Sons of liberty founded - History

Sons of liberty founded - History

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Sons of Liberty founded

When word of the enactment of the Stamp Tax spread through the colonies protest began In Boston riots developed directed against both Royal officials and anyone who agreed to distribute the stamps. The mob directed its anger at Andrew Oliver who had agreed to be an agent of the stamp tax. They hung him in effigy, and threatened him if he did not resign which he did.

The rioting quickly spread to other colonies. Throughout the colonies the agents for the stamp tax were forced to resign. Behind much of the rioting was a new organization that had been founded to defend the liberties of the colonist..

The passage of the Stamp Act created the first sustained opposition to the British. The opposition was not only political. The opposition also took the form of demonstrations, rioting and other acts of violence. The violent actions were not spontaneous. The actions were coordinated and implemented by a new organization called "The Sons of Liberty". The Sons of Liberty was founded in the summer of 1765 by a group of shopkeepers and artisans in Boston. The founders of the group were not the most prominent of Bostons citizens. However, the group included Benjamin Edes, who was a printer and John Gil who ran the Boston Gazette, thus assuring they were able to spread their message.

The first action the Sons of Liberty initiated took place on August 14, 1765. The Sons burned an effigy of Andrew Oliver who was slated to become the Commissioner of the Stamps for Massachusetts. That night, a mob burned part of Olivers property in Boston and ransacked an abandoned house belonging to Oliver.

The Sons of Liberty quickly spread to all of the colonies. Their goal was to undermine all attempts to enforce the Stamp Act. Their actions were successful. There was no royal force available to counter the Sons of Liberty. The actions of the Sons of Liberty were instrumental in forcing the British to repeal the Stamp Act. After their initial victory, the Sons of Liberty continued their anti-British agitations, with such actions as planting Liberty trees in New York, and burning of the British revenue cutter, "The Gaspee".

Sons of Liberty (miniseries)

Sons of Liberty is an American television miniseries dramatizing the early American Revolution events in Boston, Massachusetts, the start of the Revolutionary War, and the negotiations of the Second Continental Congress which resulted in drafting and signing the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The three-part miniseries premiered on History on January 25, 2015, directed by Kari Skogland. The theme music was composed by Hans Zimmer. [1] [2]

  • Stephen David
  • Elaine Frontain Bryant
  • Matthew Gross
  • Russell McCarroll
  • Mitch Engel
  • Tim W. Kelly
  • Peter Feldman
  • Matthew Stillman
  • David Minkowski


The Sons of Liberty were secret colonial societies that emerged in 1765 in response to the widely hated Stamp Act. Great Britain's national debt had doubled in the decade after 1754, partly because of the expenses of supporting troops in the colonies in the wake of the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years' War). Believing that the colonists should pay more for their protection instead of further burdening the British taxpayer, Britain's Parliament placed a tax on legal documents, customs papers, newspapers, almanacs, college diplomas, and playing cards. The American colonists viewed the Stamp Act as a serious danger to liberty. To them, property was the source of strength for every individual because it provided the freedom to think and act independently. The Stamp Act threatened to destroy liberty because it deprived a person of property. It also insulted the colonists by implying that they were second-class citizens who were not entitled to consent to their own taxation.

The Sons of Liberty, centered in the colonial seaports, protested against the Stamp Act legislation and sought to nullify the tax through terrorism. They took their name from Isaac Barré's speech opposing the act in the British House of Commons. Barré had closed with a reference to the American colonists as "these sons of liberty." The resisters consisted mostly of traders, lawyers, and prosperous artisans. These men violated the Stamp Act by refusing to purchase stamps. They organized the lower classes such as sailors, dockworkers, poor artisans, apprentices, and servants. In every colonial city, mobs instigated by the Sons of Liberty burned stamp collectors in effigy, insulted them on the streets, demolished their offices, and attacked their homes. All stamp agents in the American colonies, with the exception of ones in sparsely settled Georgia, had resigned before the Stamp Act officially became law on November 1, 1765. It was repealed in 1766.

