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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

Stamp Act, Rockingham, Hargreaves and Jenny
In the 1760s there was a growing sense of nationalism, it was felt that the fundamental principles of Englishness, that began with opposition to the Normans, had been abandoned. There was a feeling of anti-Scottishness, not helped by the unpopular Earl of Bute.

Meanwhile the introduction of stamp duty on newspapers as well as legal documents in America was to lead to a debate about Britain's right to tax the colonies. Stamp duty did not last long, by the end of 1765 Rockingham repealing it. Rockingham forced through legislation that declared British sovereignty in America declaring that the colonists were subjects of the Crown and therefore liable to the Crown's laws including taxation. Many governors in America preferred not to impose taxes they could not enforce. The British Americans denied the authority of Parliament over the colonies but declared their loyalty to King and Empire.

Charles Wentworth
Charles Wentworth

  • Second Marquess of Rockingham
  • Became Prime Minister in 1765 winning popularity by repealing cider excise and Grenville's Stamp Act
  • Quarrelled with George III and was replaced by North
  • North resigned in 1782 and Rockingham returned to office
  • Made moves to end the American War of Independence by repealing the Declaratory Act 1720

did you know?
In the 1760s, 47 per cent of children died before the age of two.

In the first conversation between Dr Johnson and James Boswell, Boswell said: "I do indeed come from Scotland, but I cannot help it." Johnson replied: "That Sir, I find, is what a very great many of your countrymen cannot help."

Select historical period

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1756Pitt the Elder becomes Secretary at War
Seven Years' War starts
Black Hole of Calcutta
1757Militia Act
Calcutta recaptured
1760George II dies
George III becomes king
Wolfe dies at Quebec
1761 Pitt the Elder falls from power
1762Newcastle resigns
Bute becomes Prime Minister
1763 Bute resigns
Grenville becomes Prime Minister
1765Rockingham becomes Prime Minister
Hargreaves invents the spinning jenny
1766Grafton becomes nominal Prime Minister
1768 Royal Academy of Arts founded
1769 Captain Cook lands at Tahiti
1770 Lord North becomes Prime Minister

Plassey 1757
Heights of Abraham 1759
Bunker Hill 1775
Saratoga 1777
Yorktown 1781
Cape St Vincent and Camperdown 1797
The Nile (Aboukia Bay) 1798

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