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The Revolutionary War
Transcript of The Revolutionary War
Britain needed money to pay for the French and Indian War so they decided to tax the colonists in America. The Sugar Act placed a tax on sugar, coffee, and cloth. The Stamp Act taxed anything that was printed on paper. The colonists were angry because they were being taxed without representation in the British government. They held protests and boycotts to show their feelings toward the new taxes. Eventually, in 1766, the British Parliament agreed to repeal the Stamp Act (to repeal means to get rid of a law). But, Britain still needed money and later created the Townshend Acts taxing tea, glass, lead, paint, and paper. Colonists were still angry.
There were many British soldiers in Boston and colonists often argued with them. On March 5, 1770, a group of colonists started to argue with a soldier and threw snowballs and insults until more soldiers arrived. One of the British fired a shot and fighting soon broke out. Five colonists were killed. The Sons of Liberty drew British soldiers attacking peaceful, not angry, colonists and used them to convince others the British were dangerous.
The Boston Tea Party 1773
In 1773 British Parliament passed the Tea Act, which allowed the East India Company of Britain to sell tea at a very low price. The local merchants lost customers and many went out of business. Colonists were upset by this because if they bought the inexpensive tea, they would be paying a British tax. They didn't want the tea and the British wouldn't allow it to be returned so it sat unloaded in the ships at the dock. On December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty snuck onto the ships illegally to get rid of the unwanted tea. They were dressed as Indians (Native Americans) to hide their identities and poured 342 chests of tea into the harbor.
The First Continental Congress 1773-1774
The British were shocked by the Boston Tea Party so they passed laws called the Coercive Acts. The law forced colonists to quarter soldiers, stopped most of the trade between the colonies and Britain, ended lots of town meetings, and let the British have more control over the government. The colonists called them the Intolerable Acts. The colonies decided to hold a meeting about the Intolerable Acts. On September 5, 1774 the meeting was held in Philadelphia with delegates chosen from the colonies. This became known as the first Continental Congress. This congress wrote a letter to King George III stating that colonists should have the same freedoms as other British citizens, to stop taxing colonists without their agreement, and to repeal the Intolerable Acts. The delegates decided to meet again in May if the King refused. In the meantime, colonists began to train for battle in case war with Britain broke out.
Preparing for War 1775
Over 300 British soldiers blocked Boston Harbor preventing ships from entering or leaving. Throughout the colonies militias prepared for war. The militia is a group of ordinary people who train for battle, many of whom were farmers. A British General, Thomas Gage, was worried about the militias and he soon learned the colonists were storing gunpowder and cannons in Concord. He sent British soldiers to destroy the colonist's supplies. The Patriots soon learned of his plan and Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Samuel Prescott rode their horses to warn the minutemen. Minutemen were militia with special training.
Timeline of the Revolutionary War
By Mimi Baldwin #2
The Boston Massacre 1770
Crispus Attucks was a colonist who was killed in the Boston Massacre. He was an African American sailor who escaped slavery. He is remembered as a hero.
At about the time of the Boston Massacre, Samuel Adams decided that the colonies needed to know what was going on a lot faster. In 1772 he, along with other colonial leaders, set up Committees of Correspondence. The committees shared written letters about what was going on and what they could do.
The Battles of Lexington and Concord 1775
On April 19, 1775, British soldiers reached Lexington and they told the small group of minutemen to leave. As they turned to go, someone fired a shot and fighting descended. The minutemen were badly out- numbered and the British moved on to Concord. In Concord, while the British searched for the supplies, minutemen gathered nearby and forced the British to turn back to Boston. On the way back, colonists fired at them from behind trees and stone walls. News traveled quickly and more colonists arrived and surrounded the British.