Resistance to the British Government

Shortly after marrying Abigail, Adams became a key player in the resistance to Parliament’s right to tax the American colonists. In response to the Stamp Act, he wrote a series of essays for the Boston Gazette in 1765 (published three years later as A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law), in which he denounced Parliament’s recent interference in the colonies. In it he praised the Puritan founders as reformers and opponents of tyranny, acknowledged a providential plan for enlightenment and liberty in the colonies, and claimed that the British government had become characteristically coercive and corrupt, denying the English colonists their two basic rights under the Magna Carta: the right to be taxed only by consent and the right to be judged only by a jury of one’s peers. Although the Stamp Act was repealed in 1766, Adams knew that Parliament would impose another tax on the colonies, and so he continued to oppose its right to do so. In 1769, two years after the Townshend Acts had been passed, he defended John Hancock, a wealthy Boston merchant who had been charged with smuggling wine. Acknowledging Hancock’s obvious guilt, he argued the case on the merits that the colonists were not represented in Parliament, which had passed the trade acts, and that they were subsequently tried without juries after being accused of violating the acts. The Crown, recognizing the dangers of pursuing the case, dropped the charges. Adams continued to oppose Parliament’s right to tax the colonies, but he was also opposed to mob rule. This probably contributed to his decision in 1770 to team up with Josiah Quincy and defend eight British soldiers and an officer who had been accused of firing on a Boston crowd, killing five people and wounding others, in an incident that quickly became known as the Boston Massacre. During the first trial, Quincy and Adams successfully defended Captain Thomas Preston; in the second trial, six of the British soldiers were acquitted, while the remaining two were found guilty of manslaughter. After pleading benefit of clergy (a clause in English law under which anyone who was able to read formerly the province only of clergy members could be exempted from the jurisdiction of the secular courts), the two convicted soldiers were branded on the thumb and released. Adams’s defense of the British soldiers made him temporarily unpopular in the colonies. But it also earned him a reputation for fairness and honesty, a reputation he upheld throughout his political career. Antibiotics resistance could kill 10 million a year by 2050 Drug-Resistant ‘Superbugs’ Could Kill Over 10 Million People A … Superbug resistant to ALL antibiotics reaches Europe in form of …

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