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The American Revolution - Colonial Tensions

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    British Constitution-Magna Carta

    British Constitution-Magna Carta
    The "British Constitution" is a set of rules and regulations and laws (English and Scottish law), and by various treaties and international agreements to which the United Kingdom has signed up. This “non official” constitution has largely developed out of historic English law, since many of its founding principles and essential laws go back to charters and bills that were drawn up by the English parliament long before the creation of the United Kingdom. (Joining of England and Scotland)
  • Period: 1492 to

    Spanish North America (Imperial Rivalries)

    Spanish North America covered vast areas but remained thinly populated and weak economically. They wanted to calm relations with the Indians who controlled a lot of the land. The Comanche reduced Spain’s power through violence. They wanted to integrate Indians into Spanish society. Their economy relied on Indians. Because of a low amount of original settlers, Spain failed to succeed as well as England which wasn't as dominant a power and didn’t have that much influence in North America.
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    Becoming African American

    The slaves brought to the colonies were of different cultures. Slavery itself united individuals who would never otherwise interact and who had never seen their roots or colour as sources of unity or identity. By the nineteenth century, slaves no longer identified with their original tribes, but instead African Americans. Cultural expressions began to emerge as a mixture of African traditions and European elements. The act of creating unity through culture was an act of rebellion.
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    African Religion in Colonial America

    The majority of North American slaves practised traditional African religions. The transition they had to make from West African traditions to Christianity was extremely difficult. Although the religions varied, they shared some elements of belief. When they eventually adopted Protestant practices, many slaves melded them with their original faiths.
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    First meeting of the Maryland General Assembly

    The Maryland General Assembly is the legislature of the state of Maryland in the State House, Annapolis. In Maryland, the first General Assembly, a law-making assembly of freemen, took place in St. Mary's City from February 26, 1634, to 1635. This assembly consisted of the council and governor and a general body of all freemen.
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    House of Burgess

    The House of Burgesses was the elected representative legislative part of the Virginia General Assembly; the General Assembly, established in 1619, became two branches. In 1642, Governor William Berkeley suggested using a bicameral legislature, which the Assembly began using. When the House of Burgesses formed, they met separately from the Council of State. Besides the royally-appointed colonial governor, from 1642 to 1776, the House of Burgesses was used as government.
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    The Middle Ground

    The Ohio Valley became caught in a power struggle between French, British, Indian communities, land companies, and settlers.
    Due to the lands value, it was distributed by governments to companies of political connections in a way which threatened Indian peoples and land speculators igniting the 7 years war. These interactions dictated a dark future for the west by setting the groundwork for the first of the century's imperial wars to start in the colonies and shift the global balance of power.
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    The American Enlightenment

    American enlightenment thinkers took inspiration from the bloody religious wars across Europe in the 17th century. They hoped that “reason” could govern human life, not religious enthusiasm. The criticism of social and political institutions based on tradition and hereditary privilege rather than the dictates of reason could also be applied to established churches.
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    Freedom of Expression and its limits

    In 1695, freedom of the press was finally allowed, however publishers could still be arrested for “seditious libel” which is the defamation of public figures. Elected assemblies hated the freedom of the press, and actively discouraged it and would even jail certain authors. Despite all this, newspapers fought to maintain this right, but would rarely actually criticize the government, out of fear.
  • African-American Culture

    African-American Culture
    During the Mid 18th Century three slave systems paved the way to introduce African culture to British North America. Maryland and Virginia had more bearable weather conditions; growing slave reproduction in the 1740s. Plantations were small, so this was a given opportunity for African culture to be intertwined with white culture. Later on, black societies would be slowly incorporated with white societies with the birth of mulatto children and labor forces.
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    Politics in Public

    The political sphere in the Western world expanded throughout the 1700s from the rich and powerful to the vast majority of citizens, who began engaging in educated political discussion. Clubs began to pop up throughout cities where political topics would be debated, and the general population became more politically aware.
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    The French Empire

    Canada's French population and economy expanded, French traders pushed into the Mississippi River valley and prominent French settlements were established in Louisiana. The 65,000 French settlers in North America were dwarfed by the English's 1,500,000 settlers. By establishing a close relationship with the Indigenous people they still posed a real threat to the British. French culture still lives on in Quebec and Louisiana. The threat that the French posed culminated in the 7 year war.
  • The First Continuous Colonial Press

