In this episode, I cover the Writs of the Assistance, one of the first points of dispute between colonial sentiment and the British authorities – at least in Boston. In doing so, I revisit James Otis’ fierce resistance toward the writs in 1761, paving the way for the first coherent narrative concerning colonial taxation. It was here that Otis first emerged as a Whig leader, and his ideological influence was extensive. In several ways, the Writs of Assistance sparked a constitutional confrontation between the two powers, which remained a key theme of the entire patriot struggle against Britain.

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Recommended reading:

James Otis, Against the Writs of Assistance (speech)

James Otis, The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved

Gordon Wood, Radicalism of the American Revolution

Murray Rothbard, Conceived in Liberty

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