American Revolution OCR Y212 1740-1796

  • Created by: kiah98
  • Created on: 17-06-17 10:34


  • Along the east coast there is a flat coastal plain where the original 13 states of the USA can be found
  • It is surrounded by mountains ( Appalachian Mountains) from Georgia in the south to New York in the north
  • Much of the continent taken up by Great Plains, which are watered by the Mississippi River (which is fed by the Missouri and Ohio Rivers...)
  • Beyond the Great Plains is the Rocky Mountains
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Overview of the whole period

1740-1763 - Britain fought 2 big wars against France (1740-48 - The war of the Austrian Succession & 1756-63 The Seven Years' War)

1763-1776 - Disputes between Britain and her Colonies... 13 Colonies took on Britain to fight for Independence

1776-1783 - In the American War of Independence, with the help of France, the Colonies defeated Britain. Claimed Independence.

1783-1789 - The 13 States tried to operate as a team but in reality they were 13 independent countries: they had too many disputes and problems

1789-1796 - 13 States got together to create a new Constitution, providing a system of government whilst balancing the independence of the states. First president of United States was G. Washington (1789-1797)

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The Thirteen Colonies

  • The New England Colonies - New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Conneticut, Rhode Island
  • The Middle Colonies - New York, Pennslyvania, Delaware
  • The Southern Colonies - Maryland, Virginia, N. Carolina, S, Carolina, Georgia
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Propietry Colonies- Govenor appointed by the propietor that ran the colony

Corporate Colonies- where govenors were elected and responsible to the legislatures

Royal Colonies- govenor appointed by the King

Govenors could be appointed and removed by the British King

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Colonial Assemblies/Legislatures

  • Consist of 2 houses; Upper and Lower.
  • Upper House - chosen from the colonial elite by the Govenor. Serves as an advisory board. Could be dismissed by the Govenor.
  • Lower House - elected (only men with property had a vote.) Could be summoned and dismissed, and their legislation could be vetoed by the Govenor. Responsible for initiating money bills and controlling expenditures.
  • 50-80% of men could vote in the colonies compared to 15% in Britain!
  • BUT: Not all white men owned enough property to vote. Women and Slaves did not have a vote. High property qualifications for office meant that usually lawyers, grean landowners and rich merchants were elected.
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British Rule in the colonies

Charters (formal documents granting rights or priviliges) tied the colonies to the Crown rather than parliament.The Govenors were appointed and represented the Crown. The Crown's authority was ambiguous in both the Propietry colonies and the Corporate Colonies.

Responsibility for colonial supervision rested with the Board of Trade

Given that Britain was 3000 miles away, Britian thought it best not to stir up trouble, so the colonies were left to their own devices. This was called 'salutary neglect

Despite salutary neglect, the presumption in Britain was that the colonies had to comply with parliamentary legislation - a view not adapted by the Colonies. 

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Economy of the Colonies

  • New England - Fishing, lumber and timber, ship building, furs and skins, rum
  • Middle colonies - Grain and wheat, farming overall
  • Southern colonies - Tobacco, plantations, rice
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Mercantilism (measures that it included)

  • Shipping - all goods being transported from/to the colonies had to be carried in ships owned by England/ the colonies. This stiumlated the New England shipping industry.
  • Crews of Ships - manned by predominantly English crews. Therfore: Britain gets more jobs, and stimulates the British shipping industry.
  • Commodities - Tobacco, rice and indigo could only be traded with the empire. Therefore: colonies had stunted growth, and Britain made over all profit as Britain could buy goods cheaply and sell them for more.
  • Goods imported into America from outside Britain - Goods going to america had to go via England to be repackaged. Overall: stimulates British shipping, and created more control for Britain.
  • Woollen Act 1699 - Forbade the exportation of woollen yarn and cloth outside the colony it was produced. 
  • Hat Act 1732 - Prohibited the exportation of Colonial Beaver hats
  • Molasses Act 1733 - Imposed tax on sugar rum imported from outside of the Empire into N. American colonies.
  • Iron Act 1750 - Banned the exportation of colonial iron outside of the empire.

