The word revolution stirs, in most American’s, visions of a great war to throw off the shackles of tyranny from a dictatorial king. America had reached a tipping point; it could no longer survive under such repression and hardships. American’s took up arms as a last resort, they had become desperate; willing to fight and die for their freedom.
One could ask what does this have to do with today. The Revolutionary War was so long ago. It has always been said one only has to look to history to see the future. Currently, American’s face similar conditions as those who first fought and died for our country - rising taxes, struggling families, scarcity of goods.
There are many parallels to be drawn between 1775 and 2013. For example, because of the high cost of the war the new nation tried printing their way out of debt
, with only the promise of the Congress to back them up causing the most dramatic depreciation of currency in American history.
In addition, Congress also borrowed heavily from France, the Netherlands, and Spain.
The government tried selling bonds with little success, having no choice they resorted to accepting loans from private citizens which they never paid back. The country was faced with overwhelming inflation, no work, and giant post-war debt.
Other parallels can be found in important factors leading to the war such as continuous violation of their rights by the British Government. The impact the parliament’s acts were having on the economy as well.
“The worst result of the Currency Act was the psychological impact it had on the colonists who realized control of their financial system was being completely removed from their own control and placed in the hands of Parliament.”
In 1773, the colonists staged a political protest known as The Boston Tea Party
against the new tax on tea. What followed were more acts meant to punish. Angered, the king, drafted the Intolerable Acts himself, also meant to punish the rebels and colonists alike finding themselves living under Martial Law (ML). (Examples of ML in the U.S, 1773, 1812, 1863, 1892, 1906, 1914, 1934, 1941, 2005)
“Martial law is the suspension of civil authority and the imposition of military authority. When we say a region or country is "under martial law," we mean to say that the military is in control of the area that it acts as the police, as the courts, as the legislature. The degree of control might vary - a nation may have a civilian legislature but have the courts administered by the military. Or the legislature and courts may operate under civilian control with a military ruler. In each case, martial law is in effect, even if it is not called "martial law.”
The British government went on creating ways to further force additional taxes and infringements on the people. Such as the Stamp Act of 1765, the colonists recognized this as a means of the government to diminish their right to govern themselves. The Declaratory Act sent a clear message to the colonies, by essentially stating, “We are the boss, we don’t answer to anyone; we’ll do what we want and you’ll like it.” (Washington Post)
To further fan the flames of discontent the government felt more government would calm things down. Who doesn’t like more government? The Townsend Act
brought a new administration of customs officials to the colonies. Of course, to enforce the customs laws in a power grab, the courts claimed a greater area of jurisdiction. The government also saw fit to fill the courts with Crown-appointed judges suspending the citizen’s right of trials by jury. The new controlling body even resorted to blackmail until the colonists complied with certain acts. The Boston Massacre, where British soldiers fired on a band of unarmed colonists, further hardened the colonist’s resolve.
On April 14, 1775, the British attempt to dis-arm
the colonists to ensure their victory of stomping out the uprising. Before they could take the arms, the colonists moved them out of the reach of the force. (Politico)
The war would rage on for eight long years with great cost to both sides. As we draw parallels of today’s challenges with our history to remain a free nation; let’s reflect on lessons learned. Let commonalities take precedence over our differences in order to find peaceful solutions to problems facing America. Together we can leave America a little better than we found it, to insure a greater tomorrow for our children.
Note: Parenthesized words are current events closely paralleling the events of the Revolution.