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Mobs Violence Leading Up To The American Revolution

1683 words - 7 pages

Mob violence was a persuasive feature of the Revolutionary War in every port city, particularly Boston. These mobs, which were often described as motley crews, were central to protests and ultimately played a dominant role in significant events leading up to the American Revolution. Throughout the years, leading up to the American Revolution, many Americans were growing tired of British rule and thus begun to want to break free from Britain and earn their own independence. Some of these Americans, out of anger, madness, and in defense of their rights, began terrorizing towns, sometimes even to the point of paralysis highlighting grievances and concerns that the common man couldn’t say with mere words. These groups would then be absorbed into a greater organization called the Sons of Liberty. With the use of violence and political strategy , these radicals defending their rights, struck terror into anyone opposing them but also carried out communal objectives ultimately pushing for change which was a central theme for the American Revolution. It will be proved that these men through their actions not only were the driving force behind resistance but also proved to be the men who steered America toward revolution.
First, before we consider what these mobs did we must understand who comprised these mobs. These mobs were comprised of various types of men but most all stemming from the same social class with the lone exception being slaves. Sailors, artisans, merchants and even blacks and slaves constituted these mobs. Sailors, in particular, from mutiny to insurrection, made these mobs a driving force behind revolutionary change. Slaves and blacks, as mentioned, were also involved in mobs though they were usually few if any in any particular port city mob. All mobs defended liberty and embodied the rights of man against the impressing government. Later throughout the years, many men, observing from the outside, saw such action and believed their actions were justifiable. The mobs use of violence and direct action against oppression was necessary evil in order to combat the British and earn independence.
Peter Linebaugh, in his book, The Many Headed Hydra, described these mobs as a “motley crew” but gives two distinct meanings of what exactly a “motley crew” is. The first of two refers to just an organized gang of workers, or collection of people performing either the same or different tasks towards the same goal; a crowd. The second meaning Linebaugh describes is a “sociopolitical formation” in which they possessed their own motility and were often independent from leadership. All of these men had common ideal that they were no longer going to stay oppressed from the British and wanted to escape impressment. These multifaceted, multiracial groups throughout port cities such as Boston, New York, and Charleston set up to defend their rights allowed for the formation of the Sons of Liberty. Some of the most notable Sons of Liberty were Samuel...

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