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economic theory that believes that wealth was power and is measured in gold/silver; to gain gold/silver, country had to export more than it imported; colonies supplied raw materials to mother country (no need for foreign imports) and provide a guaranteed market for exports; colonists had to refrain from making certain products to buy them from Britain

Sons of Liberty

group of ardent spirits that took the law into their own hands; enforced nonimportation agreements; led Boston Tea Party

Declaratory Act

passed by Parliament upon repealing Stamp Act; reaffirmed Parliament's right to bind the colonists in all cases whatsoever; Parliament defined absolute and unqualified soveignty over its North American colonies

Townshend Acts (Duties)

1767 Parliament passed these acts, places an import duty on glass, white lead, paper, paint, and tea; earmarked to pay the salaries of royal governors and judges in America (colonists no longer held purse strings over these officials); led to the stationing of two British troops in Boston in 1768

"taxation without representation"

incredibly important concept to colonists, initially in reaction to the Stamp Act; colonists could not vote for Parliament, so they felt they were taxed without representation which went against their rights as Englishmen

Quartering Act

passed by Prime Minister George Grenville in 1765; required cetain colonies to provide food and quarters for British troops; passed right after the Sugar Act

Stamp Act

passed in 1765 by Prime Minister George Grenville; mandated the use of stamped paper or the affixing of stamps, certifying payment of tax (required on all papers such as cards, newspapers, and marriage licenses); created to pay for debt from the Seven Years War; these taxes were already familiar and being paid in Britain; "taxation without representation"; used to support a new military force which colonists saw as unnecessary (the French were gone) and thought would be used against them

admiralty courts

where offenders of the Sugar and Stamp Acts were tried; juries were not allowed; defendants were assumed to be guilty unless they could prove themselves innocent; these traits that were denied were ancient practices in Britain that all Englishmen (esp. colonists) held dear

Stamp Act Congress

intercolonial assemblage in 1765 in New York City which brought together twenty-seven distinguished delegates from nine colonies; beseeched Parliament to repeal Stamp Act; had little effect besides taking a step towards intercolonial unity

George Grenville

Prime Minister of England who tried to enforce Navigation Laws in 1763, passed Sugar Act of 1764, passed the Quartering Act in 1765, and passed the Stamp Act in 1765; claimed "virtual representation"

nonimportation agreement

agreements made in the colonies after the Stamp Act to not purchase British goods and make them on their own; woolen garments of homespun became fashionable; promising stride toward union; spontaneously united the American people for the first time in common action

virtual representation

the claim by Prime Minister George Grenville that colonists were being represented in Parliament; claimed that every member of Parliament represented all British subjects (even those in the colonies who had never voted)

Navigation Acts

law of 1650 to regulate the mercantilist system that was aimed at rival Dutch shippers trying to enter the American carrying trade; all commerce flowing to and from the colonies must be transported in British vessels only; later forced tariffs on British goods and that America could only export to Britain

Sugar Act

passed in 1764 by Prime Minister George Grenville; first law ever passed by Parliament for raising tax revenue in the colonies for the crown; increased the duty on foreign sugar imported form the West Indies

Boston Massacre

March 5, 1770 British troops stationed at Boston (provoked by a mob) begin shooting the mob and kill eleven citizens; only two British soldiers later found guilty of manslaughter, but let free anyways

Lord North

British Prime Minister under George III; persuaded Parliament to repeal Townshend Act

King George III

British king during the American Revolution; surrounded himself with cooperative "yes men", notably Prime Minister Lord North

Crispus Attucks

leader of the mob in the Boston Massacre; was a "mulatto" (African American and European mixed ethnicity) and was one of the first to die in the massacre

Samuel Adams

from Boston, cousin of John Adams; organized in Massachusetts the local committees of correspondence; formed the first one in Boston in 1772

committees of correspondence

intracolonial committees that spread the spirit of resistance by exchanging letters and thus kept alive opposition to British policy; Virginia created the first intercolonial committee in 1773 as a standing committee of the House of Burgesses; supremely significant in stimulating and disseminating sentiment in favor of united action; evolved directly into the first American congress

Boston Tea Party

December 16, 1773, a hundred Bostonians boarded the docked British East India Company tea ships and dumped the tea into the harbor

Intolerable Acts

a series of acts passed by Parliament in 1774 in direct response to the Boston Tea Party; including the Boston Port Act (closed off the Boston port until damages were paid) and other measures in Massachusetts (such as a new Quartering Act which gave local authorities the power to lodge British soldiers anywhere, even in private homes)

Quebec Act

created at the same time as the Intolerable Acts; guaranteed Catholic religion to the French and permitted to reatian their customs (such as the lack of representative assembly and trial by jury) and the old boundaries of Quebec were extended southward to the Ohio River; colonists thought French politics would influence colonial (such as no trial by jury nor representative assemblies) and alarmed land speculators (who lost land) and anti-Catholics (who feared extension of Roman Catholic jurisdiction)

First Continental Congress

intercolonial assembly (with representatives from twelve of the colonies (not Georgia)) in Philadelphia in 1774; drew up a Declaration of Rights and created the Association (complete boycott of British goods); did not seek independence, but to repeal offensive legislation

John Hancock

one of the representatives at the First Continental Congress; British commander in Boston sent troops to Lexington and Concord to capture him and Samuel Adams for being rebel "ringleaders"

John Adams

one of the representatives at the First Continental Congress; swayed his colleagues to a revolutionary course; helped defeat moderate proposal of American home rule under British discretion

The Association

created by the First Continental Congress; called for a complete boycott of British goods- nonimportation, nonexportation, and nonconsumption; in an attempt to get legislation from Parliament repealed


the thirty thousand German soldiers hired by King George III to fight in the Revolutionary War


colonists who supported the British in the Revolutionary War; fifty thousand were enrolled by the British in the War


paper money used in the colonies printed by the Continental Congress (later, the states had to issue it too); it was greatly inflated due to the draining away of metallic money; this in return led to the skyrocketing of prices; allowed debtors to easily pay their debts (the money was virtually worthless); "not worth a Continental"

Marquis de Lafayette

wealthy young French nobleman who was made a general in the colonial army at age nineteen; helped to further secure aid from France for the colonists

Baron von Steuben

German drillmaster for the colonial army; allowed soldiers to hold their own against British troops

"royal veto"

the policy in which the British crown reserved the right to nullify any legislation passed by the colonial assemblies if such laws worked mischief with the mercantilist system; used sparingly, just 469 times in 8563 laws; colonists resented even its existence

internal/external tax

internal tax was based on strictly colonial affairs (ex. property tax); external tax based on mercantile system (ex. trade regulation); colonists were accustomed to creating their own internal taxation during salutary neglect, so they didn't like British government-enforced internal taxes; Stamp Act was internal taxation

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