1620 - The first agreement for self-government in America. It was signed by the 41 men on the Mayflower and set up a government for the Plymouth colony.
A Pilgrim, the second governor of the Plymouth colony, 1621-1657. He developed private land ownership and helped colonists get out of debt. He helped the colony survive droughts, crop failures, and Indian attacks.
Pilgrims and Puritans Contrasted
The Pilgrims were separatists who believed that the Church of England could not be reformed. Separatist groups were illegal in England, so the Pilgrims fled to America and settled in Plymouth. The Puritans were non-separatists who wished to adopt reforms to purify the Church of England. They received a right to settle in the Massachusetts Bay area from the King of England.
Massachusetts Bay Colony
1629 - King Charles gave the Puritans a right to settle and govern a colony in the Massachusetts Bay area. The colony established political freedom and a representative government.
1629 - The Puritan stockholders of the Massachusetts Bay Company agreed to emigrate to New England on the condition that they would have control of the government of the colony.
Many Puritans emigrated from England to America in the 1630s and 1640s. During this time, the population of the Massachusetts Bay colony grew to ten times its earlier population.
Church of England (Anglican Church)
The national church of England, founded by King Henry VIII. It included both Roman Catholic and Protestant ideas.
John Winthrop (1588-1649) and His Beliefs
1629 - He became the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony, and served in that capacity from 1630 through 1649. A Puritan with strong religious beliefs. He opposed total democracy, believing the colony was best governed by a small group of skillful leaders. He helped organize the New England Confederation in 1643 and served as its first president.
Separatists and Non-Separatists
Non-separatists (which included the Puritans) believed that the Church of England could be purified through reforms. Separatists (which included the Pilgrims) believed that the Church of England could not be reformed, and so started their own congregations.
Protestant sect founded by John Calvin. Emphasized a strong moral code and believed in predestination (the idea that God decided whether or not a person would be saved as soon as they were born). Calvinists supported constitutional representative government and the separation of church and state.
Congregational Church and Cambridge Platform
The Congregational Church was founded by separatists who felt that the Church of England retained too many Roman Catholic beliefs and practices. The Pilgrims were members of the Congregational Church. The Cambridge Platform stressed morality over church dogma.
Contrast Puritan Colonies With Others
Puritan colonies were self-governed, with each town having its own government which led the people in strict accordance with Puritan beliefs. Only those members of the congregation who had achieved grace and were full church members (called the "elect," or "saints") could vote and hold public office. Other colonies had different styles of government and were more open to different beliefs.
Anne Hutchinson and Antinomianism
She preached the idea that God communicated directly to individuals instead of through the church elders. She was forced to leave Massachusetts in 1637. Her followers (the Antinomianists) founded the colony of New Hampshire in 1639.
Roger Williams and Rhode Island
1635 - He left the Massachusetts colony and purchased the land from a neighboring Indian tribe to found the colony of Rhode Island. Rhode Island was the only colony at that time to offer complete religious freedom.
Puritan teachings emphasized the biblical covenants: God's covenants with Adam and with Noah, the covenant of grace between God and man through Christ.
Voting Granted To Church Members : 1631
1631 - The Massachusetts general court passed an act to limit voting rights to church members.
The Half-way Covenant applied to those members of the Puritan colonies who were the children of church members, but who hadn't achieved grace themselves. The covenant allowed them to participate in some church affairs.
Brattle Street Church
1698 - Founded by Thomas Brattle. His church differed from the Puritans in that it did not require people to prove that they had achieved grace in order to become full church members.
Clergyman, one of the founders of Hartford. Called "the father of American democracy" because he said that people have a right to choose their magistrates.
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
Set up a unified government for the towns of the Connecticut area (Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield). First constitution written in America.
It organized town churches into county associations which sent delegates to the annual assembly which governed the colony of Connecticut.
Massachusetts School Law
First public education legislation in America. It declared that towns with 50 or more families had to hire a schoolmaster and that towns with over 100 families had to found a grammar school.
