Colonial American History - The Atlantic and Pacific Worlds - New Spain and New France - British America

Chapter 9: Republicans, By Choice :: From Resistance to Revolution by Pauline Mailer

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “so much partiality to the soldiers and customhouse officers by the present Judges, that while things remained as they were, they would, on all such occasions, take satisfaction their own way,”
  • “put themselves in a state of war with us … and being the aggressors, if they perish, the fault is their own.”
  • “These tarrings and featherings,” John Adams complained in 1774, “this breaking open Houses by rude and insolent Rabbles, in Resentment for private Wrongs or in pursuance of private Prejudices and Passions, must be discountenanced.”
  • “should ever be as judicious, deliberate, and cautious in making full enquiry whether the party suspected be a real traitor, or criminal to a degree worthy of their notice, as any court of justice ought to do, and should give the accused as full and fair an opportunity to vindicate themselves if they are able.”
  • “This is the grandest Event which has ever yet happened Since the Controversy with Britain opened!” he wrote. “The Sublimity of it, charms me!”
  • “deprived of their liberty, abused in their persons, and suffered such barbarous cruelties, insults, and indignities, besides the loss of their property by the hands of lawless mobs and riots, as would have been disgraceful even for savages to have committed.”
  • “Nothing can ruin us but our Violence,” Samuel Adams warned from Philadelphia in May 1774. He urged Joseph Warren “to implore every Friend in Boston by every thing dear and sacred to Men of Sense and Virtue to avoid Blood and Tumult.” It was necessary to “give the other Provinces opportunity to think and resolve,” or Massachuetts would be left to perish alone, and the American cause with her.”
  • “and, while struggling for the noblest objects,—the liberties of your country, the happiness of posterity, and the rights of human nature,—the eyes, not only of North America and the whole British Empire, but of all Europe, are upon you.” How necessary, then, “that no disorderly behavior, nothing unbecoming our characters as Americans, as citizens, as Christians, be justly chargeable to us.”

Thought Questions

  • Why is there a comma present in the chapter title
  • It what sense was the American Revolution prior to independence “Revolutionary”
  • It what sense was the American Revolution prior to independence “Conservative”
  • It what sense was the American Revolution prior to independence “Reactionary”
  • In what ways did the blending of revolutionary, conservative and reactionary elements impact the American transition from resistance to revolution
  • In what ways was the period of 1765 to 1776 an ideological age in American history
  • In what ways was the period of 1765 to 1776 a pragmatic age in American history
  • What was the Continental Association of 1774?
  • Who said “Nothing can ruin us but our Violence” and why did he state it
  • Affirm or Refute: The author overstates the impact of the common man and underestimates the impact of leaders on the path from Resistance to Revolution
  • Simply outline the major phases on the path from Resistance to Revolution and the primary characteristics that moved the phase along to the next
  • Explain and Expand: “To John’s oppressions, and Henry the Third’s weakness, we owe the two great charters. To Henry the Eighth we are indebted for our freedom from the power of the Court of Rome, and the Pope’s supremacy. To James and Charles the First we are beholden for the petition of right; And lastly to James the Second’s bigotry we must place the settlement of the revolution.”

Further Reading

 

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

The American Revolutionary Era Reading and Study Group

Chapter 8: The Making of an American Revolution, 1772–1776 (Parts 1-2) :: From Resistance to Revolution by Pauline Maier

