Unit Two: 1763-1783
Changes in land Claims of 1689, 1713, 1763: Before 1689 almost all of
the land belonged to
Differences between French and British colonization: The French
mostly had fur traders and posts in
King William’s War: In
Queen Anne’s War: The second of the four imperial wars that were fought between Britain, France and Spain. It took place from 1702-1713. Though many Spanish colonial towns were captured and burned by English forces, American colonists met with military failure creating a feeling of dependence on Britain. The war ended with Peace of Utrecht.
Peace of Utrecht: Treaty that ended Queen Anne's War in 1713. Due to this treaty France had to give up Acadia, Newfoundland and the Hudson Bay territory to England but got to keep Cape Breton Island. The treaty also introduced a period of peace in which the American colonists experienced growth economically and politically.
War of Jenkin’s Ear: This war was British versus Spain. It was fought in Georgia and North Carolina. Lieutenant Governor William Gooch led Virginia’s 400 men into the whole 3000 men colonial army and after their Colonel died Gooch succeeded him. When they attacked Cartagena it proved disastrous, though Gooch wouldn’t report it that way.
King George’s War: War fought between Britain and France and Spain. It took place not only in Europe but also in North America with American colonists supporting the British with thousands of troops. In the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle Britain gained lands in India but lost Louisburg, which embittered Anglo-American relations.
•FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR: The French and Indian war was fought between Britain and France. It lasted from 1754-1760, with the colonies supporting Britain and the Indians supporting France. This war spanned three different continents and it was the main factor in the ending of "salutary neglect." This war planted the seeds of misunderstanding between Britain and the colonies and indirectly was one of the causes of the Revolutionary War. Britain came out victoriously with the Treaty of Paris.
Coureurs de Bois- Unlicensed trader who traded illegally with Indians. Many young men seeing only the prospective wealth left their families and traded illegally with Indians, some even married into the tribes. They also enlisted Indians in the French Army. These Coureurs de Bois were important in setting up fur trade in Canada.
Francis Parkman: Francis Parkman was one of the prominent historians of his time (1823-1893). Most of his work concerned the conflict that arose between France and Britain for land in Colonial America. Later on in his career he went west and traveled with tribes, such as the Sioux, which ended with the book, The Oregon Trail.
Albany Plan of Union, Benjamin Franklin: Colonial confederation based on the ideas of Franklin calling for each town to have independence in a large whole, known as a Grand Council. It was used for military defense and Indian policies and set a precedent for later American unity.
Edward Braddock: Braddock was the General of all the British Troops (French and Indian War), he led an attack against Fort Duquesne, never reaching his destination for they were attacked by the Monongahela River where 900 of his 1200 men were wounded or killed. Braddock was wounded at this battle and died soon afterwards.
William Pitt: Prime minister for Britain, who helped Britain bounce back after the Revolutionary War and who lead the war effort against France. Pitt had two terms, 1783 to 1801 and 1804 to 1806. He was considered a moderate, with the backing of the king and the parliament. Pitt’s time in office became a foundation for future prime ministers.
Fort Duquesne: This was the fort that General Braddock tried to take during the French and Indian War but him and his troops were slaughtered in an ambush at the Monongahela, where 900 of the 1200 troops were wounded or killed. Later General Amherst captured the fort.
Wolfe, Montecalm, Quebec- the Plains of Abraham: The battle of the French and Indian War, between General Wolfe and General Montecalm in which both were killed . It ended with the capturing of Quebec and was one of the final steps that lead Montreal to surrender, thus making Canada no longer a threat.
Land squabbles in North America, where, why and what over: Any of the imperial wars that were fought in North America, for if when Britain won they would usually gain territory they had wanted before. Also various battles with Indians over pieces of land because colonists pushed their way onto Indian land, not caring if it belonged to them.
Treaty of Paris (1763): Treaty that ended the French and Indian War was ended by the Treaty of Paris. This treaty ended French reign in Canada. The treaty also called for Spain to give Florida to Britain, and for France to give all lands east of the Mississippi River to Britain. It also was a precursor, for colonial politics would follow Britain.
Proclamation of 1763: This proclamation stated that no white settlers could go past the crest of the Appalachians. While this upset many colonists who had claims that far west, Britain explained it was only temporary, for it was meant to calm the Indians, sure enough five years later the boundary was moved further west.
Pontiac’s Rebellion, 1763: After France had to give up the territory they had near and around the Appalachian Mountains the Indians were afraid that the British would come in and start to settle down permanently, to make sure this didn’t happen Chief Pontiac launched an offensive at Bushy Run and Pontiac’s forces won for the time being.
Proclamation of 1763: The British issued this in 1763 in hopes of conciliating the Indians and to lessen white expansion. It banned colonists from settling west if the Appalachian mountains. Though it was supposedly a temporary measure, colonists were angered and the line was moved further west five years later for speculators.
New British Policy and Colonial Resistance
In order to tighten control over the colonies, Great Britain instated many acts and taxes which enraged colonists who argued that it was unfair to tax them when they had no direct representation in Parliament. This resistance was the beginning of America’s revolt against its mother country.
writs of assistance: The royal governor of Massachusetts allowed British revenue officers to use this in 1760 in order to capture goods imported illegally in: It was a search warrant allowing officials to enter buildings in which smuggled goods may be. It required no cause for suspicion and homes were often ransacked. It also contributed to the Revolution.
James Otis: He was a colonial leader who was also advocate general of the Boston Vice Admiralty Court in 1756. His opposition to the writs of assistance and Townshend Acts led him to declare that Parliament did not have the right to violate natural rights of colonists. He thus published The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proven.
Pontiac’s Rebellion: Ottawa chief Pontiac attacked and besieged ten British forts in May, 1763, in order to keep British out of the Appalachians. An uneasy truce was negotiated by 1764, and as a result, the Proclamation of 1763 was put forth in order for Britain to maintain 10,000 soldiers in the U.S. to occupy French ceded territories.
Paxton Boys: This group of Rangers from Pennsylvania Paxton in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, killed some Sasquehannock Indians in 1764. The conflict arose as a result of the desire to expand westward. Governor John Penn in 1764 attempted to punish them, but the people of the area were so upset that a revolt ensued; Benjamin Franklin solved it.
Grenville’s Program: British Prime Minister George Grenville was the principal architect of the Sugar Act; his method of taxation and crackdown on colonial smuggling were widely disliked by Americans. He passed the Stamp Act arguing that colonists received virtual representation in Parliament, even though Americans didn’t elect members.
•SUGAR ACT, 1764: George Grenville introduced this act which amended the Molasses Act that had taxed all foreign molasses entering the U.S. at sixpence a gallon in 1764. The new act ended the previous British policy of keeping Americans out of all revenue-raising measures. It stated that colonists exported certain items to foreign countries only if they passed through Britain first. Parliament hoped that Americans would buy more British items and it increased British sale of European wine.
Currency Act, 1764: extended currency Act, 1751: A Parliamentary act, which was originally applicable only in Massachusetts in 1751, but in 1764, it was applied to all the colonies as a means of raising revenue. It increased colonial resentment toward Britain because it disallowed the issuance of colonial money.
vice-admiralty courts: Parliament was responsible for this new form of juryless court in Nova Scotia. From 1763 to 1765, when Americans were caught smuggling in violation of the Acts of Trade, they were tried by corrupt judges who received a percentage of the confiscated goods if they found the defendants guilty.
A Democracy or not?: Colonial America was a place with more liberal voting qualification, no aristocracy and rise of the assembly. But the ruling class was still the wealthy, they had the power, also voters turn out wasn’t large. One had a better chance in becoming part of the "system" but it wasn’t democratic.
Deism: most of the religious thinkers during the Enlightenment were deist. The deists believed that God was a clockmaker who created the world but now just watches it work. They believed that we lived in a perfect universe and that we are laws that we created were natural.
Non-consumption: The Sons of Liberty began the idea of non-consumption in 1774 with their vow of non-importation of British goods. When the Boston Port Bill was passed, colonists once again agreed to ban all British goods in order to boycott the British until demands were met. Because of this, state or individual opposition was despised.
virtual, actual representation: Parliament felt colonists had virtual representation because every member of Parliament considered the rights of all subjects; the House of Commons was responsible for protecting the rights of all British and colonists. Because the British elected members, they enjoyed actual representation, but colonists had none.
no taxation without representation: John Adams, in his Circular Letter, in 1768, openly criticized Parliament’s practice of taxation without proper colonial representation. It was said that no tax that was issued in order to produce revenue for Great Britain was constitutional because American representatives had not voted to allow the tax.
colonial view of the constitution: Colonial views toward the Constitution varied greatly in 1781, due mostly to regional and bipartisan differences. Federalists were those who advocated a strong central government, at state’s expense. Antifederalists demanded more state power. Depending on size, states wanted different types of representation.
Compact theory: First expressed by Jefferson and Madison in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolves of 1798, it declared that each state comprised the national government through a compact whose provisions were established in the Constitution. Hence, the states could decide when the compact was broken. It further led to the doctrine of States Rights.
•STAMP ACT: British prime minister George Grenville’s most detested act, the Stamp Act was introduced in 1765 as a means of raising revenue in the colonies, and was passed by Parliament. It stated that all legal documents, contracts, licenses, pamphlets, and newspapers must carry a stamp that is taxed. It was intended to raise money for keeping up defense in colonies. It infuriated colonists because it was an internal tax that few could escape. Opposition to the Stamp Act led to formation of the Stamp Act Congress.
stamp distributors: These were the men who had the job of accepting money from the special water-marked paper put into circulation with the passage of the Stamp Act in 1765. They were a target for such associations as the Loyal Nine and Sons of Liberty who attempted, through violence, to force the distributors to resign before taxes were due.
Patrick Henry: He was an orator and statesman who played a key role in igniting patriotism and leading the colonists toward the American Revolution. In 1763 he became a member of the House of Burgesses where he introduced seven resolutions against the Stamp Act. He is famous for his comment "Give me liberty or give me death."
Virginia Resolves: American leader Patrick Henry persuaded the Virginia House of Burgesses to state their opposition to taxation in 1765. They adopted several resolutions which refuted the power of Parliament to tax the colonies. Henry’s fiery orations caused, by the end of the year, eight other colonies to also denounce taxation and declare rights.
Stamp Act Congress, 1765: This was an assembly of delegates from nine of the original thirteen colonies in 1765 which was intended to protest the Stamp Act. They met in New York City and presented the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, but the group’s demand for no taxation without representation was refused by the House of Commons.
Non-importation: There existed, between many of the colonial merchants, an agreement to not import any British goods until the Townshend acts were repealed. When the tea tax was kept, they were unsure whether or not to keep the boycott going. When non-importation collapsed, the Sons of Liberty agreed not to consume British tea in protest.
•SONS OF LIBERTY: Members included Samuel Adams and Paul Revere; it was a secret society of patriots which was organized in 1765 in the colonies. They formed a Committee of Correspondence to defend themselves against British actions. One of the actions they took was to adopt a policy of non-importation in which merchants refused to import goods sent from Great Britain. They also participated in terrorizing the stamp distributors through house-wrecking and tar-and-feathering in order to achieve respect.
Daughters of Liberty: Upper class female patriots who formed a union in 1765 in order to give aid to the cause of defeating the reviled Stamp Act. They proved their value to the cause both by attending political rallies and protests and also by refusing association with men who were Loyalists, however, they ultimately played a small role.
internal/external taxes: Introduced by the British Parliament in 1765, the Stamp Act was an internal tax which few colonists could escape, all of the colonists were drastically affected by this tax. An example of an external tax is the Sugar Act passed in 1764 which raised costs only for a select group of people; public opposition to the tax was minute.
Revenue Act: Parliament passed the Revenue taxes in 1767. The Act taxed glass, paint, lead, paper, paint, and tea. In colonial opinion, it was just like the Stamp Act in that, though it was said to be an external tax, it was still put into effect solely to raise revenue for the British treasury. It further angered colonial resentment to Charles Townshend.
Right of revolution: In John Lock’s Two Treatises of Government, written in 1690, it is stated that "It is a state of perfect freedom [for man] to do as they wish and dispose of themselves and their possessions." He claims that any person has the right to revolt if the government does not fulfill its duties. His ideas led to the Declaration of Independence.
The Loyal Nine: A group of middle class workers joined this association in the summer of 1765 in order to resist the Stamp Act. They realized that if they could intimidate stamp distributors with house-wrecking and tar-and-feathers, they could bully them into resigning before the act could be put into effect, making it impracticable.
Guy Fawkes Day: Thousands of ardent Bostonians gathered to celebrate this day on November 5, 1765. The day was named for the anniversary of the day Catholic Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up Parliament and King James I. In celebration of his failure, mobs gathered in the streets of Boston to protest and to set fire to figures of the Pope.
Declaratory Act. 1766: This was a Parliamentary act which was issued in 1766 in order to confirm the British government’s right to pass acts which were legally binding to the colonists. Because the Stamp Act was so opposed by the colonists as well as the British business community, it was repealed, but only with the passage of this confirmation.
Quartering Act (called the Mutiny Act by the British): Passed by Congress, this was one of the Intolerable Acts in 1774. It effectively served to further punish the colonists. Basically, it allowed for much-hated British officers to be permitted to requisition empty, private buildings. All resistance was repressed by this blatant attempt to force troops in.
•TOWNSHEND ACTS, REACTION: Under the control of British Prime Minister Charles Townshend, Parliament passed these measures in 1767. The first called for suspension of the New York Assembly because it would not abide by the Quartering Act. The Revenue Act called for customs duties on imports of glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea. As a result of unrest over these acts, the Massachusetts legislature was dissolved. Colonial reaction was that of further discontent toward their motherland.
John Dickinson, "Letters From a Farmer in Pennsylvania": He was a lawyer in Philadelphia and a leader in the movement against taxation on the colonies in the 1760s. Formulating a declaration of rights at the Stamp Act Congress, he argued against the duties of the Townshend acts in this publication. He sought appeasement of the British.
Massachusetts Circular Letter: The Massachusetts legislature sent the other 12 colonies a letter in 1767 in response to the Townshend Acts and asked for a united response from the colonies. The British threatened to dissolve the Massachusetts court unless it was withdrawn. They refused and were dismissed. The other assemblies defiantly signed.
•SAM ADAMS: He was an outspoken advocate of the Sugar Act, and served on the General Court of Massachusetts in 1765. Moreover, he was a main proponent of opposition to the Townshend Acts and a key figure in the formation of the Sons of Liberty. Starting a movement for an uprising against the Boston Massacre, he led several other angry colonists in the Boston Tea Party of 1773. Due to his literary agitation, Adams contributed to the movement for revolution.
The Association: The First Continental Congress agreed to this "association," which was a simple sort of agreement in 1774. It was formed in response to anger over the recently passed Tea Act. Members pledged not to import, export, or consume products of Britain unless their demands were met. This led to increased hostility toward the colonists.
repeal of the Townshend Acts exept tax on tea: Lord North, in a Parliamentary act in 1770, wanted to eliminate the Townshend duties due to increased hostility against the British and to keep the boycott from gaining momentum. However, he still recommended they maintain the tea tax, because it was profitable for the Royal Treasury in Great Britain.
•AMERICAN BOARD OF CUSTOMS COMMISSIONERS: Townshend introduced legislation in 1767, serving to create an American Board of Customs Commissioners whose sole job would be to enforce the Navigation Acts . They were created because Townshend wanted to crack down on colonial smuggling. The corrupt members of the Board practiced customs racketeering, which was a legalized form of piracy. This led to a major movement between colonists of anger and violence toward the Board members.
John Hancock’s Liberty: Customs commissioners in Boston requested an armed force for protection and the government dispatched the Romney to Boston in June, 1768. When told that a customs official had been locked up, while John Hancock unloaded without paying the duty, the Liberty was seized. This led to further discontent towards Britain.
Boston Massacre, 1770: British troops, (which were resumed in the city in 1770 in order to discourage opposition to the Townshend Acts), when hit by hecklers within the crowd, opened fire upon the innocent; five men were killed. Eight soldiers were tried for murder; their attorney was John Adams. Many were acquitted and anti-British feelings rose.
Crispus Attucks: He was the leader of a group of colonists who were killed in the 1770 Boston Massacre. Though he was the first man to be shot, he was only one of five colonists. He was either African-American or Native American and he may have been a runaway slave. In 1888 a monument of him was erected in his honor in Boston.
John Adams: He was the lawyer for the soldiers who were tried for murder in the Boston Massacre in 1770. He successfully defended his clients in defense that they were trying to protect their own lives. He additionally denounced the Stamp Act, analyzed the demands facing the colonists, and was a member of both Continental Congresses.
Carolina Regulators: This name applies to several groups of insurgents who, in 1764, wanted to protect the rights of their community. The North Carolina Regulators threatened to rebel and not pay taxes. The South Carolina Regulators, in 1767, opposed corrupt government and cleared their homeland of outlaw bands of terrorists.
Battle of the Alamance: The North Carolina Regulators found their movement peak in this battle on May 16, 1771. With an army of 2500, these Regulators fought a band of eastern militia started up by the governor of North Carolina, and 300 casualties were inflicted. The Regulator uprising fell apart and colonies found it harder to resist British.
Gaspee Incident: A customs schooner was beached in Providence, RI, on June 9, 1772. This upset Americans because it was one of the last of the customs racketeering ships. Stuck in the mud, it was burned down by local inhabitants. When investigators were sent to find the initiators, they failed; the suspects would have faced trial without jury.
Governor Thomas Hutchinson of Mass.: A colonial governor, he opposed taxes that harmed U.S. trade, but still supported Britain’s right to impose taxes. When the Stamp Act controversy was in effect, his home was ransacked in 1765. In 1773, he refused to allow British ships to be returned without unloading and the Boston Tea party resulted.
committees of correspondence: They were colonial groups in 1772 which were organized to form resistance to British tyranny. The Boston town meeting made up a 21 member committee "To state the Rights of Colonists and of this Province in Particular." This committee became a major political force responsible for the Boston Tea Party.
Lord North: He was a British member of the House of Commons during the 1770s. Under the orders of King George III, he taxed Americans, though he found it morally wrong to do so. By 1776, he demanded an early peace with the Americans hoping to put an end to the Revolutionary War. By 1779, he realized the war was a lost cause.
Tea Act: The Parliamentary Tea Act eliminated import duties entering England, lowering the selling price to consumers, also allowing selling directly to consumers, hurting middlemen. Colonial smuggling was very harmful to the East India Company which had held a monopoly on tea. The act provided savings for Britain.
•BOSTON TEA PARTY: A group of Boston citizens organized a protest on December 16, 1773, which was against the British tax on tea imported to the colonies The citizens were angry and disallowed three British ships to unload their cargo in Boston. Led by Samuel Adams and members of the Sons of Liberty, the group, disguised as Indians boarded the ships and dumped all the tea into Boston Harbor in protest. The American government later refused to pay for the tea and was punished through closure of the port.
•COERCIVE ACTS: Passed by the British Parliament, several laws were composed in 1774 in response to colonial rebellion. The Boston Tea Party was the last straw leading to the passage of these harsh acts as measures against the colony of Massachusetts. The four measures passed were to serve as warnings to the rest of the colonies. They included the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, the Quartering Act, and the Administration of Justice Act. Americans united in sympathy for Massachusetts.
Boston Port Act: Parliament passed this act on April 1, 1774, as one of the Intolerable Acts; it ordered the U.S. navy to close Boston Harbor. Unless they paid for the ruined tea, the port would be subject to permanent closure. They imposed a deliberately short deadline to ensure that the harbor would close, which would lead to economic difficulties.
Massachusetts Government Act: Parliament passed this act in 1774 as the second of the Townshend Acts which revoked the Massachusetts charter and restructured the government. The Governor gained control over naming sheriffs, who, in turn, gained control over jurymen. The number of Massachusetts town meetings were also reduced.
Quebec Act: Parliament passed this greatly detested law which established Roman-Catholicism as the official religion in Quebec, making Protestants angry. Also, Canada’s government was awarded an abundance of powers, but was in turn, given no legislature. The law also extended Quebec’s 1774 land claims, further angering colonists.
•FIRST CONTINENTAL CONGRESS, 1774: The First Continental Congress convened in Philidelphia in September, 1774, to consider the situation resulting from the Intolerable Acts. They issued the Declaration of Rights and Grievances to George III, and called for the Continental Association, and agreement to boycott trade with Britain. committees of Safety were in charge of enforcing the Continental Association. Before it was adjourned, the delegates agreed to meet in May, 1775 if the situation still hadn’t been resolved.
Suffolk Resolves: The first Continental Congress passed this in 1774 in response to the Intolerable Acts. They called for non-importation and preparation of local soldiers in the event that the British should have restorted to military force. The passage of these resolves marked the willingness of the colonies to defend their rights militarily.
Galloway Plan: Joseph Galloway called for a union of the colonies and a rearrangement of relations with Parliament, but it was refected by Congress by a narrow margin. Most delegates felt that such a mild measure would not help, since matters had already gone too far.
"country ideology": The plain farmer had this mind set in the 1770s due to the corruption of rulers and "court" hangers-on. It warned against the natural tendency of all governments to enfringe on the natural rights to liberty for all its people. This honest wisdom further led to the Quid’s mind set during the time of Jeffersonian Democracy.
Continental Association: Issued by the First Continental Congress, it was an agreement to boycott trade with Britain, or non-importation, designed to pressure Britain’s economy. Any colony that did not follow those provisions was to be boycotted. By taking these drastic measures, the colonies moved away from reconciliation towards war.
Revolt to Revolution
With such events as Lexington and Concord as well as the actions of the Second Continental Congress and America’s faith held in the Declaration of Independence and Thomas Paine’s "Common Sense," America’s revolt against Great Britain became a revolution.
•LEXINGTON AND CONCORD, APRIL 19, 1775: American Captain John Parker and seventy Minutemen waited for the British at Lexington, on April 19. A British officer ordered the Minutemen to lay down their arms, but a shot from an unknown source was fired. The British then opened fire and charged. Afterwards, the British continued on the Concord only to find that almost all of the weapons and supplies had been moved. While retreating to Boston, they were fired on by Minutemen from local cities.
Paul Revere, William Dawes: Seven hundred British troops, on the night of April 18, 1775, were sent to find and destroy a cache of colonial weapons and supplies at Concord. However, they were detected by Americans, and news was dispatched throughout the countryside by Paul Revere and William Dawes.
•SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS: The Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia on May 10, 1775. They drew up the Olive Branch Petition, which begged George III to restore peace, and adopted a Declaration of the Causes and Necessity for Taking up Arms. Congress was divided into two main factions: the delegates that were ready to go to war and declare independence, and those that weren’t ready to go that far. The Second Continental Congress later evolved into the revolutionary government.
Olive Branch Petition: The Second Continental Congress issued this petition to King George III on July 5, pleading with him to intercede with Parliament to restore peace. After he ignored it, he issued a Prohibitory act, which declared all colonies in a state of rebellion no longer under his protection. Thus, Americans prepared for an all out war with Britain.
Thomas Paine, Common Sense: Thomas Paine published this in January 1776, which called for immediate independence. Although its arguments were extreme, it had much influence in favor of independence. Combined with the Prohibitory Act, it convinced many Americans that the British had every intention to carry out a full scale war.
natural rights philosophy: Thomas Jefferson was influenced by the natural rights philosophy. He emphasized the equality of all people and their natural right to justice, liberty, and self-fulfillment. In the writing of the Declaration of Independence, he draw upon some of the ideas of natural rights.
John Locke, Second Treatise of Government: John Locke stressed that governments were legitimate only if they rested on the consent of the governed and protected basic rights of their people. If the government and laws lacked the consent, then they were not legitimate, and had to be dissolved and replaced with legitimate government or just laws.
•"FIRST AMERICAN REVOLUTION" (POSSITER THESIS): This thesis is the idea that the real American Revolution could not have been made possible had not a First American Revolution paved the way. The First Revolution consists of the first sparks of discontent. Previously, there had been a great deal of affection between the U.S. and its mother country, due to the protection colonists enjoyed. However, with colonial governments, colonists were enjoying democracy, leading to opposition against taxation.
George III: After the Battle of Bunker Hill, the people of Britain wanted retaliation, and King George III, on August 23, proclaimed New England in a state of rebellion. In December Parliament declared all colonies in a state of rebellion, and made their ships liable to seizure.
Richard Henry Lee’s Resolution: Colonial leader Richard Henry Lee presented several formal resolutions to Congress on June 7, 1776. These resolutions called for independence and a national government. As a result, the Committee on Independence was formed to further accommodate his proposal.
Committee on Independence: After Richard Henry Lee’s resolution on June 7, 1776, the Committee on Independence was formed. Members included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman. Its purpose was to draft a statement of reasons for independence which led to the Declaration of Independence.
•JULY 4, 1776 AND THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: Written by the Committee on Independence, he Declaration of Independence contained a list of grievances placing the blame on George III. Additionally, it asserted certain natural rights: "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" and the "Consent of the governed" to revolt against tyrannical governments. The English Revolution of 1688 and Enlightenment writers inspired some of the ideas in the Declaration of independence.
Preamble of the Declaration of Independence: Written by the Committee on Independence in 1776, the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence states that "all men are created equal," and are furthermore allotted unalienable rights by God. Moreover, it is believed that this is a statement of faith displays wisdom; it’s not a fact revealing truth.
slavery clause in the Declaration of Independence: Two passages in Jefferson’s original draft were rejected by the Second Continental Congress in 1775. The first passage was an exorbitant reference to the English people, and the second passage was an attack on the slave trade.
Somerset Case (in Great Britain): Despite the Enlightenment’s condemnation of black slavery, sugar produced by black slaves was considered of utmost importance. Granville Sharp defended several blacks in the case Somerset v. Stewart. The decision reached was regarded as the end of slavery in England.
Quock Walker case- Mass: Nathaniel Jennison was accused of assaulting Quock Walker, a negro. Jennison defended himself on the grounds that Walker was his slave. Although slavery wasn’t forbidden by the constitution of Massachusetts, the Superior Court rejected his defense because it was unconstitutional in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
War for Independence
With the Declaration of Independence as its fuel, America entered a war for independence with Great Britain: the Revolutionary War. Throughout the war, America developed its first real feelings of nationalism and ended up being victorious in its fight for freedom.
Advantages/Disadvantages for Britain: The British were well equipped, well trained, and well disciplined. They had a strong navy to land troops, transport troops, guard communication and supply lines. Also, they had a large sum of money which could be used to hire foreign mercenaries. However, they were outnumbered by the U.S.
Advantages/Disadvantages for U.S.: Many colonists knew how to use firearms. They had a superior rifle range and accuracy over the smoothbore British muskets. Washington was a highly respected, experienced commander-in-chief, and they were fighting in their own territory. However, their naval power was less than that of Britain.
•LOYALISTS, TORIES: They were Anglican clergymen, ethnic and religious minorities, government officials, and some wealthy merchants comprised the Loyalists. About one-fifth to one-third of the population remained loyal to Britain. They felt that war was unnecessary to preserve the rights of the colonists, and maintained a respect for the monarchy. The majority of ethnic and religious minorities, however, were supporters of the revolution. Eighty thousand Loyalists left, leaving their positions for others.
John Adams: He was one of the first men to propose American independence when the Revolution began. Moreover, he served on the Committee on Independence, and also helped persuade the Second Continental Congress to adopt the Declaration of Independence. In Congress and in diplomatic missions abroad, he served the patriot cause.
Abigail Adams: Even though she had a scarce formal education, she was among the most influential women of her day, particularly as a leader of fashion and social mediator. She was the wife of John Adams, and mother of John Quincy Adams. Also, she challenged the lack of equality for women and was a strong advocate of the Revolutionary War.
Mercy Otis Warren: Before the imperial crisis, she was known for her nonpolitical poetry, but soon began writing political satires in the early 1770s. In doing so, she challenged the assumption that women were naturally dependent on men. The subordination of women, which was taken for granted, later became the subject of debate.
•GEORGE WASHINGTON AND THE REVOLUTION: George Washington created the Continental Army that had fought against the British. He was a strong influence in persuading the states to partake in the Constitutional Convention, and he used his prestige to help gain ratification of the Constitution. He earned a good reputation from the French and Indian War in 1763. His early military experience taught him the dangers of overconfidence and the necessity of determination when faced with defeat.
Edmund Burke: In 1766 he was elected to Parliament. Almost immediately Burke sought repeal of the Stamp Act. He urged justice and conciliation towards the American colonies in a pamphlet, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, and in two speeches, "On American Taxation" and "Conciliation with America".
Benjamin Franklin and the Revolution: From, Pennsylvania, he served on the Committee for Independence in 1776. Moreover, as a prime minister to Britain, he along with John Adams and John Jay, signed a peace treaty between the U.S. and England, which concerned new American borders, on November 30, 1782.
Lafayette: The Marquis de Lafayette’s close connections with the French court in 1778 indicated that Louis XVI might recognize U.S. independence and declare war on Britain. After France and the United States entered into an alliance against Great Britain, Lafayette returned to France to further the granting of financial and military aid to the Americans.
George Rogers Clark: George Rogers Clark led 175 militia and French volunteers down the Ohio River and took several British forts along the northwestern Ohio Valley in the spring of 1778. He was a surveyor and a frontiersmen who also led successful military operations against Indians allied to the British on the western frontier.
Benedict Arnold: He led one of the Continental Armies into Canada but was defeated. A fervent patriot, he later turned into a traitor. With 400 men, he attacked Fort Ticonderoga in April of 1775, along with Ethan Allen, who raised an army for the same purpose, but without command.
Robert Morris: When the United States, under the Articles of Confederation, was unable to prevent national bankruptcy, Congress turned to him. Hoping to panic the country into creating a regular source of national revenue, he engineered the Newburgh conspiracy along with Alexander Hamilton.
John Paul Jones: United States Captain John Paul Jones attacked the British territory, which raised American morale and prestige. He also led the famous ship, Bonhomme Richard, against Britain’s ship, the Serapis, in which the war was brought to England’s shores, boosting American morale and credibility.
The War at Sea: American captains such as John Paul Jones fought in this War at Sea during the War for Independence against Britain. Despite Britain’s naval advantage, on September 23, 1779, Jones engaged the British frigate, the Serapis, in the North Sea. This was the most famous naval battle in the war.
Continental Army: Composed of colonial men, the Continental Army consisted of less than 10,000 men prepared for duty at one time. Out of the potential 250,000 men living in the colonies, the Continental Army was quite diminutive at the dawn of the war. Led by George Washington, this army fought in various battles such as Valley Forge.
Native Americans in the Revolutionary War: The colonists’ expansion into the Ohio Valley drove the western Indians into allying with the British. In the East, the Iroquois in New York were neutral until 1777, when the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy split, leaving all but the Tuscaroras and most Oneidas on the side of the British.
Black Americans in the Revolutionary War: About 5,000 blacks served in the army and navy, mostly New England freemen, and fought in every major battle of the war. However, the South feared possible slave revolts, which inhibited use of blacks in the South. Governor Dunmore offered freedom to slaves who joined the British army.
Invasion of Canada: U.S. General Richard Montgomery forced the British to evacuate Montreal in 1775 and invade Canada. A second force led by Benedict Arnold invaded the land by combining an attack on Quebec; however, it was a failure in that Montgomery was killed, Benedict was shot, and one-third of the colonial troops were killed or captured.
Battle of Bunker Hill (Breed’s Hill): Three British generals arrived in Boston in May, 1775 to assist General Gage. After two failed British attacks on Breed’s Hill, the colonists ran out of ammunition, and the British succeeded. The colonists now had two choices: to commit to a full-scale revolution, or to accept the rule of the British.
"Bonhomme Richard" and the "Serapis": John Paul Jones took command of a rebuilt French merchant ship and renamed it the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard. On September 23, 1779, he engaged the British frigate, the Serapis, in the North Sea. This was the most famous naval battle in the American Revolution.
Conway Cabal: United States Major General Thomas Conway wrote a letter to General Horatio Gates that revealed a military side of the Conway Cabal, which aimed at the removal of Washington as the leader of the Continental Army. Conway later resigned after subsequent public revelations, and was replaced by Friedrich von Steuben.
•FRENCH ALLIANCE OF 1778, REASONS FOR IT: France entered into two treaties with America, in February, 1778. The first was a treaty of goodwill and commerce, and granted most favored nation status to one another. The second treaty was the French Alliance of 1778, to be effective if war broke out between Britain and France.
Saratoga: British General John Burgoyne felt overwhelmed by a force three times larger than his own, and surrendered on October 17, 1777. This forced the British to consider whether or not to continue the war. The U.S. victory at the Battle of Saratoga convinced the French that the U.S. deserved diplomatic recognition.
Valley Forge: American survivors from the Battle at Brandywine Creek marched through Valley Forge in early December, 1777. The Continental Army marched through Valley Forge while the British army rested miles away in Philadelphia. After the arrival of Baron Friedrich von Steuben, the Continental army emerged from Valley Forge.
Hessians: They were German mercenaries who were comprised of approximately 30,000 soldiers in the British army during the Revolutionary War. They fought among 162,000 other Britons and loyalists but were outnumbered by the 220,000 troops of the Continental Army.
the "black" regiment: They were a group of dignified clergymen who preached against British tyranny and resistance to British authority in 1765. Because sermons were such a common form of communication, nearly every colonist saw public fasting and communication and were infected with the idea that it was a sin not to reject Britain.
General Thomas Gage: He was the commander in chief of Britain’s military forces in America from 1763 to 1775. In April 1775, he issued the order for British troops to march on to concord and seize American weapons stored up there. During his career as commander in chief, he was appointed as the new governor of Massachussetts.
British Generals: Henry Clinton, William Howe, John Burgoyne: General Howe planned to set up headquarters in New York in 1776 but was delayed by Washington’s escape to Long Island. General Burgoyne was trapped at Saratoga in 1777 and was forced to surrender. General Clinton succeeded Howe as commander in chief in 1778.
Yorktown, Lord Cornwallis: Washington, along with Admiral de Grasse’s French fleet, trapped British General Cornwallis on the Yorktown peninsula. The Siege of Yorktown began in September of 1781, and ended when Cornwallis realized that he lost three key points around Yorktown and surrendered.
League of Armed Neutrality: The empress of Russia, Catherine II, made a declaration in 1780, restricting the category of contrabands to munitions and essential instruments of war. She also secured the freedom of the navigation of neutral nations, even to ports of belligerents. The U.S. could not join because it was fighting in the Revolutionary war.
Treaty of Paris, 1783: Great Britain and the United States signed the Treaty of Paris, which brought an end to the American Revolution, on September 3. Great Britain recognized the former 13 colonies as the free and self-governing United States of America.
French and British intrigue over U.S. boundaries (in Treaty of Paris): France and Britain shared much interest in American territory following the War for Independence. The French wanted to further continue their residence in Virginia, which led to further dispute between them and the colonists.
social impact of the war: Women did not receive the status implied by the American Revolution’s ideals. Though the Revolution was fought in the name of liberty, slavery still existed, creating a paradox between the slavery and the freedom. However, slavery virtually ended in the North during the Revolutionary era.
•HOW REVOLUTIONARY? : Even though the former colonies were joined under a central government provided by the Articles of Confederation, they still acted independently in various areas. Some state constitutions were identical to the English charters that had governed them. On the other hand, the idea of the separation of church and state grew stronger, toleration of religious minorities became more prevalent, inflation became widespread, industry was stimulated, and trade with foreign nations increased.
Disestablishment, Virginia Statue of Religious Freedom: Thomas Jefferson worked on the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom after independence was declared. It became a law in 1786, and was the model for the clause in the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of religion. Separation of church and state became more popular.
•NEW STATE CONSTITUTIONS: It was necessary for the former colonies to assemble new state governments after the fall of British authority in 1775. Massachusetts voters insisted that a constitution were made by a convention rather than the legislature, in hopes of implicitly making it superior to the legislatures. Most state constitutions included a bill of rights, although the constitutions ranged from extremely democratic models to unicameral legislatures.
Newburgh conspiracy: The new nation under the Articles of Confederation was in a financial crisis. Through the Newburgh Conspiracy, which was engineered by Alexander Hamilton and Robert Morris, the army, whose pay was overdue, threatened to force the states into surrendering more power to the national government.