Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open. We were too tired to talk much. We just sprawled about exhaustedly, with home-made cigarettes sticking out of our scrubby faces.
In the decade before the American colonies declared independence, no patriot enjoyed greater renown than John Dickinson. Then, after Parliament rescinded the Stamp Act but levied a new set of taxes on paint, paper, lead and tea with the Townshend Duties ofDickinson galvanized colonial resistance by penning Letters From a Pennsylvania Farmer, a series of impassioned broadsides widely read on both sides of the Atlantic.
He also noted that many differences among the colonies had yet to be resolved and could lead to civil war. And years later, the key role he played in American resistance as the leader of a bloc of moderates who favored reconciliation rather than confrontation with Britain well into is largely forgotten or misunderstood.
To be a moderate on the eve of the American Revolution did not mean simply occupying some midpoint on a political line, while extremists on either side railed against each other in frenzied passion. Moderation for Dickinson and other members of the founding generation was an attitude in its own right, a way of thinking coolly and analytically about difficult political choices.
Dickinson and his moderate cohorts were prudent men of property, rather than creatures of politics and ideology. Unlike the strong-willed distant cousins who were leaders of the patriot resistance in Massachusetts—John and Samuel Adams—moderates were not inclined to suspect that the British government was in the hands of liberty-abhorring conspirators.
Instead, they held out hope well into that their brethren across the Atlantic would come to their senses and realize that any effort to rule the colonies by force, or to deny colonists their due rights of self-government, was doomed to failure. They were also the kind of men British officials believed would choose the benefits of empire over sympathy for suffering Massachusetts, the colony that King George III, his chief minister, Lord North, and a docile Parliament set out to punish after the Boston Tea Party of December Just as the British expected the Coercive Acts that Parliament directed against Massachusetts in would teach the other colonies the costs of defying the empire, so they assumed that sober men of property, with a lot at stake, would never endorse the hot-headed proceedings of the mob in Boston.
Yet in practice, exactly the opposite happened.
Dickinson and other moderates ultimately proved they were true patriots intent on vindicating American rights. Men of moderate views could be found throughout America. But in terms of the politics of resistance, the heartland of moderation lay in the middle colonies of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Unlike Massachusetts, where a single ethnic group of English descent predominated and religious differences were still confined within the Calvinist tradition, the middle colonies were a diverse melting pot where differences in religion, ethnicity and language heightened the potential for social unrest.
This was also the region where a modern vision of economic development that depended on attracting free immigrants and harnessing their productive energy shaped the political view of moderate leaders. Dickinson, the son of a land baron whose estate included 12, acres in Maryland and Delaware, studied law at the Inns of Court of London as a young man in the s.
An early trip to the House of Lords left him distinctly unimpressed. James for a royal birthday celebration, Dickinson was struck by the banal embarrassment King George II showed, staring at his feet and mumbling polite greetings to his guests.
Whatever the social differences between the colonies and the mother country, England was a dynamic, expanding and intellectually creative society. Like many moderates in the mids, Dickinson believed that the surest road to American prosperity lay in a continued alliance with the great empire of the Atlantic.
Dickinson balked at actively identifying with the Friends and their commitment to pacifism. Even though he worried as much as any moderate about resistance escalating to all-out warfare, he supported the militant measures Congress began pursuing once the British military clampdown began in earnest.
Remove the superintending authority of empire, Dickinson worried, and Americans would quickly fall into internecine conflicts of their own.
General outrage swept through the colonies after the British closed the port of Boston in May When the First Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in September in response to the crisis, John and Samuel Adams immediately began courting Dickinson, whose writings as the Pennsylvania Farmer made him one of the few men renowned across the colonies.
He is a Shadow—tall, but slender as a Reed—pale as ashes. One would think at first Sight that he could not live a Month. Yet upon a more attentive Inspection, he looks as if the Springs of Life were strong enough to last many Years.
Even if Boston had gone too far with its tea party, the essential American pleas were just. But the moderates also desperately hoped that the situation in Massachusetts would not spin out of control before the government in London had a fair opportunity to gauge the depth of American resistance and respond to the protests Congress submitted to the Crown.
That commitment to conciliation was sorely tested after fighting broke out at Lexington and Concord on April 19, Another was the tumultuous reception that the Massachusetts delegates to the Second Continental Congress enjoyed en route to Philadelphia in early May.
Meanwhile no matter what direction delegations from other colonies took as they headed to Philadelphia, they were hailed by well-turned-out contingents of militia. The rampant martial fervor of the spring of reflected a groundswell of opinion that Britain had provoked the eruption in Massachusetts and Americans could not flinch from the consequences.
Military preparations became the first task of the new session of Congress, and a week passed before any attempts to negotiate with the British were discussed. Many delegates felt that the time for reconciliation had already passed. Dickinson and other moderates prevailed on a reluctant Congress to draft a second olive branch petition to George III.
The debate, recorded only in the diary of Silas Deane of Connecticut, was heated. Dickinson insisted not only that Congress should petition anew, but that it should also send a delegation to London, authorized to initiate negotiations.None of the online scholarship databases includes information about college scholarships that are available only to children under age 13 because of federal privacy laws.
PATRIOT’S PEN. Each year more than , students in grades enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $50,, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $ at the national level. John Twelve Hawks is the author of the dystopian novel The Traveler and its sequels, The Dark River and The Golden City, collectively comprising the Fourth Realm caninariojana.com trilogy has been translated into 25 languages and has sold more than million books.
The trilogy was followed five years later by a fourth book, Spark, and a non-fiction eBook, Against Authority. Patriot's Pen. Each year more than , students in grades enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest.
The national first-place winner wins $5, and . Free book report papers, essays, and research papers. Nov 01, · The Patriot’s Pen essay contest for grades is getting started for the school year.
The first step: learning the theme. The first step: learning the theme. And (drumroll please!) here it is: Why I Honor the American Flag.