Chapter 5

Chapter 5: From Empire To Independence

Chapter Outline

The heritage of war

  1. Rumblings of American nationalism
  2. Retaliation of the British government for colonial trading with the enemy
    1. Imperial forces won the war while colonists traded with the enemy
    2. Efforts to use writs of assistance to stop illegal trade
  3. Post-1763 burdens of victory
    1. Managing and defending vast new lands
    2. Coping with the war debt

Government of George III

  1. Whiggish nature of the government
  2. Rise and fall of ineffective ministries

The Proclamation of 1763

Revenues needed to pay for British troops in the West

  1. Grenville program
    1. British financial imperatives
    2. Cracking down on American smugglers
    3. Sugar Act of 1764 cut molasses taxes in half
    4. Currency Act of 1764 extended prohibition of paper money to all the colonies
    5. Stamp Tax, 1765
    6. Quartering Act

Protest in the colonies

  1. Lockean and Real Whig views inspire American resistance
  2. The Sons of Liberty engage in mob violence
  3. Adoption of non-importation agreements
  4. Stamp Act Congress, October 1765
  5. Grenville ministry replaced by Rockingham
  6. Repeal of the tax and passage of the Declaratory Act, 1766

Townshend duties

  1. Musical chairs in the ministry
  2. Townshend's acts
    1. Suspended New York Assembly
    2. Revenue Act
    3. Set up Board of Customs Commissioners
    4. Creation of additional vice-admiralty courts
    5. Use made of duties collected
  3. Reactions to Townshend Acts
    1. John Dickinson's opposition to any parliamentary taxation to levy revenue
    2. Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty
    3. James Otis's Circular Letter
    4. Rise of Lord North in the Parliament
    5. Boston Massacre
    6. Parliament repealed all Townshend duties except tax on tea, April 1770
    7. Two years of relative peace

Discontent of the frontier

  1. Creation of Vermont
  2. "Paxton Boys" of Pennsylvania took revenge on Indians
  3. South Carolina regulators demanded protection against thieves and Indians
  4. North Carolina people protested abuses and extortion of easterners

A worsening crisis

  1. Gaspee (a patrol vessel) burned, 1772
  2. Committees of correspondence formed
  3. Lord North's Tea Act of 1773
    1. Bailout of the East India Company
    2. Colonial objections
    3. Boston Tea Party

British responded with Coercive Acts

  1. Closed port of Boston
  2. Allowed trials of government officials to be transferred to Britain
  3. New quartering act for soldiers
  4. Massachusetts Council and law-enforcement officers made appointive
  5. No town meetings
  6. Quebec Act also fueled movement for colonial unity

Colonial response

  1. Support for Boston
  2. First Continental Congress, September 1774
    1. Endorsed Suffolk Resolves
    2. Adopted Declaration of American Rights
    3. Formed Continental Association
    4. Mass participation in the boycott

British response

  1. Declared Massachusetts in rebellion
  2. Loyal authorities losing control
  3. Gage moved to confiscate supplies in Concord
  4. First shots at Lexington
  5. Confrontation in Concord and British retreat to Boston

Other acts of protest

  1. Second Continental Congress
  2. Green Mountain Boys take forts in New York
  3. Congress picks Washington to lead Continental Army
  4. Battle of Bunker Hill
  5. Olive Branch Petition
  6. Failed American assault on Quebec
  7. Initial fighting in Virginia and the Carolinas
  8. Congress gradually assumed functions of general government
  9. King George hires German mercenaries
  10. Thomas Paine's Common Sense, January 1776
  11. Declaration of Independence, July 1776
    1. Jefferson as the Declaration's "draftsman"
    2. Congress's revisions
    3. The Declaration's main ideas

Assessment of the causes of the Revolution

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