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The Powder Alarm and Mobilization of the New England Countryside, 1774-1775

The mobilization of the countryside of New England proved widespread not only in a geographic sense, but also inclusive of the entire community. This event represented a popular uprising that encompassed more than a localized, focused protest known to have occurred occasionally in New England's history. Here was a widespread movement with a single shared objective: to fight for the common liberties of the body of people.
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Founders Day: November 28, 1782

Founder's Day originated from a proclamation by the United States Continental Congress on October 11, 1782, in response to Great Britain's expected military defeat in the American Revolutionary War. The war did not formally end until Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris on January 14, 1784. The purpose of the proclamation was essentially to thank God for America's good fortune in the Revolutionary War.
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Committee of Correspondence: The Revolution in Provincial Politics

This revolutionary assumption of authority outside the bounds of the traditional structure began in Berkshire County, a region where previously there had been relatively little participation in the politics of opposition. In early July sixty "deputies of the several towns" met at Stockbridge "to consult and advise what was necessary and prudent to be done." 2 Their unanimous resolutions combining a declaration of rights with a nonconsumption covenant and a pledge to maintain constitutional local government, set a pattern which other counties subsequently followed. One month later Worcester, the second county to convene, expanded the role of the county convention even further. Together these first two conventions demonstrated the breadth and depth of the provincial desire to repel invasions against the constitutional rights of Massachusetts.
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Boston Committee of Correspondence Enters Massachusetts Politics

The unanimous vote establishing the Boston Committee of Correspondence [on 3 November 1772] was a victory for the Boston Whigs. The governor's friends had tried to discourage interest in the meeting, and had themselves deliberately stayed away. Thus they left the field free to their opponents, a move which had significant results. Had the administration's supporters been present, division would have replaced unanimity in the town votes, and even more important, the membership of the committee might not have been so homogeneous in its opposition to the administration. In that event the work of the committee and indeed its entire career might have been very different. As it was, the committee would become a major vehicle of opposition to the royal administration and all it signified.
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The End of the Revolution and the Beginning of Independence

We most often define the Revolution as the War of Independence from rule by Great Britain. We also suppose that the Revolution began with the British efforts to seize gunpowder and cannon from the stores at Concord, Massachusetts. We also define the beginning of the Revolution as a battle that ensued when the British were resisted in their attempt to secure those guns and powder.

From a political standpoint, we look at the Stamp Act, Tea Tax, and the Massachusetts Port Act as the elements that provoked the actions at Lexington and Concord, on April 19, 1775.There were, however, a number of events, both political and rebellious, that predate the battle on Lexington Green. These events fall well within the period that John Adams defines as the Revolution — that period in which the public was "enlightened and informed concerning the authority of parliament over the colonies".

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King George reacts to the Fight for Independence

"Nothing could have afforded me so much satisfaction; as to have been able to inform you, at the opening of this session, that the troubles which have so long distracted my colonies in North America were at an end; and that my unhappy people, recovered from their delusion; had delivered themselves from the oppression of their leaders, and returned to their duty. But so daring and desperate is the spirit of those leaders, whose object has always been dominion and power, that they have now openly renounced all allegiance to the crown,
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Paul Revere's Other Riders

Neither Paul Revere nor William Dawes received news of the Regulars' advance by signal lanterns. In his classic "Paul Revere's Ride," published in 1861, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow exercised considerable poetic license with his legendary "One if by land, two if by sea" drama. Revere, "impatient to mount and ride," pats his horse, gazes across the landscape, and stamps the earth, fretfully passing the time for sixteen lines until he finally spots two lanterns in the steeple of Old North Church. Twenty years ago David Hackett Fischer laid this tale to rest, but the take-away from Fischer's meticulous deconstruction of the legend, in popular accounts and several modern textbooks, is merely that Revere did not ride alone: Dawes rode as well, they say, and some even mention Samuel Prescott.
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The True Start of the American Revolution

What could Massachusetts’ military governor, Thomas Gage, do about the uprising? Nothing. In Salem, the temporary provincial capital, patriots held a town meeting one block from the governor’s office, in direct violation of the Massachusetts Government Act. Then, when Gage arrested seven so-called ring-leaders for calling the meeting, three thousand farmers formed in an instant and marched on the jail, forcing the prisoners’ release. In neighboring Danvers, a town meeting continued “three howers longer than was necessary, to see if he [Gage] would interrupt them.” He did not. “Damn ’em,” he was said to blurt out. “I won’t do anything about it unless his Majesty send me more troops.”

Those troops finally arrived the following April, and it was then that Gage, under extreme pressure, moved to recapture the province that had been lost the previous year. Before sending out his troops, Gage dispatched spies to determine where to attack. They reported that a march on Worcester, a patriot stronghold and the largest storehouse of weaponry and powder, would be disastrous. Gage decided to go after Concord instead.

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America’s First Declaration of Independence

". . . you are to consider the people of this province absolved, on their part, from the obligation therein contained [the 1691 Massachusetts charter], and to all intents and purposes reduced to a state of nature; and you are to exert yourself in devising ways and means to raise from the dissolution of the old constitution, as from the ashes of the Phenix, a new form, wherein all officers shall be dependent on the suffrages of the people, whatever unfavorable constructions our enemies may put upon such procedure. "

This was indeed a declaration for independence. Since the new government must be based exclusively on the “suffrages of the people,” there could be no more monarchical prerogatives, as there were under British rule. Further, the new government would be formed without asking for the consent of existing British authorities. Although the Worcester document does not use the word “independent,” people at that point in time did label this move “independency.”

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British Point of View: Lexington & Concord 19 April 1775

The majority of the colonists did not want the breakdown of law and order these gangs and their leaders would bring, so determined Loyalists covertly supplied the British with good intelligence, including that rebels were amassing small arms and cannon at Concord.

Lt. General Gage commander of British forces who thought with good reason that the rebels were sly, artful, hypocritical, and cruel, knew that any wrong move would spark a civil war, so wishing to avoid bloodshed, devised a counter revolutionary plan to confiscate the rebel’s stockpile of gunpowder, musket balls and cannons.

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