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The American Pageant, "The Road to Revolution, 1763-1775"

John Hancock

colonial merchant and statesman who made much of his profit through smuggling. Later became a leading Patriot during the American Revolution.

Lord North

one of King George III's "yes men" and British prime minister. Repealed Townshend Acts (except the tax on tea). Very cooperative and easily swayed.

George Grenville

British Prime Minister who proposed the theory of "virtual representation" and supported the Stamp Act and Quartering Act. Highly disliked by Americans.

Samuel Adams

cousin of John Adams from Boston who formed the committees of correspondence, an important step towards the American Revolution.

Charles Townshend

nicknamed "Champagne Charley," imposed the hated Townshend Acts on the Americans.

John Adams

Boston lawyer, statesman, and political theorist who represented Enlightenment ideas such as republicanism. Founding Father.

Crispus Attucks

African and Wampanoag soldier who was killed during the Boston Massacre.

Marquis de Lafayette

French general who served invaluably in the Continental Army and helped gain French support in the American Revolution.

King George III

British king whose policies angered American colonists to the point of revolution. "Lost the colonies."

Baron von Steuben

German military officer who taught the American soldiers military technique and discipline (whipped them into shape).


economic theory that nation's power is based on its wealth. Mercantilism was the basis for Britain's North American colonies. The colonies received manufactured goods in exchange for raw materials and resources.

"No taxation without representation"

slogan used by Americans in response to George Grenville's theory of "virtual representation." Became a famous advertisement for revolution.

nonimportation agreement

agreement to not import certain goods. Nonimportation agreements were formed in response to the strengthening grip of Britain on the colonies.

"royal veto"

power of the British government to nullify any colonial law it felt threatened the mercantile system. Fueled colonial grievances.

internal/external taxation

internal taxation is direct taxation on a domestic good; external taxation is indirect taxation on an imported good. Colonists were frustrated by internal taxes; external taxes were not a problem to them.

"virtual" representation

governmental theory by George Grenville that stated Parliament represented every subject of the British Empire. Colonists were enraged by this belief.


a refusal of goods or services as a form of protest. Colonists boycotted completely certain goods under The Association after the First Continental Congress.

Board of Trade

body formed to oversee the American colonies' trade, see appointments of colonial officials, and review colonial laws. Disliked by Patriots. Part of the Privy Council.

Sons of Liberty

group of colonists who vocally opposed British taxation of the colonies. Helped spread spirit of revolution through the colonies.

Quebec Act

Act passed by British Parliament in 1774 that extended the boundaries of the Quebec Province to the Ohio River, granted religious freedom to Roman Catholics, and maintained old French customs and institutions.

Navigation Acts

acts passed by Parliament during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that restricted American trade with non-British markets. Became even more rigid following the French and Indian War and were a cause of the American Revolution.

Declaratory Act

act passed by Parliament following the Stamp Act that affirmed Parliament's right "to bind" the colonies "in all cases whatsoever." Contributed to colonial grievances.

First Continental Congress

colonial assembly at which delegates from all colonies except Georgia met to discuss colonial grievances and convene. Significant in founding American democracy and intercolonial unity.

Sugar Act

tax imposed by Parliament in 1764 on molasses from non-British nations entering the American colonies. Contributed to "no taxation without representation."

Townshend Acts

acts passed by Parliament in 1767 that placed a tax on lead, glass, paint, and tea. Later repealed (except the tea tax) following the Boston Massacre, but nonetheless a contributing factor of the American Revolution.

Quartering Act

act passed by Parliament in 1765 that forced colonists to provide food and quarters for British soldiers. Cause of the American Revolution.

Boston Massacre

first conflict of the American Revolution. British soldiers opened fire on a mob at the Boston Customs House, killing 5 colonists. Causes Parliament to reduce taxes and repeal all but the tax on tea of the Townshend Acts, but still a motivation for colonists in the American Revolution.

The Association

result of the First Continental Congress that ordered a complete boycott of British goods. Step in colonial unity and cause of the American Revolution.

Stamp Act

act passed by Parliament in 1765 that required a tax (in the form of a stamp) on many documents and paper goods. Significant cause of the American Revolution and the Stamp Act Congress.

committees of correspondence

organizations formed by John Adams in Massachusetts that eventually spread throughout the colonies. Served as shadow governments and were successful in uniting colonies during revolution.


German soldiers who fought in the British military. Served as an advantage for the British during the American Revolution.

admiralty courts

courts in which juries were not allowed, the burden of proof was with the defendant, and the defendant was guilty until proven innocent. Frustrated colonists and was opposite both English and (later) American legal systems.

Boston Tea Party

colonial protest led by the Sons of Liberty in which colonists dumped British tea into Boston Harbor. Caused Parliament to impose the Intolerable Acts and the American Revolution.


colonists who remained loyal to Britain. They opposed the American Revolution.

Stamp Act Congress

colonial body formed in response to the Stamp Act. Held that Parliament could not tax a people who were not represented. key in colonial independence and the American Revolution.

Intolerable Acts

acts passed by Parliament to punish rebellious colonists. One of the final causes of the American Revolution.


term to describe a colonial body. Examples: Continental Congress, Continental Army

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