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A Rebellion of Symbols People, ideas and items that stirred the emotions and steeled the resolve to rebel against England.

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Presentation on theme: "A Rebellion of Symbols People, ideas and items that stirred the emotions and steeled the resolve to rebel against England."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Rebellion of Symbols People, ideas and items that stirred the emotions and steeled the resolve to rebel against England

2 I. Symbols That Made a Difference

3 A. The King George III’s Problems and Liabilities Traditional colonial view of the King A Parliament without sensitivity or creativity Long travel time between England and America creates communication problems Great Awakening further alienated colonists from their earthly king

4 B. American Political Language: Republican Metaphors Strong moral component in these metaphors John Locke’s social contract theory “No Taxation without Representation” and the “rights” of Englishmen The significance of Tom Paine’s Common Sense (1776) Masonic influence on the thinking of the American revolutionaries

5 C. The British Army Reason for British regiments left in America Traditional British Fear of a “standing army” Army seen as an obstacle to American expansion and economic development Resistance to the Quartering Act (1765)

6 C. The British Army (cont) The symbolic significance of the Boston Massacre (March, 1770) Significance of killing a British regular during the War for Independence

7 D. Effigies, Homespun and “92” Long English history of burning effigies Colonial American history of attacking British officials American view of British taxes: external vs. internal The Stamp Act (1765) and the various levels of resistance to it The Townshend Duties (1767) and the resistance to them The symbolism of “92”

8 E. Tea and Indians Relative quiet for 3 years following the partial repeal of the Townshend Duties --Committees of Correspondence British love of tea The threat of the Tea Act (1773)

9 E. Tea and Indians (cont) Resistance to the Tea Act --Boston Tea Party (December, 1773) British response to the Tea Party: the Coercive Acts Colonial response to Coercive Acts

10 F. The “Minutemen” Paul Revere’s “solitary ride” The Battles of Lexington and Concord (April 19, 1775) Image of brave, yeoman farmer as volunteer soldier versus the reality of the Continental Line Town militias did maintain control over large areas not directly controlled by the British regulars

11 G. The Continental Army Counter-symbol to the minutemen and the strategy of guerilla warfare Composition and conduct of these forces Became the symbol of the American cause Washington tried to avoid general actions at all costs Lingering American suspicion of even their own standing army 5000 African-Americans served in integrated units

12 II. The War the Symbols Made

13 A. “The Odds, But...” American prospects were grim British faced logistical problems America was too vast to be conquered in the traditional way British underestimated American fighting skill, spirit and will to resist British targeted cities rather than Washington’s army

14 B. Three Theaters of War Northern Theater ( ) --Bunker Hill (1775) --Trenton (Christmas night, 1776) Central Theater ( ) --Valley Forge, (Winter of ) --Saratoga (October, 1777)

15 B. Three Theaters of War (cont) Southern Theater ( ) --Yorktown (October, 1781) --Lord Cornwallis -- “The World Turned Upside Down”

16 C. Peace and the War’s Results The Peace of Paris (1783) American Casualty figures Results and Consequences of the American Revolution A Political, but not a Social Revolution Wave of slave manumissions Expanded, but temporary, female political influence A “British Vietnam”?

17 III. The Real Victims of Revolutionary Symbols: Loyalists 20% of White American Population—about 100,000 people All ranks and sections of society Their sacrifice Very sad and lonely group Their treatment 40,000 Tories fought as a part of the British Army


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