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The Intolerable Acts and the Sons of Liberty

The intelligent are not always wise. The British Parliament wants to offset expenses defending the American colonies but the American colonists are wondering what the British are defending them from. The Sugar Act is partly paying for garrisoning British troops. The Quartering Act is forcing the colonists to feed and house the troops. (This is called billeting since a civilian household is served with a bill of demand, but the word "billet" means "a lodging assignment" in the modern day.) The Stamp Act requires that all printed materials carry a revenue stamp certifying that the proper tax has been paid on each item. This is the modern equivalent of a tax stamp applied to every pack of cigarettes. These and other Acts of Parliament do not go over well in the colonies. That is why they are called the Intolerable Acts. The colonists shout, "No taxation without representation!" But realistically.... what can they do about it? [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Committees of Correspondence and the Sons of Liberty are what they could do about it. They worked through intimidation. loyalty oaths and mob violence so anyone with romantic notions of heroes donning three-cornered hats and running to the sound of the guns can turn away now. This is not pretty. The Committees of Correspondence were the organizers, and communicators, notifying people of the abuses of the British. As the British squeezed harder against the American colonists, a shadow government was formed called the Committees of Safety that nudged British loyalists out of leadership roles... often with a hard shove. This avoided a general bloodbath. By 1775, the Committees became the local governments. According to historian T. H. Breen, "For ordinary people, they were community forums where personal loyalties were revealed, tested, and occasionally punished. ... Serving on committees of safety ... was certainly not an activity for the faint of heart." Resistance groups such as the Sons of Liberty were also members of these committees. They used hot pine tar and feathers to convince British loyalists of the error of their ways. (Hot pine tar is about 130 degrees, the temperature of hot water from the faucet.) Some notable members were Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry and Paul Revere. The Disney film about Johnny Tremain and the Sons of Liberty is a figment of the imagination. Nice songs though. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

A Legal Expert Declares That Magic Exists!

Sir William Blackstone is the preeminent legal expert in British law. He has arranged the study of law into something comprehensible, systematic and logical... and he can actually write! This year he publishes his famous Commentaries on the Laws of England. This is a best seller in legal circles. And it will be used by future United States Supreme Court justices to figure out what British law meant at the time of the adoption of the Constitution. Language changes. Knowing what an expert in British law thought those words meant at the time is invaluable. [12]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In Commentaries, Blackstone argues that magic exists in the world. He writes, "To deny the possibility, nay, actual existence, of witchcraft and sorcery is flatly to contradict the revealed word of God;" The crime of witchcraft was repealed in Great Britain in 1736, so he was not arguing that witches should be arrested. He was coming at the subject logically... if you believe A then you must also believe B. If one believes that the Bible is true, then one is compelled to believe that witchcraft exists since the Bible treats magic as if it was real. I look at magic in this way... I've never seen magic in my life, but if I ever saw magic, I would categorize it the same way that Arthur C. Clarke did, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Thus I would wonder what technology made that crazy thing I saw happen. [13] [14]

Little Goody Two-Shoes and the Gods of the Copybook Headings

Little Goody Two-Shoes is a children's story published this year by an anonymous author. It is the story of a little rich girls named Margery who is orphaned along with her brother. With the farm lost all the money gone, she must walk barefoot until the local parson finds a donor who is willing to buy Margery some new clothes and a new pair of shoes. She is so excited that she shouts to the neighbors "Two Shoes! Two Shoes" and so she is called "Goody Two Shoes" forever more. Her adventures will become very popular as they teach children virtuous behavior. The word "Goody" is an honorific like Miss or Mistress except that it denotes someone of lower rank. The term "Goody" will become more of a criticism by the early 20th century as in "goody goody". [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Teaching children the values that adults think are important is a window into the souls of the people creating the material. With Goody Two-Shoes, we see worries about debt, death and the duty of the rich to help the poor. Fine lessons. In modern society we have different lessons to teach and we push them just as hard. One day I noticed by granddaughter working on an essay for school. It was a lesson on research, finding facts and organizing them into an essay. The subject didn't matter, but when I looked at the list of subjects I noticed a pattern. The secondary lesson was a liberal one as you might imagine. I am reminded of the famous poem by Rudyard Kipling entitled: "The Gods of the Copybook Headings." Copybooks are used to teach penmanship. At the top is a sentence that the student is required to copy over and over again. What is written at the top is the secondary lesson. It enters the mind, and he remembers. I suggest reading the poem. (see below). It may be too long to read now. Just so you remember the warning. Pithy sentences that seem to offer the wisdom of the ages, often mislead a generation. Through the ages we have been offered this wisdom and here we are again, older but no wiser. Beware.
The Gods of the Copybook Headings

    AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
    I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
    Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

    We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
    That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
    But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
    So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

    We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
    Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
    But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
    That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

    With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
    They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
    They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
    So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

    When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

    On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
    (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
    Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

    In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
    By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
    But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

    Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
    And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
    That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

    As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
    There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
    That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
    And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return! 

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1765, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. John Joachim Zubly - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 4 February 2016. “After the Stamp Act in 1765, some of his sermons began to be issued as pamphlets, most notably An Humble Enquiry Into the Nature of the Dependency of the American Colonies upon the Parliament of Great-Britain and the Right of Parliament to Lay Taxes on the said Colonies. His reasoning helped to clarify the differences and relationships between constitutions, legislatures, laws, and people. Bernard Bailyn credits him with making important contributions to the consideration of representative legislatures by identifying some of the issues involved.”
  2. Billeting - definition of billeting (2016). Retrieved on 12 April 2016. “To serve (a person) with a written order to provide lodging for soldiers.”
  3. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 354-355. 
  4. Committee of correspondence - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 April 2016. “The first formal committee was established in Boston in 1764 to rally opposition to the Currency Act and unpopular reforms imposed on the customs service. During the Stamp Act Crisis the following year, New York formed a committee to urge common resistance among its neighbors to the new taxes. The Province of Massachusetts Bay correspondents responded by urging other colonies to send delegates to the Stamp Act Congress that fall. The resulting committees disbanded after the crisis was over. Boston, whose radical leaders thought it was under increasingly hostile threats by the royal government, set up the first long-standing committee with the approval of a town meeting in late 1772.”
  5. Committees of safety (American Revolution) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 April 2016. “For ordinary people, they were community forums where personal loyalties were revealed, tested, and occasionally punished. ... Serving on committees of safety ... was certainly not an activity for the faint of heart. The members of these groups exposed ideological dissenters, usually people well-known in the communities in which they lived. Although the committees attempted as best they could to avoid physical violence, they administered revolutionary justice as they alone defined it. They worked out their own investigative procedures, interrogated people suspected of undermining the American cause, and meted out punishments they deemed appropriate to the crimes. By mid-1775 the committees increasingly busied themselves with identifying, denouncing, and shunning political offenders.”
  6. Sons of Liberty - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 April 2016. “The Sons of Liberty popularized the use of tar and feathering to punish and humiliate offending government officials starting in 1767. This method was also used against British Loyalists during the American Revolution. This punishment had long been used by sailors to punish their mates.”
  7. York, Neil L. (Fall 2008). "Son of Liberty: Johnny Tremain and the Art of Making American Patriots". Early American Studies (University of Pennsylvania Press) 6 (2): 422-447. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23546579. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  8. Johnny Tremain (1957) -. IMDb (2016). Retrieved on 12 April 2016. “Johnny Tremain is drawn into the Revolutionary War, and becomes a patriot fighting to free the colonies from England. Along the way he learns about life and about himself.”
  9. Walt Disney's Johnny Tremain (1957) and the singing of 'The Sons of Liberty'. YouTube (2016). Retrieved on 12 April 2016.
