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Chapter 4. Independence and Beyond. Section 1. Road to Revolution. Foundations. As debts rose in the colonies the Crown ended salutary neglect Revenue Act 1762 closed loopholes of tax evasions French and Indian War left a bitter legacy for both sides Colonists seeking greater autonomy

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Independence and Beyond

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  • As debts rose in the colonies the Crown ended salutary neglect
  • Revenue Act 1762 closed loopholes of tax evasions
  • French and Indian War left a bitter legacy for both sides
    • Colonists seeking greater autonomy
    • Parliament lamenting lack of authority
  • Under the Hanoverians (Georges) a cabinet system emerged with a strong prime minister
    • George II consistently changed PMs
tax reform
Tax Reform
  • Parliament brought a peacetime army to colonies to resolve unrest
  • To recover revenue a series of 13 Acts were passed
    • 60% of the British budget in 1763 was interest
    • Tax bureaucracy was doubled, customs agents patrolled coasts
    • Taxes raised on standard goods in England (salt, beer, molasses)
    • By 1763 the English were paying 5 times as much as colonies in taxes
don t act me to death
Don’t Act Me to Death
  • Currency Act banned currency in America
  • Sugar Act raised taxes of Molasses Act
  • Stamp Act required officially purchased stamps on all printed materials
    • court documents, land titles, contracts, playing cards, newspapers, etc.
  • Quartering Act required the housing and feeding of British troops
resisting the stamp
Resisting the Stamp
  • Stamp Act Congress called 1765
  • Stamp Act Resolves written by 9 colonial assemblies
    • Only colonial reps could tax
    • Reaffirmed loyalty to King
    • Asked for repeal
  • Violence erupted in Boston, NY and CT
    • Effigies burned, windows smashed
    • Govs House looted
  • Stamp resistance possibly started with those immediately affected then spread to their lawyers
  • Pamphlets written in intellectual and legal tradition
  • Random acts were molded into a coherent movement by Patriots
    • Adams, Franklin, Henry, Hancock, Jefferson
reaction in britain
Reaction in Britain
  • New Prime Minister was appointed
    • Stamp Act repealed
    • Sugar Act duties reduced
    • Declaratory Act reaffirms Parliamentary control over colonies’ law and statutes
  • New PM Townshend supported increased restrictions on the colonies
  • Townshend Act created duties on all colonial imports
    • Paper, glass, paint, tea
townshend duties
Townshend Duties
  • Revenue Act 1767 created trade boards and courts in local seaports
  • Restraining Act passed to deal with lack of compliance—suspended NY assembly
  • Colonists circulated letters arguing Townshend measures were unacceptable external rather than internal taxes
cultural resistance
Cultural Resistance
  • Resistance to British goods grew
  • Homespuns became fashionable
  • Daughters of Liberty produced clothes of local materials
  • Sons of Liberty posted names of merchants who imported British goods, smashed their windows and harassed them
problems in the home country
Problems in the Home Country
  • Parliament planned a military response but internal problems were growing
  • Agriculture struggled
  • Scots and Irish fled
  • Radical Whig elected decrying corruption and was arrested
  • By 1768 colonial deficit with Britain was £260,000, a year later an £800,000 surplus
the spark
The Spark
  • Lord North repealed Townshend duties except tea tax
    • Boycotts ended but violence continued
  • 1770 British fired into a crowd of demonstrators killing 5
  • Dubbed the Boston Massacre
  • Sam Adams published Blood Crying to God from the Streets of Boston in local papers
    • Adams also spread rumors of rape and atrocities
destruction of the tea
Destruction of the Tea
  • 1773 Tea Act passed
  • British East India Co. given monopoly on tea importation
    • Discount was so steep that middlemen and smugglers were cut out
  • Correspondence Comm. urged resistance
    • Public bonfires, blocking incoming ships
  • Sam Adams and Sons of Liberty dressed as Mohawks, boarded an incoming ship and dumped the tea
the crown responds
The Crown Responds
  • Crown and Parliament responded against Mass. for the tea incident
  • Coercive Acts passed 1774 (Intolerable)
    • Port Bill (Boston Port Act) closed Boston Harbor and removed customs house
    • Mass. Gov’t Act banned public meetings nullified charter
    • Quarter Act second round required building of a new barracks
    • Justice Act allowed accused British soldiers tried at home
    • Quebec Act enlarged Quebec
first continental congress
First Continental Congress
  • Continental Congress called in Phil.
  • 56 delegates from 12 colonies
    • FL, Nova Scotia, Quebec, New Foundland, GA, sugar islands stayed away
    • Delegates had a variety of regional concerns
    • Economic boycotts, unity and military
  • Created a representative council with Crown Appt. head
  • Drew up Declaration of Grievances
grievances of congress
Grievances of Congress
  • Right to life, liberty, property
  • Right to English laws and privileges
  • No taxation w/o representation
  • Parliament can continue to regulate trade
  • Non-importation if Intolerable Acts not repealed
  • Cut exports to Britain and West Indies
  • Standing army must go
unity and propaganda
Unity and Propaganda
  • Patriot movement largely urban
  • Patriots played up fears of taxation and land seizures
    • Farmers’ taxes had doubled at least
  • Plantation owners feared their slaves would be taken
internal division
Internal Division
  • Not all people backed the resistance to Britain
  • Quakers were pacifists
  • Regulators looked for Crown-driven order
  • Tenant farmers backed the King against their landlords
  • Slaves looked to resist Patriot masters
  • Royal officials, merchants w/ military contracts, Church of England clergy backed the Crown
shots that echo
Shots that Echo
  • Responding to increased tensions and the standing army, minutemen forces were created
  • Gen. Gage dispatched troops to Concord to subdue the “rude rabble” April 1775
  • Militias met them first at Lexington, then Concord, where skirmishes broke out
    • After a day of ambushes 73 British dead, 174 wounded, 26 missing—49 American colonists killed, 39 wounded
paul revere s ride
Paul Revere’s Ride
  • Silver smith, painter, propagandist
  • His ride warned citizens of impending British regular movement
    • Likely to warn Sam Adams and Hancock
    • Captured and other riders continued
the war is on
The War is On!
  • Next month continentals seized and dug into hills near Boston
  • British attacked and saw a victory, but bloodbath after 3 charges
  • 400 dead continentals, 1000 British casualties
  • “Don’t fire ‘til you see the whites of their eyes!”
extending an olive branch
Extending an Olive Branch
  • July 1775 Contitnental Congress submitted the Olive Branch Petition
    • Reminded King of previous loyalty in war
    • Reiterated unjust laws and taxes
    • Felt compelled to act in arms
    • Asked George III to intervene while to stop bloodshed while professing loyalty
    • Signed by both Adams, Hancock, Sherman, Franklin, Jefferson… among others
the early war
The Early War
  • King responded by declaring colonies in full rebellion and purchasing thousands of German mercenaries (Hessians)
    • By winter continentals attack Canada and captured Montreal but became exhausted
  • Prohibitory Act passed to close colonies from overseas trade
  • Resistance broke out in the South as well as VA Gov. fled and slaves raised as regiments against masters
  • NC Highlanders raised loyalist militias to clash with coastal resisters losing 800 to continentals
just common sense
Just Common Sense
  • January of 1776 Thomas Paine publishes the pamphlet Common Sense
    • Blasted monarchy as tyranny
    • Explained in plain language for all walks of life why it was common sense to support separation
    • Smaller bodies should not rule larger ones
the declaration
The Declaration
  • July of 1776 Second Congress issued a formal declaration
    • Drafted mainly by 33 yr. old Jefferson
  • Justified the revolution and final split with Britain
  • Offered a summary of enlightenment ideals and human rights as a basis of the new nation and government
    • Rights, equality and social contract were “self-evident”
    • Liberty was connected to popular sovereignty and representative gov’t.
little chance
Little Chance


  • 5 times more people
  • Vast wealth from trade
  • Most powerful global navy
  • Large standing army, mercenary army and indian allies


  • No central gov’t
  • Rag tag, untrained army ¼ the size and led by losing General
  • Inexperienced officers
war in the north
War in the North
  • Initial gains in Canada petered out
  • Lord North landed 32,000 troops to take NY and cut off NE
  • After a series of defeats and retreats Washington surprised Hessian forces on Dec. 26 by crossing the Delaware and capturing many of them during the Battle of Trenton
howe and washington
Howe and Washington
  • Gen. Howe intended to force a surrender and compromise, not to destroy Washington’s forces
  • Intention was to capture Philly and close NE from rest of colonies
  • Washington’s army was underpaid, ill equipped and underfed
  • His army was surrounded by hangers-on and on-lookers
  • Nurses, prostitutes, gamblers, contraband sellers
the war turns
The War Turns
  • Sacking of Philly left Gen. Burgoyne exposed moving south from Canada with cut supplies and raging militias in the midst
  • Oct. 1777 Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga with 5,000 soldiers
    • This occurred right when diplomats were seeking French support
  • Over the 77-78 winter Washington’s troops held camp at Valley Forge where mythology has spread about conditions, resolve and morale
    • 1,000 missing, 3,000 killed by disease or hunger
realities of war
Realities of War
  • British occupied Boston, Philly, NY
  • Naval blockade crushed NE and Chesapeake industry
  • Women filled void of absent men manufacturing and farming
  • Goods scarce, prices high
  • Friendly armies devastated villages and countryside looting harassing and raping
  • Local assemblies levied taxes and jailed resisters
realities of war1
Realities of War
  • Borrowing exhausted and revenues falling short states over-printed local money w/o backing--$260m
  • Congress printed $191m
  • Recruits deserted, merchants accosted
strategy and alliance
Strategy and Alliance
  • France made loans, offered supplies and training while Congress recognized French domination of West Indies
  • 1788 France and Spain were attacking British global possessions
  • Britain shifted focus south to turn citizens against patriots
  • Sav. Fell Dec. 78, by 1780 GA coast taken and Charleston under seige
  • Dutch enter the war
  • France dispatched Lafayette and 5,500 fresh troops
  • During guerilla campaign British ceded Carolinas to control VA
  • 1781 Benedict Arnold changed sides for cash and a promotion to deliver West Point—supported Cornwallis in VA
  • With great French naval and infantry support Washington marched to VA
  • Oct. 1781 Cornwallis cornered at Yorktown and surrenders
what kind of peace
What Kind of Peace?
  • Peace talks began April 82 and ended Sept. 83 signing the Treaty of Paris
  • Britain formally recognized the independent rebel colonies
  • Retained Canada, gave up Great Lakes and land east of Miss.
  • Promised to dismantle garrisons in Appalachia