Presentation on theme: "Chapter 2 Crisis and Response (1754 to 1772). As in many revolutions (e.g. Russo-Japanese War and WW1 in Russia) war was a significant catalyst for."— Presentation transcript:
As in many revolutions (e.g. Russo-Japanese War and WW1 in Russia) war was a significant catalyst for crisis in colonial America. The French and Indian War erupted in 1754, sparked by tensions between British and French settlers as they competed for territory and resources in the north-western frontier of the colonies. The French and Indian War
A war in Europe and America Continuity: The British and French had been to war three times between 1689 and 1748. Although largely unrelated to America, there had been battles between the French and British colonists. Change: the French and Indian War was sparked by events in America, not Europe. Settlers were competing for territory west and north-west of the Appalachians. Having the French at the border was causing tension. There was also the threat of Catholicism.
In 1754 George Washington (then a 22 year-old lieutenant colonel in the Virginia militia, was ordered into Western Pennsylvania to expel the French and construct a fort. Exceeding his rules of engagement, Washington and his troops ambushed a small French platoon before being met by a larger French force at Fort Necessity. Surrounded and heavily outnumbered, Washington surrendered. This incident prompted the English and French to boost their troop numbers and begin manoeuvres to occupy territory. Britain shipped more than 10,000 regular soldiers to America and expected contributions from the colonies but didn’t receive as much as they would have liked. Meet George Washington
War Interactive http://www.revolutionarywaranimated.com/French.swf
The war concluded with a sound victory for the British. The 1763 Treaty of Paris handed the territories of New France (all land east of the Mississippi River as well as the eastern half of modern-day Canada) over to England. The treaty brought excitement and expectation to the 13 British colonies. The fears of a French attack were alleviated and it seemed that land in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys would be opened up for future exploration and settlement. However, this was not to be the case… The 1763 Treaty of Paris
The removal of French authority was met with optimism. Rapid population increases had created a need for new farming land for the rich, middle and poorer classes. Both George Washington and Ben Franklin had started speculating new lands. However, in May 1763 Pontiac, an Ottawa chieftain led a rebellion against British frontier settlements. Having been allied with the French he was unhappy with the British victory. Soon other western tribes also launched surprise attacks. To reduce conflict the British cabinet released a royal proclamation in October 1763 that drew a confinement line along the Appalachian Mountains. The colonies were not allowed to expand beyond this line and this was a source of frustration for many American’s, including some who would become famous revolutionaries. Proclamation Act of 1763
As a result of the costs incurred to the British Empire from fighting the French-Indian War and by sending troops to defend American forts (in addition to their own economic problems at home) the British implemented a series of Acts that would create tension. The Sugar Act (officially the American Revenue Act) demonstrated change because it was the first act specifically aimed at raising money for the British. It was introduced to prevent smuggling and trading with foreigners. The Sugar Act also extended to a range of goods including wines, coffee, spices and materials. But most importantly… The Intolerable Acts
The new laws granted general search warrants with no expiry date, so that custom officials (previously with little power and easily bribed) were allowed to enter any property they believed might contain smuggled goods. These writs had been around since 1760 but had been rarely used. In 1761 Boston lawyer James Otis challenged the writs on behalf of 63 merchants, arguing that they were ‘against the fundamental principles of law’. He lost. Colonial outrage over the writs reach escalated with the ‘Malcolm affair’ with the ransacking of the home of Boston merchant Daniel Malcolm. His violent response led to a stand- off with the custom officials forced to retreat. Writs of Assistance
The various acts were an attempt to protect British trading interests. The mercantilist theory of bullionism also affected America when the British passed the Currency Act in September 1764. At that point the American’s had little gold and so had created their own paper money to trade within the colonies. When the British passed an act preventing this they were in a tough spot. They were not allowed to print their own money and had no access to precious metals due to trading restrictions. The gold drain and paper chase
Ben Franklin’s big mouth It was Ben Franklin who told the Bank of England about the ‘colonial scrip’ which was helping the American’s to avoid an economic downturn. The British then introduced the Currency Act to put a stop to this. Egnal and Ernst suggest that the revolution began here as it created a desire for American economic Independence.
