Sons of Liberty? | Teen Ink

Sons of Liberty?

November 16, 2009
By KCares GOLD, Pepperell, Massachusetts
KCares GOLD, Pepperell, Massachusetts
11 articles 9 photos 4 comments

Although patriotic in their intentions, the Sons of Liberty were terrorists by definition. According to, a terrorist is a person who uses or advocates the use of violence or threats to intimidate for a political purpose. For the Sons of Liberty, violence such as tar and feathering was used mainly to force people into doing things for the Revolutionary cause, or to intimidate royal governors and tax officials into refusing to carry out the will of parliament. For the most part, their violent actions worked. For instance, the actions of the Sons of Liberty forced almost all the royal governors into hiding during the early months of 1766. They couldn’t even unlock weapons for their own protection, because they were worried about the consequences of the Sons of Liberty getting them. As author Thomas Kidding of said, “No one dared respond to such a violent force [the Sons of Liberty].” This quote illustrates the fact that violence was being used to frighten people into doing what the Sons of Liberty wanted them to. Using fear for political gain is the exact definition of a terrorist. Other examples of the violent actions of the Songs of Liberty include the hanging and burning of effigies, arson, vandalism, and breaking and entering. A great paradigm of this was the event that took place on August 14, 1765. On this date, members of the Sons of Liberty hung an effigy of Andrew Oliver, a royal tax collector. Throughout the day, Oliver’s property was burned, his house was stoned, and his effigy was beheaded and set on fire. Additionally, it’s important to remember that a true patriot would use violence only as a last resort. A real patriot would uphold all moral standards throughout their fight for independence, because otherwise they’d be just as bad as the enemy. The Sons of Liberty were a huge asset to the American Revolution without a doubt. However, their actions weren’t acceptable and they were more of a terrorist organization then a political group.

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This article has 3 comments.

Fishbait1776 said...
on Dec. 1 2013 at 10:25 am
The Sons of Liberty was actually a United Front Group working to unit colonial political actions against the British Government's policies. It used political actions of all types, including mob violence, some of which was not sanctioned or controlled by its leadership. Calling it a Terrorist organization is a bit strong but one person's terrorist is often another person's patriot. Politics, especially in an insurgency, is a very complex mix of emotions and principles. See "Spies, Patriots and traitors" for a chapter on the role of the Sons of Liberty in the Revolutionary era.

purplecat said...
on Aug. 13 2010 at 10:58 am
purplecat, Searcy, Arkansas
0 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Our American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure and very dead.” Sinclair Lewis

I do belive illegal aliens was not a term used the time the pilgrims came. America was a new land that people of all types came to. Now, we have a more complex government with with immigration laws.

Sunshineyday said...
on Nov. 21 2009 at 3:14 pm
Yes they were terrorists, indeed. The continental army soldiers were insurgents, the pilgrims were illegal aliens, and the only "citizens rights" in the declaration of independence were for white, property-owning, protestant males. American history is not as beautiful and pure as they portray it. -not to mention all the native americans lined up and executed so that the settlers may occupy thier land.