Chapter One

The Road to the Revolutionary War: — Difficult Beginnings

© 2011 John Taylor

… Woe unto the shepherds of Israel that have fed themselves!

Should not the shepherds feed the sheep?

Ezekiel, Chapter 34, Verse 2

The magic elixir in the cauldron called British-North America came from many places. For eye of newt we had the Spanish Inquisition. For toe of frog we had the Reformation. And for wool of bat we had John Locke. (Excuse me Shakespeare.) What was happening in diverse places in Europe had an impact on the formation of the United States. We must take a broad view of Europe in order to understand the foundations of this country.

The first chapter will examine the Difficult Beginnings of this nation. The exciting developments of the 16th century included not only the discovery of the new world but also of bi-polar economic models to exploit this discovery. One model is exemplified by England and Spain: authority centralized in the crown. The other model was exemplified by the Netherlands: stock markets sprang up around Europe. If the crown represented one pole of economic life in the 16th century, the Netherlands represented the other pole. In the 21st century we have at least seven economic revolutions competing for our attention. In the 17th century it is difficult for us to perceive how people were battered by just one economic revolution.

There were two models in the 17th century trade revolution – the British model that was based on centralized planning concentrated on the Crown, and the Dutch model based on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange started about 1611. Perhaps the Dutch had started stock exchanges years before this. It was reported that the Dutch opened an exchange in Hamburg, Germany in the 1500s. The Amsterdam Exchange described by de la Vega had the modern equivalent of “puts”, “calls” and “options” as early as 1620. This was the Dutch secret weapon that the British had to overcome. Think “Cold War” and take it back 400 years. The difference between London and Amsterdam may be summed up with one word – diversity. When Castile was finally able to consolidate it’s rule over Spain many of its Moslems and Jews had to leave.

I proposed in Economic Revolutions and the Role of Foreign Direct Investment, that 400 years ago there was only one “economic revolution”, the trade revolution. Today we are coexisting side by side with the trade, industrial, agricultural and extractive revolutions. Since Economic Revolutions was written, we have also had the computer revolution and the rise and fall (in 2008) of the financial revolution. The average person can identify with the “movers and shakers” as they try to make this country work. But instead of six economic revolutions, the colonist had to deal with only one.

Courtesy of Wikimedia

Joseph de la Vega is an example of the emigrants from the Iberian Peninsula. As luck would have it, his family moved to Amsterdam. We have to ask ourselves, “Who were the victors in this bipolar world? What can the echoes from the past tell us? What is the proper balance of power between the elite and the common citizen?”

The 150-year stretch from the first English settlements in America to Revolutionary War was a time of great unrest. Some of it was our fault – such as King Phillip’s War, some not – such as the Seven Years War with France. Some of the unrest was caused by factors familiar to us today – poor governance, bureaucracy and the power of the cabals. Many people were left with only three choices on their road to economic success. They could be so small that no one would pay any attention to them. They could seek out a patron, the king, a member of the English aristocracy or the “Lords of Trade”. An alternative was to hire a lawyer to argue your case. Your lawyer won or lost his case based on how eloquent he was. Hard to believe, but it becomes evident when we look at how Alexander Hamilton and William Bollan argued their cases (examples below). How we reacted in these times made a definite impact on our national DNA.

What was going on in the colonies in the 17th Century? Insurrections for one thing. Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676 in Virginia. Other colonies also had their spate of “rebellions.” The colonies existed to support the mother country. Three empires controlled or had a significant impact on the 13 Colonies: England, Spain and France. Many factors accounted for the relationship between the colonies and the mother country, be it England, Spain or France. One of the several common factors was trade. Within trade you could identify subcategories. Naval stores – directly necessary to keep the mother country powerful and able to defend itself against other powerful empires. Silver – globally recognized as “coin of the realm”. Other trade items were important – spices, cotton, food and raw materials. Controlling this trade led to acrimony between the colonies and the mother country, just as it led to acrimony between the states in the early 19th Century. Part of the acrimony must have been due to perceived roles held by the colonist and London.

What do people do? This is not an idle question. It is fair to say that farmers of the 17th century faced many of the same situations as farmers of today. Shopkeepers three and a half centuries ago faced many of the same situations as the shopkeepers of today. But the defining economic model for “developed countries” is quite different today than early colonial days.