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “to penetrate the Egyptian darkness … so palpable in the court atmosphere.”
  • “From your unspotted character, from your known attachment to the principles of religious and civil liberty, and from your generous concern for the welfare of your country,” a widely reprinted English letter to Dartmouth claimed, “the public in general” expected that he would use his influence “to protect, to countenance, and support the just pretensions of all his Majesty’s subjects to partake alike of his paternal care and affection.”
  • “so abhorrent from the principles of every free government, [that] our expectations from the change [in ministry] must be totally annihilated.”
  • “that kind of man who apparently meaning no ill, will never do any good.”
  • “Though not so actively bad,” Lee said, Dartmouth was “yet … as capable of adopting any unjust and arbitrary measure as my Lord Hillsborough”; and the “Rhode Island measure,” in fact, proved him to be “a man after his majesty’s own heart, arbitrary and hypocritical.”
  • “that the liberties of America are not so much in danger from any thing that Parliament has done, or is likely to do here, as from the violence and misconduct of America itself.”
  • “absurdity of the idea”
  • “There could no more be a “divine right of doing wrong” in Parliament than in the King,”
  • “and all the principles of the [Glorious] Revolution show that there are certain cases wherein resistance is justifiable to him.”
  • Describe the circumstances of the British elections of 1775
  • What were the consequences of the British elections of 1775 for American relations?
  • “Arthur Lee found English elections so corrupt that he doubted whether an “independent, impeaching House of Commons” could be procured; yet the prospect of a new election played a central role in the patriots’ strategy. In May and again July 1774, William Lee recommended an immediate colonial nonimportation and nonexportation agreement, largely for its effect on the British electorate”
  • “The thing I dread most,” the Boston radical Thomas Young wrote in August 1774, “is the sudden dissolution of the present Parliament and the rechoice before the People are thoroughly possessed of the whole information they need in these matters.”
  • “an insidious Manoeuvre calculated to divide us,”
  • “When you have shown that you are what Englishmen once were, whether successful or not, your foes will diminish, your friends amazingly increase,”
  • “By March 1775, William Lee, along with his brother Arthur, Price, Priestly, and other American supporters in England—with the exception of Franklin—had decided that the issue would not be settled without fighting, and the sooner hostilities began the better.”
  • “We must fight, if we can’t otherwise rid ourselves of British taxation, all revenues, and the constitution or form of government enacted for us by the British parliament.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “They were emotionally and intellectually unprepared for war and a potential withdrawal from the empire.”
  • Describe the transformation that took place in American political thought and action in 1772-1775
  • Describe the transformation that took place in British political thought and action in 1772-1775
  • Compare and Contrast: The evolution of American political thought and British political thought between 1772-1775
  • In what ways was 1772 the “beginning of the end”?
  • What hopes did conditional loyalists hold onto during 1772-1775 for maintaining peace and unity with Britain
  • What issues / events eroded conditional loyalists hopes in reconciliation?
  • Describe the concept of an “American Bill of Rights”
  • React and Respond: “Only after all these possibilities were ruled out did the colonists reject their Mother Country”
  • Explain and Expand: “he was willing to supplement biased official intelligence with direct private accounts from the colonies.”
  • Who was William Legge and how did he impact the American-British relationship? How did his relationship with the Americans deteriorate? What were the consequences of this deterioration?
  • Describe the background and purpose of the Gaspée Commission
  • Explain and Expand: “BLOODY good one,” an intended “American Death warrant.”
  • Explain and Expand: “American attitudes toward the King also took a new turn”
  • Describe the consequences of the American change of attitude toward the King
  • Explain and Expand: “Not everyone, of course, followed this line of reasoning. John Dickinson insisted in October 1774 that “every thing may yet be attributed to the misrepresentations and mistakes of ministers,” that the present cause was that of “half a dozen … fools or knaves,” not of Great Britain.”
  • Explain and Expand: “These successive re-evaluations of the British government were of intense and basic significance to colonial leaders.”
  • React and Respond: “Hence the importance of accurate accounts from England not only of events, but evaluating the government, the public’s feelings, the effect of American efforts, and prospects for the future.”
  • Explain the significance of the Bi-British-American subjects in communications between Britain and America
  • Who was Josiah Quincy, Jr?
  • Affirm or Refute: “The resort to force in 1774 and 1775 was more clearly revolutionary than it had been at the time of the first tea parties.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The contract between America and Britain might of course be renegotiated, with colonial rights more firmly established in an American Bill of Rights. It was clearly necessary, Elbridge Gerry noted, that some “constitutional check on the government at home be invented” to which Americans could recur whenever aggrieved in the future, and the terms of such a document were discussed by Samuel Adams and Arthur Lee in 1774.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The colonists were, however, not yet consciously molding an American war or an American revolution. They sought rather a British revolution”
  • Describe the activity of Arthur Lee during 1772-1775
  • Describe the activity of Samuel Adams during 1772-1775
  • Describe the evolution of John Adams during 1772-1775
  • Explain and Expand: “News of the Americans’ firmness also seemed to stimulate the shift in British opinion.”
  • Describe the transformation from “we” into “us and them” within the British empire
  • What role did “economic coercion” (nonimportation, nonexportation) play during 1772-1775?
  • How was the “economic coercion” practiced by the Americans both the expression and evolution of basic English rights

