The Sons Of Liberty: Radical Changes During The American Revolution

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The American Revolution was the world-changing birth of a nation that was founded on the strong belief of natural rights and freedom through independence. These beliefs, however, were not what the initial supporters of what would become the revolution intended. Instead, these people, known as the gentry, had initially sought to preserve their authority to rule, a right they believed they already had. Although, after employing the middle sort to help them and slowly giving them more power, new radical ideas had emerged. Suddenly, the gentry’s wish of restoring their authoritative power changed into a nationwide fight for natural rights and independence. By the time the war ended, even the gentry themselves were changed by these radical ideas.…show more content…
They did this by claiming that Britain was robbing them of their natural rights, which, unfortunately for the gentry, had a very radical effect on the middle sort. Samuel Adams used the middle and lower sorts known as the Sons of Liberty to protest new acts like the Stamp Act. The Sons of Liberty used a complex network through taverns to spread information and inspire people among all classes to rise against these acts (Carp, 94). The Sons of Liberty chose to use taverns because it was an area in which people of all classes were able to talk to each other and unite against common grievances, so it was naturally an excellent place to organize resistance to British policy (Carp, 98). The gentry used the lower and middle sorts to voice their opinions because while mobs broke out protesting things the gentry did not like, such as the Stamp Act, they were able to stay out of the chaos and maintain their image of virtue and disinterestedness. This is seen after a mob disassembled Stamp Act collector Andrew Oliver’s house, but Samuel Adams and the local legislature chose not to press charges. Similarly, the gentry also popularized their message through the press to get the lower and middle sorts to join their cause. This is seen through the Boston Massacre, which was not an actual massacre, but the gentry spun it this way to gain support. This was important because the more violence that the colonists witnessed, the more the citizens began to apply the gentry’s message of liberty to their own lives and related their grievances with the gentry’s (Watson, 183). The gentry used the middle and lower sorts to help with boycotts, too, and although the boycotts themselves were conservative because it was an attempt to preserve their rights (such as to tax), it was the events that happened because of the boycotts that were radical. The Tea
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