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Road to Revolution

Road to Revolution. A. Mercantilism. Economic belief that wealth could be accumulated if a country had more exports than imports. Exports would exceed imports if raw materials to make exports were cheap and markets existed to buy up the finished goods.

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Road to Revolution

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  1. Road to Revolution

  2. A. Mercantilism • Economic belief that wealth could be accumulated if a country had more exports than imports. • Exports would exceed imports if raw materials to make exports were cheap and markets existed to buy up the finished goods. • Therefore colonies benefitted the mother country by • supplying raw materials (tobacco, sugar, ships’ masts) • NOT competing with British made goods (hats, wool) • Buying exported manufactured goods exclusively from GB • Not even thinking about economic self-sufficiency or self-government

  3. Navigation Laws • First passed in 1650 to ensure all trade between colonies was done on British vessels. • Later laws made all goods stop in GB first so tariffs could be taken by middlemen. • Even later, certain “enumerated” products like tobacco sold only be sold to GB, even if there was a better price offered elsewhere.

  4. 6. Bummers of Mercantilism • Stifled economic initiative • Dependency on British creditors. • Felt like a perpetual state of economic adolescence • GB Navy started to strictly enforce Navigation Acts in 1763 a la PM George Grenville. • Benefits of Mercantilism • Navigation Laws loosely enforced. • Many colonial industries had exclusive buyer in GB (VA tobacco held monopoly in GB) • Colonists had protection of world’s strongest armed and naval forces without paying for it.

  5. B. Stamp Tax Uproar • French and Indian War expensive • GB in £140 debt • Half of this defending colonies • Prime Minister George Grenville • Thought it would b a good idea to charge the colonists for their own defense • GB felt military presence necessary to prevent another Pontiac’s Rebellion. • Colonists already mad about Navigation Laws and Proclamation of 1763 • Here Come the Taxes • SUGAR TAX – 1764 • QUARTERING ACT – 1765 (had to provide food and quarters to GB troops) • But these were nothing compared to…

  6. Stamp Tax – 1765 • Meant to raise revenue for new military force • Stamps required on • Bills of sale • Legal documents • Playing cards • Newspapers • Marriages licenses • Tax actually less than that charged in GB

  7. Colonist Reaction • Saw these as an affront to liberty • Especially hated that violators would be tried in admiralty courts • No trial by jury • Guilty until proven innocent • Felt that British “protection” was a front – really there only to spy on colonists • Cried “no taxation without representation” • Did not argue Parliament’s power to pass laws, but to tax • Ok with local gov’ts taxing them. • Did not really want representation in Parliament as they would be outvoted every time…. But it sounded good though • Grenville asserted that all British subjects were represented in Parliament through “virtual representation”

  8. Stamp Act Repeal • Stamp Act Congress • 1765 – 27 delegates from 9 colonies • Drew up petition to have tax repealed • Ignored, but another step toward colonial unity • Non-importation Agreements • Common colonial action • Stopped buying British made goods (boycott) • New opportunity for men and women to participate by making homemade cloth, manufactured goods • Boycott hit GB hard • ¼ GBs good bought by colonists • ½ of GB shipping for American trade John Singleton Copley, Paul Revere (1768)

  9. Sons of Liberty • Used violence (tar and feathers, hanging in effigy, etc) against violators of non-importation agreements and tax collectors • Tax agents had all resigned by the day tax was to go into effect • Parliament relented and repealed Stamp Tax in 1766 “Public Punishment for the Excise Man”, 1774

  10. C. Townsend Tea Tax and the Boston Massacre and Tea Party • Grenville out as GB PM and Charlie Townsend in. • Passed “Townsend Acts” in 1767 • Light tax on lead, glass, paper, paint and tea. • Indirect tax • Tax $$ to go towards paying salaries of royal govs and judges. • 1 million colonists drank tea daily. • Smuggling revived - esp in Massachusetts • GB responds with sending troops to Boston in 1768. • March 5, 1770 – Boston Massacre • 60 townspeople taunting 10 GB soldiers • GB opened fire killing 5 – including Crispus Attucks, first casualty of the Revolution.

