Road to revolution 5.3 & 5.4

  • Stamp act

    Stamp act
    the Stamp Act was imposed to provide increased revenues to meet the costs of defending the enlarged British Empire. It was the first British parliamentary attempt to raise revenue through direct taxation on a wide variety of colonial transactions, including legal writs, newspaper advertisements, and ships’ bills of lading. Enraged colonists nullified the Stamp Act through outright refusal to use the stamps as well as by riots, stamp burning, and intimidation of colonial stamp distributors.
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    Townshend acts

  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    In Boston, a small British army detachment that was threatened by mob harassment opened fire and killed five people, an incident soon known as the Boston Massacre. The soldiers were charged with murder and were given a civilian trial, in which John Adams conducted a successful defense.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    Protesting both a tax on tea (taxation without representation) and the perceived monopoly of the East India Company, a party of Bostonians thinly disguised as Mohawk people boarded ships at anchor and dumped some £10,000 worth of tea into the harbor, an event popularly known as the Boston Tea Party.
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    Intolerable Acts

    In retaliation for colonial resistance to British rule during the winter of 1773–74, the British Parliament enacted four measures that became known as the Intolerable (or Coercive) Acts: the Boston Port Act, Massachusetts Government Act, Administration of Justice Act, and Quartering Act. Rather than intimidating Massachusetts and isolating it from the other colonies, the oppressive acts became the justification for convening the First Continental Congress later in 1774.
  • First Continental Congress convenes

    First Continental Congress convenes
    Called by the Committees of Correspondence in response to the Intolerable Acts, the First Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia. Fifty-six delegates represented all the colonies except Georgia.
  • Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech

    Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech
    Convinced that war with Great Britain was inevitable, Virginian Patrick Henry defended strong resolutions for equipping the Virginia militia to fight against the British in a fiery speech in a Richmond church with the famous words, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
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    Paul Revere’s Ride and the Battles of Lexington and Concord

  • Battle of bunker Hill

    Breed’s Hill in Charlestown was the primary locus of combat in the misleadingly named Battle of Bunker Hill, which was part of the American siege of British-held Boston. Some 2,300 British troops eventually cleared the hill of the entrenched Americans, but at the cost of more than 40 percent of the assault force. The battle was a moral victory for the Americans
  • Thomas Paine’s Common Sense published

    Thomas Paine’s Common Sense published
    In late 1775 the colonial conflict with the British still looked like a civil war, not a war aiming to separate nations; however, the publication of Thomas Paine’s irreverent pamphlet Common Sense abruptly put independence on the agenda. Paine’s 50-page pamphlet, couched in elegant direct language, sold more than 100,000 copies within a few months. More than any other single publication, Common Sense paved the way for the Declaration of Independence.
  • Declaration of Independence adopted

    Declaration of Independence adopted
    After the Congress recommended that colonies form their own governments, the Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson and revised in committee. On July 2 the Congress voted for independence; on July 4 it adopted the Declaration of Independence.
  • Nathan Hale executed

    Nathan Hale executed
    On September 21, 1776, having penetrated the British lines on Long Island to obtain information, American Capt. Nathan Hale was captured by the British. He was hanged without trial the next day. Before his death, Hale is thought to have said, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country,” a remark similar to one in the play Cato by Joseph Addison.
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    Washington crosses the Delaware

    Having been forced to abandon New York City and driven across New Jersey by the British, George Washington and the Continental Army struck back on Christmas night by stealthily crossing the ice-strewn Delaware River, surprising the Hessian garrison at Trenton at dawn, and taking some 900 prisoners. The American triumph at Trenton and in the Battle of Princeton (January 3, 1777) roused the new country and kept the struggle for independence alive.
  • Burgoyne surrenders at Saratoga

    Burgoyne surrenders at Saratoga
    Moving south from Canada in summer 1777, a British force under Gen. John Burgoyne captured Fort Ticonderoga (July 5) before losing decisively at Bennington, Vermont (August 16), and Bemis Heights, New York (October 7). His forces depleted, Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga.
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    Washington winters at Valley Forge

    Following failures at the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown, Washington and 11,000 regulars took up winter quarters at Valley Forge, 22 miles (35 km) northwest of British-occupied Philadelphia. Although its ranks were decimated by rampant disease, semi-starvation, and bitter cold, the reorganized Continental Army emerged the following June as a well-disciplined and efficient fighting force.
  • France and the United States form an alliance

    France and the United States form an alliance
    The French had secretly furnished financial and material aid to the Americans since 1776, but with the signing in Paris of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance, the Franco-American alliance was formalized. France began preparing fleets and armies to enter the fight but did not formally declare war on Britain until June 1778.
  • John Paul Jones: “I have not yet begun to fight!”

    John Paul Jones: “I have not yet begun to fight!”
    The U.S. battleship the Bonhomme Richard was getting the worst of its battle with the British vessel HMS Serapis off Flamborough Head, England, when the American commander, John Paul Jones, refused to surrender, proclaiming, “I have not yet begun to fight!” Jones ultimately triumphed, but he lost his ship in the process.
  • Benedict Arnold turns traitor

    Benedict Arnold turns traitor
    Having fought valiantly in a number of battles earlier in the war, American Gen. Benedict Arnold conspired with the British to surrender the fort at West Point, New York, that he commanded. When John André, the British army officer with whom Arnold had negotiated, was hanged as a spy after he was captured and the plot revealed, Arnold took sanctuary with the British.
  • Articles of Confederation ratified

    Articles of Confederation ratified
    The Articles of Confederation, a plan of government organization that served as a bridge between the initial government by the Continental Congress and the federal government provided under the U.S. Constitution of 1787, were written in 1776–77 and adopted by the Congress on November 15, 1777. However, the articles were not fully ratified by the states until March 1, 1781.
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    Siege of Yorktown

    After winning a costly victory at Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina, on March 15, 1781, Lord Cornwallis entered Virginia to join other British forces there, setting up a base at Yorktown. Washington’s army and a force under the French Count de Rochambeau placed Yorktown under siege, and Cornwallis surrendered his army of more than 7,000 men on October 19, 1781.
  • Treaty Of Paris Ends War

    Treaty Of Paris Ends War
    After the British defeat at Yorktown, the land battles in America largely died out—but the fighting continued at sea, chiefly between the British and America’s European allies, which came to include Spain and the Netherlands. By its terms, Britain recognized the independence of the United States with generous boundaries, including the Mississippi River on the west. Britain retained Canada but ceded East and West Florida to Spain.