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What is the significance of 1763 as a Turning Point in the relationship between England and her North American Colonies?. The Path to Revolution 1763-1776.

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What is the significance of 1763 as a Turning Point in the relationship between England and her North American Colonies?

the path to revolution 1763 1776
The Path to Revolution 1763-1776

These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.

Thomas Paine, The Crisis

struggle for north america recap
Struggle for North America Recap

Motivations for European nations

-Spain: Conquest

-French: exploit (trade)

-British: settle


-Long History of British and French rivalry

-French were outnumbered in North America 30 to 1

-French and Indian War (1756-1763)

French and Indian War

French surrender all territorial claims in North America

-Britain becomes the dominate power in North America

-British victory created sources of tension between American colonies and England

new ideas in the new world a the deep roots of revolution
New Ideas in the New WorldA. The Deep Roots of Revolution
  • The roots of the American Revolution were many in number – in some respects, one can argue that ‘America’ was a revolutionary force from the time of its discovery
  • Essentially, two basic political ideas ‘shaped the minds’and political thoughts of American colonists (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Jay, etc….)
    • They were:
    • (1) ‘republicanism’ and
    • (2) a sense of corruption, moral failure and decay within the monarchy and Parliament which threatened their liberties and rights as Englishmen
  • These political ideas defined the nature of a just society, the role of citizen, and government, and borrowed on the models of the ancient Greek and Romanrepublics
new ideas in the new world a the deep roots of revolution cont
New Ideas in the New WorldA. The Deep Roots of Revolution (cont.)
  • A ‘Republican’ society was defined as one in which citizens willingly put their own interests behind the common good of all – a concept based on the civic involvement, courage, selflessness, and virtue of its citizenry
  • In concept, ‘republicanism’ was antithetical(rhetorical contrast of ideas ) to hierarchical and authoritarian institutions [such as monarchy and aristocracy]
  • The American concept of ‘corruption’ was borrowed from English political critics known as ‘Radical Whigs’ *– widely read by colonists, their concepts were then applied to England’s monarchy.

*The Radical Whigs or Jug Heads were "a group of British political commentators" associated with the British Whig faction who were at the forefront of “Radicalism” They played a significant role in the development of the American Revolution, as their republican writings were widely read by the American colonists, many of whom were convinced by their reading that they should be very watchful for any threats to their liberties.

Subsequently, when the colonists were indignant about their perceived lack of democratic representation and taxes such as the Stamp Act, Sugar Act, and Tea Act, the colonists broke away from Kingdom of Great Britain to form the United States.

a historical perspective
A Historical Perspective

Historians usually view the American Revolution as having developed in four (4) parts:

  • Sporadic and unconnected rioting in resistance to the British measures (Sons of Liberty)
  • Institution of economic boycotts (Townshend duties)
  • Formation of local and inter-colonial committees of correspondence
  • Creation of revolutionary legislatures in 1774; old legislatures were too conservative wanting to maintain the status quo
parliamentary oppression
Parliamentary Oppression?

however Royal Proclamation of 1763caused colonial resentment since it closed the frontier to colonial expansion.

The Proclamation Lineextended from the Atlantic coast at Quebec to the newly established border of West Florida and declared the Indians to be under protection of the king

Also British royal posts were to be established along the frontier.

new ideas in the new world a the deep roots of revolution cont1
New Ideas in the New WorldA. The Deep Roots of Revolution (cont.)
  • Whigs considered political ‘patronage’ and the use of bribery as corrupting threats to the civil liberties and rights of all Englishmen
  • In the colonies, ‘Republicanism’ and ‘Whig’ ideals were amplified by
    • (1) the absence of aristocratic titles [Dukes, Earls, etc.],
    • (2) widespread property ownership, and
    • (3) a higher level of political participation
  • Consequently, England’s efforts to tighten its control over colonial affairs following the ‘French and Indian War’ met with sharp resistance – Americans had grown accustomed to running their own affairs
mercantilism colonial grievances
Mercantilism & Colonial Grievances
  • Britain’s colonial empire was based on ‘mercantilism’ – an economic system based on the principle that a country’s political and militarypower was derived from its economic wealth
  • Wealth waspower!!!and, to amass wealth in the form of gold and silver, a country had to export more than it imported – colonies existed as resources for raw materials needed to produce products for export and as a market for finished goods!
  • Parliament enforced ‘mercantilism’ by passing navigation laws - routing all commerce to and from its colonies through England and cutting out foreign nations

