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Derived from Greek and Romans republics. Meant a just society was one in which all citizens subordinated their private, selfihs interest to the common good.
Stability of the society was then dependant on the virtue of its citizens and it was opposed to hierarchical and authoriatrian institutions such as a monarchy

Radical Whigs

Second idea that shaped American political though derived from British political commentators. The Whigs feared that the liberty of the people was threatened by the whim of the monarch.


British authorites supported the this theory that justified their control over the colonies. Mercantilists believed that wealth was power and that a country's economic wealth was measured by the amount of gold and silver inits treaturey. They wanted to possess colonies to supply the mother country with raw materials and provide a market for exports.

Navigation Law

Parliment passed this law to regulate the mercantilist system. 1650 enacted to prevent Dutch shippers from making their way into the American trade. The law required that all commerce flowing to and from teh colonies could be transported only in Bristish vessels.

George Grenvill

Prime Minister of England.
Ordered in 1763 the British Navy to begin strictly enforcing the Navigation laws. Secured Sugar Act from Parliament.

Sugar Act of 1764

First law passed by Parliament that raised tax revenues in the colonies for the crown. It increased duty on foreign sugar imported from the West Indies.

Quartering Act

Measure required that certain colonies provide food and quarters to the British troops.

Stamp Act

1765 George Grenville imposed this measure to raise revenue insupport of the new military force. The Stamp Act mandated the use of stamped paper or the affixing of stamps, certifying payment of the tax.

Admiralty Courts

Stamp Act and Sugar Act offenses were tried in this court. Juries were not allowed and the burden of proof was on the defendant. All were assumed to be guilty until proven innocent. Trial by jury and innocent until proven guilty were basic rights that the British people everywhere had held dear.

Virtual representation

Grenville's position that Parliament represented all British subjects, even those Americans in Boston or Charleston who had never voted for a member in Parliament.

Stamp Act Congress of 1765

Colonists outcried against the stamp tax. In 1765 there formed a Stamp Act Congress which gathered in New York City, 27 delegates from nine colonies. The members debated and then drew up a statement of their rights and grievences and asked the king and Parliament to repeal the offensive legislation.
Beginning of the steps toward intercolonial unity.

Non-importation agreements

Colonists adopted these agreements against British goods. Colonists made their own homespun garments and this further unified the American people for the first time in a common action.

Sons and Daughters of Liberty

Violent group that often took matters in to its own hands. "Liberty, Property and No Stamps"
Tar and feathered those who violated the non-importation agreements.

Declaratory Act of 1766

1766 Parliament repealed the Stamp Act and passed this act which reaffirmed Parliament's right to "bind" the colonies.
Line in sand drawn.

Townshend Act of 1767

Named for Charles Townshend, head of British ministry.
Persuaded Parliament to pass these regulations with an import duty on glass, while lead, paper and paint and tea. This was an indirect customs duty payable at American ports.

Crispus Attucks

One of the first men to die in the Boston Massacre.1770

Samuel Adams

Represented the soldiers who shot and killed Cripus Attucks. Samuel Adams- master propagandist and engineer of rebellion; formed the first local committee of correspondence in Massachusetts in 1772 (Sons of Liberty).

Committe of Correspondence

Committees of Correspondance were created by the American colonies in order to maintain communication with one another. They were organized in the decade before the Revolution when communication between the colonies became essential.

British East India Company

In 1773, the British East India Company was overstocked with 17 million pounds of unsold tea. If the company collapsed, the London government would lose much money. Therefore, the London government gave the company a full monopoly of the tea sell in America.
Fearing that it was trick to pay more taxes on tea, the Americans rejected the tea. When the ships arrived in the Boston harbor, the governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Hutchinson, forced the citizens to allow the ships to unload their tea.

Thomas Hutchinson

British governor of Massachusetts whose stubborn policies helped provoke the Boston tea Party First Continental Congress - Body led by John Adams that issued a Declaration of Rights and organized The Association to boycott all British

Boston Tea Party

On December 16, 1773, a band of Bostonians, disguised as Indians, boarded the ships and dumped the tea into the sea. (Boston Tea Party)

Intolerable Acts

Parliament Passes the "Intolerable Acts"
In 1774, Parliament punished the people of Massachusetts for their actions in the Boston Tea Party. Parliament passed laws, known as the Intolerable Acts, which restricted colonists' rights. The laws made restrictions on town meetings, and stated that enforcing officials who killed colonists in the line of duty would be sent to Britain for trial (where it was assumed they would be acquitted of their charges).

Boston Port Act

One such law was the Boston Port Act. It closed the Boston harbor until damages were paid and order could be ensured.

Quebec Act

The Quebec Act was also passed in 1774, but was not apart of the Intolerable Acts. It gave Catholic French Canadians religious freedom and restored the French form of civil law; this law nullified many of the Western claims of the coast colonies by extending the boundaries of the province of Quebec to the Ohio River on the south and to the Mississippi River on the west.

First Continental Congress

1774, the first Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in order to redress colonial grievances over the Intolerable Acts.
The 13 colonies, excluding Georgia, sent 55 men to the convention. The 1st Continental Congress was not a legislative body, but a consultative body, and convention rather than a congress.
After 7 weeks of deliberation, the first Continental Congress drew up several papers. The papers included a Declaration of Rights and solemn appeals to other British-American colonies, to the king, and to the British people.

The Association

e creation of The Association was the most important outcome of the Congress. It called for a complete boycott of British goods; nonimportation, nonexportation, and nonconsumption.

Minute Men

Rapidly mobilized colonial militiamen whose refusal to disperse sparked the first battle of the Revolution


German mercenaries hired by George III to fight the American revolutionaries

Marquis de Lafayette

Marquis de Lafayette- French who was made a major general in the colonial army at the age of 19; the "French Gamecock"; his services were invaluable in securing further aid from France.

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