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5.2 Early Native American Tribes
5.4 Aztecs and the Incas
5.5 The Dutch, Spanish and French in the New World
5.6 The Natives and Colonists face off!
Colonial Society in the 18th century
Economic Differences between the North and the South colonies
How Slavery began
Primary Documents Leading to the Declaration
The Battles and Events of the American Revolution
The Colony of Connecticut
The Colony of Delaware
The Colony of Georgia
The Colony of Maryland
The Colony of Massachusetts
The Colony of New Hampshire
The Colony of New Jersey
The Colony of New York
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The Events that Led to the American Revolution 1763-1775
There were numerous events that led up to the Revolutionary War, some effected the way the colonies felt more than others. In addition, the more the colonies fought Great Britain on the policies they were imposing, the policies only got more strict. Great Britain would impose these policies over the course of a twelve year span from the Proclamation of 1763 to the time when the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia in 1775. The British empire at this time was strengthening with their territorial acquisition of the thirteen colonies and also due to the fact that they were expanding across the Atlantic Ocean more than any other European nation was at the time. After the acquisition of the thirteen colonies, Great Britain seemed to be the strongest nation not only in Europe, but across the globe. In order to make money off of their new territory, taxes and tariffs were imposed on the colonies.
Proclamation Line of 1763
After the victory in the French and Indian War, the colonists were ecstatic because the treaty had removed certain barriers that prevented the colonists from expanding anywhere. The Proclamation of 1763 closed off the frontier to the colonists making it impossible to them to expand further west, or anywhere. This was essentially done to appease the Native Americans and to ease their fears of colonial expansion westward. The King of England and his loyal subjects imposed this proclamation for this sole reason because the French had already turned the Natives against the British in the French and Indian War, and Great Britain did not need any problems in the colonies. The colonists thought that Great Britain was not about to let them have free reign over all territories gained from the war, so they put into place the Proclamation of 1763 to keep the colonies from "running wild", however this was certainly not the case. This simple miscommunication is where the relationship of the colonies and Great Britain started to become rocky, because the colonies wanted to expand, and they thought Great Britain was keeping them to the Atlantic coast in order for easy regulation and control. (Ohio History Central, 2005)
Sugar Act of 1764
was a newer and more modified version of the Sugar and Molasses Act of 1733. It reduced the rate of tax on molasses from six to three pence per gallon. This was done because the French West Indies were trading molasses with the colonies for a reduced price. It also listed other foreign goods that would also be taxed including sugar, certain wines, coffee, and printed calico. This act also further regulated the export of lumber and iron. The rum industry experienced a major decline in business after this act was passed. This act disrupted the colonial economy in a major way, as they had to change their whole trading plan around, just because the British market was declining. (Kindig, Thomas, 1995). The
Committee of Correspondence
was set up so that they could write about specific topics that were going on in the colonies and dispatch them to smaller groups without any connection to the bigger problems. Many of the members belonged to the Sons of Liberty and other groups around the colonies. The first committee was created in Boston in 1764 and had the responsibility to oppose the Currency Act and the unpopular reforms it imposed. Sam Adams created a committee in 1772 that was to protest against the decision that the colonial assembly would not pay the salaries of the royal governor and judges. That decision had cost the colony its means of controlling public officials. More than 100 committees were formed in Massachusetts within that year. A correspondence committee in Virginia had wrote to the other colonies in 1773 that the committees should become permanent. The most important contribution that these committees had accomplished was the formation of the First Continental Congress in 1774. The Second Continental Congress would impose their own Committee of Correspondence once they realized how successful they were. (u.s.history.com, 2011).
Stamp Act of 1765
taxed the colonists directly, requiring them to pay a tax on any piece of printed paper that was used. All the proceeds made from this act were to be used to protect the American frontier near the Appalachian Mountains. The cost of the tax was not expensive at all, but it still angered the colonists because they believed that the British were just creating it to make money, that there was no other beneficial reason to it. They believed it would open up the doors to other taxations being created and imposed on the colonists. This would later be repealed by the British government because of the colonist's boycotts. (The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2011).
The Stamp Act Congress
where the phrase "no taxation without representation" came from, and the congress was in response to the Stamp act of 1765. The colonists had representatives from every colony calling for representation in the British government since they were being taxed for nothing, and could not represent themselves. In October of 1765, the colonies finally convened as one, and it was the doing of James Otis that made this possible because he was the one who called for an inter-colonial conference to discuss the issues of the tax on stamps. At first the Stamp Act Congress looked like it was going to be a complete failure, because only nine colonies sent representatives to the congress. The colonies that were not present at the meeting were Georgia, New Hampshire, North Carolina and the most imperative colony, Virginia. Additionally, the colonies that were represented rapidly became divided between moderates and radical, each fighting for their own ideas. The moderates won the battle, as there were only a few radical representatives that wanted to take action against Great Britain, but even the moderates questioned the authority that Great Britain had to tax the colonies. The major difference that the radicals and moderates had was that the radicals questioned the authority of Great Britain to impose any law, or to have any power over the colonies. The radicals were leaning toward the idea of independence, although they were not quite there yet. The moderates thought that the radicals were way too extreme, and that they should back down, and acknowledge Great Britain's authority of the colonies. The President of the Stamp Act Congress was a representative from Massachusetts named William Ruggles. Ruggles refused to sign the Stamp Act Resolves which would resolve the Stamp Act situation with Great Britain, but after much disagreement, even to the point when a New Jersey representative stormed out of the meeting, the "spirit" of the congress prevailed, and the Stamp Act Resolves was signed by all colonies excluding (Independence Hall Association, 2008)
Sons of Liberty
Sons and Daughters of Liberty
was originally formed in opposition to the Stamp Act. The Sons of Liberty would go to any means necessary to stop the British tyranny. They used threats, intimidation, and violent acts to scare away tax collectors. They worked together everywhere, they put together their ideas in effort to form unity between the group. The Daughters of Liberty worked together to accomplish important tasks such as upholding the boycott of tea, since they bought consumer goods for home. They formed mass spinning bees in the colonies when the textile shortage came about. (U.S. History Online Textbook, 2011).
A drawing of the Stamp Act Congress, depicting what occurred during the meeting. It appears as if there is much arguing, and no organization
Quartering Act of 1765
was an act passed by Parliament to address concerns about soldiers that were stationed in the colonies. In the Quartering Act, it stated that all basic needs that British soldiers needed that were in the colonies would be supplied by colonists. These basic needs that British Parliament was concerned about were things such as food, bedding, beer, cider, cooking tools, and candles. The colonists grew angry with the act because some of them struggled to provide for their own families, let alone, provide for British soldiers whenever they needed something. The Quartering Act of 1765 expanded the following year and required even more of the colonists, including allowing British soldiers to use taverns and unoccupied houses for shelter and other things such as assemblies. (Walenta, Craig, 1995).
John Dickinson; Letters From a Pennsylvania Farmer
consisted of twelve letters that addressed the Quartering Act of 1765, the Stamp Act, and the Townshend Acts. Dickinson believed that these acts had served a threat to the liberty in the colonies, which helped upstart the whole rebellion against the British. They were very inspirational for the colonists and really opened up their eyes on the whole tax situation. These letters also focused on the unity of the colonies and the relationship between the colonies and it's mother land. (Sirianni, Brian, 2005).
The Declaratory Act
accompanied the repealing of the Stamp Act, in 1766, although it did not impose anything literal onto the colonies, it did say that Parliament had as much power in the colonies as it did in Great Britain. The colonists thought that this was absurd and continued to fight against later policies that Great Britain would try to impose on the colonies. Parliament in Great Britain did not understand the feelings of the colonists that were fighting against them, and just tried to tighten their grip over them every chance they could. The
Writs of Assistance
were court orders that allowed customs officers to search certain places for hidden contraband or anything that might be considered illegal. The Writs of Assistance were first introduced into Massachusetts in 1751, and they were to be enforce to ensure that the Acts of Trade in Massachusetts were legal but merchants in Massachusetts were considered to be skillful in evading the attempts of the British government to find hidden contraband.
