J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Monday, July 04, 2011

Things Americans Used to Complain About

So what did George III and his government do that was so wrong?

Restrictions on immigration! “He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.”

A permanent military not accountable to local governments! “He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.”

A questionable judicial system situated in a foreign country! “For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences”.

Military contractors! “He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.”

And, worst of all—Canada! “For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies”.


mary said...

Fun and perfect for today!

John L. Smith said...

Hmmm. The only one still existing today is our confusion about Canada! Who would've thought?!

RFuller said...

"Foreign mercenaries"...of course, then there's the matter of German and Irish mercenaries (Zweibruecken and Dillon's regiments, Lauzun's Legion) that, paid by the French king, fought at Yorktown on the side of the Americans...but..those kind of foreign mercenaries are OK...I guess.