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

 

The American Revolutionary Era Reading and Study Group

Chapter 7: The Implication of the King, 1770–1772 :: From Resistance to Revolution by Pauline Maier

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “the Cause of Liberty … is ONE COMMON CAUSE” because attacks, wherever made, were begun “by the same Set of Men, with the same Views, and the same illegal Violence.”
  • “Speedy Deliverance to the illustrious PAOLI, and the brave Corsicans.”
  • “Nothing less than an entire change of men and measures will ever regain the confidence of the Americans,”
  • “The same discretion has been extended by the same evil counsellors to your Majesty’s dominions in America,” the petition noted, “and has produced to our suffering fellow subjects in that part of the world, grievances and apprehensions similar to those of which we complain at home.”
  • “a few more of your answers to the most reasonable and dutiful prayers of your distressed people, resemble what we have had, that personal affection which filled your empire will greatly diminish, if it does not become utterly extinct.”
  • “tho called Petitions … they are rather Remonstrances and Protests.”
  • “soon put in practice their mediated plan, of the United Provinces, after the example of the Dutch, and form an independent commonwealth.”
  • “The Americans could “offer a free trade to all nations in Europe,” which would “effectually secure the Americans from the invasion of foreign enemies, for it will be the interest of the European powers to prevent any one nation from acquiring more interest in America than the rest.””
  • “The composite effect of the agitation of late 1769 and the early 1770’s was apparent when open conflict with Britain resumed in 1773 and 1774.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the “Petition” movement in America
  • Compare and Contrast: The popular feelings and unrest in England and those in America
  • Compare and Contrast: The popular feelings and unrest in Ireland and those in America
  • Compare and Contrast: The approach the Americans took towards the King and the approach towards the King’s ministry
  • Describe the results of the failure of the petition movement
  • Describe the evolution from civil to militant protest in America between 1768 and the early 1770’s and the reaction it created in Britain
  • In what ways did militant protest grow from local manifestations into broader use
  • In what ways did the failure of the petition movement impact American views about the Declaratory Act
  • Explain and Expand: “The scattered evidences of incipient revolution in England were misleading.”
  • Explain and Expand: “But how should the radical leaders exercise this new responsibility?”
  • React and Respond: “No immediate results were expected. The colonists had not yet been provoked enough, John Dickinson realized; but “thanks to the excellent spirit of administration,” he had no doubt that the future would bring more severe measures, and that this future oppression would make the colonists far more actively attentive to their cause. … These expectations were amply fulfilled with the Tea Act of 1773, followed in 1774 by the “Intolerable Acts.” The Boston Port Bill, the Administration of Justice Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, and the Quebec Act seemed to prove beyond all doubt the existence of a despotic plot: by punishing the Bostonians for their “patriotic efforts,””

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

 

The American Revolutionary Era Reading and Study Group

Chapter 6: The International Sons Of Liberty And The Ministerial Plot, 1768–1770 :: From Resistance to Revolution by Pauline Maier

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “giving or restoring it, not only to our brethren of Scotland and Ireland, but even to France itself, were it in our power, is one of the principal articles of Whiggism.”
  • “in the name and behalf of all the true SONS of LIBERTY in America, Great-Britain, Ireland, Corsica, or wheresoever they may be dispersed throughout the world.”
  • “do nothing rashly … nothing against the known laws of the land, that we appear not a faction endeavouring to overturn the system of government, but … free subjects by birth, endeavouring to recover our lost rights.”

