|How to start a revolution . . .|
In the spring and summer of 1774 the American colonies were convulsed by the repercussions of the Boston Tea Party. Seen as a mere political prank by many today, the dumping of the tea into Boston harbor by the Sons of Liberty brought down the wrath of the British empire on the Colony of Massachusetts and the town of Boston. The so called "Intolerable Acts" passed by Parliament showed how far the Ministry in London was willing to go in quelling the rapidly rising American dissent.
On May 23, 1774 the House of Burgesses declared that June 1 would be a day of "fasting, humiliation, and prayer" in sympathy and solidarity with the people of Massachusetts. Attempting to nip Virginia's political fervor in the bud, the Earl of Dunmore, royal governor of Virginia, dissolved the General Assembly. Scattering the Burgesses to the winds proved a miscalculation however, as they called for a meeting that would become the first Revolutionary Convention and then organized the political forces of their respective counties. The political leadership in counties across the colony drafted protests expressing their commitment to opposition to Great Britain.
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