The American Revolution Week 5
The American Revolution Week 5 History 1301: 02E
Popular in History of the United States through Reconstruction
Popular in History
This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kylie Gregoriew on Monday October 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to History 1301: 02E at Texas A&M University - Commerce taught by Dr. Judy Ford in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see History of the United States through Reconstruction in History at Texas A&M University - Commerce.
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Date Created: 10/03/16
I. The Origins of the American Revolution Britain's growing national debt and rising taxes o Britain was at war from the War of the Spanish Succession at the start of the century through the Seven Years’ War in 1763. $$$$ o They argued that economic growth, not raising taxes, would solve the national debt. Poorly defined relationship with the colonies o Competing visions of empire divided British officials. o Old Whigs and their Tory supporters wanted an authoritarian empire, based on conquering territory and extracting resources. wanted servant colonies o The radical (or Patriot) Whigs’ based their imperial vision on trade and manufacturing instead of land and resources. wanted colonies to be economically developed; saw them as equals o They argued that economic growth, not raising taxes, would solve the national debt. o Mercantilism- Government would control economy; keep the gold and silver in country o Mercantilist- saw the colonies as servants to the mother country Colonial political culture o Both Britain and the colonies, land was the key to political participation, but because land was more easily obtained in the colonies, a higher proportion of male colonists participated in politics. o Colonial political culture drew inspiration from the “country” party in Britain o Ideas, referred to as the ideology of republicanism, stressed the power on the individual, putting the “public good” over their own self-interest, and were against the rise of conspiracies, centralized control, and tyranny. o Almost immediately upon each colony’s settlement, they created a colonial assembly same as the Commons exercised in Britain; taxing residents, managing the spending of the revenues, and granting salaries to royal officials. o 1740s: The Enlightenment and the Great Awakening began to combine in the colonies and challenge older ideas about authority. II. The Causes of the American Revolution King George III (r. 1760 - 1820) o Brought Tories into his Ministry after three decades of Whig rule. colonies would be subordinate o The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was Britain’s first major postwar imperial action concerning North America. o The King forbade settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains in an attempt to limit costly wars with Native Americans. Colonists, however, protested and demanded access to the territory for which they had fought alongside the British. The Sugar Act (1764) o Sought to combat widespread smuggling of molasses in New England by cutting the duty, or tax, in half but increased enforcement. o Smugglers who were caught would be tried by vice-admiralty, or British navy, court and not juries The Currency Act (1764) o Restricted colonies from producing paper money. o Hard money, like gold and silver coins, was scarce in the colonies. o It was especially damaging in 1764 because a postwar recession had already begun. o Colonists began to fear a pattern of increased taxation and restricted liberties. Stamp Act (1765) o The act required many documents be printed on paper that had been stamped to show the duty had been paid, including newspapers, pamphlets, diplomas, legal documents, and even playing cards. o Parliament had never before directly taxed the colonists. o Directly affected numerous groups throughout colonial society, including printers, lawyers, college graduates, and even sailors who played cards. o Stamp Act resistance distinguished largely by class: legislative resistance by elites, economic resistance by merchants, and popular protest by common colonists. o Colonial elites responded with legislative resistance initially by passing resolutions in their assemblies o “Virginia Resolves,” passed by the House of Burgesses on May 30, 1765, declared colonists were entitled to the liberties, privileges, franchises, and immunities that the people of Great Britain had. o The spread of these resolves helped radicalize the responses of other colonial assemblies o Stamp Act Congress in New York City in October 1765 The Stamp Act Congress issued a Declaration of Rights and Grievances o Economic Resistance by Merchants Boycott all imports from Britain o Most crucial type of resistance was popular protest o Crowds burned the appointed stamp distributor for Massachusetts, Andrew Oliver, in effigy (straw look-a-like figure) and pulled a building he owned down to the Ground in five minutes. o All 12 stamp distributors resigned no one left to give stamps; to enforce the law o Repeal and Declaratory Act (1766) o Parliament had full power and authority to declare laws on the colonists’ behalf. o Declaratory act passes without any comment from colonists. Townshend Acts (1767) o Created new customs taxes on common items, like lead, glass, paint, and tea, instead of direct taxes o The Acts also created and strengthened formal mechanisms to enforce compliance, including a new American Board of Customs Commissioners and more vice-admiralty courts to try smugglers. o Revenues would be used to pay colonial governors Attempted to separate interest for colonies o Resistance o Merchants re-instituted non-importation agreements, and common colonists agreed not to consume these same products lists were often published in newspapers o Women, too, became involved to an unprecedented degree in resistance circulated subscription lists and gathered signatures o Homespun clothing quickly became a marker of one’s virtue and patriotism, and women were an important part of this cultural shift o Non-importation, and especially, non-consumption agreements changed colonists’ cultural relationship with the mother country o Committees of Correspondence o keep each other informed of the resistance efforts throughout the colonies o Newspapers reprinted exploits of resistance, giving colonists a sense that they were part of a broader political community o Sons of Liberty formed in most of the colonies to organize further resistance o tactics had the dual effect of sending a message to Parliament and discouraging colonists from accepting appointments as stamp collectors "Boston Massacre" (March 5, 1770) o crowd gathered outside the Custom House and began hurling insults, snowballs, and perhaps more at the young sentry o five Bostonians were dead, including one of the ringleaders, Crispus Attucks, a former slave turned free dockworker o The soldiers were tried in Boston and won acquittal, thanks, in part, to their defense attorney, John Adams o Parliament repealed all of the new duties except the one on tea, which, like the Declaratory Act, was left, in part, to save face and assert that Parliament still retained the right to tax the colonies III. Independence Tea Act o April of 1773, Parliament passed two acts to aid the failing East India Company, which had fallen behind in the annual payments it owed Britain o not only drowning in debt; it was also drowning in tea, with almost 15 million pounds of it in stored in warehouses from India to England o Regulating Act, which effectively put the troubled company under government control o Tea Act stipulated that the duty had to be paid when the ship unloaded o Resistance o Merchants resisted because they deplored the East India Company’s monopoly status that made it harder for them to compete o it only affected a small, specific group of people o Boston Tea Party (December 16, 1773) o Sons of liberty led by Samuel Adams and John Hancock, resolved to “prevent the landing and sale of the [tea], and the payment of any duty thereon” and to do so at the risk of their lives and property. o Tea was either dumped or seized in Charleston, Philadelphia, and New York, with numerous other smaller “tea parties” taking place throughout 1774. o "Intolerable Acts" (1774) o Parliament passed four acts known collectively, by the British, as the “Coercive Acts. o First, the Boston Port Act shut down the harbor and cut off all trade to and from the city o Second, The Massachusetts Government Act put the colonial government entirely under British control, dissolving the assembly and restricting town meetings o Third, The Administration of Justice Act allowed any royal official accused of a crime to be tried in Britain rather than by Massachusetts courts and juries o Fourth, the Quartering Act, passed for all colonies, allowed the British army to quarter newly arrived soldiers in colonists’ homes First Continental Congress (first met on September 5, 1774) o Over the next six weeks, elite delegates from every colony but Georgia issued a number of documents, including a “Declaration of Rights and Grievances.” o colonists retained all the rights of native Britons, including the right to be taxed only by their own elected representatives as well as the right to trial-by-jury The Continental Association consist largely of common colonists o The Association declared that “the present unhappy situation of our affairs is occasioned by a ruinous system of colony administration adopted by the British Ministry about the year 1763, evidently calculated for enslaving these Colonies, and, with them, the British Empire.” o sought to unite and direct twelve revolutionary governments, establish economic and moral policies, and empower common colonists by giving them an important and unprecedented degree of on-the-ground political power Lexington and Concord (April 19, 1775) o British regiments set out to seize local militias’ arms and powder stores in Lexington and Concord o The town militia met them at the Lexington Green o News of the events at Lexington spread rapidly throughout the countryside. o minutemen, responded quickly and inflicted significant casualties on the British regiments as they chased them back to Boston o 20,000 colonial militiamen lay siege to Boston, effectively trapping the British o In the misnamed “Battle of Bunker Hill,” the British attempted to dislodge them from the position with a frontal assault, and, despite eventually taking the hill, they suffered severe casualties at the hands of the colonists o The Congress struck a compromise, agreeing to adopt the Massachusetts militia and form a Continental Army, naming Virginia delegate, George Washington, commander-in-chief Thomas Paine's Common Sense (January 1776) o Argued for independence by denouncing monarchy and challenging the logic behind the British Empire, saying, “There is something absurd, in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island.” o Arguments over political philosophy and rumors of battlefield developments filled taverns throughout the colonies. Second Continental Congress (first met on May 10, 1776) o Congress voted a resolution calling on all colonies that had not already established revolutionary governments to do so and to wrest control from royal officials also recommended that the colonies should begin preparing new written constitutions Declaration of Independence (July 1776) o In Virginia, the royal governor, Lord Dunmore issued a proclamation declaring martial law and offering freedom to “all indentured servants, Negros, and others” if they would leave their masters and join the British o majority of the document outlined a list of specific grievances o early draft blamed the British for the transatlantic slave trade and even for discouraging attempts by the colonists to promote abolition o Congress approved the document on July 4, 1776 IV. The War for Independence A divided military o British forces that had abandoned Boston arrived at New York o The militiamen and the actual continental army did not get along with each other, and had different views about the government. George Washington (1732 - 1799) o Washington needed something to lift morale and encourage reenlistment o he launched a successful surprise attack on the Hessian camp at Trenton on Christmas Day, by ferrying the few thousand men he had left across the Delaware River under the cover of night o The victory won the Continental Army much needed supplies and a morale boost following the disaster at New York o Washington realized after New York that the largely untrained Continental Army could not match up in head-on battles with the professional British army he developed his own logic of warfare, which involved smaller, more frequent skirmishes and avoided any major engagements that would risk his entire army. o In October, Washington marched his troops from New York to Virginia in an effort to trap the British southern army under the command of Gen. Charles Cornwallis. Mercenaries o The largest expeditionary force in British history, including tens of thousands of German mercenaries known as “Hessians” followed soon after o Continental Army took severe losses before retreating through New Jersey French forces o Benjamin Franklin had been in Paris trying to secure a treaty of alliance with the French o French were reluctant to back what seemed like an unlikely cause o Saratoga convinced the French that the cause might not have been as unlikely as they had thought o “Treaty of Amity and Commerce” was signed on February 6, 1778. o The treaty effectively turned a colonial rebellion into a global war as fighting between the British and French soon broke out in Europe and India. Surrender at Yorktown (October 1781) o 1781, the British were also fighting France, Spain, and Holland o The Americans took advantage of the British southern strategy with significant aid from the French army and navy. o Cornwallis had dug his men in at Yorktown awaiting supplies and reinforcements from New York. o the Continental and French armies arrived first, quickly followed by a French navy contingent, encircling Cornwallis’s forces and, after laying siege to the city, forcing his surrender Treaty of Paris (1783) o Peace negotiations took place in France and the war came to an official end on September 3, 1783 o Recognized the independence of the British Colonies V. The Consequences of the American Revolution State constitutions based on popular sovereignty o The new states drafted written constitutions, which, at the time, was an important innovation from the traditionally unwritten British Constitution o These new state constitutions were based on the idea of “popular sovereignty,” i.e., that the power and authority of the government derived from the people o Most created weak governors and strong legislatures with more regular elections and moderately increased the size of the electorate. o In the fall of 1779, each town sent delegates––312 in all––to a constitutional convention in Cambridge o The Continental Congress ratified the Articles of Confederation in 1781. The Articles allowed each state one vote in the Continental Congress. End of mercantilism Flight of Loyalists o In 1783, thousands of Loyalist former slaves fled with the British army. o They hoped that the British government would uphold the promise of freedom and help them establish new homes elsewhere in the Empire. o The Treaty of Paris, which ended the war, demanded that British troops leave runaway slaves behind o British military commanders upheld earlier promises and evacuated thousands of freedmen, transporting them to Canada, the Caribbean, or Great Britain. Issues unresolved
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