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SSUSH3 The student will explain the primary causes of the American Revolution.

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1 SSUSH3 The student will explain the primary causes of the American Revolution

2 3.a- Explain how the end of Anglo-French imperial competition as seen in the French and Indian War and the 1763 Treaty of Paris laid the groundwork for the American Revolution The French and Indian War (1754-1763) refers to the American phase of of a larger global struggle between Britain, France and other European powers for supremacy in Europe and domination of overseas empires. The British and French fought three major wars between 1689 and 1748 and again went to war in 1754, in America. Two years later the conflict erupted in Europe- The European phase is called the Seven Years’ War. The most important results of the conflict to American history are: the dispossession of the French of their North American colonies and claims, and the beginnings of the Anglo-American resistance to British rule that would eventually fester into revolution, war, and independence for the British colonies in North America.

3 French and Indian War The name of the war comes from the British perspective (who they were fighting) rather than the combatants, i.e., British forces were fighting the French, and their Indian allies. The conflict began as the two nations’ attempted to exert dominance over competing land claims in the Ohio River Valley. The French built a series of forts from Lake Ontario to the Ohio River- which provided them an easy route from Canada to the Mississippi, and their southern realm of Louisiana. Meanwhile, British fur trappers and land speculators had also began to establish a presence in the Ohio River region. The British governor of Virginia, Robert Dinwiddie, ordered a fort built in western Pennsylvania to protect British claims. The French overwhelmed and seized the fort, renamed it Ft. Duquesne, and set the stage for open conflict. Dinwiddie then asked a young Virginia lieutenant, George Washington, to raise a force to expel the French from the fort. Washington was defeated by a much larger French force, but his valiant attempt to resist the French established him as something of a hero in the colonies- the first wide recognition of his long and heroic career. The following year, Britain sent a larger force of 1400 “regulars” under General Edward Braddock to secure the Ohio River Valley. Overconfident, Braddock was ambushed by the French and their Native American allies- Braddock was shot (dying soon after) and Washington averted total defeat by organizing a retreat. The next several years saw intermittent fighting along the frontier, with few decisive victories for either side- Finally, in 1757 the British sent a large force of infantry and warships to America to overwhelm the French. The British forces eventually reclaimed the lands near Ft. Duquesne., but the most important action toward securing victory came in 1759, when a British fleet sailed up the St. Lawrence River and successfully laid siege to Quebec. Fighting elsewhere in the conflict continued until 1763, but the defeat of the French at Quebec more or less ended the struggle in North America.


5 Albany Plan of Union An important aspect of the French and Indian War was the call for inter-colonial cooperation. At the urging of the British, representatives from most of the colonies met in Albany, NY in 1754 to discuss options for their common defense against the French. A committee headed by Benjamin Franklin (delegate for Pennsylvania) suggested the colonies unite into a federal system to organize the war effort. Although the Albany Plan of Union was ultimately rejected, it was the first attempt to bring the British North American colonies into a formal cooperative agreement. The fact that it was rejected also pointed to the difficulties the colonies would face in the coming decade as they attempted to organize resistance to the British, on the road toward independence.

6 Albany Plan of Union: “Join or Die”

7 1763 Treaty of Paris The 1763 Treaty of Paris officially ended the conflict between Britain and France, and established the terms of the post-war agreement between the nations. Except for a few offshore islands, the treaty ended French power in North America. New France (Canada) became part of the British Empire, as well as all of the Louisiana claims east of the Mississippi River. Spain (an ally of Britain in the war) agreed to cede Florida to the British in exchange for the return of Cuba and the Philippines. In a separate treaty, France then ceded New Orleans, and all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi to Spain.


9 3.b- Explain colonial response to such British actions as the Proclamation of 1763, the Stamp Act, and the Intolerable Acts as seen in Sons and Daughters of Liberty and Committees of Correspondence The French and Indian War, although clearly a great victory for the British Empire in America, was very expensive. The British Crown had borrowed heavily to finance the war effort, and in an attempt to recoup some of those funds initiated a series of new policies and taxes that were intended to help pay for the defense of Anglo-America. These policies and taxes angered the colonists in America, and the organized resistance to these British policies formed the basis for the American Revolution.

