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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1766-1768
Volume 61, Preface 9   View pdf image (33K)
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Baltimore, December 1, 1944
To The Maryland Historical Society

The volume of the Archives of Maryland which is now presented by the
Publications Committee to the Maryland Historical Society is the Proceedings
and Acts of the General Assembly of Maryland, 1766-1768. It is the sixty-first
volume of the general series and the twenty-eighth volume dealing with As-
sembly affairs.

The three years from 1766 to 1768 inclusive, which this volume covers, were
politically tranquil except at the beginning and at the end of the period. The
opening of the year 1766 saw the repeal of the Stamp Act and the subsidence
of public resentment, and it was not until the close of 1768 that Maryland
became fully conscious of the far reaching political implications of the recent
passage by Parliament of the Townshend revenue acts, imposing duties upon
tea, glass, paper and painters' colors brought into the colonies, although the
import of these acts was before long to produce uproar and violence through
the colonies greater than had the Stamp Act.

In the interval between the repeal of the Stamp Act and the passage of the
Townshend Acts, the relations of Maryland and the mother country were ex-
cellent, and efforts were even being directed by the Lower House to make use
of the Crown as a means of curbing what were looked upon by the people as
encroachments upon their rights by the Lord Proprietary. Most of these
grievances of the people were economic and involved the retention by the
Proprietary of monies derived from various licenses, fines, duties, and taxes
claimed by him under his charter, and by the people as belonging to them.
There was also widespread resentment at the concentration of power at An-
napolis in the hands of the Proprietary group, or what was known as the court
party, the members of which held nearly all the lucrative civil and judicial
offices. During the 1766-1768 period, however, these long standing conflicting
claims became less vocal and the clashes between the Governor and the Upper
House as representing the Proprietary interest on the one hand, and the Lower
House on the other as representing the people, although no less frequent, were
less acrimonious, so that these years as reflected in the Assembly may perhaps
be described as politically an era of apparent good feeling. To be sure, the
Lower House continued to pass controversial bills curtailing Proprietary privi-
leges, and the Upper House to reject them, but these legislative moves were


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Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly, 1766-1768
Volume 61, Preface 9   View pdf image (33K)
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