Acts of Charles Townshend 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 1767 the British Parliament passed what became known as the Townshend Acts, named for Charles Townshend, Chancellor of the Exchequer, a member of the government tentatively led by William Pitt. Pitt had a physical collapse and for two years his leadership was incapacitated. His absence left a power vacuum into which Townshend stepped. The son of a minor aristocrat, he had a troubled youth under his overbearing father and emerged a troubled adult, a brilliant orator in Parliamentary debate, but erratic and domineering in his behavior.

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Acts of Charles Townshend 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: George Mason, Virginia planter, politician and future delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention in 1787, and widely considered to be the father of the Bill of Rights, was an acute observer of the looming struggle between the American colonies and Great Britain. After the repeal of Stamp Tax, Mason reflected that the attitude of many Britons, particularly those in Parliament who passed and then repealed the tax, was not unlike that of an exasperated parent dealing with an errant child. With icy sarcasm seeming to drip from his pen he wrote of the British attitude, “.,…do what your Papa and Mama bid you and Hasten to return them your most grateful Acknowledgements for condescending to let you keep what is your own; and then all your Acquaintance will love you, and praise you, and give you pretty things;…but if you are a naughty Boy, and turn obstinate, and don’t mind what Papa and Mama say to you….and pretend to judge….yourselves capable of distinguishing between Good and Evil; then everybody will hate you and say you’re a graceless and undutiful Child; your Parents and Masters will be obliged to whip you severely….”

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Acts of Charles Townshend 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 euphoria in America that followed the British Parliament’s repeal of the Stamp Tax in 1766 was attended by wild celebrations all over the colonies. It seemed to those who had rioted and railed in print against what was seen as an egregious violation of the constitutional rights of the British subjects who lived in North America, that at last Britain was seeing the light and was willing to accommodate the desire of Americans that they be accorded the respect due loyal subjects of King and country.

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American Revolution: Mr. Seldon’s Penny 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 Revolutionary Era, Americans were followers of John Locke. They believed with Locke that their property represented more than just material possessions, rather property symbolized and secured their lives, liberties, estates, and freedom. In all the colonies, property also bestowed on the owners the rights of a political man. In order to vote one had to possess real property, land. And leaders were those who owned lots of land or were engaged in profitable commercial enterprise. They received this idea from the ancient establishment of Parliament as representative and protector of those who owned property.

American Revolution: Mr. Seldon’s Penny 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 the 1760s and 1770s British colonists in North America struggled to justify or even to describe the foundation of their increasing discontent with their relationship with Britain. Eventually a full-blown constitutional argument or justification for liberation would find expression in the writings of Thomas Paine and in Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, but in the wake of the Stamp Act Crisis of 1765 and 1766 colonial advocates were trying to find the ideas that might give respectability to their determination to protect their property from Parliamentary tax schemes. For colonial theorists, protection of property was not an idle exercise, not some exercise in selfish acquisition. Property for Americans represented the heart and soul of liberty. The very purpose of civil society was the “preservation and regulation of property.

America’s Revolution: George Washington Strikes the Spark II

 

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

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Sent by the Governor of Virginia to build and defend a fort on the Ohio River at present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in spring 1754, young militia Lt. Colonel George Washington helped kick off the first true world war. As he approached the site of what he would name Fort Necessity, he discovered the presence of a French scouting party. Fearing treachery, on May 28th Washington and his Indian allies ambushed and captured the French led by Ensign Joseph Coulon de Jumonville. Washington, who spoke no French, was struggling to interrogate Jumonville who spoke no English. While they thrashed about the interview, in one of history’s murkiest events, apparently Washington’s Indian confederate Tanaghrisson murdered Jumonville.

America’s Revolution: George Washington Strikes the Spark I

 

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

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: When King George III of Britain and his advisors heard the news that George Washington had been appointed commander of what would become the victorious Continental Army in 1775, they were quite familiar with the name and reputation of the Virginian. Washington had been a major international player for over two decades since a little known event on the frontier of Pennsylvania in May 1754 gave the 22-year old Lieutenant Colonel of the Virginia Militia the beginning of an outsized status. His exploits that spring became the catalyst of the first real world war, known in Europe as the Seven Years’ War and in America as the French and Indian War.

American Revolution: Taxation Without Representation 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: Severe financial burdens resulting from British involvement in the French and Indian War caused the government in London to seek revenues from the thirteen North American colonies, essentially to pay for a peaceful frontier and oceans free for colonial commerce. Surprisingly there were calls by some in Britain proposing colonial representation in Parliament. Adam Smith, Edmund Burke and for a time, Benjamin Franklin, Pennsylvania’s representative in London, advocated some form of Colonial seats in the commons, but these proposals went nowhere and were not revived until long after the beginning of open hostilities in the late 1770s. Ironically, American radicals ultimately squelched the idea of colonial representation. They were convinced that if there were Americans seated at Westminster, there would be no restraint on Parliamentary enthusiasm for draining colonial pockets. Better to argue that Parliament had no right to tax the colonies, period.