1636 - Founded by a grant form the Massachusetts general court. Followed Puritan beliefs.
New England Confederation
1643 - Formed to provide for the defense of the four New England colonies, and also acted as a court in disputes between colonies.
King Philip's War
1675 - A series of battles in New Hampshire between the colonists and the Wompanowogs, led by a chief known as King Philip. The war was started when the Massachusetts government tried to assert court jurisdiction over the local Indians. The colonists won with the help of the Mohawks, and this victory opened up additional Indian lands for expansion.
Dominion of New England
1686 - The British government combined the colonies of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut into a single province headed by a royal governor (Andros). The Dominion ended in 1692, when the colonists revolted and drove out Governor Andros.
Sir Edmond Andros
Governor of the Dominion of New England from 1686 until 1692, when the colonists rebelled and forced him to return to England.
Joint Stock Company
A company made up of a group of shareholders. Each shareholder contributes some money to the company and receives some share of the company's profits and debts.
Virginia: Purpose, Problems, Failures, Successes
Virginia was formed by the Virginia Company as a profit-earning venture. Starvation was the major problem; about 90% of the colonists died the first year, many of the survivors left, and the company had trouble attracting new colonists. They offered private land ownership in the colony to attract settlers, but the Virginia Company eventually went bankrupt and the colony went to the crown. Virginia did not become a successful colony until the colonists started raising and exporting tobacco.
Headrights were parcels of land consisting of about 50 acres which were given to colonists who brought indentured servants into America. They were used by the Virginia Company to attract more colonists.
Helped found and govern Jamestown. His leadership and strict discipline helped the Virginia colony get through the difficult first winter.
John Rolfe and Tobacco
He was one of the English settlers at Jamestown (and he married Pocahontas). He discovered how to successfully grow tobacco in Virginia and cure it for export, which made Virginia an economically successful colony.
1619 - The first African slaves in America arrive in the Virginia colony.
House of Burgesses
1619 - The Virginia House of Burgesses formed, the first legislative body in colonial America. Later other colonies would adopt houses of Burgesses.
In the English Civil War (1642-1647), these were the troops loyal to Charles II. Their opponents were the Roundheads, loyal to Parliament and Oliver Cromwell.
1676 - Nathaniel Bacon and other western Virginia settlers were angry at Virginia Governor Berkley for trying to appease the Doeg Indians after the Doegs attacked the western settlements. The frontiersmen formed an army, with Bacon as its leader, which defeated the Indians and then marched on Jamestown and burned the city. The rebellion ended suddenly when Bacon died of an illness.
Led by Culperer, the Alpemark colony rebelled against its English governor, Thomas Miller. The rebellion was crushed, but Culperer was acquitted.
Georgia : Reasons and Successes
1733 - Georgia was formed as a buffer between the Carolinas and Spanish-held Florida. It was a military-style colony, but also served as a haven for the poor, criminals, and persecuted Protestants.
Founder and governor of the Georgia colony. He ran a tightly-disciplined, military-like colony. Slaves, alcohol, and Catholicism were forbidden in his colony. Many colonists felt that Oglethorpe was a dictator, and that (along with the colonist's dissatisfaction over not being allowed to own slaves) caused the colony to break down and Oglethorpe to lose his position as governor.
1665 - Charles II granted this land to pay off a debt to some supporters. They instituted headrights and a representative government to attract colonists. The southern region of the Carolinas grew rich off its ties to the sugar islands, while the poorer northern region was composed mainly of farmers. The conflicts between the regions eventually led to the colony being split into North and South Carolina.
John Locke : Fundamental Constitution
Locke was a British political theorist who wrote the Fundamental Constitution for the Carolinas colony, but it was never put into effect. The constitution would have set up a feudalistic government headed by an aristocracy which owned most of the land.
1690 - The first permanent settlement in the Carolinas, named in honor of King Charles II. Much of the population were Huguenot (French Protestant) refugees.