The Sons of Liberty died down after the Stamp Act's repeal, although some leaders such as Silas Downer of Rhode Island tried to keep the organization alive. Downer wanted the Sons of Liberty to stay mobilized for immediate action against any future threats to colonial liberties by the British government. He began a Committee of Correspondence to alert other Sons of Liberty chapters about British misgovernment.

Patrick Henry is the famous Founding Father who stated, &ldquoGive me liberty or give me death&rdquo during a speech made at the Virginia House of Burgesses. Henry voiced his opinions about the British government and the need for American independence all over the colonies. In fact, Henry is credited as one of the central figures to cause Virginia to raise troops to help fight during the American Revolution.

He helped the Sons of Liberty in many ways by protesting and spreading the word of their organization to increase members. After the revolution, Henry became the first Governor of Virginia.

The Declaration of Independence

In Boston in early summer of 1765 a group of shopkeepers and artisans who called themselves The Loyal Nine, began preparing for agitation against the Stamp Act. As that group grew, it came to be known as the Sons of Liberty. And grow it did! These were not the leading men of Boston, but rather workers and tradesmen. It was unseemly that they would be so agitated by a parliamentary act. Though their ranks did not include Samuel and John Adams, the fact may have been a result of a mutually beneficial agreement. The Adams' and other radical members of the legislature were daily in the public eye they could not afford to be too closely associated with violence, neither could the secretive Sons of Liberty afford much public exposure. However, amongst the members were two men who could generate much public sentiment about the Act. Benjamin Edes, a printer, and John Gill of the Boston Gazette produced a steady stream of news and opinion. Within a very short time a group of some two thousand men had been organized under Ebenezer McIntosh, a South Boston shoemaker.

The first widely known acts of the Sons took place on August 14, 1765, when an effigy of Andrew Oliver (who was to be commissioned Distributor of Stamps for Massachusetts) was found hanging in a tree on Newbury street, along with a large boot with a devil climbing out of it. The boot was a play on the name of the Earl of Bute and the whole display was intended to establish an evil connection between Oliver and the Stamp Act. The sheriffs were told to remove the display but protested in fear of their lives, for a large crowd had formed at the scene. Before the evening a mob burned Oliver's property on Kilby street, then moved on to his house. There they beheaded the effigy and stoned the house as its occupants looked out in horror. They then moved to nearby Fort Hill were they built a large fire and burned what was left of the effigy. Most of the crowd dissipated at that point, however McIntosh and crew, then under cover of darkness, ransacked Oliver's abandoned home until midnight. On that evening it became very clear who ruled Boston. The British Militia, the Sheriffs and Justices, kept a low profile. No one dared respond to such violent force.

By the end of that year the Sons of Liberty existed in every colony. Their most popular objective was to force Stamp Distributors throughout the colonies to resign. The groups also applied pressure to any Merchants who did not comply with the non-importation associations. Wherever these groups existed they were either directed in secret by leading men in the community or actually lead by them. However, there were opportunists everywhere, too, who would use the name Sons of Liberty to carry out acts of revenge and other violence not related to the cause. For example, in South Carolina a group of sailors, calling themselves The Sons of Liberty, formed a mob to coerce money from people on the streets*. Such behavior could certainly undermine the cause, so the Sons spent a great deal of time policing themselves and pretenders. This was the origin on names such as "True Sons," and "True-born Sons" of Liberty.

The success of these movements in undermining the Stamp Act cannot be attributed to violence alone. Their most effective work was performed in newsprint. A great many of the Sons were printers and publishers themselves and even those who were not, were sympathetic to the cause. It was they who would pay the most in duties, after all. Nearly every newspaper in the colonies carried daily reports of the activities of the Sons. Accounts of the most dramatic escapades spread throughout the colonies. In one most remarkable incident, an account of the Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions was printed far and wide. It is not certain how many of the editors who reprinted it were aware of the status of the resolutions, but seven were printed, while only five actually passed (the fifth was in fact rescinded the day after adoption.) The ultimate effect of such propaganda was to embolden both citizens and Legislatures in every colony. When the Stamp Act became effective on the 1st of November, 1765, nearly all of these papers went right on publishing without the required Stamp.

