To freely view the full lecture The British Empire and the Causes of the American Revolution with Andrew O’Shaughnessy, visit this link.
In the 1760s and 1770s, the British Empire introduced radical administrative policies in which Parliament asserted unprecedented claims to authority. This alarmed Americans because the boundaries to power were not established. It was unclear where British authority ended and local autonomy began. At the same time as this increase in imperial authority, colonial governments were developing their own definitions for regional rights.
Britain pursued similar colonial policies throughout the empire. Ireland, India, Canada and the British West Indies did not rebel in the 1760s and 1770s when the American mainland colonies did. Why? Professor O’Shaughnessy answers this question as he lays the context and identifies the causes of the American Revolution.
Andrew O’Shaughnessy is Vice President of Monticello, the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and Professor of History at the University of Virginia.