The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved, 1763
About This Text
Author: James Otis
Composed: 1763 CE
Published in 1764, James Otis’ pamphlet “The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved” both praised and criticized British governance of the American colonies. On the one hand, Otis viewed Great Britain’s balanced government as a blessing. On the other hand, Otis argued that the American colonies needed representation in Parliament in order to protect the colonists from potential tyranny, which included unjust taxation. Otis cited English liberties derived from constitutional laws as the basis of his critique, and hoped that the British government, specifically Parliament, would respect the colonist’s rights to life, liberty, and property. Most importantly, this pamphlet helped spur American colonists’ opposition to Great Britain.