ENOUGH! We Are Free!

Finish Well Radio, Podcast #068, Enough! We are Free!In “ENOUGH! We are Free!,” Episode #068, Meredith Curtis explains how one event led to another, resulting in our Founding Fathers declaring our Independence. If you are hazy on the details of events leading to the day we celebrate, July 4, 1776, where Ben Franklin declared, “Well, we either all hang together or we’ll all hang separately” and John Hancock signed his lavish signature big and bold, saying, “There now the king can read it without his spectacles!” join us. Meredith shows how the Great Awakening, the French and Indian War, the Proclamation Line of 1763, the Boston Massacre, the seizure of the Liberty, the Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere’s Ride, Patrick Henry’s Speech, the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and more led to our Founding Fathers deciding, “Enough! We are declaring ourselves to be a free and independent nation with God’s help.” Take a whirlwind tour of several decades culminating in the signing of our precious Declaration of Independence.

 

 


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Show Notes

Our history is British. The 13 American colonies who became the United States of America were all British colonies.

English Common Law

Rights that Englishmen enjoyed:

  • representative government
  • trial by a jury of peers
  • accused faces accusers
  • protection of private property
  • everyone from King to peasant accountable to God and the law of the land

Colonial Autonomy

Colonists from the beginning enjoyed a large amount of freedom and self-government.

  • The Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact
  • the Massachusetts Bay Company stockholders who made decisions for the colony all lived in Boston
  • New England enjoyed town hall meetings
  • Virginians elected representatives who enjoyed autonomy

Great Awakening

Revival brought unity that crossed denominational lines that often separate people. Revival erased the division of colony boundaries.

French & Indian War

Trained the colonists for war, taught them to work together against a common enemy.

Big problem: The British soldiers would not go home.

Proclamation Line of 1763

To keep their word to the Native Americans who fought on the side of the British, Parliament passed a law protecting land west of the Proclamation Line of 1763 for the Native Americans.

Taxes

Parliament taxed the American colonists here, there, and everywhere. Most of it was to pay off the debt from the French and Indian War, but some was just because they could.

Representatives from several colonies also met together and sent a protest letter to the king. In 1766, Founding Father Ben Franklin traveled to London, appearing before Parliament, asking them to repeal the Stamp Act.

Repeal the Stamp Act they did. However, the passed the Declaratory Act right away saying, “we can pass any law we want to in the colonies!” It was like a slap in the face. British citizens were supposed to have representation. The cry began, “No taxation without representation!”

The New York Assembly voted to ignore the Quartering Act on December 15, 1766. They refused to fund the British soldiers. Outraged, King George III, disbanded the New York Assembly. Things were heating up!

Mercantilism

Mercantilism, or using protectionism to restrict trade in the colonies in order to fill the Mother country’s treasury, was practiced by Great Britain. They outlawed free trade, dictated who the colonists could buy from, levied high tariffs, and taxed whatever they could. The colonists believed in Free-Market economics and freedom of choice, so mercantilism frustrated them.

Boston Massacre 1770

Some British colonists forgot a very important truth: it’s not wise to through rocks at someone holding a gun who has the legal right to use it. This incident, however, inflamed anger throughout all 13 colonies.

Committees of Correspondence 1772

An unfortunate event led to colonists being taken back to England to stand trial. This violated their rights as Englishmen to a jury of their peers. Committees of Correspondence were started to protect towns from invasive government trampling on individual rights.

Sons of Liberty

The Sons of Liberty was founded in Boston in 1765 to fight the Stamp Act. It grew into all 13 colonies to fight for protection of the colonists rights as Englishmen. Sons of Liberty included Samuel Adams, Benedict Arnold, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, James Otis, Jr., Paul Revere, James Swan, Alexander McDougall, Benjamin Rush, Charles Thompson, Joseph Warren, Marinus Willet, Oliver Wolcott, Christopher Gadsden, Haym Salomon, Hercules Mulligan, Thomas Melville, and Isaac Sears.

Who was John Hancock?

John Hancock was a wealthy merchant in Boston. His ship Liberty was seized in 1768. He was a Son of Liberty. He served as President of the Second Continental Congress and first and third governor of Massachusetts.

