The Gaspee Affair Began a Chain that Lead to the 13 Colonies Declaring Indendence from Britain

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In June of 1772, a British schooner, known as the Gaspee, commandeered by Lieutenant William Dudingston, traveled along the Narragansett Bay in pursuit of smugglers (Park, 54-55). During the chase the ship ran aground, and the crew found themselves stuck in the shallow waters. The armed naval vessel was suddenly boarded by an angry mob; the commander was shot, the crew taken ashore, and then, the Gaspee was set aflame (Park 54-55). The attack on a British naval ship, would become known as The Gaspee Affair, and it led to the British government demanding those involved, to be tried in Great Britain, outside the colonies (Blinka, 54). Those involved in the burning of the Gaspee were never properly identified (Park 54-55) A trial never …show more content…

The colonists responded to the Coercive Acts of 1774 with resentment, and the act itself stirred thoughts of rebellion amongst the colonies against the British government(Wood, 47). Indignation towards British rule spread throughout the colonies and led to the eventual formation of the First Continental Congress in September 1774 (Wood, 48). With the exception of Georgia, representatives from 12 out of the 13 colonies convened in Philadelphia to discuss their grievances towards Parliament and the King. Why did Britain want criminal offences to be transported outside the colonies? According to Richard D. Younger, “The power of grand juries lay in their ability to blow all criminal proceeding begun by royal officials.” (257) The British government feared that colonial juries held too much power. Parliament could not see how a fair verdict could be reached through colonial jurisdiction if the accused were to be presented in front of a jury of their peers (Ammerman, 1). According to Younger, the attempt from the British government to limit the power of colonial juries, and to move trials to England was met with fierce resistance by the American colonies (257). Britain’s fear of colonial juries being biased was not entirely irrational. In 1768, when

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