An Insensitive and Oppressive Government

T2AR: The Second American Revolution, Part 4

In 1774, much like today, there was no clear plurality of opinion. Loyalists believed the colonies owed fealty and allegiance to the Crown. Others sided with the Sons of Liberty and believed the time for loyalty had passed. Many spoke the unspeakable and talked of a break from an insensitive and oppressive government. King George did little to support his loyal subjects. In response to the Boston Tea Party, King George imposed on the colonies four harsh measures that became known as The Intolerable Acts. These new laws became the trigger that changed public sentiment and launched America’s War of Independence.

The Boston Port Act closed the port of Boston until the tea destroyed by the Sons of Liberty was paid back. With this law, King George punished his loyal subjects along with rebellious colonists. The Massachusetts Government Act caused the Massachusetts government to be taken over by the British Parliament. All positions had to be appointed by the King. The Administration of Justice Act moved trials of accused royal officials to Great Britain or other colonies. Colonists could not afford to travel to Great Britain to testify in a trial. George Washington believed British officials would use the new law to escape justice and called this the “Murder Act”. The Quartering Act, the least offensive of the four, clarified the ability of the British to house British soldiers in vacant buildings. It neutralized a myth that the British were housing soldiers in people’s homes against their will.

Instead of listening to the complaints of his colonists, King George and the Parliament treated colonists like unruly children imposing harsher and harsher penalties. Slowly, over a period of years, public sentiment shifted. Fewer and fewer Loyalists remained. Many returned to England but many more joined the ranks of those clamoring for independence from an unsustainable relationship.

The present day Congress has an approval rating of 12%, according to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll. The vast majority of the American public no longer believes Congress responds to the needs of average Americans. From the right, the Tea Party movement has already impacted the 2010 election with a change of more than 60 Representatives. Now, from the left, comes the Occupy Wall Street movement. Both represent a primal scream against an insensitive and oppressive government. Like their predecessors in 1774, the majority no longer believe their government represents them.

T2AR: The Second American Revolution, Part 3
T2AR: The Second American Revolution, Part 2
T2AR: The Second American Revolution, Part 1

(Robert J Cristiano PhD is the Real Estate Professional in Residence at Chapman University in Orange, CA, Senior Fellow at The Pacific Research Institute and President of the international investment firm, L88 Investments LLC. He has been a successful real estate developer in Newport Beach California for thirty years.)


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