While it was the middle and upper classes (merchants) who were most affected by the Currency Act, it was the Quartering Act of March 1765 that caused the most grief to the working class (now they had annoyed everyone!). Sending soldiers to America to fight the French-Indian War and then keeping them there to fight off the natives and local mutiny’s was very costly. Their presence and perceived poor behaviour was considered a nuisance to locals. As a result the British Parliament passed the Mutiny Act (known as the Quartering Act by colonials) to ensure improved discipline in the British military but more importantly requiring colonies to provide accommodation in their towns. The Red Coated Menace
In some colonies there was little fuss and the colonial assemblies complied with the act. Pennsylvania willing gave British soldiers accommodation up until 1774. However, other colonies such as New York were against the act and locals rioted, leading to the New York Restraining Act (a suspension of the New York Assembly). This was a change as the British were now impeding on the American’s right (privilege) to assemble. A mixed response
The fifth, and most notorious, British policy of the colonial era was the Stamp Act of March 1765. The crisis created one of the most famous revolutionary slogans in history ‘no taxation without representation’ which was adopted by revolutionaries like Patrick Henry and James Otis. This seemingly harmless (and not necessarily unusual) tax, in the context of the time, was a dangerous decision by the British that led to a growing political movement. It was this decision (amongst other things) that led to men like Benjamin Franklin transforming into a revolutionary. The Stamp Act
The Stamp Act fuelled a ‘firestorm of debate’ as the leaders of colonial assemblies (often merchants) were angry at Britain for disregarding their views. There was a growing call for a boycott on the tax, a direct challenge to the British and a change in behaviour from the Americans. Boycott’s were accompanied by active propaganda and intimidation of royal officials, such as Andrew Oliver (appointed to oversee the Stamp Act) and Thomas Hutchinson. On 14 August 1765 an effigy of Oliver was burned from the Liberty Tree near Boston Common, which was followed by an angry mob invading his house. Hutchinson actually disagreed with the Stamp Act but was forced to implement it. On 26 August 1765 a large mob also vandalised his house. Problems in Boston
Problems in Boston ‘Bostonian’s paying the excise man’
In Virginia, a young lawyer named Patrick Henry sought election specifically to challenge the Stamp Act. Henry introduced a series of five resolves that rejected any British authority to tax the colonies. This prompted cries of ‘treason’ in the chamber (showing that British ties remained strong despite the crisis) but Henry responded ‘If this be treason, make the most of it’. The Virginia Stamp Act Ironically Patrick Henry ended up on the $1 US postage stamp.
In October 1765 twenty-eight delegates from nine colonies gathered in New York for what later became known as the Stamp Act Congress. They produced a manifesto called the Declaration of Rights and Grievances which pledged affection and loyalty the king (a continuation) but argued that George III and his parliament had infringed colonial rights (a challenge). This was not the first expression of colonial rights but it was a change because it was made by a body that claimed to represent the majority of American colonies. Declaration of Rights and Grievances
The Sons of Libert y were local groups who organised or engaged in protest against the Stamp Act. There was no single Sons of Liberty group, a range of groups emerged from different areas as the term became a catchphrase for anti-British activity. In Boston, the Sons of Liberty grew out of a small group known as the Loyal Nine. The membership of the Loyal Nine consisted of club secretary John Avery, a distiller by trade, Henry Bass, a cousin of Samuel Adams, Thomas Chase, a distiller, Stephen Cleverly, a brazier, Thomas Crafts, a painter, Benjamin Edes, printer of the Boston Gazette, Joseph Field, a ship captain, John Smith, a brazier, and George Trott, a jeweller. All nine men would go on to become active members of the Sons of Liberty, and to date four of the nine men are documented to have participated in the Boston Tea Party. Sons of Liberty http://www.bostonteapartyship.com/loyal-nine
Sons of Liberty The Sons of Liberty groups demonstrated a change as they were among the first organised groups who were actively Anti-British. They were also illegal.
