(1723-1790), the Scottish "Father of Modern Economics," that frontally attacked mercantilism in 1776. He influenced
the founding fathers of the United States, and convinced the advocate of free trade.
these courts originally heard cases involving commerce on the high seas in which the king or government had
some commercial interest.
Articles of Confedration
the first constitution of the United States (1781); created a weak national government; replaced in 1789 by
the Constitution of the United States.
Baron Von Steuben
Prussian soldier who knew a great deal about warfare and soldier training. He helped drill the American troops
at Valley Forge during the terrible winter there.
Battle of Bunker Hill
Two-day engagement between British forces under the command of General William Howe and American
forces under Colonel William Prescott. The Americans had occupied Breed's Hill in Charlestown on June 16, 1775, in order to protect
the shipyard of nearby Boston.
Battles of Lexington and Concord
First shots fired between American and British troops, on April 19, 1775. The British chose to
march to Concord because it was an arms depot. This meant that the Americans had stockpiled weapons there. British troops had
occupied Boston and were marching on Concord as they passed through Lexington. They fired at each other, not knowing who was
first, but Americans were forced to withdraw.
Board of Trade (1696)
English governmental advisory body established by William III in May 1696 to replace the Lords of Trade
(1675) in the supervision of colonial affairs.
The board was to examine colonial legislation and to recommend disallowance of those laws that conflicted with imperial trade
policies, to nominate governors and other high officials for royal colonies and to write the instructions for appointed governors, to
recommend laws affecting the colonies to Parliament and the Privy Council, and to hear and to make reports on complaints from the
colonies regarding imperial administration.
Boston Massacre (1770)
a street fight that occurred on March 5, 1770, between a "patriot" mob, throwing snowballs, stones, and
sticks, and a squad of British soldiers. Several colonists were killed and this led to a campaign by speech-writers to rouse the ire of the
Boston Port Act
of Parliament of Great Britain which became law on March 30, 1774, and is one of the measures (variously called
the Intolerable Acts or the Coercive Acts) that were designed to secure Great Britain's jurisdictions. Ships were prevented from
mooring or docking anywhere in Boston Harbor. Any caught doing so were subject to seizure of both cargo and ship.
Boston Tea Party
Angry and frustrated at a new tax on tea, American colonists calling themselves the Sons of Liberty and disguised
as Mohawk Native Americans boarded three British ships (the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver) and dumped 342 whole crates
of British tea into Boston harbor on December 16, 1773.
British East India Company
was a joint-stock company of investors, which was granted a Royal Charter by Elizabeth I on December
31, 1600, with the intent to favor trade privileges in India. The crown gave it a monopoly on tea in 1773.
the leading figure in the ministry. He effectively sabotaged Chatham's plan to bring India under the sovereignty
of the crown and undertook the ill-fated American import levies known as the Townshend Act. He died shortly after the passage of the
Committees of Correspondence
a body established by various towns or assemblies of the American colonies to exchange
information with each other, mold public opinion, and take joint action against the British.
African-American Revolutionary War hero. On March 5, 1770, Boston patriot Samuel Adams convinced sailors and
dockworkers to protest the presence of British troops. Attucks was a leader of the 50 men in the protest, shouting "Don't be afraid," as
they advanced on the British. The soldiers fired on the protestors, killing Attucks and four others in what became known as the Boston
Daughters of Liberty
were a successful group that proved women's involvement in politics could be beneficial for the country.
Supported the boycott of tea and cloth produced in England. They urged American colonists to support American businesses and to
produce their own products. Sometimes they resorted to radical means...in 1774 the Daughters of Liberty confiscated goods from
merchants who inflated their prices after Boston Harbor was blockaded.
Declaratory Act (1766)
by the British Parliament that accompanied the repeal of the Stamp Act. It stated that the British
Parliament's taxing authority was the same in America as in Great Britain. Parliament actually hardened its principle by asserting its
complete authority to make binding laws on the American colonies "in all cases whatsoever."
an Irish-born British philosopher and statesman, remembered principally for his criticism of the French
Revolution and his discussion of the sublime. He is regarded as the founder of modern conservatism. He eloquently defended
the English Revolution of 1688, and yet attacked the French Revolution bitterly. Was a ruthless critic.
grown or extracted from England's North American colonies that could be shipped only to England or other
colonies within the empire. Goods on the first list included tobacco, indigo, and sugar. Later furs, molasses, and rice would be added
to a growing list of products that the English colonies could not sell directly to foreign nations.
a tax on use or consumption of certain products.
