Back to Boston 1773: A New and An American Method of ‘Political Agitation’

Part 6: of an 18-part series

“…a new and an American method of political agitation
~ Richard Frothingham

  • “They hoped to build up their cause on the foundation of an intelligent public opinion.”
    – “Against the Townshend Acts were the declarations of the thirteen colonies, that the people had inherent rights, and that the powers of the king and the parliament were limited by the Constitution.”
    – “war on their dearly prized local self-government…the new scheme was regarded by Americans as…an aggression on the old usages, grown into a right, of fashioning the ‘internal police’.”
    – “as suicidal a policy as it would be for an American administration to aim at impairing the municipal liberties, which are perennial fountains of a noble public life.”
    “…a settled public opinion and conviction by a free people, as to the nature and value of their rights.”
    – “…the claim that the king’s instructions had the force of law, or that the people were under a personal government, was everywhere contested….The leaders… “never yielded to the fatal heresy of a personal government, or to the sweep of power covered by the Declaratory Act.
  • “The popular leaders enjoined the people to avoid mobs, confusions, tumults, the terrible spirit of disorder….”
    – “Aiming to avoid any thing like insurrection, and repelling the idea of revolution, they unfurled their banner under the noble aegis of law.”
    – “They based their action on social order.”

    To be continued…