Sugar Act of 1733

- Reduced the rate of taxation on molasses from 6 pence to 3 pence

- Also provided for taxes on coffee, wines, and calico

- The British Navy was instructed to be more active in customs enforcement

  • Currency Act of 1764

-Parliament assumed control of the colonial currency system

-Prohibited the issue of any new bills or the reissuing of existing currency bills

-This effectively abolished colonial currency

-Required the use of “hard money” (specie)


The Stamp Act 1763-1765

- Parliament’s first serious attempt to assert governmental authority over the colonies

- Applied stamp duties on items such as paper, licenses, playing cards, newspapers, or any other items written or printed on paper

virginia reacts
Virginia Reacts !
  • In May 1765, Virginia’s House of Burgesses objected to the act in the ‘Virginia Resolves’ – a series of resolutions presented before the legislature by Patrick Henry ( 29 year old lawyer)

The Quartering Act of 1765

- This act required colonists to house and feed the British soldiers who were placed in the colonies, most particularly in the towns and cities.

- Boston was the city most affected by this act.

britain responds
Britain Responds!

Repeal of the Stamp Act and Passage of the Declaratory Act!


Declaratory Act re-iterated Britain’s right to make laws and regulations for the governing of the colonies.

    • Reversalof ‘Salutary Neglect’

Britain’s Navigation Laws were only loosely enforced which posed no intolerable burdens on American colonials ( EnglishNavigation Acts were a series of lawsthat restricted the use of foreign shipping for trade between England, a process which had started in 1651)

new ideas in the new world b mercantilism colonial grievances cont
New Ideas in the New WorldB. Mercantilism & Colonial Grievances (cont.)
  • Americans felt disadvantaged and used by the mercantilist system and considered it a manifest violation of their rights as Englishmen– especially considering that none of the American colonies were established directly by the crown [except for Georgia]
  • Americans after all did benefit from the mercantilist system in a number of ways though including:
    • (1) enjoying the protection of the world’s most professional army and mightiest navy at no cost,
    • (2) receiving payment of generous cash bounties to producers of ships parts and naval stores, and
    • (3) enjoying a monopoly in the British empire for tobacco production
new ideas in the new world b mercantilism colonial grievances cont1
New Ideas in the New WorldB. Mercantilism & Colonial Grievances (cont.)
  • Americans therefore questioned the legitimacy of a system which gave them no direct influence or participation in the political process through which such laws were made
  • England rejected American colonial desires for economic self-sufficiency or self-government – attitude manifested in Navigation Act of 1650stipulating goods going to or coming from the colonies be transported in British or colonial ships

Townshend Revenue Act of 1767

- Taxes on glass, paint, oil, lead, paper, and tea were applied .

Charles Townshend spearheaded the Townshend Acts, but died before their detrimental effects became apparent.

the resort to arms
The Resort to Arms

Boston Massacre

March 5, 1770

Gaspee Affair

June 1772

British revenue schooner ran ashore and burned by Rhode Island Sons of Liberty.

Boston Tea Party

December 16, 1773


Tea Act of 1773

- Passed by Parliament in May, the act required that only tea imported into the colonies by the East India Company could be sold.

- The price of tea was lowered before the tax was imposed.

-Tea was lower in price even with the added tax!


Coercive or “Intolerable” Acts

- Boston Port Act (closed Boston Port)

- Massachusetts Government Act (shut down the Massachusetts legislature)and forbid town meetings)

- Quartering Act of 1774 (required further housing and feeding of troops)

- Quebec Act (established laws for regulating Quebec, guaranteed free practice of Catholic faith, took over lands in western areas)

- Administration of Justice Act (changed trial venues for officials charged with crimes)

the first continental congress s
The First Continental Congresss
  • September 5, 1774
  • All but Georgia were represented
  • 51 delegates
  • Considered ways of redressing colonial grievances
  • Sent petition to British government (rejected) ‘Olive Branch Petitions’

 Adopted a nonimportation policy toward British goods (offenders were whipped or tarred and feathered)

the first shots of the american revolution
The First Shots of the American Revolution

Lexington and Concord

- April 19, 1775

- 8 Americans Killed

- British were attempting to seize colonial supplies and leaders

What a glorious morning this is!

-Sam Adams

a moment of perspective
A Moment of Perspective
  • It is important to remember that when hostilities began in 1775, the colonists were still fighting for their rights as English citizens within the Empire. When they declared their independence the next year, they based such a declaration on universal “self-evident” truths.
  • Was there any chance of reconciliation for England and her colonies?