Week 5: The Road To Rebellion Notes
Week 5: The Road To Rebellion Notes HIST 105
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Allison Notetaker on Thursday September 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 105 at Texas A&M University taught by David Vaught in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 140 views. For similar materials see History of the US in History at Texas A&M University.
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Date Created: 09/29/16
History 105 Fall 2016 The Road to Rebellion, 17631775 I. Attempts at Imperial Reorganization (17631766) A. The Treaty of Paris This was a letter for the colonies to get more land and area to build on in order to allow more people to live in the colonies. Gave Britain control over all of Canada, all the land from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River EXCEPT for New Orleans. Since Spain had allied itself with France in 1762, Florida, which was once part of Spain’s territory, also became part of the land given to Britain. Britain did not ask for money in this treaty because usually the loser pays for part of the victor’s debt, but not for France. Britain believed they did not need the money because they could generate the money on their own. This ended up biting them in the butt because, at the time, Britain was a broke nation and could not generate or borrow money. Additionally a famine was occurring in the mainland which caused Britain to turn to the colonists to pay for the war. The colonists, who fought and died in the war, were not allowed into the new territory and were taxed to pay for the war because of the economic conditions of their “Mother Country”, Britain. This resulted in a huge upset amongst the colonist towards Britain. B. Debt and Pontiac’s Rebellion Chief Pontiac opposed the British settlement of his tribe’s land, so he led a rebellion against the settlers beginning in May 1763. In one month, he had captured and destroyed 7 British forts which led him to lead an attack on Fort Detroit. The British colonists began to fear what would occur if more colonists arrived in America, the British leaders issued the Proclamation of 1763. Additionally, to combat Chief Pontiac and his rebellious followers, the British gave them blankets which were riddled with smallpox. C. The Proclamation of 1763 This law banned British settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains and ordered settlers to leave the upper Ohio River Valley. Any settlers who already lived to the west of the Appalachian Mountains were ordered to move away immediately. However, the main reason why the British leaders (who did not actually live in America) issued this Proclamation was because they did not want to spend the money to send over British soldiers to protect the settlers. This led to the beginning of the settlers becoming more and more independent from their “Mother Country”. D. The Sugar Act (1764) Since the war caused Britain to fall into a huge amount of debt, Parliament imposed new regulations and taxes on the colonists to “help” pay for this debt. The Sugar Act being the first tax imposed on the colonists. This act imposed taxes on the importation of molasses from the West Indies and was to be enforces by the British Navy. Colonists became extremely frustrated with this tax because molasses was used to make rum, which was a common alcoholic beverage during this time, and also taxed specific wines from France and other countries, coffee, and sugar. Additionally, The Sugar Act stated that certain products, such as iron and lumber, could only be exported to Britain or other colonies of Britain and no one else. This created a huge decline in revenue to the colonists who relied on other countries to buy their goods. Due to colonists evading taxation on their imported goods by bribing custom officials at the docks, Britain began to send over more Navy officials to ensure that everyone was being appropriately taxed. This resulted in custom officials abusing their “power”. Custom officials now, by law, had to confiscate any cargo believed to be smuggling products ad 5% of the profits would be given to the presiding judge at court. With a 3 pence per gallon tax, merchants could not afford to export or import molasses causing further damage to the overall economy and market. E. The Stamp Act (1765) 1. Uproar The Stamp Act required all colonists to purchase “special stamped” paper for every legal document, license, newspaper, pamphlet, and almanac. Additionally, it imposed special “stamp duties” on packages of playing cards and dice. This was the first time the British government had thought to impose a direct tax on the colonists instead of an external tax. Colonists felt extremely betrayed by their “Mother Country” after the passing of the Stamp Act because they were getting taxed without their consent. They felt as if taxation without consultation was a violation of their rights as Englishmen. As a result of the British Prime Minister, George Grenville, passing the Stamp Act, American colonists retaliated with huge and violent riots and burned tax officials in effigy. 