Total value of trade with Colonies and Britain doubled from 1700-1750

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Colonial Society

  • Religious fugatives left England for America eg: Protestants, Anglicans, Catholics, as well as Scots, Irish, Dutch, swedes, French and Germans. As well as the Native Americans and Black African slaves.
  • There was no titled nobility. Wealthy American elites did exist just did not have a title.
  • A much larger percentage of the opoulation were landowners, not tenants. Greater landholding also enabled a larger franchise therefore more people were involved in politics.
  • Distinctions between social classes were weaker in America. 
  • Women did not share the same political or civil rights as men. 
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Religion and 'The Great Awakening'

Most American Colonists were Churchgoers (74% according to a survey in 1775) Indicates many different religions. Most Christians were Protestant but some Catholics as well. Often these groups subdivided. 

There was no established Church.

The Great Awakening

Preachers spurred their communities on to greater devotion generating a rebirth of Christian commitment.

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Treaty of Paris 1763 & Pontiac's War and impact

Treaty of Paris 1763 - French acknowledged their defeat in the Severn Years' War, and abandoned their American ambitions. The Native Americans found they no longer had an ally to use against the British. As a result the Pontiac's War erupted in 1763. France handed all of Canada and all land east of Mississippi to Britain.

Pontiac's war - fuelled by the contest fro land and by the arrogance of the British. British Government realised both sides (British settlers and the Native Americans) were not going to reconcile, therefore the 'Proclaimation Line' was needed. 10,000 British troops were used to guard the line (and payed for by Colonial taxation) - which resulted in the colonists arousing war against the British Goverment. 

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Conflicts involving British Settlers and Native Am

War of Austrian Succession --- 1744-1748 - King George's War involving New England, New York, Acadia and Canada - Ended by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle 1748

Father Le Loutre's War --- 1749-1755 - Father Le Loutre's War involving New England, Acadia and Canada

Seven Years' War --- 1754-1763 - French and Indian War involving Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Acadia and Canada. Ended by The Treaty of Paris 1763

Cherokee War --- 1758-1761 - Involving Carolinas

Pontiac's War --- 1763-1766 - Involving the Great Lakes Region

Lord Dunmore's War --- 1774 - Involving Virginia

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The War of the Austrian Succession 1740-1748 (King

King George's War - 3rd in a series of Anglo-French colonial conflicts in N. America. In conflict over colonial boundaries. Proceeded by an outbreak of fighting within Europe. 

French attacked British position at Nova Scotia and tried to recapture Port Royal but failed. Hatred of the French was stronger in New England and New York than other colonies. 

1754, a force of 4000 men raised under Pepperrell (a wealthy merchant) assigned the task of taking Louisburg with the naval army making sure reniforcements did not reach the French Fort. A 2 month siege ended when British soldiers captured it. 

Peace achieved with Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748- in return of Lousibourg for the French, the British recieved land from India however this angered the Americans due to the fact it was them who captured Louisbourg and therefore nullifying their great victory. Britain rewarded the colonial governements with £180,000 of compensation. 

Despite this, tensions remained... Seven Years' War. 

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The Seven Years' War 1756-1763

Took place in N. America. British Vs French, with many Native Americans on the French side. British Government controlled Ohio. George Washington was sent on an expedition and reported that the French were at Fort Le Boeuf (part of Ohio) and that they had plans to push south and establish forts on the edge of Ohio, which was done in 1754 (Fort Duquesne.) Washington was sent back to the area, where a fight broke out and Washington was forced to surrender. 

Both French and British Governments sent more troops to N. America where the war broke out officially in Spring 1956. By the end of 1757, the British had only 1 success to show. 

Turn around in 1758, British troops captured and destroyed Fort Frontenac seizing French supplies. Other victories in 1759 included:

  • Fleet of 14 ships defeated France's 12 ships in S. Portugal
  • At Quiberon Bay, 24 ships defeated 21. 
  • Defeated French at the Battle of Signal Hill.
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Reasons for and what happened during the Pontiac's

1) Because France handed power to Britain in Canada and east of Mississippi: Tribes formerly hostile to British troops had to deal with them alone, the Native Americans feared the British settlers would take over their land. 

2) British General ordered that gifts to the Native American Cheifs should be reduced and restricted the amount of amunition that could be sold to them in hope to reduce uprisings however, this was used for hunting and feeding their families and skins for trade. 

The war began with the Pontiac's seige of Fort Detroit. A further 8 British Forts fell under attack, with all attacks accompanied by massacres. British retaliation through attempts to infect them with small pox, and massacres by groups such as the Paxton Boys. 

