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Albany Plan of Union

Plan proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1754 that aimed to unite the 13 colonies under one general government. The council would make laws, raise taxes and defend the colonies. Never came into existence.


A formal written request to someone in authority; signed by a group of people


To refuse to buy certain goods and services


An official or legal cancellation.

committee of correspondences

A group of colonists whose members regularly wrote letters and pamphlets, reporting on events.

writs of assistance

Allowed customs officials to check a ship's cargo for 'smuggled goods' without giving a reason.


Army of citizens who serve as soldiers during an emergency


Volunteer soldiers ready to fight at a minute's notice

Sons of Liberty

An organization formed after the passage of the Stamp Act to protest various British acts; used both peaceful and violent means & included Sam Adams and Paul Revere

John Adams

A Massachusetts attorney and politician; defended British soldiers in the Boston Massacre trial. Believed "innocent until proven guilty" & supported colonial independence. Delegate to First Continental Congress, helped draft & pass the Declaration of Independence. Became Second President of the United States.

Sam Adams

Organized Sons of Liberty to stir public support for American independence. Member of 1st & 2nd Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence, & governor of Massachusetts. Supported the revolution.

Abigail Adams

Wife of John Adams; wrote letters to her husband describing life on the home front; urged him to remember women in the new government.

Mercy Otis Warren

New England woman who wrote plays criticizing British officials.

Paul Revere

American silversmith who became a hero after his famous ride to warn of the British advance on Lexington and Concord.

French and Indian War

1754: Britain vs France (and their Native American allies) over control of the Ohio River Valley.

Proclamation of 1763

Law forbidding English colonists to settle west of the Appalachian mountains

Stamp Act

1756: tax that the British Parliament placed on newspapers and official documents sold in the American colonies to help pay for the British presence in the colonies.

Boston Massacre

March 5, 1770: British soldiers fired into a crowd of colonists who were teasing and taunting them. Five colonists were killed. The colonists blamed the British and the Sons of Liberty and used this incident as an excuse to promote the Revolution.

Tea Act

Tax on tea; made the British East India Company the only tea company allowed to sell to the colonists; reason for Boston Tea Party (1773)

Boston Tea Party

(1773) Citizens of Boston/Sons of Liberty (disguised as Indians) raided three British ships in Boston harbor and dumped 342 chests of tea into the harbor.

First Continental Congress

September, 1774: colonial leaders from 12 colonies (not GA) met in Philadelphia to protest the Intolerable Acts. Agreed to boycott import/export of British goods until Intolerable Acts repealed. Urged colonies to set up & train militia.

Battle of Lexington and Concord

1775. British sent troops to Concord because they heard that colonists were gathering supplies. Paul Revere and William Dawes rode to warn colonists. 70 men gathered at Lexington 8 were killed 10 were wounded. The countryside rose to action defeating the British.

Treaty of Paris

1763/signed by Britain and France; ended French and Indian War; Britain gained Canada & French lands E of Mississippi River (except New Orleans). Spain gave Britain Florida in return for lands W of Mississippi River.

Intolerable Acts

In response to Boston Tea Party, 4 acts passed in 1774, Port of Boston closed, reduced power of assemblies in colonies, permitted royal officers to be tried elsewhere, provided for quartering of troop's in barns and empty houses

"No Taxation without Representation"

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

"Join or Die"

Motto of 'Sons of Liberty' led by Sam Adams

"The Shot Heard Round the World"

First shot fired in the American revolution refers to the battles at Lexington and Concord is called this because it shocked the world that the colonies were fighting the British

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