Betaler for noget i Revolutionary Times

Betaler for noget i Revolutionary Times

Hvis nogen betalte en regning eller for en gæld i 1790, betalte de så med kontanter eller en seddel?


Det varierede fra et sted til et andet. Nogle af de fælles muligheder:

  • I relativt civiliserede områder med god adgang til britisk handel, som Boston, New York og Philadelphia, blev priser og huslejer ofte denomineret i penny sterling.

  • I landbrugsområder blev skæpper af hvede almindeligvis brugt til at betale huslejer og regninger

  • Privatmøntede "tokens" var meget almindelige på grund af mangel på britisk sølv, og der er omkring hundrede eller så velkendte tokens; et typisk eksempel var Kentucky -token (se foto nedenfor); disse havde en tendens til at blive brugt til mindre regninger, ikke store betalinger

  • I mange områder, især den sydlige og midatlantiske, spanske fræset dollar blev meget udbredt; vores udtryk "dollar" stammer fra denne mønt, som var en reale; for større kommercielle transaktioner var den spanske gulddubloon (32 reales) en standard for penge

  • Private banker udstedte "kreditnotaer" og "gældsbreve", som ofte cirkulerede som en papirform

  • Den kontinentale kongres udstedte store mængder regninger som papirpenge i spanske dollars, og disse cirkulerede bredt, ofte med stor rabat

  • De enkelte stater havde hver oprindeligt udstedt mange papirpenge, men i 1790 var de fleste af disse regninger mindre værd end kontinentale og forfatningen, der blev vedtaget i 1789, gjorde dem ulovlige at producere, så de var ved at dø ud; ikke desto mindre var de stadig i brug

Kentucky -symbolet


Taille

Vores redaktører gennemgår, hvad du har indsendt, og afgør, om artiklen skal revideres.

Taille, den vigtigste direkte skat af det førrevolutionære monarki i Frankrig. Dens ulige fordeling, med præster og adelige fritaget, gjorde den til en af ​​de forhadte institutioner i det gamle område.

Halen opstod i den tidlige middelalder som en vilkårlig præcision fra bønder. Ofte pendlet eller givet afkald efter 1150, blev det genoplivet i regulerede former i senere middelalder. Under hundredeårskrigen (1337–1453) blev kongens seigneurial taille, hævet fra hans domæne, forlænget i hele Frankrig for at dække udgifter, og det udviklede sig til den kongelige taille. Da halen var en monetær ækvivalent for militærtjeneste, betalte adelen, der kæmpede, og præsterne, der var fritaget for kamp, ​​ikke, så skatten faldt på ikke -privilegerede personer og landområder. Under Charles VII (regeret 1422–61) blev samlingen af ​​halen formelt organiseret og gjort permanent og udelukkende kongelig. Halen var blevet en uundværlig kilde til kongelige indtægter og blev fortsat indsamlet af de franske konger indtil revolutionen i en stadig stigende hastighed.

Halen blev opsamlet ved to metoder. I distrikterne i halen personnelle (dvs. Nordfrankrig) blev det opkrævet på individuelt grundlag i distrikterne i taille réelle (Languedoc, Provence, Guyenne, Dauphiné) det blev opkrævet på ikke -privilegerede arealer.

I det 18. århundrede gjorde de mange undtagelser for betaling af halen, at den tyngede tungere dem, der stadig skulle betale den. Indbyggere i store byer, såsom Paris og Lyon, behøvede ikke at betale, og et stadigt stigende antal juridiske og finansielle kontorer havde ret til forædling med, hvilket gav indehaverne misundelsesværdig social status for ikke-taillables.


Hvad tager vi fejl af skatter og den amerikanske revolution

Hver måned opsummerer NBER Digest flere nylige NBER -arbejdspapirer. Disse artikler er ikke blevet peer-reviewed, men udsendes af deres forfattere til kommentar og diskussion. Med NBER ’s velsignelse er Making Sen $ e glad for at kunne vise disse resuméer regelmæssigt på vores side.

Følgende resumé er skrevet af NBER og afspejler ikke nødvendigvis synspunkterne i Making Sen $ e.

Ingen beskatning uden repræsentation ” - den amerikanske revolutions samlingsopråb - giver indtryk af, at beskatning var den vigtigste irritation mellem Storbritannien og dets amerikanske kolonier. Men faktisk var skatter i kolonierne meget lavere end skatter i Storbritannien. Kolonisternes centrale klage var deres mangel på en stemme i regeringen, der styrede dem.

Den politiske revolution i den amerikanske revolution er blevet diskuteret og debatteret i mere end 200 år, og der er flere forklaringer på årsagerne og flere analyser af den revolutionære dynamik. Et spørgsmål om revolutionen, der har været svært at besvare, er, hvis en lille repræsentation i parlamentet kunne have forhindret en uafhængighedskrig, hvorfor gav kong George III det ikke?

Dette spørgsmål er motivationen for Sebastian Galiani og Gustavo Torrens ‘s undersøgelse "Hvorfor ikke beskatning og repræsentation? En note om den amerikanske revolution. ” Ved at henlede opmærksomheden på repræsentationens rolle som en gnist for revolution bemærker de, at den gennemsnitlige britiske borger, der boede i Storbritannien, betalte 26 shilling om året i skat sammenlignet med kun 1 shilling om året i New England, selvom levestandarden for kolonister var uden tvivl højere end briternes.

De fleste beretninger om de begivenheder, der førte til den amerikanske revolution, skildrer en konflikt mellem kolonierne og en samlet britisk regering. Faktisk, hævder forskerne, var virkeligheden subtilere. De trækker på en række forskellige historiske beretninger for at beskrive spændingen mellem to rivaliserende britiske interessegrupper, den landede herredømme og den demokratisk tilbøjelige opposition, og forklarer manglen på at nå et kompromis, der ville have givet kolonierne repræsentation. De fokuserer især på, hvordan udvidelse af repræsentation ville have påvirket de to gruppers relative indflydelse.

Forskerne anser begivenhederne et århundrede før den amerikanske revolution for at have sat scenen for de indenlandske spændinger i Storbritannien på tidspunktet for de koloniale protester. I 1649, under den engelske borgerkrig, styrtede et oprør af parlamentarikere - og halshugning - kong Charles I. Oliver Cromwell, der regerede i det meste af det efterfølgende årti, at udvide repræsentationen i regeringen ud over grundejere, og hans regering var sympatisk over for klager som dem, der blev rejst af de amerikanske kolonier mange årtier senere. Efter Cromwells død i 1658 vendte royalisterne imidlertid tilbage til magten og søgte at genoprette den historiske herskende klasse.

Da kolonierne bad om repræsentation i midten af ​​1700 -tallet, var monarkiet stadig ved at komme sig efter detroniseringen, og den landede herre, der nu vendte tilbage til primærmagten, følte sig stadig sårbar. Forskerne påpeger, at royalisterne kæmpede med fraktioner, der forsøgte at bringe demokrati til Storbritannien. Selvom disse oppositionsgrupper ikke havde en betydelig magt, havde repræsentanter fra de amerikanske kolonier inviteret til at deltage i parlamentet, men de ville sandsynligvis have sympatiseret med oppositionen og udvidet deres indflydelse. Forskerne ser denne spænding som kritisk for at forstå, hvorfor Storbritannien var så tilbageholdende med at enfranchise kolonisterne.

Der var forslag om at løse kolonikrisen fredeligt, især af Thomas Pownall og Adam Smith. Smith foreslog for eksempel et system, hvor Storbritanniens og Amerikas politiske repræsentation ville stå i proportion til det bidrag, hver politi ydede til imperiets offentlige statskasse. ” Sådanne forslag blev afvist af den regerende koalition i Storbritannien. Den landede herre, der kontrollerede den siddende regering, frygtede, at indrømmelser til de amerikanske kolonier ville intensivere presset for demokratiske reformer og dermed bringe deres økonomiske og politiske position i fare, ” finder forskerne.