Staple Crops in the South
Tobacco was grown in Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. Rice was grown in South Carolina and Georgia. Indigo was grown in South Carolina.
Pennsylvania : William Penn
1681- William Penn received a land grant from King Charles II, and used it to form a colony that would provide a haven for Quakers. His colony, Pennsylvania, allowed religious freedom.
Liberal land Laws in Pennsylvania
William Penn allowed anyone to emigrate to Pennsylvania, in order to provide a haven for persecuted religions.
William Penn's term for the government of Pennsylvania, which was supposed to serve everyone and provide freedom for all.
Frame of Government
1701 - The Charter of Liberties set up the government for the Pennsylvania colony. It established representative government and allowed counties to form their own colonies.
New York : Dutch, 1644 English
New York belonged to the Dutch, but King Charles II gave the land to his brother, the Duke of York in 1664. When the British came to take the colony, the Dutch, who hated their Governor Stuyvesant, quickly surrendered to them. The Dutch retook the colony in 1673, but the British regained it in 1674.
Patronships were offered to individuals who managed to build a settlement of at least 50 people within 4 years. Few people were able to accomplish this.
The governor of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, hated by the colonists. They surrendered the colony to the English on Sept. 8, 1664.
The federation of tribes occupying northern New York: the Mohawk, the Oneida, the Senecca, the Onondaga, and the Cayuga. The federation was also known as the "Iriquois," or the League of Five Nations, although in about 1720 the Tuscarora tribe was added as a sixth member. It was the most powerful and efficient North American Indian organization during the 1700s. Some of the ideas from its constitution were used in the Constitution of the United States.
Crops in the Middle Colonies
The middle colonies produced staple crops, primarily grain and corn.
New York and Philadelphia as Urban Centers
New York became an important urban center due to its harbor and rivers, which made it an important center for trade. Piladelphia was a center for trade and crafts, and attracted a large number of immigrants, so that by 1720 it had a population of 10,000. It was the capital of Pennsylvania from 1683-1799. As urban centers, both cities played a major role in American Independence.
1689 - When King James II was dethroned and replaced by King William of the Netherlands, the colonists of New York rebelled and made Jacob Leiser, a militia officer, governor of New York. Leisler was hanged for treason when royal authority was reinstated in 1691, but the representative assembly which he founded remained part of the government of New York.
Printer, author, inventor, diplomat, statesman, and Founding Father. One of the few Americans who was highly respected in Europe, primarily due to his discoveries in the field of electricity.
John Bartram (1699-1777)
America's first botanist; traveled through the frontier collecting specimens.
Pennsylvania, Maryland, Rhode Island - Founders FEtablished Churches
Pennsylvania: Founded by William Penn, a Quaker, to provide protection for Quakers. Maryland: Formed as a colony where Catholics would be free from persecution. Rhode Island: Formed to provide a haven for all persecuted religions, including all Christian denominations and Jews.
Great Awakening (1739-1744)
Puritanism had declined by the 1730s, and people were upset about the decline in religious piety. The Great Awakening was a sudden outbreak of religious fervor that swept through the colonies. One of the first events to unify the colonies.
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, a Careful and Strict Inquiry Into...That Freedom of Will, Part of the Great Awakening, Edwards gave gripping sermons about sin and the torments of Hell.
Credited with starting the Great Awakening, also a leader of the "New Lights."
A strong Presbyterian minister and leader during the Great Awakening. Founded a college for the training of Presbyterian ministers in 1726.
William Tennant's son. Developed a theology of revivalism.
Old Light and New Lights
The "New Lights" were new religious movements formed during the Great Awakening and broke away from the congregational church in New England. The "Old Lights" were the established congregational church.
Founded the colony of Maryland and offered religious freedom to all Christian colonists. He did so because he knew that members of his own religion (Catholicism) would be a minority in the colony.
