Web Extra: Read an Excerpt of Ben Carson's 'America the Beautiful'

In fact, their longing for self-government and willingness to fight—even die—for freedom became so strong that the words of politician Patrick Henry became a rallying cry for the colonists when he said, "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!" Finally, in 1776, each of the colonies (except Georgia) sent delegates to the First Continental Congress, where the process began for the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.

Tea Parties—Then and Now

The rebellion of the Boston Tea Party has many similarities with the political movement today known as the Tea Party. For the sake of simplicity, let's call the colonial protesters the old Tea Party movement and call the political movement established in 2009 the new Tea Party movement.

In the days of the old Tea Party, the British government and American Loyalists attempted to establish and maintain control of the colonies. When the Patriots first began to resist such efforts, those in power tended to deny that there was any real resistance from anyone except extremist, fringe individuals. Let's call this the denial phase. But as the protests became more prolific, denial was no longer tenable, and the powers that be decided to ignore the movement. Their hope was that if they paid no attention to the protesters, it would be less likely that others would join them and the movement would simply fade away. Let's call this the ignore phase. Unfortunately for those in control, ignoring the movement did nothing to lessen its intensity and, in fact, gave it time to grow even more powerful. The colonists ended up inflicting significant damage on those in power, forcing them to fight back, in many cases, with more force than necessary. Many of the regulations subsequently imposed were a part of this punitive resistance phase. The more the established powers resisted, however, the more determined the colonists were to overcome that resistance. Some of the British military leaders actually began to admire the tenacity and bravery of the colonial fighters.

After the Battle of Breed's Hill, some of the enthusiasm of the British and American Loyalists began to wane, and doubts began to creep into their thinking about whether the growing war was really one worth fighting. The British had a long and successful history of colonizing many parts of the world, which had brought them great power and wealth, but America and the Americans were different than any of the other groups they had ruled. Perhaps, they considered, America should be exempt from the sovereign dictates of the throne. Maybe they were more like England than any of the other colonies in the world.

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