The American Revolution continues to resonate as one of history’s most important events, but most people fail to appreciate the role Lord Chief Justice Mansfield played in the conflict.
Ernest B. Lowrie engages in a serious rethinking of the causes of the American Revolution, explaining how Lord Mansfield’s decisions from his elevation to the Court of King’s Bench in 1756 until his retirement in 1788 gave Great Britain the firepower it needed to attempt to tax its colonies.
Lord Mansfield’s formal education turned on the Scottish legal system, and as a Scottish Law Lord, it was axiomatic in his opinion that the colonials ought to pay taxes to the imperial government.
After the Boston Tea Party, he decisively shaped the Intolerable Acts. When the British Army defeated the Americans in 1776, he was elevated to the rank of Earl of Mansfield. With the utter defeat of the British at Saratoga in 1777, however, events began to change. Soon France entered the contest, but Lord Mansfield never gave up until King George III was forced to sue for peace.
Get a detailed look at a dark horse of the American Revolution who played a critical role in driving the conflict.