American Revolution: The British Army in Hostile Colonial America 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: The presence of an occupying army in Boston after 1768 was a scary thing, but scary or not, the citizens of the city were determined to resist this indignity. The Commonwealth refused to pay for quartering the British troops, but its property owners were perfectly willing to rent space to house the soldiers at a premium. The existence of a permanent garrison generated an uptick in business for food purveyors and tavern owners, but from the beginning relations between town and army were harsh and disposed to end badly.

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American Revolution: The British Army in Hostile Colonial America 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 1768, the British government stationed a permanent standing army in Boston to keep order and assist with tax collection. This was a bad idea. Englishmen on both sides of the Atlantic hated standing armies and soon the troops found themselves unwelcome and abused in all sorts of ways by the people they were supposed to control. Boston was not alone in experiencing the indignity and subjugation that a standing army inflicts upon the population.

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American Revolution: The British Army in Hostile Colonial America 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: On October 1, 1768 soldiers of the 14th and 29th British regiments debarked from transports and landed in Boston, Massachusetts, guarded by British naval ships of the line. Responding to the request of Governor Bernard who had clearly lost control of the streets of Boston, the government in London had stationed a standing army in the colony to collect taxes and keep order. In the previous century, during the English Civil War and the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell, Englishmen had endured the indignity and coercion of military occupation under the Parliamentary Army. There was nothing an Englishman hated more than a standing army and the royal government had chosen to inflict one on the colony most primed to despise such a move. Massachusetts was a Commonwealth whose governmental institutions, commercial society, and ordinary citizens, in the view of the royal Governor, were seditiously teetering on the edge of open rebellion.

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American Revolution: British Constitutional Debate 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 First Minister to King George III, George Grenville was the author of the Stamp Tax passed by the British Parliament in 1765 to secure money to pay for British troops stationed in America. This tax provoked widespread resistance and even rioting in the colonies because of the conviction that, since Americans were not represented in Parliament, Parliament had no right to tax them. When William Pitt rose in Parliament to agree with the American position and urge repeal of the tax, Grenville responded with vigorous denunciation of the rebellious attitude and lack of appreciation in the colonies for the protection Britain afforded with troops on land and for American commerce on the open seas by the British Navy. “Protection and obedience are reciprocal,” he roared, “Great Britain protects America; America is bound to yield obedience.”

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American Revolution: British Constitutional Debate 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: William Pitt the Elder was one of Britain’s great First Ministers. He had led the nation to victory in the Seven Years’ War and in winter 1766 rose to call for repeal of the Stamp Tax, one of the first of several revenue schemes Parliament passed in the 1760s and 1770s to get America to help pay for the troops that Britain stationed in America to protect Americans. His argument was that Britain had no right to lay a tax on the colonies because Americans were not represented in Parliament.

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American Revolution: British Constitutional Debate 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: Remarkably, some of the most articulate and vigorous opposition to the Revolutionary Era Stamp Act of 1765 was heard in the Houses of Parliament which had levied the tax on colonies. The Act’s repeal in late winter 1766 revealed a major constitutional fault line in Parliamentary debate and British society that would continue until the Treaty of Paris in 1783 released America into independence. The issue was the extent of Parliament’s taxing authority. Few doubted that Parliament could do just about anything it wanted to do, including levying taxes. The colonies were asserting, however, that Parliament had no right to tax Americans because they were not represented in Parliament. This affirmed one of the signature tenets of English Constitutional system. No one can be taxed unless they are represented in the institution doing the taxing. In that the colonies were making a distinction between taxation and ordinary legislation: that the government cannot rifle though my back pocket unless I elect the representative doing the rifling.

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American Revolution: Colonial Non-Importation 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: Trying to devise a means of expressing their opposition to taxation without parliamentary representation, Britain’s North American colonists resorted to an old tactic which had worked during the Stamp Act crisis of 1765-1766: they stopped importing British goods. After the repeal of the Stamp Act and the Sugar Act, Parliament then turned right around and passed the Townshend taxes on commodities such as glass, paper and tea. The non-importation movement took a long time to catch on as merchants and traders were reluctant get involved in such a coercive campaign because it would hurt their business. Yet, by the summer of 1768 the circumstances in the colonies were gradually becoming more and more ominous.

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American Revolution: Colonial Non-Importation 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 aftermath of the Parliamentary passage of the Townshend revenue acts in 1767, the American colonies were slow to react even though increasingly offended by what many felt were continued violations of the British Constitution. One of the tools available to the colonists was the non-importation of British goods. It seemed this had worked to secure the repeal of the Stamp tax three years before, perhaps it would work against the Townshend duties as well.

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