Boston Tea Party

Lead: On a cold December night in 1773, a small group of men disguised with printer’s ink and paint vandalized three cargo ships lying at anchor in Boston Harbor. The so-called Boston Tea Party was a milestone on the road to Revolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: It was all about business and taxes. Monopolies and taxes. Representation and taxes. People hated and were resigned to them at the same time. In the years leading up to the American Revolution, Britons paid a lot of taxes, Americans very little. England, distracted by a century and a half of civil war, religious dispute, and continental military adventures, largely had left the colonies to fend for themselves. The distance was too great and communications too slow for effective colonial administration. During this period the white colonists of British North America had grown increasingly accustomed to self-rule. On average, aside from the Dutch, they were the richest people in the world. They had evolved a system of representative government which varied from colony to colony, paying homage to the British monarch, but for the most part they conducted the affairs of the colonies as if that ruler did not exist.

America’s First Century: Algonquian Annihilation

Lead: Throughout history there have been large human migrations, during which there were often winners and losers. In seventeenth century Virginia, the big losers were Native Americans.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Mass migration happens for a variety of reasons. Economic greed or economic opportunity, imperialism, ideology or religion, hunger, disease, climate change, or any number of reasons, can cause a large number of people to leave their homes and move to a new place. If the numbers favor the immigrants, the old society is swamped and many may die.

Roger Williams and the Founding of Rhode Island II

Lead: In 1636 Roger Williams, banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony, founded the colony of Rhode Island, a unique constitutional experiment in religious toleration.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Puritan preacher Roger Williams was banished from Massachusetts because his unorthodox views threatened colonial officials. Williams, a champion of religious freedom and favoring payment to Native Americans for unjust expropriation of their land, was banished from the colony in 1635 and ,before he could be deported back to England, he escaped south during the bitter winter and settled on Narragansett Bay near present-day Newport. There he became friendly with the Narragansett Indians and purchased from them land at the head of the bay. There, Williams established a village and a new colony, Rhode Island. Williams named the settlement Providence for what Williams said was his gratitude “for God’s merciful providence unto me in my distress.”

Jamestown Journey: John Rolfe

Lead: Often overlooked in the stories of his exotic and more famous wife, Pocahontas, planter John Rolfe discovered the key to Jamestown's economic survival.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Born in Heacham, Norfolk, England about 1585, John Rolfe brought his family to Virginia in the 1609 re-supply fleet. They were shipwrecked on Bermuda and did not arrive on the Chesapeake until June 23, 1610.

Jamestown Journey: John Smith

Lead: Perhaps no early leader was as instrumental in saving and prospering the Jamestown colony than mercenary, adventurer, explorer, and mapmaker Captain John Smith.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Having no children of his own, John Smith liked to think that England's outposts in the new world where his offspring. He wrote, "I may call [the colonies] my children for they have bin (sic) my wife, my hawks, my hounds, my cards, my dice and in total of my best content."

Charles Dickens in America II

Lead: On his first tour of America in 1842, British author Charles Dickens created a firestorm of abuse by criticizing American publishers for pirating his books.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Americans loved Charles Dickens books, but they didn’t like to pay for them. It was Dickens’ custom to serialize his novels in London newspapers before they were issued in book form. American publishers would obtain the papers, copy the text, and release what amounted to be little more than pirated editions, much to the delight of U.S. citizens who got Dickens on the cheap. The culprit was the lack of any international copyright agreement to which the United States subscribed. When he bitterly complained on his first trip to America, the public accused him of feathering his own nest. The press was especially harsh. It stood to lose much if required to pay for reprints.


Read more →

The Mason-Dixon Line

Lead: The most famous boundary in United States history originated in a eighty year dispute between two colonies.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of last parts of Colonial Maryland along the Chesapeake Bay to attract settlers was northeast of present day Baltimore. The soil was there heavier and not as hospitable to the growth of tobacco as in the southern reaches of the Bay. This area was good for the cultivation of wheat and corn and as trade with the hungry West Indies expanded, the area began to draw more development. Unfortunately, this brought Maryland into conflict with Pennsylvania. Lord Baltimore's charter promised Maryland land up to the fortieth parallel which in 1632 was the southern border of New England, but in the meantime the government in London had made other promises particularly to William Penn and by the 1730s it was obvious that these grants were in conflict with the Maryland charter. For instance the principal city of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, was significantly south of the fortieth parallel.