Chapter 7: The Road to Revolution, 1763-1775 By: Vineetha Varghese and Anitha Varikattu
The Deep Roots of Revolution • The inhabitants of the English colonies were rebellious in spirit. • These people were unable to satisfy their social, political, economic, and religious needs in the Old World. • On the journey to the New World, the potential colonists suffered from shortages of food and from epidemics. This caused them to be traumatized. As a result cannibalism was common. • The knowledge of their distance from England weakened the Parliament’s authority over the English colonists. • Terrain influenced ideas of independence.
The Mercantile Theory • England’s empire in the New World, was not created by England, but by various trading companies, and religious groups • Board of Trade This was a group of people that kept an eye on the English colonies on behalf of England. • Mercantilism English colonies were regarded as tenants of England, and were expected to meet the economic and military demands of England without complaining. • The English wanted to export more than they imported.
Mercantilist Trammels on Trade • Navigation Laws Enforced mercantilist policies;1650:English colonies could only trade with England; European goods had to be sent through England, before they reached the colonies • Colonists were restricted by English law to produce certain items that competed with the English industry • The English Colonies had no banks, or enough money to buy necessary items for day to day life. As a result bartering was common. • During this lack of currency, paper money was printed by the colonists. British Parliament then passed laws preventing the printing of colonial paper currency.
The British mercantile system only started to aggravate the colonists in 1763. Before it had actually been helping the colonists because England gave some money to the makers of the goods. Americans enjoyed rights from England and had the opportunity to self govern. The average American was better off economically than an Englishmen in England. Americans were not allowed to buy, sell or ship, or manufacture goods for their own benefit. As the prices of tobacco fell, tobacco planters in the south were in debt and were forced to be under the mercy of the English merchants. Some debts became hereditary. The colonies were unable to flourish as they should and this angered the colonists. (especially in Massachusetts and Virginia combined revolt against England) The Merits/Menace of Mercantilism
The Stamp Tax Uproar • Seven Years War caused enormous debt on the English and the English thought that the colonists should help pay for it. • Prime Minister George Grenville 1763- ordered British navy to enforce Navigation Laws; Parliament enforced the Sugar Act of 1764 which increased the tax on foreign sugar. • Quartering Act of 1765- mandated certain colonies to provide for the British troops. • Stamp Tax of 1765- printed paper was taxed. • “No taxation without representation” . This is what the colonists demanded after the stamp tax was imposed.
Parliament Forced to Repeal the Stamp Act • The Stamp Act Congress of 1765- 27 delegates from 9 colonies; wrote up a list of grievances/rights and sent it to Parliament/King to repeal legislation. • Colonists tried to not import British goods in order to be more self sufficient. • Sons/Daughters of Liberty- used violence to show their annoyance with the English govt. • 1766- Parliament repealed the Stamp Act. The same year they passed the Declaratory Act in which Parliament imposed right to bind the colonies in any situation.
Townshend Tea Tax & Boston Massacre • British ministry controlled by Charlie Townshend. • 1767- Townshend Acts passed. Taxes imposed on glass, white lead, paper and tea. • Colonists continued to stop importing products from England. In 1768 English troops landed in Boston. On March 5, 1770, colonists attacked English troops (Boston Massacre). • The troops opened fire and massacred many colonists.
The Seditious Committees of Correspondence • The doings of the colonists were causing the English to lose money. • Townshend Acts repealed but tea tax remained. • English tried to once again enforce Navigation Laws but colonists resisted. • Samuel Adams formed the local Committees of Correspondence in 1772. The purpose was to spread info throughout the colonies.
Tea Parties at Boston and Elsewhere • The English gave the British East India Company complete control over the American tea business. • The colonies were furious. 1773- Marylanders burned the cargos/vessels of tea. In Boston, colonists dumped tea into the Boston harbor.
Parliament Passes the Intolerable Acts • Repressive Acts (1774)- Series of acts enacted to punish colonists that rebelled (mainly for those involved in Boston Tea Party). Restrictions were placed on town meetings and some rights taken away. • Boston Port Act (1774)- Boston harbor closed. • Quebec Act (1774)- French allowed to practice Catholicism and were allowed to practice some or their own customs. French still unable to be tried by jury or have a representative assembly. Quebec was enlarged.
Continental Congress and Bloodshed • Other colonies were upset over Massachusetts dilemma and sought to help them. • Continental Congress of 1774- met in Philadelphia to list grievances. Members included Samuel Adams, John Adams, George Washington and Patrick Henry. • Cont. Cong. created Declaration of Rights; The Association boycotted British goods. • April 1775- British commander in Boston sent troops to Lexington & Concord where they were sent to capture Samuel Adams and John Hancock. • Lexington Massacre colonial minute-men refused to give into the British and many were killed. • Concord- British forced to retreat.
British had a greater population, naval supremacy, and were wealthier. British had an advantage over the American colonies 5000 African Americans fought with the colonists, because they had been told that they would be granted their freedom, if they fought. British recruited men from Germany, American Loyalists, and Native Americans in their army American army was outnumbered compared to the British army England had problems with other nations such as Ireland, and France. They caused potential threats to England. Some Englishmen were sympathetic towards the colonists because they didn’t want to fight their fellow Englanders. The distance from England caused miscommunication among the English troops. British/Colonial Strengths and Weakness
Revolutionists had great leaders: George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin. France helped the colonists Colonies were self sufficient in terms of agriculture Had hope even though the odds were against them, because of other historic revolutions that had occurred, and succeeded The colonial rebels were badly organized In the early days of the Revolution they lacked unity among the colonists There was jealousy issues among the individual states Economic difficulties hindered development in the Revolution; Inflation of the currency increased prices Families suffered as the men went to war American Pluses and Minuses
A Thin Line of Heroes • Military resources were incredibly limited; Even when there was food, there was no transportation to send it to the army, or other places • Manufactured goods were in short supply • Soldiers often lacked clothing appropriate for the season • Military was poorly trained and unreliable; only a few military men were disciplined. • Out of all the so called military men, only a minority of these men were passionate about the independence of the colonies