10 Proclamation of 1763 In the same year as the Treaty of Paris (1763) a series of skirmishes erupted on the frontier between the British and various Native American groups led by the a Delaware chief, Pontiac. “Pontiac’s War” war frightened the British because they did not have the resources to fight yet another war in America. In an effort to appease the Native Americans and help prevent further clashes between them and the rapidly expanding British colonies, the British issued the Proclamation of 1763, which set the boundary for British settlement along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains. This enraged many American colonists who had expected access to the newly acquired trans-Appalachian lands.


12 Stamp Act Crisis Following the Proclamation of 1763, a new British Prime Minister, George Grenville, attempted to solve the Anglo-American financial problems by clamping down on smuggling, and by strictly enforcing customs duties (taxes on imports and exports). Grenville arranged for smugglers to be tried in vice-admiralty (naval) courts, instead of the usual colonial courts. This led to widespread protests that the American colonists were being denied their basic civil rights as British citizens, such as the right to trial by jury, (which was not required in naval courts) and the right to a speedy trial- (because the court was held at Nova Scotia). The following year Grenville issued the Revenue Act (Sugar Act) which significantly raised the duties (tariffs, or import taxes) on foreign sugar, along with several other key commodities. Again the merchants and colonists in America protested that their rights were being trampled. To add to the growing discontent, Grenville also outlawed paper money in the colonies- alienating many farmers and artisans who depended on the inflationary tendency of paper money to pay back loans. In 1765, the British went a step further, initiating a much broader tax that angered nearly everyone in the colonies. The Stamp Act of 1765 required a stamp (representing a tax paid) to be placed on almost all printed materials- including newspapers, pamphlets, posters, deeds, licenses, wills, etc. This was the first direct tax on the colonies (as opposed to the indirect customs duties like the Sugar Act)- and the colonists responded with organized resistance. In the furor that ensued, colonists began to assert the idea that became central to the impending revolution: British citizens are guaranteed representation in Parliament and since the colonies had no such representation, they could not be held to the taxes passed in Parliament. In other words, “NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION”



15 Sons of Liberty Widespread discontent over the Stamp Act produced the first organized, large-scale resistance to British policies in America. In the summer of 1765 mass meetings and demonstrations were being held across the colonies. The Sons of Liberty was a group that formed to help resist the Stamp Act and organize protests, and chapters quickly sprung up in cities throughout the colonies, (including Savannah where the local chapter met at Tondee’s tavern, then on the corner of Broughton and Barnard). Some members terrorized the tax collectors with effigy hangings and burnings, as well as actual violence visited upon the dwellings of a few. Also of note, representatives from nine of the American colonies met for what became known as the Stamp Act Congress. They issued a document- the Declaration of Rights and Grievances- which attempted to spell out to the British the reasons for their resistance to the Stamp Act. Throughout much of the colonies, resistance to the Stamp Act tax turned into a general boycott of all British goods. Many colonists refused to buy British tea, cloth, and many other goods. The boycott had the intended effect on the British market in America, and Parliament was pressured to repeal the Stamp Act in 1766. However, the British soon issued yet another series of customs duties known as the Townsend Acts- and the boycotts (along with some official non-importation laws) continued. Women’s groups, like the Daughters of Liberty, also arose to support the boycott by making and wearing “homespun” – instead of using British- made cloth.

16 Boston Massacre In the climate of protest and resistance following the Stamp Act, Townsend Acts and the resulting boycotts, the British sent troops to America to help maintain order. Nearly 1,000 British “redcoats” (or “lobster- backs” as they were derisively called), were stationed in Boston, and on March 5, 1770, violence erupted between colonists and troops that left five colonists dead and six more wounded. As news of the “massacre” spread, full-scale revolution seemed imminent, but the British repealed all of the Townsend duties- except for the tax on tea- which was kept as a symbol of Parliament’s ultimate right to tax the British colonies.


