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The Clamor of LawyersThe American Revolution and Crisis in the Legal Profession$
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Peter Charles Hoffer and Williamjames Hull Hoffer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781501726071

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501726071.001.0001

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“The Worst Instrument of Arbitrary Power”

“The Worst Instrument of Arbitrary Power”

(p.16) Chapter 1 “The Worst Instrument of Arbitrary Power”
The Clamor of Lawyers

Peter Charles Hoffer

Williamjames Hull Hoffer

Cornell University Press

George Grenville’s program of “reform” was first and foremost a legal one—a thorough review of colonial law, the enforcement of old laws and the passage of new laws adapted from older models. It was thus natural and proper for revolutionary lawyers in the making to take the lead in protesting these laws, at least insofar as they seemed a break with precedent as well as sound policy. It was natural and proper as well for lawyers attached to the crown interest to defend Grenville’s policies, for surely Parliament, which Grenville led, was a legitimate source of new legislation. Thus the lawyers on both sides of the issue joined combat in the court of public opinion.

Keywords:   Zenger Case, Writs of Assistance cases, John Adams, James Otis Jr., Glorious Revolution, Thomas Hutchinson, Patrick Henry, Parsons’ Cause

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