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Massachusetts History Society

Founded in 1791, the Massachusetts Historical Society, an independent research library, is an invaluable resource for American history, life, and culture. Its extraordinary collections tell the story of America through millions of rare and unique documents, artifacts, and irreplaceable national treasures.


  • In Person
    The approach of the 250th anniversary of American independence has led scholars to reexamine the British Empire and the events of the imperial crisis that are generally understood to have led to the American Revolution.   The panelists of the keynote session  “Could the Empire Have Been Saved?”  engage this issue by discussing the problems in the empire revealed by resistance to imperial authority in British America between 1764 and 1774.  What kind of empire was it?  What was the character of British policy in the colonies?   Was the imperial crisis really a general crisis that touched all colonies and all members of British American society?  What was driving events forward?  Was the American Revolution really inevitable?  And might better decisions have avoided it?   In engaging  these questions, the panelists aim to reveal the broader implications of new thinking about the British empire and the coming of the American Revolution.

    This keynote is part of the conference on the theme "Empire and Its Discontent" hosted by The David Center for the American Revolution at the American Philosophical Society and the Massachusetts Historical Society

    Please note that in-person attendance has reached capacity and virtual attendance is the only option available for the keynote at this time. Click here to access the livestream on Youtube
    Massachusetts History Society