Protocols of Liberty: Chapter 4
Betsy Ross Flag - Network Design

Protocols of Liberty: Communication, Innovation, and teh American Revolution [Book Banner from Title Page Image] Betsy Ross Flag - Network Design
William Warner [Author Name]
The University of Chicago Press [Publisher Name]
Overview [Link]
Introduction [Link]
Chapter 1 [Link]
Chapter 2 [Link]
Chapter 3 [Link]
Chapter 4 [Link]
Chapter 5 [Link]
Chapter 6 [Link]
Conclusion [Link]


The Whig Network Scales Up: Inflecting the Crisis from Williamsburg

The second half of this book demonstrates the vigorous productivity of the communication innovations of the Boston Whigs. Between November 1772 and the end of 1774, shared public declarations introduced a communication dynamic that scaled up to reach all thirteen colonies. Parliament’s passage of the Boston Port Bill and the other Coercive Acts in the spring of 1774 provided the “shock of electricity” that strengthened and expanded this intercolonial network. With Boston “suffering in the common cause of America,” Virginia responded to committee communications from Boston, Philadelphia and Annapolis by framing responses for committees in other colonies, by designing an association for economic coercion, and by preparing for a meeting of the First Continental Congress. To do all these things, the Virginia committees, assemblies and convention did what every other American Whig gathering did: articulate a vigorous expression of local opinion that could also speak for a whole network.


The Economic Importance of the Chesapeake
Official responses to the VA CC from various Assemblies

Map of Chesapeake Bay from Gentlemen's Magazine, 1769

When the American Crisis developed into a revolution, no region would be more important to the struggle than the what is shown on this November 1769 map from the Gentleman's Magazine. The "Delaware Bay" and River linked the Atlantic to the largest town in the American colonies, Philadelphia. Chesopeak Bay, the center of the lucrative tobacco trade, offered safe and easy access, through the four great rivers of Virginia, the mighty Susquahanna, and the smaller rivers of the Eastern Shore, to those plantations that were the single most economically important constituent of Britian's north American empire.
Map of Chesapeake Bay from Gentlemen's Magazine, 1769
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