Maryland Act of Toleration (Act of Religion Toleration)
1649 - Ordered by Lord Baltimore after a Protestant was made governor of Maryland at the demand of the colony's large Protestant population. The act guaranteed religious freedom to all Christians.
The religion of the Enlightenment (1700s). Followers believed that God existed and had created the world, but that afterwards He left it to run by its own natural laws. Denied that God communicated to man or in any way influenced his life.
French Protestants. The Edict of Nantes (1598) freed them from persecution in France, but when that was revoked in the late 1700s, hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fled to other countries, including America.
SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel - In Foreign Parts)
A group which worked to spread Christianity to other parts of the world through missionaries in the late 1800s.
Mercantilism: Features, Rationale, Impact on Great Britain, Impact on the Colonies
Mercantilism was the economic policy of Europe in the 1500s through 1700s. The government exercised control over industry and trade with the idea that national strength and economic security comes from exporting more than is imported. Possession of colonies provided countries both with sources of raw materials and markets for their manufactured goods. Great Britain exported goods and forced the colonies to buy them.
Navigation Acts of 1650, 1660, 1663, 1696
British regulations designed to protect British shipping from competition. Said that British colonies could only import goods if they were shipped on British-owned vessels and at least 3/4 of the crew of the ship were British.
British courts originally established to try cases involving smuggling or violations of the Navigation Acts which the British government sometimes used to try American criminals in the colonies. Trials in Admiralty Courts were heard by judges without a jury.
The backbone of New England's economy during the colonial period. Ships from New England sailed first to Africa, exchanging New England rum for slaves. The slaves were shipped from Africa to the Caribbean (this was known as the Middle Passage, when many slaves died on the ships). In the Caribbean, the slaves were traded for sugar and molasses. Then the ships returned to New England, where the molasses were used to make rum.
Merchants and Markets
A market is the area or group of people which needs a product. Colonial merchants took goods produced in the colonies to areas of the world that needed those goods. Also, the colonies served as a market for other countries' goods.
One company sells another company's products, and then gives the producing company most of the profits, but keeps a percentage (a commission) for itself.
Molasses Act 1773
British legislation which taxed all molasses, rum, and sugar which the colonies imported from countries other than Britain and her colonies. The act angered the New England colonies, which imported a lot of molasses from the Caribbean as part of the Triangular Trade. The British had difficulty enforcing the tax; most colonial merchants ignored it.
Woolens Act 1699
Declared that wool produced in the colonies could only be exported to Britain.
Hat Act 1732
Declared that hats made in the colonies could not be exported.
Iron Act 1750
Declared that no new iron forges or mills could be created in the colonies.
Currency Act 1751
This act applied only to Massachusetts. It was an attempt to ban the production of paper money in Massachusetts, but it was defeated in Parliament.
Currency Act 1764
This act applied to all of the colonies. It banned the production of paper money in the colonies in an effort to combat the inflation caused by Virginia's decision to get itself out of debt by issuing more paper money.
Salem Witch Trials
Several accusations of witchcraft led to sensational trials in Salem, Massachusetts at which Cotton Mather presided as the chief judge. 18 people were hanged as witches. Afterwards, most of the people involved admitted that the trials and executions had been a terrible mistake.
Primogeniture and Entail
These were the two British legal doctrines governing the inheritance of property. Primogeniture required that a man's real property pass in its entirety to his oldest son. Entail required that property could only be left to direct descendants (usually sons), and not to persons outside of the family.
Nominal taxes collected by the crown in crown colonies, or by the proprietor(s) of proprietary colonies.
People who could not afford passage to the colonies could become indentured servants. Another person would pay their passage, and in exchange, the indentured servant would serve that person for a set length of time (usually seven years) and then would be free.
85. Poor Richard's Almanack, first published 1732
Written by Benjamin Franklin, it was filled with witty, insightful, and funny bits of observation and common sense advice (the saying, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise," first appeared in this almanac). It was the most popular almanac in the colonies.
