The World’s Famous Orations, Vol. 4

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Author: Charles James Fox  | Date: 1780

I
On the British Defeat in America*
(1780)

What was the consequence of the sanguinary measures recommended in those bloody, inflammatory speeches? Tho Boston was to be starved, tho Hancock and Adams were proscribed, yet at the feet of these very men the Parliament of Great Britain was obliged to kneel, flatter, and cringe; and, as it had the cruelty at one time to denounce vengeance against these men, so it had the meanness afterward to implore their forgiveness. Shall he who called the Americans"Hancock and his crew,"—shall he presume to reprehend any set of men for inflammatory speeches? It is this accursed American war that has led us, step by step, into all our present misfortunes and national disgraces. What was the cause of our wasting forty millions of money, and sixty thousand lives? The American war! What was it that produced the French rescript and a French war ? The American war! What was it that produced the Spanish manifesto and Spanish war? The American war! What was it that armed forty-two thousand men in Ireland with the arguments carried on the points of forty thousand bayonets? The American war! For what are we about to incur an additional debt of twelve or fourteen millions? This accursed, cruel, diabolical American war!

* Delivered in the House of Commons in 1780. The surrender of Cornwallis occurred on October 19 of the following year. Abridged.

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Great Britain, 1780–1801

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Chicago: Charles James Fox, "I. On the British Defeat in America (1780)," The World’s Famous Orations, Vol. 4 in The World’s Famous Orations, ed. William Jennings Bryan (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, December, 1906), 31–32. Original Sources, accessed May 26, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9KW8LP3T8DC1ATL.

MLA: Fox, Charles James. "I. On the British Defeat in America (1780)." The World’s Famous Orations, Vol. 4, in The World’s Famous Orations, edited by William Jennings Bryan, Vol. 4, New York, Funk and Wagnalls, December, 1906, pp. 31–32. Original Sources. 26 May. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9KW8LP3T8DC1ATL.

Harvard: Fox, CJ, 'I. On the British Defeat in America (1780)' in The World’s Famous Orations, Vol. 4. cited in December, 1906, The World’s Famous Orations, ed. , Funk and Wagnalls, New York, pp.31–32. Original Sources, retrieved 26 May 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9KW8LP3T8DC1ATL.