American Colonies, Freedom to Worship, East India Company, Tea Tax, Tea Act, Boston Tea Party, Intolerable Acts, Continental Army and an American Nation

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 1st, 2012

Politics 101

As Parliament passed additional Revenue Acts Anger grew in the Colonies, especially in Boston

Prior to 1775 the American colonies were many things.  But there was one thing they were not.  United.  Many people went to America to escape religious persecution.  To live with people of their own faith.  To practice their faith without fear of reprisal or oppression.  And that’s exactly what they did.  Often oppressing fellow colonists who didn’t practice the established faith of the colony.  But they were united in one area.  Their hatred of Catholics.  Papists.  Those who lost their way and began to worship not Jesus Christ but the Pope.  That Whore of Babylon.  The seller of indulgences to buy your way out of purgatory.  And virtue.  So they had that to unite them.  But not much else.

Live and let live, they said.  As long as you worshipped Jesus Christ you were okay.  And weren’t a Jew.  Or a Catholic.  So the different denominations of the Protestant faith lived among their own.  In their own colony.  Their country.  The only sense of country they had.  Virginians weren’t American colonists.  They were Virginians.  Who didn’t much care what was going on up there in Massachusetts.  In fact, they didn’t much like what was happening up there in Massachusetts.  For Virginians were planters.  Yeoman farmers.  People who put their back into their living.  Not like those northern merchants.  And money handlers.  Who reeked just a little too much of the Old World they left.  Sitting on their backsides and making money just by buying and selling the products of other’s labors.

Life in the New World was good.  Yes, there was famine.  Disease.  And the occasional massacre.  But they could live with that.  As long as they had the freedom to worship as they pleased.  But then all that trouble started up there in Boston.  Over taxed and broke Parliament turned to their American colonies to raise some revenue.  Which angered the British Americans.  Because they didn’t sit in Parliament.  The Americans had no representation.  And according to British law taxpayers had to approve all new taxes.  Giving consent to those taxes in Parliament.  The problem with the Americans, apparently, was that they were on the ‘wrong’ side of the Atlantic.  For Britons living on the far side of the Atlantic had those rights.  They didn’t.  As Parliament passed additional revenue acts anger grew in the colonies. Especially in Boston.  Where Parliament installed British administrators to enforce these new revenue acts.  To protect their agents the British sent in the Red coats.  A peacetime occupying army.  Something very un-English that the British Americans did not like.

In Response to the Boston Tea Party Parliament passed the Intolerable Acts and closed the Port of Boston  

But the trouble didn’t end there.  The British made further attempts to raise revenue from the American colonists.  And from the British East India Company.  By taxing their tea.  Making it more expensive than the tea you could buy in the Netherlands.  Where there was no such tax.  So people did what people do with high taxes.  They didn’t pay them.  And smuggled Dutch tea into Great Britain.  And the American colonies.  Which left the East India Company with some warehouses full of tea.  So Parliament cut the tea tax due in Britain to help them.  And tried to make up for these lost revenues by taxing the Americans.  One of the new taxes included in the Townshend Revenue Act of 1767.  In response to the new tea tax the Americans boycotted tea.  Which didn’t help sell any of that warehoused tea.  So Parliament repealed the Townshend Revenue Act.  Well, all of it except the tea tax.  For they didn’t want to appear that they didn’t have the right to tax their subjects.  Represented or not.  And Parliament taxed the tea in Britain again.  This, of course, resulted in lower tea sales.  And the mighty East India Company, that made Britain so wealthy with its vast trade network, was in some serious financial peril.

Lord North, British Prime Minister, didn’t much like this uppity attitude of the Americans.  The East India Company desperately wanted to see those tea taxes cut.  But Lord North did not want to give the Americans that victory.  It was a matter of principle.  At least for him and his fellow Tories in Parliament.  As well as the Crown.  For King George III and Lord North were pretty close.  The Whig opposition was much more sympathetic to their British Brethren on the other side of the Atlantic.  But Lord North was adamant.  They had the right to tax the Americans.  And tax they would.  Besides, cutting the taxes in the Townshend Act caused other problems.  It would also eliminate the revenue it raised to pay the salaries of the colonial officials enforcing these new acts.  And it was important to keep them loyal to the Crown.  No.  The taxes in America would remain.  So their answer was, instead, the Tea Act of 1773.  Which removed the taxes due in Britain.  And allowed the East India Company to ship directly to the America colonies.  Cutting out the middleman.  And bringing the price of British tea below that of the smuggled Dutch tea.  Problem solved.

