This Day In U.S. History October 26, 1775 – Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of Happiness, The American Revolution: King George III of Great Britain goes before Parliament to declare the American colonies in rebellion, and authorizes a military response to quell the American Revolution, six month after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, nine months before the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
Once vigorous measures appear to be the only means left of bringing the Americans to a due submission to the mother country, the colonies will submit.”
At the door of George III must be laid the American Revolution. What the future might have unfolded had not this union been broken when it was must be relegated to the field of conjecture; but that this union was severed between the “beautiful mother and the more beautiful daughter” in the last half of the eighteenth century was chiefly the work of George III. He had little to do, perhaps, with the beginnings — with the enforcement of the navigation laws and the writs of assistance of 1761. But after the colonies had once offended him by defying British authority, he pursued them with the same vindictive spirit which he exhibited toward Pitt and other statesmen that he could not control — he determined to humble them at all hazards. He opposed the repeal of the Stamp Act, but his power was not yet great enough to prevent it. When the English merchants made an outcry against the Townshend duties, on account of their loss of trade, it was the king, as stated above, who retained the duty on tea and thus kept alive the embers until they burst forth into the flame of war.
The Americans now refused to purchase tea from England; they smuggled it from Holland. The English then, by an ingenious trick, made their tea cheaper in America than it was in England, or than that smuggled from Holland. They did this by removing the duty always paid at an English port by the tea merchant on his way from the Orient to America. But the colonists still refused to buy the tea. The principle was at stake, — the right of Parliament to tax them at all, — and they were as determined as the English king. Tea-laden ships reached Charleston, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston late in the autumn of 1773. Excited meetings of citizens were held in all these cities. In Charleston the tea was landed, only to rot in storage; the Philadelphians refused to permit the ships to land.
Three ships lay in the harbor at Boston, but the people kept watch day and night to prevent the landing of the tea. The owner of the vessels was informed by the excited people that he must take back his tea to London; but this he could not do, as the governor refused him permission to sail and two of the king’s ships guarded the harbor. Meetings were held nightly in Faneuil Hall, or Old South Church, and at length, on December 16, after every legal method for returning the tea had been exhausted, a body of seven thousand men resolved that it should not he landed; and half a hundred men, in the disguise of Mohawk Indians, after giving a war whoop, ran silently to the harbor, boarded the ships, broke open the tea chests, about three hundred and forty in number, and threw the contents into the sea. The people looked on from the shore, taking the proceedings as a matter of course. Boston slept that night as if nothing had happened. Who these fifty Indian-garbed king-defiers were is not known; but it is known who instigated the mob, who was the mouthpiece of Boston at this moment, and of Massachusetts, of New England, of America — it was Samuel Adams, the “Palinurus of the Revolution.”
England stood aghast at the temerity of her sometime docile colonists. The irate king, with monumental obstinacy and inability to discern the signs of the times, resolved to humble the Americans once for all; nor did his short-sighted Majesty seem to doubt for a moment his ability to do so.
Read more at History of the USA – King George III.