coverage of the Struensee affair, see, for example, NYM, 11/5/1772, 6/7/1772, 24/8/ 1772, 19/11/1772, 5/7/1773. For colonial reactions, see Benjamin Franklin to Joseph Smith, London, 6/ 2/1772, in Labaree (ed.), Franklin Papers, XIX, 73; Hugh Wallace to William Johnson, New York, 14/7/ 1772, in Sullivan (ed.), Johnson Papers, VIII, 544; Agricola, St Mary’s County, Maryland, 15/6/1772 to Pennnsylvania Chronicle, 29/6/1772; NYM, 6/7/1772; letter to Lord North, Political Register, 4/1772, in MS, 18/6/1772; Henry Laurens to Peter Mazyck, Westminster, 10/4/1772, Henry Laurens to Lachlan McIntosh, Westminster, 20/8/1772, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, VIII, 258, 433. ²⁰⁹ See Michael Roberts, British Diplomacy and Swedish Politics, 1758–1773 (Minneapolis, 1980), 349–403.

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rumours of ‘an alliance concluded between France, Spain, and Prussia’ designed ‘to overrun Hanover, subject Holland to an absolute sovereign, and in the end give law to Britain’. Gesturing to the widespread suspicion that foreign subversion had played some role in her recent humiliation in Corsica, he also wondered whether this was ‘the doing of the Thane’, the long-retired Lord Bute.²¹⁰ British articles circulating in the press offered a uniformly weak picture of ‘Great Britain on her knees’.²¹¹ The ‘expeditions on foot to retrieve the nation’s honour’, a selfproclaimed Whig told the Boston Evening Post in 1772, were ‘but trifles . . . to maintain a set of villains, who are stealing our property, revelling in luxury, bringing the nation to a state of slavery, and have no more loyalty to the House of Hanover than Turks or Papists’.²¹² When in the summer of 1775 a Virginian burgess (perhaps Thomas Jefferson) wrote that ‘the component parts of the [British] Empire have . . . been falling asunder, and a total annihilation of its weight in the political scale of the World seems justly to be apprehended’, he was echoing anxieties which had been forming in the colonies for almost a decade.²¹³ The crises which rocked the British Empire between 1763 and 1775 made an ambiguous mark in the North American colonies, inspiring spasms of patriotic devotion and reformist zeal that alternated with moments of fear and revulsion. We must now return to the impact of these experiences upon the discourses of British nationalism which had solidified in the colonies during the Seven Years War, and upon the vision of benign universal monarchy that lay at the heart of them.

²¹⁰ Thomas Young to John Wilkes, Boston, 6/9/1769, in ‘Wilkes and Boston’, 209–10. ²¹¹ ‘A Picture of Europe for 1771’, in NYM, 11/11/1771. Similarly ‘The Situation of England with the Powers of the World’, in NYGWPB, 26/11/1770, NYJ, 29/11/1770, MS, 29/11/1770, BEP, 3/12/1770, and PC, 19/11/1770. Likewise: ‘Anecdote’, in NYGWPB, 22/1/1767; ‘North Briton’ 22/1/1770, in BEP, 23/4/1770; ‘Brunswick’ to the Craftsman 21/9/1771, in MS, 22/11/1771; ‘A Political Picture of Europe for June 1770’, in MS, 20/9/1770; MS, 6/10/1770 (Morning Chronicle, 30/7/1770). ²¹² ‘A Whig’ to BEP, 16/11/1772. See further: Acolax, ‘To the King’, MS, 10/9/1772; letter to MS, 8/ 10/1772; ‘Sentinel No. 35’, in MS, 20/2/1772; Thomas Hutchinson to Samuel Hood, 2/9/1772, quoted in Nick Bunker, An Empire on the Edge (London, 2015), 104; Salter, Sermon Preached Before the General Assembly, 16–17; Joseph Warren to John Wilkes, Boston, 13/4/1769, in ‘Wilkes and Boston’, 199; Briggs (ed.), Ames Almanacs, 410; Maryland Gazette 4/5/1769 (reprinted in BG, 29/5/1769); Josiah Quincy, ‘London Journal 1774-1775’, in Coquillette and York (eds.), Quincy Papers, 8/11/1774, I, 224–5; ‘Ode’ in NYJ, 30/1/1772; ‘Signs of the Times’, in NYJ, 2/7/1772; Henry Laurens to James Habersham, Westminster, 23/11/1773, in Hamer (ed.), Laurens Papers, IX, 160. ²¹³ Thomas Jefferson?, ‘Virginia Resolutions on Lord North’s Conciliatory Proposal’, 10/6/1775, in Boyd (ed.), Jefferson Papers, I, 170–4.

