On December 16, 1773 the American colonists, already overwhelmed by British taxation and tyranny, defied them, boarded their ships, and dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor. The incident became known as the Boston Tea Party, and it foreshadowed the American Revolution.
For a better understanding about the sequence of events that culminated with the Revolutionary War, the Grateful American Book Prize recommends American Tempest: How the Boston Tea Party Sparked a Revolution by Harlow Giles Unger.
On December 19, 1998, Bill Clinton became the second U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives. He was charged with four offenses, but only two– lying under oath to a federal grand jury, and obstructing justice were approved.
Andrew Johnson had been the first to be impeached in 1868. A century later, President Richard Nixon was also confronted with it—in 1974–but he chose to resign.
For more information about the Clinton impeachment, and the process in general, the Grateful American Book Prize recommends Famous Trials – The Impeachment of Bill Clinton by Nathan Aaseng.
South Carolina seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860. Less than six months later, ten more pro-slavery southern states joined her, and morphed into the Confederate States of America, with a combined population of nine million; nearly half were slaves.
The Civil War was the bloodiest conflict in American history. The other side, or the Union, was comprised of 21 states, fighting against slavery– with a population of more than 20 million.
The War began April 12,1861 and ended April 9, 1865; approximately 620,000 soldiers perished.
It’s important to understand the reasons for secession. The Grateful American Book Prize suggests Secession: The Southern States Leave the Union by Judith Peacock.
It was Christmas Day, 1776. George Washington’s revolutionary forces had been driven out of New York; suddenly, they were at turning point in the rebellion. Against all odds, Washington and his 2,400 troops crossed the icy Delaware River in a fleet of small boats, ambushed 1,500 Hessians [German mercenaries under the command of the British], and captured the remaining forces, in what became known as the Battle of Trenton. The future fifth president, James Monroe, and five of Washington’s troops were wounded.
The victory rekindled American morale and the rest is history. The Grateful American Book Prize recommends George Washington: The Crossing by Jack E. Levin and Mark R. Levin.
History Matters is a biweekly feature courtesy of The Grateful American Book Prize.