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Is v a terrorist or a revolutionary essay

5. The American Revolution

The British North American colonists had just helped to win a world war and most, like Rush, had never been more proud to be British. And yet, in a little over a decade, those same colonists would declare their independence and break away from the British Empire. Seen from 1763, nothing would have seemed as improbable as the American Revolution. A revolution fought in the name of liberty allowed slavery to persist. Resistance to centralized authority tied disparate colonies ever closer together under new governments.

The revolution created politicians eager to foster republican selflessness and protect the public good but also encouraged individual self-interest and personal gain. But once unleashed, these popular forces continued to shape the new nation and indeed the rest of American history.

In this section, we will look broadly at some of the long-term political, intellectual, cultural, and economic developments in the eighteenth century that set the context for the crisis of the 1760s and 1770s.

Two factors contributed to these failures.

Constant war was politically consuming and economically expensive. Second, competing visions of empire divided British officials.

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Old Whigs and their Tory supporters envisioned an authoritarian empire, based on conquering territory and extracting resources. The radical or patriot Whigs based their imperial vision on trade and manufacturing instead of land and resources. They argued that economic growth, not raising taxes, would solve the national debt.

There were occasional attempts to reform the administration of the colonies, but debate between the two sides prevented coherent reform. In 1764, James Otis Jr. Many colonists came to see their assemblies as having the same jurisdiction over them that Parliament exercised over those in England. They interpreted British inaction as justifying their tradition of local governance.

The Crown and Parliament, however, disagreed.

In both Britain and the colonies, land was the key to political participation, but because land was more easily obtained in the colonies, a higher proportion of male colonists participated in politics. These ideas—generally referred to as the ideology of republicanism—stressed the corrupting nature of power and the need for those involved in is v a terrorist or a revolutionary essay to be virtuous i.

Patriots would need to be ever vigilant against the rise of conspiracies, centralized control, and tyranny. Only a small fringe in Britain held these ideas, but in the colonies, they were widely accepted. Perhaps no single philosopher had a greater impact on colonial thinking than John Locke. In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke argued that the mind was originally a tabula rasa or blank slate and that individuals were formed primarily by their environment.

The aristocracy then were wealthy or successful because they had greater access to wealth, education, and patronage and not because they were innately superior. Locke followed this essay with Some Thoughts Concerning Education, which introduced radical new ideas about the importance of education. Education would produce rational human beings capable of thinking for themselves and questioning authority rather than tacitly accepting tradition. These ideas slowly came to have far-reaching effects in the colonies and, later, the new nation.

Between 1739 and 1740, the Rev. George Whitefield, an enigmatic, itinerant preacher, traveled the colonies preaching Calvinist sermons to huge crowds. In his wake, new traveling preachers picked up his message and many congregations split.

Both Locke and Whitefield had empowered individuals to question authority and to take their lives into their own hands.

In other ways, eighteenth-century colonists were becoming more culturally similar to Britons, a process often referred to as Anglicization. As colonial economies grew, they quickly became an important market for British manufacturing exports.

Colonists with disposable income and access to British markets attempted to mimic British culture. By the middle of the eighteenth century, middling-class colonists could also afford items previously thought of as luxuries like British fashions, dining wares, and more.

Is V a terrorist or a Revolutionary?

The desire to purchase British goods meshed with the desire to enjoy British liberties. It was truly a world war, fought between multiple empires on multiple continents.

At its conclusion, the British Empire had never been larger. It had also consolidated its control over India. But the realities and responsibilities of the postwar empire were daunting. War let alone victory on such a scale was costly. Britain doubled the national debt to 13. Britain faced significant new costs required to secure and defend its far-flung empire, especially the western frontiers of the North American colonies.

These factors led Britain in the 1760s to attempt to consolidate control over its North American colonies, which, in turn, led to resistance. They represented an authoritarian vision of empire in which colonies would be subordinate. The king forbade settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains in an attempt to limit costly wars with Native Americans. Colonists, however, protested and demanded access to the territory for which they had fought alongside the British.

In 1764, Parliament passed two more reforms. The Sugar Act sought to combat widespread smuggling of molasses in New England by cutting the duty in half but increasing enforcement. Also, smugglers would be tried by vice-admiralty courts and not juries. Parliament also passed the Currency Act, which restricted colonies from producing paper money. Hard money, such as gold is v a terrorist or a revolutionary essay silver coins, was scarce in the colonies.

