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STAND YOUR GROUND

Where’s Our Line of Minutemen?

Have you heard the sounds of battle in the distance? Have you heard the call to arms? Listen! The cry has sounded to confiscate arms even as it did in 1770’s. But where are the Minutemen? They should be ready! Armed and ready!

    “Although the terms militia and minutemen are sometimes used interchangeably today, in the 18th century there was a decided difference between the two. Militia were men in arms formed to protect their towns from foreign invasion and ravages of war. Minutemen were a small hand-picked elite force which were required to be highly mobile and able to assemble quickly. Minutemen were selected from militia muster rolls by their commanding officers. Typically 25 years of age or younger, they were chosen for their enthusiasm, reliability, and physical strength. Usually about one quarter of the militia served as Minutemen, performing additional duties as such. The Minutemen were the first armed militia to arrive or await a battle.”

minutemanThe “mission” of the Minutemen was evident in their selection. They were the elite, the best trained of all the militia. “Militia were men in arms formed to protect their towns from foreign invasion and ravages of war. Minutemen were a small hand-picked elite force which were required to be highly mobile and able to assemble quickly. Minutemen were selected from militia muster rolls by their commanding officers. Typically 25 years of age or younger, they were chosen for their enthusiasm, reliability, and physical strength. Usually about one quarter of the militia served as Minutemen, performing additional duties as such. The Minutemen were the first armed militia to arrive or await a battle.”

By the time the Revolutionary War began, these Minutemen had several years experience. During the French and Indian War and other local conflicts, these ready-in-a-minute soldiers played a crucial role.

    “On the morning of April 19, 1775, Captain John Parker was 46 years old as he stood beside 76 other colonists and opposed 700 British Regulars. At the time he was terminally sick with tuberculosis. His illness forced him to bed early the night before (April 18, 1975). It was around 1:00AM when a messenger arrived informing him that the Regulars were marching to Concord. Parker and his men assembled on the Lexington Green and around 5:30AM three advance companies of British Regulars burst on the scene commanded by Major Pitcairn.

    “Many, many times historians have debated how the events unfolded that morning, but several things are indisputable… Parker lined his men in two ranks, a proud stance for freedom challenging the world’s most dominant superpower… and the captain and his brave men weren’t looking for fight that morning, but they weren’t going to back down if one came …and it did.

    “Here is the text of Captain John Parker’s actual deposition given several days after the battle:

      Lexington, April 25, 1775.

      I, John Parker, of lawful age, and commander of the Militia in Lexington, do testify and declare, that on the nineteenth instant, in the morning, about one of the clock, being informed that there were a number of Regular Officers riding up and down the road, stopping and insulting people as they passed the road, and was also informed that a number of Regular Troops were on their march from Boston, in order to take the Province Stores at Concord, ordered our Militia to meet on the common in said Lexington, to consult what to do, and concluded not to be discovered, nor meddle or make with said Regular Troops (if they should approach) unless they should insult us; and upon their sudden approach, I immediately ordered our Militia to disperse and not to fire. Immediately said Troops made their appearance, and rushed furiously, fired upon and killed eight of our party, without receiving any provocation therefor from us.

The Colonies in the 1770’s were ruled by King George III from Britain. All was fine until he started to see the PEOPLE of the Colonies as a source of INCOME. He raised taxes and treatment of the Colonial people declined.

MAJOR EVENTS LEADING UP TO THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR

While there were many causes for the war, the events listed here are agreed as the most volatile issues that sparked the flame of Revolt!

