History Of Samuel Adams History Essay


Samuel Adams was born in Boston in 1722. He was not very good at almost everything he did except politics, he did not inherit his father’s brewing skills and when he took a job at a bank he was also not known for his good math skills. He was however an exceptional politician, he liked mingling with the public and getting to know people and how they thought, and what they wanted from their country and its leaders. He was also very well educated and graduated from Harvard in 1740, after graduating he read a doctrine from John Locke that said “Every citizen is endowed to natural rights to life, liberty, and property” these words may have shaped him into the man he would become.

He was very crafty, in the years following his graduation him and a man named Patrick Henry were the first to begin talking about independence. Samuel Adams would write letters to leaders and newspapers all over the country using different names, and by doing so the leaders in the 13 colonies would think that everyone wanted the same thing.

In 1763 just a couple of years before he would enter the government he joined the secret caucus club. The club was really the leaders of the state meeting and discussing topics that would concern the towns and state, which was an excellent place for him to make his opinions heard. Some sources say that in 1765 Samuel Adams founded the Sons of Liberty group; others say that he had nothing to do with it maybe facts are unclear as to his activity in this group, I believe he may have had some involvement but very little because men in his position at the time could not be known for violence and outrage, which this group was sometimes known for.

During his time leading up to and after getting in the government [1] , Adams was responsible for petitioning against three Acts that the British Parliament tried to enforce. The first was the Sugar Act of 1764, the British needed money to recoup from the French and Indian war, so they raised taxes on all sugar coming into the colonies from all sources, in turn Sam Adams and many others agreed not to purchase luxury British goods. While this told the British that the colonists did not want to pay an extra tax it also allowed for more colonial manufacturing. The second was the Stamp Act of 1765, with this the British wanted to tax every piece of paper that the colonists had to use including legal papers, letters, newspapers etc. Sam Adams did not do much political during this act but he did however rally the people of the colonies against the Stamp Act but not much politics was needed, from his efforts the colonists rejected the Stamp Act and it was repealed in 1766. The Townshend Acts were put in place to collect taxes on many of the day to day items that the colonists used and once again the colonists rejected any goods from the British. In my opinion the Townshend Act was one of the turning points in Samuel Adams career, when the Townshend Act was put in place Samuel Adams responded with the Massachusetts Circular Letter which put into detail how the colonial governments felt about the way they were being treated. It stressed the fact that the Colonists had no representation in British Parliament which they thought was unfair, so that he wanted to opt for a previous agreement that the colonies would be taxed by the leaders of their local governments instead of the British because of the fact that they were spread so far apart from each other.

On a small note in 1772 Samuel Adams helped to form the Committee for Correspondence, it was not such a popular group and the point of it was to inform the colonists about the resistance. Shortly after in 1773 one of the most notable laws of the time went into effect, The Tea Act. This Act was one of the most interesting I think, only because it did not raise the tax of tea or enforce any major law, the East India Company [2] was in financial turmoil and the British decided to help, so in turn they sold their tea at a much lower price to the colonies, but by doing so they would undercut local merchants that sold tea to the locals. The colonists saw this as a threat by the British. Samuel Adams and well known Paul Revere with some members from the Sons of Liberty dressed in Indian outfits dumped shiploads of tea into the harbor as a sign of protest to the Tea Act.

Throughout 1774 and 1775 Samuel Adams was twice elected to represent Massachusetts in the First and Second Continental Congress. During the first he spoke to strongly oppose British rule, and Congress decided once again to boycott British goods and repeal taxes proposed onto them. During the second Samuel Adams and his fellow congressmen decided to act by declaring their independence from British rule which of course resulted in the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776 which of course included the name of Samuel Adams.

Throughout the Revolutionary War Sam Adams helped in any way he could. He served in the Continental Congress until 1781. He continued to write to Patriots all over the land to gain support for the cause, and met still with the people of the colonies regularly. After the war he helped in many ways to define the new nation. Although he was turned down for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives he did not give up and in 1789 he served as a Lt. Governor of Massachusetts until 1794 and shortly after became Governor of the state until 1797, this would be the last job that Samuel Adams would hold in the U.S. Government he shortly retired due to health reasons and in 1803 Samuel Adams died in his hometown of Boston.

Samuel Adams accomplished so much throughout his life for this country, much of which is sadly unrecognized because of some extremely major one time accomplishments by others. Take for example Paul Revere he is widely known for only one point, the infamous midnight ride which of course was important but compared to Sam Adams lifetime of accomplishments is insignificant. Almost any American can tell you what Paul Revere did, but if you ask them who Sam Adams is they would probably say “The beer?” Even throughout the text of the book for this class he does not have at least a proper half page bio instead his name is sparsely mentioned here and there. Everything about Sam Adams is American, he strived his whole life for freedom of this country he risked everything even his life for his cause. I think Americas government may be a little different today if he hadn’t had a say in it, he voted for the approval of the Constitution and urged strongly for the Bill of Rights both which guaranteed many freedoms that we Americans enjoy today and which without we may be living in a different country.

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