I sidste ende skubbede den landede herres modstand mod kravene om repræsentation af de amerikanske kolonier kolonierne til oprør og uafhængighed, men var med til at forsinke udviklingen af ​​den begyndende demokratiske bevægelse i Storbritannien.


Te, skatter og revolutionen

Da demonstrationer brød ud på landsplan i marts og april 2009 i modsætning til skatte- og udgiftspolitikken for den netop indviede Barack Obama-administration, navngav demonstranterne deres bevægelse og årsag efter Boston Tea Party den 16. december 1773, da kolonister fra Massachusetts dumpede britiske te i Boston havn i verdens mest berømte skatteoprør. Således blev & quotTea Party & quot -bevægelsen genfødt.

Tea Party-navnet antyder en anti-skatteprotest, der er forankret i amerikansk historie og er i overensstemmelse med den oprindelige hensigt med vores nations grundlæggelse. Hvis man griber den politiske højde i en amerikansk debat, svarer dette til at placere dine kanoner oven på Bunker Hill. (Tea Party, det er værd at bemærke, tildeler sig selv det vindende hold i den tidligere konflikt.)

Er sammenligningen nøjagtig eller opfundet? Hvordan kan niveauet og skattemåden i det moderne Amerika sammenlignes med beskatningen af ​​de britiske kolonier, hvilket førte til en otteårig krig, der kostede 25.000 amerikanske liv og i sidste ende brød det britiske imperium fra hinanden for at oprette USA? Hvilke paralleller eller paradokser findes?

Amerikanerne observerer ofte, at vores nationale uafhængighed blev født af et skatteoprør. Men skatter eller mangel derpå spillede en central rolle i kolonierne længe før Samuel Adams og hans frihedsønner. 1629-chartret fra Massachusetts Bay gav nybyggere en syvårig fritagelse for toldafgifter på al handel til og fra Storbritannien og en 21-årig fritagelse for alle andre skatter. I 1621 gav den hollandske regering det hollandske vestindiske kompagni en otte års fritagelse for alle handelsopgaver mellem New Amsterdam/New York og moderlandet. Svenske nybyggere i Delaware blev tilbudt en 10-årig skattefritagelse. Amerika blev med andre ord til dels skabt som et skatteparadis befolket med immigranter, der flyttede fra nationer med høj skat til lavskattekolonier.

I 1714 betalte britiske borgere i Storbritannien på grundlag pr. Indbygger 10 gange så meget i skat som gennemsnittet & quotAmerican & quot i de 13 kolonier, selvom nogle kolonier havde højere skatter end andre. Briterne betalte for eksempel 5,4 gange så meget i skat som skatteydere i Massachusetts, 18 gange så meget som Connecticut Yankees, 6,3 gange så meget som New Yorkere, 15,5 gange så meget som Virginians og 35,8 gange så meget som Pennsylvanians.

Lavbeskattet Pennsylvania blev grundlagt af William Penn, faderen til amerikansk religionsfrihed, som også især nægtede Pennsylvania Generalforsamlings venlige tilbud om at etablere en import- og eksportafgift til personlig fordel.

Beskatning i kolonierne bestod af ejendomsskatter, afstemningsafgifter på mænd over 18 år, punktafgifter og tvangsbidrag på et par dage om måneden for at bygge veje og påtage sig andre "offentlige funktioner" såsom konstabel, assessor eller & quothog reeve & quot (& quotan officer charge med forebyggelse eller vurdering af skader forårsaget af vildfarne svin, & quot ifølge Oxford English Dictionary).

Massachusetts indførte en embryonisk indkomstskat i 1634 i form af en "fakultet" skat. I 1643 skriver Alvin Rabushka ind Beskatning i kolonialamerika, & kvassessorer blev udpeget til at vurdere indbyggere på deres godser og deres evner, hvilket omfattede personlige evner. & quot Man bemærker med en vis misundelse, at skatten kom til omkring 1 procent af det, vi kan kalde indkomst.

Connecticut, der forventede New York-borgmester Michael Bloombergs barnepige-tendenser, indførte sumptuary love i 1676, der beskattede enhver person, der bar silkebånd, guld- eller sølvblonder eller guld- eller sølvknapper.

I 1775 indtog den britiske regering en femtedel af sine borgere ’ BNP, mens New Englanders kun betalte mellem 1 og 2 procent af deres indkomst i skat. Britiske borgere blev også tynget af en statsgæld, der blev stablet op af mange års verdensomspændende krigsførelse, der beløb sig til £ 15 for hver af kroneens otte millioner undersåtter, mens amerikanske lokale og koloniale regeringer var næsten gældfri. På denne baggrund så amerikanerne på, hvordan det britiske monarki forsøgte at hæve skatterne på kolonisterne for at betale ned på sin krigsgæld og betale for de 10.000 britiske soldater, der var brakeret i kolonierne.

Sugar Act fra 1764, en omskrivning af Plantation Duty fra 1673, var designet til at skaffe indtægter frem for at tvinge kolonierne til at handle alene med England og faldt mest på melasse, sukker og Madeira -vin. Kolonierne reagerede særligt dårligt på indførelsen af ​​frimærksloven fra 1765, hvilket var et forsøg på at pålægge kolonierne en direkte afgift frem for at beskatte import og eksport. Benjamin Franklin og andre argumenterede over for den britiske regering, at selvom kolonierne ikke protesterede mod told, så modsatte de sig direkte indenlandsk og kvotering uden repræsentation. & Quot

Det britiske parlament fik beskeden, ophævede frimærkesloven og reagerede med Townshend Acts fra 1767, som pålagde told på 72 varer, herunder te (ændringerne reducerede faktisk afgifterne på te, der oprindeligt blev importeret fra britiske kolonier for at bekæmpe smugling af hollandsk te til Amerika). Selvom briterne ophævede de fleste af disse afgifter i 1770, fastholdt de den særlige afgift på te for at gøre det pointe, at kronen kunne beskatte, når den valgte at gøre det. På det tidspunkt var de amerikanske kolonister imidlertid holdt op med at skelne mellem indenlandske og handelsskatter og begyndte at modsætte sig alle beskatninger og kontroller fra Storbritannien og satte scenen for revolutionen.

Konklusionen: Amerikanske kolonister blev både betalt mere og beskattet mindre end briterne. Amerikanske skatter var faktisk lave og gik lavere, men selve tanken om, at de var blevet forhøjet og kunne hæves igen af ​​en fjern magt, var nok til at sende amerikanere på gaden for at deltage i civil ulydighed. Regimeskift fulgte skatteoprøret.

Og hvad har ændret sig 239 år senere?

Amerikanerne er stadig rigere og beskattes mindre end borgere i andre nationer. Ved nogle foranstaltninger er føderale skatter lavere i dag, end de var før: Dagens øverste marginalskatteprocent for enkeltpersoner er 35 procent, hvilket er højere end Ronald Reagan ’s 28 procent, men lavere end Dwight Eisenhower ’s 90 procent. Statslige og lokale skatter har i mellemtiden utvivlsomt været på vej opad.

Tre chok til systemet tidligt i Obama ’s formandskab efterlignede på mange måder Townshend -lovene for at overbevise amerikanere om, at de har meget at frygte i fremtiden.

Det første chok kom i 2009, da etpartistyre fra demokratiske supermajoriteter i Senatet og Repræsentanternes Hus, allieret med en præsident for det samme parti, sikrede, at Washington kunne vedtage næsten enhver lovgivning om skatter eller udgifter, det ønskede. Den første af fire stimulusregninger, der blev underskrevet den 17. februar 2009, krævede 878 milliarder dollar i udgifter, og kongressen tilføjede yderligere 1 billion dollar til indenlandske skønsmæssige udgifter i løbet af det næste årti. Moderne anti-skatteaktivister følte sig lige så fjernet fra kontrollen med deres regering, som kolonisterne gjorde i 1775. Løfter om, at skatter kun ville blive pålagt "de rige" blev forrådt 16 dage i Obama ’s formandskab, da der blev vedtaget lovgivning for at øge skatten på cigaretter — et produkt, hvis forbrugere gennemsnitligt $ 40.000 i årlig indkomst.

