American Revolution: The Spreading Flame 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: Passage of the Stamp Tax by the British Parliament provoked several changes in the North American colonies. Rioting and civil disobedience were rampant. Advocates of the taxes were subjected to political pressure and physical violence. At the same time in most of the colonies a new class of leaders, such as Patrick Henry, began to help the public come to grips with a changing relationship with Britain, more resistant, even hostile to the interests of the mother country, and eventually to consider the path to independence.

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American Revolution: The Spreading Flame 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: After the passage of the Stamp Act by Parliament in 1765, reaction was slow in coming but built all during the summer, fall and winter of 1765. In the end, Parliament was forced to repeal the Stamp Tax because of vigorous resistance within the colonies and not insignificant opposition within Parliament itself. With Virginia and Massachusetts leading the way, the flame of resistance began to spread to the other colonies.

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American Revolution: The Spreading Flame 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 passage of the Stamp Act by the British Parliament in 1765 transformed the political landscape within the colonies of North America. The London government was determined to extract from the colonies sufficient revenue to pay for the troops stationed on the continent to protect British and colonial interests. They came up with a clever scheme to raise the cash. A significant portion of legal and business documents would have to be printed on stamped paper supplied by the government at a relatively nominal rate, but no one was fooled. This was a tax, plain and simple. The reaction was slow in coming but built all during the summer, fall, and winter of 1765. In the end Parliament was forced to repeal the Stamp Tax because of vigorous resistance within the colonies and not insignificant opposition within Parliament itself.

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Washington Assumes Command II

Lead: Though he had a certain magisterial demeanor, George Washington knew he was the servant of civilian rule.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: From the beginning, the American Republic vested ultimate power in the hands of people in the person of their elected representatives. Though the nation admired military leaders and has often elected them to power, republican sentiment has always distrusted the man on horseback and insisted that in peace and in war power rests with civilians. In many ways this attitude, if not originating with George Washington, was certainly re-enforced by his respectful approach to his civilian masters and his willingness to give up power, twice in fact.

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Washington Assumes Command I

Lead: When he returned home in 1783, he was the most famous man in the world. It all started eight years before.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In June 1775, the Continental Congress, itself willing to start a war but not yet to declare American independence, appointed George Washington of Virginia its military commander and sent him off to Boston to confront 10,000 British troops occupying the port. In the course of nine months he would meet the men with whom he would prosecute America’s longest-declared war, he would experiment with those strategic martial impulses that for good and for ill sustained his Army and the country through to the end, and would begin the process of maturation that would shape him into the nation’s most consequential founder.

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James Caldwell: The Soldier’s Parson

Lead: When his troops ran out of wadding for their weapons, James Caldwell found a musical substitute.

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

Content: At the time of the Revolution much leadership on the side of independence came from clergymen. In the middle colonies many Presbyterian pastors were in the vanguard of the Patriot cause. One of them was James Caldwell. Virginia born and Princeton educated Pastor Caldwell was chaplain of the 3rd N.J. Regiment. His enthusiasm for the Patriot cause earned him the love of his troops, but much resentment as well. Both his home and church at Elizabethtown, N.J. were burned by Tories raiding parties.

 

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Lexington, Massachusetts, 1775 II

 

Lead: Having killed Minutemen on the Lexington, Massachusetts green in April, 1775, British regulars moved off to Concord.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The British soldiers were sent by Governor Gage to capture provincial arms and the leaders of the Massachusetts rebellion, John Hancock and Sam Adams. In the end they got neither, but like a man sticking his hand into a hornets’ nest they stirred up a Revolution.

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Lexington, Massachusetts, 1775 I

 

Lead: A brief skirmish between British Regulars and colonial militia in Lexington, Massachusetts in April 1775 set off a revolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Thomas Gage, the Royal Governor of Massachusetts in the spring of 1775, liked Americans, but it seemed as though the sentiment was not mutual, at least among a certain number of his colonial charges. Led by Samuel Adams and John Hancock, some of the provincials were in thinly disguised rebellion. They had tossed together a Provincial Congress and had begun to assemble war materiel in the tiny village of Concord westward, 21 miles up the Boston Neck. Gage, under pressure from London, had his eyes on those arms and the colonial leaders, to seize the weapons and arrest Hancock and Adams.

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