Chapter 4: Tyranny Is Tyranny

Jessica Briseño
ChS 245 OL-14004
 English colonies made a discovery
 They found that by creating a nation, a symbol, a legal
unity called the United States, they could take over
land, profits, and political power from favorites of the
British Empire
 In the process, they could hold back a number of
potential rebellions and create a consensus of popular
support for the rule of a new, privileged leadership
 When looked at the American Revolution in this way,
the Founding Fathers had created an effective system
Zinn, p. 59
The Siege of Yorktown
The surrender of a second British Army,
marking effective British defeat
(Starting with Bacon’s
Rebellion in Virginia)
By 1760 there had been:
 18 uprisings aimed at
overthrowing colonial
 6 black rebellions, from
South Carolina to New
 40 riots of various origins
Zinn, p.59
The Burning of Jamestown
 Local leadership saw possibilities of directing
rebellious energy against England and her local
 After England’s victory in the French and Indian War,
they had two rivals left: the English and the Indians
 The British Government could turn its attention to
tightening control over colonies
 In conclusion, American leadership was less in need of
English rule, the English more in need of colonist’
Zinn, p. 60
The war brought:
 Glory for generals
 Death to privates
 Wealth for the
 Unemployment for
the poor
 There were 25,000 people
living in New York when
the French and Indian War
 Lower classes in Boston
began to use the town
meeting to vent grievances
 Certain lawyers, editors,
and merchants of the
upper class organized a
“Boston Caucus” – with the
exception of men like
James Otis and Samuel
Zinn, p. 60
 There was an accumulated sense of grievance against
the rich that could account for explosiveness of mob
action after the Stamp Act of 1765
 There was a scheme in which the houses of fifteen rich
people were to be destroyed
 There was a great fury against the rich
 A full-scale attack on wealth and even on the right to
acquire unlimited private property was launched in
 Voters in elections were urged by a Privates Committee
to oppose “great and overgrown rich men”
 There were long-lasting social movements, highly
organized, involving the creation of counter
 These movements were aimed at a handful of rich
Zinn, p. 62
 Rioters in the Hudson Valley rescued prisoners
 Tenants were seen as “chiefly the dregs of the People”
 Land rioters saw their battle as poor against rich
 In Vermont, described themselves as “a poor people…
fatigued in settling a wilderness country” and their
opponents as “a number of Attorneys and other
gentleman, with all their tackle of ornaments, and
compliments, and French Finesse”
Zinn, p. 63
“Poor men were always oppressed
by the rich”
“They (the wealthy) will be too
apt to be framing distinctions in
 The Regulator movement was a powerful movement of
white farmers (“the regulators”) in North Carolina
 It was organized against wealthy and corrupt officials
from 1766-1771
 They referred to themselves as “poor Industrious
peasants,” as “labourers,” “the wretched poor,”
“oppressed” by “rich and powerful…designing
Zinn, p. 63
 Saw that wealth and political power ruled North
Resented the tax system
Did not represent slaves but they spoke for small
owners, squatters and tenants
Organized to prevent collection of taxes
Petitioned the government on their grievances
Zinn, p. 64
 Impressment and the quartering of troops by British
were directly hurtful to the sailors and other working
 Soldiers began to take jobs of working people
 Many working people lost jobs because of the
colonists’ boycott of British goods
Zinn, p. 66
 December 1773
 The Boston Committee of
Correspondence formed a
year before in order to
organize anti-British actions
 Tea party led to the Coercive
Acts by Parliaments, which
established martial law in
Massachusetts, dissolved the
colonial government, closed
the port in Boston, and sent
in troops
Zinn, p. 67
 Resolutions adopted in
North Carolina in May of
 Sent to the Continental
Congress, declared
independence of
England, asserted that all
British law was null and
void, and urged military
Signing of Declaration of
Fun Fact: 69% of the signers of the Declaration of
independence had held colonial office under
Zinn, p.71
 The Declaration functioned to mobilize certain
groups of Americans, while ignoring others such
as women, Indians, and black slaves
The philosophy of the Declaration was that the
government is set up to secure their life, liberty,
and happiness
However, it also ignored existing inequalities in
Four days after the reading, townsmen were
ordered to show up for a military draft
The rich could pay their way out of it, which led to
rioting and shouting “Tyranny is Tyranny let it
come from whom it may”
 According to Howard Zinn, the American Revolution was just a
replacement of one tyranny for another
The declaration was written in such a way that didn’t include the
inequalities that were currently happening
Those who wrote it and supported it wanted to keep lower
classes as they were
There was much fury from lower class towards the rich
The lower class was still convinced to support against British
69% of signers had once held office under British
Lower class realized that higher class and rich would continue to
do things for themselves
“Tyranny is tyranny let it come from whom it may” holds great
importance. It shows that the lower class people with less power
were still under the control of elites
 "American Revolution - Credo Reference." American
Revolution - Credo Reference. Unknown, n.d. Web. 30
Mar. 2014.
 "American Revolution." Wikipedia. Wikimedia
Foundation, 30 Mar. 2014. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.
 Zinn, Howard. "Tyranny Is Tyranny." A People's History
of the United States: 1492 to Present. New York:
HarperPerennial, 1995. N. pag. Print.

similar documents