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The American Revolution

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R Rosso

on 22 September 2017

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Transcript of The American Revolution

What key events marked the move toward American independence?
IMPORTANT: Many colonists did
seek Independence at first, but key events made the break inevitable...

The American Revolution
Chapter Five & Six
What key events sharpened the divisions between Britain and the colonists in the late 1760s and early 1770s?
From Rebellion to Independence
British Debt...

7 Years War
£122,600,000 in
£130,000,000 by the beginning of

Molasses Act of 1733->
Had imposed a tax of six pence per gallon of molasses, had never been collected due to Salutary Neglect.

Sugar Act ->
the rate by half and
enforcement, hoping the tax would actually be collected.

Colonists saw it as a violation of the British Constitution for Parliament to tax them.

The Path to Revolution
Declaratory Act (1764-1766)

Parliament essentially said 'Let's try this again' after the Declaratory Act.

Townshend Acts
(series of taxes to raise revenue) were met with resistance in the colonies, prompting the occupation of Boston by British troops in 1768 -> Boston 'Massacre'

Tea Act
(to undercut established merchants)- Colonists continue to resist- Best example is the Boston Tea Party following the Tea Act

Intolerable Acts, in response to the Boston Tea Party
(Revoke Massachusetts Charter, soldiers can be housed in private homes, trials will take place in Britain)- Essentially, the British saying enough is enough!!! -> Colonies form the
First Continental Congress
Common Sense (Thomas Paine) vs. Plain Truth (James Chalmers)

Tension between the Colonists and Loyalists->
to which the colonies should break from Britain-
no clear decision!!!

What are some reasons for some colonists to hold loyalist tendencies during this time period?

Response to the 'Olive Branch Petition' during the Second Continental Congress
The Second Continental Congress adopts an Independence Resolution in June 1776.

They appoint a 'Committee of Five' to prepare a document to explain the reasons for independence.

The resolution was finally approved on July 2, 1776
John Adams - #2 US President

Thomas Jefferson - #3 US President

Benjamin Franklin - First US Minister to France

Roger Sherman - Only person to sign The Continental Association, the Declaration, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution

Robert Livingston - Negotiated the Louisiana Purchase as the Minister to France

The Writers of the Declaration of Independence
Keep in mind, these were now considered traitors who now had bounties out on them for their death

Imposed a
tax on the colonies; required that many printed materials be produced on stamped paper.

The Stamp Act Congress joined in New York City and drafted a complaint;
significant joint colonial response to any British measure.

Protests and demonstrations initiated by a new secret organization called the Sons of Liberty
(Sam Adams)
often turned violent and destructive as the masses became involved.

All stamp tax distributors were intimidated into resigning their commissions, and the tax was never effectively collected
The Stamp Act
Site of the Boston Massacre
“Small islands, not capable of protecting themselves, are the proper objects for kingdoms to take under their care; but there is something absurd, in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island.”
This piece [Common Sense], though it has taken a popular name and implies that the contents are obvious and adapted to the understandings of the bulk of the people, is so far from meriting the title it has attained, that in my opinion it holds principles equally inconsistent with learned and common sense. I know not the author, nor am I anxious to learn his name or character…
Chapter 6: Securing the Republic

Biggest losers:
Natives, slaves, and women

Each of the Thirteen Colonies established their own state constitutions. Some rights actually became

than colonial times (
women's rights, slave rights)

Biggest winners:
Religious freedom and expanded suffrage (decrease in qualifications to vote)

To what extent was the American Revolution actually 'revolutionary'?
The Economy
Debate over role of government in the economy: hands on or hands off?

Hands on:
States should set wages and prices; government should be active in promoting the public good

Hands off:
Leave economy alone; supply and demand will regulate wages, prices, etc. ('Invisible Hand')

Focus: What should the government's role be?
Warm-Up Thesis & Discussion

Support, modify, or refute the following statement...

The American Colonists were justified in revolting against the British Crown.
Although the colonists were understandably upset about their lack of representation in Parliament, it was not enough to justify rebellion given Britain's right to establish and collect fair taxes and their duty to take measures to stop crime and violence in their colonies.

Reason #1:
Right to Establish & Collect Taxes
- Provided defense during 7 Years War
- Hostile Natives- still need defense
- Sugar Act (Actually dropped the price)

Reason #2:
Valid in taking steps to stop crime & violence
- Tax collectors tarred and feathered
- Smuggling hurt both British and colonial economies
- Quartering Act- In response to colonial sabotage of necessary goods (Boston Tea Party)
Hands off was popular during this time- why?

Pros and Cons to both?
Following the Revolution, America was faced with the task of developing a new government

Having been through the experience of a large government that they would argue was tyrannical, Americans knew that whatever type of government they created needed to be a
limited government

Chapter 7 ->
The Article of Confederation

As you read, think about what limits are missing, and what limits are

Class Activity: The Five Limits of Government
Umm, What Now!?!?
Full transcript