Well, not exactly.  Because the one thing they did share on both sides of the Atlantic was principle.  And even though British tea was cheaper they didn’t want anything to do with it.  On principle.  Because those Townshend tea taxes were still in force.  And paying them was a tacit admission that Parliament had the right to tax the Americans.  Despite not having any representation in that esteemed assembly.  And this they could not do.  Then came the day three little ships came to Boston harbor in 1773.  Their holds full of that detested British tea.  And a mob in the guise of Mohawk Indians descended to the docks.  Boarded these ships.  And tossed the tea overboard.  In what we call the Boston Tea Party.  Infuriating Lord North, Parliament and King George III.  Who all agreed it was time to act against these uppity Americans.  And act they did.  Passing the punitive Intolerable Acts of 1774.  That closed the Port of Boston.  Replaced the Colonial government in Massachusetts with representatives of the Crown.  Royal officials accused of committing a crime against any American would receive a ‘fair’ trial…in Great Britain (pretty much giving them a license to kill).  Forced the Americans to find room and board for the British Army occupying their cities.  And gave large swaths of land around the Great Lakes and Ohio River Valley to the Province of Quebec.  Recently added to the British Empire during the Seven Years’ War.  After they defeated their most hated and foul enemy.  The French.  Who were very, very Catholic.  As were their colonists who remained in these once French lands that were now British lands.  So to keep them from causing trouble the Quebec Act made things very comfortable for Catholics.  Right in the backyard of Protestant British North America. 

It was in the Continental Army the Country united and fulfilled the Words of the Declaration of Independence

In April of 1775 General Gage heard that there were some arms stored in Concord, Massachusetts.  So he sent some Red coats to go capture or destroy these arms.  Things did not go well for the British.  Militia gathered and stood their ground.  Shots rang out.  No one is sure who fired first.  But whoever did fired the shot heard ’round the world.  On the march back to Boston the British were harassed and picked off by sharpshooters.  Until they limped back into the safety of their Boston garrison.  Where the militia fell upon them and laid siege.  These uppity Americans for all intents and purposes had just declared war against the world’s greatest superpower.  And there was no going back.

In response to the British actions in Boston the colonies assembled in congress.  The Continental Congress.  To discuss what they as a united people should do.  For if these outrages could happen in Boston they could happen in any of the colonies.  And now that they spilled blood they needed someone to lead the American forces in their fight against the Crown.  They selected George Washington.  Who left the Congress to take charge in Boston.  And as he walked the lines at Boston he saw Americans.  And when his army marched to Quebec (to get the now British French-Canadians to join in the good fight) he saw Americans.  It was in the Continental Army the country united.  Fighting alongside in the ranks Washington saw Virginians.  Massachusetts men.  Farmers.  Merchants.  Puritans.  Baptists.  Catholics.  Jews.  Even free blacks.

There was nothing a British American enjoyed more than burning an effigy of the Pope.  That would change in the Army.  And the Army would change the country.  Especially the men who served in the Army.  Men like Washington.  Who first glimpsed a new nation.  A united nation.  That transcended religion.  The states.  Even race.  Which really brought home the words of the Declaration of Independence.  That all men are created equal.  And there’s nothing that makes men more equal than suffering the privations and horrors of war.  Sadly, after the war when the common enemy was no more the spirit of these words became a little more symbolic for some.  But these army veterans would leave their mark.  And their vision would eventually become reality for everyone.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

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Big Government Business as Usual – Corruption and Failure

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 23rd, 2010

With Representation We Don’t Need Violent Revolution to Change Our Government

Republican congressional candidate (Dallas’ 30th Congressional District) Stephen Broden is talking crazy talk.  Which is a real shame.  Among the things he has said include this (see Republican congressional candidate says violent overthrow of government is ‘on the table’ from The Dallas Morning News by Melanie Mason):

“If the government is not producing the results or has become destructive to the ends of our liberties, we have a right to get rid of that government and to get rid of it by any means necessary,” Broden said, adding the nation was founded on a violent revolt against Britain’s King George III.

While it is true that we did use violent revolution to get rid of the government of Great Britain, that was then.  This is now.  We have something our Founding Fathers didn’t.  Representation.