(General Amherst replaced by General Gage)

The war resulted in the Proclaimation Line which in effect admitted that the Native Americans had rights to the land they occupied. 

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Why by 1763 had Britain become the dominant power

Britain's strength?

  • Valuable strategic position
  • Economic strength
  • wealth
  • population
  • navy

Enermies' weaknesses?

  • France
  • Spain
  • native americans
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Economic impact due to the Seven year's war

- The war cost Britain a lot of money. The National Debt doubled reaching £130 million by 1763. The interest payments of this were £5 million a year whilst Britain was only recieving an income of £8 million. Britain was highly taxed, therefore the only way to recieve income was to tax the Colonists. 

- Whilst the war had been expensive, it promoted economic expansion. During the war, government orders for ships, uniforms, weapons, ammunition... had brought about significant prosperity and profits to key industry. After the war finished and demand was no longer needed, a depression emerged. Therefore, taxation in both Britain and America was very unwelcome. 

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Politics in Britain and key American events as a r

     Date                  Prime Minister                     Events                                          

1762-1763                Lord Bute                           Treaty of Paris 1763

1763-1765             George Grenville                   Royal Proclamation 1763,                                                                                                     Sugar Act 1764, Stamp Act 1765

1765-1766             Lord Rockingham                   Repeal of the Stamp Act 1766,                                                                                                Declaratory Act 1766

1766-1768              Lord Chatham                     Townshend Duties 1767

1768-1770               Lord Grafton                   Revival of Henry VII's 1543 Act (1769)

1770-1782              Lord North                     Repeal of the Townshend Duties (1770),                                                                                Tea Act 1773, Boston Tea Party 1773,                                                                             Intolerable Acts 1774, Battle of Lexingon & Concord                                                                          Declaration of Independence 1776

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Royal Proclamation

Reasons for the law: To provide peace and orderly governemnt for lands newly gained from Treaty of Paris 1763. To prevent any recovery of French power in the region by establishing good relations with existing French settlers and the Native Americans. To defend the Natives from land grabs by colonists. To channel the migration of people northward and southward to act as buffers against french and spanish. 

Terms: New colonies created in Quebec, E.Florida and W.Florida, all Trade with Natives to be free and orderly and only the Crown was allowed to buy land from them. Boundary line draw to preserve Natives. 

Comments: Proclamation was in the process of being drawn up when the Pontiac's war broke out.. this led to a poorly drafted Proclamation. Trading arrangements with the Natives were widely ignored. 

Responses: Greeted with dismay in colonies as some had long standing claims to land over the line dating back to the founding Charters of the colonies. Many colonists were already in posession of land eg G. Washington had been rewarded with land in Ohio for his wartime service. It also proved impossible to enforce because of the pressure of migration. 

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Sugar Act

Reasons for the law: To bring more income to the british government from ambetter organised and strongly enforced trading system. To ensure that the Colonists made some contribution to the costs of their upkeep. To reduce the problem of smuggling 

Terms: Customs duties imposed on certain goods imported from foreign countries into N. America. The duty on molasses was halved to 3d per gallon which was hoped to undercut the smugglers who could be bribed. The system of enforcement was very complicated involving heavy paperwork. All violations (smugglers) were to be tried by non- colonial courts due to the colonial courts failing to convict smugglers. 

Comments: Grenville openly suggested this was an act to raise money. The impact of the Act fell heavily on those depending on trade with the French/Spanish. Mainly felt by traders especially Boston and NY (the biggest ports)

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Stamp Act

Reasons for the law: Grenville thought that it would be another Act to raise money. It was hoped that as this tax had been implemnted in Britain, it would raise £50,000 p/a. 

Terms: All printed documents eg legal documents, newspapers, licences, bonds, leases and playing cards had to be printed on specially embossed (stamped) paper that was printed in England and sold to America. 

Comments: Grenville's slowness at preparing the Act gave the Colonists enough time to prepare opposition and resistence. It was the first iternal tax levied by parliament. 

Responses: Colonists feared that there was nothing to stop the British from raising taxes and because of this, this act was seen as more damaging than the sugar tax.  

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Quartering Act

Reason for Law: An attempt to reduce the cost of the British forces in America. Passed in response to General Gage who had problems quartering and transporting his growing number of troops. 