The Stamp Act didn’t affect slaves directly (they had no money!) but it seems to have influenced their ideas about freedom and led to some uprisings during this period. This was a major concern for white, who were outnumbered 3 to 1 in some states. While not a pressing concern (to revolutionaries anyway) in 1765 this would become a major topic of the revolution once the war had been won. ‘Natural Rights’ and slaves
Although Colonial Women were often considered ‘invisible’ they actually had a huge role to play in the boycotts. This was because, as managers of the households, they were involved in purchasing items such as stamps and tea. By boycotting these the women of the British colonies also contributed to the rebellion. Boycotts by women The Edenton Tea Party
The Stamp Act caused problems in England as well as America. Several British politicians, such as Edmund Burke and William Beckford spoke against it. In July 1765, the King dismissed Grenville as PM and the Stamp Act lost it’s creator and defender. In January 1766, after the many disturbances in the British colony, the House of Commons voted to repeal the act. This demonstrated a significant change as the British had been forced to change their policy due to American rebellion. It also caused conflict in Britain as some argued that by backing down the empire was showing a weakness. Stamp Act is repealed
The Declaratory Act was considered a ‘face-saving’ act by the British after repealing the Stamp Act. This was a statement that essentially reminded American’s that the British were still their rulers. While it didn’t really do anything, some historians such as Randall Miller argue that by making this statement the British added to the revolutionary flame and took it from an anti-taxation issue to a deeper issue of sovereignty and liberty for Americans. But followed by…
Despite the repeal of the Stamp Act, many in the British parliament were annoyed that the American colonies were unwilling to contribute to the cost of their own defence. Charles Townshend was appointed treasurer in 1766 and decided to collect revenue through import duties rather than direct taxation. This duty would be collected when goods were unloaded in American ports and be used to pay the salaries of royal governors and officials. The Revenue Acts angered both merchants and the colonial population at large, as they could see this was another attempt to raise money for Britain. The move away from assemblies paying their governor’s also threatened the power they wielded over these representatives. So while the duties themselves were relatively small, the implications of the Townshend Duties were great and spurred on the revolutionary activity that already existed, with more boycotts being led by the various Sons of Liberty chapters. The Townshend Duties
In 1767 the first in a series of twelve letters from a Pennsylvania farmer began to circulate around the colonies. It was common knowledge that they were the work of Philadelphia lawyer but they were published anonymously to avoid potential consequences (treachery) and to give the impression that the writer was a ‘common’ farmer (why do you think?). The main point of the letters was that the British had the right to govern external matters (e.g. trade) which was a continuation of colonial thinking but that they had no right to interfere in the colonies local affairs, which was a challenge to British control. It suggested future hostility might occur if freedoms were not allowed. Another continuation of Dickinson’s writing is the great respect he shows to the British while challenging their decisions. Letters from a farmer
The Townshend legislation was not as unpopular as the Stamp Acts but intimidation and violent attacks on ‘Tories’ (British loyalists) continued. One method of shaming these supporters of the empire was ‘tarring and feathering’ which was both painful and embarrassing (which was the point!). Tarring and feathering
Women continued to be involved in the boycott of imported goods as seen in the Edenton Ladies Tea Party in North Carolina during 1774. Daughters of Liberty
Although the British released no major colonial policies in the five years following 1768, there were still disruptive events that kept British America on edge. One example was the seizure of John Hancock’s (merchant and suspected smuggler) ship Liberty. The skipper of the ship and his crew trapped the customs officer. This led to the ship being seized by the British, costing Hancock a lot of money but continuing to add to revolutionary sentiment. Seizure of the Liberty
A letter written in February 1768 by Boston radical Samuel Adams included strongly-worded criticisms of the British government. Adams claimed that the Townshend duties were unconstitutional and the actions of royal officials were illegal. Adams called for a unified colonial response ( a change ). His letter was approved by the Boston assembly and sent to the other colonies. In England, Lord Hillsborough, the secretary for colonial affairs was outraged. He declared the letter traitorous and governors were order to dissolve assemblies who supported Adams. He also sent four regiments of soldiers to Massachusetts's to restore order. Adam’s Circular Letter Has own beer, therefore important Has a dog but no beer, less important
