Committee of Correspondence


Thomas Jefferson – member from Virginia
Photo by: Scewing Creative Commons

The history of America goes a long way back but many historians opt to start their notes with the Thirteen Colonies. The Thirteen Colonies or the originals, which were British settlements in the new world, became sort of land and resource extensions rather than new independent states of the Dutch from its mother country, the Great Britain. However, as the time went on, the obvious became much harder to ignore. And the fact was that in years to come, a settlement as far as America would be drifted away from Britain and would start a new country in its own.

Making a Difference

The differences between the mother country and the colonies became more apparent in the coming decades. After the Seven Year’s War, Britain lost a lot of its money and reserves and decided to let the British Americans shoulder a big share of their taxes. This event awakened an angered mob and led to a famous act in history, the Boston Tea Party. Battles after battles between the two eventually ended up to the American Revolution.

The Committee of Correspondence should be credited for America’s freedom and independence from Britain. Organized by the American Whigs or the Patriots, it started out as separate underground bodies per state. Well not exactly underground for the colonial legislatures actually known and acknowledged the existence of the Whigs. It actually worked together, colonials and colonists to work and solve matters between the two territories. However, the Patriots did not like the feeling of being unimportant and dismissed once they have served their cause for Britain. Later, they found a way to solve this problem – to create and link an interstate Committee of Correspondence.

Strength in Unity

It became a large group of colonists that shared the same ideal: to overthrow the authority of the royals in America. With a population of about 8,000 more or less settlers, it became a shadow of government that followed its own rules and neglected the bills of the parliament. Many journalists on the group worked as secret double agents and were members of the colonial lawmaking meetings. The usual jobs for the early Committee of Correspondence were to disseminate information to the people of America about the acts and plans of Britain.

During the time of the Townshend Acts, it was the committee, which ensured and controlled that British products were abandoned by people. They checked the way of the merchants and acted against them if they bought Dutch tea (the greatest import at that time) and products. They promoted American loyalty and patriotism and advertised locally made and harvested products to the locals.

It was in 1765, when the Committee of Correspondence decided to take their activities a notch higher. Events that led to the creation of the Sons of Liberty, a more active, aggressive and public political group that pledged to protect the colonists from Great Britain. In 1773, the group piloted the famous Boston Tea Party, which was met by anger from the Parliament. In 1775, all hell broke loose and the American Revolution started. The rest, as we know, is history.

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