302 EURAMERICA payment of certain taxes (Dinkin, 1977; McKinley, 1905). To win their support the local colonial elite formed clubs and societies, held town and election meetings, and exploited the expanding free press that had grown up in the colonies (Bailyn & Hench, 1980). By the early1760s the disputes between Britain and the American colonies were heightened by the fact that the legislatures on both sides of the Atlantic were stronger and more popular with their constituents than ever before (Johnson, 1987: 338-362). These legislative bodies increasingly copied the procedures and practices developed by the Westminster House of Commons to manage elections, conduct debates, levy taxes and enact bills into law. By the 1760s, these legislative assemblies could make it difficult for governors to execute their duties, especially as the governors had little patronage to dispense, certainly compared to the king’s ability to influence the composition and actions of both houses of parliament back in Westminster (Greene, 1969: 337-360; Labaree, 1930: 172-217; Tully, 2000). The governors of Rhode Island and Connecticut were elected by those who elected their legislatures, in Pennsylvania and Maryland much power still resided in the hands of the original proprietors, the Penn and Calvert families, while even those royal governors appointed by the crown lacked a regular salary and were dependent on financial support from their assemblies to maintain the dignity of their office and to meet the expenses of their executive decisions (Greene, 1963; Labaree, 1930). An examination of the press campaigns and the political debates conducted by the colonial political elites has revealed how often these men feared the patronage and corruption they believed operated in the British parliament and elections and how much they feared the growth of executive power and financial interests in London that seemed to endanger Britain’s cherished balanced constitution to threaten the people’s liberties both in Britain and in the colonies. Even before the constitutional crisis in the empire began in the 1760s, the colonial elites in America had long been fed a diet of Patriot or Country ideology and propaganda very like that which had been created by the political opponents of the king’s English ministers at Westminster (Bailyn, 1967). The more radical colonists insisted that