Power "in the Body of the People"
Believing strongly in the cause of American independence, John Adams continues to work towards it even while away from the Continental Congress. During his stay in Boston, he takes a leading role in drafting a proclamation with the Massachusetts General Court, which is the people's legislative assembly. Adams and the members of the General Court state in certain terms the powers and responsibilities of those who seek to govern themselves.
Questions to Consider
1. What is the stated reason for issuing this proclamation? Could there be secondary motivations to this publication?
2. Where would people hear or read this proclamation?
Why might the General Court enumerate such a long list of prior grievances and decisions before issuing a call for general sobriety and good conduct?
4. Compare this list of grievances with the list that Jefferson enumerates in the Declaration of Independence. How are they similar or different?