Stemming from the Loyal Nine who were a group of nine men who organised opposition against the Stamp Act, the Sons of Liberty were local groups who engaged in anti-Stamp Act and anti-British behaviour. Isaac Barre praised ‘these sons of liberty’ in British Parliament, for standing up for American rights. The Sons of Liberty incorporated everyone from lawyers to labourers, showing that they united both the upper and lower class of colonial society. They were able to engage in vigilante behaviour including; harassing tax officials, tar and feathering people and vandalism. To compliment this were the propagandists. The more astute who could write and draw produced pamphlets. Thus the upper and lower classes of America were brought together. Through Sons of Liberty groups’ harassment of British troops, the Boston Massacre occurred in 1770. They also carried out the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Other acts of vandalism included the burning of the Gaspee in 1772. This perpetrated revolutionary sentiment in the colonies. The same Rhode Island Sons of Liberty group who burnt the Gaspee burnt the Liberty in 1769. This group who was a mixture of violent vigilantes and skilled propagandists raised much revolutionary fervour and anti-British sentiment within the colonies.
The Sons of Liberty groups were complemented by the Daughters of Liberty who were groups of women who complimented the Sons of Liberty, organising boycotts of British goods. While they were more passive in their resistance, they were just as successful. The boycotts created a lack of trade that hurt British merchants and manufacturers who then pressured Parliament to repeal laws.
Want to suggest an edit? Have some questions? General comments? Let us know how we can make this resource more useful to you.