306 EURAMERICA Westminster, Richard Bland had maintained that only the colonial legislatures “have a right to enact ANY law they shall think necessary for their INTERNAL government” (Bland, 1766: 22-23). Blackstone and most British imperialists in parliament claimed that the British legislature could exercise unlimited sovereignty over the British colonies in North America just as much as it did over Britain (Blackstone, 1765-1769: I, 105). They repeatedly protested that American resistance to the colonial policies, that had been initiated by British ministers and passed by majorities in parliament, were unlawful and unacceptable challenges to the cherished constitution that did so much to preserve both liberty and stability within Britain. There were frequent complaints in Britain that the American colonists were seeking complete independence from a mother country that had created them and had often expended blood and treasure to defend them from internal and external enemies (Anonymous, 1769: 40-43; Ray, 1766: 5; RobinsonMorris, 1774: 22; Roebuck, 1776: 39; Wheelock, 1770: 45). British imperialists therefore felt justified in mounting a fierce and formidable defense of their concept of sovereignty (Dickinson, 1998: 64-96). During the debate on the repeal of the Stamp Act in February 1766 Alexander Wedderburn wanted to make it a criminal offence to dispute parliament’s authority in books or pamphlets (Thomas, 1975: 239). At the same time, William Blackstone himself proposed in the House of Commons that the offer to repeal the act should be made only to those colonies whose legislative assemblies agreed to expunge from their records any resolutions challenging the sovereign authority of parliament (Thomas, 1969: 314). William Knox, a British government official, published his views that sovereignty was indivisible and was located in the Westminster legislature (Bellot, 1977; Knox et al., 1769: 50-51). Thomas Whately, an adviser to George Grenville, the chief minister who secured the passing of the Stamp Act in 1765, concluded that: “all [colonists] who took those grants [of royal charters] were British subjects inhabiting British dominions, and who at the time of taking