Monday, October 4, 2010

"Levelling the Land"

On March 22, 1765 the Stamp Act was enforced. However, in October of 1765 the Stamp Act Congress met in New York where they urged the colonies to boycott British goods, causing Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act.
"Popular protest against denial of what the colonists felt to be their rights erupted in many places."
Land that was acquired illegally by aristocrats was now being claimed by its' tenants (named Levellers after the popular party that sprang up during the English Revolution of the 1640s) who farmed the land. When the uproar occurred British troops were called in.
Pendergrast, the chief of the country Levellers, was tried at Poughkeepsie and found guilty of high treason and was sentenced to death. His last words struck me: "That if opposition of the government was deemed rebellion, no member of that court was entitled to set upon his trail."

Ironically enough on December 16th of 1773...

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