Jack P. Greene (Fellow, 1986–88; Fellow, 2009–10)
October 19, 2010
What was the relationship between the colonies and Britain that led to independence in 1783? What if the British had not tried to tax the colonies? The taxes were small. Why did the colonies resist them so strongly? What if the British had responded to the resistance in a more conciliatory and pragmatic way? Could the controversy have been resolved so the colonies would have remained connected to Britain? What form might that connection have taken? What might have been the result of reconciliation? Would slavery have been abolished earlier? Would the colonies have developed into one or more commonwealths with autonomous internal governance, like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa? What would be the relationship today between the United States and Britain?