Road to Revolution

by Ben Grady

Introduction

Have you ever wondered how the colonies rebelled and were punished? The steps the colonists had to go through to fight for equality showed their perseverance and strong determination to protect the citizens from the British. Great Britain was ruling the Americans and were trying to punish them for fighting back. During these three important events of the Boston Tea Party, Intolerable Act, and the Boston Massacre, the Militia and Minutemen aided in the rebellion against the British.

Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party was an act of rebellious action to get at the British. When the Tea Act passed in 1773, it made the colonists mad because India company could sell tea to Britain free of taxes and colonists still had to pay taxes. December 16, 1773 the Sons of Liberty, a secret organization, that supported American Independence, boarded British ships dressed as MoHawk Indians and threw 45 tons of tea in the Boston Harbor. This ended up making Britain think of laws to punish the colonists.

Intolerable Act

Soon after the Boston Tea party Great Britain enforced the Intolerable to punish the colonists. Britain made five more new laws to keep the colonists in order. One of the laws was the Boston Port Act. This law meant that Boston closed the Boston Harbor from all shipments until they restored all tea back to the East India company, paid back the king for the lost tea and taxes. The second law as the Massachusetts Government Act was passed on May 20, 1774. The act made the royal government in control over the colonists government. one example of that would be that the colonists were not able to elect any members to the government without them being appointed by the king. The third act that was enforced was Administration of Justice. This act meant British soldiers were able to move their trial to any colony or Great Britain if they committed a criminal act. This was often called the "Murder Act" by the colonists after the Boston Massacre trial because most of the soldiers got off the hook and were not punished. The colonist thought that this law was just away for the British to escape justice. The fourth law was The Quartering Act and this law was greatly ignored by the colonial assemblies. This law let British soldiers stay at any place they wanted and lifted the requirement of having provision for the soldiers. This did not grant the soldiers that would be in private housing, but first would be placed in existing barracks and public houses. The Fifth and final law was The Quebec Act which was not directed at the colonists but to the kings instead, Quebec subjects. The law was enforced to make sure the Canadian subjects were still loyal to the king. The act enlarged Quebec’s border and allowed free practice of the Catholic faith to all the Canadians. That also angered land speculators because they were scared that Catholic faith would spread rapidly into the colonies.

Boston Massacre

The Boston Massacre was a buildup of anger by the colonists on the British ways of doing things. Before the British troops got to Boston, the British inforced The Townshend Acts which was passed on June 29, 1767, this was just more taxes on the imports into the colonies. The Boston civilians were threatened by the British red coats when they arrived on October 1, 1768 which resulted in months and months of tension between the two. The British soldiers, led by Captain Thomas Preston, were met by unruly civilians on March 5, 1770 and the soldiers didn't hear the "Don't Fire" command and open fired into the crowd which killed 5 people in all. Crispus Attucks was one of the people killed in the shooting. Crispus was a slave that was brought to America, but he was able to escape and excelled in buying and trading goods. He did that until he became a seaman and rope maker which then Britain unfortunately started to affect his way of life. The British soldiers were taking away jobs and had been into fights with rope makers and sailors like Crispus and that created tensions with the British soldiers. He was involved in the taunting of the soldiers and was shot and died so he became the first casualty in America. After the shooting Captain Preston, the troops went on trial. John Adams was their lawyer. John adams was a lawyer who thought that everyone deserves equal justice and a fair trial so that is why he offered to defend them. Captain Preston was not guilty and either were some of his soldiers. Two of the eight were convicted of murder.

Minutemen/Militia

Minutemen and Militia were two different things. Militia were people that were supposed to protect their town against foreign attacks and ravages war. Minutemen were an elite group of colonists that had to be able to assemble in a minutes notice of an attack. Minutemen were also a very mobile group of soldiers. Sam Adams and John Hancock were two important American leaders that were part of General Gage's plan to be captured in either Lexington or Concord. However, the spies and Americans were leaked information, so therefore Paul Revere was able to complete his midnight ride and warn the men that the British were coming. The Militia and Minutemen worked cooperatively in efforts to protect the civilians and cities and even the townspeople and local farmers joined in their efforts to beat the British.

Conclusion

The Boston Tea Party causes the British to punish the Americans so therefore the Intolerable Act was written which angered the colonists. The colonists taunted and picked fights with the British soldiers which in turn led to the Boston Massacre. The Minutemen and Militia aided in efforts to protect the citizens during these rebellious times and were able to gain them freedom.

Bibliography

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  • "The Boston Massacre." Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, 4 July 1995. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.
  • "Crispus Attucks Biography." Http://www.biography.com/people/crispus-attucks-9191864#trial-after-the-boston-massacre. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015.
  • Hickman, Kennedy Hickman. "What Were the Intolerable Acts?" About.com Education. N.p., 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.
  • "Lexington and Concord." Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, 1942. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.
  • Zalman, Amy. "1773: Boston Tea Party: Terrorism in the United States." About.com News & Issues. N.p., 2015. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.