For det andet, mens økonomien gik i stå, introducerede Det Hvide Hus en ny og dyr berettigelse i & quotObamacare, & quot; som indeholdt 20 nye skatter, der kostede amerikanere mellem $ 500 og $ 800 milliarder i løbet af et årti. Syv af disse skatter ramte direkte middelklassen, og Congressional Budget Office ’s 10-årige omkostningsestimat for Obamacare blev officielt fordoblet, efter at lovgivningen blev vedtaget.

For det tredje skulle en række gentagne gange fornyede endnu & quottemporary & quot skattelettelser udløbe i januar 2011. Den venstre minimumsskat, der blev pålagt i 1969 for at straffe 155 rige amerikanere, der investerede i kommunale obligationer, ville forblive uændret, ville ramme 31 millioner amerikanere. Skattesatsen på kapitalgevinster ville hoppe fra 15 procent til 23,8 procent, mens udbytteskatten ville stige fra 15 procent til 44,3 procent. Alt i alt ville skatterne stige med omkring 500 milliarder dollars på et år alene. (Denne Taxmageddon blev i sidste ende udskudt med to år og#8212 til 1. januar 2013.)

Briterne pålagde de minimis skat på te for at gøre opmærksom på, at de havde magt til at gennemføre sådanne foranstaltninger og mere, når de ville. Obama, majoritetsleder i Senatet Harry Reid og tidligere husformand Nancy Pelosi bestod et 2.600-siders berettigelsesprogram — skrevet ikke foran C-SPAN-kameraer som lovet, men i kamera — og forklarede rabaliet, at regeringen måtte vedtage lovgivningen, så dens undersåtter kunne lære, hvad der var i den.

Det amerikanske folk reagerede på denne fremvisning af rå, ukontrolleret magt. I ugen den 15. april 2009 deltog anslået 600.000 demonstranter i mere end 600 Tea Party -stævner i hele landet. Disse var ikke studenterdemonstranter, uden byrder af job eller familieforpligtelser, men ansatte, middelklassens amerikanere, hvoraf de fleste aldrig havde været til en politisk protest og aldrig havde forventet at slutte sig til en.

Disse moderne Tea Partiers optrådte overraskende få & quottar og featherings, & quot og alligevel klagede etableringsmedierne over deres overdrevne retorik. Alligevel konkurrerede demonstranterne aldrig helt om den heftighed, hvormed John Adam fordømte sukkerloven for at pålægge & kvotenormøse skatter, byrdefulde skatter, undertrykkende, ødelæggende, utålelige skatter. & Quot

Både i 2009 og 1775 blev modstanden mod skatter til sidst erstattet af et krav om frihed og beskyttelse mod regeringsmagten. Den fjerde ændringsbeskyttelse mod eftersøgning og beslaglæggelse og & quotwrits of assistance & quot var specielt designet til at beskytte mod den dages skatteopkrævere, der leder efter smuglerier og konfiskerer skibsfart. I dag, efter at have været ved modtageren af, hvad republikanske kongresmedlemmer betragter som uberettigede og vilkårlige IRS -undersøgelser, kræver Tea Partiers lovændringer for at forhindre regeringen i at bruge IRS til at politi oppositionsgrupper.

Valget i 2010 var et middelklasseoprør, der sluttede etpartistyre i Washington og gav oppositionen et stærkt flertal i Parlamentet og styrke i Senatet. Obama og Reid har reageret på denne uforskammethed med deres egne utålelige handlinger —, der styrer gennem bekendtgørelser og forskrifter og tilføjer til udgifterne og gældseksplosionen i de foregående to år. Der har ikke været nogen reform, ingen mådehold og intet kompromis. Senest i højesterets afgørelse om Obamacare gjorde chefdommer John Roberts det officielt, at der ikke er nogen magt uden for den føderale regering, hvis beskatning bruges som pisken for at håndhæve overholdelse.

Heldigvis flytter nationen nu til valget 6. november frem for Lexington og Concord.

Da demonstrationer brød ud på landsplan i marts og april 2009 i modsætning til skatte- og udgiftspolitikken for den netop indviede Barack Obama-administration, navngav demonstranterne deres bevægelse og årsag efter Boston Tea Party den 16. december 1773, da kolonister fra Massachusetts dumpede britiske te i Boston havn i verdens mest berømte skatteoprør. Således blev & quotTea Party & quot -bevægelsen genfødt.

Tea Party-navnet antyder en anti-skatteprotest, der er forankret i amerikansk historie og er i overensstemmelse med den oprindelige hensigt med grundlæggelsen af ​​vores nation. Hvis man griber den politiske høje grund i en amerikansk debat, svarer dette til at placere dine kanoner oven på Bunker Hill. (Tea Party, det er værd at bemærke, tildeler sig selv det vindende hold i den tidligere konflikt.)

Er sammenligningen nøjagtig eller opfundet? Hvordan kan niveauet og skattemåden i det moderne Amerika sammenlignes med beskatningen af ​​de britiske kolonier, hvilket førte til en otteårig krig, der kostede 25.000 amerikanske liv og i sidste ende brød det britiske imperium fra hinanden for at oprette USA? Hvilke paralleller eller paradokser findes?

Amerikanerne observerer ofte, at vores nationale uafhængighed blev født af et skatteoprør. Men skatter eller mangel derpå spillede en central rolle i kolonierne længe før Samuel Adams og hans frihedsønner. 1629-chartret fra Massachusetts Bay gav nybyggere en syvårig fritagelse for toldafgifter på al handel til og fra Storbritannien og en 21-årig fritagelse for alle andre skatter. I 1621 gav den hollandske regering det hollandske vestindiske kompagni otte års fritagelse for alle handelsopgaver mellem New Amsterdam/New York og moderlandet. Svenske nybyggere i Delaware blev tilbudt en 10-årig skattefritagelse. Amerika blev med andre ord til dels skabt som et skatteparadis befolket med immigranter, der flyttede fra nationer med høj skat til lavskattekolonier.

I 1714 betalte britiske borgere i Storbritannien på grundlag pr. Indbygger 10 gange så meget i skat som gennemsnittet & quotAmerican & quot i de 13 kolonier, selvom nogle kolonier havde højere skatter end andre. Briterne betalte for eksempel 5,4 gange så meget i skat som skatteydere i Massachusetts, 18 gange så meget som Connecticut Yankees, 6,3 gange så meget som New Yorkere, 15,5 gange så meget som Virginians og 35,8 gange så meget som Pennsylvanians.

Lavbeskattet Pennsylvania blev grundlagt af William Penn, faderen til amerikansk religionsfrihed, som også især nægtede Pennsylvania Generalforsamlings venlige tilbud om at etablere en import- og eksportafgift til personlig fordel.

Beskatning i kolonierne bestod af ejendomsskatter, afstemningsafgifter på mænd over 18 år, punktafgifter og tvangsbidrag på et par dage om måneden for at bygge veje og påtage sig andre "offentlige funktioner" såsom konstabel, assessor eller & quothog reeve & quot (& quotan officer charge med forebyggelse eller vurdering af skader forårsaget af vildfarne svin, & quot ifølge Oxford English Dictionary).

Massachusetts indførte en embryonisk indkomstskat i 1634 i form af en "fakultet" skat. I 1643 skriver Alvin Rabushka ind Beskatning i kolonialamerika, & kvassessorer blev udpeget til at vurdere indbyggere på deres godser og deres evner, hvilket omfattede personlige evner. & quot Man bemærker med en vis misundelse, at skatten kom til omkring 1 procent af det, vi kan kalde indkomst.

