Premium Essay

Road to Revoltion

In: Historical Events

Submitted By kylienicole078
Words 1856
Pages 8
On the morning of August 14, 1765 - to protest the Stamp Act, a law obligating Americans to purchase special stamped paper for newspapers and many legal forms - a Boston crowd hanged an effigy of the city's stamp collector, Andrew Oliver, from a tree. When the official failed to resign his position immediately, the mob demolished the stamp collector's warehouse at the city dock, tearing it apart board by board. The crowd then beheaded the effigy and "stamped" it to pieces. After giving the stamp collector time to flee, they ransacked Oliver's house, shattering the windows and smashing the furniture. Three days later, a second house was wrecked in Newport, Rhode Island, after the local stamp distributor failed to resign.

The protests and disorder that broke out in the American colonies in 1765 marked the beginning not only of the American struggle for independence, but of over half a century of popular protest, revolution, and war across the western world. From the Ural Mountains in Russia to the Alleghenies and the Andes in the Americas, rioting, revolutions, and popular struggles against undemocratic rule took place in areas as diverse as France (in 1789), Geneva in Switzerland, Ireland, and Mexico.

Revolution took on an entirely new meaning in 1791, when civil war erupted in San Domingue (Haiti) and slaves in the French colony's northern province rose in revolt. In 1770, a French philosophe, the Abbé Raynal, had called for a "Black Spartacus" to overthrow slavery. Spartacus was a Thracian slave and gladiator who led a great slave revolt against the Romans, in southern Italy in 73-71 B.C.E. Under the leadership of a new Spartacus, Toussaint Louverture, Haiti's slaves defeated the armies of France, Spain, and Britain, and, in 1801, adopted a constitution prohibiting slavery forever. Haiti became independent in 1804 after expelling a second French expeditionary...

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