Phillis Wheatly (1754-1784)
An African domestic in the colonies, and a well-known colonial poet. Her poetry was ornate and elaborate.
Ann Bradstreet (1612-1692)
A Puritan and the first colonial poet to be published. The main subjects of her poetry were family, home, and religion.
Magna Carta 1215
An English document draw up by nobles under King John which limited the power of the king. It has influenced later constitutional documents in Britain and America.
Petition of Right 1628
A document drawn up by Parliament's House of Commons listing grievances against King Charles I and extending Parliament's powers while limiting the king's. It gave Parliament authority over taxation, declared that free citizens could not be arrested without cause, declared that soldiers could not be quartered in private homes without compensation, and said that martial law cannot be declared during peacetime.
Habeas Corpus Act, 1679
British law had traditionally provided a procedure that allowed a person who had been arrested to challenge the legality of his arrest or confinement, called the Writ of Habeas Corpus, or the Great Writ. The Act imposed strict penalties on judges who refused to issue a writ of habeas corpus when there was good cause, and on officers who refused to comply with the writ.
Bill of Rights 1689
Drawn up by Parliament and presented to King William II and Queen Mary, it listed certain rights of the British people. It also limited the king's powers in taxing and prohibited the maintenance of a standing army in peacetime.
Board of Trade (Of the Privy Council)
Advisors to the king who regulated British trade during the 1600s and 1700s.
Prime minister of Great Britain in the first half of the 1700s. His position towards the colonies was salutary neglect.
Prime Minister Robert Walpole's policy in dealing with the American colonies. He was primarily concerned with British affairs and believed that unrestricted trade in the colonies would be more profitable for England than would taxation of the colonies.
A philosophical movement which started in Europe in the 1700's and spread to the colonies. It emphasized reason and the scientific method. Writers of the enlightenment tended to focus on government, ethics, and science, rather than on imagination, emotions, or religion. Many members of the Enlightenment rejected traditional religious beliefs in favor of Deism, which holds that the world is run by natural laws without the direct intervention of God.
Theories of Representative Government in Legislatures : Virtual and Actual representation
Virtual representation means that a representative is not elected by his constituents, but he resembles them in his political beliefs and goals. Actual representation mean that a representative is elected by his constituents. The colonies only had virtual representation in the British government.
Rise of Lower House
Most of the colonial legislatures had two houses: a lower house elected by the people of the colony and an upper house appointed by the governor. Over time, the lower house became more powerful because it reflected the needs and desires of the people, while the upper house was merely a figurehead.
Proprietary, Charter, and Royal Colonies
Proprietary colonies were founded by a proprietary company or individual and were controlled by the proprietor. Charter colonies were founded by a government charter granted to a company or a group of people. The British government had some control over charter colonies. Royal (or crown) colonies were formed by the king, so the government had total control over
These were representatives sent to England by the colonies during the 1600s and 1700s. They served as a link between England and the colonies.
A purely democratic form of government common in the colonies, and the most prevalent form of local government in New England. In general, the town's voting population would meet once a year to elect officers, levy taxes, and pass laws.
John Peter Zenger Trial
Zenger published articles critical of British governor William Cosby. He was taken to trial, but found not guilty. The trial set a precedent for freedom of the press in the colonies.
Glorious Revolution (1688)
King James II's policies, such as converting to Catholicism, conducting a series of repressive trials known as the "Bloody Assizes," and maintaining a standing army, so outraged the people of England that Parliament asked him to resign and invited King William of the Netherlands (who became known as William II in England), to take over the throne. King James II left peacefully (after his troops deserted him) and King William II and his wife Queen Mary II took the throne without any war or bloodshed, hence the revolution was termed "glorious."
John Locke and His Theories (1632-1704)
Locke was an English political philosopher whose ideas inspired the American revolution. He wrote that all human beings have a right to life, liberty, and property, and that governments exist to protect those rights. He believed that government was based upon an unwritten "social contract" between the rulers and their people, and if the government failed to uphold its end of the contract, the people had a right to rebel and institute a new government.
