The steps leading to revolt.
planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
24 May 2012
It seems very appropriate that I am now watching "Liberty! The American
Revolution", as I just finished watching another excellent PBS series,
"The War That Made America"--a mini-series that is about the period
from the French-Indian War to the Revolution. Here in part one of
"Liberty"", we pick up roughly where the other series ended. My advice,
by the way, is that you, too, see them both--they are treasures. Unlike
the other mini-series, however, "Liberty!" is unusual in that in
addition to interviews and narration, it consists of actors acting out
many, many scenes of the time--and they talk to the audience! In "The
War That Made America", there are some re-creations but they are fewer
and are not in the words of the participants like they are in
"Liberty!"--making it a truly unique series.
This first episode all takes place before the revolution begins.
Following the completion of the French-Indian War (also called the
Seven Years War), the British have a huge debt and they decide that the
Colonies should help pay for the war--since, after all, much of the war
had to do with protecting these Americans. However, the British made a
fundamental mistake. Up until then, like all British citizens, the
Americans were taxed but by their own elected officials. Instead of
going through colonial assemblies, the British IMPOSED taxes on the
colonists--and not surprisingly, these folks balked at their loss of
personal rights. This Act, while written with reasonable motives, was
hated and resulted in boycotts as well as protests to the King and
Parliament. In hindsight, Britain totally mishandled the situation. Had
they simply asked the colonial governments to enact a tax, it almost
certainly would have been enacted and followed. Instead, they
repeatedly made the wrong moves and antagonized the colonists. Among
the topics covered here are the Stamp Act, the Declaratory Act, the
Boston 'Massacre' and the Boston Tea Party. By the end of the show,
Massachusetts colony is nearly in rebellion and the British decide that
they've had enough.
Overall, a very succinct explanation of the problems that led to
rebellion. Much of it was from the viewpoint of Americans though some
British folks were interviewed as well--contributing a counter-point.
Well written, interesting and about as good an explanation on the road
to rebellion as you'll find.
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