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Economic interests in the American Revolution

or 3s. per weekday, perhaps 40 [pounds] per year, suddenly came into the estate of a man [whose] handsome salary as stamp master would add further luster, while burdening others" (Hoerder 100). Oliver suffered only material losses by the lower class rioters.

It was common knowledge that the rioters had the support and approval of many of their social superiors in Boston, including of course, the Loyal Nine and their affiliates. Albeit some colonial leaders were apt to blame stamp act violence on the unbridled passions of the lower classes: "In 1766, Jonathan Mayhew condoned the repeal of the Stamp Act but condemned colonial men for cloaking 'their rapacious violences with the pretext of zeal for liberty'" (Kann 1).

Wrath against Britain's civil representatives also was directed against its military representatives. The King Street riot, also known as the Boston Massacre, began with a confrontation between colonial ropemakers and soldiers. Tempers flared and skirmishes between locals and soldiers carried on throughout the night. News of the confrontations spread and the crowds were soon joined by sailors from the docks and men from the Northend and Southend. A mob surrounded soldiers in King Street at the Custom House. The lower classes were in the forefront of the confrontation: "A detailed analysis of the depositions about the affair shows that the men closest to the soldiers were mainly mechanics and sailors from the Northend, that the men farthest away . . . were merchants, often simply standing at their doors" (Hoerder 228). Naturally, when the soldiers lowered their guns against the pressing crowds, it was the lower class men who suffered death and injury.

Later, in describing the incident, many leading colonial citizens, including John Adams, criticized the lower class participants in scathing terms. Most were relegated to the status of vulgar ruffians. The fact that a black man, Crispus Attucks, was among ...

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Economic interests in the American Revolution. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:03, August 24, 2017, from
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