Arguably, Lord Hillsborough’s decision to post almost 2000 soldiers in a city of just over 15,000 might be considered ill- considered. Boston was a city with a history of conflicts with the military, including the Royal Navy’s practice of kidnapping civilian sailors leading to riots in 1741, 1747 and 1764. The soldiers competed jobs during poor economic times and we considered rowdy on at night and on Sunday mornings when Bostonians were at worship. Troops and tensions This is pretty much how things went down
In February 1770 Christopher Seider, an 11 year-old son of German immigrants was one of a crowd of young boys harassing a customs official named Ebenezer Richardson. When a stone hit his wife, Richardson fired a shot (with a musket) away from the crowd to alarm them. Some of the pellets hit Seider in the chest, leading to his death. This incident created furore in Boston that was to be followed by the Boston Massacre just a month later. Christopher Seider A gravestone in Boston for Seider and the victims of the ‘massacre’
The Seider incident ignited a new wave of anti-British tension in Boston. Richardson was charged with murder but the mobs were still upset. They prowled the streets, openly abusing soldiers. When a soldier asked rope maker Samuel Gray about work and was told to ‘go and clean my shithouse’ (nice!). On the evening of 5 th of May a group of boys abused sentry Hugh White who responded by clipping one boy on the head with his musket. The ‘Massacre’ Samuel Gray “I would have clipped them to” – Elliott, 2013
Word of White’s ‘assault’ spread and soon a hostile mob formed in King Street, including some of Boston’s most notorious brawlers. A ringing of the bell (usually used in a fire) drew more people to make a crowd of around 300. Captain Thomas Preston deployed a small platoon of men with bayonets and ordered them not to fire. However, the soldiers were quickly surrounded with various objects being thrown at them. In the madness, some soldiers opened fire and several of the mob were hit with five being killed, including Gray and a part-black man named Crispus Attucks. One of the men, Carr, confessed on his deathbed that the soldiers had been provoked. The ‘Massacre’ A newspaper obituary for the victims of the Boston Massacre
Despite the provocation of the mob, Boston was soon ‘thick with emotive propaganda’ about the incident with citizens demanding punishment for the soldiers. Biased poems contradicted with the accounts of Captain Thomas Preston about the soldiers actions and intentions. Paul Revere, a skilled Bostonian reproduced a drawing of the ‘massacre’ showing the British as an organised force shooting down the innocent citizens that was widely distributed. As Esther Forbes stated ‘Revere was primarily interested in the political aspects of his print, not in its art or accuracy’. The ‘Massacre’ ‘Entirely accurate and objective… NOT!’ - *insert Borat voice*
Captain Preston and his men were arrested and committed to trial. They found it difficult to get a lawyer with John Adams, a vocal protestor of the Stamp Act, stepping forward. Adams risked his career in doing so but his election to the Massachusetts assembly soon after suggests that the elites believed there was provocation by the mob. The jury found Preston and six of the soldiers not guilty. Two soldiers who fired into the crowd, Hugh White and Hugh Montgomery, were convicted of manslaughter and suffered ‘thumb- branding’. The Trial John Adams Captain Thomas Preston
Despite some people being upset at the ‘not guilty’ (mostly) verdict, soldiers remained in Boston and things calmed down somewhat with the Townshend duties being repealed. The new British Prime Minister was keen to improve relations but insisted on keeping a tax on tea as a ‘symbolic gesture of parliamentary sovereignty over the American colonies’. This would be a bad decision. Other revolts, such as ‘The Regulators’ in North Carolina (who targeted tax collectors) kept the revolutionary movement going. The burning of a British ship, the HMS Gaspee, by the Sons of Liberty group in Rhode Island also displayed the ongoing conflict. This was a change as it was the first attack on a British ship as was the rumour that the culprits would be trialled in Britain. It’s on!
The Whigs had an idealistic view that the revolution was built on ideologies of liberties for all. Imperial historians focus on mercantilism being ‘mutually beneficial’ to both parties but blame the intrusion of British politicians for the revolution. Gipson, an Imperial school historian, argued that the French-Indian War had encouraged the American settlers to consider expansion and believed that the restrictive British policies prevented this, creating conflict. Progressive historians say that it was all about the taxes! Imperial v Progressive