Early Settlers

Early settlers included trades people (for example, fellmongers, blacksmiths, and stucco workers), medical workers (midwifes, surgeons and apothecaries) and workers in the wholesale and retail trades (merchants, grocers and shopkeeper). There were also a great number of farmers. This was before the Agricultural Revolution of the harvester, chemical fertilizers and herbicides so it took a lot more farmers to feed the city dwellers. We are well aware of those who arrived at our shores as slaves or for religious reasons. Bailyn proposes that emigrants arrived here as a continuation of internal migration in Europe. Some sold their belongings in Europe to pay they way. Some came as indentured servants. Some, like my ancestor and namesake, were “transported” to the colonies in lieu of being hung at the gallows for stealing a brass pot.

Then there were those who came to strike it rich as an entrepreneur or government operative. These came to make the whole system work. Charles Andrews tells us that there were many faceless “Commissions” that controlled trade with the colonies in the 17th Century. Let me just list those for the quarter century between 1621 and 1646. The Privy Council, the Commission of Trade, the Privy Council Committee of Trade, the Temporary Plantation Commissions, the Laud Commission for Plantations, the subcommittees for Plantations, and the Privy Council in control. We can see that the closest advisors to the king were in charge of the relationship with the colonies. Not a government department or a branch the House of Commons. In considering the problems of a New England entrepreneur, Richard Wharton (who we will consider below), he went to many people, including the Lord Mayor of London, to solve his business problems.

The commissions were sometimes powerful and arbitrary, and at other times weak and passive. Andrews cites a time in the mid-17th Century when the Commission went from one form to another. From the time that a Colonist identified a problem, composed a request for help, sent the request to London, had the request considered, and the results returned to the Colonist, the composition of the Commission would have changed. So his opponent in the Colonies could get the person’s response overturned.

But wait! Not all was lost. The first Colonist could appeal to the Lord Mayor of London, or even the Committee of the Admiralty. If he got a ruling in his favor, he could go … . But wait. I think that we get the picture.

Andrews wrote that a pair of London merchants, Noell and Povey, proposed to Cromwell in 1654 that a committee be set up for the governance of the colony. While it wasn’t mentioned which colony the proposal referred to, Andrews assumed that it was Jamaica. Noell and Povey recommended that the seven members of the council have certain powers, including:

to be able to give up once in a year unto his Highness a perfect Intelligence and Account of the Government of every place, of their complaints, their wants,…

While Noell and Povey were not recommending anything like the Magna Charta, they certainly felt safe enough to propose a little loosening of the control of the colonies to the “Lord Protector of England”. While no one can claim that Noell and Povey were philanthropist, they had some insight into the beneficial running of a business.

In the hundred years before the American Revolution England, under different kings and rulers, attempted to create a reasonable relationship with the colonist. The first sentence of the “Instructions for a Councill of Trade” drafted in 1660 for the new King Charles II:

You shall in the first place consider, and propound how to remedy inconveniencys of the English trade, in all the respective dominions of those Princes and States which whom his Matie may renew Alliance, and to that end make due enquiry into such former treaties as relate to Trade.

This worked well for the colonies north of Maine and in the Caribbean. Is it any wonder then that London would become provoked by 13 colonies that acted like smugglers? And how would London feel if these 13 colonies refused to obey the Treaty of Paris they signed in 1783?

A bureaucracy is needed to run a government. How much bureaucracy is a critical question. If we look at the world today we can see that the regular citizens in those countries (say, Egypt and Paraguay) that have a complicated bureaucracy enjoy a lower standard of living. The “power elite” however enjoy a disproportionate higher standard of living. Andrews tells us how the Council for Plantations was set up under King Charles II in the early 1670s:

The commission was issued on July 30, 1670, to ten persons, …. The allowances and salaries were as follows: the Earl of Sandwich, as president, received £700 ($143,000); Lord Gorges, Lord Allington, Thomas Grey, Henry Brouncker, Sir Humphrey Winch, Sir John Finch, Edmund Waller, Henry Slingsby, Silas Titus, and John Evelyn, each £500 ($103,000), paid quarterly [italics mine]. Dr. Benjamin Worsley, who held the position of advisor and assistant secretary under Slingsby, the secretary of the Council, was allowed £300 ($61,500), while for contingent expenses £1,000 ($205,000),…. It [the Council] was authorized to employ clerks, messengers, solicitors, doorkeepers, and other inferior officers and attendants as it should think fit and necessary for its service.”

