William Pitt, the Elder (1708–1778) was a British politician who served in various capacities and, during the lead-up to the American Revolution, opposed oppressive policies enacted upon the colonies. In 1765, Pitt publicly opposed the Stamp Act, and in 1775, he proposed that Parliament recognize and use the Continental Congress as a legislative body in the colonies. Colonists viewed Pitt as a champion of American autonomy. He did not, however, support American independence. Rather, Pitt advocated the right of the colonies to levy their own taxes while maintaining allegiance to and unity with the British empire.

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