In the early months of 1766 there was such chaos that many of the royal governors had gone into hiding. The Sheriffs and Militia that they might have counted on to keep the peace were mostly members of the Sons of Liberty. Governors were afraid to unlock the weapons stores. Few royal troops were available and they were vastly outnumbered in any case. The Sons of Liberty had displaced the royal government in nearly every colony. The Stamp Act Congress had concluded its business, but there was little hope that its petition to Gr. Britain would be heard. Correspondence between the various groups began, toward the mutual support and defense of the cause. It was expected that eventually British troops would land and attempt to reassert control. So it was that the first efforts to unite the colonies were not undertaken by their respective legislatures, but by these independent radical groups. The various Sons throughout the colonies began to correspond and develop a larger organization.

Sons of liberty founded - History

It was 1765 when everything started. It was another year of suffering for the Colonists suffering under the wrath and dominance of the British army. One day, a very controversial rule known as the Stamp Act of 1765 was established on all the colonies of British America. It stated that most printed materials must be published on the stamped papers made in London, and they even had proceeds stamps on each of them.


On top of that, the tax required must be paid in the accepted British currency, not the currency used by the colonies. The apparent purpose of the tax was to pay for the British troops’ service after their victory on the Seven Year’s War. The British people were certainly happy for having this law established unfortunately, the American colonies were certainly not smiling about it. That was the time when certain groups, after tolerating years of British oppression, had suddenly appeared and gathered. And after being christened by Sir Isaac Barré – an Irish man who became one of the champions of American rights, the group was reborn as the Sons of Liberty.

Sons of Liberty

was an underground faction that sought to protect and fight for the American cause. It all began when the British Empire rose as one of the most feared powers in the world. After having conquered countries like France, the hands of the Empire finally reached America, where they decided to provide workplaces for their armed forces and almost ten thousand men. If that wasn’t bad enough, the British forces had planned to fund this by collecting unnecessary taxes. And due to this and the lack of representation of the Colonists in the Parliament, the “no taxation without representation” was conceived.

Many groups since then had appeared, the most known of which was the Boston Caucus Club. But the true highlight of the controversies was the Stamp Act of 1765. Every person in the colonies was enraged, and a selected few redirected this hatred by forming the Sons of Liberty. The chief founder of the said cause was a man named Samuel Adams. The conquerors soon after faced a series of threats, violent acts, and mass demonstrations.


The first known activity of the Sons of Liberty occurred on the 14th of August, 1765, when an effigy of Andrew Oliver, the next candidate to be the Distributor of Stamp for Massachusetts, was hung on a tree on Newbury Street. This figure also had a big boot and a scary demon springing out of it. This was actually a symbol orchestrated by the Sons of Liberty in order to show the wicked link between Andrew Oliver and the Stamp Act.

Local officers were ordered to remove the effigy shockingly, none of them did what they were told, out of fear that the raging crowd that appeared ahead of them would kill them if they did. They moved on to his main house, and after the villagers looked out of their windows to view the stirring commotion the crowd proceeded to behead the figure they made while the others stoned Andrew’s house.

The angry mob then went on to Fort Hill where they created a bonfire to burn the Andrew Oliver effigy in flames. Some ransacked the abandoned home of Oliver. The next morning, everything was quiet. It seemed that the leaders and most of the British Army remained silent about the night’s events.

By years end, members of the Sons of Liberty appeared in the colonies. All people had continued their efforts in an attempt to coerce the British to stop selling their stamps. Since then, other groups have exercised similar and more radical methods of protest. Many bands tried to boycott the British goods and merchandises, aside from the stamped papers. A cluster of the Sons of Liberty had set ablaze the written records of the vice-admiralty court and pillaged the house of Thomas Hutchinson, a chief justice of that time.


