Chapter 4-The Empire in Transition

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Albany Plan

Benjamin Franklin submitted the Albany Plan during the French and Indian War in 1754 during the gathering of colonial delegates in Albany, New York. The plan called for the colonies to unify in the face of French and Native American threats. The delegates approved the plan, but the colonies rejected it for fear of losing too much power. The Crown did not support the plan either, as it was wary of too much cooperation between the colonies.

Iroquois Confederacy

A proposal by Benjamin Franklin to establish "one general government" for all of the colonies during a conference of colonial leaders in Albany, NY in 1754.

French and Indian War

Seven Years' War. The British and the French fought for the right to expand their empires in the Americas. Colonists and Native Americans fought on both sides , and the war eventually spread to Europe. The British victory resulted in England gaining control of most of the settled regions of North America. Americans were reimbursed for the supplies that were requisitioned and colonial assemblies were in charge of recruitment in their respective colonies. The French lost Quebec.

Proclamation of 1763

This ruling by the British government prohibited American colonists from advancing beyond a line drawn along the Appalachian Mountains.

George III

Influenced the growing strain between the colonies and Great Britain through his insecure personality, which contributed to the instability of the British goevrnment during these years

George Grenville

Became the prime minister in 1763. He did not sympathize with the Americans and believed that they should obey the laws and pay a part of the cost of defending and administering the empire.

Sugar Act 1764

Another effort to pay for the British Army located in North America. This measure taxed sugar and other imports.

Currency Act 1764

British act forbidding the colonies to issue paper money as legal tender. The act was repealed in 1773 as an effort to ease tensions between England and the colonies.

Mutiny (Quartering) Act 1765

British edict stating that to help defend the empire, colonial governments has to supply accommodation ad food for British troops.

Stamp Act 1765

Colonists believed that this act was improper because colonies could only be taxed by their provincial assemblies. British authorities decided to repeal this act because of the economic pressure caused by a colonial boycott of English goods.

Townshend Acts 1767

Parliamentary act that forced colonists to pay duties on most goods coming from England, including tea and paper, and it also increased the power of custom boards in the colonies to ensure these duties were paid.

Tea Act 1773

Act by Parliament that would provide the American colonies with cheap tea, but at the same time would force the colonists to admit that Parliament had the right to tax them.

Intolerable Acts

The series of bills passed in Great Britain to punish the Massachusetts Bay Colony for the Boston Tea Party. Boston harbor was closed, local meetings were prohibited, and troops had to be quartered in Massachusetts.

North Carolina Regulators

Farmers of the North Carolina upcountry who organized in opposition to the high taxes that local sheriffs collected. They resisted tax collections with violence and the revolt was suppressed.

Stamp Act Congress

Representatives of 9 colonies went to this meeting held in New York in October 1765. The document produced by this congress maintained the loyalty of the colonies to the Crown but strongly but strongly condemned the Stamp Act.


When the colonies would not purchase British goods.

Sons of Liberty

Men who organized opposition to British colonies during the late 1760s and 1770s. Samuel Adams was one of the leaders of this group. It was founded in Boston and was most active there.

Boston Massacre

Conflict between British soldiers and Boston civilians on March 15, 1770. After civilians threw rocks and snowballs at the soldiers, the soldiers opened fire.

Committees of Correspondence

Were created to publicize grievances against England. First existed in Massachusetts and then eventually in all of the other colonies. Leaders of resistance to British rule circulated lists of grievances through all the towns of the colony.

Boston Tea Party

In response to the Tea Act and additional British taxes on tea, Boston radicals disguised as Native Americans threw nearly 350 chests of tea into Boston harbor on December 16th of 1773.

First Continental Congress

Delegates from all 13 colonies convened in Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia in 1774. They rejected a plan for a colonial union under British authority, endorsed a statement of grievances, approved a series of resolutions, and agreed to nonimportation, nonexportation, and nonconsumption as means of stopping all trade with Great Britain. They also agreed to meet again next spring.


The farmers and townspeople of Massachusetts who gathered arms and ammunition and trained. They were citizen soldiers who were ready to fight at a minute's notice.

Lexington and Concord

"Shots heard round the world." General Thomas Gage sent 1,000 troops to seize the ammunition in Lexington and Concord. Dawes and Revere heard that the British were coming and warned the villages and farms. When the British troops arrived in Lexington, several dozen minutemen were waiting in the town common. Shots were fired and eight minutemen were killed. The British troops advanced onto Concord and discovered that the Americans had moved the powder supply. Using guerilla warfare, the colonists harmed the British.

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