  • French and Indian War (1754-1763): This war started between Britain and France and ended with the victorious British deeply in debt, so they demanded more revenue from the colonies. The French were defeated, but the Native Americans that fought alongside the French merged tensions among the Native American tribes of the New World with a new collection of allies and rivals that developed as the political battles of Europe continued.
  • Proclamation of 1763: This prohibited settlement beyond the Appalachian Mountains. While Britain did not intend to harm the colonists, many colonists took offense at this order and understood it as unnecessary restriction and intrusion into their lives.
  • Sugar Act of 1764: This act raised revenue by increasing duties on sugar imported from the West Indies for American colonists who enjoyed sweetness in the tea along with sweet cakes. Again, the Colonists perceived the hand of tyranny reaching further into their private lives.
  • Currency Act of 1764: Parliament argued that colonial currency had caused a devaluation harmful to British trade. They banned American assemblies from issuing paper bills or bills of credit.
  • Committees of Correspondence (1764): Organized by Samuel Adams, these helped spread propaganda and information through letters. This was a letter-writing campaign meant to do two things: to inform the people, and to unite the people. Thus the rallying cry, “No taxation without representation.”
  • Quartering Act of 1765: Britain ordered that colonists were to house and feed British soldiers if necessary. This was seen as yet another intrusion into the private lives of citizens of the Crown, supposedly under the protection of the Crown.
  • Stamp Act (1765): This required tax stamps on many items and documents including playing cards, newspapers, and marriage licenses. Prime Minister George Grenville stated that this direct tax was intended for the colonies to pay for defense. Previous taxes imposed by Britain had been indirect, or hidden.
    1. 1765 – Stamp Act Congress – In 1765, 27 delegates from nine colonies met in New York City and drew up a statement of rights and grievances thereby bringing colonies together in opposition to Britain.
    2. Sons and Daughters of Liberty (1765) – Colonists tried to fight back by imposing non-importation agreements. The Sons of Liberty often took the law into their own hands enforcing these ‘agreements’ by methods such as tar and feathering.
  • Townshend Acts (1767): These taxes were imposed to help make the colonial officials independent of the colonists and included duties on glass, paper, and tea. Smugglers increased their activities to avoid the tax leading to more troops in Boston.
  • Boston Massacre (1770): The colonists and British soldiers openly clashed in Boston. This event was used as an example of British cruelty despite questions about how it actually occurred.
  • Tea Act of 1773): To assist the failing British East India Company, the Company was given a monopoly to trade tea in America.
    Boston Tea Party – In 1773, a group of colonists disguised as Indians dumped tea overboard from three ships in Boston Harbor.
  • Intolerable Acts (or Coercive Acts; 1774): These were passed in response to the Boston Tea Party and placed restrictions on the colonists including outlawing town meetings and the closing of Boston Harbor. Furious at the December 1773 Boston Tea Party, Parliament in 1774 passed the Coercive Acts. The particular provisions of the Coercive Acts were offensive to Americans, but it was the possibility that the British might deploy the army to enforce them that primed many colonists for armed resistance. The Patriots of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, resolved: “That in the event of Great Britain attempting to force unjust laws upon us by the strength of arms, our cause we leave to heaven and our rifles.” A South Carolina newspaper essay, reprinted in Virginia, urged that any law that had to be enforced by the military was necessarily illegitimate.
  • First Continental Congress (1774): In response to the Intolerable Acts, 12 of the 13 colonies met in Philadelphia from September-October, 1774. One of the main results of this was the creation of The Association calling for a boycott of British goods.
  • Lexington and Concord (1775) In April, British troops were ordered to Lexington and Concord to seize stores of colonial gunpowder and to capture Samuel Adams and John Hancock. At Lexington, open conflict occurred and eight Americans were killed. At Concord, the British troops were forced to retreat with the loss of 70 men. This was the first instance of open warfare.
  • Second Continental Congress (1775): All 13 colonies were represented at this meeting in Philadelphia beginning May. The colonists still hoped that their grievances would be met by King George III. George Washington was named head of the Continental Army.
  • Bunker Hill (1775): This major victory for the Colonists resulted in George III proclaiming the colonies in rebellion.
  • our_forefathers_would_be_shooting_by_now_sticker-p217368775994650433b7kg7_400In the end, the American Revolution grew out of increasing restrictions placed upon the colonies by the British. One interesting side note: It is estimated that only one-third of the colonists were in favor of rebellion. One-third continued to side with the British. The last third were neutral concerning the rebellion and break from Great Britain.

    Any of these reasons strike a cord of similarity to where we are today?

    FURTHER READING:

    The American Revolution against British Gun Control

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