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Constitutional Law

Political Science

Chapman University

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Political Theory In Institutional Context: The Case Of Patriot Royalism, John Compton, Karen Orren Jan 2012

Political Theory In Institutional Context: The Case Of Patriot Royalism, John Compton, Karen Orren

Political Science Faculty Articles and Research

In the aftermath of the Stamp Act, prominent American thinkers of otherwise unquestioned Whiggish affiliation adopted an expansive view of the king’s prerogative powers while simultaneously denying Parliament’s authority to interfere in the internal governance of the colonies. Scholars have generally attributed this stance, known as “patriot royalism,” to political necessity: with no other means of disputing Parliament’s oppressive actions, desperate pamphleteers sought to revive the discredited constitutional ideas of the Stuarts. In contrast, we argue that this position was deeply rooted in the institutional context of colonial governance. More specifically, we show that revolutionary Americans directly ...