William Smith, Jr. And The British Empire

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Colonists who stayed loyal to the British Empire wished to retain the power and protection of being part of that Empire. They wanted to fix the disagreements between the British government and the colonies before it was too late, even though they knew that the taxes being levied by Parliament against them were excessive.1 Some suggested that the British simply needed to be willing to negotiate a bit with the colonies and give them the greater political and commercial autonomy they so desired. William Smith, Jr., a loyalist lawyer from New York, wanted the colonies to have their own “continental parliament”, and other new colony-specific government offices, which would have necessitated changes to the British Constitution.2 Since both sides were so intractable in their beliefs that they were the ones being wronged, no such radical compromise was ever considered, but that did not stop the desperate loyalists from imagining a scenario where the status quo was maintained as much as possible. Another reason certain loyalist colonists so strongly resisted open rebellion was the fact that they were powerful local officers of the British government, and they wanted to preserve their personal fortunes and influence. Unfortunately for them this meant defending the increasingly oppressive British colonial policies. Under orders from Britain, and under personal conviction that what he did was right, Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson called the Massachusetts General
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