Lives of Working Class During the Revolutionary Era: The Life of George Robert Twelves Hewes
During the Revolutionary era, many other people were involved than whom we hear mostly about. We hear about George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, but we truly never discuss the ordinary people that were also there during this time. The working class lived during this Revolutionary era, meaning that they also have a story to tell. They had many struggles and difficulties that no one highlights when telling this story.
My goal is to dig deeper into the life of George Robert Twelves Hewes and discuss the roles that the working class had to play. The working class had public rituals. The craftsmen played important roles during the American Revolution. Something had to keep the revolution tamed and under control between the 1780s and 1820s. All of this contributed to the American Revolution in one way or another. Boston’s working class had many duties that they had to do to make a living, even though their job did not benefit them much. The jobs that were done by the working class were jobs that paid very little considering all of the work that was being done. One job that was discussed in the book was shoemaking. George Hewes worked as a shoemaker during this time.
The reason he decided to go for shoemaking was that his family made him feel like he was unable to do something of higher knowledge. Hewes only became a shoemaker because he basically had little to no choice (Young, 19), he simply could not afford to do anything else. After being an apprentice in shoemaking, Hewes grew tired of it and decided to join the military. He tried to enlist but got denied due to personal reasons. He then went on to finish his apprenticeship so that he could be a real shoemaker. Shoemaking was a big thing during this time because nearly sixty to seventy shoemakers were in the Boston area (Young, 27).
George Hewes went on to be a member of the political protests in Boston. Meaning he was an active person involved in the Boston Tea Party and Boston Massacre. He survived both and later on ended up fighting in the Revolutionary War. During the Revolutionary era, the craftsmen played important roles that got them more involved. Craftsmen were always a vital piece of living back then. Craftsmen crafted many essential things that were needed to live off of, such as tools, clothing, and even jewelry. The items that they crafted were sold to make a profit. Not only did they craft, but they also fought for things that they wanted. They were members of society that wanted to gain independence. Craftsmen took part in the Boston Tea Party.
Boston Tea Party was a protest in 1773. The colonists did not like the idea of a tax being put on tea, so they threw a whole lot of tea overboard to get back at the British. The Tea Party was organized by the Whigs, a British political party. The Revolution was something that no one would ever forget. It was celebrated and honored by public rituals, monuments, historic sites, and even admiring the heroes of the Revolution. Public rituals were their holidays that were celebrated by the majority of the people.
The Fourth of July was highlighted in the book. On this day, the town was to celebrate and consider feelings and happiness (Young, 110). On this day, political officials had a meeting that offered prayer, music, and speeches. This was known as a day for the militia (Young, 111). The Fourth celebrated independence. A tall monument was built to pay tribute to the events that led to the American Revolution and to secure independence to the United States. A famous historic site, known as the Liberty Tree was a tree that symbolized where the colonists had their first act of confrontation against the British. The tree was later cut down by the Loyalists and the British, leaving only a stump. A pole was then put there for remembrance and to direct travelers (Young, 118). When it comes to taming the Revolution, this means to me, controlling what is to be remembered and what should be forgotten. The Whigs tried to control what was happening during this time, after the Revolution, some memories needed to be forgotten. I think that every memory should be remembered because that certain event caused something greater to happen, good or bad. The people who were involved used special holidays and sites to remember everything that happened during the Revolution.
The Revolution was able to be tamed because people remembered. Good things did come out of the American Revolution. Things such as the first abolition. By the early 1800s, slaves were being freed in most of the northern states, this being a positive thing. Even though people got killed and this event rocked the colonists, it should still be remembered as a decent thing. I think that the Revolution was tamed due to the people coming together and sticking by each other in the difficult times. Remembering the good and bad. By doing this, you can prevent future stuff like this from occurring again. During this era of history, many people were affected, some we do not actually think about. This rocked people and their lives. This was a time in history that many generations will learn about. It was not all a bad thing, some good came from the Revolution. These memories need to be remembered.
Reading about George Hewes story and life throughout the Revolution really opens your eyes to what it was really like. The Tea Party was an important event and it is still remembered. The Boston Massacre was a scary and deadly event, and it is still being remembered. Remembering the good and the bad not only gives insight on what the Revolution was like, but it also teaches future generations to work together as a team instead of working against the enemy. The revolution could not have been tamed if it was not for the memories.
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