The Townshend Moment

By Patrick Griffin,

Book cover of The Townshend Moment: The Making of Empire and Revolution in the Eighteenth Century

Book description

The captivating story of two British brothers whose attempts to reform an empire helped to incite rebellion and revolution in America and insurgency and reform in Ireland

Patrick Griffin chronicles the attempts of brothers Charles and George Townshend to control the forces of history in the heady days after Britain's…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Townshend Moment as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Revolutionary historians are familiar with the Townshend Acts, import duties approved by Parliament in 1767 that pushed the Americans closer toward independence. Patrick Griffin explores the man for who the taxes were named—Chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Townshend—but also his brother George who served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1767 to 1772. By comparing and contrasting these two brothers who ran the British Empire for a brief moment, Griffin invites us to consider the American Revolution within its imperial context. I found the parallels between America where independence efforts succeeded and Ireland where they failed particularly thought-provoking. 

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