A Rule of Law
Aaron J. Palmer, Wisconsin Lutheran College
A Rule of Law: Elite Political Authority and the Coming of the Revolution in the South Carolina Lowcountry, 1763-1776 by Aaron J. Palmer offers a fresh examination of how South Carolina planters and merchants—the wealthiest in the thirteen colonies—held an iron grip on political power in the province. Their authority, rooted in control of the colonial legislature’s power to make law, extended into local government, courts, plantations, and the Church of England, areas that previous political studies have not thoroughly considered. These elite planters and merchants, who were conservative by nature and fiercely guarded their control of provincial government, led the province into the American Revolution in defense of the order they had established in the colonial period.