A Democratic Society or Not ?
The Founding Fathers were not sure that democracy was the right form of government for America. They feared anarchy and the rise of factions whose policies would not represent the true will of the people. Hence, the government which they designed contains many aspects of a republic; that is, an indirect democracy in which the people do not vote directly on the laws, but instead elect representatives who vote for them.
Land Claims and Squabbles in North America
The British controlled the colonies on the east coast, and the French held the land around the Mississippi and west of it. Both the British and the French laid claim to Canada and the Ohio Valley region.
Differences Between British and French Colonization
The British settled mainly along the coast, where they started farms, towns, and governments. As a general rule, whole families emigrated. The British colonies had little interaction with the local Indians (aside from occasional fighting). The French colonized the interior, where they controlled the fur trade. Most of the French immigrants were single men, and there were few towns and only loose governmental authority. The French lived closely with the Indians, trading with them for furs and sometimes taking Indian wives.
Queen Ann's War (1702-1713)
The second of the four wars known generally as the French and Indian Wars, it arose out of issues left unresolved by King Williams' War (1689-1697) and was part of a larger European conflict known as the War of the Spanish Succession. Britain, allied with the Netherlands, defeated France and Spain to gain territory in Canada, even though the British had suffered defeats in most of their military operations in North America.
Peace of Utrecht 1713
Ended Queen Anne's War. Undermined France's power in North America by giving Britain the Hudson Bay, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia.
War of Jenkins' Ear (1739-17443)
Land squabble between Britain and Spain over Georgia and trading rights. Battles took place in the Caribbean and on the Florida/Georgia border. The name comes from a British captain named Jenkins, whose ear was cut off by the Spanish.
King George's War (1744-1748)
Land squabble between France and Britain. France tried to retake Nova Scotia (which it had lost to Britain in Queen Anne's War). The war ended with a treaty restoring the status quo, so that Britain kept Nova Scotia).
French and Indian War (1756-1763)
Part of the Seven Years' War in Europe. Britain and France fought for control of the Ohio Valley and Canada. The Algonquians, who feared British expansion into the Ohio Valley, allied with the French. The Mohawks also fought for the French while the rest of the Iroquois Nation allied with the British. The colonies fought under British commanders. Britain eventually won, and gained control of all of the remaining French possessions in Canada, as well as India. Spain, which had allied with France, ceded Florida to Britain, but received Louisiana in return.
Francis Parkman (1823-1893)
An historian who wrote about the struggle between France and Britain for North America.
Albany Plan of Union (Ben Franklin)
During the French and Indian War, Franklin wrote this proposal for a unified colonial government, which would operate under the authority of the British government.
British commander in the French and Indian War. He was killed and his army defeated in a battle at the intersection of the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela Rivers, known as the Battle of Fallen Timbers. After his death, his colonial second-in-command, Col. George Washington, temporarily lead the British forces.
William Pitt (1708-1778)
British secretary of state during the French and Indian War. He brought the British/colonial army under tight British control and started drafting colonists, which led to riots.
Fort Pitt and Fort Dusquesne
Fort Duquesne became one of the principal French outposts in the northern Ohio Valley, and, in 1754 the French troops in Fort Dusquesne destroyed nearby British Fort Necessity, after Washington and the colonial army surrendered it to them. The British rebuilt Fort Necessity as Fort Pitt in 1758.
Wolfe, Montcalm, Quebec
1759 - British general James Wolfe led an attack on Quebec. The French, under Marquis de Montcalm, fought off the initial attack, but the British recovered and took Quebec in a surprise night attack in September, 1759.
Treaty of Paris (1763)
Treaty between Britain, France, and Spain, which ended the Seven Years War (and the French and Indian War). France lost Canada, the land east of the Mississippi, some Caribbean islands and India to Britain. France also gave New Orleans and the land west of the Mississippi to Spain, to compensate it for ceding Florida to the British.
