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