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John Wilkes & The Colorful, Criminal & Bawdy Origins of our 4th Amendment

Part 2 In an Ongoing Series on the Revolutionary War

John Wilkes, the bad boy of 18th century British politics — hated by King George III and beloved by the American colonists —  wasn’t the only inspiration for our Fourth Amendment prohibition against the government using general warrants to search for evidence and to arrest for a crime. But his story was by far the most colorful.

What Was It like to Be Alive in Colonial America in 1775, on the Eve of the Revolutionary War?

Part 1: An Introduction to a New Series

In 1775, people traveled only as fast as they could walk, ride a horse, or sail a boat. A sixty-mile drive today that would take an hour would take two to four days in 1775. Travel by sailing ship from Charleston to Boston might take a month, while travel from Charleston to Britain might take two months or more. And news and the mail moved only as fast as that slow travel allowed.