If we can’t vote a government out of office, we sure don’t want to overthrow it by violent revolution.  If you think we lack unity now, just wait until you throw violence into the mix.  Think of the 4 long years of the American Civil War that killed more Americans than all other of America’s wars combined.  Think of the French Revolution and how even Robespierre, the architect of The Reign of Terror, was trundled off to the guillotine.  Think about America’s 8-year Revolutionary War in the south where it devolved into a bloody civil war between Loyalist and Patriot, neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother.  This is how violent overthrows of government go.  No, we don’t want this.  Especially when we have the right to vote.

The problem we have is an educational one.  If we understood our history, if we understood economic fundamentals, there would be no frustration and talks of violent overthrow.  There would be no need.  We would already have won at the ballot box.

Barney Frank Steals from Us in a Roundabout Way

That said, one can understand people’s frustrations.  Because some politicians are just so blatant in their corruption.  Take Barney Frank (please).  He is one of the architects of the subprime mortgage crisis, TARP, bailouts and author of new financial regulation to prevent people like him from raping and pillaging the American people again.  And he’s Wall Street’s bitch (see Barney Frank rakes in $40G from bailed out banks by Dave Wedge writing in the Boston Herald).

Frank vowed in February 2009 that he wouldn’t accept campaign donations from banks that received money under the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) or political action committees tied to such institutions.

But Frank has hauled in thousands from top execs at Bank of America, Citizens Bank, Wainwright Bank, JP Morgan Chase and other institutions that received billions in TARP money.

It was Barney Frank’s push for affordable housing and his lack of oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that gave us the subprime mortgage crisis.  But he protects Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac still.  And during the debate over the new finance regulation, he unloaded vitriol of the highest degree on Wall Street, blaming them for all our woes.  And here he is, taking money from the same people he attacked.  And bailed out.  How coincidental.  Do they come more corrupt?

The Chevy Volt is Yet Another Big Government Failure

And speaking of bailouts, how about that Government Motors?  The Obama administration attacked GM for making the wrong kind of cars.  And what were they selling?  Trucks and SUVs.  Which is what the people want.  But the Left hates trucks and SUVs so Obama took over this car company to build the ‘right’ kind of car.  And what did they come up with?  Not much (see Volt Fraud At Government Motors in an Investor’s Business Daily editorial).

It turns out that this electric car is rather silly.  You have to pay people to buy it.  It has a limited range.  And very average mileage.

The gasoline engine has been found to be more than a range-extender for the battery. Volt engineers are now admitting that when the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery pack runs down and at speeds near or above 70 mph, the Volt’s gasoline engine will directly drive the front wheels along with the electric motors. That’s not charging the battery — that’s driving the car.

So it’s not an all-electric car, but rather a pricey $41,000 hybrid that requires a taxpayer-funded $7,500 subsidy to get car shoppers to look at it. But gee, even despite the false advertising about the powertrain, isn’t a car that gets 230 miles per gallon of gas worth it?

We heard GM’s then-CEO Fritz Henderson claim the Volt would get 230 miles per gallon in city conditions. Popular Mechanics found the Volt to get about 37.5 mpg in city driving, and Motor Trend reports: “Without any plugging in, (a weeklong trip to Grandma’s house) should return fuel economy in the high 30s to low 40s.”

Again, further reason for all that frustration over government.  Henderson was the government’s man after Obama forced out Rick Wagoner.  And, surprise surprise, he lied.  Big Government poured millions of our tax dollars into this electric lemon.  But why?  We could have bought the same thing from Toyota for a heck of a lot less. 

Politics – The Art of Corruption

The moral of this lesson?  The only thing government is really good at is corruption.  And to be honest, we really don’t need any more of that.  So let’s just vote this election season.  And have a peaceful change of power.  The American way. 

If John Adams could peacefully hand over power to Thomas Jefferson, the people in Dallas’ 30th Congressional District have little to worry about Stephen Broden.  Let’s not forget that there were those on the Left who said George W. Bush would legalize rape and put all gay people into one state.  Well, he didn’t.  People say stupid things during the heat of an election.  We need to look past the crazy to their philosophical basis.  And whether or not we want Barney Frank to be the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee any longer.  For if there is one thing we’ve learned, you don’t want the fox guarding the hen house.  Not anymore.

We don’t need Barney Frank practicing his art anymore.  Or anyone else in Big Government.  The art of corruption had its run.  We need a new show in Washington.  Something new.  Something different.  Here’s a thought.  How about something honest?

www.PITHOCRATES.com

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