Why did the Revolution begin in Boston?  In this lesson, we will find out.

The Road to Independence


John Adams said that James Otis’s 1761  argument against the Writs of Assistance was the moment that “the child Independence was born.”

Boston and its political system made the Revolution more likely to happen here than anywhere else.  Not a predictable thing, but find out why Bostonians had more power over their own affairs than anyone else in the Empire, and why this made a difference.


Thomas Hutchinson was a dedicated public servant–
but he ran afoul of changing ideas about politics and the Empire. 

Bostonians and the Charter  Bostonians put great importance in the fact that their government was limited and defined by a written charter–when the British government wanted to change this, it did not go well.


How important was the Charter?  When John Singleton Copley painted this portrait of Samuel Adams, he has Adams pointing to the Charter–in his other hand, Adams holds the Town of Boston’s instructions to him, their representative.  His role as a Representative, and their power to instruct him, and the Assembly’s role in passing legislation, are all set down in the Charter. 

Prelude to the Boston Massacre  Tensions built in Boston in 1768 and 1769–but when violence broke out in 1770, it took everyone by surprise.

landing of the troops

Paul Revere engraved this scene of the British Troops arriving in 1768.

The Coming of the Revolution  The Society of the Cincinnati and the Societies of Colonial Wars and Colonial Dames asked me for a lecture on the Revolution’s origins.