First Continental Congress (September 5-October 26, 1774)
On September 5, 1774, every colony but Georgia sent representatives to
what is now called the First Continental Congress. It was held because the colonists were very upset about the Intolerable Acts and the
taxes. They met in secret because they did not want the British to know that the colonies were uniting. Some of those who came were
George Washington, Patrick Henry, John Jay, John Adams, and Samuel Adams. Peyton Randolph of Virginia was chosen president.
British political leader who as prime minister (1763-1765) instigated the Stamp Act (1765), which provoked
rebellious activities in the American colonies.
German soldiers loyal to King George III who fought for Britain in the Revolutionary War.
House of Commons
the dominant component of the bicameral Parliament, the other half being the House of Lords. It consists of
659 Members of Parliament (MPs) since 1997, each elected by citizens of an electoral constituency to represent that constituency in
Series of laws sponsored by British Prime Minister Lord North and enacted in 1774 in an attempt to punish
Massachusetts for the Boston Tea Party.
A political leader of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; one of the Founding Fathers. Adams was a signer
of the Declaration of Independence. He was the second president, from 1797 to 1801, after George Washington. Washington and
Adams were the only presidents from the Federalist Party. Adams's presidency was marked by diplomatic challenges, in which he
avoided war with France. The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed while he was president.
American revolutionary patriot who was president of the Continental Congress; was the first signer of the Declaration
King George III
King of Great Britain from 1760 to 1820. Under his guidance, Britain won the French and Indian War but lost the
Revolutionary War. He was mentally unstable because of a disease called porphyria, and he was given to bouts of madness and
unpredictability. He also didn't like his government officials very much.
the Royal Governor of Virginia that issued a proclamation in November 1775 in response to information that the
colonists had begun forming armies and attacking British troops. Dunmore wanted to put a quick end to the fighting and other
activities he considered traitorous.
Prime Minister of Great Britain and a former Lord of the Treasury, he focused on economic problems for the first part of
his reign. He thought to make an example of Massachusetts by coming down hard on the insurrection there. An example was the Tea
Act, which so angered American colonists that they dumped 342 crates of tea into Boston Harbor. But his experiment backfired.
Not only did the Massachusetts colonists fight back, but the rest of the colonies also caught the revolutionary fire. War was declared,
and the fighting began. North continued to serve as prime minister throughout the war, managing the affairs of the country from home
while his armies fought in the field afar. He tried to resign several times during the war, but King George III would not accept the
resignation. Finally, a year after Yorktown, while peace negotiations were dragging on, North resigned for good.
Marquis de Lafayette
left France in early 1777 to seek service in the American Revolution. Offering to serve at his own expense, the
19 year old was commissioned a major general in the Continental Army. He was wounded slightly at the Battle of Brandywine and
served in the army until January 1779. He briefly returned to France where he helped lay the groundwork for sending a French
expeditionary force to serve under Washington.
Massachusetts Circular Letter (1768)
drafted by Samuel Adams and adopted on February 11, 1768, it condemned taxation without
representation and decried British efforts to make royal governors financially independent of the elected legislatures as a further
deprivation of representative government. However, it did not challenge Parliament's position as the highest authority or advocate
rebellion in any sense. Virginia's assembly approved it, and sent out its own statement on the subject, urging all colonies to actively
oppose British policies that would "have an immediate tendency to enslave them."
an economic system developing during the decay of feudalism to unify and increase the power and especially the
monetary wealth of a nation by a strict governmental regulation of the entire national economy usually through policies designed to
secure an accumulation of bullion, a favorable balance of trade, the development of agriculture and manufactures, and the
establishment of foreign trading monopolies
member of a class of American militiamen who volunteered to be ready for service at a minute's notice.
A person of mixed white and black ancestry, example would be a person with one white and one black parent
were passed by the English Parliament in the seventeenth century. The Acts were originally
aimed at excluding the Dutch from the profits made by English trade. The mercantilist theory behind the Navigation Acts assumed
that world trade was fixed and the colonies existed for the parent country.
Navigation Law of 1650
a series of laws which restricted the use of foreign shipping for trade between England (after 1707) and its
colonies, which started in 1651. The acts were a factor in the Anglo-Dutch wars, and later sources of resentment in the American
colonies against Great Britain, helping cause the American Revolutionary War.
a series of commercial restrictions adopted by American colonists to protest British revenue policies
prior to the American Revolution. Ex: Britain's Stamp Act of 1765 triggered the first nonimportation agreements. To protest taxation without representation, New York
merchants agreed collectively to embargo British imports until Parliament repealed the stamp tax, and they persuaded the merchants
of Boston and Philadelphia to do likewise. Under pressure from British exporters who lost business, Parliament repealed the Stamp
Act within a year.
defended his resolutions (Virginia Resolves) against the Stamp Act in the House of Burgesses May 30, 1765. He
played a prominent role in the May 6, 1776, convention and became the first governor of the commonwealth under its new
constitution. He served five terms as governor of Virginia.