(See Chapter Notes about calculating pounds sterling to dollars)

Not bad for part-time work. Since there were no rules, each case had to be decided on the persuasiveness of the petitioner. In most cases, council members received indirect benefits for their services. In modern times we call this “influence peddling”. The meetings were held in secret. When the petitioner was located across the ocean, justice could be slow in coming.

But, alas, this Council was was dissolved in 1672. According to Andrews, the Council costs only about $2 million a year to operate. But quoting Povey, King Charles II had other reasons:

His Matie since his happy Restoraton, rightly considering of how great Consequence his foreign Plantations are to this Crowne, hath at several times Commissionated certain select persons to be Councells for the Plantations, … have all expired without any considerable advantage, or satisfaction to his Matie or the Plantations. … they proved fruitless, … produce very imperfect and weak effects. … this little Council became faint and ineffectual.

The king controlled trade in the colonies until 1675, when he created the Lords of Trade. The Lords of Trade must have met with some success because they lasted for 20 years. They were replaced by the Board of Trade in Plantations in 1696 which lasted for over 80 years. [The control of the colonies during the period from 1768 to 1782 was assumed by the new Secretary of State for the colonies and remained in his charge until his office also was abolished in the same year.]


“ … your sister Wharton’s two daughters … are like to continue as ancient maids … Sarah being 25 or 26 years old.”

Early settlers were a diverse group. Nowhere is this better shown than with the Wharton family. The father incredibly rich, the daughters old maids. Sarah and Bethia were daughters of Richard Wharton, a man who was determined to find fame and fortune in the New World. But the English colonial system was fickle and problematic. He tried several devices to advance his case including Massachusetts courts and the London elite. When one of the London power elite changed sides, he went back to garner support from another corner. His efforts wore him out. He died in 1689. Sarah and Bethia were able to support themselves with a small shop in Boston. Not all immigrants were as unlucky as Richard Wharton, or as lucky as Sarah and Bethia. Life in the Colonies depended on patronage. The governor (most appointed by London) handed out many jobs and monopolies, the Lords of Trade and other bureaucrats in London handed out others.

Why should we care what happened to the two shopkeepers, Sarah and Bethia? We should care because it was symbolic of the chaos and suffering that was happening in our country a hundred years before the Revolution. According to Barnes, Wharton came to New England, seeing it not as a refuge but as a new frontier of England. Wharton traveled back and forth between New England and London, attempting to cement the deals he made in the New World. In 1688 Wharton enlisted Sir John Shorter, Lord Mayor of London, to help with his mining ventures. Wharton had vast tracks of land, totaling about 500,000 acres. He got it the hard way, a piece at a time. He got 1,000 acres in Maine in 1683. He traded one of his female Indian slaves for 500 acres in 1682. He had monopolies on salt, naval stores and fur trading.

In the end, Wharton had nothing, not his health, not his wealth. His daughters had their shop in Boston at a time when the colony was going into a severe economic decline. We might now call Wharton a “speculator”. I am sure that he and his friends referred to him as an “entrepreneur” or even an “adventurer”. Regardless, he took huge risk, for the possibility of huge gains, and lost – hugely.


There was a significant amount of political unrest in the New England colonies in the 17th century. The southern colonies were not immune from discord but a combination of factors, such as religion and ethnicity, conspired against New England. Boston, Massachusetts was the most important seaport in colonial times. Now the Port of Boston ranks below the Port of Tacoma in terms of tons shipped. The namesake of Boston, Massachusetts is Boston, County Lincolnshire England. Mention the port of Boston, England now and the best you will get is a laugh. But some years before Boston was founded in the colonies, the Port of Boston was the second most important port in England. In their time, both Bostons serving the same vital purpose: distributing imports to the hinterland.

What this reminds us of is that we cannot use a 21st century mindset to judge life, society and morals in the 18th century. The current reference to a colonial politician as a “rock star” of the Boston Commons, has no meaning to those times, nor justification today for his actions.

