George Washington by Gilbert Stuart

British Parliament


The British Parliament is the legislative, law-making, branch of the British government. In some ways, the American Congress parallels the British Parliament. Parliament consists of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, which meet in the Palace of Westminster. During colonial times, Parliament passed many of the taxes and restrictive laws that the Patriots fought against for their freedom.

”They considered the Parliament as the great bulwark and security of their liberties and privileges, and always spoke of it with the utmost respect and veneration. Arbitrary ministers, they thought, might possibly, at times, attempt to oppress them; but they relied on it, that the Parliament, on application, would always give redress.”—Benjamin Franklin before Parliament, 1766

Parliament issued the Intolerable Acts following the Boston Tea Party—leading the Colonists to form the first Continental Congress and move towards revolution.

Benjamin Franklin spoke before the House of Commons to testify against the Stamp Act.