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Rebels RisingCities and the American Revolution$
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Benjamin L. Carp

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304022

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304022.001.0001

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The Boston Water front as Contested Space, 1747–74

(p.23) Chapter 1 PORT IN A STORM
Rebels Rising

Benjamin L. Carp (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The first chapter focuses on the imperial conflict as it unfolded in the maritime and commercial spaces of Boston. Boston hosted a series crowd actions: the Knowles Riot of 1747, the Stamp Act riots of 1765, the Liberty riot of 1768, the Boston Massacre of 1770, and the Boston Tea Party of 1773. British authorities repeatedly tried to assert control over Boston's waterfront community, and each time, merchants and mariners mobilized in response to impressment (by resisting), customs duties (by smuggling), and other impositions of imperial authority. Five times the Bostonians banished imperial officials, soldiers, and other pariahs to Castle Island in the harbor. The central significance of the Boston waterfront had crystallized by 1774, when Parliament singled the city out for punishment. Boston's conspicuous leadership among the waterfront communities of North America demonstrated how mobilization could unify city dwellers from throughout the social spectrum and across the continent.

Keywords:   KeyBoston, waterfront, crowd action, smuggling, impressment, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, merchants, mariners

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