The mounting political tensions that ignited the battles of Lexington and Concord are critical to the narrative of the American Revolution. However, the economic forces that propelled these iconic battles are another vital part of this history. When Benjamin Franklin wrote home describing the living conditions in Britain and Ireland, his country- men were appalled. Could the Crown’s motive be to reduce the prosperous American colonies to such serfdom? George C. Daughan explains how this threat inspired the vast turnout of Patriot militiamen that so shocked the British and led the colonists to victory in the first armed conflicts of the War of Independence.