The southern colonies did not have such a highly developed international trade. When we look at the political, economic and geographic influences on the development of our nation, we shall see that the impact of this regionalism goes beyond the simple division of the colonies into such a division that it might be called creating a new “caste” between coastal towns and hinterland.

Let’s listen in to the echoes from New England:

Sir; I cannot but admire to hear that some Gentlemen still have a good Opinion of the late Disorders…in New-York, as if they had been for His Majesties Service, and the Security of that Province; and that such Monstrous Falshoods do find Credit,…

So, elaborated the “Gentleman” of New York in 1689. One might conclude that he does not like the Dutch (see the illustration below). Or it could be that this is simply the rhetoric that gentlemen of the 17th and 18th Centuries were expected to use. While New Amsterdam was ceded to England in England in 1667, the residents of New York expressed that artifice of a “liberal” lifestyle that was not found in “straight-laced” Boston. I am not trying to imply that the English in New York were biased, but the English Gentleman referred the insurrectionist as, “Jacobites or Persons ill affected to the Happy Revolution in England.” Andrews continues with this quote from the Gentleman:

The Leiut. Governour, Francis Nicholson, and the Council, being Protestants, resolved thereupon to suspend all Roman Catholicks from Command and Places of Trust in the Govemment, and accordingly suspended Major Baxter from being a Member of Council and Captain of a Company at Albany, and Bartholomew Russel from being Ensign in the Fort at New-York, they both being Papists, who forth-with left their Command, and departed the Province.

We were further informed that Captain Leysler (a Dutchman) had a ship loaded with wine in the harbor. This Dutchman refused to pay taxes on the wine and took over the fort guarding the harbor. Capt. Leysler then established a Committee of Safety, 86 years before the (British-)American Patriots established committees by the same name to harass the British Loyalist in the Colonies.


“ … Sir Edmond Androsse and his Accomplices Who also acted by an illegal and arbitrary Commission from the late King James … “

Said the colonist, who would not sign his name, of the Royal governor, Sir Edmond Andros, in 1691. He continued:

They considered that the men then usurping government in New-England were king James’s creatures, who had invaded both the liberty and property of English protestants after such a manner as perhaps the like was never known in any part of the world where the English nation has any government and the commission which they had obtained from the late king James was more illegal and arbitrary, …

Sir Edmond Andros (spelled Androsse by some Americans), governor of New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia. Founder the venerable institution of William and Mary College. A great man. Someone we would like to have as president, right? Perhaps not. A writer for the Canadian Government said, “Conflict between the government of Massachusetts and the home government was frequent and the colony may be said to have spearheaded the American Revolution that broke out in 1775.”

Second son of a Guernsey gentleman belonging to Charles I’s household. Appointed gentleman in ordinary to the Queen of Bohemia in 1660. Appointed by James Duke of York to be governor of the province of New York … Granted by Charles II. Knighted in 1678. Disputes with other colonies and recalled in 1681. James II appointed governor of colonies consolidated to form the dominion of New England. Made himself unpopular by carrying out King James instructions. Interfered with settlers lands and attempted to collect rents. On April 18, 1689 the people of Boston seized the governor and some of his subordinates and imprisoned them. Sir Edmund sent to England to be tried, but was released. In July 1692 returned to Virginia to be governor. Founded William and Mary College & made himself popular, quarreled with the church and was recalled in 1698. In 1704 was appointed governor of New Jersey.

How could one person be responsible for so much damage? For an answer, let’s look back at Richard Wharton and his two “old maid” daughters left to fend for themselves in Boston.


Some will say that you have to go back to the Stamp Act of 1765 to find the roots of the American Revolutionary War. Other people will say that the British assault on Lexington and Concord sparked the Revolution. An anonymous writer for the Biography/Administrative history section of the Colony of Massachusetts Collection from Collections Canada states that the Rebellion in New England in 1689 “spearheaded” the American Revolution of 1775. There may be some truth in this, even though almost 90 years separated the two events. What is apparent is that a cascade of events occurred that good people, on both sides of the ocean, were not able to control to prevent the tragedy and bloodshed of the war.

“The British fired upon themselves and the French look on in amazement [at the Battle of Monongahela River].”

Daniel Dulany, an Eaton educated attorney from Maryland, goes on to tell us how we successfully executed our part in the “French and Indian” War. The British General Braddock, evidently thinking that he was still back in Old England, left Richmond, Virginia to engage the French without making provisions for forts or back-up supplies on the route of march. Dulany continues:

He was fatally persuaded to believe … [that all he needed to say was] veni, vidi, vici. [and the enemy would be vanquished].

Of course, there had to be a reason for this terrible defeat. And who better to blame it on than, “ … the Indians, who have since his flight cut off many hundred people, and are daily perpetrating the most horrid cruelties.” Half of the colonial troops deserted and returned home. The English forces were thrown together in such a state of confusion that they shot at each other. The Virginians were shot at from behind by their own men and from the front by the enemy.

It amazed the American Colonist that one of the best trained armies of the world (British), with all the accouterments of modern warfare, could be defeated by a handful of French soldiers and “naked barbarians” who didn’t have one piece of artillery. What was the purpose of the mother country collecting taxes and and quartering troops in private residences if they couldn’t protect the people? Now we have to be reasonable in the question of quartering troops in private homes. John Carlyle, a Scottish merchant had a fine home in Alexandria, Virginia. He hosted Major General Edward Braddock when the general was getting ready to attack the French and Indians.

When one gentleman host another gentleman of equal rank it is one thing. But when farmer Joe is forced to provide bread and board to a squad of soldiers he neither knows or trust, it can cause some friction.

After General Braddock’s defeat, the settlers suffered severely at the hands of the French and Indians. Like now, there was an anti-military feeling among the Quaker and Mennonite communities in this area. The Quakers and Mennonites felt that they could live peacefully with the Indians. But the arrogance General Braddock insured that this was not to be the case.

The list of highly intelligent men of this era is long. Isaac Low, Thomas Hutchinson, Daniel Dulany, Joseph Galloway and Daniel Leonard to name a few. They were far overshadowed by the more famous — George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton. But the Dulany’s and Leonard’s are no less worthy of study.

In 1766 the Governor of Rhode Island, Stephen Hopkins, published a 48-page book in London. The book, titled The Grievances of the American Colonies Candidly Examined, The book is interesting from several standpoints, not all of them obvious. That it was priced at just one schilling is an historical archaism. To get the “feel” of the book, one has to read Hopkins’ epigraph and dedication. On the title page, Hopkins quotes Thompson:

“Midst the low murmurs of submissive Fear,

And mingled Rage, my Hampden rais’d his voice,

And to the LAWS appeal’d.”

Just as interesting was the dedication. Was it to the King? No. Was it to the Prime Minister? No. The dedication, in Hopkins’ own words, is below:

Hopkins, Stephen. The Grievances of the American Colonies Candidly Examined, from Archives Canada

Now it is time to turn to the Grievances, written a year after the Stamp Tax Act was passed. Hopkins argument in the Grievances was that the colonist had rights equal to the British subjects living in England. While it is true that England had her share of turmoil, England’s inability to understand the colonist amazed her loyal subjects overseas. Ninety years earlier Rhode Island suffered during King Phillips War. After this war, Rhode Island had to contend with Massachusetts and Connecticut trying to grab their land. The tone of Hopkins work was that London just didn’t know what the colonies were going through to remain loyal subjects.

Hopkins foreshadows the mid-19th Century argument about tariffs. In fact, one might say that our politicians had use the same words in a unpropitious context. Hopkins cited the adverse effect to the colonies of a 3-penny a gallon tariff on foreign molasses. In Chapter 17 of this work, we will see that Congressman-elect Lincoln claimed that there would be no adverse effect of a 3-penny a pound tariff on coffee. One could propose that Governor Hopkins was correct in foreshadowing the Revolutionary War and the future Congressman’s Lincoln’s was a deficient hypothesis that foreshadowed the Civil War. Hopkins’ essay is a mixture of eloquent history and theory mixed with the practical humdrum of colonial life. One of his arguments was: “…can she [England] possibly grow rich by their [the colonies] being made poor?” Is this not the same argument that could be made by an impartial observer of the Morrill Tariff of 1861; one that benefited the North by making the South poor? It bode ill that Hopkins ended with: “…they [the colonists] have always demeaned themselves as loyal, as dutiful subjects ought to do; and no kingdom or state or empire hath or ever had, colonies more obedient, more serviceable, more profitable than these have ever been.” Ignoring Hopkins’ plea cost Britain dearly.