During local elections, many candidates that helped contribute to the Stamp Act lost due to their support for the act. It wasn’t also apparent to all the authorities that most members of the Sons of Liberty were actually news publishers and printers. They made perfect use of their positions by spreading propaganda through articles in news publications that describe the actions and movements of the Sons of Liberty.

Even though only five of the seven literary works were published, news had already scattered like wildfire throughout the nearby states. That marked the newly-formed collaboration of the states. The chain of uprisings on New York and Connecticut that started on November of 1765 still continued up to January of 1766 in Newport, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and March of 1766 in New Jersey, Virginia, Norfolk, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Maryland. The states were soon to be included in the nine-striped flag that the Sons of Liberty was famous for.

Word about the Sons of Liberty continued to spread, many British officials trembled and hid in order to be spared. However, many instances, some were unkind to the people. January 19, 1770 marked the Battle of Golden Hill, where many casualties fell on the Colonists’ side due to the reaction of the army on the “liberty poles” they had put up. On June 10, 1771, the HMS Gaspée, a British ship docked on Rhode Island, was burned down, further spreading the infamy of the faction. When the East India Company reeled in boats with contained boxes of tea, numerous colonists boarded it and threw the boxes into the Boston Harbor, immortalizing the legendary Boston Tea Party.

What transpired during the 1770s has led to the American Revolution. The actions taken by the Sons of Liberty had definitely sparked something in the formerly complacent Colonists to fight for their rights in order to bring forth the eventual unity of the states.

Sons of liberty founded - History

T his document was signed by 94 men probably early in 1766. It consists of a declaration of essential liberties and greviences, a list of signatories, and was occasioned by passage of the Stamp Act in 1765.

A photostat of the original document is in the collection of the Colonial Albany Social History Project. At this point, the provenance of the photostat is unclear. However, it is identical to the transcription published in 1876 in volume I of a Schenectady-based periodical entitled The American Historian and Quarterly Genealogical Record.

We believe this document could be of great value in understanding the processes by which colonists became revolutionaries. Over the past two decades, it has been studied closely by three graduate students associated with the project. While not yielding publishable results, those student exercises have shed a great deal of light on the lives of the signatories.

Especially with the names listed below, this web page will provide more insight on this important document in the future!

Our interest in the Sons of Liberty in Albany first was aroused by reading Beverly McAnear, "The Albany Stamp Act Riots," published in the William and Mary Quarterly (1947), 86-98. He mentioned the so-called constitution and sought to identify the signers. He did a remarkable job for his time. However interesting, the article contains numerous errors - especially in his profiling of the signers!

The Document: After considering the printed version of the document as published in The American Historian, we initiated a search for the actual manuscript. Frustrated, we were astonished to be given what still appears to be a photostat of it by an unnamed friend during the early 1980s. We still have not been able to verify or trace its origins. We know nothing of it beyond what is printed on this page! It is, however, an intriguing resource that has attracted the attention of a number of students. Of course, we would welcome any enlightenment on the document.

The students were John Fullmer (SUNYA) Glenn Griffith (College of St. Rose) and Denis P. Brennan (SUNYA), who produced a statistical analysis of those who signed. We no longer have those papers.

The signature of Daniel Winne could refer to a number of individuals of the same name living at that time. Our candidate might be tanner Daniel K. Winne who lived in the city of Albany.

"John Marselis" probably is John G. Marselis and not his older cousin.


As in our present distressed condition, while under the greatest apprehensions of yet threatening Slavery, our surest refuges seem the mercies of God, and our own fixed and unanimous resolution to persevere to the last in the vindication of our dear bought Rights and Privileges, the very Essentials of our peerless Constitution, These, in the awful presence of the Righteous Jehovah, serve to bind us, the Subscribes and public Assentors hereto in the Articles following:

A 1. That we will choose from our Body a Committee of thirteen men, who are hereby empowered to choose their President and Clerk, to continue as the Committee during good behavior, or till a majority of the Subscribers think proper to call for a new choice which, when moved, shall be signified to the Clerk for the time being, in writing, and signed by at least such number as may be reasonably taken to represent such majority, who shall thereupon give public notice for a new Election, with all convenient speed.

