American Revolution

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Articles of Confederation
An agreement between the thirteen colonies to form a single government under the United States of America. It served as the country's first constitution.
Bayonet
A blade attached to the end of a musket.
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the Constitution that guaranteed the rights of the individual.
Colony
An area of land that is under the control of a country, but not fully part of the country.
Confederation
The group of thirteen states that united together.
Constitution
A set of documents and laws that define the government of a country.
Continental Congress
A group of delegates from each colony or state. It became the first governing body of the United States of America.
Continental army
The official army of the United States that was established by the Continental Congress.
Declaration of Independence
A document which announced that the American colonies now considered themselves independent states and they would no longer answer to the authority of Great Britain.
Democracy
A type of government that is ruled directly by the people.
Federalist
A person who supported the adoption of the Constitution.
Garrison
A military force that is set to defend a fort or city.
Haversack
A type of bag or pack that soldiers used to carry their food.
Hessians
Soldiers from the German land of Hesse who came to fight in America.
Legislature
A branch of government that has the power to make laws.
Loyalist
A person in America who stayed loyal to Britain and the king.
Militia
Citizens who were prepared to fight. They held drills a few times a year and had their own weapons and gear.
Minutemen
Part of the Massachusetts militia that was prepared to fight at a moment's notice.
Monarchy
A government where the power and laws are made by a single person called a monarch or king.
Musket
A smooth bore gun with a long barrel that fired lead balls.
Parliament
The main governing body of the British government.
Patriot
An American that wanted independence from Britain.
Powder horn
A hollowed out horn with a cap used to carry gunpowder.
Ramrod
A long thin rod that pushed gunpowder down the barrel of a musket.
Redcoat
A nickname for the British soldiers taken from their bright red uniforms. They were also called lobster backs.
Regulars
A name that referred to British soldiers during the Revolutionary War.
Republic
A type of democratic government where people elect officials to represent them.
Revolution
The overthrow of a government to establish a new system.
Sons of Liberty
A group of patriots organized by Samuel Adams to protest the Stamp Act and other actions of the British government.
Stamp Act
A tax placed on the American colonies by the British government. It taxed all sorts of paper documents including newspapers, magazines, and legal documents.
Tory
Another name for loyalists who supported the British government.
Treaty of Paris
A treaty signed by both the United States and Britain that ended the Revolutionary War.
Volley
When a large number of muskets is fired at once.
Whigs
Another name for the patriots who fought against the British government for independence.
Coercive
relating to or using force or threats.
Boycott
A group's refusal to have commercial dealings with some organization in protest against its policies
A refusal to buy or use goods and services.
Blockade
a war measure that isolates some area of importance to the enemy
A closing off of an area to keep people or supplies from going in or out
Lexington and Concord
the first battle of the American Revolution (April 19, 1775)
Declaration of Indepence
was a document written by Thomas Jefferson declaring the colonies independent from England 7-4-1776
Saratoga
The decisive early battle of the American Revolution that led to the alliance with France
Valley Forge
Place where Washington's army spent the winter of 1777-1778
Bunker Hill
the first important battle of the American War of Independence (1775) also known as Breed's Hill.
John Locke
English philosopher who argued that people have natural rights
Common Sense
A pamphlet written by Thomas Paine that claimed the colonies had a right to be an independent nation
Proclamation of 1763
Act passed by England prohibiting colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains
Boston Massacre
incident in 1770 in which British troops fired on and killed American colonists
Intolerable Acts
series of laws passed in 1774 to punish Boston for the Tea Party
Sugar Act
increased tariff on sugar (and other imports), attempted to harder enforce existing tariffs 1764
George Washington
Commander of the Continental Army
1st President of the United States
Ben Franklin
member of the Continental Congress, forefather of the U.S., great negotiator with France
Ambassador to France, convinces the French to enter the Revolutionary War
Thomas Jefferson
Author of the Declaration of Independence
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