VRivas: From Empire to Independence

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    Zenger Trial

    No country values free expression more highly than does the United States, and no case in American history stands as a greater landmark on the road to protection for freedom of the press than the trial of a German immigrant printer named John Peter Zenger. On August 5, 1735, twelve New York jurors, inspired by the eloquence of the best lawyer of the period, Andrew Hamilton, ignored the instructions of the Governor's hand-picked judges and returned a verdict of "Not Guilty"
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    Seven Years War

    First global conflict, war first began. Begins first in other countries but the colonies, and soon conflicts began in the colonies. at the end, france lost everything and land was distribute between spain and england.
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    Albany Congress

    The Albany Plan of Union was a proposal made at the Albany Congress back in 1754 aimed at a formation of a strong union of the colonies under one single government and direction. The need was justified because of the necessity for defense against the threats and consequences posed by the infamous French and Indian War. It was proposed by Benjamin Franklin, and was among the many plans presented by the different delegates that participated in the Albany Congress.
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    Battle of Yorktown

    Marching from Fort Monroe, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s army encountered Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder’s small Confederate army at Yorktown behind the Warwick River. Magruder’s theatrics convinced the Federals that his works were strongly held. McClellan suspended the march up the Peninsula toward Richmond, ordered the construction of siege fortifications, and brought his heavy siege guns to the front. In the meantime, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston brought reinforcements for Magruder.
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    Pontiac's Rebellion

    Pontiac’s Rebellion was actually a war executed by elements belonging to a loose confederation of various Native American tribes of the Great Lakes Region, the Ohio and Illinois countries back in 1763. The war was named after Pontiac, the most prominent leader among the natives. These tribes were basically dissatisfied with the infamous British postwar policies after the French and Indian War. Their warriors joined together for a common cause and formed an uprising to drive out the British army
  • Sugar Act

    Sugar Act
    The Sugar Act was referred to as the American Revenue Act, which was also American Duties Act. It was passed by the British Parliament in April 1764 to raise funds. Before the Sugar Act, there was also the Molasses Act of 1733, which taxed a minimum of six pence per gallon of molasses. However, this was not done because of a colonial invasion. In order to have a successful collection, the British decided to cut the rate in half and enforce stricter measures to collect tax. This concerned the col
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    The Stamp Act

    The Stamp Act of 1765 refers to the tax enforced by the Parliament of Great Britain on the colonies of then British America. The act called for printed materials within the colonies to be standardized using London-made stamp paper with embossed revenue stamps. Such printed materials comprise mostly of legal documents, newspapers, magazines and other types of paper used throughout the colonies
  • Declaratory Act

    Declaratory Act
    The British Parliament passed this act, and it made it impossible for any colonial assembly to pass any binding law. This act only made it clear that there were more acts where it came from and that future acts would be no better than the ones they had. it was here were colonies decided to unify and fight back against Britain.
  • Repeal of Stamp Act

  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    The Massacre was the 1770, pre-Revolutionary incident growing out of the anger against the British troops sent to Boston to maintain order and to enforce the Townshend Acts. The troops, constantly tormented by irresponsible gangs, finally on Mar. 5, 1770, fired into a rioting crowd and killed five men: three on the spot, two of wounds later. The funeral of the victims was the occasion for a great patriot demonstration. The British captain, Thomas Preston, and his men were tried for murder, with
  • The Tea Act

    The Tea Act
    The Tea Act, passed by Parliament on May 10, 1773, would launch the final spark to the revolutionary movement in Boston. The act was not intended to raise revenue in the American colonies, and in fact imposed no new taxes. It was designed to prop up the East India Company which was floundering financially and burdened with eighteen million pounds of unsold tea. This tea was to be shipped directly to the colonies, and sold at a bargain price.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    England taxed America. Americans thought it was unfair. Americans dressed up like Indians and dumped all of the tea from England into the harbor. England got pissed. War for Independence ensued. Government is again levying oppressive and unfair taxes on the people. New tea party forms. New tea party is labeled racist by those who are dependent upon the government for their welfare checks.
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    The Intolerable Acts

    The government spent immense sums of money on troops and equipment in an attempt to subjugate Massachusetts. British merchants had lost huge sums of money on looted, spoiled, and destroyed goods shipped to the colonies. The revenue generated by the Townshend duties, in 1770, amounted to less than £21,000. On March 5, 1770, Parliament repealed the duties, except for the one on tea. That same day, the Boston massacre set a course that would lead the Royal Governor to evacuate the occupying army
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    The idea of an intercolonial meeting was advanced in 1773 by Benjamin Franklin, but failed to gain much support until after the Port of Boston was closed in response to the Boston Tea Party. When in May, 1774, the Boston Committee of Correspondence circulated letter urging the colonies to stop trading with England, the response from New York's Committee of 51, where the discussion was dominated by merchants, declined to participate in a boycott of English trade and suggested instead a continenta
  • Lexington and Concord

    Lexington and Concord
    Britain's General Gage had a secret plan.During the wee hours of April 19, 1775, he would send out regiments of British soldiers quartered in Boston. Their destinations were LEXINGTON, where they would capture Colonial leaders Sam Adams and John Hancock, then CONCORD, where they would seize gunpowder.But spies and friends of the Americans leaked word of Gage's plan.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    Times had taken a sharp turn for the worse. Lexington and Concord had changed everything. When the Redcoats fired into the Boston crowd in 1775, the benefit of the doubt was granted. Now the professional imperial army was attempting to arrest patriot leaders, and minutemen had been killed in their defense. In May 1775, with Redcoats once again storming Boston, the Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia.how would the colonist meet the military threat of the British. George Washingto
  • Fort Ticonderoga