A 2. That in all matters relative to the Stamp act in particular, or other thing that shall be thought by us unconstitutional and oppressive, we will make known our grievance to some one or more of said Committee, who are hereby required and directed to meet together and consider the same, and whereinsoever they conceive it necessary too have our general advice and concurrence, to give us public notice thereof, or which occasions we solemnly engage and promise our attendance.

A 3. That we will countenance no step whatsoever to the disturbance of the public tranquility, nor private peace of any man, nor engage in any one matter or thing under color or pretence of the cause of Liberty, in a separate and detached manner, or without the advice and consent of the President and majority of the Committee, or some one or more person or persons by them publicly appointed to direct and that in pursuance to all directions by them given, we will behave and deport in the most regular manner, aiming at nothing but the promotion and security of the General Cause.

A 4. That we will, to the utmost of our power, detect, oppose, and assist in bringing to condign punishment, any person or persons who, taking advantage of the public trouble, would make the same a pretext to injure any person in their Character or Property, or (without, such precaution as abovesaid) shall presume to meddle with or disturb tumultuously any pretence whatsoever.

A 5. That we will discourage, discountenance and oppose the mean practice of dropping Letters on the Streets, setting up scandalous Libels, Verse, or any other thing detractive of any person's Character thereby to draw on him or them the public Odium and put his person or property in danger confiding that no legitimate Son of Liberty will be either ashamed or afraid to forward his commands by proper mission, where they may be duly considered and applied.

A 6. That all person to whom these Articles shall be proposed for their assent and concurrence to them, and who shall neglect or refuse giving the same or proper and satisfactory reasons for such neglect or refuse giving the same, or proper and satisfactory reasons for such neglect or refusal, shall be considered by us as cold Friends to Liberty, and treated accordingly.

A 7. That we have the highest esteem of his most sacred Majesty, King George the third, the Sovereign Protector of our Rights, and the succession by Law established, and will bear true Allegiance to him and his Royal house forever.

A 8. That if any person subscribing or publicly assenting and behaving agreeable to these Articles shall at any time hereafter for such behavior be arrested, taken, prosecuted by any forces civil or military, within our possible reach, that no notice of the same we will do the uttermost for their relief that our persons and fortunes enable accounting the person are persons denying, refusing, or frivolously excusing himself therefrom after such subscription or assent, a perjured Traytor to Liberty, his King and his Country, for the defense of which and true performance of the above Articles. Help us God.

American Heroes: Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS IN the 1760s was a hotbed of radical political activity and the scene of constant violent protest against British colonial policy. Much of the credit for the Revolutionary stance of Bostonians belongs to Sam Adams and a group that came to be known as his 'Sons of Liberty' (or the 'Boston Mob' as some called them).

Adams, a Boston attorney and John Adams' cousin, hardly seemed like a revolutionary. revolution. 'He had a sunken chest, a sallow complexion, and 'wishy-washy gray eyes,'' wrote one historian, and his 'lips twitched and trembled, for he suffered from palsy.' Financially, he was a loser: he dressed poorly and earned little.

Like his more successful cousin, Sam Adams was a devout Christian, beginning his day with prayers and ending the evenings with Bible-reading. One might expect, then, that 'freedom of religion' would have dominated his political rhetoric. Instead, Adams saw the central connection between free religious expression, property rights, and political liberty. In 1768, his Boston Gazette editorial admonished fellow colonists that 'the security of right and property . . . is the great end of government [and] such measure as tend to render right and property precarious, tend to destroy both property and government. . . .'

