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Karen Palumbo

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Blogs by Karen Palumbo

On This Day 1/23/1775
1/20/2011 6:58:22 PM

London merchants petition for reconciliation with America


London,England merchants petition Parliament for relief from the financial hardship put upon them by the curtailment of trade with the North American colonies. In the petition the merchants provided their own history of the dispute between the American colonies and Parliament, beginning with the "Stamp Act of 1765".

Most critical to the merchant's concerns were the two million pound sterling in outstanding debts owed to them by their North American counterparts.

The merchant's claimed that:

"a total stop is now put to the export
trade with the greatest and most
important part of North America, the
public revenue is threatened with a
large and fatal diminution, the
petitioners with grievous distress,
and thousands of industrious artificers
and manufacturers with utter ruin."

The petitioners begged Parliament to consider re-implementing the system of mercantile trade between Great Britain and the American colonies, which had served the interests of all parties in the empire prior to 1764.

Following the "Coercive Acts of 1774", the colonies had quickly agreed to reinstate the non-importation agreements first devised in response to the "Stamp Act of 1765" in the autum of 1765.

They threatened to enter non-exportation agreements if Great Britain failed to meet their demands by August 1775. Because debts the American colonies owed to British merchants were generally paid in exports, not currency, such an action would indeed have caused tremendous financial loss to the British economy.

Non-importation had a comparatively minor impact because Great Britain merchants could and did find other markets. However, no one else would pay the vast debts owed to the merchants by tobacco planters like Thomas Jefferson or New England shipping magnates like John Hancock.



(K) (HST)


Thomas Jefferson American Patriot
President - USA
John Hancock American Patriot


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