The significance of Samuel Adams during the early years of the American Revolution

Date

1976

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Abstract

During the period of 1763-1774, Samuel Adams played an imported role in the American political scene. In the political crisis previous to 1767, Adams called attention to parliament’s violation of colonial rights. Adams affirmed that colonial Englishmen were being taxed without proper representation in the British Parliament. By making references to the philosophy of John Locke, Adams gave substance to his position. His enthusiasm and his ability to express colonial disenchantment made him a popular leader in Boston. When the Townshend duties were passed, Adams used propaganda to increase colonial opposition to undesirable taxes. By encouraging colonists to not import British products, Adams helped bring about colonial unity and partial repeal of the Townshend duties. When Adams established the Boston committee of correspondence, he was able to spread his propaganda throughout the colonies. The committee organization vastly improved communications and became the cornerstone of colonial unity. Adams used the committee system to stir up more American opposition to British control. In his conflicts with Governor Hutchinson, Adams used the committees to spread an exaggerated view of the governor’s position. He was so successful in this effort that Hutchinson called him “The Grand Incendiary of the Province.� By staging the Boston Tea Party, Adams demonstrated the strong convictions of the Boston Patriots. This event aroused other colonists from their indifference. The example of Boston was imitated by other colonists, and this resulted in united opposition to British power.

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Keywords

Samuel Adams, American political scene, cornerstone of colonial unity, propaganda

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