Concerns over property rights rapidly led Adams to a position of opposing British imperial policies, and turning him into a fiery radical and rabble-rouser. He organized political opposition to the British in the Massachusetts colonial assembly and soon became the colony’s most effective Revolutionary propagandist. Nor did Adams confine his activities to non-violent polemics. One of the most fascinating aspects of Adams’ career was his organization and leadership of the Sons of Liberty.

Adams contended that the colonists had to oppose British tyranny dramatically—even with violence. He and members of the 'Loyal Nine,' a secret group of Boston radicals, welded together a corps of husky South Boston 'bully boys' to perform some of the more unsavory revolutionary tasks, including intimidating tax collectors and threatening British officials. Mob violence had always plagued Boston, but now the rioters attained a political role, which brought with it a certain revolutionary legitimacy.

The Sons of Liberty were under the direct command of Adams, who called the Mob out whenever he determined that a British action demanded a protest. Early on, he learned a trick of modern political protestors by making the riots appear spontaneous. Of course, Adams controlled them with precision, and aimed actions only at Royal officials, politicians, or tax collectors. The Mob burned Royalists in effigy from the 'Liberty Tree,' stoned their houses, and tarred and feathered customs collectors. When Tory John Robinson was married, the Sons of Liberty surrounded his home on the honeymoon night, broke out all the windows, and shouted obscenities at the newlyweds until dawn.
But not all of the Mob's activities were so prankish. Following passage of the Stamp Act (1765) the Sons of Liberty completely demolished Stamp Commissioner Oliver’s home and drank the entire contents of his wine cellar. He resigned his post the next day. Then the Mob proceeded in a drunken rage to Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson's home, where an observer described the scene:

With respects to the Lieut. Governor’s House, where they ended their vile [transactions]…they had rais’d a greater Number and were intoxicated with Liquor, broke trio Windows, threw all his furniture out of kilo House, stamp’d upon the Chairs, Mahogany Tables, very handsome Large gilt-framed Pictures, the Pieces of which lay in Piles in the Street, open’d his Beds and let all the Feathers out, took ten thousand pounds in Cash, took all his Cloathes, Linnen, Plate, and everything he had, cut the Balcony off the Top of his House, pulled down all the Fruit Trees in his Garden, and did him in all 25,000 pounds damage.

Adams and the Sons of Liberty continued their activities until Independence was declared in 1776. The British government simply could not cope with the hundreds of rabble-rousers who took part in these riots, and after British troops fired on snowball-throwing civilians in the 'Boston Massacre' of 1770, the image of the Royal Government dropped beyond redemption. Adams also likely played a role in organizing the band of 'Indians' that held a 'tea party' in Boston Harbor in 1773.

By 1775 the American Revolution was inevitable. The battles at Lexington and Concord were simply formalized versions of the resistance that had been going on in the streets of Boston for 10 years. The Sons of Liberty introduced violence into the British-American dispute and made reconciliation impossible, which was Adams' goal all along, namely to alienate the moderates and make them choose sides. Events also revealed that 'news' and 'propaganda' often were one and the same, depending on who did the 'reporting.' With that strategy in mind, Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty proved that rioting, looting, and violence—disgusting as they often were—could be effective Revolutionary tools.

Source: A. J. Langguth, Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988) John C. Miller, Origins of the American Revolution (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1943), quotation on 135.

1. Olasky, Telling the Truth, 112.
2. Adams quoted in Olasky, Telling the Truth, 115.

Missing image
Sons of Liberty flags

In 1767 the Sons of Liberty adopted a flag with nine vertical stripes (five red and four white). It is supposed that nine represented the number of colonies that were to attend the Stamp Act Congress.

A flag called the American Merchant Stripes, having thirteen horizontal red and white stripes, used by American merchant ships during the war, was also associated with the Sons of Liberty.

See also

The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution that occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War (1775�), gaining independence from the British Crown and establishing the United States of America, the first modern constitutional liberal democracy.