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9 ‘The Asylum of Liberty’ Universal Monarchy and American Nationhood

Late in March 1775, as tensions between British forces and the ‘patriot’ party finally began to fray, Virginia’s leaders had convened at St John’s Church in Richmond. In an electrifying speech which may have invoked a line from Joseph Addison’s tragedy Cato—‘it is not now a time to talk of ought but chains or conquest, liberty or death’—the radical westerner Patrick Henry had persuaded his countrymen to put their colony into a state of defence and aid their oppressed brethren in Massachusetts.¹ Now the colony’s delegates were preparing to depart for the second Continental Congress, due to meet in Philadelphia on 20 May. Hopes of reconciliation were not yet forlorn, but the instructions imparted to Virginia’s representatives revealed that the imperial crisis had entered a new stage. ‘May our hearts be open to receive, and our arm strong to defend, that liberty and freedom, the gift of Heaven, now banishing from its last retreat in Europe’, the delegation—including Bland, Henry, Jefferson, two Lees, and Washington—was implored. ‘Here let it be hospitably entertained in every breast’, the orders continued, ‘that, under this benign influence, the virtuously free may enjoy secure repose, and stand forth the scourge and terror of tyranny and tyrants . . . till time shall be no more’.² By the time the delegates reached Philadelphia, fighting had already broken out in the north; yet as the Virginia instructions demonstrated, the patriots saw at stake not only the fate of America but also the liberty of the peoples of Europe. In no sense was this concern novel—and as we saw in the previous chapter, neither was it esoteric. For after 1763, the question of how to establish a benign British universal monarchy became as central to colonial discourse as the preservation of American rights and liberties. Although it has passed colonial historians by almost without notice, this was a major theme of mid-eighteenth-century political thinking.³ ¹ Thomas Kidd, Patrick Henry (New York, 2011), 98–101; Craig Nelson, Thomas Paine (London, 2006), 32. The surviving transcript is an account by a witness, the Virginian judge St George Tucker, published by Henry’s early biographer William Wirt: reprinted in David McCants, Patrick Henry, The Orator (Westport, 1990), 122–6. ² Thomas Lewis and Samuel McDowell, Instructions to the Virginia Delegates, 14/4/1775, in W. W. Abbot et al. (eds.), The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series, 10 vols. (Charlottesville, 1983–95), X, 378. ³ See John Robertson, ‘Universal Monarchy and the Liberties of Europe’, in Nicholas Phillipson and Quentin Skinner (eds.), Political Discourse in Early Modern Britain (Cambridge, 1993), 349–73; John The Idea of Europe and the Origins of the American Revolution. D. H. Robinson, Oxford University Press (2020). © D. H. Robinson. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198862925.001.0001

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Heralded amidst the tumult of the Seven Years War, the centrepiece of this vision—particularly in the writings of anglophone philosophers and Anglophiles overseas—was the expansion of liberty and law, under British patronage, throughout the European world. Emerging from a tradition that went back to the sixteenth century, this theory of empire repudiated the ideas of dominance over subject peoples and the obsolete, Catholic modes of universality associated with Emperor Charles V, Philip II of Spain, and Louis XIV of France. Instead, it identified the future of European civilization with the rise of a republic of republics. Its presence in British-American discourse marked a line of continuity. Throughout the imperial crisis, colonists continued to enthuse about the benefits of British national solidarity to the cause of European liberty. Yet the Virginian address also reflected a departure from the norms of BritishAmerican political culture—although one which had been in the works for several years. Events after the Treaty of Paris exerted contradictory forces upon nationalism in the thirteen colonies. The geopolitical crises of the 1760s and 1770s confirmed the value of a benevolent British hegemony of power and culture, but they also led colonists to make a series of disturbing comparisons between foreign tyrannies and acts of oppression closer to home. Portending Britain’s degeneration into another European despotism, these similarities prompted some BritishAmericans to conclude the country had been so badly perverted that she was no longer fit to carry out her international mission. Others began to liken their own condition to the victims of absolutism on the Continent and through time, in place of their former sense of belonging to the nation which they had once presented as the defender of the liberties of Europe. Thus, while colonists continued to judge metropolitan politics according to their standards of their distinctive variant of British nationalism, Britain’s apostasy also inspired them to undertake a more dramatic reimagining of their own identities—pre-empting the work of national definition that came after 1776.⁴ Robertson, ‘Empire and Union: Two Concepts of the Early Modern European Political Order’, in John Robertson (ed.), A Union for Empire (Cambridge, 1995), 3–36; John Robertson, ‘Gibbon’s Roman Empire as a Universal Monarchy’, in Rosamond McKitterick and Roland Quinault (ed.), Edward Gibbon and Empire (Cambridge, 1997), 247–70; Franz Bosbach, ‘The European Debate on Universal Monarchy’, in David Armitage (ed.), Theories of Empire, 1450–1800, 81–98; Iain McDaniel, Adam Ferguson in the Scottish Enlightenment (Cambridge, MA, 2013), esp. 141–6; and the insightful passages by J. G. A. Pocock, ‘A Discourse of Sovereignty: Observations on the Work in Progress’, in Phillipson and Skinner (eds.), Political Discourse, 426–7. ⁴ Consensus insists that American nation-making was a post-1776 phenomenon: Michael McDonnell, ‘National Identity and the American War for Independence Reconsidered’, in the Australasian Journal of American Studies, vol. 20, no. 1 (July 2001), 3–17; Holger Hoock, ‘Mangled Bodies: Atrocity in the American Revolutionary War’, in Past and Present, no. 230 (Feb. 2016), 123–59; Trish Loughran, The Republic in Print (New York, 2007), 33–103; Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, This Violent Empire (Chapel Hill, 2010), passim; Robert Parkinson, The Common Cause (Chapel Hill, 2016); Simon Newman, Parades and the Politics of the Street (Philadelphia, 1997); cf. Nicholas Guyatt, Providence and the Invention of the United States, 1607–1876 (Cambridge, 2007), 82–94.

