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Causes of the American Revolution A Brief Introduction.

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1 Causes of the American Revolution A Brief Introduction

2 Breakin’ Down da Lyrikz  And the British had a monopoly on selling tea, thanks to the Tea Acts...  Three years after the Boston Massacre, Parliament passed the Tea Act of 1773.  It gave the British a monopoly on selling tea to America by making the price so low that even smugglers couldn’t compete.

3  Send a message to show George just where we at...  Sam Adams and the radical Sons of Liberty were desperately looking for another Boston Massacre type event to persuade American resistance.  The Tea Act provided just such an opportunity.

4  Dressed like Mohawk Indians...  When three tea-filled cargo ships landed in Boston Harbor, Sam Adams led a group of 150 colonists dressed like Mohawk Indians to the docks.  As a large crowd gathered to watch, the men boarded the ships and began to smash the crates and dump tea into the water.  By the end of the night, the Boston Tea Party had destroyed $70,000 worth of British tea.  It was a powerful message like striking a big middle finger across the Atlantic.  King George of England took it to be just that, “The die is now cast,” he told his prime minister. “ The colonies must either submit or triumph.”

5  Passed Intolerable Acts, but that don’t phase me...  The British responded quickly and severely.  They passes the Coercive Acts and the Quebec Act.  The laws were hated so bad, they became known in the colonies as the Intolerable Acts.  These acts severely restricted democracy in Massachusetts (close to Boston Harbor) and even established Roman Catholicism as the official religion in Quebec.  The British also sent 4,000 more soldiers into Boston to prevent and/or suppress further uprisings.

6  Let me tell you the story of Paul Revere...  General Gage, the commander of the British troops in Boston, heard rumors that the colonists were gathering ammunition and guns in a storehouse in Concord, a small town outside Boston.  He also heard that two of the rebel ringleaders, Sam Adams & John Hancock, were hiding in nearby Lexington.  Sam Adams led the Boston Tea Party, and John Hancock, the richest man in New England before the war, helped organize and fund the rebellion.

7  Let me tell you the story of Paul Revere (continued)...  Gage planned to march out to Lexington and Concord, arrest Adams & Hancock, and seize the ammunition.  But Paul Revere and the Sons of Liberty expected this move.  Revere, a silversmith and a maker of false teeth by day, set up a system of signals that would alert him if the British were coming.

8  One if by land, two if by sea...  In order to reach Lexington and Concord, the British had to cross the Charles River.  Revere told a church deacon in Boston to watch troop movement and hang one lantern in the tower if the British were coming by land, and two lanterns if they were coming by sea.  Revere and his horses were waiting on the other side of the Charles River for the signal.

9  Two lights ignite.. he and Dawes ride through the night...  Late at night on April 18, 1775, the deacon in Boston hung two lanterns from his church.  Revere and another rider, William Dawes, saw the sign and sped off on horseback to warn the townspeople.  They were later joined by a third rider, Samuel Prescott.

10  The British marched down into Lexington...  The colonies didn’t have an organized army.  Instead they relied on local militias and Minutemen, farmers who could grab a musket and assemble in a minute’s time.  Hearing Revere’s call, a group of Minutemen assembled in Lexington to confront the British.  The British (also known as redcoats or lobster-backs because of the bright red uniforms they wore) were clearly superior in training and numbers.

11  Captain said...  Captain Parker’s actual words were, “Stand your ground; don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”  No one knows who fired the first shot, but it became known as the “shot heard ‘round the world” because of its far- reaching consequences.

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