The Stamp Act of 1765 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which imposed a direct tax on the British colonies in America and required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London, carrying an embossed revenue stamp. Printed materials included legal documents, magazines, playing cards, newspapers, and many other types of paper used throughout the colonies, and it had to be paid in British currency, not in colonial paper money.

Between 1776 and 1789 thirteen British colonies emerged as a newly independent nation, the United States of America. Fighting in the American Revolutionary War started between colonial militias and the British Army in 1775. The Second Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Under the leadership of General George Washington, the Continental Army and Navy defeated the British military securing the independence of the thirteen colonies. In 1789, the 13 states replaced the Articles of Confederation of 1777 with the Constitution of the United States of America. With its amendments, it remains the fundamental governing law of the United States.

Thomas Hutchinson was a businessman, historian, and a prominent Loyalist politician of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in the years before the American Revolution. He has been referred to as "the most important figure on the loyalist side in pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts". He was a successful merchant and politician, and was active at high levels of the Massachusetts government for many years, serving as lieutenant governor and then governor from 1758 to 1774. He was a politically polarizing figure who came to be identified by John Adams and Samuel Adams as a proponent of hated British taxes, despite his initial opposition to Parliamentary tax laws directed at the colonies. He was blamed by Lord North for being a significant contributor to the tensions that led to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War.

The Intolerable Acts were punitive laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774 after the Boston Tea Party. The laws were meant to punish the Massachusetts colonists for their defiance in the Tea Party protest in reaction to changes in taxation by the British Government. In Great Britain, these laws were referred to as the Coercive Acts.

The Province of New York (1664�) was a British proprietary colony and later royal colony on the northeast coast of North America. As one of the middle Thirteen Colonies, New York achieved independence and worked with the others to found the United States.

The Townshend Acts or Townshend Duties, refers to a series of British acts of Parliament passed during 1767 and 1768 relating to the British colonies in America. They are named after Charles Townshend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer who proposed the program. Historians vary slightly as to which acts they include under the heading "Townshend Acts", but five are often listed:

The Stamp Act Congress, also known as the Continental Congress of 1765, was a meeting held in New York, New York, consisting of representatives from some of the British colonies in North America. It was the first gathering of elected representatives from several of the American colonies to devise a unified protest against new British taxation. Parliament had passed the Stamp Act, which required the use of specialty stamped paper for legal documents, playing cards, calendars, newspapers, and dice for virtually all business in the colonies starting on November 1, 1765.

The Tea Act 1773 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain. The principal objective was to reduce the massive amount of tea held by the financially troubled British East India Company in its London warehouses and to help the struggling company survive. A related objective was to undercut the price of illegal tea, smuggled into Britain's North American colonies. This was supposed to convince the colonists to purchase Company tea on which the Townshend duties were paid, thus implicitly agreeing to accept Parliament's right of taxation. Smuggled tea was a large issue for Britain and the East India company, since approximately 86% of all the tea in America at the time was smuggled Dutch tea.

"No taxation without representation" is a political slogan that originated in the American Revolution, and which expressed one of the primary grievances of the American colonists against Great Britain. In short, many colonists believed that as they were not represented in the distant British parliament, any taxes it imposed on the colonists were unconstitutional, and were a denial of the colonists' rights as Englishmen.

The committees of correspondence was the brainchild of Boston patriot Samuel Adams, intended to establish an underground network of communication among patriot leaders in the Thirteen Colonies via letter writing. The purpose of the Committees of Correspondence was to inform, unite, and coordinate colonial efforts to counter onerous laws enacted by British Parliament and gain public support for independence. The Maryland Committee of Correspondence was instrumental in setting up the First Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia. These served an important role in the American Revolution, by disseminating the colonial interpretation of British actions between the colonies and to foreign governments. The committees of correspondence rallied opposition on common causes and established plans for collective action, and so the group of committees was the beginning of what later became a formal political union among the colonies.

Patriots were the colonists of the Thirteen Colonies. They rejected British rule during the American Revolution, and declared the United States of America an independent nation in July 1776. Their decision was based on the political philosophy of republicanism—as expressed by such spokesmen as Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Thomas Paine. They were opposed by the Loyalists, who supported continued British rule.