Connecticut, der forventede New York-borgmester Michael Bloombergs barnepige-tendenser, indførte sumptuary love i 1676, der beskattede enhver person, der bar silkebånd, guld- eller sølvblonder eller guld- eller sølvknapper.

I 1775 indtog den britiske regering en femtedel af sine borgere ’ BNP, mens New Englanders kun betalte mellem 1 og 2 procent af deres indkomst i skat. Britiske borgere blev også tynget af en statsgæld, der blev stablet op af mange års verdensomspændende krigsførelse, der beløb sig til £ 15 for hver af kroneens otte millioner undersåtter, mens amerikanske lokale og koloniale regeringer var næsten gældfri. På denne baggrund så amerikanerne på, hvordan det britiske monarki forsøgte at hæve skatterne på kolonisterne for at betale ned på sin krigsgæld og betale for de 10.000 britiske soldater, der var brakeret i kolonierne.

Sugar Act fra 1764, en omskrivning af Plantation Duty fra 1673, var designet til at skaffe indtægter frem for at tvinge kolonierne til at handle med England alene og faldt mest på melasse, sukker og Madeira -vin. Kolonierne reagerede særligt dårligt på indførelsen af ​​frimærksloven fra 1765, hvilket var et forsøg på at pålægge kolonierne en direkte afgift frem for at beskatte import og eksport. Benjamin Franklin og andre argumenterede over for den britiske regering, at selvom kolonierne ikke protesterede mod told, så modsatte de sig direkte indenlandsk og kvotering uden repræsentation. & Quot

Det britiske parlament fik beskeden, ophævede frimærkesloven og reagerede med Townshend Acts fra 1767, som pålagde told på 72 varer, herunder te (ændringerne reducerede faktisk afgifterne på te, der oprindeligt blev importeret fra britiske kolonier for at bekæmpe smugling af hollandsk te til Amerika). Selvom briterne ophævede de fleste af disse afgifter i 1770, opretholdt de den specifikke skat på te for at gøre opmærksom på, at kronen kunne beskatte, når den valgte at gøre det. På det tidspunkt var de amerikanske kolonister imidlertid holdt op med at skelne mellem indenlandske og handelsskatter og begyndte at modsætte sig alle beskatninger og kontroller fra Storbritannien og satte scenen for revolutionen.

Konklusionen: Amerikanske kolonister blev både betalt mere og beskattet mindre end briterne. Amerikanske skatter var faktisk lave og gik lavere, men selve tanken om, at de var blevet hævet og kunne hæves igen af ​​en fjern magt, var nok til at sende amerikanere på gaden for at deltage i civil ulydighed. Regimeskift fulgte skatteoprøret.

Og hvad har ændret sig 239 år senere?

Amerikanerne er stadig rigere og beskattes mindre end borgere i andre nationer. Ved nogle foranstaltninger er føderale skatter lavere i dag, end de var før: Dagens øverste marginalskatteprocent for enkeltpersoner er 35 procent, hvilket er højere end Ronald Reagan ’s 28 procent, men lavere end Dwight Eisenhower ’s 90 procent. Statslige og lokale skatter har i mellemtiden utvivlsomt været på vej opad.

Tre chok til systemet tidligt i Obama ’s formandskab efterlignede på mange måder Townshend -lovene for at overbevise amerikanere om, at de har meget at frygte i fremtiden.

Det første chok kom i 2009, da etpartistyre fra demokratiske supermajoriteter i Senatet og Repræsentanternes Hus, allieret med en præsident for det samme parti, sikrede, at Washington kunne vedtage næsten enhver lovgivning om skatter eller udgifter, det ønskede. Den første af fire stimulusregninger, der blev underskrevet den 17. februar 2009, krævede 878 milliarder dollar i udgifter, og kongressen tilføjede yderligere 1 billion dollar til indenlandske skønsmæssige udgifter i løbet af det næste årti. Nutidens anti-skatteaktivister følte sig lige så fjernet fra kontrollen med deres regering, som kolonisterne gjorde i 1775. Løfter om, at skatter kun ville blive pålagt "de rige" blev forrådt 16 dage i Obama ’s formandskab, da lovgivning blev vedtaget for at øge skatten på cigaretter — et produkt, hvis forbrugere gennemsnitligt $ 40.000 i årlig indkomst.

For det andet, mens økonomien gik i stå, introducerede Det Hvide Hus en ny og dyr berettigelse i & quotObamacare, & quot; som indeholdt 20 nye skatter, der kostede amerikanere mellem $ 500 og $ 800 milliarder i løbet af et årti. Syv af disse skatter ramte direkte middelklassen, og Congressional Budget Office ’s 10-årige omkostningsestimat for Obamacare blev officielt fordoblet, efter at lovgivningen blev vedtaget.

For det tredje skulle en række gentagne gange fornyede endnu & quottemporary & quot -skattelettelser udløbe i januar 2011. Den venstre minimumsskat, der blev pålagt i 1969 for at straffe 155 rige amerikanere, der investerede i kommunale obligationer, ville forblive uændret, ville ramme 31 millioner amerikanere. Skattesatsen på kapitalgevinster ville hoppe fra 15 procent til 23,8 procent, mens udbytteskatten ville stige fra 15 procent til 44,3 procent. Alt i alt ville skatterne stige med omkring 500 milliarder dollars på et år alene. (Denne Taxmageddon blev i sidste ende udskudt med to år og#8212 til 1. januar 2013.)

Briterne pålagde de minimis skat på te for at gøre opmærksom på, at de havde magt til at gennemføre sådanne foranstaltninger og mere, når de ville. Obama, majoritetsleder i Senatet Harry Reid og tidligere husformand Nancy Pelosi bestod et 2.600-siders berettigelsesprogram — skrevet ikke foran C-SPAN-kameraer som lovet, men i kamera — og forklarede til rabalderne, at regeringen måtte vedtage lovgivningen, så dens undersåtter kunne lære, hvad der var i den.

Det amerikanske folk reagerede på denne fremvisning af rå, ukontrolleret magt. I ugen den 15. april 2009 deltog anslået 600.000 demonstranter i mere end 600 Tea Party -stævner i hele landet. Disse var ikke studenterdemonstranter, uden byrder af job eller familieforpligtelser, men ansatte, middelklassens amerikanere, hvoraf de fleste aldrig havde været til en politisk protest og aldrig havde forventet at slutte sig til en.

Disse moderne Tea Partiers optrådte overraskende få & quottar og featherings, & quot og alligevel klagede etableringsmedierne over deres overdrevne retorik. Alligevel konkurrerede demonstranterne aldrig helt om den heftighed, hvormed John Adam fordømte sukkerloven for at pålægge & kvotenormøse skatter, byrdefulde skatter, undertrykkende, ødelæggende, utålelige skatter. & Quot

Både i 2009 og 1775 blev modstanden mod skatter til sidst erstattet af et krav om frihed og beskyttelse mod regeringsmagten. Den fjerde ændringsbeskyttelse mod eftersøgning og beslaglæggelse og & quotwrits of assistance & quot var specielt designet til at beskytte mod den dages skatteopkrævere, der leder efter smuglerier og konfiskerer skibsfart. I dag, efter at have været i modtageren af, hvad republikanske kongresmedlemmer betragter som uberettigede og vilkårlige IRS -undersøgelser, kræver Tea Partiers lovændringer for at forhindre regeringen i at bruge IRS til at politi oppositionsgrupper.

