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A Nation is Born -Block 1. European and British Influence on the American Colonial Independence Movement.

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a nation is born block 1
A Nation is Born -Block 1

European and British Influence on the American Colonial Independence Movement


In this section you will review the underlying conflicts and events that lead to the United States eventually declaring their independence in 1776.  You will also see how European philosophers like John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau influenced the colonists' thoughts on independence and the role of government.


SSWH13 The student will examine the intellectual, political, social, and economic

factors that changed the world view of Europeans.

b Identify the major ideas of the Enlightenment from the writings of Locke and

Rousseau and their relationship to politics and society.

SSWH14 The student will analyze the Age of Revolutions and Rebellions.

b. Identify the causes and results of the revolutions in England (1689), United States

(1776), France (1789), Haiti (1791), and Latin America (1808-1825).

Essential Questions

How did European philosophers like John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau influence the colonists’ thoughts on independence and the role of government?

What were the causes and results of the revolutions in England and the United States?

john locke english
John Locke (English)
  • believed that people had natural rightsto “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
  • His work on governance heavily influenced the writers of the Declaration of Independence.
jean jacques rousseau french
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (French)
  • argued in favor of a social contract, allowing government to exist and rule only by consent of the people being governed.
england 1689
England (1689) –
  • The English monarchy was stripped of its unlimited authority, and governmental control was placed in the hands of the Parliament, a representative assembly, when King James II was overthrown in 1688. Framed against the background of the religious wars between Catholics and Protestants, James’ England was invaded by Dutch forces under the control of William and Mary.
  • When William successfully overthrew James, Parliament wrote up the English Bill of Rights in 1689 establishing England as a constitutional monarchy instead of an absolute monarchy. From this point forward, a monarch would never again have absolute authority in England. The power of Parliament continued to increase, while the power of the throne continued to diminish. The Bill of Rights formed the basis for the American Bill of Rights and the constitutions of several other independent nations.
the proclamation of
The Proclamation of
  • forbade English colonists from living west of the Appalachian Mountains, and it was hoped to prevent further conflict by easing the Native Americans' fears.
  • Many colonists became upset because the Proclamation prohibited them from moving to the Ohio Country.
  • The colonists’ desire to move onto this land claimed by both England and France was a primary reason for the French and Indian War.
  • England’s action convinced many colonists that England did not understand life in the New World and helped lead to the American Revolution.
the treaty of paris
The Treaty of Paris
  • often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement.
  • Together with another treaty, it ended the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War).
  • For seven years England and their colonists had battled against the French and their Native American allies.
  • The treaties marked the beginning of an extensive period of British dominance outside of Europe.
  • England had received control of all French possessions as well as most of the territory east of the Mississippi River, including the Ohio Country.
  • Native Americans in Ohio feared that colonists would move onto their lands.
the stamp act
The Stamp Act
  • passed in 1765, most infuriated the colonists.
  • In protests against the Stamp Act, secret organizations like the Sons and Daughters of Libertywere formed in the American colonies.
  • The Stamp Act was different from previous tax measures because it was direct— a tax paid directly to the government rather than being included in the price of goods.
  • Colonial lawyers, tavern owners, merchants and printers were most affected by the Stamp Act, because it required that all printed materials bear a stamp to show that tax had been paid to Great Britain.
committee of correspondence
Committee of Correspondence
  • In the year following the Stamp Act crisis, a New Yorkcommittee formed to urge common resistance among its neighbors to the new taxes.
  • Another Committee of Correspondenceformed in the Province of Massachusetts Bay and responded by urging other colonies to send delegates to the Stamp Act Congress that fall.
the intolerable acts
The Intolerable Acts
  • were passed by British to punish the Massachusetts colonists for the Boston Tea Party.
  • These laws closed Boston Harbor until the cost of the tea had been paid and required colonists to feed and house British soldiers in their homes. It ultimately reduced the colonists’ right of self-government.
  • This repressive measure convinced the thirteen colonies to form a union of resistance against the British.
united states 1776
United States (1776)
  • – One of the most direct causes of the American Revolution was the prevailing belief in mercantilism, which argues that the colony exists for the good of the mother country alone.
  • This economic idea led to a variety of taxes and acts which were imposed upon the American colonies to pay off debt from the French and Indian War.
  • The war was fought to protect the colonies, and the British believed that the colonies should do their part in paying for the betterment of the Empire.