    On 24 April 1704, John Campbell, the postmaster of Boston, had the first issue of the Boston News-Letter published. The Boston News-Letter issued weekly until 1776 and did not have competition in Boston until 21 December 1719, when the Boston Gazette appeared. Even New York and Philadelphia, the two greatest cities in British America, did not have their newspapers until 1719 and 1725.
  • Resistance to Slavery

    Resistance to Slavery
    In the course of the 18th-century slaves would make several attempts to free themselves. African slaves would also integrate themselves into white communities imitating their culture in order to pretend to be free slaves. The first slave uprising in the 18th century emerged in New York in 1712. A group of slaves “set fire to houses on the outskirts of the city”. Slaves would resist the colonies by, working slow in the fields, not eating and damaging property.
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    Religious Revivals

    The idea of secular rationalism was being emphasized, and passion for religion had grown stale. Christians often preach about the gospel, emphasizing salvation from sins and celebrating enthusiasm for Christianity. It changed the religious climate in colonial America. Anyone could make a connection to God, not only the ministers. New denominations like Methodists and Baptists grew rapidly during the period. Resulting in a renewed dedication towards Christianity.
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    The Awakening Impact (The Great Awakening)

    The Awakening allowed religious diversity to expand across all of America. The Awakening also aided in the increased circulation of printed materials, this was due to the newspaper and pamphlet wars. Altogether, the Awakening was important for the spread of religion in America. It led people to seek their own relationships with God, instead of having to rely on the words of ministers. The Awakening was also detrimental to the religious divide in America.
  • The Trial of Zenger

    The Trial of Zenger
    Zenger printed an article accusing the New York governors of being corrupt and was then accused of “libel” (publishing information that is against the government). However, the jury believed that it was not the fault of printing out the article, but rather the lack of freedom of speech. From now on, publishers were given the freedom to publish their honest opinions and views. This change of freedom of speech became more important as the American Revolution approached.
  • The Preaching of Whitefield

    The Preaching of Whitefield
    Whitefield caused the Great Awakening: preaching about being saved if you repented as God was merciful to tens of thousands. Made the revivals of the Great Awakening the first major intercolonial event and inspired liberty and dissenting churches.
    From “God in America” Whitefield talked about a rebirth to become followers of Christ that became publicly popular as it was inferring standing against authority. This led to a rebirth of idealogy and practices surrounding religion in Colonial America.
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    The Coming Crisis

    A timeline examining rising tensions in the colonies that culminated in the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Crisis of 1739-1741

    The Crisis of 1739-1741
    1739: The Stono Rebellion. Black enslaved people stole weapons, headed to Florida from S. Carolina, killed white people, burned down buildings, & shouted "liberty" as they went. Eventually stopped by militia. This led to tight restrictions on the Slave Code.
    1741: Several fires in NYC sparked fear that enslaved peoples were plotting an uprising and would kill the city's white population/turn the city over to Spain. 34 suspects were executed, no real evidence that such plotting ever took place.
  • Republican Liberty

    Republican Liberty
    The Republican Liberty movement is a political organization that was dedicated to promoting the ideals of individual liberty, limited government actions, and free market economics within the Republican Party in the United States. Republicanism is a celebrated active participation in public life by mostly, economic independent people.
  • British Patriotism

    British Patriotism
    British patriotism grew substantially in the 18th century. The British were united by the same language, law, religion, and culture (almost entirely). The war on France and the emergence of new symbols of British identity also built the sense of nationalism within the country. The Brits saw themselves as advanced, liberated, and above other nations. All of these factors contributed to the sense of Patriotism throughout the country.
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    Consolidating the Empire

    'Consolidating the Empire' refers to colonials and their relationship with those in the "motherland", Great Britain. The British believed that colonies should support the British, and help foot the bill to pay back loans from the 'Seven Years War'. The colonists however grew increasingly tired of the Britons, and this sparked a rising in both tensions and feuds between the Britons and the colonists.
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    The Seven Years War

    In response the British encroachment on the lands in the West, tension grew with the capturing of British forts from French and Indian, gruesome militia efforts of Indian peoples, the British's confiscation of land, and inhumanity from Indians, colonists, and British forces alike. Later the British used huge sums of wealth to turn the tides of battle, gaining power in the French Caribbean and India. This conflicts conclusion transformed the worlds power dynamic by making Britain a superpower.
  • Liberal Freedoms