was one of the heaviest pushers for American rights prior to the American Revolutionary War, in fact in 1761 Otis resigned from his position at his job to argue against the "renewal of authority" or what is known as the Writs of Assistance which were first established ten years earlier. Otis argued that the word "contraband" was a vague word, and that they needed a definition of what contraband meant to the British government and to the officers that were searching for the so called contraband. Otis was considered by countless people to be much too radical, and that he should just go along with whatever the British government wanted. Otis refused to do this as he thought that the colonies should be independent or at least not entirely ruled by Great Britain. James Otis was later bypassed as the Chief Justice of Massachusetts when Massachusetts elected a new governor in 1761 which basically ended Otis' role in government, but while in government much was accomplished by Otis.(MapXL, 2010)
Townshend Acts of 1767
imposed more taxes on goods that were not critical for trade. These items included glass, paint, lead,and paper. These were items that were not produced in the colonies and were also hard to smuggle in. Charles Townshend was the Chancellor of the Exchequer and wanted to gain more money from the colonies. The colonists in Massachusetts started to rebel against this act, which led to a repeal in 1770. Instead, the tea was just being taxed now, which would end up leading to the Boston Tea Party. (Kindig, Thomas, 1995).
Lord Frederick North
was born on April 13th, 1732 and as the eldest in his family, he had an advantage over his siblings which is perhaps why he succeeded so much in life. North was educated at Eton between the years of 1742-1748, and just two years later he went to study at Trinity College Oxford, which is where he received his MA (Master of Arts) in 1750. At age twenty-two, North was elected to Parliament and from here on his career bloomed in the British government. After several promotions in his career North became the leader of the House of Commons, which is one of the two major houses in Parliament in England. After he became the leader of the House of Commons in 1768, North took the job of Prime Minister in England in 1770 after his distant cousin the Duke of Grafton resigned the position. North was responsible for several of the acts that made colonists extremely resentful of the British government, but at first he seemed to resolve problems with colonies by repealing four of the five Townshend Acts that were passed in 1767. This would temporarily appease the colonies, but later acts that North would pass would make the colonies resentful. These later acts that were passed were things such as the Tea Act, and the subsequent Coercive Act. The Tea Act would later be responsible for the Boston Tea Party, which was the colonist response to the passing of the Tea Acts. Oddly enough, the Tea Act had absolutely nothing to do with the colonies, but more to do with the East India Company and trying to help them out of bankruptcy. The Quebec Act was one of the last acts passed by North's administration, and the colonists saw it as a fifth Coercive Act, but it was not. The most important part of North's legacy was that the American Revolution was fought during his time as Prime Minister, and it was a battle that would the British would not soon forget, as they took a crushing defeat at Yorktown.(Bloy, Marojie 2002)
Lord Frederick North (1732-1792) Prime Minister of England during the American Revolution
was a street fight that occurred on March 5, 1770. It was between a "patriot" mob of colonists and a group of British soldiers. Paul Revere referred to it as the "Bloody Massacre", since many colonists had died in the fight. The colonists were not comfortable with the presence of the British soldiers in the city, even though they did not present any resistance when the troops initially arrived. Instead, they took it upon themselves to solve the problem. About fifty citizens started to harass a sentinel of troops. They were throwing sticks, stones, and snowballs at the group, as well as verbally assaulting the group. Seven other British soldiers came to the group's aid, and fired on Attucks and five others, who were all killed. Crispus Attucks was the first colonist to be killed. A town meeting was called demanding the removal of the British troops from the colony and the trial of Captain Preston and his men for murder of the colonists. John Adams and Josiah Quincy II defended the British at the trial, and would get them released from prison. Two of the British soldiers would later be found guilty of manslaughter. This massacre was a huge event in the history of the Revolutionary War as it was the initial spark that started the fighting. The Royal Governor would eventually evacuate the occupying army out of the city of Boston. This event would start to send a message to the rest of the colonies that it was time to stand up for themselves and fight back. (Kindig, Thomas, 1995).