Valget i 2010 var et middelklasseoprør, der sluttede etpartistyre i Washington og gav oppositionen et stærkt flertal i Parlamentet og styrke i Senatet. Obama og Reid har reageret på denne uforskammethed med deres egne utålelige handlinger —, der styrer gennem bekendtgørelser og forskrifter, og tilføjer til udgifterne og gældseksplosionen i de foregående to år. Der har ikke været nogen reform, ingen mådehold og intet kompromis. Senest i højesterets afgørelse om Obamacare gjorde chefdommer John Roberts det officielt, at der ikke er nogen magt uden for den føderale regering, hvis beskatning bruges som pisken for at håndhæve overholdelse.

Heldigvis flytter nationen nu til valget 6. november frem for Lexington og Concord.


Da slaveejere fik reparationer

Lincoln underskrev en regning i 1862, der betalte op til $ 300 for hver slaver, der blev frigivet.

Dr. Hunter, professor i amerikansk historie og afroamerikanske studier, har specialiseret sig i det 19. og 20. århundrede.

Den 16. april 1862 underskrev præsident Abraham L incoln et lovforslag, der frigjorde slaver i Washington, enden på en lang kamp. Men for at lette slaveejernes smerte betalte District of Columbia Emancipation Act dem, der var loyale over for Unionen, op til $ 300 for hver slaver, der blev frigivet.

Det er rigtigt, slaveejere fik erstatning. Enslavede afroamerikanere fik intet for deres generationer af stjålne kroppe, snuppede børn og eksproprierede arbejdskraft andet end blot deres frigivelse fra juridisk trældom.

Kompensationsklausulen vil sandsynligvis ikke blive fejret i dag. Men i takt med at debatten om erstatning for slaveri intensiveres, er det vigtigt at huske, at slaveejere, langt mere end slaver, altid var de primære modtagere af offentlig storhed.

Handlingen er bemærkelsesværdig, fordi det var første gang, at den føderale regering godkendte afskaffelse af slaveri, hvilket fremskyndede dens død i Virginia og Maryland, da løbsk fra disse stater flygtede til Washington. Det tilbød konkrete beviser til slaver og deres allierede, at den føderale regering muligvis ville ødelægge slaveriet overalt. Og det bekræftede deres fjenders værste frygt for en blandet tyrannisk præsident.

Abraham Lincoln var imidlertid ivrig efter at bevare sin skrøbelige alliance med loyale slaveholdere. He had advocated abolition of slavery in Washington in 1849 as a congressman, to no avail. As president, he encouraged the border states to voluntarily end slavery. He chose Delaware as an ideal place to take the lead in late 1861. But it became clear that Union slaveowners could not be so easily persuaded. This reinforced the need to make congressional emancipation conditioned on compensating them, which put abolitionists in a bind.

They welcomed the end of slavery in the capital, but chafed at payments that validated the right to own property in the form of human beings. “If compensation is to be given at all,” the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison said at the National Anti-Slavery Convention in Philadelphia in 1833, “it should be given to the outraged and guiltless slaves, and not to those who have plundered and abu sed them.”

Moderate antislavery advocates like Lincoln did not agree. To the contrary, they believed that any manumission plan had to placate property rights that were buttressed by the Fifth Amendment, which required “just compensation” for government seizure of private assets.

Lincoln appointed a board of commissioners to oversee the process of compensation, headed by the North Carolina abolitionist and New York Times reporter Daniel Reaves Goodloe. The board reviewed more than 1,000 slaveholders’ petitions to claim more than 3,000 enslaved people, close to the entirety of the dwindling population. Most of the petitioners received the full amount allowed. The largest individual payout was $18,000 for 69 slaves.

Although the District of Columbia Emancipation Act marked the only time the federal government would compensate slaveowners, there is a longer history of slaveowners requesting and receiving indemnification for the loss of their chattel.

Slaveowners felt entitled to and often received compensation from local, colonial and state legislatures, especially in times of crisis — when enslaved women and men ran away, participated in rebellions or were executed for crimes. During the American Revolution, owners asked to be compensated when bondspeople had died while working in lead mines i n Virginia, for example, and when they sided with the British and ran away.

After the revolution, as Northern states carried out gradual-emancipation plans, compensation was attractive to slaveowners seeking to ease their financial burdens. The 1804 Gradual Abolition Act in New Jersey, for example, did not free anyone immediately. It allowed children of enslaved women to be treated as “apprentices” (slavery by another name) until they reached a certain age and wo uld be freed. The law included a clause that allowed slaveowners to gain compensation by letting their bondspeople go free and then reclaiming them as “bound out labor,” which gave them access to state funds for their troubles.

In a break from tradition in the 1850s, the abolitionist Elihu Burritt organized the National Compensated Emancipation Convention in Cleveland to advocate payments to slaveowners, as well as smaller sums to be paid to the people they had enslaved. Nothing came of his dual proposal, however.

To be sure, the major benefactors of slaveowner reparations within the Atlantic slave system were Europeans. When England abolished slavery in its Caribbean colonies, it offered compensation to 46,000 slaveowners at the cost of around $26.2 million.

France went further by penalizing Haiti for the revolution that abolished slavery in its former colony St. Domingue. It levied a huge sum on the island, which crippled it in decades of debt. Former slaves were forced to pay indemnities to former slaveowners in exchange for official recognition as the first black independent nation-state in the Western Hemisphere.

The long and insistent coupling of compensation for slaveowners with emancipation is useful for consideration in current debates about reparations for the descendants of the enslaved. Critics and skeptics are fond of saying that enslaved people should have asked for recompense back then. African-Americans did precisely that, going back to the colonial era. They petitioned for “freedom dues,” they sued the estates of former masters for their unrequited toil, and they asked for land to restart their lives as free men and women. Relatively few of those efforts were successful.

An overwhelming majority of white people believed that slaveowners, not enslaved African-Americans, deserved recompense for the benevolence of manumission. The only “reward” that was widely supported was colonization: a trip “back to Africa.” The act allocated $100,000 for the voluntary removal of the newly freed people (at $100 per person) to go to Liberia or Haiti, which rarely happened.

Preserving sacred property rights and moving the Negro problem offshore meant that there was no justice for enslaved African-Americans. All of the candidates running for president must support the federal government’s issuing of reparations to African-Americans who were economically affected by slavery. Justice requires this.

Tera W. Hunter (@TeraWHunter) is a professor of history and African-American studies at Princeton and the author of “Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century.”


End the Great American Myth: Secession, Not Revolution

I remember the 1970’s driving around New York City with my family during the holidays like they were yesterday.

Back then the talk in the front seat of the car between my parents was New York City’s bankruptcy. My dad, NYPD at the time, was as much a part of this as anyone since the Police pension fund helped bail out the city government back then.

The West Side Highway fell down and because of that I grew up with a fear of heights and, especially bridges. I really hated taking the back way (New Jersey) into Staten Island. The mere mention of the Outer Bridge crossing would nearly put me into a panic attack.

I remember thinking then, “If these people can’t pay the bills now, what’s it going to be in ten or twenty years?” Sure, I was a naive ten or eleven at the time and had no idea about capital flight, but the sentiment was sound.

Even then the Emperor was naked to this child’s eyes. This was Rome near the end and the Sword of Damocles hung over the heads of my generation in ways we could barely articulate.

So, for me, the idea of the U.S. breaking up into its component parts has been a constant companion most of my adult life. And, as a libertarian, I always think in terms of secession first, rather than revolution. It sits on my shoulder whispering in my ear the truth of what’s in front of us.

We’ve reached a very important moment in world history. It is that moment where the promises of classical liberalism are failing in the face of a creeping totalitarian nightmare.

America as mythology has always stood as the ‘shining house on the hill’ for this enlightened idea that the wishes of the individual pursuing his bliss creates the community and culture which lifts the world out of a Hobbesian State of Nature.

But America as Mythology and America as Reality are two vastly different rough beasts. And it is that difference between them that is being exploited today by The Davos Crowd to set the process in motion for their next victory.

