Introduction to US History/What would YOU do?

Type classification: this is an essay resource.
Subject classification: this is a history resource.
Completion status: this resource is considered to be ready for use.

Work by: Aaqib A. (December 2021)



What would you have done if you were King George III in 1774? Your military soldiers have been attacked by rowdy mobs (Boston Massacre). Leading citizens of Boston are now underground terrorists, called “the Sons of Liberty.” And it isn’t poor, uneducated “riff-raff” causing the trouble; some of the cities wealthiest and best-educated: Samuel Adams, a local brewer has been named a ringleader. His cousin, John Adams, one of Boston’s best lawyers, educated at Harvard, has a good reputation but is reportedly helping them out. John Hancock, a leading merchant, wealthy and also a Harvard grad is bankrolling the endeavor.

In today’s world, they would be jailed for terrorism and given lengthy prison sentences. But George III was stunned, perplexed and angry – these were his subjects and suddenly they had “an attitude.” $75,000 worth of tea has been destroyed by poorly disguised colonists. Who’s going to pay for that?

A copy of the 1st Continental Congress’ letter to George III can be accessed via our textbook, chapter 5, section 5.5. or by clicking here (Links to an external site.). (use the transcription option, it’s easier to read). This could help you understand George III’s perspective, if you go over it, as if YOU were KING or QUEEN. So, assume the role of King George III or Queen Georgette and tell us what are you going to do now?



In this instance, I'm assuming the role of King George III when presented with the "Petition to King George III", drafted in the First Continental Congress in 1774. King George III ruled from 1760-1820 and his ruling is mostly remembered for his loss of the American colonies during the American Revolution. Interesting enough, although King George III vehemently opposed American independence, he wasn't the one who directly imposed the many acts (the Townshend Act, the Sugar Act, the Declaratory Act, etc.) that lead to the war. After losing the American colonies, it has been said that this sent King George III's mental health down south. He was eventually unable to rule England due to his poor mental and physical health (he went blind in his last few years) and died in 1820. He is 3rd longest-serving king, serving 60 years.

With an introduction of King George III, we can now dwell on how he would've responded. If I was in King George III's position, I would totally discard the letter and impose harsh prison sentences for those involved with this uproar. Although now we interpret the actions of the Sons of Liberty as "acts of liberty", how is this much different from the various BLM riots? Sure, they have a good cause: emphasizing the importance of black lives - but is the way that BLM is going about it appropriate? Surely, our government does not recognize massive riots and looting of stores as acts of liberation. With that being said, what's so different from what the Sons of Liberty are doing (killing politicians, inciting violence, disturbance of peace)? I would charge Samuel Adams, John Adams, and John Hancock of treason to the British kingdom - because that is exactly what they're doing. Referring to King George III as “Most Gracious Sovereign” does not magically wipe out all of the heinous actions these rebels have been committing, including the waste of over $75,000 (now amassing to over a million in present-day US dollars) worth of tea (a prized possession). The people that would have to pay for these damages would be the colonists themselves. I wouldn't have shut down the Boston harbor and punished Bostonians for the damages (which is what the Boston Port Act was), rather I would've charged and trialed the ones responsible for the damages and sue them for the extensive damages.

Upon further reflection, it is surprising to see that we are taught that the Sons of Liberty were acts of "liberty" and they sought "freedom", but in reality, their actions are terroristic and led to the endangerment of innocent people. Conclusively, I would dismiss the letter sent by the Continental Congress and I would shut this rebellion down immediately.


  • "US History" OpenStax Textbooks Chapter 5.5, P. Scott Corbetta, accessed Dec. 26, 2021.
  • "Parliament passes the Boston Port Act", A&E Television Networks, accessed Dec. 26, 2021.
  • "Who Were the Sons of Liberty?", Patrick Kiger, accessed Dec. 26, 2021.
  • "George III", accessed Dec. 26, 2021.