was an African-American man who was the first casualty of the American Revolution, even though the war had not even begun yet. Attucks was considered to be the leader in what would later be known as the Boston Massacre, and for over one century it was debated by numerous people on whether he was a hero and a patriot or a villain just looking to cause trouble. Sam Adams was the one who was against Attuck's actions and said that Crispus's "mad behavior" is what got him killed, and that "[Crispus] very looks [were] enough to terrify any person." The impact of Attucks lasted over one hundred years after his death, when a statue was created in 1888 in Boston even though he is mainly regarded as a villain. Some, however, consider Attucks to be a martyr because he was "the first to defy, the first to die." (PBS Online, 2010)
The Boston Massacre
Crispus Attucks (1723-1770) was the first to die in the American Revolution even though there was no battle at the time
was the incident involving a British ship named "Gaspee", and a colonial ship named Hannah. The colonial ship was making a trip from Newport to Providence to ship some goods, and the captain of the colonial ship (Captain Thomas Lindsay) was worried that he would be stopped on his voyage by Lieutenant William Dudinsgston, the commander of the Gaspee. The Gaspee was a hated ship in the colonies because it was notoriously known for stopping colonial ships that were attempting to ship goods to other places. The Gaspee was lured into following Lindsay's ship and this would be the start of a trap for the Gaspee. A small American unit led by Captain Whipple led an assault on the ship, and it was a complete success, as Captain Dudinsgston was forced to surrender to Whipple's unit of just sixty men. After the battle took place and after the surrender of the British forces, the ship was set on fire by the colonists. The colonists watched in celebration as the Gaspee had successfully been taken out once and for all along with its captain. (Multieducator Inc, 2011)
was passed on May 10, 1773 and would be known as the last straw that would pulled until the revolution started in Boston. The purpose of this act was to boost the East India Company since it was failing to sell really any tea. This tea would now be sold to the colonies at a reduced price. This act did not impose any new taxes, but the British were still hoping that they would have been able to help pay off the French and Indian War with the revenue.. The colonists were still up in arms over it because they believed it was a move to buy popular support for the taxes that were still already in place, such as the Townshend Acts. The business of local merchants would also be slowed down because of the direct sale of tea by the British. Colonists in New York and Philadelphia blocked the ships out of their ports. The cargo rotted at the docks in Charleston, and the cargo was not allowed to be unloaded at the port in Boston.(Kindig, Thomas, 1995). The
Boston Tea Party
is one of the most historic moments in American history, as it was a stepping stone in taking down the British government that was denying the colonists rights. It was started after the Tea Act was passed in which British parliament assumed that the colonists would pay the tax instead of giving up tea which was regarded as one of the most popular beverages in the colonies, and it was extremely important to Great Britain. The colonists did not fall for this ploy that Great Britain cleverly devised, and they took their own action. The action would come into form with the Boston Tea Party, which began when three ships arrived in Boston with shipments of tea. (Eyewitness to History, 2002) This would cause a furious reaction from the colonists which was completely unexpected by the British government, and caused them to respond with the Intolerable Acts. The Boston Tea Party was mainly due to the Sons of Liberty protesting the British oppression of America, and they showed their displeasure by dumping 342 crates of tea into the Boston Harbor on December 16th, 1773. The Boston Tea Party was more than just angry colonists showing displeasure however, it was about the courage of the colonists to protest "no taxation without representation. (History Tours of America, 2011.)
