(by Mari Therese) (recitation by Barb)

People's History: Revolt (Chapter 4,5)

Music: Yankee Doodle

The Revolution -- how the reasons fade.
As England taxed the men conducting trade
and common men were cheated by the rich,
the rich man's voice was at a fever pitch:
  We the people, we the people,
  come unite against the foe,
  our common foe, our common foe.

The Stamp Act stirred rebellion, but the reasons fade
with passing years. Frontiermen, men of trade,
and laborers were subjugated by the rich,
but now Sam Adams' voice was at a fever pitch
inciting commoners against the British tax,
and in the Boston Massacre the main attacks
were on the "motley rabble." Sons of Liberty
arose to rail against the aristocracy
of England, while in Boston tea was dumped in scorn,
and now the apprehensive wealthy rose to warn
the lower classes: "We the People" must unite
against the foreign foe! And speakers would ignite
the crowd, including Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine,
and other rabble rousers: Let us now ordain
a Declaration: independence, nothing less,
equality for those in economic stress
because of taxes. But excluded were the blacks,
the landless, women, Indians - indeed, the tax
was mainly hurting merchants, yet the poor would fight
against the English while the rich employed their right
to buy exemptions. All was not forsaken, though,
as Daniel Shays would lead a quest to overthrow
a local government when farmers lost their land,
and frightened men of affluence would understand
that something more profound was needed to relieve
the rage, and this the Constitution would achieve.

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