The American Revolutionary Era Reading and Study Group

Chapter 8: The Making of an American Revolution, 1772–1776 (Parts 3-4) :: From Resistance to Revolution by Pauline Maier

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “… let us frustrate their present desperate and wicked attempt to destroy America, by joining with our injured fellow subjects, and bravely striking one honest and bold strike to destroy them … let us not leave the pursuit till we have their heads and their estates.”
  • “asserting “that freedom will triumph in this country, over all its enemies,” such that “the Americans will soon be objects of universal admiration and applause,” kindling the spirit of liberty in other nations “until the most servile kindreds of the earth will be warmed into freedom.””
  • “If persecuted in the cities, the Americans could flee into the country and carry on the fight. Then, too, the Americans had weapons and were practiced in their use, unlike the average Englishmen, who had been disarmed by law. Certainly, thousands of “brave musqueteering Americans” were unmatched by the British army of 1775, described as “a number of mercenary, hacknied, tattered regiments, patched up by the most abandoned and debauched of mankind, the scum of the nation, the dregs of Irish and Scottish desperados.””
  • “If America is an humble instrument of the salvation of Britain, it will give us the sincerest joy; but, if Britain must lose her liberty, she must lose it alone.”
  • ““The Time is come,” he wrote William Palfrey in July 1774, “… that we are independent. By the passing of the late Acts in the British Parliament, every Tye is cut, and we set adrift.” In September of 1774, Patrick Henry also told the Continental Congress that government was dissolved and “we are in a state of nature.” The outbreak of war in 1775 led more people to the same conclusion.”

Thought Questions

  • In what ways did colonial leaders seek to involve the Irish in the cause against Britain
  • Compare and Contrast: the support for the American cause in the urban centers of Dublin and London
  • Compare and Contrast: the reaction of the rural poor in Britain and Ireland with the reaction of the urban poor
  • Compare and Contrast: the reaction of the gentry in Britain and Ireland to the American cause
  • What circumstances created the pauses between the outbreak of political rebellion in 1774, military rebellion in 1775 and the declaration of independence in 1776

Primary Sources