Lead: During the American Revolution there was substantial and ever increasing opposition to the Crown’s efforts to bring the colonials to heel. Important leaders in that resistance were Wilkes, Rockingham and Burke.
Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.
Content: Antagonism to the war effort tended to follow fault lines already present in British politics. On the far left, radical politician John Wilkes had for two decades sought an expansion of the rights of ordinary citizens. A MP from Aylesbury and later Middlesex, in a long career he was on occasion, forced into exile, imprisoned for libel, and condemned by Parliament, but continued to enjoy wide-spread popular support. Elected Lord Mayor of London in 1774, he used that position and membership in Parliament to advocate complete religious toleration and support for the American colonial cause.