    Fort Ticonderoga
    Located on Lake Champlain in northeastern New York, Fort Ticonderoga served as a key point of access to both Canada and the Hudson River Valley during the French and Indian War. On May 10, 1775, Benedict Arnold of Massachusetts joined Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont in a dawn attack on the fort, surprising and capturing the sleeping British garrison. Although it was a small-scale conflict, the Battle of Fort Ticonderoga was the first American victory of the Revolutionary War,
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    Battle of Bunker Hill
    Plans were hurriedly put in motion by the British to attack the Americans and drive them from their position. Major General Howe, one of the three generals sent from Britain to assist General Gage, was given the command. While the preparations were in train the Americans extended their fortifications from the redoubt to the sea shore, to prevent a flank attack. More American troops gathered on Bunker Hill but few of them could be persuaded to move to the forward positions on Breed’s Hill.
  • Olive Branch Petition

    Olive Branch Petition
    In July 1775, the Second Continental Congress made a final effort to seek reconciliation with Britain and end the fighting. The chief advocate of this effort was John Dickinson, a conservative delegate from Pennsylvania, who authored the Olive Branch Petition.This appeal was directed to George III personally. It issued a sharp protest against repressive British policies and asked the king to halt the war, repeal the Coercive Acts and bring about reconciliation.
  • Common Sense

    Common Sense
    Published in 1776, Common Sense challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy. The plain language that Paine used spoke to the common people of America and was the first work to openly ask for independence from Great Britain.
  • Virginia Declaration of Rights

    Virginia Declaration of Rights
    On May 15, 1776, the Virginia Convention "resolved unanimously that the delegates appointed to represent this colony in General Congress be instructed to propose to that respectable body to declare the United Colonies free and independent states . . . [and] that a committee be appointed to prepare a DECLARATION OF RIGHTS and . . . plan of government." R. H. Lee's resolution of June 7, 1776, implemented the first of these resolutions and precipitated the appointment of the committee to draw up th
  • Declaration Independence

    Declaration Independence
    When he penned the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Thomas Jefferson had an inkling of the consequences it held for the 13 colonies, who were announcing their intention to break free from the shackles of British rule. What he and the other signers may not have anticipated, however, were the widespread effects the powerful words would also have around the world. The promise was evident in the famous phrases scrawled near the top of the document
  • Battle of Long Island

    Battle of Long Island
    British Army sucessfully moved against the American Continental Army led by George Washington. Purpose was to take control over New York and isolate New England from the other colonies. Washington and his army maintain strong and continue to fight bcak. Forced Army off New York and took over. British Victory.
  • Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom

    Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom
    a draft written by Thomas Jefferson in 1777. It promoted religious freedom for the state of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison promoted the bill for years before it was finally passed by the Virginia legislature. At the time, the Anglican Church was officially recognized as the state religion. The law disestablished that denomination. An alternative proposal that many other denominations be recognized was rejected.
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    Battle of Saratoga

    Turning point for the Revolutionary war. British attemp to capture New York fighting against the American Continental Army led by George Washington
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    Valley Forge

    commanding General George Washington, this was a six month encampment of the Continental Army of the newly formed USA. Hungry, cold, ragged, and cramped in December 1777; Disciplined, self-confident, and dignified in June 1778.
  • Article of Confederation

    Article of Confederation
    On this day in 1781, the Articles of Confederation are finally ratified. The Articles were signed by Congress and sent to the individual states for ratification on November 15, 1777, after 16 months of debate. Bickering over land claims between Virginia and Maryland delayed final ratification for almost four more years. Maryland finally approved the Articles on March 1, 1781, affirming the Articles as the outline of the official government of the United States. The nation was guided by the Artic
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    Britain emerged as the world’s leading colonial empire. Her possessions stretched from India to Africa to the West Indies to North America. The British shocked knowledgeable people of the day by choosing to take the barren wasteland of Canada from France, rather than the prosperous West Indian sugar islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique.
  • Land Orinance

    Land Orinance
    With the cession of the state lands assured, Congress proceeded to administer the new national domain. An ordinance was adopted on May 20, 1785, which laid the foundations of American land policy until the passage of the Homestead Act in 1862. After the Indian title had been purchased the ceded lands were to be systematically surveyed, prior to sale or settlement, into townships six miles square. Of the thirty-six sections of 640 acres in each township, the sixteenth was reserved.
  • Northwest Odinance

    Northwest Odinance
    The area opened up by the Ordinance was based on lines originally laid out in 1784 by Thomas Jefferson in his Report of Government for Western Lands. The Ordinance provided for the creation of not less than three nor more than five states. In addition, it contained provisions for the advancement of education, the maintenance of civil liberties and the exclusion of slavery.
  • George Washington Inauguration

    George Washington Inauguration
    The Constitution of the United States was ratified by the states in June 1788. In February of the following year the new nation's Electoral College selected George Washington to be its first president. On April 16, 1789 Washington began the journey from his home at Mount Vernon to New York City, then the nation's capital, where he would be inaugurated. Washington was reluctant to leave the serenity of his home and uncertain about his new position.