A People’s History Chpt 4 Part 2 Tyranny is tyranny!

A People’s History Chpt 4 Part 2 Tyranny is tyranny!


hey everybody welcome back to a People’s
historian the show where we read about 30 minutes of history together my name is
Jason Kishineff and we are reading chapter 4 of people’s history of the
United States by Howard Zinn talking about the circumstances that led to the
Revolutionary War and remember if you like the episode you know what to do
let’s dig in impressment was the background of the
Boston Massacre we’re talking about the British forcing American colonists to be
british sailors soldiers there have been impressment riots through the 1760s in
New York and in Newport Rhode Island where 500 seamen boys and Negroes rioted
after five weeks of impressment by the British six weeks before the Boston
Massacre there was a battle in New York of seamen against British soldiers
taking their jobs and one seaman was killed in the Boston Tea Party of
December 1773 the Boston Committee of Correspondence formed a year before to
organize anti British actions controlled crowd action and against the tea from
this third I don’t know why I got the word and in their control crowd act
controlled crowd action against the tea from the start
der corner says the Tea Party led to the coercive acts by Parliament
virtually establishing Marshall Lyme massachusetts dissolving the colonial
government closing the port in boston and sending in troops still town
meetings and mass meetings rose in opposition the seizure of the powder
stored by the british led 4,000 men from all around boston to assemble in
cambridge where some of the wealthy officials had their sunk to his homes
the crowd forth the officials to resign the Committees of Correspondence of
Boston and other towns welcome to this gathering but warned against destroying
private property Pauline mayor who studied the
development of opposition to Britain in the decade before 1776 in her book from
resistance to revolution emphasizes the moderation of the leadership and despite
their desire for resistance their emphasis on order and restraint she
notes the officers and committee members of the Sons of Liberty were drawn almost
entirely from the middle and upper classes of colonial society in Newport
Rhode Island for instance the Sons of Liberty according to a contemporary
writer contains some gentlemen of the first figure in town for opulence sense
and politeness in North Carolina one of the wealthiest of the gentlemen and
freeholders led the Sons of Liberty similarly in Virginia and South Carolina
and New York’s leaders too were involved in small but respectable independent
business ventures their aim however was to broaden their organization to develop
a mass base of wage earners many of the sons of liberty groups declared as in
Milford Connecticut their greatest of Horace of lawlessness or as in a nap
opposed all riots or unlawful assemblies tending to the disturbance of the public
tranquility John Adams expressed the same fears these Touring’s and
feathering x’ this breaking open houses by rude and insolent rebels in
resentment for private wrongs or in pursuing of private prejudices and
passions must be discountenanced in Virginia it seemed clear to the educated
gentry that something needed to be done to persuade the lower orders to join the
revolutionary cause to deflect their anger against England one Virginian
wrote in his diary in the spring of 1774 the lower class of people here are in
tumult on account of reports from Boston many of them expect to be pressed and
compelled to go and fight the Britons around the time of the Stamp Act
a Virginia orator addressed the poor are not the gentlemen made of the same
materials as the lowest and poorest among you listen to no doctrines which
may tend to divide us but let us go hand in hand as brothers it was a problem
from which the rhetorical talents of Patrick Henry’s were superbly fitted he
was as rise Isaac puts it firmly attached to the world of the gentry but
he spoke in words that the poor whites of Virginia can understand
Henry’s fellow Virginian Edmund Randolph recalled his style as simplicity and
even carelessness his pauses from which their length might sometimes be feared
to dispel the attention riveted it to more by raising the expectation Patrick
Henry’s oratory in Virginia pointed a way to believe class tension between
upper and lower classes and form a bond against the British this was to find
language inspiring to classes specific enough in its listing
of grievances to charge people with danger against the British vague enough
to avoid class conflict among the rebels and stirring enough to build patriotic
feeling for the resistance movement Tom Paine’s Common Sense which appeared
in early 1776 and became the most popular pamphlet in the American
colonies did this it made the first bold argument for independence in words that
any fairly literate person can understand society and every state is a
blessing but government even in its best state is but of necessary evil pain
disposed of the idea of the Divine Right of Kings by a pungent history of the
British monarchy going back to the Norman conquest of 1066 when William the
Conqueror came over from France to set himself on the British throne a French
bastard landing with an armed baddie and establishing himself King of England
against the consent of the natives is in plain terms a very paltry rascally
origin it certainly hath no divinity in it paying dealt with the practical
advantages of sticking to England or being separated he knew the importance
of economics I challenged the warmest advocate for reconciliation to show a
single advantage that this continent can reap by being connected with Great
Britain I repeat the challenge not a single advantage is derived our
corn will fetch its price in any market in Europe and our imported goods must be
paid for by them paid for by them where we will as for the bad effects of the
connection with England Payne appealed to the colonists memory of all wars in
which England had involved them Wars costly in lives and money
but the injuries and disadvantages which we sustained by that connection are
without number any submission to or dependence on Great Britain tends
directly to involve this continent in European Wars and quarrels and sets us
at variance with nations who would otherwise seek our friendship he built
slowly to an emotional pitch everything that is right or reasonable pleads for
separation the blood of the slain the weeping voice of nature cries tis time
to part common sense went through twenty-five additions in 1776 and sold
hundreds of thousands of copies and that’s a lot of copies for seven at 1776
it is probable that almost every literate colonists either read it or