18 Committees of Correspondence The repeal of the Townsend duties placated the colonists temporarily, but in 1772, Britain sent several customs ships to patrol the coast for smugglers. Irate colonists in Rhode Island seized and burned one of these ships, the Gaspee, after it had run aground off the coast. This, in turn, enraged the British who began forcing accused smugglers to face trial in England. In response to the climate of increasing violence and uncertainty, Thomas Jefferson suggested that each colony create a Committee of Correspondence- which he hoped would keep one another informed of news and events related to the developing crisis. Like the Stamp Act Congress, these committees represented an attempt to get some “official” cooperation and organization between colonial governments.

19 The Boston Tea Party and the “Intolerable” Acts As mentioned, the tax on imported tea was the only of the Townsend duties to remain in effect, and in 1773 the British reorganized its global tea trade, which cut out American merchants, and upset the already tense situation in the colonies. Committees of Correspondence kept each other informed of when British tea was en route. Some colonies refused to receive shipments. In Charleston they refused to distribute the tea. And in Boston, a group of colonists, dressed as Indians, boarded the ship and dumped the tea into the harbor. From the British perspective, this was the last straw. To prove their point, they passed a series of punitive measures that came to be known as the Coercive Acts, intended to punish Massachusetts for the Boston Tea Party, and to bring the colonies under control once and for all. The Coercive Acts included: 1) shutting down Boston Harbor until the tea was paid for. 2) a ban on town meetings, and a provision to make key government posts (judges, sheriffs, council members, etc.) appointed by the Royal governor, not elected, as they had been. 3) a provision to transfer British soldiers to trial in England. 4) a law allowing British soldiers to quarter in private homes. The British sent 2000 troops to New England to enforce the Coercive Acts. From the colonial perspective, the Coercive Acts were (literally) the Intolerable Acts. It appeared that Britain was attempting to not only denying the colonists their basic rights as British subjects, but were prohibiting representative forms of government that the colonies had enjoyed all along. This was “intolerable.” From the inter-colonial associations formed through the Committees of Correspondence, and other organized resistance to the British, twelve of thirteen colonies formed the First Continental Congress in the summer of 1774, agreeing to meet again the following year if the crisis had not been resolved. The Congress was fairly equally split between those that were ready to fight (patriots) and those that wanted to remain loyal to the British Crown (loyalists). But in the meantime….

20 Lexington and Concord The first skirmishes of the American Revolution were near Lexington and Concord, two small Massachusetts towns, when a British regiment was ordered to march on a patriot supply depot. Paul Revere and William Dawes raised the alarm on horseback, and the British soldiers happened upon a forming militia. Someone, (not sure who) fired the “shot heard ‘round the world.” The British killed eight American militia men- war had begun. News of the fray spread like wildfire and patriot militias from all over New England raced to the area. By May of 1775, the patriot militias had surrounded the British forces in Boston.

21 Second Continental Congress As agreed, the Continental Congress that had formed in 1774 reconvened the following summer. They named the patriot militias near Boston as the Continental Army and appointed George Washington as general. Before Washington could reach his post, more fighting erupted in Boston- the Battle of Bunker Hill- where the patriot forces repelled a British advance to break the patriot lines around Boston. The victory inspired confidence that the Americans could succeed against the British. Isolated fighting spread to other regions of the colonies as well- Despite this, many were still torn between making it a fight for independence, or remaining loyal to the British.

22 3.c- Explain the importance of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense to the movement for independence One of the most important turning points for the move towards declaring independence was a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine. In Common Sense, Paine argued that it was King George, not Parliament, who was responsible for the tyranny in the colonies. Paine further argued that independence was the only way to end the tyranny. Selling more than 100,000 copies through the first half of 1776, Common Sense convinced many colonists that independence was the right choice. Soon, all of the provincial congresses had authorized their Continental delegates to vote for independence, and a committee composed of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson submitted a document written largely by Jefferson: The Declaration of Independence. On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress issued the Declaration- the birth of the United States of America.

23 Thomas Paine

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