Excerpts from: Americanism Redux: May 23, on the journey to the American Founding, 250 years ago today, in 1774

Late May unfolds with groups of colonists opposed to the newly announced Boston Port Act. In larger towns like Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City, meetings have been called. Agreement exists on the surface; participants in the meetings oppose the law and that marks an important step in the current crisis. Below surface, however, less agreement exists. The idea of a special general congress to write and send a petition of grievances to George III is the most widely acceptable option. In many smaller communities such as Farmington, colony of Connecticut, opposition to the Boston Port Act runs at a red-hot pace. People attending the Farmington meeting denounce Parliament as devil-ridden. The rapid emergence of the Boston Port Act as a top priority for colonial communities to discuss, debate, and hash out comes as many colonists climb over obstacles to opportunity and freedom. People are arranging indentured servant agreements or trying to extract what is owed them in such arrangements, while others escape the conditions of enslavement. The lucky ones have more freedom and simply declare their decision to uproot and change location, in some cases, back to Europe. The Boston Port Act’s effect on these issues is unknown at the point of late May 1774.

Imperial-colonial relations define much of the world. The outskirts of New Spain sees Spanish Catholic officials attempting to map out new travel and trade routes over vast distances. They believe these trails will enhance relations when, in reality, they tend to do the opposite. In British India, Afghan tribes have rebelled in northern regions; East India Company leaders cut a deal with local allies to thwart the resistance in armed conflict.

Americanism Redux, a series by historian author, Dr. Dan Miller, explores what Americanism meant 250 years ago and its significance for America today. Visit Dr Dan Miller’s website>


Reference: The Remnant Trust Collection

A long-forgotten publication from the mid-18th century includes just this sort of discussion and analysis. Nicholas Boulanger wrote “The Origin and Progress of Despotism in the Oriental, and other Empires of Africa, Europe, and America”, first published in English in 1764, only a decade ahead controversies stirred by the Boston Port Act. The work is Item (#0016) in the archives of The Remnant Trust.

View The Remnant Trust “Wisdom of the Ages Athenaeum PDF for reference>