Offering civil dissent: Remaining loyal


The Bostonians Paying the Excise-man, or Tarring and Feathering (1774) Philip Dawe (attributed) This illustration was printed in London, presumably representing a British view of rebelling Colonials.

John Randolph produced two primary writings (both pamphlets) sharing his perspective on the best, safest course for Americans to take. One was written in America for an American audience ("Considerations on the Present State of Virginia"), the other was written in England for a British government audience ("Plan of Accommodations").
A brief sample of Randolph's salient points from each helps show the form his loyalist took and the shape of his dissent from arguments for independence:
From "Considerations":[1]
  • "[It is] beyond a Doubt that America, when she is able to protect herself, will acknowledge no Superiority in another. That she will be capable, some Time or other, to establish an Independence, must appear evident to every One, who is acquainted with her present Situation and growing Strength." (P. 21)
  • "Population is the principal Thing required to give Prosperity to America. It is a great Country, and wants nothing to bring it to Perfection but Numbers." (P. 22)
  • "Whilst we remain tied together by one friendly and common Band, we can preserve our Religion and Property from Violation, and bid Defiance to all the hostile Powers on Earth; but if this ligament be burst asunder, our Strength will be weakened, and our Security at an End." (P. 23)
  • "I admit, that every Man has a Right to oppose the Means of Injustice; the Law of Nature allows it, the Law of Society demands it, and it is the Birthright of every Englishman to do it .... The Mode of Application for Redress is the Subject on which we differ." (P. 38)
It seems safe to say that John Randolph fully believed in the idea of an independent America; he wanted the future independent America to be strong enough to be ready to protect itself; therefore, he thought the safest idea was to solve the current problems with England peaceably and continue to grow in strength.
[1] John Randolph, Considerations on the Present State of Virginia, ed. Swem.
Offering civil dissent: Remaining loyal