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lead and teas, and at the same time revived the Writs of Assistance. These enactments met with the same reception as the Stamp Act. The colonists recognized in them the hateful principle of taxation without representation. The Virginia Assembly declared the tax illegal and protested against its enforcement, and later adopted a pledge not to buy any of the goods upon which such taxes were levied. Similar action was taken in several other colonies.
Coercive Action of British Government.-The king, enraged by the temper of these petitions and resolutions, declared the originators to be rebellious and guilty of treason, and measures were adopted to repress the expression of such sentiments. The colonial governors were directed to prevent public assemblies, and troops were sent to Boston and New York. The danger of this policy was, however, felt in England, and at length, in April, 1770, Parliament repealed the provisions of the Townshend Acts, except such as related to the duty on tea, which was made so low as to render smuggling unprofitable.
Committees of Correspondence.-Meanwhile the agitation continued, and open conflict seemed unavoidable. Samuel Adams, who saw the probability of war, introduced into the Boston town meeting in November, 1772, a resolution that "a committee of correspondence be appointed to state the rights of the colonists . . . and also request of each town a free communication of their sentiment on this subject." The idea was received everywhere with favor. Similar committees were selected in other colonies, who spread the doctrine of liberty among
the people and formed an incipient union by constant intercourse upon all matters of public interest.
The Tea Agitation. Still the ministry was blind to the dangers, and upon the demands of the East India Company determined to enforce the tea tax. For this purpose, in the fall of 1773, cargoes of tea were shipped to New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Charleston. At Philadelphia and Charleston the cargoes were either returned or stored in damp cellars. At Boston, on the night of December 16, 1773, the ship was boarded, the cargo broken open and the tea emptied into the harbor. This was called the "Boston Tea Party." At New York a similar demonstration was made by the "Sons of Liberty.'
Retaliation by Great Britain.-Retaliatory measures were at once taken by Parliament. The principal ones were aimed at Massachusetts, which, possessing a charter government, was deemed by the ministry as being most hostile to British interests. These closed the port of Boston, annulled the charter of the colony and placed the government in the hands of a governor and a council selected by him, and provided for the further quartering of troops in Boston. Another Act provided for the trial in England of all soldiers, magistrates or revenue officers charged with murder.
First Continental Congress.-In view of the dangers threatened by such enactments the lower house of the Massachusetts legislature called upon the other colonies to join in a congress to meet at Philadelphia, and in response to the call delegates from the different colonies met, September 5, 1774, in what is known as the "First
Continental Congress." Among the delegates were Samuel and John Adams, John Jay, Patrick Henry and George Washington. They adopted a Declaration of Rights, and prepared a Petition to the king, praying for a redress of wrongs. They also presented an address to the same effect to the people of Great Britain, united in a pledge to import no goods from England or her colonies, provided for a second Continental Congress and adjourned October 26, 1774.
Second Continental Congress. These measures, however, failed of their purpose, and the colonists determined upon armed resistance. April 19, 1775, the first engagement was had at Lexington, and the news of it was the signal for a general uprising. May 10, 1775, the British garrison at Ticonderoga surrendered to Ethan Allen, and the same day the Second Continental Congress assembled at Philadelphia. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced into the Congress the following resolution: "Resolved-That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown; and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved." On June 11, 1776, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston were appointed a committee to prepare a suitable declaration of grievances and a statement of the attitude of the colonies. This committee made its report July 1st. The next day the Lee resolution was passed, and on the Fourth of July the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
Declaration of Independence. Thus the separation of the colonies from England was made complete. An examination of the Declaration of Independence discloses no new governmental principles. (See Appendix I.) It is a simple statement of the inherent rights of the people, which they had never surrendered, together with a plain narration of the wrongs which had compelled their act. It is a concise exposition of the true principles of government, and has been through the existence of the Union a great and powerful factor in the maintenance of a pure national life.
DATES OF PRINCIPAL EVENTS IN THE GROWTH OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE.
1645-63 Navigation Acts.
1760 George III. crowned.
1761-64 Writs of Assistance.
1763 Peace of Paris.
1765 Stamp Act.
1765 Act for the Quartering of Troops.
1765 Colonial Congress.
1766 Repeal of Stamp Act.
1766 Declaratory Act.
1767 Townshend Revenue Acts.
1770 (March 5) Boston Massacre.
1770 Repeal of Townshend Duties, except on Tea.
1773 (December 16) Boston Tea Party.
1774 (September 5) First Continental Congress.
1775 (April 19) Battle of Lexington.
1775 (May 10) Second Continental Congress.
THE REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT.
MAY 10, 1775, TO MARCH 1, 1781.
The Revolutionary Government of Congress.-A revolutionary government is one formed to carry out the will of those who claim the sovereignty of a nation in opposition to those who possess it. Such a government usually assumes an authority not delegated to it, but acts in the interests of those whom it represents, as necessity requires. This was the character of the government established by the Second Continental Congress. Its sole object was resistance to the tyrannical measures of the British Crown. To accomplish this, it created committees upon military and Indian affairs and foreign relations, established a general treasury, appointed Washington commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, recommended to the colonial governments a uniform system of militia and provided for a continental postal service. To furnish revenue, paper money, known as "Continental Currency," was issued; for the large sums necessary to carry on the war could not be borrowed at home and a foreign loan had not as yet been proposed.
Articles of Confederation.-But the Congress saw that its government was revolutionary and inadequate to meet the obligations which belong to sovereign states. There