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Causes of the American Revolution
Transcript of Causes of the American Revolution
It all started in the woods of the Ohio Valley...
1754 - France and England (enemies for centuries) were settling on land in the Ohio Valley
Native Americans usually sided
with the French and that is how the
war got its name "French and Indian War."
(although it was also part of the
"The Seven Years War")
June 1754 - Delegates from seven colonies met in Albany, NY to work on a plan to help win the war
Benjamin Franklin suggested the
Albany Plan of Union
to permanently unite the colonies and stand against their common enemies (French + Indians)
He suggested a grand council made up of a representative elected by each colony
Franklin's plan was rejected - colonists were afraid of giving up too much local power
If the 13 original British colonies were loyal and successful for 150 years...
What changed that led them to
The British won when they defeated the French in 1763 - and the
Treaty of Paris
gave them a large amount of new territory!
So what does this have to do with the colonies?
The F&I War changed the relationship between the colonies and Great Britain
The colonists started demanding to be treated as equal British citizens but they did not have direct representation in Parliament (England's government)
The colonists also wanted to move west onto the new land gained from France but as they did, fighting with the Natives continued
To restore peace, King George III issued the
Proclamation of 1763
which limited where colonists could settle
Colonists were furious...
and many ignored the proclamation
And that's not the only
The British had large debts after the war and expected the colonists to help pay
They passed the
in 1764 which taxed molasses and stated that smuggling cases would be tried in England from now on
Why does that matter?
If you were a colonist and you smuggled goods, where would you want your trial?
In 1765 the British passed the
which taxed printed materials
(first true direct tax)
Delegates from nine colonies met in what would become known as the
Stamp Act Congress
"No taxation without representation!"
Colonists were paying much less
in taxes than citizens in Britain - but complained because they didn't have a say in the British government
The Stamp Act Congress organized a boycott of British goods
In 1767 the
placed duties (taxes) on imported goods
Then on March 5, 1770...
"The Boston Massacre"
In 1772, a British warship that had been
enforcing trade regulations was burned
by American patriots
In 1773, patriots who were part of the "Sons of Liberty"
organized a protest of the Tea Act by boarding a British
ship and throwing tea overboard in an event that would
becomeknown as the
"Boston Tea Party"
In 1774, Britain responded by passing new laws that became known as the
(aka Coercive Acts)
They closed Boston harbor, limited the ability of towns in
Massachusetts to hold town meetings and required British
troops to be tried in England instead of the colonies
Britain also passed the
royal governors to house British troops in the homes of colonists
without needing permission of the owners
The hostility between the colonists and
Great Britain had steadily grown over the
10 years since the French and Indian War had
but very few colonists were even
thinking about independence...
In 1774, delegates from 12 colonies met in Philadelphia. Called the
First Continental Congress,
the delegates at this meeting:
-planned more boycotts of British goods
-told the people of the American colonies to
-sent a formal letter to the king asking
for rights and representation
The King's response:
"The New England governments are in a state of rebellion, blows must decide."
In January of 1776,
published a pamphlet called
urged the colonists that independence from Great Britain was the answer.
After debating for weeks, a committee, was chosen to draft a document stating the reasons for independence. It included
John Adams, Benjamin Franklin
Thomas Jefferson (who wrote it).
The "shot heard 'round the world"
was fired in
, Massachusetts on April 19th, 1775
In June 1775,
(colonists that supported independence) fought the British
outside of Boston at the
Battle of Bunker Hill.
Some members of the
Second Continental Congress
wanted to send one last "Olive Branch Petition" to try to preserve the
relationship between the colonies and Great Britain.
The Congress had made over 80 changes
(although most were minor) - but they did
take out references to the evils of slavery.
Major George Washington was sent to tell the French to leave - but instead there was a fight and many Frenchmen were killed.
This would spark a war between France and England.
Washington was chosen to lead a "Continental Army" to try to win back Boston while they waited for word from the King...
The resolution for independence was passed on July 2, 1776.
12 votes in favor
0 votes against
1 abstention (NY).
The Declaration was adopted two days later.
Most delegates did not sign until August.