The Liberty Tree (1646�) was a famous elm tree that stood in Boston, Massachusetts near Boston Common, in the years before the American Revolution. In 1765, colonists in Boston staged the first act of defiance against the British government at the tree. The tree became a rallying point for the growing resistance to the rule of Britain over the American colonies, and the ground surrounding it became known as Liberty Hall. The Liberty Tree was felled by Loyalist Nathaniel Coffin Jr. in August 1775.

The Boston Tea Party was an American political and mercantile protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 16, 1773. The target was the Tea Act of May 10, 1773, which allowed the British East India Company to sell tea from China in American colonies without paying taxes apart from those imposed by the Townshend Acts. The Sons of Liberty strongly opposed the taxes in the Townshend Act as a violation of their rights. Protesters, some disguised as American Indians, destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company.

Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania is a series of essays written by the Pennsylvania lawyer and legislator John Dickinson (1732�) and published under the pseudonym "A Farmer" from 1767 to 1768. The twelve letters were widely read and reprinted throughout the Thirteen Colonies, and were important in uniting the colonists against the Townshend Acts in the run-up to the American Revolution. According to many historians, the impact of the Letters on the colonies was unmatched until the publication of Thomas Paine's Common Sense in 1776. The success of the letters earned Dickinson considerable fame.

Samuel Adams was an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a politician in colonial Massachusetts, a leader of the movement that became the American Revolution, and one of the architects of the principles of American republicanism that shaped the political culture of the United States. He was a second cousin to his fellow Founding Father, President John Adams.

James Otis Jr. was an American lawyer, political activist, pamphleteer, and legislator in Boston, a member of the Massachusetts provincial assembly, and an early advocate of the Patriot views against the policy of Parliament which led to the American Revolution. His well-known catchphrase "Taxation without Representation is tyranny" became the basic Patriot position.

Then Province of Maryland had been a British / English colony since 1632, when Sir George Calvert, first Baron of Baltimore and Lord Baltimore (1579-1632), received a charter and grant from King Charles I of England and first created a haven for English Roman Catholics in the New World, with his son, Cecilius Calvert (1605-1675), the second Lord Baltimore equipping and sending over the first colonists to the Chesapeake Bay region in March 1634. The first signs of rebellion against the mother country occurred in 1765, when the tax collector Zachariah Hood was injured while landing at the second provincial capital of Annapolis docks, arguably the first violent resistance to British taxation in the colonies. After a decade of bitter argument and internal discord, Maryland declared itself a sovereign state in 1776. The province was one of the Thirteen Colonies of British America to declare independence from Great Britain and joined the others in signing a collective Declaration of Independence that summer in the Second Continental Congress in nearby Philadelphia. Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, and Charles Carroll of Carrollton signed on Maryland's behalf.

Benjamin Kent (1708�) was Massachusetts Attorney General (1776-1777) and then acting Attorney General during much of Robert Treat Paine's tenure (1777-1785). He was appointed seven successive terms. Prior to the American Revolution, Kent was notable for his representation of slaves suing their masters for their freedom, which contributed to the demise of slavery in Massachusetts. He was a member of the North End Caucus and prominent member of the Sons of Liberty, which formed to protest the passage of the Stamp Act of 1765. The efforts of the Sons of Liberty created the foundation for the Boston Tea Party. Kent called for independence early in the American Revolution.

The grievances is a section from the Declaration of Independence where the colonists listed their problems with the British government, specifically George III. The United States Declaration of Independence contains 27 grievances against the decisions and actions of George III of Great Britain. Historians have noted the similarities with John Locke's works and the context of the grievances. Historical precedents such as Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights 1689 had established the principle that the King was not to interfere with the Rights of Englishmen held by the people. In the view of the American colonies, the King had opposed the very purpose of government by opposing laws deemed necessary for the public good.


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