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The American Colonies to the Declaration of Independence

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1 The American Colonies to the Declaration of Independence


3 The 13 Colonies The 13 colonies were established separately over a span of 125 years. Virginia colony was the first est. at Jamestown in 1607 Georgia was the last est. at Savannah in 1733 Each colony had its own character: VA was originally a commercial venture. Each colony was established with a charter from the king. A charter is a written grant of authority.

4 Royal Colonies Were subject to the direct control of the Crown
In 1775 there were eight royal colonies New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey,Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

5 (1)Royal Colonies (structure)
Over time a pattern of government appeared in the colonies. The king named a governor to serve as the chief executive of the colony. The governor had a council that advised him and this became the upper house of the colonial legislature as well as the highest court in the colony. The Lower House was made up of property owners qualified to vote. This was a Bicameral (two house) legislature

6 (2)Proprietary Colonies
These colonies were formed when the king gave a grant of land to a person, and could be ruled however the proprietor felt it should be ruled. Maryland was granted to Lord Baltimore in 1681 Pennsylvania granted to William Penn in 1681 Delaware granted to William Penn in 1682 In Pennsylvania the legislature was unicameral, the governors Council was not the upper house of the legislature.

7 (3)Charter Colonies Colonies based on charters granted in 1662 and 1663 to the colonist themselves. Rhode Island and Connecticut (click for docs.) Parliament took little control of the colonies leaving it up to the king, but was more and more interested in matters of trade.

8 Rule From Afar Over the 150 years since Jamestown was established they were ruled more or less under the framework of the king and his governors and advisors. In theory the colonies were governed on important matters from London. The problem being that it took two months and 3000 miles to get any word to the colonies. In actuality the colonies had a larger amount of self-rule. This self-rule was soon to change in the colonies.

9 George III… the Problems Begin
George III came to power in 1760 and decided to deal more firmly with the colonies. Restrictive Trading Acts were expanded and enforced. New taxes were imposed; mostly to support British troops in North America. Many colonists did not like these moves; they objected to taxes they had no part in levying. Their cry was “no taxation without representation” They believed there was no need for troops since French were defeated in the French and Indian war The colonist considered themselves British citizens but believed they had the right to control their own local affairs.

10 Colonial Unity Prior to 1770 there had been many attempts to promote cooperation among the colonies. New England Confederation, to aid against Native American attacks/ died off when threat died. William Penn’s plan for unification for trade and defense not noticed.

11 The Albany Plan in 1754 the British Board of Trade called a meeting of 7 northern colonies in Albany, NY to discuss trade and defense plans. Benjamin Franklin came up with the Albany Plan of Union This plan called for an annual congress of delegates gave this body the power to raise military forces Regulate Trade Levy taxes Collect customs duties Franklin’s Plan was ahead of it’s time and was turned down by the colonies and the Crown.

12 Stamp Act This law required the use of tax stamps on all legal documents, on certain business agreements and on newspapers. These taxes were denounced as being too severe. October 1765 nine colonies sent delegates to the Stamp Act Congress in New York where they prepared protest called the Declaration of Rights and Grievances.

13 The Stamp Act On February 6th, 1765 George Grenville rose in Parliament to offer the fifty-five resolutions of his Stamp Bill. A motion was offered to first read petitions from the Virginia colony and others was denied. The bill was passed on February 17, approved by the Lords on March 8th, and two weeks later ordered in effect by the King. The Stamp Act was Parliament's first serious attempt to assert governmental authority over the colonies. Great Britain was faced with a massive national debt following the Seven Years War. That debt had grown from £72,289,673 in 1755 to £129,586,789 in 1764*. English citizens in Britain were taxed at a rate that created a serious threat of revolt. Stamp Act Text

14 Unrest in the Colonies Colonist showed more and more disdain for British taxes and law. Many mobs broke out in port cities. Boycotts of British goods.

15 Troubles March 3, 1770 British troops fired into a jeering crowd, killing 5, this was to become known as the Boston Massacre. Key figures include John Adams? December 16, 1773, colonists disguised as Native Americans boarded 3 British ships and dumped cargo into the Boston Harbor: The Boston Tea party: this was in protest of a tea monopoly.

16 Boston Tea Party n 1773 Parliament passed the Tea Act, which gave the English East India Company a chance to avert bankruptcy by granting a monopoly on the importation of tea into the colonies. The new regulations allowed the company to sell tea to the colonists at a low price, lower than the price of smuggled tea, even including the required duty. The British reasoned that the Americans would willingly pay the tax if they were able to pay a low price for the tea.

17 The First Continental Congress
Spring of 1774 Parliament passed another set of laws to punish the colonist for the troubles in Boston an other places. These laws were called the Intolerable Acts by the colonists and forced MA and VA to call for a meeting of all the colonies. 55 delegates from all but GA attended in Philadelphia on September 5th 1774. For two months they deliberated on the situation and debated a plan of action. The Continental Congress sent a Declaration of Rights, protesting British policies and taxes to George III. The delegates urged the colonies to refuse trade with England, until the taxes were lifted. The congress adjourned on October 26th, over the next few months all colonial legislatures including GA gave their support to the First Continental Congress. Carpenters Hall, Philadelphia, PA

18 The Second Continental Congress
During late 1774 to early 1775 the British refused to compromise on any of the issues in the Declaration of Rights. The British passed even more sever laws and added more taxes. The 2nd Continental Congress met in Philadelphia on May 10th 1775. Each of the 13 colonies sent delegates. The battle of Lexington and Concord was fought on April 19th The revolution had begun with “the shot heard round the world”.

19 The Declaration of Independence
On June 11, 1776 Congress gave five men the task of writing a declaration of independence from Britain. Thomas Jefferson did much the work. The others include John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Robert R. Livingston of New York, and Roger Sherman of Connecticut, The first paragraph announces the declaration and the rest is an explanation of the grievances the colonialist had. The Declaration proclaimed equality and the rights of all people. The Declaration of Independence is adopted on July 4, 1776.

20 The Second Continental Congress
The Second Continental Congress became, by necessity, the nation’s first national government. But had not constitutional base. The 2nd Continental Congress served as the nation's government for 5 years, until the Articles of Confederation went into effect in 1781

21 Broadside of the Declaration

22 When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

23 John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence"

24 The First State Governments
Most states wrote their own constitutions and later. New Hampshire replaced its royal charter with a constitution in January 1776. In May congress urged other states to do the same, and in most did. Common Features of New States: Popular Sovereignty Government by consent of the governed Limited Government Power of States government was restricted Civil Rights and Liberties Rights of the citizens Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances Organized with independent branches of Government.

25 The Articles of Confederation
Formed a confederation among the States. What is a confederation? Unicameral government with no executive or judiciary branches. States agreed to accept several obligations to the central government. Problems with the Articles: Government had no power to tax. Regulate trade Government had no power to make states obey the Articles.

26 Post War 1780’s Disputes among the States highlighted the need for a stronger more effective National Government. Economic chaos resulted from a weak National Government. States called for a convention in Philadelphia to improve the Articles of Confederation. This meeting became the Constitutional Convention.

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