Checkpoint: Great Britain and the Colonies
In the image, “Paying the Exciseman”, the drawing portrays what was known as tarring and feathering. Tarring and feathering consisted of covering the victim with tar and dumping feathers on them as seen in the illustration. This was generally a custom of humiliation as well as a public warning that would end just before a serious injury. The image shows five men or “The Sons of Liberty”, standing beneath the Liberty tree conducting a humiliating ritual of tarring and feathering of a taxman which is believed to be the Boston Commissioner of customs, John Malcolm. The attackers are portrayed as lawless patriots invoking a harsh punishment on the taxman by covering him with tar and feathers and by pouring tea into his mouth to make their point clear. The taxman is portrayed as British official who is basically getting what he deserved by colonists who felt they have been treated unfair through callous taxation.
The tree in the background is the Liberty tree. Englishmen or “Sons of Liberty” would gather under the tree in representation of the growing resistance to British rule. It was a symbol of individual liberty and resistance to tyranny. The ship portrays the colonists making a statement by dumping tea overboard in opposition the British Tea Act. This is known as the Boston Tea Party. After the French and Indian War also known as the Seven Years War, the British were in sort of a financially distressed state. To raise funds that were depleted after the Seven Years War, the British imposed the Tea Act. Because of this, Britain was able to import and sell tea in America at cheaper prices than that of the colonies. This ruined the business of many American tea merchants. In some of the American ports, the colonist boycotted this tea and it was either sent back to England, or locked up in warehouses to rot. In Boston, The Sons of Liberty, and the citizens refused to permit the...