    Liberal Freedoms
    1680 Locke introduced liberalism the idea that government is an agreement among equals who surrender some of their rights to self-govern to enjoy order. But, protecting their natural rights (life, liberty, and property) meant the state not knowing personal things (family dynamics, religious beliefs, and economic choices). This idea of agreement would spur desire to maintain American control of their government. Later on, many marginalized people would base their fight on their natural rights.
  • Political Cultures

    Political Cultures
    Elections were usually uncontested because only one candidate ran or because of community harmony stressed by local culture. Significant power was in positions appointed by England officials who could also veto colony laws. Officeholders were property (or slave) rich and male, meaning candidates (often wealthy merchants and planters) were from the gentry and had rich lineage. Positions were usually passed down generations. The unfair classism in political culture encouraged American liberalism.
  • Pennsylvania and the Indians

    Pennsylvania and the Indians
    Western Pennsylvania asked that authorities start having an aggressive stance on front lines. The governor declared war; pacifist Quakers resigned their seats, ending control of Penn's politics. In 1763, fifty armed men, from Paxton, destroyed Indian villages Conestoga and Lancaster, killing twenty who were protected by Penn's governor. Paxton Boys petitioned to remove Indians from the colony. They went to Philadelphia for the Moravian Indians, the governor expelled the Indians.
  • The Right to Vote

    The Right to Vote
    In Britain, voting rights were kept from those who were not upper-class white men and centered around property. Roughly 5% of adult white men could vote in Britain, compared to between 50% and 80% in America. In America, though most voters were men some property-owning women and black people were allowed to vote (a right they would lose soon). However, in most cases, those with dissenting religious views were not allowed to vote. Indigenous people were also not allowed to vote.
  • Colonial Government

    England used a policy of salutary neglect, so colonies mostly governed themselves.Little imperial authority meant rich landowners,merchants,and lawyers in power controlled local politics. They exert power over governors, refusing to impose taxes without agreements on appointments, land policies, etc. Appointed generals find the way to rule successfully in America is to work with the colonial elite. England sees how independant Colonies became and trigger the revolution working to regain control
  • a World Transformed

    in 1763 Britain's victories radically reshaped the world balance of power. the British had conquered french territory in north america, the entire continent east of the Mississippi river was Britain's. warfare conducted on land and sea was hugely expensive, the seven year war put a dent on all participants. the french were led into a financial crisis, Britain tried to recoup some of the cost by raising taxes on american colonies. later to come open warfare struck out between north A,British& na
  • The Proclamation Line

    Indian groups took over Detroit, a British outpost, nine forts and killed hundreds of white settlers. The British launched a counterattack, government of London issued the Proclamation of 1763. Stopping colonial expansion west of Appalachian mountains, reserved lands strictly for Indians, banned sale of Indian lands. Settlers and speculators were mad, wanted to claim western lands. No final solution to westward expansion, the Proclamation made the situation worse for settler-Indian relations.
  • Pontiac's Rebellion.

    Pontiac's Rebellion.
    Pontiac's rebellion took place when a confederacy of native warriors under ottawa chief Pontiac attacked the British force at Detroit. the violence represented an unprecedented pan-indian resistance to european colonization in north america. warriors from numerous tribes joined in effort to drive British soldiers and settlers out of region, it resulted as the native americans concede British sovereignty but compelled British policy changes.
  • Taxing the Colonies

    Taxing the Colonies
    'Taxing the Colonies' refers to a multitude of laws introduced by British Prime Minister George Grenville. These acts were the 'Sugar Act' and a 'Revenue Act.' The Sugar Act reduced the existing taxes on molasses imports, but also instated a system that hurt colonial merchants. The Revenue Act placed goods such as wool and hides, which had previously been traded freely with Holland, France and Southern Europe on the enumerated list, meaning they had to be shipped through England.
  • The Stamp Act Crisis

    The Stamp Act Crisis
    'The Stamp Act Crisis' was a method in which the Britons attempted to have colonists pay the 'motherland' from direct taxes instead of trade. The act required that all sorts of printed materials within the colonies carry a stamp purchased from it's authorities. These funds would then be send to the British Parliament.
  • Taxation and Representation