2. Internal vs. External Taxes Internal taxes, or direct taxes, levied directly upon the colonists’ property and goods. These taxes were placed on goods that most of the colonists needed or used regularly in their daytoday life and affected the majority of the free people in the colonies. External taxes are more focused on tariffs and export taxes levied against the goods being shipped into the colonies. In a sense, these taxes can be seen as more limited since they truly only affect shipping towns and ports, merchants, and select groups of people who may need to pay them. Additionally, the amount the tax was worth was generally carried into the price of the good itself and not necessarily taxed against the colonists who in turn bought the goods. II. British Authority Disintegrates (17671775) A. The Townshend Act (1767) 1. Glass, Lead, Paper, Paint, Tea The Townshend Act stated that British Parliament gave the colonies commissioners the power of “search and seizure”; they had the power to search private homes and private warehouses in search for smuggled goods that may have entered the colonies without proper payment of the customs duties. Additionally, this act taxed items such as glass, lead, paper, paint, and tea. British Parliament knew that by collecting and enforcing these taxes would cause even greater tension between them and the colonists, so they hired royal customs commissioners to do their “dirty work”. The colonists retailed by boycotting many of the British goods such as coaches, clothes, jewelry, watches, etc. Like the Stamp Act, The Townshend Act duties were repealed due to the colonists boycotting, except for the tax on tea which remained a symbol of Parliament’s right to tax the colonists. 2. The Boston Massacre On March 6, 1770, the colonists began calling the British soldiers names, such as “lobsters”, and “redcoats”, due to their frustration of the British Parliament taxing against them and sending British soldiers into their homes without consent. The British soldiers became extremely angry due to the colonists calling them names and began destroying colonists’ property, homes, etc. This resulted in the colonists becoming outraged and began forming crowds to which they gathered together and threw rocks at the soldiers until a British soldier fired into the crowd of colonists killing some of them. More fights began to break out in Boston and inevitably sparked the turning point in the colonists’ attitude toward British rule. The colonists became determined to break free from the British rule and have a country of their own. In contrast, the British also became angry and their attitude towards the colonists changed to that of a more forceful nature with determination to make the colonists “give up” their hopes to be a free country. This incident is of significant importance because it marks the first true conflict between the British “Mother Country” and the colonists. B. The Tea Act (1773) After The Townshend Act was repealed, British Parliament imposed The Tea Act which taxed the colonists for purchasing any and all tea. This simply added more fuel to the fire that was already blazing in the colonists eyes. Colonists had been smuggling in tea and as a result the East Indian Co. was suffering; therefore, Parliament decided that tea would have no tax when exported, but there would be a tax to import which would result in the East Indian Co. making huge amounts of money. After the Boston Massacre, a group known as The Sons of Liberty was formed by their leader Samuel Adams. This was a secret society who, at first, simply “stirred the pot” by protesting and using propaganda to publish bad headlines about the British soldiers to spread the word about boycotting British goods. As a result, individual chapters of the Sons of Liberty were formed in towns throughout the colonies and eventually every group began terrorizing anyone who associated or cooperated with British laws. The Sons of Liberty decided to disguise themselves as Mohawk Indians, sneak onto the harbor docks, and dump 342 chests of British tea into the Boston Harbor to protest the Tea Act and retaliate against the unlawful British Parliament. This was known as The Boston Tea Party. In response, the British government closed the Boston port until Boston, as a town, agreed to pay them back for the tea they dumped. Additionally, Boston could not import any foreign goods or export to other nations until they paid in full. C. The Coercive/Intolerable Acts (1774) The Intolerable Acts were passed as a result of The Boston Tea Party; they stated that British Parliament would close the port of Boston, ban all town meetings, and place General Thomas Gage as the new governor of the colony until Boston paid back the British government for the $10,000 worth of tea they dumped into the harbor. Under the Intolerable Acts were 5 additional acts passed by British Parliament The Boston Port Act closed the Boston Harbor until all damages were paid back in full and civil order of the colonists could be ensured. The Massachusetts Government Act reduced the power of the Massachusetts legislature and increased the power of the Royal Government over the colonists. The Administration of Justice Act allowed a British soldier or official, who was accused of a crime, to be tried outside of the colonies in British official courts to ensure “unfair” punishment by the colonists. The Quartering Act allowed British troops to live in the colonists homes without consent from the homeowner. Additionally, the family housing the troops had to accommodate to their every need, wish, and desire. As a result from the Intolerable Acts, the colonists united together even stronger against the British