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This exercise was rooted in a reassessment of history, but American ‘patriots’—as they came to be known—did not seek refuge in a parochial, defensive, colonial past. Instead, the themes of imperial expansion and cosmopolitan liberation strengthened their sense of partnership in a common, transatlantic, metahistorical cause of resistance to tyranny. Colonists hunted for analogies between their own characters and those of foreign icons of freedom throughout history. And in the process the selective co-opting of British and European ideas continued to act as a surrogate for the emergence of a discrete American identity. Insofar as such a sense of corporate belonging had come into being by 1775, its basis was liberty as much as Britishness, and it drew upon a pan-European frame of reference.⁵ In keeping with the strain of thought that connected their movement with Whig continentalism, the sympathies of the American patriots were deeply cosmopolitan in nature. Like the French revolutionaries of the following generation, the identity they assumed—though deeply indebted to a creed of nationalism—was also transnational. This development would impose its own sanction on political life in the colonies, and in the Empire at large, to the frustration of the British imperial project. The questioning of Britain’s role as the bulwark of European liberty—to say nothing of the cultivation of other international affinities—was an enormous rupture in colonial political culture, with profound implications for BritishAmerican colonies. The historian François Hartog writes of a ‘regime of historicity’, a set of assumptions about the past, present, and future, which make ‘certain actions’ appear ‘more possible’ and ‘in tune with the times’ in a given political culture.⁶ In the middle of the eighteenth century, public discourse in the thirteen colonies had galvanized support for the Hanoverian regime by stressing Britain’s historical, contemporary, and future destiny as the champion of international liberty. By the mid-1770s, many patriots were dismantling this ‘regime of historicity’. Here were the embers of a revolutionary world view, but it only made a revolution conceivable; it did not make it seem viable. This would require a great deal of thinking about the practicalities of politics and geopolitics, to which we will turn in Chapter 10.

⁵ Contrast the deeply Anglocentric accounts of late colonial identity by David Waldstreicher, In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes (Chapel Hill, 1997), 17–51; T. H. Breen, ‘Ideology and Nationalism on the Eve of the American Revolution: Revisions Once More in Need of Revising’, in The Journal of American History, vol. 84, no. 1 (June 1997), 13–39; Jon Butler, Becoming America (Cambridge, MA, and London, 2000), 233; John Murrin, ‘A Roof Without Walls: The Dilemma of American National Identity’, in Richard Beeman et al. (eds.), Beyond Confederation (Chapel Hill, 1987), 340–4; Mark Smith, ‘Culture, Commerce, and Calendar Reform in Colonial America’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 55, no. 4 (Oct.1998), 582–4; Jack Greene, Pursuits of Happiness (Chapel Hill, 1988), 175. For an insightful comment on transnational history and the age of revolutions, see Sarah Knott, ‘Narrating the Age of Revolution’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 73, no. 1 (Jan. 2016), esp. 21–4. ⁶ François Hartog, Regimes of Historicity, trans. Saskia Brown (New York, 2015), xvi–xvii, 11.

