Philip Lawson examines the profound effect that the conquest of Quebec had on British politics and imperial thought in the years leading to the signing of the Quebec Act in 1774. He reinterprets the standard accounts of the conquest of Quebec in 1760, challenging prevailing ideas about political traditions and philosophical assumptions in mid-eighteenth-century Britain. Lawson focuses attention not only on the changing nature of British imperial governance in the age of the American Revolution but also on the significant new developments taking place in Britain at the time. Quebec played a pivotal role in the shift away from the rigid principles of Protestant political exclusionism by challenging the fundamental tenets of English constitutional order. The attempt to bring English law, religion, and custom to Quebec forced the State to revise its whole approach to the existing political and religious problems of the day. In forming his argument, Lawson has made use of material which has recently come to light.