The Shoemaker and the Revolution

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In the article “The Shoemaker and the Revolution,” Alfred F. Young analyzes and demonstrates with secondary sources of the events leading to the Revolution. The author’s purpose of the article is to narrate the experience of the ordinary Boston shoemaker, George Robert Twelves Hewes, during the time before the Revolution. He writes the article to show how the causes of the Revolution impacted the lives of ordinary citizens such as Hewes and the transformation he goes through.

The article mainly regards the Tea Party, Boston Massacre, and the tarring and feathering of John Malcom in relations to the change from deference to defiance towards Britain, a common citizen into active participant, and a brave warlike patriot. The contentions of this interpretive essay were that certain events causing the revolution could change a person’s political and social view drastically. In a particular event, George Hewes repairs a shoe for John Hancock and is later invited to his home on New Year’s day to come and bid him a happy New-Year. Hewes does as he is told, and proceeds to go to Hancock’s home. This is evident that before the Revolution, Hewes was deferent. However, a decade and half later, he is defiant towards the Lieutenant on the ship, Hancock, and refuses to take his hat off to him, showing the casting off of deference. Soon, British troops in Boston began to appear, and Hewes had many stories to tell of them. In one occurring event one of the soldiers, Sergeant Mark Burk, ordered shoes supposedly for Captain Thomas Preston, but never paid for them. How did Hewes become an active participant in the events of the Revolution? After witnessing many crimes and violent scenes before the Boston Massacre, he viewed the citizens as being defensive, and on the night of the Massacre on March 5, 1770, he too was on the streets with his fellow citizens. He believed it was the right thing to do, to be alongside the people who were in defense of what was assumed to be danger...
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