Brandon Smith at Alt-Market brought up the trap conservatives are being led into today in his recent article. He argues, quite persuasively, that the ‘right’ is being radicalized into thinking about an armed civil war to fight the corporatist left-wing useful idiots in an orgy of violence.

To be clear, what I believe is happening is that conservatives are being prodded and provoked, not to separate and organize but to centralize. I think they want us to support actions like martial law which would be considered totalitarian. Conservatives, the only stalwart defenders of civil liberties, using military suppression and abandoning the Bill of Rights to maintain political power? That is a dream come true for the globalists in the long term. And despite people’s faith in Trump, there are far too many banking elites and globalists within his cabinet to ensure that such power will not be abused or used against us later.

Nothing would give Klaus Schwab and The Davos Crowd more pleasure than turning us into them — willing to use indiscriminate violence to push otherwise humble and decent people into crazed killers and repudiate their inherent meekness, their inherent desire to pursue their bliss, allowing everyone else that same courtesy.

But, leftism as practiced today, is aggressive. It is rapacious and rests on the idea that no one can exist outside their preferred outcome lest anyone see their world for the nightmare it truly is.

Secession is not only not an option, it is expressly verboten.

I’ve made the argument that violence, not secession, is one very possible outcome of where the current political divide is taking us. Brandon uses the situation in Germany in the 1920s/30s as his historical guide. In short, Fascism rose to meet the violence of the Communists with the old monied elite providing the means for the conflict.

The parallels to today are striking. In November’s issue of Gold Goats ‘n Guns I likened the rising frustration of the American right to that of the Fremen Jihad of Frank Herbert’s classic Dune.

When you marginalize the tens of millions of people who produce the goods which sustain their false reality, when you remove their ability to speak their mind and make their voices heard, when you insult them, berate them, hector them and beat them then you will bear the consequences when the sleeper awakens, in Herbert’s words.

This isn’t a threat or an open letter of defiance. This is an observation of what always comes next. These people know that they have been lied to, their children spiritually separated from them. The election was a cruel joke meant to rub our noses in their complete power over us. You can
see it every day on Twitter.

What comes next will benothing short of a Fremenesque jihad by the 70+ million people who voted for Donald Trump. If his allies prove the systematic thievery of the election it will fuel a simmering anger to boiling over into a near-religious frenzy.

Because these are people who still believe in the Mythology of America, they are very susceptible to this programming. That mythology is worth fighting for in their minds.

Brandon Smith, however, is making a finer point which I tend to agree with. And that is that secession, not revolution, is always the better option rather than the pre-packaged violent one which the oligarchs always seem to prepare for us.

To broaden Brandon’s point, I want to challenge the precepts of that American mythology in the hope we can avoid the kind of religious war that is brewing.

There are two wars which bear most of the weight of that mythology — The American Revolution and the U.S. Civil War.

The first one is the good war. It is the foundation of the mythology. We know the narrative: brave colonials fought a war of independence, a war of secession, from the evil English. It brought forth the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence and all the symbology of our shared American identity.

That mythology, while simplistic, held a core truth, that there are some things worth fighting for, when pushed to an extreme.

However, was 1770’s America that extreme a place? Was war the only practical outcome? Or was it the dream of those men whose tolerance for tyranny shallower than the norm. In other words, could America have seceded more peacefully in ten or twenty years’ time?

Viewed that way, this was a war of secession that the English and the Colonies didn’t have to fight. There may have been an equitable way out of conflict. But the colonies chose war just as much as the Crown did if we’re being honest with ourselves.

The Civil War, on the other hand, is supposed to be the shameful one. And from the Mythology side it truly is. Lincoln’s war can only be characterized as a war to prevent secession in the same way that Crown fought to prevent the colonies from seceding.

The mythology states this was the war we had to fight to prevent slavery’s survival into the 20th century. But, was it that? Slavery may have been a dividing line to stoke the passions but it wasn’t the big factor driving the states apart, the Tariff of Abomination was.

Again, if we’re being honest with ourselves wasn’t Lincoln’s war where the ideals of the American Revolution – a compact between the sovereign states – were finally betrayed?

Aren’t we reaping the whirlwind of that war today with a Supreme Court who believes it has the power to ignore interstate grievances because none of the justices, even Thomas and Alito, believe in the compact of equals today?

Remember, the South was more than willing to leave in peace. And any reasons Lincoln had for fighting the war over the seizure of Federal property, i.e. the proximate cause for the events at Fort Sumter, could have been worked out, again, equitably as gentlemen, rather than through the butchering of 600,000 Americans over four years.

From the Mythology Lincoln is the Great Uniter and Buchanan, his predecessor, the Worst President in History simply because he refused to either bail out the railroad banks in 1857 or prevent the South’s secession in 1860.

What if the mythology of America today has these two wars backwards? What if all the conservatives mourning the Constitution today thanks to a feckless Supreme Court and treasonous Congress have it all wrong? What if the America they mourn the death of today died in 1865 not 2020?

Would that America still be worth finally fighting a bloody civil war for? Because that’s what The Davos Crowd is daring Donald Trump to do.

What if the better response is to do what the South tried to do and failed.

Simply walk away and say, “No more.”

Because fighting the bloody war of all against all, becoming raving fascists rising up to stop the rapacious (and economically backwards) communists in the process is always the wrong option.

Secession is always an option. Opting out of the hyper-collectivizing impulses of in-group/out-group bias is always the right choice. They want us to throw the first punch, to lash out, fire first out of fear, c.f. Fort Sumter, to justify their brutality afterwards.

But, as I said in the quote above, the states with the grievances today are the ones that produce the wealth of this fiction known as the U.S. It’s where the food is grown, the electricity generated, the goods produced and people aren’t shitting in the streets.

The food lines may be long in Texas but there’s still food to distribute.

The balance of power in the U.S. today in real terms is reverse of what existed in 1860. Post-Trump America looks a lot different than pre-Lincoln.

Because of that and the reality that the people pulling off this great coup against sanity are some of the most unimpressive leaders in history, the potential for a successful secession is far higher than it was for the Confederacy.

Brandon Smith is right that they invoke the Confederacy to shame conservatives as racists, conflating issues separated by more than 150 years of history. This is why the all-out assault on the history of the war, whitewashing it of any nuance.

Theirs is a mind-virus that grows beyond the ability of the oligarchy to control. And it is truly best to not just walk but run away from such people. Better to let them sink into their own cesspit of ideological rabbit holes while keeping the lines of trade open, if they have anything worth selling, of course.

They will turn on themselves soon enough.

Having grown up a Yankee and matured as a Southerner I’ve seen this descent of the American mythology from both perspectives. The eleven year-old me knew this day would come.

The Mythology of America is just that, mythology, worth using as the basis for the new story rather than a shackle keeping us chained down, staring at the Abyss and despairing at what was lost.

New York was a dream not a fixture in the night sky. God didn’t put his finger on the Empire State Building and spin the world.

Because Texas was too big for it to ever stay in balance, even if he did. And California is one bad day away from Big One which washes it from our memory.

Join my Patreon if you are ready to stop mourning America and start rebuilding something better.

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Rhode Island and the United States

Rhode Island’s experiences from 1790 to the mid-19th century produced a startling contrast between innovative, adventurous changes in the economy and conservative tendencies in social and political evolution. Daring entrepreneurship and invention transformed Rhode Island’s economy from seaborne commerce to industry, and the state was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution in the United States. Samuel Slater’s mill launched the American textile industry in 1790 with its use of the first power-driven spinning machines in the country. Textiles remained the state’s principal industry until the 1920s. Rhode Island’s many factories came to employ thousands of workers and attracted a flood of immigrants.