1763 - An Indian uprising after the French and Indian War, led by an Ottawa chief named Pontiac. They opposed British expansion into the western Ohio Valley and began destroying British forts in the area. The attacks ended when Pontiac was killed.
Proclamation of 1763
A proclamation from the British government which forbade British colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains, and which required any settlers already living west of the mountains to move back east.
Writs of Assistance
Search warrants issued by the British government. They allowed officials to search houses and ships for smuggled goods, and to enlist colonials to help them search. The writs could be used anywhere, anytime, as often as desired. The officials did not need to prove that there was reasonable cause to believe that the person subject to the search had committed a crime or might have possession of contraband before getting a writ or searching a house. The writs were protested by the colonies.
A colonial lawyer who defended (usually for free) colonial merchants who were accused of smuggling. Argued against the writs of assistance and the Stamp Act.
A mob of Pennsylvania frontiersmen led by the Paxtons who massacred a group of non-hostile Indians.
A series of British regulations which taxed goods imported by the colonies from places other than Britain, or otherwise sought to control and regulate colonial trade. Increased British-colonial trade and tax revenues. The Navigation Acts were reinstated after the French and Indian War because Britain needed to pay off debts incurred during the war, and to pay the costs of maintaining a standing army in the colonies.
As Prime Minister, he passed the Sugar Act in 1764 and the Stamp Act in 1765 to help finance the cost of maintaining a standing force of British troops in the colonies. He believed in reducing the financial burden on the British by enacting new taxes in the colonies
Sugar Act 1763
Part of Prime Minister Grenville's revenue program, the act replaced the Molasses Act of 1733, and actually lowered the tax on sugar and molasses (which the New England colonies imported to make rum as part of the triangular trade) from 6 cents to 3 cents a barrel, but for the first time adopted provisions that would insure that the tax was strictly enforced; created the vice-admiralty courts; and made it illegal for the colonies to buy goods from non-British Caribbean colonies.
Molasses Act 1733
British legislation which had taxed all molasses, rum, and sugar which the colonies imported from countries other than Britain and her colonies. The act angered the New England colonies, which imported a lot of molasses from the Caribbean as part of the Triangular Trade. The British had difficulty enforcing the tax; most colonial merchants did not pay it.
Currency Act 1763
British legislation which banned the production of paper money in the colonies in an effort to combat the inflation caused by Virginia's decision to get itself out of debt by issuing more paper money.
In these courts, British judges tried colonials in trials with no juries.
A movement under which the colonies agreed to stop importing goods from Britain in order to protest the Stamp Act.
Virtual and Actual Representation
Virtual representation means that a representative is not elected by his constituents, but he resembles them in his political beliefs and goals. Actual representation mean that a representative is elected by his constituents. The colonies only had virtual representation in the British government.
March 22, 1765 - British legislation passed as part of Prime Minister Greenville's revenue measures which required that all legal or official documents used in the colonies, such as wills, deeds and contracts, had to be written on special, stamped British paper. It was so unpopular in the colonies that it caused riots, and most of the stamped paper sent to the colonies from Britain was burned by angry mobs. Because of this opposition, and the decline in British imports caused by the non- importation movement, London merchants convinced Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act in 1766.
May 30, 1765 - Patrick Henry's speech which condemned the British government for its taxes and other policies. He proposed 7 "resolves" to show Virginia's resistance to the British policies, 5 of which were adopted by the Virginia legislature. 8 other colonies followed suit and had adopted similar resolves by the end of 1765.
Stamp Act Congress 1765
27 delegates from 9 colonies met from October 7-24, 1765, and drew up a list of declarations and petitions against the new taxes imposed on the colonies.
Patrick Henry (1736-1799)
An American orator and member of the Virginia House of Burgesses who gave speeches against the British government and its policies urging the colonies to fight for independence. In connection with a petition to declare a "state of defense" in Virginia in 1775, he gave his most famous speech which ends with the words, "Give me liberty or give me death." Henry served as Governor of Virginia from 1776-1779 and 1784-1786, and was instrumental in causing the Bill of Rights to be adopted as part of the U.S. Constitution.