  10. McAnear, Beverly (October 1947). "Albany Stamp Act Riots, The". The William and Mary Quarterly (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture) 4 (4): 486-498. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1919638. Retrieved 12 April 2016. "In New York this opposition during the closing months of I765 seems to have been centered almost entirely in New York City.1 Albany at first was quiet, and claim was later made that "there was no appearance of an opposition to the Stamp Act . . ." until the Albany assemblymen returned to their constituency from New York City. Shortly thereafter, the opinions of the Albanians changed to a mood of open opposition to the tax, and they adopted the methods of resistance already developed in New York City. The local merchants signed non-importation agreements and the Sons of Liberty were organized to prevent the appointment of a local deputy to the stamp tax collector. The Sons' method was to bring a suspected applicant before them and exact a promise that their victim would never accept such an appointment.". 
  11. Henry, Bruce (February 1976). "Dr. Thomas Young and the Boston Committee of Correspondence". Huntington Library Quarterly (University of Pennsylvania Press) 39 (2): 219-221. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3816942. Retrieved 12 April 2016. "DURING THE early stages of the American Revolution, groups known as committees of correspondence played a central role in organizing colonial opposition to British measures. They exchanged intelligence, aroused public opinion, promoted common viewpoints, broke barriers of distance, and built up morale among militants.". 
  12. Commentaries on the Laws of England - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 April 2016. “The Commentaries were long regarded as the leading work on the development of English law and played a role in the development of the American legal system. They were in fact the first methodical treatise on the common law suitable for a lay readership since at least the Middle Ages.”
  13. Clarke's three laws - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 April 2016. “Clarke's first law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. Clarke's second law: The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. Clarke's third law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
  14. Age of Voltaire: A History of Civilization in Western Europe from 1715 to 1756, With Special Emphasis on the Conflict Between Religion and Philosophy, The, The Story Of Civilization. Simon and Schuster. “In 1736 the "divines of the Associated Presbyteries" of Scotland passed a resolution reaffirming their belief in witchcraft; and as late as 1765 the most famous of English jurists. Sir William Blackstone, wrote in his Commentaries: "To deny the possibility, nay, actual existence, of witchcraft and sorcery is flatly to contradict the revealed word of God; ... the thing itself is a truth to which every nation in the world hath in its turn borne testimony." Despite Blackstone and the Bible the English law that had made witchcraft a felony was repealed in 1736. No execution for witchcraft is recorded in France after 1718, none in Scotland after 1722; an execution in Switzerland in 1782 is the last recorded on the European Continent.^ Gradually the increase of wealth and towns, the spread of education, the experiments of scientists, the appeals of scholars and philosophers reduced the role of devils and ghosts in human life and thought, and judges, defying popular fanaticism, refused to hear accusations of sorcery. Europe began to forget that it had sacrificed 100,000 men, women, and girls to just one of its superstitions.” 
  15. Oliver Goldsmith - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 4 April 2016. “Goldsmith is also thought to have written the classic children's tale The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes.”
  16. The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 4 April 2016. “The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes is a children's story published by John Newbery in London in 1765. The story popularized the phrase 'goody two-shoes', often used to describe an excessively virtuous person, a do-gooder.”
  17. Goody Two-Shoes (1888) - Wikisource, the free online library. en.wikisource.org (2016). Retrieved on 12 April 2016. “Poor Margery was very lonely indeed, without her brother, and might have cried herself sick but for the new shoes that were brought home to her. They turned her thoughts from her grief; and as soon as The Orphans Two Shoes, Ma'am, Two Shoes! she had put them on she ran in to Mrs. Smith and cried out: 'Two shoes, ma'am, two shoes!' These words she repeated to every one she met, and thus it was she got the name of Goody Two Shoes”
  18. 18th Century Children’s Book: The History of Goody Little Two Shoes. Jane Austen's World (May 19, 2011). Retrieved on 12 April 2016. “In it, a young orphaned girl called Miss Margery Meanwell is so poor she only has half a pair of shoes. When a friend gives her an actual pair of shoes as a gift, she becomes known to the other children as Little Goody Two Shoes.”
  19. Where Did the Phrase 'Goody Two-Shoes' Come From? -. Mental Floss (September 15, 2015). Retrieved on 12 April 2016. “But the story definitely helped create the idea of a 'goody' being someone who is always dutiful and well-behaved. Originally, that wasn’t always a bad thing (see the taste for gratingly virtuous heroines mentioned above). By the 1870s, there was another phrase, 'goody goody,' based on an early 19th century sense of 'goody' as someone 'characterized by inept manifestations of good or pious sentiment.'”
  20. Goodwife - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 April 2016. “Goodwife (Scots: Guidwife), usually abbreviated Goody, was a polite form of address for women, formerly used where 'Mrs.', 'Miss' and 'Ms.' would be used today.”

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