Thought Questions

  • Affirm or Refute: “Yet they were, in a sense, already world revolutionaries.”
  • Describe the role newspapers and pamphlets played in this stage of the American Revolution. How did it evolve from early uses and in what ways did this foreshadow further changes?
  • Who was Heraclius II of Georgia and why did he interest colonial leaders?
  • Who was Paschal Paoli and why did he interest colonial leaders?
  • Who was John Wilkes and why did he interest colonial leaders
  • Explain and Expand: “But within the next four years, from 1768 to 1772, Wilkes, Paoli, the Irish, and the Americans all suffered serious reverses.”
  • What was the North Briton Number 45 and why is it significant in British – American history?
  • React and Respond: “an outlaw … of bad personal character, not worth a farthing”
  • Compare and Contrast: The American Stamp Act and the British Cider Bill of 1763
  • Who was John Dickinson
  • Describe: “”
  • Explain and Expand: “When in January 1769 the colonists learned of the King’s speech at the opening of Parliament on November 8, 1768, with its reference to a “state of Disobedience to all Law and Government” in Massachusetts, and to a “Disposition to throw off their Dependence on Great Britain,” they were further embittered.”
  • In what ways was 1769 the year colonial leaders lost their faith in Great Britain?
  • What developments in Ireland interested and impacted the American colonies?
  • What development in Corsica interested the American colonies and impacted the Early Republic?
  • Explain and Expand: “The impact of these and related events was of the greatest significance.”
  • React and Respond: “This background of a growing official reliance on troops, with the sense of impending danger it evoked, explains the English opposition’s readiness to champion the cause of the black Caribs of St. Vincent’s Island in the West Indies.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The Boston Sons of Liberty rejected several drafts of a letter to Wilkes because rapidly developing local events made them obsolete”
  • What was the significance of the December 1769 pamphlet: “To the Betrayed Inhabitants of the City and Colony of New York”?
  • Describe the events that led to the Boston Massacre and the event itself
  • Explain and Expand: “The Boston Massacre of March 1770 seemed to complete the parallel development of English and American events.”
  • Who were the North Carolina Regulators

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

Week 5: From Resistance to Revolution by Pauline Maier Chapter 5: Resistance In Transition, 1767–1770 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “no similar Examples from former Times”
  • “Once again, as during the Stamp Act period, those who ignored or violated the patriotic agreements were coerced by social and economic boycotts which became harsher as the movement itself gained strength and intensity.” 
  • “Rhetoric also revealed this de facto assumption of authority.” 
  • “when the subject is of such importance as the liberty and happiness of a country, every inferior consideration, as well as the inconvenience of a few individuals, must give place to it; nor is this any hardship upon them as themselves and their posterity are to partake of the benefits resulting from it. Objections of the same kind might be made to the most useful civil institutions.” 
  • “The royal officials’ insistence on the authority of Parliament and the Americans’ criminality acquired particular shrillness and rigidity as they saw their own authority disintegrate.” 
  • “the whole ferment has been raised and constantly kept up by a few principal men in every colony, and that it might be expected to subside in a short time either of itself, or by the assistance of a coercive power.”
  • “it is the Duty of His Majestys Governors so to conduct themselves as not to create groundless Jealousies or suggest Suspicion that they are capable of … wishing to restrain the just and decent Exercise of that Liberty which belongs to the People. … An Administration founded on large Principles of Public Good will give Dignity to Power [,] insure the Reverence and Affections of the Governed … and make it unnecessary to have recourse to lesser and more narrow Means of Government.”

