by Shawn David McGhee
Westholme Publishing, 2024
eISBN: 978-1-59416-710-2 | Cloth: 978-1-59416-426-2

When news reached Parliament of the Boston radicals’ destruction of the Royal East India Company’s tea, it passed the Coercive Acts, a collection of punitive measures designed to rein in that insubordinate seaport town. The Coercive Acts unleashed a political firestorm as communities from Massachusetts to Georgia drafted resistance resolutions condemning Parliament’s perceived encroachment upon American liberty. Local leaders also directed colonists to refrain from purchasing British merchandise and forego theater, horse racing, and other perceived debauched traditions. Local activists next convened the Continental Congress to coordinate a pancolonial resistance movement to pressure Parliament into repealing the Coercive Acts and settling American rights on a constitutional foundation. Once convened, Congress deftly drafted the Articles of Association. Traditionally understood as primarily an economic response by the colonies to Parliament’s actions, the Continental Association called for public demonstrations of commercial and cultural restraint, conduct delegates hoped would both heal the empire and restore colonial virtue. 
Historian Shawn McGhee offers a fresh perspective on the origins of American political identity. No Longer Subjects of the British King: The Political Transformation of Royal Subjects to Republican Citizens, 1774-1776reveals the crucial process by which the Continental Association organized American towns and counties into a protonational community of suffering to protect political identities they felt under threat. This work further demonstrates how those sacrificing for the common cause severed their bonds of allegiance to the British king and separated from the broader imperial nation. In this crucible of austerity, they formed an American political community, completing the political transformation from subject to citizen.