Peter Oliver (1713-1791)
Chief Justice of Massachusetts, was graduated at Harvard College, in 1730. He afterwards resided in the
county of Plymouth, where he filled several public offices, and was finally appointed Chief Justice. Oliver was one out of three judges
of the Boston Massacre Trial. Oliver's conduct in the trials was generally recognized as fair. In his instructions to the jury at the end of
the trial, Oliver summarized the evidence in a way that made clear the mob's provocation of the soldiers. The captain and the soldiers
were acquitted of the charge of murder although two of the soldiers were found guilty of manslaughter.
fought at the battles of Saratoga and in Delaware during the War for Independence. He was also one of twenty
enslaved men who petitioned the New Hampshire legislature for freedom in 1779. His owner, General William Whipple, was a signer
of the Declaration of Independence and an aide to General George Washington.
Quartering Act of 1765
stated that British troops in America would be housed in barracks and in public houses unless and until the
number of troops overwhelmed the facilities, at which time, the troops could be housed in private commercial property, such as inns
and stables, and in uninhabited homes and barns.
The quartering would be without compensation and, in fact, owners would be required to provide soldiers with certain necessities
such as food, liquor, salt, and bedding, also without compensation. One of the Intolerable Acts that lead to dissent in the American
colonies and to the creation of the Declaration of Rights and Grievances in 1774.
In 1774 Parliament passed this act that created the British colony of Quebec and established an authoritarian, centralized
government between the Ohio River and Canada. Seaboard colonists concluded that their opportunities for self-government were
threatened and termed this act along with the Coercive Acts the Intolerable Acts.
A British soldier, especially one serving during the American Revolution
The idea that government should be based on the consent of the governed, through elected representatives (also
called indirect democracy).
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and
promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law.
He contributed a potent pen and tongue to the American Revolution as a political agitator and organizer of rebellion.
Samuel Adams was the leading spirit in the Boston Tea Party. A failure in the brewing business, he was sent by Massachusetts to the
First Continental Congress of 1774. He signed the Declaration of Independence and served in Congress until 1781
Sons of Liberty
were extralegal organizations that agitated in resistance to the Stamp Act in 1765 and continued to speak, write and
demonstrate against British measures until independence. They frequently resorted to threats and the use of violence to dramatize their
protest. Their actions often intimidated stamp distributors and British supporters in the colonies.
was the first purely direct (revenue) tax Parliament imposed on the colonies. It was an excise tax on printed matter,
including legal documents, publications, and playing cards, and the revenue produced was supposed to defray expenses for defending
the colonies. Americans opposed it as "taxation without representation" and prevented its enforcement; Parliament repealed it a year
after its enactment.
Stamp Act of Congress
In October 1765, delegates sent by nine colonies met in New York City to adopt the Declaration of Rights
and Grievances and petition against the British act.
Sugar Act of 1764
it was initiated by prime minister George Grenville's plan to place tariffs on some colonial imports as a means of
raising revenue needed to finance England's expanded North American empire. It also called for more strict enforcement of the
A tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports.
Taxation without representation
A situation in which a government imposes taxes on a particular group of its citizens, despite the
citizens not consenting or having an actual representative deliver their views when the taxation decision was made. This situation was
one of the triggering events that spurred the original thirteen American colonies to revolt against the British Empire.
an administrative management company.
The Wealth of Nations
A country's economic wealth could be measured by the amount of gold or silver in its treasury.
Royal governor of the British North American Province of Massachusetts Bay (1771-74) whose
stringent measures helped precipitate colonial unrest and eventually the American Revolution (1775-83).
Townshend Acts of 1767
Series of 1767 laws named for Charles Townshend, British Chancellor of the Exchequer (Treasurer).
These laws placed new taxes on glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea. Colonial reaction to these taxes was the same as to the Sugar Act
and Stamp Act, and Britain eventually repealed all the taxes except the one on tea. In response to the sometimes violent protests by the
American colonists, Great Britain sent more troops to the colonies.
Valley Forge (1777-1778)
General George Washington's continental troops were quartered from December 1777 to June 1778 in
this area of Pennsylvania approximately 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia, where while British forces occupied Philadelphia during
the Revolutionary War. Approximately 2,500 men, about a quarter of those encamped there, died of hardship and disease.
Parliament argued that colonists were in effect represented in Parliament because every member of
Parliament stood for the interests of the empire. Colonists insisted that since they did not actually elect voting members of Parliament
to represent their interests, Parliament did not represent them.
A member of the British reforming and constitutional party that sought the supremacy of Parliament and was eventually
succeeded in the 19th century by the Liberal Party.