The Hudson Valley During The American Revolution

2259 words - 9 pages


The Dutch settled the Hudson Valley in the early 17th century. The Hudson Valley was of great commercial and military importance during the pre-revolutionary period. During the American Revolution the Hudson was a strategic waterway and the site of many historic events, especially in the region of Newburg and West Point. Many battles were fought and many lives were changed by the Revolution in the Hudson Valley.
In the pre-revolutionary period the Hudson Valley was of great importance. In 1765 the Stamp act Congress met to shake the existing government established by the English. American opposition to the Stamp Act began shortly after its passage in March 1765. The colonists were fed up with “taxation without representation”, and desired change. The Stamp Act Congress met in New York City in October 1765. Delegates from nine colonies attended, and petitioned the king for repeal of the act, denouncing it as taxation without representation. Many British merchants joined in this appeal. Their exports of manufactures to the colonies had increased markedly since 1750 and they feared the effects of American refusal to pay commercial debts amounting to millions of pounds. On October 31, the day before the Stamp Act was to go into effect, 200 merchants in New York City vowed to stop importing British goods, beginning the First No importation Movement. Then they joined storekeepers, artisans, sailors, and laborers in a mass protest meeting. On the next night, 2000 residents surrounded the fort where the stamps were being guarded and then plundered the house of a British officer (French, pg 56). These mob actions prompted the lieutenant governor to ask General Thomas Gage, the British military commander in North America, to rout the protesters by force.
In Albany the local merchants joined in no importation agreements. Groups of artisans, calling themselves Sons of Liberty, forcibly prevented the distribution of stamps and forced the resignation of the stamp collectors. The colonial elite—merchants, planters, and assembly leaders—did not condemn this resort to violence; some even encouraged it. Nearly everywhere, British authority was challenged, and the imperial forces lacked the power or the determination to prevail. The Stamp Act Congress that met in New York was the first step to unity among the colonies. In March of 1766, the Stamp Act was revoked, marking the first victory in the long journey to America’s independence. But, it was a small one and it was only the beginning of the long struggle to total freedom.
The preliminary step to political freedom was the Albany Congress in 1754; this plea for independence fell on to deaf ears. It took the Stamp Act Congress to make the changes proposed by the Albany congress. This congress was a precedent for American unity. They were to form”Grand Council” to change the political and social lifestyle of the individuals living in the Hudson Valley (Crowley, pg 84)....

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