Sheridan, in his British Credit Crisis of 1772 and the American Colonies, pointed out that the British focus was on India. After the Seven Years War (1763) the British had to consolidate their interest in the East Indies. In the Americas, the West Indies (the Caribbean) was very important, not the least for it’s sugar trade. Though not the primary object of England, North America was held in some interest, not the least for the fish off the Great Banks. Then, of course, there were the naval stores from New England and Canada and tobacco and cotton from the Southern Colonies. Cotton from the Americas would be replaced by cotton from India. This raises the question, whose fault was it that a settlement could not be negotiated between the 13 Colonies and England. An agreement was reached with the 14th Colony — Canada.

We saw earlier that there were parallels between the discussion about tariffs in the mid-18th century as there were in the mid-19th century. For us, the Revolutionary War settled the question of no taxes without representation. There was also a similar argument about nullification. According to Tyler, “…the American Revolution had just two stages: from about 1764 to 1776, its champions were Nullifiers,…” The colonist thought that they could nullify the laws passed by the British Parliament. Latter we will see how Kentucky and Virginia tried nullification in 1798. Like with the Revolutionary War, the South Carolina Nullification Crisis of the 1830s is considered by many as being a direct precursor of the Civil War.

“They did not leave until they had thoroughly gutted it, had burned or smashed his furniture, and had injured his person; …”

So Martin Howard, a prominent Rhode Island lawyer and politician, received his “just reward” from the citizens of Newport, Rhode Island for disagreeing with nullification, which made made him look like a British Loyalist. Being against the Stamp Tax Act was not enough for the good citizens of Rhode Island. Politics makes strange bed fellows Howard was a friend of Governor Stephens Hopkins who wrote so eloquently about the sufferings of the American colonist in his The Grievances of the American Colonies Candidly Examined. The citizens felt that they were in the right. How could anyone be against nullification when the economic damage wrought by London was so obvious. So far, the damage had been superficial. Sure, Howard had been injured, his home destroyed. The night before he had been hung in effigy on a 20 foot gallows, cut down and burned “…amidst the acclamation of thousands.” We have now a picture of popular political debate in the mid-18th Century. So what happened to the picture of stately gentlemen debating the heavy questions of the day at Independence Hall?

Pre-Revolutionary America was a confusing and contradictory place. A place where one could make enormous amounts of money (see De Lancy in the chapter below about loyalist) or lose everything including their life (see the comment about Wharton, above). A land of conservative people who wanted to obey the law, but knew a wrong when they saw it. Without a doubt, the Revolutionary War, and it’s aftermath changed our way of thinking, including thinking about the right of nullification.

Daniel Dulany opposed the Stamp Tax Act. Doesn’t that put him right in there with the Founding Fathers? But, Dulany had his property confiscated by the “Patriots” because he was not ardent enough in his opposition to the Act. Dulany’s pamphlet was used by William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, to argue against the Stamp Act in the British Parliament. Tyler tells us that Dulany was the foremost lawyer of Maryland. Dulany, born in Maryland, educated at Eaton College, was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1747. What were the crimes of this eminent barrister? It seems that because he wanted to change a bad law (Stamp Tax Act) through legal means, he was to be branded a “Tory” and his life destroyed.

A strong argument has been made that nullification was the rationale in 1764 for what was to be the American Revolutionary War The colonies wanted to “nullify” the Stamp Act of 1765. A few years after the ratification of the Constitution, nullification was Virginia and Kentucky’s response to the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798. Nullification was South Carolina’s response to the Tariff of 1828. Writing in 1897, Tyler said, “ … [nullification] has been deemed inadmissible, ― a doctrine which, under our present form of government, has been sternly condemned, in battle and blood, as a pestilent political heresy, … ” These oddities of political passion is what drove, and still drives, our political action. Tyler also quoted a “letter to the editor” challenge to the Stamp Act in a November 1764 issue of the Providence Gazette. It concluded with, “ … the good people of England very well knew that none but asses would stand still to be branded [pay the Stamp Act tax] … “ What is good for the goose, then, is not necessarily good for the gander. What was good for the Colonist before the Revolutionary War was not good for the Southerners before the Civil War.

