Just six short years from now, on July 4, 2026, we’ll celebrate our 250th birthday as a free country. I’ll be 80 then, and it will be a very special day for me. I’ve read countless books on colonial and pre-revolutionary America, and all the years leading up to the revolution are full of wonderful stories..
250 years back from today, in the spring of 1770, the seeds of our liberty were being sown in Boston. The British were taxing us, for the first time, and we didn’t like it at all. The free men of New England had the highest standard of living anywhere in the world, and the lowest taxes. As far as they were concerned, they had created their own prosperity, they had done it without any help from any government, and if they were going to be taxed like the British they wanted to be represented in parliament. These men and women were self-reliant. They controlled their own local governments, and they were not going to submit to second class citizenship.
The British responded to this tax resistance with force, and in 1770 two regiments of redcoats were stationed in Boston to put down any unrest. The locals and the soldiers hated each other, and one night in March hostilities got out of hand, and seven Americans were shot and killed.
Paul Revere made a famous engraving of that Boston Massacre, and copies circulated throughout the colonies, and helped fire the resentments which evolved, over the next five years, into the American Revolution.
250 years ago today, in America.