  11. Grenville, Townsend and now Lord North • Townsend Taxes generating no $ (£295 in one yr when military costs in colonies were £170,000) • Townsend taxes repealed but kept tax on tea • Committees of Correspondence • Formed by Samuel Adams of Massachusetts • Purpose was to spread the spirit of resistance among the colonists to keep opposition alive. • Favored united action – another step toward intercolonial unity • precursor to the first congresses.

  12. Boston Tea Party – 1773 • British East India Co. • looking at going bankrupt • had 17 million lbs. of unsold tea. • GB stood to lose tax $ • GB gave Dutch EIC monopoly in colonies • Tea would now be sold even cheaper then before even with tax added on • Colonists felt it was a trick to get colonists to buy tea

  13. Ships of tea burned, forced to return or harrassed in several colonial cities. • Boston – GB official refused to cower. • Mass Gov Tom Hutchinson ordered tea to be unloaded. • Didn’t agree with tax, but believed in law and order. • Dec. 16, 1773 • 100 Bostonians (disguised as natives) boarded ships in harbor and dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor. • Colonists reaction split between support and disappointment with destruction of private property. • Tom Hutchinson disgusted – left for GB never to return.

  14. Intolerable Acts 1774 • GB wanted to punish Boston in particular • Boston Port Act – closed port of Boston until damages paid • Town meetings restricted • New Quartering Act imposed • Coincided with Quebec Act imposed. • Allowed Catholicism to continue • Granted Quebec land all the way south to Ohio River – more than doubled their size.

  15. First Continental Congress – 1774 • Denounced Intolerable Acts • Urged colonies to organize a militia for defense purposes • Urged colonies not to trade with GB • Urged colonists not to pay taxes • Still swore allegiance to the King

  16. D. British Strengths and Weaknesses • 1. Strengths • Larger population • Strong currency • Superior navy • 20k slaves joined British 9promise of freedom) • 50,000 man professional army • Hired 30,000 Hessian soldiers • Enlisted 50,000 colonial “Loyalists” or “Tories” • 2. Weaknesses • 3000 mi away • Colonies too large to occupy • British generals were poor • British had to win outright • Many British soldiers unwilling to fight their “American cousins” • GB Gov’t ineffective • France waiting to jump in and exact revenge on GB

  17. E. Colonial Strengths and Weaknesses • 1. Strengths • Outstanding leadership (Washington, Franklin) • Economic aid from France at outset, military aid later • Home field advantage • Agriculturally seld-sustaining • Excellent marksmen • Moral advantage in belief in a just cause • 2. Weaknesses • Badly organized and • Jealously among colonies • Little metal money – led to paper $ and inflation • Military supplies inadequate • Morale undermined by greedy profiteers. • Maybe 1/3 of colonists were truly committed to the cause.

  18. F. “Shot Heard around the World” • 1. Lexington and Concord – April 1775 • British sent to L & C to seize gunpowder and arrest Sam Adams and John Hancock. • Colonial minutemen refused to disperse on Lex Green – someone fired first shot(?) • Brits moved on to Concord but forced to retreat • By days end, 273 British casualties, 95 American – war had started

  19. 2. 2nd Continental Congress meets in May 1775 and selects Geo. Washington as commander of colonial militia. • 3. “Common Sense” • Radical Thomas Paine writes best selling pamphlet • Derides colonists for not declaring independence and urges them to do so and create a republic • Catalyst many need to envision complete break with GB

  20. 4. Declaration of Independence • Originally drafted by Richard Henry Lee of Va. On June 7 and adopted by Congress on July 2 • “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states.” • Congress appointed a committee of 5 to rewrite the resolution– actual task fell to Jefferson. • Provided purpose to military engagement and a boost in morale to troops • Signers now officially seen as traitors – certain death sentence if revolution failed. • Liberty! Episode 2: Blows Must Decide 37:15

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