knew about its contents pamphleteering had become by this time the chief
theater of debate about relations with England from 1750 to 1776 four hundred
pamphlets had appeared arguing one or another side of the Stamp Act or the
Boston Massacre one of the tea party or the general questions of disobedience to
law loyalty to the government rights and obligations Paine’s pamphlet appealed to
a wide range of colonial opinion angered by england but it caused some tremors in
aristocrats like john adams who were with the Patriot cause but wanted to
make sure it didn’t go too far in the direction of democracy Paine had
denounced the so called balanced government of lords and Commons
as a deception and called for singer single-chamber represented embodies
where the people could be represented Adams denounced Payne’s plan as so
democratical without any restraint or even an attempt at an equilibrium or
counter that it must produce confusion and every
evil work popular assemblies needed to be checked
out of stock because they were productive of hasty results and absurd
judgments Payne himself came out of the lower orders of England a stay maker tax
official teacher poor immigrant to America he arrived in Philadelphia in
1774 when agitation against England was already strong in the colonies the
artists and mechanics of Philadelphia along with journeyman apprentices and
ordinary laborers were forming into a politically conscious militia in general
dams riffraff dirty mutinous and disaffected as loyal aristocrats
describes them that’s a good description description by speaking plainly and
strongly he can represent those politically conscious lower-class people
he opposed property qualifications for voting in Pennsylvania but his great
concern seems to have been to speak for a middle group there is an extent of
riches as well as an extreme of poverty which by harrowing the circles of a
man’s acquaintance lessens his opportunities of general knowledge
what’s the revolution was underway paying more and more made it clear that
he was not for the crowd action of lower-class people like those militia
who in 1779 attacks the house of James Wilson Wilson was a revolutionary leader
who opposed press controls and wanted a more conservative government than was
given by the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 Payne became an associate of one
of the wealthiest men in Pennsylvania Robert Morris and a supporter of
Morris’s creation the Bank of North America
later during the controversy of over adopting the constitution pain would
once again represent urban artisans who favored a strong central government he
seemed to believe that such a government could represent some great common
interest in this sense he left himself perfectly to the myth of the revolution
that it was on behalf of a united people the Declaration of Independence brought
that myth to its peak of eloquence each harsher measure of British control the
proclamation of 1763 not allowing colonists to settle beyond the
Appalachians the Stamp Act the Townsend taxes including the one on T the
stationing of troops and the Boston Massacre the closing of the port of
Boston and the dissolution of the Boston legislature escalated colonial rebellion
to the point of revolution the colonists had responded with the Stamp Act
Congress the Stamp Act Congress the Sons of Liberty the Committees of
Correspondence the Boston Tea Party and finally in 1774 the setting up of a
Continental Congress an illegal body forerunner of a future independent
government it was after the military clash at Lexington and Concord in April
1775 between colonial Minutemen and British troops that the Continental
Congress decided on separation they organized a small committee to draw up
the Declaration of Independence which Thomas Jefferson wrote it was adopted by
the Congress on July 2nd and officially proclaimed
July 4th 1776 as I hope you know by this time there was already a
powerful sentiment for independence resolutions adopted in North Carolina in
May of 1776 and sent to the Continental Congress declared independence of
England asserted that all British law was null and void and urged military
preparations about the same time the town of Malden Massachusetts responding
to a request from the Massachusetts House of Representatives that all towns
in the state declare their views on independence had met in Town Meeting and
unanimously called for independence we therefore renounce with disdain our
connection with the kingdom of slaves we bid a final adieu to Britain when in the
course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the
political bands they should declare the causes this was the opening of the
Declaration of Independence then in its second paragraph came the powerful
philosophical statement we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men
are created equal that they are endowed by their creator with certain
unalienable rights that among these are life liberty and the pursuit of
happiness that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed that whenever
any form of government becomes destructive of these ends it is the
right of the people to alter or to abolish it and to institute new
government it then went on to list grievances against the king a history of
repeated injuries and usurpations all having in direct object the
establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these states the lists accused
Akane dissolving colonial governments
controlling judges sending swarms of officers to harass our people sending in
armies of occupation cutting off colonial trade with other parts of the
world taxing the colonists without their consent and waging war against them
transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to Compleat the works of
death desolation and tyranny all this de lenguage of popular control over
governments the right of rebellion and revolution indignation and political
tyranny economic burdens and military attacks was language well suited to
unite large numbers of colonists and persuade even those who had grievances
against one another to turn against England some Americans were clearly
omitted from this art this circle of United interest drawn by the Declaration
of Independence you never they are Indians black slaves
women indeed one paragraph of the Declaration charged the King with
inciting slave rebellions and Indian attacks he has excited domestic
insurrections among us and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants
of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages whose known rule of warfare is
an undistinguished destruction of all ages sexes and conditions 20 years before the declaration of
proclamation of the legislature of Massachusetts of November 3rd 1755
declared the Penobscot Indians rebels enemies and traitors and provided a
