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26 The Modern Temper
27 Republican Resurgence And Decline
28 New Deal America
29 From Isolation To Global War
30 The Second World War
31 The Fair Deal And Containment
32 Through The Picture Window: Society And Culture, 19451960
33 Conflict And Deadlock: The Eisenhower Years
34 New Frontiers: Politics And Social Change In The 1960s
35 Rebellion And Reaction In The 1960s And 1970s
36 A Conservative Insurgency
37 Triumph And Tragedy: America At The Turn Of The Century

Virginia House of Burgesses in Praise of the King (November 18, 1766)

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The Virginia House of Burgesses sent this letter to their lieutenant governor on November 18, 1776. The British Parliament had recently repealed the much-hated Stamp Act. Read this document closely. To whom did the representatives offer their thanks and credit for the repeal of the law? How did they characterize relations between their colony and Great Britain? In what way had the king shown his "tender regard ... to the Rights and Liberties of his People, every where..."? How did these same humble servants react when new taxation and new legislation was passed by Parliament during the decade that followed?

In Lieu t . Gov r . Fauquier of 18 th . Nov. 1766

November14, 1766.

TO THE Honble FRANCIS FAUQUIER, Esq; his Majesty's Lieutenant Governour, and Commander in Chief of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia :

THE Humble ADDRESS OF THE HOUSE OF BURGESSES.

SIR,

WE his Majesty's most dutiful and loyal Subjects, the Burgesses of Virginia , now met in General Assembly, return your Honour our sincere Thanks for your affectionate Speech at the Opening of this Session.

As we have ever been truly sensible of the tender Regard shown by his Majesty to the Rights and Liberties of his People, every where, we cannot but think we should, at this Time in particular, be wanting in our Duty to the best of Kings if we did not embrace the Opportunity offered to us by your Honour of gratefully acknowledging that benign Virtue so distinguishable in him, that of protecting the constitutional Privileges of his Subjects, even in the most distant Part of his Realm, the American Dominions, so lately exemplified to us in his Majesty's gracious Assent to the Repeal of that oppressive Act; and at the same Time declare our constant Readiness to devote our Lives and Fortunes in Defence of his sacred Person, Crown, and Dignity, against all his Enemies.

We are so convinced of an immediate Connexion between Great Britain and the Colonies, that we cannot but wish that no future Accident may ever interrupt that Union so essential to the Well-being of each of them; and as we hope we have Reason now to conclude that the Parliament of Great Britain (from the Instance lately given in the Repeal of the Stamp Act, and the several Laws passed in Favour of the Trade of North America ) was actuated by the true Principles of Fellow Subjects with us, we cannot but wish that the grateful Harmony of an indulgent Parent and dutiful Children may constantly subsist between us.

The ready Attachment discovered in the Friends to America has so sensibly struck us that your Honour may be assured no proper Acknowledgment shall be wanting on our Parts to render ourselves truly worthy of every Kindness which they have confessedly shown, and we hope every future Conduct will Merit from them a Continuance of such their particular Friendship and Regard.

It is with equal Pleasure that we join with your Honour in observing no Endeavour of the People here (in that Period rendered unhappy by the precarious Situation that their Liberties were thrown into) did produce the least Violation of Property in this Colony, but we must hope that no tacit Consent to that affecting Circumstance which produced the Distraction of those Times will ver be concluded from that real Prudence which only governed them in the Preservation of their Rights and Liberties.

Whilst we are thus discharging every Duty of Gratitude recommended to us by your Honour, permit us not to forget the Cordiality and Benevolence which you, Sir, have constantly discovered to us during your Administration.

You may be assured we shall give due Attention to what you have been pleased to recommend to us, and that we shall endeavour to conduct ourselves with as much Propriety as possible on this critical Juncture.

To which his HONOUR was pleased to return the following ANSWER :

Mr. Speaker , and Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses ,

YOUR Acknowledgment of the Sense you have ever had of the tender Regard of his Majesty to all his People, and his Protection of their just Rights and Liberties; your Assurances of devoting your Lives and Fortunes in the Defence of his sacred Person, Crown, and Dignity; and your Conviction of the Necessity of an immediate Connexion between Great Britain and her Colonies; are Declarations worthy of you, and must tend to cement that Union between them without which it must be universally confessed they never can flourish and arrive to their greatest Degree of Glory and Perfection.

The Attachment of your Friends in Great Britain to your Interest, you may be assured, will always follow such Sentiments, and a Conduct naturally resulting from them.

For all these Marks of Gratitude to his Majesty, and Approbation of my most earnest Endeavours to serve you, on this and all other Occasions, I return you my hearty Thanks.


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