Revolutionary New England, 1691-1776

By James Truslow Adams | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVI
THE ISSUE DEFINED

Repeal of Townshend Acts -- Duty on Tea Retained -- Increasing Prosperity and Position of the Merchants -- Adams Continues his Agitation -- Troops Sent to Boston -- Clash with the Citizens -- Discussion of Imperial Relations -- The Gaspee Affair -- Hutchinson Letters -- Talk of Independence -- Destruction of the Tea -- Boston port Bill -- Quebec Act -- Radicals Oppose Conciliation

AT the time at which we have now arrived, the history of New England is epitomized in that of Massachusetts. Each of the other colonies, it is true, had its special problems. In New Hampshire the questions of the King's Woods and land titles were giving trouble, as was that of the rival jurisdictions of New York and New Hampshire in what is now Vermont. In Connecticut the old Susquehannah matter was renewed, reopening the fight between the factions in favor of expansion or restriction. There, too, the problem of the Writs of Assistance was appearing somewhat belatedly. In Rhode Island paper money and smuggling were creating disturbances and aligning parties. In all of the colonies the division was becoming more sharply defined between conservatives and radicals, each issue as it arose serving to intensify and embitter their opposition, but the effects of all these issues, as well as of the constitutional one between Americans and the mother country, were brought to a focus in Massachusetts and are best treated with reference to that province in a volume of too small compass to contain the local history of each colony in detail.

On the last day of July 1769, Governor Bernard, having been recalled, much too late for the good of the service, sailed for England. The publication in Boston of certain confidential letters written by the governor to the home authorities, in which

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Revolutionary New England, 1691-1776
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface V
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Chapter I Introductory 3
  • Chapter II the Machinery of Empire 18
  • Chapter III the Dawn of the Century 30
  • Chapter IV the Policy of Unified Control 46
  • Chapter V Attempts at CoÖperation, Imperial and Colonial 60
  • Chapter VI the Rising Tide 84
  • Chapter VII Diverging Interests 111
  • Chapter VIII Expanding Energies 138
  • Chapter IX the Great Divide 169
  • Chapter X the Wrong Turning 200
  • Chapter XI the Fate of a Continent 221
  • Chapter XII War and Business 250
  • Chapter XIII the Price of Peace 278
  • Chapter XIV the Insoluble Problem 304
  • Chapter XV Darkening Skies 338
  • Chapter XVI the Issue Defined 369
  • Chapter XVII the Defeat of the Conservatives 406
  • Chapter XVIII Civil War 433
  • Index 453
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