bounty for every stop of a male Indian brought in for tea towels for every
scalp of such female Indian or male Indian under the age of 12 years that
shall be killed 20 pounds Thomas Jefferson had written a paragraph of the
Declaration accusing the king of transporting slaves from Africa to the
colonies and suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to
restrain this exocrine bull commerce this seemed to express moral indignation
against slavery and the slave trade Jefferson’s personal distaste for
slavery must be put alongside the fact that he owned hundreds of slaves to the
day he died behind it was the growing fear among Virginians and some other
southerners about the growing number of black slaves in the colonies 20% of the
total population and the threat of slave result revolts as the number of slaves
increased Jefferson’s paragraph was removed by the Continental Congress
because slave holders themselves disagreed about the desirability of
ending the slave trade so even that gesture toward the black slave was
omitted in the great manifesto of freedom of the American Revolution the
use of the phrase all men are created equal was probably not a deliberate
attempt to make a statement about women it was just that women were beyond
consideration is worthy of inclusion they were politically invisible though
practical needs gave women a certain authority in the home on the
armed horn occupations like midwifery they were simply overlooked in any
consideration of political rights any notions of civic equality to say that
the Declaration of Independence even by his own language was limited to life
liberty and happiness from white males is not to denounced the makers and
signers of the Declaration for holding the ideas expected of privileged males
of the 18th century reformers and radicals looking discontentedly at
history are often accused of expecting too much from a past political epoch and
sometimes they do but the point of noting these those outside the arc of
human rights and the declaration is not centuries late and pointlessly to lay
impossible moral burdens on that time it is trying to untie to understand the way
in which the Declaration functioned to mobilize certain groups of Americans
ignoring others surely inspirational language to create a secure consensus is
still used in our time to cover up serious conflicts of interest in that
consensus and to cover up also the omission of large parts of the human
race the philosophy of the Declaration the government is set up by the people
to secure their life liberty and happiness and is to be overthrown when
it no longer does that is often traced to the ideas of john locke in his second
treatise on government that was published in England in 1689 when the
English were rebelling against tyrannical Kings and setting up
parliamentary government the declaration like Locke’s Second Treatise talked
about government and political rights but ignored the existing inequalities in
property and how could people truly have equal rights with stark differences in
wealth Lock himself was a wealthy man with
investments in the silk trade and slave trade income from loans and mortgages he
invested heavily in the first issue of the stock of the Bank of England just a
few years after it had written the second treatise after he had written the
second treatise as the second as the classic statement of liberal democracy
as advisor to the Carolinas he had suggested a government of slave owners
run by wealthy land barons Locke’s statement of people’s government was in
support of a revolution in England for the free development of mercantile
capitalism at home and abroad lock himself regretted that the labour of
poor children is generally lost to the public till they’re 12 or 14 years old
and suggested that all children over three of families on relief families on
relief should attend working schools so they would be from infancy in Europe to
work the English revolutions of the 17th century brought representative
government and opened up discussions of democracy but as the English historian
Christopher Hill wrote in the Puritan revolution the establishment of
parliamentary supremacy of the rule of law no doubt mainly benefited the men of
property to find of arbitrary taxation that threatened to the security of
property was overthrown monopolies were ended to give more free rein to
businesses and sea power began to be used for an imperial policy abroad
including the conquest of Ireland the Levellers and the diggers two political
movements which wanted to carry equality into the economic sphere were put down
by the river one can see the reality of locks nice
phrases about representative government in the class divisions and conflicts in
England that followed the revolution that Locke supported at the very time
the American scene was becoming tense in 1768 England was wracked by riots and
strikes of coal heavers sawmill workers Hatter’s Weaver’s sailors because of the
high price of bread and the miserable wages the annual register reviewed the
events of the spring and summer of 1768 a general dissatisfaction unhappily
prevailed among several of the lower orders of the people this ill-temper
which was partly occasioned by the high price of provisions and partly proceeded
from other causes too frequently manifested itself in acts of tumult and
riot which were productive of the most melancholy consequences the people who
were supposedly at the heart of Locke’s theory of people’s sovereignty were
defined by a British Member of Parliament I don’t mean the mob I mean
the middling people of England the manufacturer the young men the merchants
the country gentlemen in America to the reality behind the words of the
Declaration of Independence issued in the same year as Adam Smith’s capitalist
manifesto the wealth of nations was that a rising class of important people
needed to enlist on their side enough Americans to defeat England without
disturbing too much the relations of wealth and power that had developed over
a hundred and fifty years of colonial history
indeed 69% of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had held
Colonial Office under England when the Declaration of Independence was
read with all its flaming radical language from the Town Hall balcony in
Boston it was read by Thomas crafts a member of the loyal nine group
conservatives who had opposed militant action against the British four days
after the reading the Boston Committee of Correspondence ordered the townsmen
to show up on the common for a military draft the rich’ turned out could avoid
the draft by paying for substitutes the poor had to serve this led to rioting
and shouting tyranny is tyranny let it come from who it may thank you for
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