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The American Revolution

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R Rosso

on 16 June 2017

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Transcript of The American Revolution

What key events marked the move toward American independence?
IMPORTANT: Many colonists did not seek Independence at first, but key events made the break inevitable...

Patrick Henry's speech (1775) is credited with convincing the Virginia House of Burgesses to approve military force; other colonies join in
(Read excerpts)

Fighting Begins!!! Lexington and Concord

Who Fired the First Shot!?!?

The American Revolution
Chapter Five & Six
What key events sharpened the divisions between Britain and the colonists in the late 1760s and early 1770s?
The Boston Massacre
From Rebellion to Independence
British debt:
£75,000,000 before 7 Years War
£122,600,000 in January 1763 £130,000,000 by the beginning of 1764

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

So, the British
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.

Declaratory Act (1764-1766)

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

Townshend Act
(to regulate trade via indirect taxes). Protests in the street -> 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!!!
Why would John Adams accept the responsibility to defend the british soldiers accused of killing the 5 colonists!?

ESPECIALLY that Sam Adams- his second cousin- had led the call for boycotts after the Stamp Act?

Wanted to prove that the colonists were NOT a crazy mob, but a country run through a legal process- legitimacy!

What were the roots and significance of the Stamp Act controversy?
How were over-matched American forces able to prevail in the Revolutionary War?
* Well-trained army
* World’s most powerful navy
* Experienced military leaders
* Troops already in Colonies
* Numerous Loyalists

* Home field advantage
* Inspired cause
* Alliance w France & Spanish
* 7 Years War Experience
* Underestimated by British
* British public done with war
In the end, the 'hit and run' type of warfare conducted by the colonists and the ability to avoid a crushing defeat and instead fight back against numerous small failures allowed it to drag on long enough for other British rivals to impact the outcome...
Common Sense (Thomas Paine) vs. Plain Truth (James Chalmers)

Tension between the Colonists and Loyalists-> extent to which the colonies should break from Britain.

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

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

Many Founders were devout Christians who believed religion was necessary for the growth of public character but that must be kept distinctly separate to avoid government interference

Virginia Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom

Gray area= Separation of religion created more denominations in a VERY Christian nation; many states still reserved office holding to Protestants

Warm-Up: What happened in 12 Years!?!?
In 1763, the British were celebrating the defeat of a sworn enemy in North America, and had a successful colonial empire established

12 years later in 1775, that colonial empire would be engaged in war with the crown and would seek to break away to form their own government

What happened over the course of 12 years!?!?

Another tax followed: It imposed a
tax on the colonies of British America; required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper.

The colonists: "No taxation without representation."

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

Protests and demonstrations initiated by a new secret organization called the Sons of Liberty 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 (see next slide)
The Stamp Act
With a partner, do the activity at the top of the 'Stamp Act Resolution' worksheet.

ONLY do it for the intro, #2, #4-9, and the concluding paragraph.

Take your tie to make sure you know what it is saying before turning it into a tweet!
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…
Support, modify, or refute the following prompt with a thesis statement...

Declaring independence from Britain was justified
Chapter 6: Securing the Republic
The big picture: Debate over how much to change in order to become distinctively different from Britain without becoming too democratic where anarchy may develop

After independence from England was declared in 1776, each of the Thirteen Colonies established their own state constitutions. Therefore, state law governed many rights in the early republic- some more strict than colonial times (ie women's rights)

Limits to voting: Property qualifications

Biggest losers: Natives, slaves, and women

Biggest winners: Religion, southern plantation owners, and new 'ideas'
To what extent was the American Revolution actually 'revolutionary'?
Opposing Viewpoints
Abigail Adams


Petitions of Slaves to the Massachusetts Legislature
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.

Hands off was the poplar view at thee time

Pros and Cons to both?
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