Thought Questions

  • What issues remained unresolved between Britain and the colonies after the repeal of the Stamp Act
  • Compare and Contrast the colonial response to the Townshend Act with the reaction to the Stamp Act
  • Compare and Contrast the British reaction to the colonial response to the Townshend Act with the response to the Stamp Act
  • Describe how the period from 1767-1770 was a period of transition in Colonial American attitudes and beliefs?
  • What were the Townshend Revenue Act?
  • What was the New York Restraining Act?
  • What was the Indemnity Act? 
  • What was the Commissioners of Customs Act?
  • What was the The Vice Admiralty Court Act?
  • How did Britain attempt to circumvent colonial authorities with the Townshend Acts? 
  • Who was John Dickinson and what was the significance of the “Letters from a Farmer” series he wrote?
  • What were the central arguments in “Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania”? 
  • Describe the evolution of the resistance to the Townshend Acts
  • Compare and Contrast Non-Importation Agreements and Non-Consumption Agreements
  • In what ways was force or the threat of violence a part of colonial resistance to the Townshend Acts
  • How did the colonials attempt to restrain violence during resistance? Why did the colonials seek to restrain violence? 
  • Explain and Expand: “Nonviolence was rarely if ever a passive achievement.” 
  • Describe the role Boston played in resistance to the Townshend Acts
  • Describe the role New York played in resistance to the Townshend Acts
  • What was the “Liberty Riot” and what was the impact of the riot?
  • Explain and Expand: “With the failure of peaceful mass pressure, more virulent forms of mob pressure were again revived.” 
  • Describe the motivations and goals of the colonial “gentry” merchant class in resistance to the Townshend Acts
  • Describe the motivations and goals of the urban colonial working class in resistance to the Townshend Acts
  • Compare and Contrast the motivations and goals of the colonial merchant class and the colonial urban working class
  • What problems did royal officials encounter when trying to deal with colonial resistance to the Townshend Acts?
  • How did royal officials misunderstand the nature and reasons for colonial resistance?
  • In what ways did the British response to colonial resistance move the situation towards colonial revolution? 
  • In what ways did the period from 1767-1770 set the stage for colonial resistance to move from a civilian to a military problem? 
  • How did the Townshend Acts turn a situation that mainly focused on Boston into a colonial wide situation? 
  • React and Respond: “The colonists’ concern for acting within the law indicated a continued respect for British institutions.” 
  • Expand and Explain: “The basic guidelines for American opposition to Britain were defined already during the Stamp Act crisis; but the nature of the Anglo-American conflict changed radically within the next decade.” 
  • Describe the scandal and uproar raised by the release of letters from the Massachusetts governor?
  • How did the release of Governor Bernard’s private letters alter the situation in the colonies?

Primary Sources

Articles and Reference

Week 4: From Resistance to Revolution by Pauline Maier Chapter 4: The Intercolonial Sons Of Liberty And Organized Resistance, 1765–1766

 

Note: After this chapter you should have a good understanding of the nature and philosophy of Colonial resistance. Begin to think about the process by which “Resistance” transitions into “Revolution”. You should also have an idea of how inter-colonial relationships formed and how compromise and cooperations developed among them a critical understanding when considering national formation and the expectations of the founders about how American leaders would deal with conflict. 