Terms: Colonial assemblies were required t provide the funds to pay for a range of good for soldiers stationed within their borders. The Act was expanded to cover the cost of lodging soldiers in taverns and unoccupied houses.

Comments: It applied to all colonies but it mostly affected NY, headquarters of British forces. 

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Colonial Reactions to the Acts passed

Argument of "No taxation before Representation"

- Samuel Adams 1764 wrote "If taxes are laid upon us in any shape without our having a legal Representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the Character of free subjects to the miserable state of tributory Slaves?"

Thomas Whateley replied to the charges that American's wre not represented in British Parliament

- Agreed that English liberty banned any law without consent. Argued that not all British people were represented eg all women and 3/4 adult males not represented as dont have the vote though these people enjoyed virtual representation. - Every MP was elected to represent the whole empire. 

Daniel Dulany of Maryland's reply

"not a single elector in England might be immediately affected by a taxation in America"

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Formal Protests and Resolutions

Once an Act was passed the goals were to a) secure its repeal b) make it unenforceable

1. Committees of Correspondence set up to inform all colonies of actions taken by the British and to set up responses.

2. The Virginia Resloves: Virginia House passed 5 resolutions - that the General Assembly of the Virginia colony has the exlusive right to lay taxes and impositions on the colony.

3. Stamp Act Congress issued 14 resolutions: (like the Virginia Resolves) that the HoC in Britain does not represent the Colonies therefore no taxation without representation. 

Direct Action

1) Attack on property of the Stamp Distributors (forced resignations of 12/13 distributors)

2) Loyal Nine and Sons of Liberty - organised group that arranged demonstrations eg hanging unpopular figures)

IN 1766 THE BRITISH GOV REPEALED THE STAMP ACT as it was unenforceable.

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Repeal of the Stamp Act was not a total victory fo

- At the same time as the repeal, the Declaratory Act was passed.

- Other Laws were still enforced eg the 1763 Proclamation, 1764 Sugar Act, Currency Act and the 1765 Quartering Act

-In New York there was a crisis over the Quartering Act as the NY assembly refused to contribute to the costs of lodging the soldiers. There was violence between Colonists and soldiers. Parliament threatened to suspend the powers of the NY assembly if it didnt therefore the NY assembly agreed to pay - BRITISH VICTORY.

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Townsheand Duties 1767

Reasons for law: Britain still needed to raise revenue. Townshend thought that by externally taxing the Americans he could get more revenue.

Terms: New duties placed on paper, paint, glass lead and tea. All of these were items America HAD to import from Britain.

Comments: Townshend was trying to raise revenue through external tax, but this was obvious to the Americans. 

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Boston Massacre

Boston, city of 15,000 people, was one of America's biggest cities and most important ports, a hub of trade with Britain and the colonies. Boston was affected moe seriously than others by customs duties and trade regulations because more trade passed through Boston. Due to an incident involving Customs Commissioners and trade merchants, opinions in London were that Boston (Massachusetts) should be severely punished. 

Parliament passed 8 resolutions condemning all actions taken by the trade merchants, reviving a law dating from 1543 in Henry VIII's reign allowing cases to be heard away from where the crime was committed so that Samuel Adams could be tried in an English court. 

The low level harassment of British troops spun out of control in 1770, with shots being fired and 5 people killed. - BOSTON MASSACRE

That day, Britain repealed the Townshend duties except that on tea. 

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Tea Act 1773 & Boston Tea Party

Reason for the law: To help the East India Company survive by allowing it a favourable market for tea in the American Colonies. 

Terms: The East India Company was allowed to sell tea through it's own agents directly to consumers in the colonies. All duties towards tea had been abolished, only the Townshend Duty remained in place by 1770; collected in the Colonies when the tea landed in the Port.

Comments: Legal tea (not smuggled) price had fallen causing smugglers to cut their prices too making it hardly profitable. Americans were paying duty on tea... bribing them about no taxation without representation. Many existing tea merchants would be forced out of business due to the East India's low prices and privileged position.

42 tea chests broken open and the tea poured into the sea. Ended with a march through Boston- Boston Tea Party of 1773.

