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.

George Rogers Clark Captures Fort Vincennes

Lead: In the dead of winter, leading a small band of volunteers George Rogers Clark crossed hundreds of miles and secured the territory of Indiana for the United States.

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

Content: During the American Revolution the Ohio Valley was the scene of intense struggle between the British and their native American allies and Virginians attempting to secure the strategic territory for the fledgling United States. In the summer of 1778 an expedition of about 200 men led by George Rogers Clark moved down the Ohio taking old French forts and claiming them for the United States. In July he arrived in Kaskaskia in Illinois just south of St. Louis and established his headquarters.  

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John Cabot, Explorer II

Lead: In the spring of 1497, John Cabot, an Italian explorer in the service of King Henry VII of England, sailed west from Bristol, England to find a shorter route to the riches of China.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Cabot had tried to secure backing from the Spanish but Christopher Columbus was the dominant figure in exploration in the wake of his successful voyages to the Caribbean and the largely unknown Cabot had to turn to the English for financial support.

 

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Convicts Arrive at Botany Bay I

Lead: The prisons of England were just too crowded: something had to be done.

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

Content: To solve the problem of a growing prison population in England, the government began in 1718 to deport or transport prisoners to the colonies in the American South. They were sold to shipping contractors who would sell them to plantation owners as workers on the coastal estates. This method of transportation ended with the coming of the American Revolution and the population of the prisons began to creep back up.

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American Revolution: Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer 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 Philadelphia lawyer John Dickinson began a series of essays decrying the Townshend taxes on lead, glass, paper, and tea passed by Parliament not long after it repealed the Stamp Tax. The essays were published in serial form in newspapers all across America and were called Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania (1767-1768). He was clear that he opposed the tax scheme because of its violation of the British Constitution’s prohibition of taxing people not represented in Parliament, but he did it such a mild, gentle, submissive fashion that it failed to spark a plan of action though it did probably provide some level of satisfaction to Americans already weary of the continuing conflict between Britain and its North American colonies.

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American Revolution: Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer 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 his long political career, Philadelphia lawyer and Delaware planter John Dickinson demonstrated a consistent moderation that often spoke to the heart of American popular sentiment which often reflected fatigue in the long decades of revolutionary upheaval, dispute and war. He drafted the ultimately ineffective Articles of Confederation (1776) and then joined in calls for a stronger central government, represented Delaware at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and then worked for the passage of the Constitution. In the debates on independence he held out the hope for reconciliation with Great Britain and refused to sign the Declaration, but he was not a coward. He became the only founding father to manumit or free his slaves in the years between 1776 and 1787, a dangerous and potentially destructive act of moral and political courage.

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