America’s Revolution: The Bishop’s Palace 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: In 1760 The Reverend East Apthorp arrived in Massachusetts with newly appointed Governor Francis Bernard. Apthorp became the Anglican pastor in Cambridge. A man hardly out of his twenties, he married into the loyalist Hutchinson family and, thus established, he proceeded to publicly announce support for schemes that were so eccentric and had absolutely no chance of enactment that he brought down on himself universal disdain in and out of the newspapers. He proposed that the Harvard Overseers add Anglicans to their number and that Anglican services be included in the College commencement. Imagine. Harvard. The seat of all Congregational, Calvinist dissent in the Commonwealth.

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America’s Revolution: The Bishop’s Palace 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: The religious affiliation of most Americans was not inclined toward the Church of England. They were evangelicals or liberals or perhaps not even religious at all and enjoyed in America a rich tradition of religious freedom. Many of their ancestors had migrated to North America to escape what they sensed was hostility to their approach to religion in the government of England and Scotland as administered by the Anglican Church. The structure of hierarchy in that Church aroused little enthusiasm among colonists who were generally unsympathetic to establishments of any type. Such was part of the American DNA.

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America’s Revolution: The Bishop’s Palace 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: In 1770 Lord North became King George III’s First Minister. He was a gentle soul with a determination to tamp down on colonial disputes. His government quickly repealed all of the Townshend revenue acts, leaving only a tax on tea and the Declaratory Act to remind the colonies that Parliament was determined to retain its right to extract revenues. This ushered in a period which some at the time called a “pause in politics,” with no giant issue animating colonial anger and resistance. That is until there was one. That was the issue of religion.

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Virginia Resolves 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: Having laid before the Virginia House of Burgesses in May 1765 five resolutions condemning the revenue-enhancing Stamp Act recently passed by the British Parliament, Patrick Henry, newly-elected delegate from Louisa County and widely famous as a result of the court case known as the Parson’s Cause, rose to brilliantly defend the so-called Virginia Resolves. He did so in a manner so extravagantly provocative that in the minds of some present, he edged over the line into disloyalty to the Crown. He first did a historical riff reminding the listeners of Caesar’s Brutus and King Charles I’s Cromwell and anticipated that some American would rise to defend his Country from the acts of the current monarch, King George III. This was clearly incendiary language and the Speaker of the House, John Robinson, warned him that his rhetoric was edging very close to treason.

 

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Virginia Resolves 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: When word of the passage of the Stamp Act reached the colonies in Spring 1765 there was little immediate reaction, but in the latter days of May, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed a series of resolves so radical and strong that their passage set off a storm of protest and economic reprisals in the other colonies that within a year Parliament was forced to repeal the Act.

 

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American Revolution: Stamp Act Crisis 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 author of the Stamp Act (1765) and the Sugar Act (1764) was George Grenville, but his time as chief minister was cut short. Apparently he embarrassed and thus displeased King George III in a Parliamentary dispute over the Queen Mother’s membership in a Regency Council set up to conduct royal affairs in the case of the King’s death or incapacity. His replacement was Lord Rockingham, ably assisted by his secretary Edmund Burke, member from Bristol whose sympathy for the Americans was well-known. The Rockingham ministry enjoyed weak support in the House of Commons, but perhaps its greatest accomplishment was the repeal of the Stamp and Sugar Acts.

American Revolution: Stamp Act Crisis 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: The Stamp Act of 1765 was marked by an eruption of civil unrest theretofore unheard of in America. In colony after colony, stamp collectors were burned in effigy and then forced to resign their commissions, sometimes before even receiving them. Shipments of the stamped paper were destroyed. Alleged supporters of the Stamp levy found themselves threatened by mob action and their property put at risk. In August Lt. Governor Thomas Hutchinson’s beautiful brick home in Boston was methodically taken apart by a mob and everything moveable was stolen. They even ripped up the slate roof. From New Hampshire to George opponents of the Act took exquisite pains to demonstrate their revulsion to Parliament’s action. Widespread calls for a boycott of British goods began to gather support and soon a marked decline in cross-oceanic business activity began to pinch merchants and manufacturers in the mother country.

American Revolution: Stamp Act Crisis 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: George Grenville, Chief Minister to King George III, was trying to manage a looming British financial crisis, but primarily was looking for money to pay for British troops based in America. Having levied a tax on the molasses used to make colonial rum, he wanted more money. Therefore, in 1764 he began hinting that Americans should pay for the paper used to transact legal business in the colonies. No such official dealings could be conducted on paper not bearing a governmental stamp. The government would sell the paper to the colonists and by this raise money for the troops. Colonial representatives were beyond emphatic that this stamp tax would be met with resentment and resistance. Grenville even toyed with the colonies by seeming to seek their input on the method of collection, but in the end it became clear that he was just being disingenuous and was determined to levy the stamp tax no matter what.