Who were the Sons of Liberty?


The Sons of Liberty were defined as a group of people who used provocations, threats, violence, and other forms of civil disorder in colonial America. The main goal of these instigators was to disturb the British government, intimidate loyalists, and encourage the confrontation between colonial leaders and the Crown.


The organization could get its name from a passionate speech of Isaac Barre, who was sympathetic to American colonists. An Irish member of Parliament tried to warn the government of Great Britain that its policy “has caused the blood of these sons of liberty to recoil within them”. The group was formed from nine American patriots from Boston, the Loyal Nine. Although the first chapters of the Sons of Liberty were established in New York City and Boston, later, the subdivisions of this secretive group appeared in other colonies across the country as well.
Samuel Adams is regarded as the most outstanding leader of the Sons of Liberty. He was a son of a prosperous brewer with a high interest in radical activities rather than a business. Adams studied at Harvard and dedicated his master thesis to the lawfulness of the resistance to the British government. Other eminent members of the Sons of Liberty were John Hancock, Paul Revere, Benjamin Rush, James Otis, and Benedict Arnold. According to them, the group did not have a goal to start a revolution in colonial America. The purpose of the Sons was the providing of fair treatment by the Crown.

It should be noted that the activity of the Sons of Liberty was producing the desired effect, and one of the early victories of the group was already marked in 1765. The first tax that was imposed by Great Britain on colonists had its effect during the first month and was subsequently restricted with the assistance of the Sons. In Boston, the newly-appointed tax collector, Andrew Oliver, received a letter from the city’s craftsmen and merchants who required his public resignation the next day at the Liberty Tree. Oliver was promised to “be treated with the greatest Politeness and Humanity” in case of his compliance. The tax collector imagined terrible fate for him if he refused to leave the office. He appeared in front of several thousands of citizens in the street of Boston and resigned from his post.

The Boston Tea Party was regarded as the most eminent fact of civil disobedience organized by the Sons of Liberty. In 1773, the British Parliament accepted the Tea Act that was aimed to give financial support to the English East India Company that struggled from the Seven Years’ War. According to the document, the Company got a monopoly on import and selling tea to American colonies. This abusive legislative act threatened the welfare of local merchants who cooperated with Dutch traders. It goes without saying that the Sons of Liberty could not accept the prevalent situation. At first, they wanted to send all tea back, however, after the refusal from ship captains and consignees, the decision to destroy the product was made. As a result, more than 90,000 pounds of tea were destroyed during the night in Boston Harbor, and rebels did not face any resistance from British troops. This accident was subsequently regarded as a protest of the Americans who rejected British policy and defended their rights. The Boston Tea Party played a highly significant role in the increase of tension between Great Britain and colonies.

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