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‘The Next Universal Monarchy’ The World was at the eve of the highest scene of earthly power and grandeur that has been ever yet displayed to the view of mankind. The cards are shuffling fast through all Europe. Who will win the prize is with God. This however I know, detur digniori. The next universal monarchy will be favourable to the human race, for it must be founded on the principles of equity, moderation, and justice. No country has been more distinguished for these principles than Great Britain, since the [Glorious] Revolution. James Otis, Jr, Boston patriot, 1764⁷ As we have seen, the terms of peace were greeted with misgivings in many quarters of British-American opinion; even so, it was widely accepted that the conclusion of the Seven Years War had placed an unprecedented height of power within Great Britain’s grasp.⁸ As one typical writer declared in the New York Mercury, ‘the foundation of the greatest empire that ever existed’ had been laid.⁹ In a letter to its new agent, the Massachusetts House of Representatives observed that ‘though we did not retain all at the conclusion of the peace that we obtained by the sword, yet our gracious sovereign, at the same time that he has given a divine lesson of equitable moderation to the princes of the earth, has retained sufficient to make the British arms the dread of the universe’.¹⁰ As a Philadelphian pamphleteer later recalled, before the victories of 1759–62 ‘security against the exorbitant power of France, by keeping the balance pretty equal on the [European] continent, seemed then to be the extent of [Britain’s] aim’. Since those years, the writer continued, ‘by her victories in the East and West, she sees her enemies crushed by her power, and Europe trembling at her frowns’.¹¹ However, colonists tended to phrase such remarks in terms of potential, for few were naïve enough to imagine that Britain’s international supremacy was ⁷ James Otis, Jr, The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved (Boston, 1764), 40–1; ‘detur digniori’: ‘let it be given to the worthy’. ⁸ Importantly, the term ‘empire’ still retained many of its classical connotations of power and sovereignty in mid-eighteenth-century colonial discourse, alongside new meanings associated with specific constitutional and political arrangements: see Norbert Kilian, ‘New Wine in Old Skins? American Definitions of Empire and the Emergence of a New Concept’, in Erich Angermann et al. (eds.), New Wine in Old Skins (Stuttgart, 1976), 135–52, reprinted in Armitage (ed.), Theories of Empire, 1450–1800 (Aldershot, 1998), 307; following Richard Koebner, Empire (Cambridge, 1961), 87; contrast Carla Mulford, Benjamin Franklin and the Ends of Empire (Oxford, 2015), 14–16. ⁹ ‘A Few Thoughts on the Method of Improving and Securing the Advantages Which Accrue to Great Britain from the Northern Colonies’, in NYM, 27/8/1764. ¹⁰ Otis, Rights of the British Colonies, appendix, 75. ¹¹ The Power and Grandeur of Great Britain (Philadelphia, 1768), 3–4. Similarly Daniel Horsmanden to Cadwallader Colden, 11/11/1763, in E. B. O’Callaghan (ed.), Journal of the Legislative Council of the Colony of New York, 2 vols. (Albany, 1861), II, 1511; John Fontaine to James Maury, 2/1/1764, in Ann Maury (ed.), Memoirs of a Huguenot Family (New York, 1907), 442–3.

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assured: the Seven Years War had gifted the British the project of hegemony, not hegemony itself. Post-war anxiety was a pan-imperial phenomenon, but it was especially acute in North America—ironically, since the Britons on that continent had witnessed a change of regional circumstances vastly more dramatic than their relations across the Atlantic.¹² Driven by a blend of optimism for the future growth of British power and pessimism about its security even in the short term, colonists began to consider how a benevolent and durable universal monarchy might be established. Ironically, metropolitan reformers believed they were confronting a similar task; their solution, of course, proved fatally different.¹³ Both chronologically and intellectually, this debate preceded the economic, social, cultural, and constitutional controversies more familiar to historians of the imperial crisis. The pressures of geopolitics radically reduced the territory over which subsequent and ancillary arguments between ministries and colonies were fought.¹⁴ Colonial faith in Britain’s sublime potential flowed directly from the Seven Years War. As we have seen, during the hostilities many British-Americans had been moved to celebrate the Hanoverian regime as the guardian of European liberties. Some went as far as hailing it as a new kind of benevolent hegemon. In 1755, the New York magnate Robert Livingston had foreseen that whichever power emerged victorious from the imperial struggle would ‘give law to Europe’.¹⁵ A year later, the Virginia Anglican priest James Maury had suggested that the ‘sole possession of North America . . . would put it in the power of England not only to grasp at, but seize universal monarchy’. He believed this eventuality would be welcomed by the ‘powers of Europe’, as a force spreading ‘liberty, both civil and religious’.¹⁶ The North American debate about post-war British power also occurred on the margins of a contemporary European milieu deeply attentive to the prospects of universal monarchy. David Hume’s essay Of the Balance of Power (1752), which was broadly supportive of Whig continentalist foreign policy, had attacked