    'Taxation and Representation' speak to two major issues at the time; whether or not the colonies should be subject to tax, and how colonists lack representation. Americans were completely unrepresented in the House of Commons, and coined the term "No taxation without representation." Then came the Stamp Act, which lead to Colonial merchants agreeing to boycott British goods until Parliament repealed the act. This was the first uniformity seen within the American Colonies.
  • Sons of Liberty Parade

    Sons of Liberty Parade
    In New York City, mobs involving hundreds of people yelling "liberty" paraded through the streets nearly every night in late 1765 to protest the stamp act. They were organized by the newly created Sons of Liberty. The sons posted signs saying "liberty, property and no stamps" The sons took the lead in supporting the boycott of British imports.
  • Politics In The Streets

    Politics In The Streets
    People protested by destroying stamp packages, and to try and force or get whoever is chosen to administer, to retire. People were shouting in the streets. They shouted the word “Liberty”. The protests were organized by the Sons Of Liberty. The sons carried posters saying “liberty, property, and no stamps. And they lead the boycott of British imports. There was an assault on Thomas Hutchinson’s house. Fort George was hit with rocks. This worked and the Stamp Act was stopped in 1766
  • Liberty and Resistance

    Liberty and Resistance
    According to opponents of the Stamp Act, liberty was disappearing. Symbols came out. they would bury "liberty coffins". There was also the Liberty Tree which is where the opponents gathered. Committees were forming in different colonies to protest against the Act. This was how they showed and tried to force the resistance against the Stamp Act. This issue was bigger than imagined
  • The Tenant Uprising

    The Tenant Uprising
    In the 1760s, tenants on the Philipse, Livingstone, and Cortland manors along the Hudson River north of New York City stopped paying rent and began taking land. Like other opposers of the Stamp Act, they called themselves the Sons of Liberty. The original Sons of liberty, however, rejected their rebellion, and it was soon defeated by colonial and British troops.
  • Homespun Virtue

    Homespun Virtue
    In the wake of the Townshend crisis, resistance came in the form of reliance on American rather than British goods (like homespun clothing). The idea of boycotting imports appealed to Chesapeake planters who were continuously indebted to Britain, as well as urban artisans who appreciated lack of competition. George Washington's sentiment was that this would maintain liberty and reduce considerable debt. (1767 onwards)
  • Townshend Crisis

    Townshend Crisis
    The Townshend Crisis was a series of acts that the British Parliament passed to assert authority over the colonies and regulate trade. Britain imposed duties on imported goods to do this. These acts threatened colonial self-governance, and settlers protested through verbal and physical means. Boycotts and tensions resulted in repeals in 1770, which released some of the hostility. The Townshend crisis pushed colonial sentiment further from England, facilitating greater independence.
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    Spanish in California

    Spain felt threatened by other colonial powers but were unable to efficiently occupy the coast north of San Diego. So they sent friars to establish missions along the coast and convert indigenous people. They were moderately successful but destroyed and abused the Indigenous population in the process.
    The mixture of new diseases, environmental changes from Spanish crops and animals, and the resettlement of Indigenous people caused the Indigenous population to shrink by a third.
  • The Boston Massacre

    The Boston Massacre was an event that took place on March 5, 1770, in Boston, Massachusetts. The people in Boston were upset with the taxes the British had put on them so when they saw the British soldiers they protested and harassed them. Eventually one of the British solider lost their cool and they all opened fire on the protesters killing 5 and injuring 8. The event of the Boston massacre led to an increase in falling support of the British government in America.
  • The Tea Act

    The Tea Act
    In order to alleviate the East India Tea Company of surplus stock the British Government facilitated its export to the colonies at a reduced price which undercuts local tea merchants. A modest tax was added. Resistance to the tax developed up and down the eastern seaboard and in Boston, the most radicalized colonial city, gave way to the Boston Tea Party on 12/16/1773. The Tea Act and resultant protests in colonial ports popularized and radicalized resistance to British sovereignty.
  • Wilkes and Liberty

    Wilkes and liberty was a political movement started by politician John Wilkes. John Wilkes was a radical politician that supported the American's independence. john is credited for radicalizing groups of his supporters in the UK to go against the government.