The Boston Tea Party (1773)
Map of where the Boston Tea Party actually took place in Boston Harbor
were a British response to the Boston Tea Party because they could not let the colonies look stronger than they were. In order to regain and restore order, the British tried to tighten their grip on the colonies by imposing a series of acts called the Coercive Acts. The press got wind of the situation in the colonies before even the Prime Minister had received the news, which made Great Britain look extremely weak. The first of the Coercive Acts that was passed by Great Britain was the
Boston Port Act
which restricted all travel in and out of Boston by closing the harbor to everyone unless necessities such as fuel needed to be delivered to Boston. The British included in this that the act would stay in place until one of the following occurred, the East India Company could compensate for the losses in the Boston, the injured soldiers were compensated for their injuries that were sustained as a result of the Boston Tea Party, or unless King George III deemed that peace was restored and that trade could be reinstated. The second of the Coercive Acts passed by Great Britain was the
Massachusetts Bay Regulating Act or Massachusetts Government Act
which was put into place to keep a closer eye on Massachusetts at all times. Great Britain would accomplish this by putting a council government in place to watch over all affairs in Massachusetts, and their powers were greater than the council that actually ran Massachusetts. The powers that the council had were to reject or accept law officers in Massachusetts, to sit in on all town meetings, or to abolish the meeting if they thought it was unnecessary, and also to abolish elected juries. The third Coercive Act that was passed was known as the
Administration of Justice Act
and this would later be refered to as the "Murder Act" by colonists. The Administration of Justice Act gave the governor of Massachusetts the authority to remove trials or transfer the trial to another colonial or even to Great Britain if he thought that the trial in Massachusetts was going to biased or partial. The Administration and Justice Act largely applied to Crown Officials and soldiers that were carrying out order from Great Britain. There was a small chance for a fair trial in the colonies or in Great Britian, so the entire justice system was corrupt all due to the Administration of Justice Act. The final act that was passed as a part of the Coercive Acts or the Intolerable Acts was the second
which was an extension on the first Quartering Act which was put into place almost a decade earlier. This would make the law much more broad and also added four more regiments of troops at Castle William, in inadequate quarters, forcing colonists to provide things such as bedding and food for soldiers. Additionally to the increasing number of troops, the colonist were expected to give more than they were for the last decade to soldiers, and this became increasingly frustrating to the colonists. The worst part about this for colonists is that the colonists would not be reimbursed for the quartering efforts made by colonists, as they were expected to pay for all of this by themselves. The
was passed directly after the passing of the Coercive Acts which was extremely bad timing on the part of the British. The colonists had just about had enough with the British and their laws and were ready to take action if need be. The Quebec Act was just another restriction on the colonies imposed by the British to try and tighten their grip on the colonies, and it closed off the border to Canada to the colonies. The British government had just about closed off every angle that the colonies had where the could have expanded with both the Proclamation of 1763 and the Quebec Act, and this increased tension between the colonies and Great Britain, and this along with the Coercive Acts would set the stage for one of the most historic moments in American History, in the American Revolution. (Bloy, Majorie Dr., 2011)
was born in Quincy, Massachusetts and would later go to college at Harvard, where he would recieve his degree in law in 1743. He would become a clerk after leaving college in the counting house of Thomas Cushing, one of the most successful merchants at that time. Adams would later get involved in politics, once he realized the business world wasn't for him. He was elected to the General Court of Massachusetts where he would represent Boston. He was an important figure in speaking out against the British Parliament and the taxes that they created. He went against the Sugar and the Stamp Acts and would later write the
Massachusetts Circular Letter
in 1768. It was sent from the Massachusetts House of Representatives to the other colonies' House of Assembly. Adams writes that King George III and the British Parliament were unconstitutional and that the colonists should start to realize it also. This letter consists of complaints that would later be seen in the Declaration of Independence, such as taxes, the judge's salary system, and how some officials wages were determined without the consent of the people. Adams was a leader at the Boston town meeting, where the participants were to come up with a draft for the declaration for the rights of the colonists in 1772. Adams proposed a declaration he had come up with, that would later be used by Thomas Jefferson when he was writing the Declaration of Independence. He attended both the First and Second Continental Congresses, where he would speak in favor of independence. Adams would barely escape the British forces during the
Battle of Lexington
. He was still a part of Congress during the American Revolution and would later be one of the leaders to sign the Declaration of Independence. (ushistory.com). The
Battle of Lexington
began on April 18th 1775 with the arrival of British forces in Phip's farm after leaving Boston. At the start of the war, the militia men in Lexington were way outnumbered with only 500 militia men in total at the outsight of the war. Lexington is considered to be the beginning of the Revolutionary War, and because it was such a "David vs. Goliath" type fight, the British thought that they would easily crush all rebellion within the colonies. The British did not count on the fact that the colonies would be united against the British, and that the rebels also had the makings of an alliance with the French. This would eventually play a huge role in the decision of the American Revolutionary War. With this enormous advantage, the British easily pushed the militia men of Lexington backward, and in victory formation they soon headed toward Concord for their next challenge.
