French and Indian War pt1
Sugar Act and colonist respenseGreat Britain had borrowed so much money during the war
that it nearly doubled its national debt. King George III, who had succeeded his grandfather in 1760, hoped to lower that debt. To do so, in 1763 the king chose a financial expert, George Grenville, to serve as prime minister.
Treaty of ParisGreat Britain claimed Canada and virtually all of North America east of the Mississippi River.Britain also took Florida from Spain, which had allied itself with France. The treaty permitted Spain to keep possession of its lands west of the Mississippi
and the city of New Orleans, which it had gained from France in 1762. France retained control of only a few islands and small colonies near Newfoundland, in the West Indies, and elsewhere.
Proclamation of 1763Because the Proclamation of 1763 sought to halt expansion by the colonists west of the Appalachian Mountains, it convinced the colonists that the British government did not care about their needs. A second result of the French and Indian War—Britain’s financial crisis—brought about new laws that reinforced the colonists’ opinion.
Stamp actIn March 1765 Parliament passed the Stamp Act. This act
imposed a tax on documents and printed items such as wills, newspapers, and playing cards. A stamp would be placed on the items to prove that the tax had been paid. It was the first tax that affected colonists directly because it was levied on goods and services.
Declaratory ActBut on the same day that it repealed the Stamp Act, Parliament passed the
Declaratory Act, which asserted Parliament’s full right “to bind the colonies and
people of America in all cases whatsoever.”
Sons of LibertyLed by men such as Samuel Adams, one of
the founders of the Sons of Liberty, the colonists again boycotted British goods.
Townshend ActsThen, in 1767, Parliament passed the
Townshend Acts, named after Charles Townshend, the leading government minister. The Townshend Acts taxed goods that were imported into the colony from
Britain, such as lead, glass, paint, and paper. The Acts also imposed a tax on tea, the
most popular drink in the colonies.
Common SenseJust as important were the ideas of
Thomas Paine. In a widely read 50-page pamphlet titled Common Sense,
Paine attacked King George and the monarchy.
Boston MassacreOn March 5, 1770, a mob gathered in front
of the Boston Customs House and taunted the British soldiers standing guard
there. Shots were fired and five colonists, including Crispus Attucks, were killed
or mortally wounded.
John Locke’s Social Contract. Locke maintained that people have natural
rights to life, liberty, and property. Furthermore, he contended, every society is
based on a social contract—an agreement in which the people consent to choose
and obey a government so long as it safeguards their natural rights.
Boston Tea partyDecember 16, 1773, a large group of Boston rebels
disguised themselves as Native Americans and proceeded to take action against
three British tea ships anchored in the harbor
Tea ActIn 1773, Lord North devised the Tea Act in
order to save the nearly bankrupt British East India Company. The act
granted the company the right to sell tea to the colonies free of the taxes that
colonial tea sellers had to pay
Intolerable ActsIn 1774, Parliament responded by passing a series of measures that colonists
called the Intolerable Acts. One law shut down Boston harbor. Another, the
Quartering Act, authorized British commanders to house soldiers in vacant private homes and other buildings.
First Continental Congress meetsIn response to Britain’s actions, the committees of correspondence assembled
the First Continental Congress. In September 1774, 56 delegates met in
Philadelphia and drew up a declaration of colonial rights.
Battle of Lexington70 minutemen against red coats. 8 colonials were killed. First battle of the revolution.
Continental ArmyDespite such differences, the
Congress agreed to recognize the colonial militia as the Continental Army and
appointed George Washington as its commander.
Battle of Bunker HillOn June 17, 1775, Gage sent 2,400 British soldiers up the hill. The
colonists held their fire until the last minute and then began to mow down the
advancing redcoats before finally retreating.
MinutemenMinutemen—civilian soldiers who
pledged to be ready to fight against the British on a minute’s notice—quietly
stockpiled firearms and gunpowder.
Midnight riders: Revere, Dawes, PrescottApril 18, 1775, Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Samuel
Prescott rode out to spread word that 700 British troops were headed for Concord.
Battle of ConcordAfter a brief skirmish with minutemen, the British soldiers lined up to march back
to Boston, but the march quickly became a slaughter. Between 3,000 and 4,000
minutemen had assembled by now, and they fired on the marching troops from
behind stone walls and trees.
Second Continental CongressIn May of 1775, colonial leaders
called the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia to debate their next
Olive BranchOn July 8, Congress sent the king the so-called Olive Branch Petition, urging a
return to “the former harmony” between Britain and the colonies.
Declaration of IndependenceBy the early summer of 1776, the wavering
Continental Congress finally decided to urge each colony to form its own government.
Loyalists and Patriotsloyal to britain and patriots wanted the revolution
Redcoats push Washington’s army across the Delaware River into PennsylvaniaAlthough the Continental Army attempted to defend New York in late
August, the untrained and poorly equipped colonial troops soon retreated.
By late fall, the British had pushed Washington’s army across the Delaware
River into Pennsylvania.
Washington’s Christmas night surprise attackDesperate for an early victory, Washington risked everything on one bold
stroke set for Christmas night, 1776. In the face of a fierce storm, he led 2,400
men in small rowboats across the ice-choked Delaware River. They then
marched to their objective—Trenton, New Jersey—and defeated a garrison of
Hessians in a surprise attack.
SaratogaAmerican troops finally surrounded Burgoyne at Saratoga, where he surrendered on October 17, 1777. The turning point of the war.
French-American AllianceFrance was willing to send an army and navy to help win the war.
Valley ForgeWhile this hopeful turn of events took place in Paris,
Washington and his Continental Army—desperately low on
food and supplies—fought to stay alive at winter camp in
Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. More than 2,000 soldiers died
British victories in the SouthAt the end of 1778, a British
expedition easily took Savannah, Georgia. In their greatest victory of the war, the
British under Generals Henry Clinton and Charles Cornwallis captured
Charles Town, South Carolina, in May 1780.
Friedrich von Steuben and Marquis de LafayetteLafayette lobbied France for French reinforcements in 1779,
and led a command in Virginia in the last years of the war.
British surrender at YorktownMeanwhile, a French naval force defeated a British fleet and then
blocked the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay, thereby obstructing British sea
routes to the bay. By late September, about 17,000 French and American troops
surrounded the British on the Yorktown peninsula
Treaty of Paris 2In September
1783, the delegates signed the Treaty of Paris, which confirmed U.S. independence and set the boundaries of the new nation.