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John Dickinson

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.

Samuel Adams

Founder of the Sons of Liberty and one of the most vocal patriots for independence; signed the Declaration of Independence

Thomas Paine

American Revolutionary leader and pamphleteer (born in England) who supported the American colonist's fight for independence and supported the French Revolution (1737-1809)

Proclamation of 1763

A proclamation from the British government which forbade British colonists from settling west of the Appalacian Mountains, and which required any settlers already living west of the mountains to move back east.

Sugar Act

halved the duty on foreign made molasses, placed duties on certain imports, and strenghtened the enforcement of the law allowing prosecutors to try smuggling cases in a vice-admiralty court

Declaratory Act

Passed in 1766 just after the repeal of the Stamp Act, the Declaratory Act stated that Parliament could legislate for the colonies in all cases. Most colonists interpreted the act as a face-saving mechanism and nothing more. Parliament, however, continually interpreted the act in its broadest sense in order to legislate in and control the colonies.

Townshend Duties

Popularly referred to as the Townshend Duties, the Revenue Act of 1767 taxed glass, lead, paper, paint, and tea entering the colonies. The colonists objected to the fact that the act was clearly designed to raise revenue exclusively for England rather than to regulate trade in a manner favorable to the entire British empire.

Coercive Acts

This series of laws were very harsh laws that intended to make Massachusetts pay for its resistance. It also closed down the Boston Harbor until the Massachusetts colonists paid for the ruined tea. Also forced Bostonians to shelter soilders in their own homes.

Stamp Act

an act passed by the British parliment in 1756 that raised revenue from the American colonies by a duty in the form of a stamp required on all newspapers and legal or commercial documents

Boston Massacre

British soldiers fired into a crowd of colonists who were teasing and taunting them. Five colonists were killed. The colonists blamed the British and the Sons of Liberty and used this incident as an excuse to promote the Revolution.

Thomas Hutchinson

Lieutenant Governor (and later Governor) of Massachusetts. Advocated limiting the English liberties for American colonists. British sympathist prior to the American Revolution.

Pontiac's Rebellion

1763 - An Indian uprising after the French and Indian War, led by an Ottowa 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.

Albany Plan of Union

plan proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1754 that aimed to unite the 13 colonies for trade, military, and other purposes; the plan was turned down by the colonies and the Crown

Committees of Correspondence

Committees of Correspondence, organized by patriot leader Samuel Adams, was a system of communication between patriot leaders in New England and throughout the colonies. They provided the organization necessary to unite the colonies in opposition to Parliament. The committees sent delegates to the First Continental Congress.

Olive Branch Petition

On July 8, 1775, the colonies made a final offer of peace to Britain, agreeing to be loyal to the British government if it addressed their grievances (repealed the Coercive Acts, ended the taxation without representation policies). It was rejected by Parliament, which in December 1775 passed the American Prohibitory Act forbidding all further trade with the colonies.

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