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British response to the Boston Tea Party

  • Coercive/ Intolerable Acts - knee-jerk response passed with large majorities in spite of serious warnings from prominent MPs. 
  • Boston Port Act: closed to all trade until the East India Company had been compensated for the tea loss.
  • Massachusetts Government Act: Governor's council appointed by the King and not elected. Govenor given sole power to appoint and dismiss officers, sheriffs and judges. Purpose was to take the power from the hands of the democratic part of Government, and to infringe the freedoms of the people.
  • Quartering Act: Govenor able to quarter troops whenever, including in Boston. 

Not under the Coercive Act but delivered at the same time as a continuation of the Proclamation

-Quebec Act: appointed council for laws in Quebec, boundaries to include Ohio&Illinois - seen to Americans as an authoritarian dictatorship. 

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American Reaction against the Coercive Acts

  • Designed to isolate and to make an example of Boston and Massachusetts- a warning to other colonies not to go down the same road. The intended effect was that the other colonies would be disgraced by Massachusetts and that they would be forced into obediance.
  • The acts had the opposite effect: a threat to one was seen as a threat to all. There was much sympathy to Boston; with collections of money and provisions taken up and delivered to the city. 
  • Within Massachusetts, preparation for a fight: weapons and amunition were stockpiled and militia training became serious.
  • 1774, Committee of Correspondence in Boston allowed them to boycott all British goods. 
  • All newspapers denounced Britain- arguing the case for independence with prominent figures such as Jefferson and Adams leading. 
  • Royal Government was collapsing throughout many of the colonies during the summer of 1774 as Royal Govenors were ignored.
  • General Gage's authority was nowhere but Boston (where the troops were held)
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First Continental Congress September 1774

  • 55 delegates from all colonies except Georgia met in Philadelphia. Mostly opposition leaders. 
  • Congress passed resolutions for Non-importation, Non-Exportation, and Non-Consumption of all British Goods until the Coercive acts were repealed. 
  • Declaration of Rights and grievances issued. All British policies towards the colonies since 1763 were condemned and a list of colonial rights was drawn up that the British had to respect. 
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British Response to the First Continental Congress

  • Lord North proposed that colonies should tax themselves
  • House of Commons passed an act declaring that Massachusetts was in a rebellion state against Britain, and extended Boston Port Act to cover the whole of Massachusetts. 
  • Parliament passed the New England restraining Act - restricting trade of all New England colonies to only Britain and the West Indies. This was extended a month later
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Lexington & Concord April 1775

General Gage was based in Boston with the British Army. He planned a secret expedition to seize weapons and ammunition being stored at concord. At Lexington, on the way to Concord, 700 British troops ran into a collection of 70 minutemen and shots were exchanged. The British, on the way back to Boston, attacked by more Colonists, and had 269 casualties whilst American casualties were much lower. 

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2nd Continental Congress May 1755

  • Met as planned in Philadelphia, with the priority of preparing for war. 
  • First task was to form the Continental Army and who its Commander should be. Many felt it was important to have a Southern Commander because the conflict was mainly in the North, as to get the South involved. 
  • therefore, George Washington was appointed as he had the experience, widespread respect and the southern credentials to lead. 
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Were the American Colonies only annoyed at Britain


1) Quartering Act - Had little or nothing to do with taxation, yet New York citizens thought that it was a method of disguised taxation as they had to house the British Soldiers at no expense of Britain. 

2)Parliament revived the Henry VIII Act allowing criminal trials to take place in other than the place that the crime took place.

3) The Coercive Acts passed in the wake of the Boston tea party. Destroyed the Massachusetts House of Representitives and placed strict terms on Boston's trade eg that the Port was shut up until repayments were made to the East India Company. 


Tea Act, Townshend Duties, Stamp Act!!, 

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3 Main Crises

1763-1766 The Stamp Act Crisis

  • 1763 Proclamation
  • 1764 Sugar Act
  • 1764 Currency Act
  • 1765 Stamp Act 
  • 1765 Quartering Act

1767-1770: The Townshend Duties Crisis

  • 1767 Revenue Act
  • 1767 Commissioners of Customs Act

1773-1776: Tea Crisis

  • 1773 Tea Act - led to Boston Tea Party - led to Coercive/ Intolerable Acts
  • 1774 Quartering Act (Coercive Act)
  • 1774 Quebec Act
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why were many people reluctant to support Independ