In March 1765, Parliament passed the Stamp Act. The act required that many documents be printed on paper that had been stamped to show the duty had been paid, including newspapers, pamphlets, diplomas, legal documents, and even playing cards. Parliament had never before directly taxed the colonists. This led, in part, to broader, more popular resistance. Resistance to the Stamp Act took three forms, distinguished largely by class: Colonial elites responded by passing resolutions in their assemblies.

Those rights included trial by jury, which had been abridged by the Sugar Act, and the right to be taxed only by their own elected representatives. While the Stamp Act Congress deliberated, merchants in major port cities were preparing nonimportation agreements, hoping that their refusal to import British goods would lead British merchants is v a terrorist or a revolutionary essay lobby for the repeal of the Stamp Act.

Riots broke out in Boston. The following week, a crowd also set upon the home of his brother-in-law, Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson, who had publicly argued for submission to the stamp tax. In New York City, posted notices read: These tactics had the dual effect of sending a message to Parliament and discouraging colonists from accepting appointments as stamp collectors.

With no one to distribute the stamps, the act became unenforceable. Violent protest by groups like the Sons of Liberty created quite a stir both in the colonies and in England itself.

  1. The first political commentaries in newspapers written by women appeared. For patriots and those who remained neutral , victory brought new political, social, and economic opportunities, but it also brought new uncertainties.
  2. George Whitefield, an enigmatic, itinerant preacher, traveled the colonies preaching Calvinist sermons to huge crowds.
  3. In March 1765, Parliament passed the Stamp Act. After the smoke cleared, five Bostonians were dead, including one of the ringleaders, Crispus Attucks, a former slave turned free dockworker.

This print of the 1774 event was from the British perspective, picturing the Sons as brutal instigators with almost demonic smiles on their faces as they enacted this excruciating punishment on the Custom Commissioner.

Pressure on Parliament grew until, in February 1766, it repealed the Stamp Act. It could be argued that there was no moment at which colonists felt more proud to be members of the free British Empire than 1766.

But Britain still needed revenue from the colonies. The acts also created and strengthened formal mechanisms to enforce compliance, including a new American Board of Customs Commissioners and more vice-admiralty courts to try smugglers. Revenues from customs seizures would be used to pay customs officers and other royal officials, including the governors, thereby incentivizing them to convict offenders. Unsurprisingly, colonists, once again, resisted. Merchants reinstituted nonimportation agreements, and common colonists agreed not to consume these same products.

Lists were circulated with signatories promising not to buy any British goods. These lists were often published in newspapers, bestowing recognition on those who had signed and led to pressure on those who had not. Women, too, became involved to an unprecedented degree in resistance to the Townshend Acts.

They circulated subscription lists and gathered signatures. The first political commentaries in newspapers written by women appeared. Spinning clubs were formed, in which local women would gather at one of their homes and spin cloth for homespun clothing for their families and even for the community.

At the same time, British goods and luxuries previously desired now became symbols of tyranny. Committees of Inspection monitored merchants and residents to make sure that no one broke the agreements.

Offenders could expect to be shamed by having their names and offenses published in the newspaper and in broadsides. Nonimportation and nonconsumption helped forge colonial unity. Colonies formed Committees of Correspondence to keep each other informed of the resistance efforts throughout the colonies. Newspapers reprinted exploits of resistance, giving colonists a sense that they were part of a broader political community.

Britain sent regiments to Boston in 1768 to help enforce the new acts and quell the resistance. On the evening of March 5, 1770, a crowd gathered outside the Custom House and began hurling insults, snowballs, and perhaps more at the young sentry. After the smoke cleared, five Is v a terrorist or a revolutionary essay were dead, including one of the ringleaders, Crispus Attucks, a former slave turned free dockworker.

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The soldiers were tried in Boston and won acquittal, thanks, in part, to their defense attorney, John Adams. News of the Boston Massacre spread quickly through the new resistance communication networks, aided by a famous engraving initially circulated by Paul Revere, which depicted bloodthirsty British soldiers with grins on their faces firing into a peaceful crowd. The engraving was quickly circulated and reprinted throughout the colonies, generating sympathy for Boston and anger with Britain.

This iconic image of the Boston Massacre by Paul Revere sparked fury in both Americans and the British by portraying the redcoats as brutal slaughterers and the onlookers as helpless victims. The events of March 5, 1770 did not actually play out as Revere pictured them, yet his intention was not simply to recount the affair. Revere created an effective propaganda piece that lent credence to those demanding that the British authoritarian rule be stopped.

Resistance again led to repeal. In March 1770, Parliament repealed all of the new duties except the one on tea, which, like the Declaratory Act, was left, in part, to save face and assert that Parliament still retained the right to tax the colonies.