Thought / Response Quotes

  • “The Sons of Liberty of this place have wrote to Philadelphia,” he informed his father, “that if they do not make Hugh[e]s resign as fully as the other Distributors … [t]hey will disown them and hold no longer Correspondence with them.”
  • “our worthy ancestors … having felt the effects of tyranny … fled … to seek shelter beneath the peaceful wing of liberty,” an article in the Boston Evening Post once proclaimed; hence the colonists were “the sons of noble freedom.”
  • “to march with the utmost dispatch, at their own proper costs and expense, on the first proper notice (which must be signified to them by at least six of the sons of liberty) with their whole force if required … to the relief of those that shall, are, or may be in danger from the stamp act.”
  • “Such a goal required that the Sons continue earlier efforts to restrain the possible violence of extra-legal gatherings. Military discipline could contribute to this end” 
  • “the greatest inducements to believe, that the Colonies will never more be threaten’d with such a Fetter, as an Act so mischievously calculated to bereave its Inhabitants of their darling Liberty.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the development of inter-colonial Stamp Act resistance
  • Describe the evolution of the Stamp Act protests from random inceptions to organized resistance. 
  • What are some examples of rudimentary inter-colonial cooperation?
  • In what ways did the Sons of Liberty in 1765 form an ideal type for colonial resistance?
  • What is the history behind the label “Sons of Liberty”? 
  • How did the New York Sons of Liberty play a special part in inter-colonial cooperation?
  • In what ways were the personal and familial relationships between the prominent Sons of Liberty significant?
  • What are some examples of personal and familial relationships between the prominent Sons of Liberty impacting the course of resistance? 
  • Why were personal relationships between the Sons of Liberty essential to the development of inter-colonial resistance? 
  • Compare and Contrast: Alliances between the “noble families” in Britain and Alliances between Colonial merchants 
  • Describe the purpose and effectiveness of Committees of Correspondence?
  • Name several significant leaders of the Sons of Liberty
  • How did the end of the Stamp Act crisis impact the Sons of Liberty?
  • How did the formation of the Sons of Liberty impact other colonial social institutions?
  • Compare and Contrast the reasoning behind resistance to the Stamp Act in different colonies and regions?
  • In what ways did the Sons of Liberty attempt to mobilize the “mass body politic” in the colonies and what was their intentions?
  • How did the Sons of Liberty use Colonial newspapers to mobilize resistance?
  • What was the Sons of Liberty New London agreement and how was it significant in shaping the wider actions of the Son of Liberty in other colonies?
  • What were some examples of the Sons of Liberty cooperating and coordinating with established colonial authorities? 
  • In what ways did the Sons of Liberty act as a “shadow government” when British authorities dissolved Colonial Assemblies?
  • How did the Sons of Liberty seek to balance resistance to British authority with loyalty to the British crown?
  • What was the Boston Gazette and the Constitutional Courant what role did it play in Colonial resistance and coordination?
  • Who were the “Loyal Nine”?
  • In what ways did the repeal of the Stamp Act impact the Sons of Liberty, British authorities and the Colonial public? 

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

Week 3: From Resistance to Revolution by Pauline Maier Chapter 3: The Stamp Act Riots And Ordered Resistance, 1765

 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “deprive us of all our invaluable charter rights and privileges, drain us suddenly of our cash, occasion an entire stagnation of trade, discourage every kind of industry, and involve us in the most abject slavery.”
  • “startle men … accustomed to venerate and obey lawful authority … and to make them doubt the justice of the cause attended with such direful consequences.”
  • “You have no need to have recourse to violent methods any longer,” the colonists were told; “The channel is now open to the ear and heart of the best of KINGS: Rely upon it, he will hear you, and his PARLIAMENT will enable him to redress you.”
  • “On all of these accounts, it was said, the colonists’ resistance to the Stamp Act—that is, the insurrections patterned on the one in Boston on August 14, 1765—were justified.” 
  • “that if the whole People of the [British] Nation had thought their essential unalienable Rights … [were] invaded by an Act of Parliam[en]t, which is really the Opinion which the whole People of America have of the Stamp Act … in such a Case, after taking all legal Steps to obtain redress to no Purpose, the whole People of England would have taken the same Steps and justifyd themselves.”

Thought Questions

  • What were the provisions of the Stamp Act?
  • In what ways did the Stamp Act reaction in the Colonies reflect English traditions of popular uprisings?
  • What was the purpose and reason for the Stamp Act from the British perspective?
  • What was the purpose and reasoning behind the Stamp Act from the Colonial perspective?
  • What role does hindsight play in our understanding of the response to the Stamp Act?
  • Why was Georgia the only colony that briefly accepted the Stamp Act?
  • Describe the evolution of the Stamp Act resistance?
  • How was rioting and mob violence a part of the resistance to the Stamp Act?
  • Who was Andrew Oliver and what role did he play in the Stamp Act?
  • Who was Peter Oliver and what role did he play in the Stamp Act?
  • Who was Thomas Hutchinson and what role did he play in the Stamp Act?
  • Who was Samuel Adams and what role did he play in the Stamp Act?
  • How was the British enactment of the Stamp Act in continuity with their past actions and also a sign of changing relations with the colonies? 
  • How was the Colonial reaction to the Stamp Act in continuity with the past and also a harbinger of something new? 
  • How was the British reaction to the Stamp Act resistance in continuity with the past and also a harbinger of something new?
  • Why was the reaction to the Stamp Act different in the West Indies and Canada?
  • Who were the Sons of Liberty and what were their goals, methods and accomplishments? 
  • Describe the Sons of Liberty from the British and loyalists perspectives
  • What were Liberty Trees and Liberty Poles and what were their expressed and covert purposes?
  • Why was violence counter productive in the Colonial resistance to the Stamp Act? In what ways was violence a necessary or inevitable part of the response? 
  • Compare and Contrast the Colonial response in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Newport and Charleston? 
  • What factors account for the similarities and differences in the reaction to the Stamp Act in different colonial seaports? 
  • What role did Colonial newspapers and pamphlets play in the response to the Stamp Act?
  • Describe the evolution from violence to ostracism in Colonial resistance
  • Explain and Expand: “Traditional criteria for just popular uprisings were repeated not only to justify the colonists’ resistance to the Stamp Act; they served also to specify the limits of just resistance, to articulate guidelines for future action.” 
  • Describe the evolution into non-importation as resistance to the Stamp Act 

