The following article “The Shoemaker and the Revolution” displays Professor Alfred H. Young’s essay who centers around a simple shoemaker, George Robert Twelves Hewes, who is transformed by the events leading up to the revolution into a radical patriot leader. The overall purpose of this essay was to convey how the revolution was not just a matter of British vs. Patriots, but also between the social classes. This also helps to show the effect of the Boston Massacre, which is the climax of the essay, had on the common folk and the events of the American Revolution. However, it can also be determined that there is another underlying theme of the colonists having the potential to be just as unjust as the British.
The essay begins along with the beginning of the story of Hewes, a shoemaker who is shown to be an average citizen who is ok with the events so far after the Seven Years War and is even shown to be having a drink with John Hancock; one of the founding fathers of the new country that did not yet exist. This, however, takes a turn not too long after where we flash forward to a different Hewes who is shown to be a completely different person: “‘Here he enlisted, or engaged to list, onboard the Hancock, a twenty-gun ship, but not liking the manners of the Lieutenant very well, who ordered him one day in the streets to take his hat off to him-which he refused to do for any man-went aboard the Defense.’ (4)” Young’s use of Hancock, both the person and the ship, almost acts as a measure of two different personalities which Hewes possesses. Although this is a possible tool being used by Young or just a coincidence, the main idea which the following quote helps to depict is the sudden polar change in Hewe’s personality. Back in colonial England, tipping your hat was a sign of respect which people were expected to make towards people of high military rank or people of higher social classes than you. However, not doing this...