government and their determination to become a free country grew tenfold. D. The Quebec Act (1774) Under the Intolerable Acts, The Quebec Act was the last law passed by British Parliament. It involved the British government seeking out French Canada as an ally in hopes to discourage them from supporting the American Revolution that was brewing in the colonies. Additionally, the British government promised the French under this act that 1. Anyone who followed the Catholic faith could practice their religion freely, 2. The Catholic Church could continue to play an influential role in the colonies politics, 3. Canadians would be able to hold government positions once they have taken an oath of loyalty to the British, 4. French civil law would be reinstated, and 5. The boundaries of Quebec would be extended to claim some prime fur trapping grounds in the Ohio River Valley (this especially angered the colonists because the Ohio River Valley had now been given to the First Nations and not the 13 Colonies). Essentially, this act restored some of the rights to the Canadians that the Royal Proclamation had taken away from them. The Quebec Act was of significant importance in regards to creating Canada’s national identity because it essentially planted the seeds of bilingualism and created the foundation for peace and partnership between the French and the English; the British were willing to give up some of their rights in Canada in an effort to ensure that Quebec would not revolt with the Americans in the upcoming American Revolution. E. The First Continental Congress In September 1774, delegates or representatives from 12 colonies met to establish their unity and autonomy to act against the British government in what is known as The First Continental Congress. Each colony would form a militia and the delegates agreed to meet again in May 1775 to assess the status of each colony’s militia in preparation for the American Revolution. They met in Philadelphia, PA where they agreed to boycott all British goods and services and create the first real “American Militia”. England did not see this as an act of unity. They saw it as an open act rebellion and as a result, King George II placed General Thomas Gage in charge of the military and gave him orders to put down the colonists’ rebellion before they acted. Additional decisions made by the First Continental Congress included; 1. Condemning the Intolerable Acts, 2. Urged full support from all the colonies to support Boston citizens, 3. Passed resolution demanding that they repeal all of the British laws that were aimed at raising money in the colonies, 4. Denounce the British practice of maintaining an army in the colonies during times of peace, 5. Set up Continental Association to enforce a ban on importing British products of all kind, and 6. Made an overall agreement that only the colonial governments could tax the colonists. At the end of this first meeting, the delegates ended up formulating a letter and sent it to the King with a list of all the changes they wanted made in the colonies. F. The Shot Heard Round the World Lexington and Concord was the location where the colonists had stored their guns and ammunition to fight against the arriving British army. A group of men and boys known as the “minutemen” had been trained to leave their farms and/or shops and, in a minute, take up these stored arms against the British soldiers. Their leaders were two men named Sam Adams and John Hancock. Additionally, a famous silversmith known as Paul Revere, rode through the night that the colonies were expecting to have the British arrive. He was responsible for warning Sam Adams and John Hancock that “the British were coming” in order to alert the minutemen that the American Revolution had finally begun. As the British arrived at Lexington Green, British Major John Pitcairn ordered his men to lower their weapons as they watched the terribly outnumbered minutemen turn around and run for their homes. A shot was fired by someone, and to this day no one knows from which side the shot was fired, but this became known as the first shot of the American Revolution. The Shot Heard Round the World. III. The British Perspective Overall, the British were quite surprised when they had to go to war against the American colonists because they simply were not prepared to go to war. They were still in massive amounts of debt due to the French and Indian War and they had no concept that the American colonists had been training for militia styled combat and that they were armed. Additionally, the British were quite shocked when they realized that their taxes would have to go up and they no longer could get taxation out of America. Since they had to increase taxes, they also had to tax basically every little item in England which made the war extremely unpopular to the British society because it created an even greater economic dent in the overall British economy. Since this war was negatively impacting the British economy, it created tension between the British government, who were full forced with the idea of going to war, and British merchants, who were taking the biggest hit economically. The merchants wanted trade with the American colonies to continue, but since the British government had created such a mass amount of anger within the colonies, that trade was no longer an achievable option.
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