Episode 031: Wilkes and Liberty & Tar and Feathers
Radical John Wilkes returns from France in 1768 to face the charges for seditious libel. He would spend the next two years in prison, during which time he would be elected to Parliament, which refused to seat him, as well as other goverment positions. As much as the King and Parliament hated Wilkes, the people of England loved him as a defender of liberty. The colonists also took up Wilkes as a hero of the fight for liberty.
As the sides harden between Parliament and the colonies. Prime Minister Grafton sees no route for a compromise that will resolve the disputes and resigns. Lord North, a hardliner, becomes the new Prime Minister.
During this same period, different Sons of Liberty organizations are attempting to maintain nonimportation agreeements against London and prevent customs enforcment. They begin using the practice of tarring and feathering customs informers or low level customs officials in order to prevent effective enforcement of British trade laws.
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