Who was Samuel Adams?

Sam Adams was a politician in Boston who worked tirelessly for freedom as a Son of Liberty. He was a member of the Continental Congresses and served as fourth governor of Massachusetts.

Boston Tea Party 1773

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and other Sons of Liberty dressed up as Native Americans, stormed a British ship and tossed all the cargo (tea) into the Boston Harbor, created one large pot of tea.

Closing Boston Port March 1774

As punishment for the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Harbor was closed to all but British military ships. As you can imagine, businesses were sunk! This affected almost every family in Boston in a negative way.

First Continental Congress September 1774

“We’ve had enough!” colonial leaders decided and met together to appeal to King George III and Parliament. They did three things:

  1. A Declaration of Rights (Freedom of trial by jury of peers, freedom of assembly, and freedom to representative if they were taxed)
  2. Organized a Boycott of British Goods
  3. Declared that if Patriots were attacked, they would defend themselves

Compromise Feb 1775

In January of 1775, Parliament considered the appeal from the First Continental Congress, eventually deciding to ease up on some of the taxes and give in on other issues by February.

Patrick Henry Speech March 1775

Meanwhile down in Virginia, the House of Burgesses had been disbanded by the Royal Governor, so they met in secret at a church. They were discussing the need to raise a volunteer calvary and infantry in every Virginia county when Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give Me Liberty or Give me Death” speech. The delegates sat in contemplative silence after the speech and the resolution passed.

Looking for Sam & John April 1775

General Gage was ordered to use whatever force is necessary to enforce the laws on April 14 and to confiscate militia weapons. He was to disarm the rebels and arrest key leaders like Sam Adams and John Hancock.

Paul Revere’s Ride

Sons of Liberty intercepted the British plans to capture Sam and John, as well as the colonists stockpile of weapons. Paul Revere and John Dawes were sent on different routes to warn, “The British are coming!” Sam and John escaped and the weapons were moved to a new location. However, …

Battle of Lexington

In Lexington, Captain John Parker gathered the Militia and Minutemen to prepare for battle. The British arrived at sunrise the next day. A few shots were exchanged between the Militia and the British troops, driving the Americans away. Eight Americans were dead and ten wounded. Only one British soldier was injured. On to Concord.

Battle of Concord

As the British entered Concord, the Americans fell back, taking up position on a hill across North Bridge. The British roamed through Concord looking for guns and military supplies. They destroyed three canons and some gunpowder.

In the meantime, reinforcements arrived, so the Americans advanced toward the British. American Colonel James Barrett led his men to engage the British and send them fleeing. They regrouped and headed back to Boston.

As the British headed back to Boston through Lexington, the Militia engaged them along the way. It was a bloody march back to Boston for the British.

Second Continental Congress

On May 10, 1775, representatives from all 13 colonies arrived in Philadelphia for the Second Continental Congress. They moved step-by-step toward independence, writing and signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776. They managed the military effort in the Revolutionary War and wrote the Articles of Confederation.

Declaration of Independence

On July 2, Richard Henry Lee, a representative from Virginia, urged the Continental Convention to declare themselves free from Great Britain. On July 4, 1776, the colonists signed the Declaration of Independence, doing just what Richard Henry Lee urged. This was a firm declaration that the colonies were now a free country.

Our own Declaration of Independence

Galatians 5:1

It is for freedom we have been set free. This fourth of July, it’s time to sign your own Declaration of Independence.

Resources

American History TimelineAmerican History CookbookFamilies Learning Together: American History Art AppreciationAmerican Literature & Research


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Enough! We Are Free!

Pass the Torch

Pass the TorchPass the Torch

Podcast #41

In this episode, Florida Parent Educators Association’s (FPEA) Chairwoman, Suzanne Nunn talks about the importance of passing on the values of homeschooling, learning about legislative processes, getting involved and valuing the freedom and legacy of  homeschooling.  Pass the Torch to future generations! Teach these important freedoms to your family.

Please join us as we travel along this journey on our podcast adventure. Let’s get connected! Learn more about the Florida Parent Educator’s Association and homeschooling in the beautiful state of Florida.

Please visit www.fpea.com to learn more about who we are!

 

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