American Revolution: Gaspee Incident III

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: As a part of its efforts at collecting import taxes and in an effort to interdict smuggling in the waters in and adjacent to Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, the British Navy dispatched a speedy schooner to the region, HMS Gaspee. It was commanded by ambitious and aggressive Lieutenant Dudingston. The good captain was in hot pursuit of a suspected smuggler on June 2, 1772 when he ran his ship aground and was not able to lift it from the sand bar. Soon the ship was surrounded and boarded by locals who wounded the captain and took the whole crew prisoner. The fate of the Gaspee was sealed once the boarders had raided the Captain’s cabin and had got the crew off. They set the ship on fire and put the crew on the shore.

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American Revolution: Gaspee Incident II

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: In the early 1770s, in order to reduce tensions, the London government eliminated all import taxes in colonial commerce save for a tiny tax on tea. The scheme worked and cross-Atlantic trade increased exponentially, but the tea tax still had the ability to set American teeth on edge because it represented Parliament’s continued determination to force taxation.

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American Revolution: Gaspee Incident I

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The early 1770s proved to be a time of diminished tension between Britain and the North American colonies. In an attempt to reduce points of contention the London government repealed all import taxes from the 1767 Townshend scheme save for the three pence per pound tax on tea. The plan worked generally, but colonial resentment still remained on a slow simmer because Parliament did not disclaim its right to tax when it reduced the number of commodities in the revenue structure. This irritation did not prevent colonial merchants from engaging in a veritable orgy of trade with Britain nearly doubling their volume in the three years after 1771 in comparison to the three before. Even in Boston, the cockpit of colonial resistance, merchants held their noses and brought in a half million pounds of dutied tea.

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