Samuel Adams

And his contribution to the development of colonial America

Tyler Brasseaux, Chaithra Katamaneni, Roop Panesar, and Annmarie Vincenzo

Family History

Sam Adams grew up in a religious and wealthy home. They were well respected in the Massachusetts colony. He was the tenth child born out of twelve, but because of the high birth mortality rate, only three survived. His mother, being a strong Puritan, passed her beliefs down to Sam and his siblings. His father was very involved in politics, so Sam was constantly around and influenced by politicians. A major turning point in his life was when his father tried to establish a land bank in Massachusetts. It was popular among the colonists because it provided economic stability. However, the British Parliament rule the land bank illegal because they wanted the colonies to have complete economic dependency on them. This instance is a likely kickstart to Sam Adam's defiance and strong opposition to the British rule.

Political Affiliations/Loyalties and Explanation of Views

He was affiliated to the Democratic-Republican political party. He was the leader that took part of one of greatest movements that made a lasting impact on our great country or other wise known as the American Revolution. His creation of the principles of American republicanism shaped the political structure of America. He helped take part in/led others to create some of the most impacting historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence. He also persuaded colonists towards independence even before the Revolutionary War occurred. This led to negative views from bystanders/peers that thought he was a "master of propaganda who provoked mob violence" to accomplish his doings. With the help of rural patriots, Adams also organized and led the Commitee of Correspondance to allowing citizens of Massachusets to access patriotic text. Adams, among others, persuaded others commitees such as the previous one to in rural towns. Samuel Adams founded the Sons of Liberty. He was best known for leading the opposition to the Sugar Act , the Stamp Act, and the Townshend Acts . Also, he was one of the leading forces behind the Non-Importation Association and the Boston Tea Party. He was led all of these things to get the rights of the colonists, while going public about the restraint the Britsh held upon them.

Contribution to/participation in colonial development/colonial independence

Sugar Act of 1764:

British governments posed the first direct tax on the colonies.

Sam Adams argued that this was not a right by the British constitution, but there were different interpretations of the British constitution by the colonies and the British. His argument was on taxation without representation. A summary of this idea is that it was unfair for the British to tax the colonies, because the colonies weren’t represented in parliament.

Stamp Act of 1765:

A similar tax to the sugar act, but on printed goods.

Adams supported all boycotts and other efforts against the stamp act. He even suggested that the tax would hurt british economy, and he made efforts to pressure the British government to repeal the act. After British merchants convinced their government the tax was repealed, meaning the protests were successful.

Townsend Acts of 1767:

Small taxes and various goods, meant to show that the British had the right to tax the colonies.

Adams led the Boston Town Meeting, a boston organization that Adams eventually lead. He used this position to organize economic boycotts on the british policies. After spreading his ideas, other towns in nearby states began to do the same. Adams wrote the Massachusetts Circular letter on behalf of the Massachusetts House of representatives. This was a letter meant to organize petitions against the townshend acts in other states. The sending of the letter was eventually approved after disputes with King George. The act was mostly repealed in 1770.

Tea Act of 1773:

A law to help the East India Tea Company, one of Britain's largest companies.

Adams again led protests against the new taxes. With his power in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Boston Town Meeting, he did everything he could to urge the British to back down and recognize that they didn't have the right to tax the colonies. A situation arose when three East India Tea ships arrived in the Boston harbour with tea meant for sale. Because of Adams’ boycotts the people of Boston voted to not let the crew unload the cargo. Meetings led by Adams were held during the ships’ time in the harbour, and they discussed what should be done. Adams concluded that “Nothing more could be done to save the country.” However after this was the Boston Tea Party incident, allegedly not organized by Sam Adams

In conclusion Sam Adams made a great effort to establish American independence from Britain, from the time they tried to impose taxes to the time of the revolution, he was making arguments and organize boycotts against the actions of British Parliament. In doing so he showed the people how to be independant and with his actions sparked the American people in their efforts to gain freedom. Although his actions were non violent he helped to create the American state of mind that eventually led to the revolution, and then to American Independance.


"the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness"

YES, Sam Adams had integrity (but only by colonial standards)! He had the country's best interest in mind and knew that what the British were doing was wrong so he took action. There is even an award called the Sam Adams Association for Integrity that is awarded to people with great integrity.


- Adams helped lead the Tea Party, in hopes of showing the British Parliament that their endless taxations (especially on tea) was wrong. By colonial standards this exercised great integrity; he knew that they should not be taxed and he did something about it.

- After the Boston Massacre, Sam Adams pushed for the soldiers to have a fair trial so that everyone would see that Boston is not run by a "lawless mob."


"the state of being vested with the rights, privileges, and duties of a citizen"

YES, Sam Adams had citizenship! He exercised his rights as a citizen to speak up and fight for a cause that he believed in and took action for the betterment of his country (colony). He fought for himself instead if staying back and watching.


- He protested against the Stamp Act and formed the Sons of Liberty, which led to the repealance of the act.

- He wrote a letter against the taxation in the colonies calling for unified resistance.

- Finally in 1772 he presented a declaration which would later turn into part of the Declaration of Independence.


Erekson, Ole. Samuel Adams . N.d. Engraver , Library of Congress . Signers of the Declaration of Independence . Web. 27 Aug. 2013.

"Samuel Adams - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2013. <>.

"Family." Samuel Adams Heritage Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Aug. 2013.