IB History of the Americans: Chapter 7


The Deep Roots of Revolution

1) Republicanism: All citizens willingly work towards the common good, which trumps their private interests. The stability of society and the authority of government depends on society's capacity for selflessness, self-sufficiency, and courage. This school of thought opposed authoritarians institutions

2) Radical Whigs: The Radical Whigs was a group of British political commentators who did not like the monarchy's corruption and warned citizens to be vigilant against attempts to take away liberty

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Mercantilism and Colonial Grievances

1) Mercantilism: British mercantilism in the colonies was a system in which the British expected the colonies to export raw materials to British and import manufactured goods exclusively from britain.

2) The British viewed the American colonists as tenants: the colonists should exclusively support Britain (via supply of raw materials, purchase of British exports, etc).

3) Navigation Law of 1650 stated that all goods flowing to and from the colonies could only be transported in British vessels.  It aimed to hurt rival Dutch shippers

4) Georgia was the only colony to be formally created by Britian

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The Merits and Menace of Mercantilism

- British mercantile laws were not strictly enforced

- the law does benefit the colonies in some way

- colonies did not like it

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The Stamp Tax Uproar

- British had a huge debt due to the Seven Year War (most was defending the north American colonies)

- In 1763 Prime minister George Grenville ordered the British navy to strictly enfore the Navigation Laws

- He also got Parliament to pass the Sugar Act f 1764 (first ever law to raise taxes on goods), which increased the duty on foreign sugar imported from the West Indies

- The Quartering Act of 1765 required certain colonies to provide food and quarters for British troops

- 1765, Stamp tax/ Stamp Act, required colonists to use stamped paper to certify payment of taxes on goods

- Americans started to rebel because they felt like the laws impinged on their liberties

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Forced Repeal of the Stamp Act

27 delegates from 9 colonies met in New York City for the Stamp Act Congress of 1765 in which they drew up a statement of their rights and grievances and requested the king and parliament to repeal the legislation

- the meeting was ignored by England but it was a step towards intercolonial unity

Nonimportation agreements (agreements made to not import British goods) was another stride towards unity

The Sons of Liberty and Daughters of Liberty enforced the nonimportation agreements

- The Stamp Act was repealed by Parliament in 1766

- Parliament passed the Declaratory Act, which reaffirmed England's right to rule absolutely over the American colonies.

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The Townshend Tea Tax and the Boston Massacre

1767 Townshend act was passed, import tax on glass, white lead, paper, paint, and tea

- American colonists were rebelling so 2 British regiments of troops were sent over in 1768

- Boston Massacre: happened on March 5, 1770, a crowd of 60 townspeople attacked 10 redcoat's who then opened fire wounding/killing 11

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The Seditious Committees of Correspondence

Lord North, the prime minister of Britain, was forced to persuade Parliament to repeal the Townshend revenue duties.

Samuel Adams: master propagandist and engineer of rebellion; formed the first local committee of correspondence in Massachusetts in 1772 (Sons of Liberty).

Committees of Correspondence were created by the American colonies in order to maintain communication with each other. Organized before the Revolution before communication was essential 

In March of 1773, the Virginia House of Burgesses, the lower house of the Colony of Virginia, proposed that each colonial legislature appoint a standing committee for intercolonial correspondence and in just a year nearly all of the colonies had joined.

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Tea Brewing in Boston

1773, the British East India Company had too much-unsold tea so the London government gave the company exclusive right to sell tea in America (at a discount)

- Colonists thought it was a trick to make them pay import taxes so it was rejected

Thomas Hutchinson  (Governor of Massachusetts) forced citizens to allow ships to unload their tea 

Boston Tea Pary: December 16, 1773, a band of Bostonians, disguised as Indians, boarded the ships and dumped the tea into the Boston harbour 

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Parliament Passes the "Intolerable Acts"

1774 Parliament passes the Inolerable Acts

               - punishment for the people of Massachusetts

               - Restricted town meetings

               - Required officials who killed colonists in the line of duty to be sent to Britain for trial

Boston Port Act closed boston harbour until damages were paid and order ensured

Quebec Act, passed in 1774, (not part of the inolerable Acts) gave Catholic French Anadians religious freedom. Also restored the French from the civil law.

                - American colonists opposed: angered anti-Catholics; it extended the land of Quebec

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- In 1774 there is the first Continental Congress  which met in Philadelphia to talk about the Intolerable Acts

- 12 out of 13 states sent 55 men (The First Continental Congress was not a legislative body; it was a consultative body. It was a convention rather than a congress)

After 7 weeks, the 1st Continental Congress created:

               - Declaration of Rights and appeals to other British-American colonies, to the king, and to the British people

                - The Association: called for a complete boycott of British goods: nonimportation, nonexportation, and nonconsumption

April 1775 British commander in Boston sent a troop to Lexington and Concord. They wanted to catch the "rebel" ringleaders, Samuel Adams and John Hancock.

                - Lexington Massacre: 8 Americans were shot and killed

- British went to Concord they met resistance and had over 300 casualties and 70 deaths

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Imperial Strength and Weakness

- British population was 3 times larger

- British were committed to the rebellion in Ireland

- Britsh troops were also reserved in case France attacked

Britain's army difficulty in America:

- provisions were short

- officers were not well-trained

- troops far from home base

Americans did not have a single city from which they operated

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American Pluses and Minuses

- good leadership

- operating in defense 

- poorly organized

Marquis de Lafayette: Frenchman who was made a major general in the colonial army at the age of 19; the "French Gamecock"; his services were invaluable in securing further aid from France.

Articles of Confederation was adopted in 1781 (It was the first written constitution adopted by colonists)

- Lack of metallic money caused Continental Congress to print "Continental" paper money and within a short time it lost its value and states

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A Thin Line of Heros

- Food and military supplies were limited

At Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, American men went without food for 3 days in the winter of 


- Baron von Steuben: German who helped train the America fighters to fight the British

- Lord Dunmore: royal (British) governor of Virginia.  In 1775, he issued a proclamation promising freedom for any enslaved black in Virginia who joined the British army. "Lord Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment"

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