It would be wrong to say that the two following cartoons from London were against the American Colonies. Compare The Repeal, Or the Funeral of Miss Ame-Stamp to the next cartoon, The Colonies Reduced. It is interesting to note that John Stuart, Lord Bute, makes a cameo appearance in both. John Stuart, the Scottish Lord Bute, was the English Prime Minister who appointed William Franklin (son of Ben Franklin) to be the Royal Governor of New Jersey. Along with leaders of foresight, there were some incredibly incompetent rulers. The frustration generated by this friction led to actions that had unanticipated results.

The Repeal, Or the Funeral of Miss Ame-Stamp
© Trustees of the British Museum

The British Tory rationale for the Stamp Act was to pay for the French and Indian Wars in the Colonies. But remember, the proper and more appropriate name for that conflict was the Seven Years War — a true world war with major battles fought elsewhere. British Whigs saw the fallacy behind the tax. The satirical cartoon below shows how some London merchants felt about the Stamp Tax. British Merchants lost money because of the act and were happy for it’s repeal. The messages in the cartoon range from the dog urinating on the first person in the procession to the family burial vault, which contains the skulls from the British Rebellions of 1715 and 1745. A statue of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, who argued in parliament against the Stamp Tax, is being loaded for shipment to the Colonies. Lord Bute (fifth from the left) was the Prime Minister who appointed William Franklin, son of Benjamin Franklin, the Royal Governor of New Jersey.

The Colonies Reduced, 1767 political cartoon courtesy
of the Library of Congress

The top frame shows Britannia dismembered, her colonies having been amputated. Below, a Frenchman steals a Native woman (America), Lord Bute attacks Britannia with a knife, while exposing her to attack from behind, and a Dutchman steals a ship.

Chapter Summary

The 16th century Europe was an amazing place. The Dutch were mass producing cargo ships which, when combined with other factors, gave them the edge in the race for control for world trade.

Luther’s Reformation was not just Martin Luther but also John Calvin, Menno Simons, and the Anglican reforms. Merle d’Aubigne, a Swiss religious authority, wrote extensively of the Reformation. D’Aubigne who wrote from 1817 to 1872 was so important that his works were collected, collated and published in 1875. In what turned out to be his last volume, Volume VIII, was particularly telling. He describes how “men of conscience” left Spain because of the Inquisition.

The Spanish Inquisition was not part of the Reformation but it was part of the intellectual churning in Europe that had far-reaching consequences for the world. One might say that the inquisition was necessary in order for the Catholic Church to define itself. When reading d’Aubigne, we find that “men of conscience” left Spain. But sometimes, the word inquisition brings to mind negative visions including torture. Residents of 15th century Spain had many geniuses. Driving out the men of conscience and the subjects of torture left Spain bereft of the genius necessary for a successful nation.

DNA analysis shows us that some of the Jewish people went to New Mexico. Others, including Joseph de la Vega, were welcomed to the Netherlands. Following this, almost in another world, we are fortunate that three English-speaking scholars were able to articulate the changes that were going on in society. Thomas Hobbs wrote his Leviathan, expounding his theory of the social contract, in 1651. John Locke wrote many works including Two Treatises of Government, published in 1690. Locke’s theory of natural rights had a great influence on Thomas Jefferson. David Hume published his Treatise of Human Nature in 1739. We can see the influence of Hobbs-Locke-Hume on Pre- and Post-Revolution politicians, both Loyalist and Partiots.

This formed the foundation for what happened in Chapter 1 and is the launching pad for framing the debate for the American Revolution and Constitution. We can see Locke reflected in the Declaration of Independence of 1776. The authors of the Federalist Papers, the foundation of the US Constitution of 1788, turned back the clock two millennium to the Greek Pericles, the Peloponnesian War, the Lycian Confederacy, the Achaean League and the Amphictyonic Council.

In Chapter 9 we will see the effect of the debate between those who argued the modern political philosophy versus those who argued the classical (or dead) political philosophy.

