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The American Revolution
British Reforms and Colonial Resistance
Letter to His Most Excellent Majesty

King George III, a young man who rose to the British throne in 1760, was a new and unknown entity to the American colonists. During the Stamp Act crisis, most colonists heaped little blame for the odious tax on the King's head. Instead, they confronted the question about how Parliament's proclaimed power to tax conformed with the authority of their own (elected) colonial legislatures. In the following broadside, what arguments does the author make concerning the Stamp Act? What is the tone of the letter? In his second point, how does the author define Parliament's status with the colonies?

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A LETTER

To his Most Excellent Majesty, GEORGE the Third, King of Great-Britain, France, and Ireland, and Emperor of North-America, &c.

May it please your Majesty,

TO permit an unworthy, but loyal subject to approach your Majesty's throne in this manner, as your ministers will not let me do it in any other; declaring that I will lose my life in the protection and defence of your royal person and family, and also of my country.

There seems, may it please your Majesty, to be a mighty contest between Great-Britain and North America! Without any sort of dispute this evil originated in, by, and through a base, vile and wicked ministry, and an ignorant and corrupt parliament, who have arrogated powers to themselves in no wise appertaining. To exhibit this most clearly, it appears,--first, that the Parliament of Great-Britain are chosen to represent the people of that land only; therefore, of course; cannot represent your good and loyal subjects of America.

Secondly, That as your Majesty is sovereign of America, distinct from the power and authority of the parliament of Great-Britain, no body, or set of men, but your assemblies or parliaments here, (which are constitutionally fixed by charters of your royal predecessors) can lay any tax, tallage or impositions whatsoever within this your dominion of America.

Thirdly, That the pretence of your parliament of Great-Britain to tax your American subjects, is an absolute insult upon your Majesty's understanding, and a robbery of your sole right to govern them, in as much as if this vile institution be left to take place, your majesty and your parliament will be tenants in common.

In the next place I shall make a discovery to your Majesty of a plot which Lord Bute laid, on his dismission from his office, as minister to your Majesty, (of which I am certain you are entirely ignorant) which was this, that the Pretender was to be brought in, and you dethroned. Now, how far this treacherous design has been carried on, your Majesty ought to know best; some people, however, in Great-Britain and Ireland, but all your faithful subjects here, can clearly see it, and know it to be a fact, and their sight is as clear as the sun that shines at noon day; and can't your Majesty see and know, as clear as your faithful subjects do. Rouze, rouze, my sovereign prince, escape the snare, and act as did great George your grandsire. To exhibit this, Royal Sire, in a most extensive view, What is the reason of the nation being divided, and the one half at war with the other? Why, to weaken the nation, and bring in the Pretender. Your Majesty, I think, can't help trembling at such a thought; but as you are a religious prince, keep your hands from slaughtering your soldiers of Great-Britain and Ireland; for the Lord, who is on the side of the Americans will cut them down. May your most gracious Majesty take these matters into due consideration, and may you be inspir'd by the King of Kings to do that which is right in his sight, and at last receive an eternal crown of glory in his kingdom, where all earthly Kings, as well as people who obey him here, shall receive it. I wish long life and happiness to your Majesty, and am,

Your Majesty's most Faithful and obedient Subject C. P.
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