Samuel Adams the Rights of the Colonists Thesis

Pages: 4 (1294 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History

Western Civilization

Samuel Adams' the Rights of the Colonists

The Rights of the Colonists was written by Samuel Adams at the age of 50, as a part of meetings in Massachusetts in 1772. This came after the Governor had dissolved the colony's Colonial Assembly. Three hundred townspeople met and voted to appoint a committee of correspondence, and to have this committee draft a statement of the rights of the colonists. The responsibility for preparing the first draft was assigned to Samuel Adams (Munday, 1984).

Samuel Adams was born in Boston, Massachusetts in September of 1722. He was a leader in the fight against British colonial rule, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Adams' father, who was a deacon of the church and successful brewer, played an important role in Boston politics. When Samuel had been a young man, the royal government had ruled the senior Adams' investments illegal. This ruined him financially and is thought to have been the cause of Samuel's animosity toward and opposition to colonial authority (Samuel Adams American Patriot & Politician, 2008).

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Adams was a very vocal opponent of several of the laws that had been passed by the British Parliament to raise revenue in the American Colonies. By the year 1773, Adams and his Boston associates had pressured England into rescinding all these measures but one, the Tea Act. The Tea Act allowed the British East India Company a monopoly on the sale of tea to the colonies, and included a tax paid to the British crown. The opposition reached its peak on December 16, 1773 when a group of Bostonians dumped a British cargo of tea into Boston Harbor. This well-known act of resistance is called the Boston Tea Party (Samuel Adams American Patriot & Politician, 2008).

TOPIC: Thesis on Samuel Adams the Rights of the Colonists Assignment

Samuel Adams graduated with a Master of Arts degree in 1743 from Harvard College. After college he went into private business, and during this period was an outspoken participant in Boston town meetings. When his business failed in 1764 Adams went into politics full-time, and was even elected to the Massachusetts legislature. He led an effort to establish a committee of correspondence that published the Declaration of Colonial Rights which he had written. This was known as the Rights of the Colonists (Samuel Adams American Patriot & Politician, 2008).

This document basically laid down all the rights that Samuel Adams believed that colonists were entitled to. He believed that all people were entitled to the natural rights of a right to life, to liberty; and to property. He also believed that together with these rights was also the right to support and defend them in the best way possible (Samuel Adams, The Rights of the Colonists, 1772). This document was written in the midst of one of the most important times in our history -- the American Revolution. Many excerpts from This document were in essence utilized by the Continental Congress in 1774, in a document called the Declaration of Rights, and finally in 1776 in the Declaration of Independence (Munday,1984).

While confrontations over taxes and reforms were very serious, the connections uniting the colonies and Britain were still strong. It was thought that peace and unity were still possible. In 1769, American diplomat Benjamin Franklin declared that the British ministry should repeal the laws and return to the old way of doing things. Later that year, the British government went part way toward meeting those demands. Under the pressure of the American economic boycott, and a sharp drop in British exports, the British Parliament agreed to the repeal of most of the Townshend Acts. Yet, the ministry did not recall the British troops from any of the colonies and showed no outlook of returning to the pre-1763 imperial system. Instead, Parliament reasserted its authority to legislate for and to tax the colonies, retaining the tax on tea as a symbol of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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