In the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, mob action vigorously enforced the boycott on tea. Merchants and residents who were suspected of serving tea often had their places of business or their homes searched. Culprits were tarred and feathered. Only rarely was tea not the sole focus of the crowds' wrath: "Sometimes all European goods found were confiscated, a sign that general considerations about importation, luxury, and drain of money motivated some of the rioting" (Hoerder 266). So widespread was the mob violence that British officials were forced to seek protection from troops.
While history pays much attention to the urban unrest of the American Revolution, much resistance occurred in the countryside as well. During this era, America was overwhelming rural; only about two or three percent of the population lived in the large towns of New England and the Middle Colonies. The chief occupation of the rural inhabitants was agriculture. The revolutionary spirit was clearly evident in this social class: "It lay not in the mob or rabble, for American society was overwhelmingly rural and not urban, and had no sufficient amount of mob or rabble to control the movement, but in the peasantry, substantial and energetic though poor, in the small farmers and frontiersmen" (Jameson 18). History, however, focuses on the contribution of aristocrats like the founding fathers than on the role of the peasantry.
The Loyal Nine convinced the Northend and Southend to form a coalition aimed at a common target: Andrew Oliver, the local stamp master. Oliver was both a provincial official and a wealthy merchant. As a symbol of the chasm that existed between the aristocracy and the lower classes, he was anathema to Boston's Northend and Southend inhabitants.
Jameson, J. Franklin. The American Revolution Considered as a Social Movement. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967.