Primary Sources

Articles and Reference

Further Reading

 

Week 2: From Resistance to Revolution by Pauline Maier Chapter 2: An Ideology Of Resistance And Restraint

 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The need to reconcile the impulse toward resistance with the injunction to restraint became, in fact, one of the central intellectual and practical problems of the American revolutionary movement.”
  • ““undoubtedly the most desirable and complete form [of government] that the good fortune of man has hitherto produced or their wit been capable of contriving,” “the Work of Ages which is the Envy and Admiration of the Universe, the Glory of the English Nation.””
  • “Here was the peculiar glory of the English constitution: rulers as well as ruled were subjected to the rule of law; none were given scope for arbitrary action that could endanger the liberty of others.”
  • “Liberty was closely tied to material prosperity in the real world, for only in free states was every man guaranteed “his Right to enjoy the Fruit of his Labour, Art and Industry as far as by it he hurts not the Society.” Only in free states could trade prosper, cities grow, population increase: “Let the People alone and they will take Care of themselves and do it best.”” 
  • “Nor could forceful resistance to authority be justified by casual errors or private immoralities on the part of the governors. Indulgence was always necessary for “such imprudence or mistakes of rulers as subjects must have expected in any fallible mortals.”” 

Thought Questions

  • React and Respond: It is in the American character to resist being governed 
  • How did John Milton influence Colonial America?
  • How did John Locke influence Colonial America?
  • Compare and Contrast the influence of Locke and Milton on Colonial America
  • What was the motivation for and purpose of the Cato’s letters?
  • Describe the characteristics of the “Real Whig” movement
  • Describe the evolution of the Real Whig Colonial movement from Locke and Milton 
  • What was the Real Whig concept of “the public”?
  • What was the Real Whig concept of “resistance”?
  • What was the Real Whig concept of “restraint”?
  • How did the Real Whig movement justify the use of resistance?
  • What circumstances did the Real Whig movement justify the use of force or violence?
  • In what ways did the Colonial Middle Class work with the the Colonial Working Class during times of resistance?
  • Describe how Real Whigs understood public and private grievances

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

Week 1: From Resistance to Revolution by Pauline Maier Chapter 1: Popular Uprisings and Civil Authority 

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “The colonists’ attitude depended in large part upon a tradition of popular uprisings that also shaped the forms of popular force during the revolutionary era.”
  • What are some of the examples of “failure to act” on the part of government that led to popular uprisings in Colonial America?
  • Compare and Contrast the circumstances and reactions to the popular uprisings the author mentions 
  • How did American Localism impact government in Colonial America?
  • How did American Communitarianism impact government in Colonial America?
  • In what ways did community regulation of “violence” impact Colonial uprisings? 
  • Compare and Contrast the motivations for popular uprisings in Colonial America and Britain 
  • Compare and Contrast the community regulation of “violence” in America with class monopoly on “violence” in England and the impact this had on popular uprisings? 

Articles and Resources

Further Reading