As US citizens celebrate their Day of Independence it is important to remember that history is nothing more than an interpretation of past activities by those who control the current governing model. Much of what people know about historical events is tempered by various factors, most notably the perspective created by time and the biases of those who teach the children.
Many of today’s geopolitical issues are topics that mirror previous historical events although they are viewed through the context of the acceptable educational system as approved by those in authority. Take for example the issue of terrorism.
When the United States embarked on independence from Great Britain, it did so with the help of a violent group known as the Sons of Liberty. The Sons of Liberty were a secretive and violent group of artisans, tradesmen and shopkeepers in the colonies who opposed the Stamp Act.
As most of you already know, the Stamp Act was the result of the British taxing the colonists for the costs the British Empire incurred because of the French Indian War. The Sons of Liberty organized under the banner of “no taxation without representation” and violently opposed the British taxation of the thirteen colonies.
Organized in secrecy their political antagonism of the British crown led to the Boston Tea Party in 1773. The British saw them as a group intent on overthrowing the legitimate government of the colonies through violence.
As a matter of fact, looking at the December 16, 1773 events through the prism of today’s geopolitics the actions undertaken by the Sons of Liberty on that day would be considered an act of terrorism today. On that date, a group of like-minded individuals boarded three private ships and destroyed almost 50 tons of tea by throwing it over board. Their motive was not theft; rather it was the destruction of private property to make a political statement.
Some of you would argue that the Boston Tea Party was not a terrorist action as it did not “spread terror” and instead they destroyed private property. However, that sentiment needs to be tempered with the rest of the historical record of the period. A historical record that is glossed over by today’s teachers.
The Sons of Liberty published pamphlets about their activities and used violence and intimidation to force the repeal of the Stamp Act. They “tarred-and-feathered” the Loyalists that refused to comply with their political objectives. Therefore, the argument that they did not “spread terror” is effectively nullified.
The Sons of Liberty were composed of British citizens who organized, used the destruction of private property to make a political statement, terrorized and eventually revolted against the government they pledged allegiance to. To the British, they committed treason against the legitimate government.
To the US citizens who will be celebrating the Fourth of July, the Sons of Liberty were freedom fighters in pursuit of justice for the colonists that today make up the United States of America.
As you celebrate Independence Day tomorrow keep in mind how the Sons of Liberty achieved this day for you to celebrate in the context of today’s geopolitics. It is important to understand history in order to put today’s ongoing events in the proper context.