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Patrick Henry

A leader of the American Revolution and a famous orator who spoke out against British rule of the American colonies.

Virginia Resolves

Formal statements of the House of Burgesses protesting the Stamp Act in 1765. "No taxation without representation."

Stamp Act Congress

Group of colonists who protested the Stamp Act, saying that Parliament couldn't tax without the consent of the govered.

Sons of Liberty

Secret societies formed to protest new taxes passed by Parliament. Led the Boston Tea Party and threatened tax collectors.

Samuel Adams

Founder of the Sons of Liberty and was one of the most vocal patriots for independence. He signed the Declaration of Independence.

Declaratory Act

Act passed in 1766 just after the repeal of the Stamp Act. Stated that Parliament could legislate for the colonies in all cases.

Quartering Act

An act passed by the British that allowed British troops to live in the homes of the colonists.

Townshend Acts

A tax that the British Parliament placed on leads, glass, paint and tea.

Boston Massacre

The first bloodshed of the Amercan Revolution, as British guards at the Boston Customs House opened fire on a crowd killing five Americans.

Crispus Attucks

A free black man who was the first person killed in the Revolution at the Boston Massacre.

Massachusetts Circular Letter

Written by Samuel Adams in response to the Townshend Acts that invited the people of Massachusetts to "maintain the liberties of America."

John Adams

America's first Vice-President and second President. Sponsor of the American Revolution in Massachusetts, and wrote the Massachusetts guarantee that freedom of press "ought not to be restrained."

Actual Representation

The practice whereby elected representatives normally reside in their districts and are directly responsive to local interests.

Virtual Representation

British governmental theory that Parliament spoke for all British subjects, including Americans, even if they did not vote for its members.

John Dickinson

Conservative leader who wrote "Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania." He advocated for colonial rights but urged conciliation with England and opposed the Declaration of Independence. Later, he helped write the Articles of Confederation.

Gaspee Incident

Occurred to protest enforcement of Navigation Acts. Residents of Rhode Island boarded Gaspee (British ship) and sank it. No trial held in US as it was sent to England.

Tea Act

Placed a tax on tea and cut colonial merchants out of the tea trade.

Daughters of Liberty

An organization formed by women prior to the American Revolution. They got together to protest treatment of the colonies by their British Rulers.

Non-Importation Agreement

An agreement that pledged not to import or use goods imported from great britain.

Boston Tea Party

Demonstration by citizens of Boston who (disguised as Indians) raided three British ships in Boston harbor and dumped hundreds of chests of tea into the harbor.

Intolerable Acts

A series of laws set up by Parliament to punish Massachusetts for its protests against the British.

Quebec Act

Signed in 1774, intended to reorganize the way these British territories were governed.

First Continental Congress

Delagates from all colonies except georgia met to discuss problems with britain and to promote independence.

Committees of Correspondence

Organization founded by Samuel Adams consisting of a system of communication between patriot leaders in New England and throughout the colonies.


Member of a militia during the American Revolution who could be ready to fight in a minute.

Lexington and Concord

The first battle of the Revolution in which British general Thomas Gage went after the stockpiled weapons of the colonists in Concord, Massachusetts.

Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania

A declaration of rights at the Stamp Act Congress. It argued against the duties of the Townshend acts in this publication.

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