¹² On metropolitan anxiety, see Stephen Conway, War, State, and Society in Mid-EighteenthCentury Britain and Ireland (Oxford, 2006), 228; Brendan Simms, Three Victories and a Defeat (London, 2007), 503–4, Nancy Koehn, The Power of Commerce (Ithaca, 1994), 22. Contrast Jack Greene, Understanding the American Revolution (Charlottesville, 1995), 54–5. ¹³ See Fred Anderson, Crucible of War (New York, 2000), 560–87; Conway, War, State, and Society, 240–52; Eliga Gould, Among the Powers of the Earth (Cambridge, MA, 2012), 96–104; Peter Thomas, British Politics and the Stamp Act Crisis (Oxford, 1975), 34–50; Peter Thomas , The Townshend Duties Crisis (Oxford, 1987), 51–75; Keith Perry, British Politics and the American Revolution (Basingstoke, 1990), 31–2; John Bullion, ‘Securing the Peace: Lord Bute, the Plan for the Army, and the Origins of the American Revolution’, in Karl Schweizer (ed.), Lord Bute (Leicester, 1988), 17–39. ¹⁴ Cf. Staughton Lynd and David Waldstreicher, ‘Free Trade, Sovereignty, and Slavery: Toward an Economic Interpretation of American Independence’, in The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 68, no. 4 (Oct. 2011), 607–8. ¹⁵ Robert Livingston quoted in Conway, War, State, and Society, 233. ¹⁶ James Maury to John Fontaine, Fredericksville Parish, Louisa County, 10/1/1756, in Maury (ed.), Memoirs of a Huguenot Family, 395.

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excesses of interventionism precisely because they threatened to erode Britain’s zeal to patronize European liberties in the future, although his enthusiasm for such an exercise of power had waned by the late 1760s.¹⁷ As John Robertson has demonstrated, Hume’s essay stood within a lengthy tradition of English thinking, stretching back to James Harrington and Charles Davenant via Lord Bolingbroke and Cato’s Letters, which envisioned a benevolent English empire of commerce capable of diffusing peace and justice throughout Europe.¹⁸ This prospect was embraced by a number of influential Continental writers, including the Swiss jurist Emer de Vattel and the French philosophe Baron Montesquieu, and as we shall see in Chapter 10, its fine details became an essential part of patriot polemic.¹⁹ Commercial thought played a central role in this debate, but political economy did not enjoy a monopoly over mid-eighteenth-century visions of universal monarchy. Theology sustained its substantial influence over conceptions of British power in the international sphere, often drawing upon the biblical prophecy of four world monarchies. In a sermon preached to the Massachusetts General Court by Thomas Barnard in 1763, the clergyman drew from passages on universal monarchy in Bishop Joseph Butler’s Analogy of Religion to celebrate George III as a divinely favoured King ‘who gives peace to half the World’.²⁰ Similarly, James Otis, Jr, repeated an allusion made by the Connecticut pastor Jared Eliot in 1745, conflating the Kingdom of Solomon with that of King George, stretching ‘from sea to sea, and from the great river to the ends of the Earth’.²¹ The third Earl of Shaftesbury’s cultural project remained influential, too, as the shapers of English culture—critics, musicians, artists, and dramatists—continued to challenge the primacy of the French world in the creative arts of Europe with

¹⁷ David Hume, ‘Of the Balance of Power’, in Hume, Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary, ed. Eugene Miller (Indianapolis, 1987), 332–41. ¹⁸ Robertson, ‘Universal Monarchy and the Liberties of Europe’, 349–73. ¹⁹ See Richard Whatmore, Against War and Empire (New Haven, 2012), 103; Walter Rech, Enemies of Mankind (Leiden, 2013), 173–84; Theodore Christov, ‘Vattel’s Rousseau: Ius Gentium and the Natural Liberty of States’, in Quentin Skinner and Martin van Gelderen (eds.), Freedom and the Construction of Europe, 2 vols. (Cambridge, 2013), II, 167–87, 182–3; Emma Rothschild, ‘Global Commerce and the