Chapter Bibliography/Notes

Andrews, Charles M. British Committees, Commissions, and Councils of Trade and Plantations, 1622-1675.

Andrews, Charles M. A Letter from a Gentleman of the City of New York (1689).

Bailyn, Bernard. The Peopling of British North America: an Introduction

Barnes, Viola F. “Richard Wharton a Seventeenth Century New England Colonial”

Canada, Library and Archives, Colony of Massachusetts collection, 1629-1769

D’Aubigne, Merle. History of the Reformation in Europe.

Dulany, Daniel. Military and Political Affairs in the Middle Colonies in 1755.

Greene, George Washington, A Short History of Rhode Island

Hallam, Henry. Constitutional History of England: Henry VII to George II.

Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan

Hopkins, Stephen. The Grievances of the American Colonies Candidly Examined.

Hume, David. A Treatise of Human Nature.

Locke, John. Second Treatise of Government.

Lovested, Brandon Gary, A Tale of Two Bostons.

Prince, Samuel. “Letter Describing the Boston Uprising (1689”

Rawson, Edward [the first secretary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, supposed author], The Revolution in New – England Justified, and the People there Vindicated from the Aspersions Cast upon them by Mr. John Palmer, in his Pretended Answer to the Declaration: Published by the Inhabitants of Boston, and the Country adjacent on the Day when they secured their late Oppressors, who acted by an Illegal and Arbitrary Commission from the last King James.

Stephen, ed. National Biography

Taylor, Economic Revolutions and the Role of Foreign Direct Investments

Tyler, The Literary History of the American Revolution: 1763-1783

World Port Source,

Currency Exchange and Translation

I used Stevens and Crary to convert pounds used in the various colonies to pounds sterling. Then I used the University of Wyoming’s website ( Currency.htm) to calculate 2010 dollars.

Notes about Proofreading

Spellings in the old days were “all over the place.” A writer is mandated to put “sic” after a misspelled word. I didn’t do it. I thought it occurred so often as to be too distracting. Also, our ancestral writers, both high and low, had the habit of using strange spellings and notations. For instance, “which” might be written as “wch“ which modern proofreaders changed to “w^{ch}” which I returned to “wch.” I removed the proofreaders marks (which don’t belong in a quote) and left the original for you to have fun deciphering.

A Chronology of Important Happenings in US History

Date Event
1603-1625 James I becomes King of England. Issues proclamation giving trade matters to special commission (not Privy Council) to encourage trade.
1620 Pilgrims landed at Pilgrim Rock. Before this century is over, the Pilgrims capture 1,000 Indians, sell them as slaves in the Caribbean, and take their lands for Pilgrim farms.
1625-1649 Charles I becomes King of England.
1649-1653 English Council of State, Executive Government of the Commonwealth of England.
1653-1658 Oliver Cromwell, 1st Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.
1658-1659 Richard Cromwell, 2nd Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.
1659-1660 English Council of State, Executive Government of the Commonwealth of England.
1660-1685 Charles II becomes King of England.
1675 King Phillip’s War begins in New England.
1685-1688 James II is King of England.
1688 King James II abdicates, the Dutch Prince William of Orange and his wife Mary ascend to the throne.
1689 The Revolution in New England. The Royal Governor, Sir Edmond Andros, is captured and sent to England to stand trial. Instead, he is returned to Virginia as the Royal Governor. Some cite this as the start of the American Revolutionary War.
1739 David Hume anonymously publishes his A Treatise of Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects.
1754 The Seven Year’s (French and Indian) War begins.
1756 William Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chatham, becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain until 1763, opposed Tory measures, negotiated with Benjamin Franklin in 1776.
1762 John Stuart, Earl of Bute (“Lord Bute”) becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain. Appoints William Franklin, son of Ben Franklin, Royal Governor of New Jersey.
1763 Royal Proclamation of October 7. Upon concluding the Treaty of Paris of 1763, King George authorizes the grant of 50 to 5,000 acres (depending on rank) to the soldiers in North America who served during the French and Indian War.
1765 The Stamp Tax Act Passed.
1766 The Stamp Tax Act Repealed.
1774 British Parliament passes Intolerable Acts to force the Colonies to toe the line.

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