TUCKER, Josiah (1713-1799)
A Treatise Concerning Civil Government, in Three Parts. Part I. The Notions of Mr. Locke and His Followers....Part II. The True Basis of Civil Government Set Forth and Ascertained....Part III. England's Former Gothic Institutions Censured and Exposed....
London: Printed for T. Cadell, 1781. , v, , 428pp. Minor wear to extremities. Small shelf label on front pastedown, occasional minor dust-soiling.
Contemporary tree calf, expertly rebacked in matching style, spine elaborately stamped in gilt, gilt morocco label.
Conceding the inevitability of American independence.
A scarce political treatise written by Josiah Tucker in the midst of the Revolutionary War. Tucker was a British economist and long-standing opponent of colonialism who wrote several tracts arguing that the British should forego their effort to retain the American colonies. This work follows along the same lines of thought as his earlier works such as "Cui Bono?..." and "The True Interest of Great Britain Set Forth in Regard to the Colonies...," which Tucker wrote at the outbreak of the Revolution, arguing that a peaceable separation and independence for America was the best course of action. According to Adams, the present work contains "a number of passing references to the American colonies." The work is largely concerned with the philosophy of civil government, specifically with the political ideas of John Locke, and an examination of the English Constitution. "Tucker's developing attitude to the American colonies was motivated neither by a belief in free trade nor by any sympathy for the Americans themselves, a people he came to see as grasping and ungrateful. Their rapid economic growth and dislike of regulation would, he believed, eventually lead them to separate from Britain through self-interest. He argued that all colonies historically had their date of independence and, concerned that their radical political ideas would eventually infect Britain, he advocated as early as 1766 the separation of Britain and her American colonies" - DNB (online). An early work of political science written by a reluctant advocate of American independence.
Adams American Controversy 81-72; Goldsmiths 12237; Sabin 97364; ESTC T51616.