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Angry mobs launched the American Revolution when they protested against British acts of tyranny. These rebels threatened, harassed, and chased away British officials and Loyalists. The Founding Fathers agreed with the goals of these Patriots, but not with their methods. Fearing anarchy, the Founders channeled the passions of the mobs toward independence.

Working together, the angry mobs and Founding Fathers defeated the mighty British army and won independence, but the new nation that emerged was anarchic and chaotic, much like the angry mobs themselves. Angry Mobs and Founding Fathers tells the little-known story of how these two groups fought for control of the American Revolution. Congratulations, Michael. I hope your book is a big success. When it is translated into Spanish, let me know so I can look for it here in Venezuela. My books are probably banned there.

I live here, Michael, and you should here what I have said and written about Hugo. Seriously, I hope some day I am able to read your books. But it would almost have to be a Spanish translation. Not many English language books for sale down here. You could always get it on Kindle or Nook, if you can have one of those. Links are at the bottom of the same page listed above. Between the two sites, the entire Chavez section is readable pages are on Google Books and on Amazon LookInside.

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Angry Mobs and Founding Fathers : The Fight for Control of the American Revolution

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These rebels threatened, harassed, and chased away British officials and Loyalists. The Founding Fathers agreed with the goals of these Patriots, but not with their methods. Fearing anarchy, the Founders channeled the passion of the mobs toward independence. Working together, the angry mobs and Founding Fathers defeated the mighty British army and won independence, but the new nation that emerged was anarchic and chaotic, much like the angry mobs themselves. The colonists reveled in the victory they'd helped the mother country to achieve.

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Colonists in would have thought the very idea of independence unthinkable, and probably downright mad. While Britain may have been especially powerful after the French and Indian War , they were also quite broke. Imperial wars waged on multiple continents over a period of several years were very expensive endeavors.

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At war's end, the British sought to recoup some of their costs from the Americans, who'd certainly benefited from the protection of British soldiers and the expansion of the realm westward. So, England issued the Proclamation of , prohibiting colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains, in order to avoid potentially costly and protracted frontier wars between settlers and Native Americans.

This, of course, angered white settlers who'd already pushed into the backcountry of Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as the elite Eastern planters who'd already speculated in the purchase of extensive land claims beyond the Appalachians. American ire only increased when England went on to pass a series of taxes, designed to enlist the colonies in helping to pay off their share of the war costs. For years, England had passed laws to regulate colonial trade in the interest of a mercantilist policy designed to ensure that imperial commerce benefited the mother country.

These laws supposedly bound American colonists to trade only with English merchants and ship their products only in English vessels, even if the Americans could find better prices through foreign traders. But until , the imperial government in London had allowed those laws to go largely unenforced, and the colonists had since become accustomed to a sense of self-determination during this period of so-called "salutary neglect.

In short, the British failed to appreciate just what a century of salutary neglect had done. While lawmakers in London believed they were simply enforcing their old laws and applying new ones for the good of the entire empire—including its American subjects—the colonists interpreted the new Parliamentary acts after very differently.

Colonists felt that these acts were violations of their liberty, unacceptable infringements of their rights as free Englishmen. When British officials tried to take such freedoms away, Americans not only protested, but they began to think and speak of those freedoms as their essential rights. British taxes and regulations on colonial commerce weren't entirely unknown before , but most had gone unenforced due to a combination of Britain's salutary neglect and Americans' ingenuity in bribing, smuggling, or otherwise skirting the rules.

Therefore, when Parliament passed the Sugar Act, it hardly considered such a tax as new or unorthodox. The Molasses Act of had sought to regulate the same items. It levied high duties of six pence per gallon on molasses, in an effort to shut down the trade between the French Caribbean where sugar plantations produced the molasses and New England where molasses was a principal ingredient for distilleries manufacturing rum.

The act actually cut those taxes in half, to three pence per gallon. But in contrast to the act, it also included new safeguards to ensure that it would actually be enforced. For merchants, this effectively meant a change from no tax to a three pence tax. The act also provided for stronger admiralty courts, where merchants accused of smuggling could be tried without a jury. See, colonial juries were notoriously sympathetic to their fellow Americans.

The ultimate effect was to create anxiety among colonists whose economic livelihoods were substantially threatened by the new—well, newly enforced—taxes and regulations: these were primarily the inhabitants of port towns along the coast. In , Parliament followed up the Sugar Act with the Stamp Act , a direct British tax on a wide variety of printed materials: everything from playing cards to court documents, land deeds, books, newspapers, and even dice.

Because each of those documents had to contain the official government stamp, colonists had to pay the tax whenever they wanted to purchase any of the printed items. In one sense, the Stamp Act was merely Parliament 's attempt to strengthen and enforce the long-ignored Navigation Acts, which had been passed a century earlier to ensure that valuable American exports—like tobacco—would have to travel through English ports. But in another sense, the Stamp Act marked a departure from all imperial regulations that preceded it, as it was the first time the British sought to gain revenues by taxing colonial commerce directly an "internal tax" instead of regulating trade an "external tax".

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Some of these revenues were supposed to go toward the cost of stationing British troops in North America, to ensure security and stability. So, American colonists responded to the Stamp Act with outrage. They quickly became alarmed at the prospect of a permanent standing army in their midst.

Local elites were offended by Parliament's challenge to their own authority. And a large cross-section of Americans who read books or newspapers, played cards or dice, or purchased any of the printed items specified in the Stamp Act, were angered not only by the financial burden incurred but by the principle of the matter: Parliament had directly taxed the colonists without their consent or the consent of their representatives.

Colonists thought of themselves as equals in the British Empire, not subordinates, and they couched their protests in language that invoked the rights of all Englishmen. If they allowed this precedent to stand, the reasoning went, then Parliament could forever run roughshod over them and their rights. British officials, on the other hand, thought of the colonists as a population subject to Parliamentary authority, and believed that the London government couldn't capitulate without surrendering that authority. Colonial resistance became violent over the summer of , when a shoemaker named Ebenezer Mackintosh led an angry mob on a building owned by Andrew Oliver, a merchant appointed to enforce the Stamp Act who was also a relative of Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson.