a lawyer and political leader who fought the writs of assistance and alter became a member of the MA assembly and a founding member of the Sons of Liberty. He lost the case against the writs of assistance but advanced the provocative argument that any act of Parliament that authorized such 'instruments of slavery' violated the British constitution and was therefore void.
Royal Proclamation of 1763
Royal directive issued after the French and Indian war prohibiting settlement, surveys, and land grants west of the Appalachian Mountains. Although this was soon overridden by treaties, colonists continued to harbor resentment that the British government would make such a proclamation when the colonists had just finished fighting for that land.
IN 1763 he became the prime minister and the first lord of the Treasury. He was industrious, honest, and hardheaded. He was a strong-will accountant whose humorless self assurance verged on pomposity. He agreed with the King with cutting government expenses, reducing the national debt and generating more revenue from the colonies to pay for their defense. He took for granted the need for redcoats to defend the American frontier, even though the colonies had been left mostly to their own devices before 1754. He wanted to keep a large standing army in America which raised costs. Since there was a large tax burden at home in England, and a lighter tax burden in the colonies he decided that Americans should share the cost of their own defense. He issued stern orders to colonial offices to tighten enforcement and order the British navy to patrol for smugglers. The period of salutary neglect was coming to an end.
(AKA Revenue Act of 1764) Parliament's tax on refined sugar and money other than colonial products. This was the first tax designed solely to raise revenue for Britain. It actually cut the duty on sugar in half from the Molasses Act of 1733 which posed a threat to New England's prosperity. Passed under Grenville.
Currency Act of 1764
the colonies faced a chronic shortage of money, which kept going out to pay debts in England. To meet the shortage they issued their own money but the British creditors feared payment in such a depreciated currency. This act prohibited the colonies from printing money which resulted in a decline in the value of the existing paper money, since nobody was obligated to accept it. This plus new duties and stricter enforcement jolted a colonial economy already suffering a post war decline. Passed under Grenville.
1765- Parliament required that revenue stamps be affixed to all colonial printed matters, documents, dice, and playing cards. The colonial Stamp Act Congress met to formulate a response and the act was repealed the following year when the colonies ignored it. Passed under Grenville.
1765- Parliamentary Act that required the colonies to house and provide for British troops. Passed under Grenville. It mainly affected New York which was the British redcoat headquarters.
a radical minority that slowly began to take hold in the colonies. The ideas of the Real Whigs derived from various sources but above all John Locke's justification of the Glorious Revolution ("Two Treatises on Government"). Locke and other Real Whigs viewed English history as a struggle by Parliament to preserve life, liberty, and property against royal tyranny. In 1764 & 1765 colonists felt like Parliament and Grenville had loosed upon them the very engines of tyranny Parliament had rescued Britain from a couple decades earlier. A standing army was the historic ally of despots so was the standing army in the colonies really to protect the colonists or was it to subdue them?
among the fundamental rights of the English people were trial by jury and the presumption of the innocent but these new courts excluded juries and put the burden of proof on the defendant.
a dubious opinion espoused by Treasury minister Grenville. It was the idea that each member of the British Parliament represented not only the district that elected them but also the interests of the entire country and empire, including the American colonies.
Sons of Liberty
In 1765 colonial resentment boiled over in meetings, parades, bonfires, and other demonstrations. The militants began to call themselves the Sons of Liberty. They met underneath "liberty trees"- in Boston a great elm on Hanover Square, in Charleston a live oak. These secret organizations formed by Samuel Adams, John Hancock and other radicals, in response to the Stamp Act, attacked British officials and planned such harassments as the Boston Tea Party.
a colonial boycott of the importation of British products in 1765. The Americans knew that they had become a major market for British goods and hope that by shutting off imports they could exercise real leverage.
a series of resolutions inspired by Patrick Henry. The burgesses declared that Virginians were entitled to the rights of the Englishmen and Englishmen could only be tacked by their own representatives. Virginia had always been governed by laws passes with their own consent. Other assemblies followed suit. This was the first blow against the Stamp Act.
Stamp Act Congress
In 1765, 9 colonies with 27 delegates issued expressions of colonial sentiment which included the Declaration of the Rights and Grievances of the Colonies, which was a petition to the king for relief and a petition for Parliament for the repeal of the Stamp Act
External and Internal taxes
an impression encouraged by the Lord of Treasury, the Marquis of Rockingham, that a distinction be made between "internal" taxes within the colonies and "external" taxes on trade. Internal taxes were to raise revenue. External taxes were to regulate trade.
In 1766 when Parliament repealed the Stamp Act they passed this act. This act asserted the full power of Parliament to make laws binding in the colonies. It was a face-saving gesture. This re-enforced the distinction between external and internal taxes. This made no concession with regard to taxes but made no mention of them either.
Chancellor of the Exchequer (Treasury). He was determined to force the American colonies into obedience. He took advantage of Pitt who was in control of the ministry but was unstable mentally. Townshend took control through Pitt. He reopened the question of colonial taxation and said that external taxes were tolerable to the colonies even though he didn't believe it. Townshend Acts.
1767- Parliamentary measures that punished The New York Assembly for failing to house British soldiers. It taxes tea and other commodities and established a Board of Customs Commissioners and colonial vice admiralty courts. To punish NY it suspended all acts of the NY colonial assembly until it would yield, which it did. The Revenue Act of 1767 levied taxes on colonial imports. The Townshend acts provided the vice admiralty courts at Halifax, Boston, Philadelphia, and Charleston.
a Philadelphia lawyer who pretested the Townshend Acts in his 12 "letters of a Pennsylvania Farmer," which argued that Parliament might regulated Commerce and collect duties incidental to that purpose but that it had no right to levy taxes for revenue, whether they were internal or external.
Massachusetts assembly member, founding organizer of the Sons of Liberty and a distant cousin of John Adams. He was the supreme genius of revolutionary agitation.
he replaced Townshend as the Chancellor of the Exchequer. In 1770 the king installed a cabinet of the King's Friends with North as first minister. He modified the Townshend Acts.
a clash between British soldiers and a Boston mob on March 5, 1770 in which 5 colonists were killed. Colonists and Atticus baited the soldiers as a crow grew until a soldier was knocked down and then shot into the crow. This caused the repeal of all the Townshend duties except the tax on tea.
once of the 5 colonists killed in the Boston Massacre. Atticus was a runaway slave who it is said led the protest against the Townshend Acts that resulted in the bloody conflict with the British soldiers.
Samuel Adam's distant cousin. He defended the soldiers in the Boston Massacre who were indicted for murder. He sought that the soldiers were victims of circumstance, and had been provoked. He was a major player in the American Revolution.
vengeful Pennsylvania frontiersmen who in protest to a perceived lack of frontier protection massacred local Indian tribes. The Colonial assemblies didn't pay much attention to the frontier which angered the frontiersmen.
Groups of backcountry Carolina settlers who protested colonial polices. They organized societies to administer vigilante justice in the region and refused to pay taxes until they gained effect government. In 1769 the assembly set up 6 new circuit courts but did not respond to the backcountry's demand for representation. North Carolinian royal governor William Tryon retaliated against regulators at the Battle of Alamance on May 17, 1771.
a British schooner patrolling for smugglers that accidentally ran aground near Providence, Rhode Island. Its crew proceeded to commandeer local sheep, hogs and poultry. A crowd from town boarded the ship, removed the crew and burned the vessel. This led to the creation of the British Gaspee commission which bypassed the courts of RI but no witnesses were found. Rhone Island was punished.
Committees of Correspondence
In response to the Gaspee commission, committees sprung up around MA and eventually other colonies as well and mobilized the public opinion and kept colonial resentments at a simmer. Samuel Adams convinced a town meeting to form the first Committee.
Tea Act of 1773
Lord North in 1773 bailed out the East India Company which had some 17 pounds of Tea in British warehouses. Under this act, the government would allow the mismanaged company to send its south Asian tea directly to America without paying any duties. British tea merchants could thereby undercut their colonial competitor, most of whom were smuggling tea from the Dutch. The Committees of Correspondence put this off as Britain trying to purchase colonial acquiescence with cheap tea.
Boston Tea Party
On December 6, 1773, The Sons of Liberty, dressed as Indians, dumped hundreds of chests of tea into the Boston harbor to protest the Tea Act of 1773 under which the British exported to the colonies millions of pounds of cheap but still taxed tea and thereby undercutting the tea duty. In response Lord North closed the Boston port until they had paid for the lost tea.
Massachusetts Government Act
made the colony's council and law-enforcement officers all appointive rather than elective, declared that sheriffs would select jurors, and stipulated that no town meeting could be held without the governor's consent, except for the annual election of town officers. This was Lord North's response to the Boston Tea Party.
Intolerable Acts (1774)~ four parliamentary measures in reaction to the Boston Tea Party that forced payment for the tea, disallowed colonial trials of British soldiers, forced the quartering of soldiers in private homes, and set up a military government. This was designed to isolate Boston and make an example of it. Instead it galvanized colonial resistance. It also closed the Boston Harbor.
June 1774- provided that the government in Canada would not have a representative assembly and would instead be lead by an appointed governor and council. It gave a privileged position to the Catholic Church. TO the colonists it seemed merely another indicator of British authoritarianism. Colonists thought the British seemed to be protecting papists at the expense of their own colonists who had just fought to liberate the trans-Appalachian West from French Catholics.
First Continental Congress
September 5, 1774, in Philadelphia, 55 members representing 12 colonies. They met to formulate actions against the British policies. They endorsed the Suffolk Resolves which declared the Intolerable Acts null and void, and urged Massachusetts to arm for defense and called for economic sanctions against British commerce. The Congress adopted a Declaration of American Rights. They conceded only Parliament's right to regulate commerce and those matters that were strictly imperial affairs. The congress proclaimed the rights of Americans as English citizens. They proclaimed the right of each colonial assembly to determine the need for British troops within its own province. They boycotted British goods. Non-importation and non-exportation. Lord North's response to this Congress Conciliatory Resolution on February 1775- it was as far as the British would go, Parliament would refrain from using nay measures but taxes to regulate trade, and would grant to each colony the duties collected within is boundaries, provided that the colonists would contribute voluntarily to a quota for defense.
April 1775, famous ride to spread the alarm of the British attack of Concord. Helped warn Lexington and Concord so that they were ready for the British attack.
colonists who organized quickly and volunteered to defend the colonies. Fought at Lexington and Concord.
Lexington and Concord
first shots fired in the Revolutionary War on April 19, 1775, near Boston. Approximately 100 minutemen and 250 British soldiers were killed. Royal governor of MA- General Thomas Gage decided to capture and arrest leaders of the Provincial Congress and seize the military's supply depot at Concord. Revere warned the minute men. Lexington- the minute men were easily defeated. At Concord although the British succeeding in seizing some weapons most were moved before they arrived and the minute men continued to attack the British while they were marching back to Charleston peninsula. The British suffered about 3 times the casualties as the Americans. The Americans earned much respect.
Second Continental Congress
1775-1789- conducted the war and adopted the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. George Washington was the unpaid commander-in-chief of the Continental Army
led MA volunteers in the attack of Fort Ticonderoga in northern New York. He started out fighting for the Americans and then switched to fighting for the British. A well known general on both sides.
George Washington (Revolutionary War)
commander in chief of the Continental Army. He was a member of the Continental Congress. He was charismatic and his experience in the French and Indian war made him one of the most experienced officers in America. He was from Virginia which was and influential, wealthy, and most populous province which made him very attractive. He looked like a leader.
Battler of Bunker Hill
The First major battle of the Revolutionary War. It actually took place nearby at Breed's Hill, MA on June 17, 1775. The high number of British casualties made English generals more cautious in subsequent encounters with the Continental Army. Congress recommended that all able-bodied men enlist in a militia. After this battle there was no longer a middle ground for colonists, now they have to choose a side.
Olive Branch Petition
Written by John Dickinson, this petition professed continued loyalty to King George III and begged him to restrain further hostilities pending a reconciliation. It traced the history of the controversy, denounced the British for the unprovoked assault at Lexington and rejected independence but affirmed the colonists' purpose to fight for their rights rather than submit to slavery. King George III refused to even look at this and on August 22, he declared American colonists "open and avowed enemies." The next day he issued a proclamation of rebellion.
mercenaries hired by the British to fight the colonists- Germans- more than half were from the principality of Hesse-Cassel so they were all called Hessians.
Thomas Paine's Common Sense
1776- Paine argued for independence, directly attacking allegiance to the monarchy, refocusing hostility previously vented on Parliament. The pamphlet was published anonymously in Philadelphia. He proved himself the consummate Revolutionary rhetorician. The Common sense of the matter, it seemed, was that King George III bore the responsibility for the malevolence toward the colonist. Before Paine, few colonists thought Independence was an option.
Declaration of Independence
a document adopted on July 4, 1776, that made the official break with Britain. It was drafted by a committee of the Second Continental Congress including the principal writer Thomas Jefferson. The committee was Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston (NY), and Roger Sherman (CT). The declaration was a public explanation of reason for colonial discontent and provided a rationale for independence. It drew primarily on Jefferson's own draft preamble to the Virginia Constitution and George Mason's draft of Virginia's Declaration of Rights. The document stressed the natural rights of Life, liberty and property, the right of citizens to overthrow their government if it does not protect the peoples' rights (a compelling restatement of John Locke's contract theory of government). Parliament was never mentioned in the Declaration.