The Shot Heard Around the World

The revolutionary war began in 1775. Unrest over unjust taxation was one of the major causes of this conflict in the colonies. The Boston Massacre which took place five years earlier is fresh in the minds of the colonists. The protests against taxation without representation reached a new height in the form of the Boston Tea Party. Colonists are calling for the right to run their own affairs, some going as far as to call for independence from England and the tyranny of King George. The stage is set for revolution.

Early in the morning of April 19, 1775, a long column of about 700 Regulars starts its march to Concord. Their orders are to destroy muskets, powder, cannon, and other provisions being stockpiled by the rebels on Colonel James Barrett's farm.

The column approaches Lexington as dawn rises to find the militia formed up on the town green. The British officers are indignant and order them to lay down their arms and disperse. Some start to leave the field. Some do not and stand fast. None lay down their arms. Suddenly a shot rings out, discipline breaks down, and more shots are fired. When the smoke clears, two militiamen are dead, several more are wounded. The column marches on to Concord.

A few hours go by, and the Regulars are at Concord. A detachment is sent to secure the North Bridge. The militia is already formed up on the far side, men not just from Concord, but from many nearby towns who had come to defend their homes and lives. Smoke rises from the center of Concord. The order comes to load their muskets. The men advance towards the Bridge in fine order to the astonishment of the Regulars. The rebels were advancing on the British army! Retreating off the Bridge, the Regulars form into a firing positions. As in Lexington, shots rings out. The Regulars fire. Militiamen fall, but this time, continue to advance. Then the order is given to the militia: "Fire, fellow soldiers, for God's sake fire!". The American Revolution began that day, but taxation without representation and control of our monetary system by private foreign bankers has not changed and tyranny by so-called government officials is still the rule.