THE SUFFOLK RESOLVES: A NEGLECTED CATALYST OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Before Lexington and Concord, glimmers of revolutionary thoughts and ideas existed in the American colonies; however, a document known as the Suffolk Resolves, written in mid-1774, crystallized these divergent ideas into a more consistent response to troubling British policies. The Suffolk Resolves signaled to the First Continental Congress that segments of the American populace, while still loyal to George III, were willing to raise a militia to protect their rights from Parliamentary actions that they deemed harmful to American interests. The Continental Congress’ endorsement of these resolutions shifted the momentum in favor of more radical elements and hardened positions in both Britain and the colonies. This thesis analyzes the Suffolk Resolves and their place in the historiography of the American Revolution. It considers the political tension underlying the writing and passage of the Resolves as well as the reaction to the document in both America and Britain. The thesis highlights the significance of the Suffolk Resolves as a transitional catalyst leading to the American Revolution.