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Political theory of representative government, based on the principle of popular sovereignty, with a strong emphasis on liberty and civic virtue.


Economic theory that closely linked a nation's political and military power to it bullion reserves.

Sugar Act

(1764)Duty on imported sugar from the West Indies

Quartering Act

(1765) Required colonies to provide food and quarters for British troops.

stamp tax

(1765) Widely unpopular tax on an array of paper goods, repealed in 1766 after mass protest erupted across the colonies.

Stamp Act Congress

(1765) Assembly of delegates from nine colonies who met in New York City to draft a petition for the repeal of the Stamp act.

nonimportation agreements

(1765 and after) Boycotts against British goods adopted in response to the Stamp Act and, later, the Town-shed and Intolerable Acts.

Sons of Liberty

Secret societies formed to protest new taxes passed by Parliament. Led the Boston Tea Party and threatened tax collectors.

Daughters of Liberty

This orginization supported the boycott of British goods. They urged Americans to wear homemade fabrics and produce other goods that were previously available only from Britain. They believed that way, the American colonies would become economically independent.

Declaratory Act

(1766) Passed alongside the repeal of the Stamp Act, it reaffirmed Parliament's unqualified sovereignty over the Nth American colonies.

Townshend Acts

(1767) External, or indirect, levies on glass,white lead,paper, paint and tea, the proceeds of which were used to pay colonial governors, who had previously been paid directly bu colonial assemblies.

Committees of correspondence

(1772 and after) Local committees established across Massachusetts, and later in each of the thirteen colonies, to maintain colonial opposition to British polices through the exchange of letters and pamphlets.

Lord North

Prime minister of Britain during the American Revolution

John Hancock

Patriot leader and president of the Second Continental Congress; first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.

George Grenville

Appointed by King George III as the Prime Minister, he had the opinion that the colonists should obey the laws and pay a part of the cost of defending and administering the British empire; passed the Sugar and Stamp Acts.

Samuel Adams

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

Charles Townshend

government official, "Champagne Charlie", sponsored taxes for: lead, glass, paper, paint & tea, influenced parliament to pass the Townshend acts

John Adams

Lawyer who defended British soldiers in the Boston Massacre trial. He believed in "innocent until proven guilty." In spite of these actions, he supported colonial independence.

crispus attucks

Killed in Boston Massacre, black laborer, only African-American person killed in Boston Massacre

no taxation without representation

reflected the colonists' belief that they should not be taxed because they had no direct representatives in Parliament

royal veto

British right to nullify any legislation passed by the colonial system if it went against Mercantalism

virtual representation

british governmental theory that parliament spoke for all british subjects, including americans, even if they did not vote for its members

Navigation Acts

Laws that governed trade between England and its colonies. Colonists were required to ship certain products exclusively to England. These acts made colonists very angry because they were forbidden from trading with other countries.

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