Sons of Liberty
A radical political organization for colonial independence which formed in 1765 after the passage of the Stamp Act. They incited riots and burned the customs houses where the stamped British paper was kept. After the repeal of the Stamp Act, many of the local chapters formed the Committees of Correspondence which continued to promote opposition to British policies towards the colonies. The Sons leaders included Samuel Adams and Paul Revere.
Taxes which arose out of activities that occurred "internally" within the colonies. The Stamp Act was considered an internal tax, because it taxed the colonists on legal transactions they undertook locally. Many colonists and Englishmen felt that Parliament did not have the authority to levy internal taxes on the colonies.
Taxes arose out of activities that originated outside of the colonies, such as customs duties. The Sugar Act was considered an external tax, because it only operated on goods imported into the colonies from overseas. Many colonists who objected to Parliament's "internal" taxes on the colonies felt that Parliament had the authority to levy external taxes on imported goods.
Declaratory Act 1766
Passed at the same time that the Stamp Act was repealed, the Act declared that Parliament had the power to tax the colonies both internally and externally, and had absolute power over the colonial legislatures.
March 24, 1765 - Required the colonials to provide food, lodging, and supplies for the British troops in the colonies.
Townshend Act and Reaction
Another series of revenue measures, passed by Townshend as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1767, they taxed quasi-luxury items imported into the colonies, including paper, lead, tea, and paint. The colonial reaction was outrage and they instutited another movement to stop importing British goods.
Drafted a declaration of colonial rights and grievances, and also wrote the series of "Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania" in 1767 to protest the Townshend Acts. Although an outspoken critic of British policies towards the colonies, Dickinson opposed the Revolution, and, as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1776, refused to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Massachusetts Circular letter
A letter written in Boston and circulated through the colonies in February, 1768, which urged the colonies not to import goods taxed by the Townshend Acts. Boston, New York, and Philadelphia agreed to non-importation. It was followed by the Virginia Circular Letter in May, 1768. Parliament ordered all colonial legislatures which did not rescind the circular letters dissolved.
Sam Adams (1722-1803)
A Massachusetts politician who was a radical fighter for colonial independence. Helped organize the Sons of Liberty and the Non-Importation Commission, which protested the Townshend Acts, and is believed to have lead the Boston Tea Party. He served in the Continental Congress throughout the Revolution, and served as Governor of Massachusetts from 1794-1797.
A military organization formed by Benjamin Franklin which formed fighting units in Pennsylvania and erected two batteries on the Delaware River.
he Appeal of the Townshend Acts (Except Tax on Teas)
1770 - Prime Minister Lord North repealed the Townshend Acts, except for the tax on tea.
Boston Massacre 1770
The colonials hated the British soldiers in the colonies because the worked for very low wages and took jobs away from colonists. On March 4, 1770, a group of colonials started throwing rocks and snowballs at some British soldiers; the soldiers panicked and fired their muskets, killing a few colonials. This outraged the colonies and increased anti-British sentiment.
Crispus Attucks (1723-1770)
He was one of the colonials involved in the Boston Massacre, and when the shooting started, he was the first to die. He became a martyr.
A Massachusetts attorney and politician who was a strong believer in colonial independence. He argued against the Stamp Act and was involved in various patriot groups. As a delegate from Massachusetts, he urged the Second Continental Congress to declare independence. He helped draft and pass the Declaration of Independence. Adams later served as the second President of the United States.
Western frontiersmen who in 1768 rebelled in protest against the high taxes imposed by the Eastern colonial government of North Carolina, and whose organization was crushed by military force by Governor Tryon in 1771. In South Carolina, groups of vigilantes who organized to fight outlaw bands along the Western frontier in 1767-1769, and who disbanded when regular courts were established in those areas.