  • Many colonists saw themselves as British not American (Americans were indians) - many had string links with Britain eg family members, trade. Britishness had been emphsised in wars such as the was against France and the Native Americans. People also believed that royal authority came from God. 
  • Law abiding colonists felt that refusing to obey the law was a crime that deserved punishment. Refusal to pay taxes, was a crime. 
  • Britain was the most powerful nation in the world. Britain controlled the most coercive powers of the state eg police, courts, judges, troops, rebellion. 
  • Britain was the guardian against social disorder.
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Battle of Bunker Hill (After Lexington & Concord)

In Boston, General Gage's army was trapped by patriot forces. Following the Battle of Bunker Hill (1775) where Britain lost 1000 men but the Americans lost less than 500, Gage was sacked. The British withdrew from Boston by sea. (1776)

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The Declaration of Independence

Congress ordered that the document inciting Indepedence was to be written up in full due to the fact that the vote in the legislation passed at 12-0 with 1 abstention on the 4th of July (INDEPENDENCE DAY)  

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Fort Ticonderoga (Battle) 1775

New England leaders Allen and Arnold led the battle of Ticonderoga.Ticonderoga was on route between Canada and the 13 colonies. Fort Ticondergoa held artillery and ammunition. Allen and Arnold and troops managaed to capture Fort Ticomderoga which boosted morale for the Colonists, secured temporary control of the route from Canada to the colonies, and used the artillery as a weapon against General Gage at Dorchester Heights in Boston. 

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The Siege of Boston 1775-1776

After Lexington and Concord, General Gage withdrew his forces into Boston and secured the area. British naval superiority meant that Gage had continuous supplies and reinforcements via the sea.  But, Gage failed to secure: Bunker Hill and Breeds Hill, and Dorchester Heights.

George Washington sent 1200 troops to fortify and secure Bunker and Breeds Hill due to catching wind that the British were going to. The British success at Bunker hill came at a high price of 230 dead and 800 wounded. 

The Americans used the artillery gained from Fort Ticonderoga to secure Dorchester Heights, making the British position untenable therefore having to withdraw from Boston.

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The Battle of Trenton Dec 1776 & Battle of Princet

  • Washington crossed Delawares river with 2400 men at Christmas and marched to Trenton, surrounding the village. The Continental Army were victorious 
  • A week later, crossed the Delaware river again and circled General Cornwallis and the British forces at Princeton, where the British surrendered and Princeton was captured. 
  • Follwing the victories, morale was high. 
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Leadership in 1777 Saratoga campaign

  • General Burgoyne, General Howe, General Leger all had to advance in different directions and reach Albany . However General Howe abandoned the plan and launched an attack on the Colonists at Philadelphia. Leger too was stopped by Arnold, and retreated.
  • General Burgoyne was left alone to push on with the planned attack at Albany. 
  • Arnold and Gates of the Colonists army defeated Burgoyne. The British had 600 casualties, Americans had 150.
  • Burgoyne and the whole army of 5700 troops were forced to surrender at Saratoga. 
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Why should France not help the Americans?

  • France was a Catholic Country whilst Americans were mainly protestant, and had great hatred of Catholicsism
  • Catholic church was a strong supporter of the royalist state eg King Louis XVI .. George III
  • Following the Seven Years War, Frances finances were awful they were near bankrupcy. 


  • Britain was Frances traditional rival and enemy and France was keen to get her revenge for the defeat in the Seven Years War. 
  • Because the American's looked as though they had a chance of winning, France was interested. This was why Burgoynes surrender at Saratoga in 1777 mattered as they looked as though they could be serious allies with France
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Why should France not help the Americans?

  • France was a Catholic Country whilst Americans were mainly protestant, and had great hatred of Catholicsism
  • Catholic church was a strong supporter of the royalist state eg King Louis XVI .. George III
  • Following the Seven Years War, Frances finances were awful they were near bankrupcy. 