The Battle of Concord
was a battle between the rebels in the colonies, and the British soldiers under the British Empire that occurred in April 19th, 1775 shortly after the militiamen had been pushed back at Lexington just a day earlier. The British had two objectives at the Battle of Concord, to destroy the weapons supply and to eat breakfast, thinking that it would be an easy victory. The British would kill two American soldiers at the Concord River, but the ranks in the British army would soon be broken, as they were forced to retreat back and wait for reinforcements from Boston. The British, then decided to leave Concord without the reinforcements, and this seemed to be a good decision at first, as the militia men just watched the British leave. Then, suddenly, the colonial soldiers poured fire on the retreating soldiers while hiding behind trees and rock. This would be considered as a huge victory for the colonists, pushing back the British army, which the British never expected.
The Battle of Bunker Hill
was between the British soldiers and the Continental Army which was just established prior to this battle. Bunker Hill took place in North Charlestown, outside of the Boston Harbor in June of 1775. The British came into the battle with approximately 2,400 soldiers to the militia of about 1,500 militiamen. The British bombarded the militia with artliery and the constant bombardment; attack after attack caused the morale and the weapon supply to dwindle with each striking blow to the militia. After these series of attacks, the militia was forced to retreat away from Bunker Hill causing a huge defeat for the Americans. (BritishBattles, 2010)
was born in Braintree, Massachusetts on October 30, 1735. He would be accepted into Harvard where he would graduate at the age of twenty with a lawyer's degree. He was one of the leading figures who opposed the Writs of Assistance and the Stamp Act. He wrote a popular article called Essay on the Canon and Feudal Law in response to the Stamp Act. He moved to Boston once he was married so he could build on his patriot stand. He was elected to the Massachusetts Assembly in 1770, and was one of five to be chosen to represent Massachusetts at the First Continental Congress in 1774. Adams nominated Washington to be commander-in-chief of the colonial armies. He was a
John Adams, second President of the United States, 1828(?).
very active member during these meetings and even offered a resolution that amounted to a declaration of independence from the British. He was an advocate of the Declaration of Independence that was being written by Thomas Jefferson. He was appointed ambassador of France by Congress and would stay the ambassador until 1779, where he participated in the framing of the state constitution for Massachusetts. Adams participated in the development of the Treaty of Peace with Great Britain in 1781. He would later be a signer of that treaty, which would end the Revolutionary War in 1783. In 1789, he was elected Vice President of the United States under George Washington. He would later become the President in 1796. Adams was a Federalist, and opposed Jefferson and the Republicans. They continued to fight even through Adam's presidency. John Adams would retire from office in 1801. Adams was elected President of a convention to rebuild the Constitution of Massachusetts in 1824, but didn't show up due to the fact that he was very ill. (Kindig, Thomas, 1995).
was born in Braintree, Massachusetts on January 12, 1737. John Hancock was one of the most popular figures from the American Revolution. He played a huge role in the American Revolution, whether it was good or bad depends on what side you were on. Hancock attended Harvard College and graduated with a business degree at the age of seventeen. On a business mission in England, he witnessed the rule of King George III and met with some of the leading businessmen in London. In 1763, Hancock's uncle passed away, which left Hancock with what was known as one of the greatest bodies of wealth in New England. He became actively involved in revolutionary politics with a mind set focused on independence from Great Britain. He was elected to the Boston Assembly in 1766, and later became a member of the Stamp Act Congress. In 1768, Hancock's boat was impounded by a bunch of custom officials at Boston Harbor, on a charge of running contraband goods. Private citizens stormed the post, burned the government boat, and beat the officers. This all led to Hancock supporting the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. He was elected to the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts and the Continental Congress, and would take over as President in 1766. He would retire a year later but would still help with the formation of the state's constitution. Hancock was elected to the governorship of the state where he would serve for five years. He was again reelected in 1787 where he would serve until his death in 1793. He was a very confident individual who worked hard. He was even wanted by England in 1766, that's how influential he was. Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. (Kindig, Thomas, 1995).
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