Despite its role in the forefront of the country’s early industrial development, the state clung to its colonial charter, and Rhode Island was left behind politically as democracy developed in the rest of the country. The charter, which was made when the colony consisted primarily of rural landowners, gave disproportionate influence to rural interests as the state became more urbanized only property owners were allowed to vote or hold office, a requirement that all other states had dispensed with by 1840. A majority of free adult males were thus disenfranchised. Because the General Assembly refused to reapportion its seats—in spite of the substantial shifts in population that had occurred over the centuries—or expand the right to vote, suffrage supporters led by Thomas Wilson Dorr called a convention in 1842 that drew up a new constitution (later overwhelmingly approved by referendum), elected Dorr governor, and attempted to establish a new government. The charter government refused to budge, so Dorr and his followers tried to overthrow it by force of arms and attacked the arsenal in Providence. The Dorr Rebellion failed, and the preexisting government stood. Dorr was tried for treason and received a life sentence in 1844, although he was released a year later.

The episode struck a chord around the country and echoed the revolutionary idea of the people’s right to create their own government. The state was forced to adopt a constitution shortly after the rebellion. Though the new constitution enfranchised African Americans, other provisions discriminated against foreign-born citizens (mainly Irish Roman Catholics) and aggravated ethnic and religious tensions that lasted well into the 20th century. The fear of foreign-born Catholics in particular briefly brought the Know-Nothing party to power in Rhode Island in 1855. The late 1850s saw the rise of the Republican Party, which dominated Rhode Island politics and government almost continuously from the mid-1860s until 1935. While they had not created the constitution of 1842, the Republicans ably used its provisions to retain dominance in the state government long after the Democratic Party had come to represent an actual popular majority.

By the time of the American Civil War, Rhode Island was an industrial power, able to produce nearly everything that an army needed for equipment, from cannons and rifles to bayonets, riding gear, tents, and uniforms. In addition, more than 24,000 men joined the Federal army, exceeding the state’s quota by 5,000.


4. Violent Hostility Towards Religion

To say the French Revolution was hostile towards religion is an understatement. Church property was nationalized, tithing was outlawed, church authorities were made employees of the state, and 30,000 priests were exiled. To confuse Christians so they wouldn’t be able to figure out which day was Sunday, a new ten-day week was implemented. In what became known as the September Massacres, three bishops and more than 200 priests were murdered by mobs.

Traditional religion in the United States has also come under attack by the modern radical left. And, while things haven’t yet got to the level of the French Revolution, the current anti-Christian climate does not bode well for the future. During the first weeks of the riots, for example, St. John’s Church, a historic house of worship near the White House, was set on fire. The media erupted in anger when police cleared the streets in front of the church so President Trump could pose in front of it holding a Bible.

In response, the D.C. mayor renamed the area “Black Lives Matter Plaza” and painted the slogan over the road. The area has become a hub for Black Lives Matter activists. There also have been repeated attempts to establish a “Black House Autonomous Zone” in the area. The area has developed its own religious feel, with multiple murals and tributes to George Floyd and others considered martyrs by the group.

Suffering the same fate as many of America’s founders and heroes, religious statues have been torn down as well. Black Lives Matter commentator Shaun King has stated depicting Jesus Christ as a white man is evidence of white supremacy. Churches have been vandalized, a Florida man drove his vehicle into a church, a statue of the Virgin Mary was torched in Boston, and at a Tennessee parish, a statue of Mary was beheaded. Because their pastor spoke out against the rioting in the streets, churchgoers in Troy, New York were verbally harassed by Black Lives Matter protestors as they entered Grace Baptist Church.


Who Paid for the Statue of Liberty's Pedestal

While the Statue of Liberty is a cherished symbol of America today, getting the people of the United States to accept the gift of the statue was not always easy.

The sculptor Bartholdi had traveled to America in 1871 to promote the idea of the statue, and he returned for the nation’s grand centennial celebrations in 1876. He spent the Fourth of July 1876 in New York City, crossing the harbor to visit the future location of the statue at Bedloe’s Island.

But despite Bartholdi’s efforts, the idea of the statue was difficult to sell. Some newspapers, most notably the New York Times, often criticized the statue as folly and vehemently opposed spending any money on it.

While the French had announced that the funds for the statue were in place in 1880, by late 1882 the American donations, which would be needed to build the pedestal, were sadly lagging.

Bartholdi recalled that when the torch had first been displayed at the Philadelphia Exposition in 1876, some New Yorkers had been worried that the city of Philadelphia might wind up getting the entire statue. So Bartholdi tried to generate more rivalry in the early 1880s and floated a rumor that if New Yorkers didn’t want the statue, perhaps Boston would be happy to take it.

The ploy worked, and New Yorkers, suddenly fearful of losing the statue entirely, began holding meetings to raise money for the pedestal, which was expected to cost about $250,000. Even the New York Times dropped its opposition to the statue.

Even with the generated controversy, the cash was still slow to appear. Various events were held, including an art show, to raise money. At one point a rally was held on Wall Street. But no matter how much public cheerleading took place, the future of the statue was very much in doubt in the early 1880s.

One of the fund-raising projects, an art show, commissioned poet Emma Lazarus to write a poem related to the statue. Her sonnet "The New Colossus" would eventually link the statue to immigration in the public mind.

It was a likely possibility that the statue while being finished in Paris would never leave France as it would have no home in America.

The newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer, who had purchased The World, a New York City daily, in the early 1880s, took up the cause of the statue’s pedestal. He mounted an energetic fund drive, promising to print the name of each donor, no matter how small the donation.

Pulitzer’s audacious plan worked, and millions of people around the country began donating whatever they could. Schoolchildren across America began donating pennies. For instance, a kindergarten class in Iowa sent $1.35 to Pulitzer’s fund drive.

Pulitzer and the New York World were finally able to announce, in August 1885, that the final $100,000 for the statue’s pedestal had been raised.

Construction work on the stone structure continued, and the next year the Statue of Liberty, which had arrived from France packed in crates, was erected on top.

Today the Statue of Liberty is a beloved landmark and is lovingly cared for by the National Park Service. And the many thousands of visitors who visit Liberty Island each year might never suspect that getting the statue built and assembled in New York was a long slow struggle.

For the New York World and Joseph Pulitzer, the building of the pedestal of the statue became a source of great pride. The newspaper used an illustration of the statue as a trademark ornament on its front page for years. And an elaborate stained glass window of the statue was installed in the New York World building when it was built in 1890. That window was later donated to Columbia University's School of Journalism, where it resides today.


The Story Behind a Forgotten Symbol of the American Revolution: The Liberty Tree

On the night of January 14, 1766, John Adams stepped into a tiny room in a Boston distillery to meet with a radical secret society. “Spent the Evening with the Sons of Liberty, at their own Apartment in Hanover Square, near the Tree of Liberty,” Adams wrote.

Over punch and wine, biscuits and cheese, and tobacco, Adams and the Sons of Liberty discussed their opposition to Britain’s hated Stamp Act, which required that American colonists pay a tax on nearly every document they created. Mortgages, deeds, contracts, court papers and shipping papers, newspapers and pamphlets – all had to be printed on paper with tax stamps.

The colonists were furious, but how to combat the Parliamentary action was a point of contention. Between Adams and his hosts, the methods differed. The future American president was resisting the tax with petitions, speeches and essays. His hosts, also known as the Loyal Nine, had threatened to lynch the king’s stampman.

Throwing off the British and creating a new nation required a mix of Adams’ approach and the Loyal Nine’s: both high-minded arguments about natural rights and angry crowds’ threats and violence. After his visit, Adams assured his diary that he heard “No plotts, no Machinations” from the Loyal Nine, just gentlemanly chat about their plans to celebrate when the Stamp Act was repealed. “I wish they mayn’t be disappointed,” Adams wrote.

Throughout these early years before the revolution, the ancient elm across from the distillery became Massachusetts’ most potent symbol of revolt. In the decade before the Revolutionary War, images of the Liberty Tree, as it became known, spread across New England and beyond: colonists christened other Liberty Trees in homage to the original.