  • Britain was Frances traditional rival and enemy and France was keen to get her revenge for the defeat in the Seven Years War. 
  • Because the American's looked as though they had a chance of winning, France was interested. This was why Burgoynes surrender at Saratoga in 1777 mattered as they looked as though they could be serious allies with France
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The Siege of Newport - France enters the war

  • Frances entry into the war in 1778 marked by sending 12 ships to Newport. Here, the British had a reinforced army of 6700 troops. 
  • Local American Forces were raised and dug in around the city however the ships sent from France got stuck in a bad storm so wouldnt be able to help.
  • this left the Americans no choice but to abandone the seige of Newport.
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Why did Britain lose/ America win the War of Indep

1) Their army simply wasn't large enough to occupy enough square miles of territory in North America.
2) Distance. The American rebels had the "Home Field" advantage, while Britain had to maintain long supply lines back to the Mother Country.
3) The American Spirit. So long as the colonists were determined to resist, the British would have a difficult time retaining all the thirteen colonies. They had to break the American will to fight or at least disrupt America's unity to make it too painful for the colonists to wage a sustained rebellion.


  • George Washington's leadership
  • Chaos of Burgoyne/ Howe/ Leger not wokring together eg defeat at saratoga
  • ability of america to gather a continental army/ militia/ minutemen
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END OF WAR 1782 (problems)

Liberal Whigs came into parliament in Britain, set on the path of peace. 

Problems of Peace:

  • France wanted the best deal for herself eg gains from Britain was desirable.
  • Spain had taken little action in th war apart from keep Britain busy at Gibraltar 
  • America's peace negotiators wanted Independence for America and a recognition of the USA's boundries. 
  • Britain did not want to recognise American Independence (but had little choice). Wanted to keep the usa as a trading partner, and that france and spain got little out of the agreement. 
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Treaty of Paris 1783

  • American independence recognised
  • usa was to have generous boundaries 
  • american fishing rights confirmed
  • britain ceded Minorca and Florida to Spain, kept Gilbraltor
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George Washington's presidency 1789-97 - economy

  • Washington was Commander in Cheif of the Continental Army, and has been elected unanimously to preside over the Constitutional convention in Philadelphia. 

Problems: huge war debt

  • Argument in making the constitution eg Federalists vs Anti-Federalists. 
  • The economy - Hamiltons Financial Programme - In exchange for southern votes, Hamilton promised to support locating the national capital on the banks of the Potomac River, the border between two southern states, Virginia and Maryland. Hamilton's debt program was a remarkable success. By demonstrating Americans' willingness to repay their debts, he made the United States attractive to foreign investors. European investment capital poured into the new nation in large amounts
  • Whiskey Rebellion - Whiskey tax to generate income to pay off war debts
  • The Coinage Act of 1792 - Established the USD and the US Bank and Mint.
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George Washington's presidency 1789-97 - security

  • Washington tried to stabilise the position of the US and reduce hostility with neighbouring powers/ Native Americans
  • Washington was neutral towards the French revolution
  • Better relations with the Native Americans eg Treaty of New York in 1791
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George Washington's presidency 1789-97 - Farewell


  • Economy was sorted via Hamiltons Programme
  • Rebuilt the Army
  • Wished to create peace with Natives
  • Administration succeeded in maintaining neutrality between France and Britain
  • Avoided political infighting, removing the presidency from partisan battles


  • Did nothing to abolish slavery
  • Doesnt deal with Native Americans Long term
  • Politically biased as doesnt like the party system
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were the articles of confederation the basis of a


  • They establish a 'union' between the states
  • they guarantee free movemnt between states
  • there is a joint parliament (congress) and administration including the Finance office, foreign policy and the army


  • The independence of the states is guanateed
  • Congress is not allowed any other powers other than those set out therefore very limited
  • Congress has no means of enforcing decsiions: funds and army are supplied by state legislature
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why was there resistance to union?

The revolutionaries were suspicious of centralised, remote government with a powerful army because of their experience with British rule

Each state had its own economic and cultural character and interests

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The Philadelphia Convention Sept 1787

  • filled with 60% lawyers; educated, white men
  • Ideas for governemnt came from James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and George Mason
  • New Jersey Plan Vs the Virginia Plan
  • Virginia: absolute veto acts of state legislature, votes proportional to population, 2 houses
  • NJ: 1 single legislative chamber, each state one vote 
  • Disagreements: how powerful the gov should be, if legislature should consist of 1 or 2 houses, if all states should have equal representation reguardless of size, the importance of slaves.. equal to 1/3 of a person. 
  • Great Compromise: All states should have equal representationin the Upper House (senate) and proportional representation in the lower house ( House of Representitives)
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Thank you!!!! This may have saved me!

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