Saturday, March 24, 2018
Where better to launch a patriotic uprising than Faneuil Hall in Boston? Colonists had gathered amid its Doric columns to protest the Boston Massacre and plot the overthrow of British rule. Abolitionists had denounced slavery from its stage. It is a lodestone of American liberty, a cathedral for freedom fighters.
That is why a handful of eminent Bostonians chose Faneuil Hall as the place to begin a new rebellion on the sunny afternoon of June 15, 1898. Like all Americans, they had been dizzied by the astonishing events of recent weeks. Their country had suddenly burst beyond its natural borders. American troops had landed in Cuba. American warships had bombarded Puerto Rico. An American expeditionary force was streaming toward the distant Philippine Islands. Hawaii seemed about to fall to American power. President William McKinley had called for two hundred thousand volunteers to fight in foreign wars. Fervor for the new idea of overseas expansion gripped the United States.
This appalled the organizers of the Faneuil Hall meeting. They could not bear to see their country setting out to capture foreign nations. That afternoon, they rose in protest.
-Stephen Kinzer, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire