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The Crisis of Empire, 1763-1776.

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Presentation on theme: "The Crisis of Empire, 1763-1776."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Crisis of Empire,

2 Introduction Britain at height of power in 1763, yet Declaration of Independence in 1776. How and why does this happen so quickly? Why are colonies and Britain unable to get along? Importance of events but also mentality/ideology

3 Americans? Virginia and New England were on 6th/7th generation of Americans left to seek new life, new start, one unavailable in GB Significant proportion not ethnically British Life of average American very different from life of average Englishman.

4 America in 1763

5 War and aftermath brings problems Huge national debt for Britain
Problems in 1763 War and aftermath brings problems Huge national debt for Britain £75m to £150m Vast territory to police Removal of French threat no longer a common enemy to fight

6 George III Destabilized politics George Grenville 1760 Revenues Cider Tax Inspectors Halifax

7 1. Sugar Act 1764 But. . . 2. Currency Act 1764 3. Quartering Act 1765
Lowered tax by 50% (1733 Molasses Act) But. . . Duty to raise revenue not regulate 2. Currency Act 1764 3. Quartering Act 1765

8 Grenville told the colonial representatives for ideas to help raise money
All complained but no new ideas Sugar Act did not affect general population But in the same speech Grenville also said “it may be proper to charge certain Stamp Duties in the said Colonies and Plantations”

9 Stamp Acts Originated in Holland in the 17th C First introduced in England in 1694 An act for granting to Their Majesties several duties on Vellum, Parchment and Paper for 10 years, towards carrying on the war against France.

10 Variable charge on number of different legal documents
insurance policies documents used as evidence in courts grants of probate Raised around £50,000 a year Adjusted and expanded over the years

11 August 1, 1712 first stamp tax on British newspapers appeared

12 quickly passes through Parliament
February 6, 1765 Grenville brings Stamp Act before parliament for the 1st of three readings quickly passes through Parliament Benjamin Franklin attempted to get a friend a position as stamp agent There were a few people who attempted to prevent the Act But most supported people like M.P. Charles Townshend who made the following statement

13 “And now will Americans, Children planted by our Care, nourished up by our Indulgence until they are grown to a Degree of Strength and Opulence, and Protected by our Arms, with they grudge to contribute their mite to relieve us from the heavy burden of that weight which we lie under?” The Act received approval on March 22, 1765 Charles Townshend

14 Stamp Act Duties in American Colonies Act 1765; 5 George III, c. 12

15 “might as well as hindered the setting sun”
“since ‘tis down Let us make as good night as we can” Benjamin Franklin No Taxation without Representation “Virtual representation” Charleston SC Manchester

16 News of the Stamp Act reached the colonies during the first two weeks of April 1765
Initially no one was exactly sure how to respond Then May 31 Virginia House of Burgess approve set of resolves proposed by Patrick Henry

17 Henry, lawyer of 25, new to the house
elected only ten days earlier Had been involved in several high profile court cases Also chosen his timing with intent The House of Burgess only needed 25 members present to constitute a quorum It was the end of the session and only 39 out of 116 members were left in town

18 “Liberty or Death”

19 Summary Henry initially had seven resolves First four accepted
Fifth, a radical statement, passed after much debate and was rescinded the next day And the following two were never presented or debated

20 Newspaper reports made events in Virginia sound more and more extravagant
Through newspapers, private letters, and word of mouth news of events in Virginia spread and inspired, or incited, actions elsewhere End of 1765 lower houses in 8 other colonies passed resolutions By early 1766 politics in America had been transformed

21 Where Violence began and politics was transformed
Boston

22 Two protests in Boston August 1765 exposed divisions
continued to characterize subsequent colonial protests Members of educated elite preferred orderly demonstrations confined to political issues The city’s laborers, by contrast, focused on economic grievances

23 Anti-Stamp Act protests from Salem, MA to Savannah, GA.
So successful that by November 1 when law was scheduled to take effect not one stamp distributor was willing to carry out his official duties On the other hand, wealthy men recognized that mobs composed of the formerly powerless Posed a threat to their own dominance of the society

24 Elite attempted to channel resistance
Created an inter-colonial association, the Sons of Liberty Name came from speech by British soldier First group New York, fall of 1765 By early 1766 linked protest leaders from Charleston, SC to Portsmouth, NH

25 Fall and winter of 1765-66, opposition proceeded on three separate fronts.
1) Political Colonial legislatures petitioned Parliament to repeal hated law In October sent delegates to an inter-colonial Congress The Stamp Act Congress met in New York Drafted a unified but conservative statement of protest and sent petitions to the King and Parliament

26 Declaration of Rights and Grievances
In addition to the specifics of the Stamp Act taxes, the declaration asserted that Only the colonial assemblies had a right to tax the colonies. Trial by jury was a right, and the use of Admiralty Courts was abusive. Colonists possessed all the rights of Englishmen. Without voting rights, Parliaments could not represent the colonists.

27 Important inclusive tactic
2) Popular protest Sons of Liberty held mass meetings, attempting to rally public support for the resistance movement  3) Business American merchants organized non-importation associations to pressure British exporters Important inclusive tactic

28 1760s approx. ¼ of all British exports sent to the colonies
American merchants reasoned London merchants whose sales suffered would lobby for repeal also help to reduce their bloated inventories March 1766, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act. Non-importation appeared to have worked

29 Boycotts and crowd actions less important than it appeared
1765 George III, for reasons unrelated to colonial politics, replaced Greenville Lord Rockingham, new PM, had opposed the Stamp Act He thought the law unwise and divisive.

30 Rockingham proposed repeal
But he linked it to passage of the Declaratory Act Asserted Parliament’s ability to tax and legislate for Britain’s American possessions “in all cases whatsoever.” The colonists had accomplished their immediate aim, repeal of the Acts But the long-term prospects were unclear

31 Summer of 1766, another change in the ministry in London brought Townsend to power
His actions revealed how fragile the colonists victory had been. Townsend proposed new taxes in 1767 Tax was now to be levied on goods like Paper Glass Tea

32

33 1. Professor Edward Countryman states in the video that he thinks Thomas Jefferson's vision of equality at the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence mean the American people were equal to other people. the west was equal to the east. women were equal to men. 2. Professor James Oliver Horton believes that Thomas Jefferson's position on slavery illustrates the hypocrisy of the entire Declaration of Independence. the American conflict in trying to live up to principles. that Virginia would soon abolish slavery.

34 Boston complaints continue…
Repeated clashes Origins of Boston Massacre customs commissioners frequent targets of mob action

35 June 1768 Seizure of Liberty on suspicion of smuggling Owned by John Hancock

36 Caused a riot Helped convince London that troops were needed to maintain order Assignment of two regiments of regulars Reminder of the oppressive potential of British power

37 Bostonians found themselves hemmed in
Parents fear for the safety of their daughters Military parades were held on Boston Common

38 Greatest potential for violence relationship with Boston laborers.
Redcoats sought employment in their off-duty hours Members of the two groups brawled repeatedly in taverns and on the streets

39 Evening of March 5, 1770 crowd of laborers began throwing hard-packed snowball at a soldier guarding the Commons House Hearing noise reinforcements arrived Four killed and eight wounded, one of whom died a few days later.

40 Resistance leaders idealized the dead rioters as martyrs for the cause of liberty
A funeral was held March 5th observed annually with patriotic orations. Paul Revere’s engraving of the massacre was part of a propaganda campaign. Revere wasted no time in capitalizing on the Massacre He issued the print three weeks after the incident

41 How Britain Lost America
Rebels and Redcoats How Britain Lost America

42

43 Soldiers tried in November
defended by John Adams and Josiah Quincy, Jr., both unwavering patriots. All but two were acquitted those convicted were released after being branded on the thumb

44 Patriots kept up pressure Looking for a way to capitalize
Boston Tea Party

45

46 The Coercive Acts Ordered Boston should pay for the damaged tea
Removed Massachusetts upper house Assembly appointed by the crown Governor gained control of sheriffs and Judges limited the number of town meetings Any body who committed murder while enforcing the Acts would be tried in England not the colonies The quartering act was also beefed up Known in America as the Intolerable Acts.

47 1774 first continental congress
Colonists push boycott of goods and a ban on exports After much debate the congress sent a letter directly to the King (George III) affirmed parliaments right to regulate commerce Claimed attempts to impose taxes, enforce laws were unconstitutional

48 use military might to enforce control in America
British response use military might to enforce control in America particularly the Boston Area leads to the British attempt to seize militia arms at Concord, which led to the skirmish at Lexington and the British retreat to Boston under heavy fire.

49 3 weeks later Second continental congress
Olive Branch Petition Repeal Acts and establish negotiations to guarantee American rights At the same time they voted to establish a continental army

50 Bunker Hill June 17th British succeeded in dislodging militia troops on Breed’s and Bunker Hill Of the 2200 men who attacked 1154 died.

51 Still desire to remain within the British empire – in a new form
Final link to Britain, the respect for the King, ended with work of a failed Englishman Thomas Pain(e)

52 Common Sense. Approximately one in every five adult male owned a copy. Not simply a few dishonest troublesome officials who were the problem But whole institution of monarchy which was at fault.

53 Increasing political differences
Military conflicts Ideas in Common Sense Led to the creation of the United States at the second Continental Congress and the writing of the Declaration of Independence.

54 Jefferson’s rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, with corrections by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams Printed final version of the Declaration of Independence

55 1. Professor Edward Countryman states in the video that he thinks Thomas Jefferson's vision of equality at the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence mean the American people were equal to other people. the west was equal to the east. women were equal to men. 2. Professor James Oliver Horton believes that Thomas Jefferson's position on slavery illustrates the hypocrisy of the entire Declaration of Independence. the American conflict in trying to live up to principles. that Virginia would soon abolish slavery.

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57 Public Response to the Declaration of Independence

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