Critics of the tactic of marching on Washington dreaded—precisely, it turned out—that Jacob Coxey's Army might inspire many organized protests in the capital of the United States. Before Coxey's Army even reached the District of Columbia, a senator alerted his colleagues that if they permitted his march, it may become a habit to make pilgrimages annually to Washington and endeavor to dominate Congress by the physical presence of the people. Some of what the senator predicted has happened more than a century later. Since 1894, millions of people have marched on Washington. During the imperial crisis that led to the Revolutionary War, colonists have proven their displeasure at merchants and government officials, much as they or their relatives had done in Europe. This moral crowd generally respected the authority of the government, and elected officials sometimes considered such actions an essential gauge of public opinion.
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