Liberty Tree 250: Celebrating 250 Years of an American Ideal

August 2015 marked the 250th anniversary of the birth of Boston’s famous Liberty Tree.

Revolution 250 Programs, Events and Exhibitions

Members of Revolution 250 are offered a wide variety of programs, events and exhibits commemorating the anniversaries of the Liberty Tree, the Stamp Act and events leading up to the start of the American Revolution.

The Liberty Tree and the Start of the American Revolution

On August 14, 1765, thousands of Bostonians gathered beneath an enormous elm not far from Boston Common to protest the hated Stamp Act, which taxed the people of Massachusetts without their consent. The protest convinced the official charged with administering the tax to resign his office, and the tree where the protest had begun received a new name: the Liberty Tree.

This event is commonly viewed as the start of the American Revolution, and from it  the Liberty Tree emerged as the most prominent symbol of the important role played by ordinary people in creating the new republic.

Learn more about the birth of the Original Liberty Tree.

The Liberty Tree as an Icon of American Democracy

The 250th anniversary of the Liberty Tree is an invitation to explore the meanings that Americans attached to their struggle at the time and to ask how those meanings may have changed over the space of 250 years:

The Liberty Tree was the site of mass protests;

it reminds us that the American Revolution was a people’s movement and the product of direct action in the streets.

The Liberty Tree was a site of conflict and debate;

it reminds us of the tension between the aim of universal liberty and the reality of a society filled with inequalities.

The Liberty Tree was a Boston icon before it became a national icon;

it reminds us of the leading role that Boston played in the American Revolution.

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