Yet unlike Boston’s other revolutionary landmarks, such as the Old North Church and Faneuil Hall, the Liberty Tree is nearly forgotten today. Maybe that’s because the British army chopped down the tree in 1775. Or maybe it’s because the Liberty Tree symbolizes the violent, mob-uprising, tar-and-feathers side of the American Revolution – a side of our history that’s still too radical for comfort.

The tree was planted in 1646, just 16 years after Boston’s founding. Everyone traveling to and from the city by land would have passed it, as it stood along the only road out of town, Orange Street. (Boston sat on a narrow peninsula until the 1800s, when the Back Bay was filled in.) Though no measurements of the tree survive, one Bostonian described it as “a stately elm… whose lofty branches seem’d to touch the skies.”

The tree was almost 120 years old in March 1765, when the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act. After years of several other slights, including the Sugar Act’s taxes and the quartering of 10,000 British troops in North America, the colonies resisted. In Boston, opposition was led by the Loyal Nine, the band of merchants and artisans Adams encountered. The conspirators, including distillers, a painter, a printer, and a jeweler, wanted to go beyond the learned arguments about the inalienable rights of Englishmen taking place in newspapers and meeting halls. So, they staged a moment of political theater with symbols and actions anyone could understand.

Early in the morning of August 14, Bostonians discovered the effigy hanging from the tree. Initials pinned to the effigy, “A.O.,” identified it as Andrew Oliver, the Boston merchant who had agreed to collect the stamp tax. Next to him dangled a boot, a reference to Lord Bute, the former British prime minister whom many colonists blamed for the act. A small devil figure peeked up from inside the boot, holding a copy of the law. “What Greater Joy did ever New England see,” read a sign that hanged from one of the effigy’s arms, “Than a Stampman hanging on a Tree!”

Hundreds of Bostonians gathered under the elm, and a sort of party atmosphere broke out. “Not a Peasant was suffered to pass down to the Market, let him have what he would for Sale, ’till he had stopp’d and got his Article stamped by the Effigy,” the Boston Gazette reported. The sheriff came to cut down the effigy, but the crowd wouldn’t let him.

At 5 p.m. that day, shoemaker Ebenezer McIntosh – known for leading the South End’s brawlers in the annual anti-Catholic Pope’s Day riots – led several protesters as they put the effigy in a coffin and paraded it through Boston’s streets. “Liberty, property, and no stamps!” cheered the crowd of several hundred as they passed a meeting of Massachusetts’ governor and council at the Town House (now the Old State House). On the docks, some of the crowd found a battering ram and destroyed a building that Oliver had recently constructed. Others gathered outside Oliver’s house. “They beheaded the Effigy and broke all the Windows next [to] the Street,” wrote Francis Bernard, the horrified governor of Massachusetts, “[then] burnt the Effigy in a Bonfire made of the Timber they had pulled down from the Building.” The mob also stormed into the house, splintered furniture, broke a giant mirror, and raided Oliver’s liquor supply. Oliver, who had fled just in time, sent word the next day that he would resign as stamp commissioner.   

The Loyal Nine had teamed up with McIntosh because of his skills in turning out a crowd. But after he led a similar attack on Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson’s house on August 26, they decided he’d gone too far. A town meeting at Faneuil Hall voted unanimously to denounce the violence. Going for a more lofty symbolism, the Loyal Nine attached a copper plate to the elm a few weeks later. “Tree of Liberty,” it read.

The tree’s potency as rally site and symbol grew. Protesters posted calls to action on its trunk. Towns in New England and beyond named their own liberty trees: Providence and Newport, Rhode Island Norwich, Connecticut Annapolis, Maryland Charleston, South Carolina. Paul Revere included the Liberty Tree, effigy and all, in his engraved political cartoon about the events of 1765.

When news of the Stamp Act’s repeal reached Boston in March the following year, crowds gathered at the Liberty Tree to celebrate. The bell of a church close to the tree rang, and Bostonians hanged flags and streamers from the tree. As evening came, they fastened lanterns to its branches: 45 the first night, 108 the next night, then as many as the tree’s branches could hold.

For a decade, as tensions between the colonies and Britain grew, Boston’s rowdiest, angriest demonstrations took place at the Liberty Tree. “This tree,” complained loyalist Peter Oliver (Andrew Oliver’s brother), “was consecrated for an Idol for the Mob to Worship.” In 1768, the Liberty riot, a protest over the seizure of John Hancock’s ship, ended when the crowd seized a customs commissioner’s boat, dragged it from the dock to the Liberty Tree, condemned it at a mock trial there, then burned it on Boston Common. In 1770, a funeral procession for Boston Massacre victims included a turn past the tree. In 1774, angry colonists tarred and feathered Captain John Malcom, a British customs official, for caning a shoemaker, then took him to the Liberty Tree, where they put a noose around his neck and threatened to hang him unless he cursed the governor. (He didn’t, and they didn’t.)

In 1775, after war broke out, Thomas Paine celebrated the Liberty Tree in a poem published in the Pennsylvania Gazette, celebrating its importance to all Americans, including the common man:

Finally, in August of that year, four months after Lexington and Concord, British troops and loyalists axed the tree down. (It reportedly made for 14 cords of firewood -- about 1,800 cubic feet.)

After the British evacuated Boston on March 17, 1776, revolutionary Bostonians tried to reclaim the site. They erected a “liberty pole” there on August 14, the 11th anniversary of the first protest. In the years to come, Boston newspapers occasionally mentioned the site of the Liberty Stump. But it didn’t last as a landmark -- even though the Marquis de Lafayette included it in his 1825 tour of Boston. “The world should never forget the spot where once stood Liberty Tree, so famous in your annals,” Lafayette declared.

Thomas Jefferson did the most to make the Liberty Tree a lasting metaphor, with his 1787 letter that declared, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants.” Since then, Boston and the world have done a spotty job of following Lafayette’s advice.

Today, the spot where the Liberty Tree stood, at Washington and Essex streets in Boston, is marked by a bronze plaque lying at ground level in an underwhelming brick plaza. Across the street, an 1850s wooden carving of the tree still adorns a building. The site was left out of Boston’s Freedom Trail. Historian Alfred F. Young thought that wasn’t an accident. “[Boston’s] Brahmin elite fostered a willful forgetting of the radical side of the Revolution,” he argued in his 2006 book Liberty Tree: Ordinary People and the American Revolution. It’s one thing, in this telling, to celebrate the Battle of Bunker Hill and let the Boston Tea Party symbolize revolutionary mischief, another thing to celebrate mobs who threatened hangings, ransacked houses, tarred and feathered. A 23-foot-tall silver aluminum Liberty Tree, created for the 1964 World’s Fair, later moved to Boston Common, where it failed miserably to become a landmark in 1969, Boston officials scrambled to find a new home for the widely despised eyesore with little-to-no historical context. There is, however, a democratic argument for remembering the Liberty Tree. ”The Revolution has a different meaning if you start here,” Nathaniel Sheidley, director of public history at the Bostonian Society, told the Boston Globe in 2015. “It wasn't all about guys in white wigs.”

Today, Boston’s Old State House museum displays part of the flag that flew above the Liberty Tree. It also houses one of the lanterns that decorated the tree at the Stamp Act repeal celebration on March 19, 1766 -- 250 years ago this month. Last August 14, on the 250th anniversary of the Liberty Tree’s first protest, several history and activist groups gathered at Washington and Essex, carrying lanterns. And next year, the city of Boston hopes to start construction of an upgraded Liberty Tree Park at the site – and plant a new elm there.

About Erick Trickey

Erick Trickey is a writer in Boston, covering politics, history, cities, arts, and science. He has written for POLITICO Magazine, Next City, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, and Cleveland Magazine


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