The Declaration of Independence: Fanfare for the Common Man and Woman

5:37 pm in Uncategorized by john in sacramento

Here’s how I began a post six years ago

There are many reasons that hundreds of thousands if not millions of Europeans immigrated to the United States after it was discovered and before it became a country; some of which were economic, religious, or political, everyone of those people had a story.

Over 240 years ago a group of merchants hired a cranky, iconoclastic lawyer named James Otis to defend their rights as free-born Englishmen, and in 1761 James Otis stood up in a Boston Mass. courtroom to speak against Writs of Assistance – which were a kind of general search warrant where the bearer could search anyone, anywhere, anytime which lasted for the lifetime of the sovereign (George II died in 1760); he spoke for five hours straight …

[...]

He lost the case but …

John Adams was at the trial and this is how he described the speech

Otis was a flame of fire! … Then and there was the first scene of the first act of opposition to the arbitrary claims of Great Britain. Then and there, the child of independence was born.

[...]

What follows is the story of a few of the people who should be mentioned, but most often are not. This one post can only be a beginning, for the fact that one post can’t be all encompassing, because that would take several blogs and at least 10-15 hours of work. And I’m going to have to skip over the Stamp Act Riots of 1765, mainly because of the time span (10 years). And, I’m taking a lot of this from Ray Raphael’s, First American Revolution: Before Lexington and Concord, and A People‚Äôs History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it should – Howard Zinn was the series editor.
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