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The Origins of the American Revolution. Matcher answers. The proclamation of 1763.

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the proclamation of 1763
The proclamation of 1763

“No American colonists shall settle to the west of the Appalachian Mountains by proclamation of England.” The Proclamation of 1763 forbid American settlers from entering into the Ohio River Valley, which they had worked so hard to wrest from the French.

paul revere
Paul revere

“The redcoats are a-coming! The regulars are out! Prepare ye for battle!” He was not the only man to alert the minutemen and local militia that the British Army was on the march. In fact, he was captured by the British – along with William Dawes. He might also be well-known for his inaccurate depiction of the “Boston Massacre” of 1770, pictured to the right.

thomas jefferson
Thomas jefferson

He wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

thomas paine
Thomas paine

In 1775, he wrote: “Everything that is right begs for separation from Britain. The Americans who have been killed seem to say, “’Tis time to part.” England and America are located a great distance apart. That is itself strong and natural proof that God never expected one to rule over the other… Small islands not capable of protecting themselves, are the proper objects for kingdoms to take under their care; but there is something very absurd, in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island.”

soldier at valley forge
Soldier at valley forge
  • “I am sick – discontented … Poor food – hard lodging – cold weather – fatigue – nasty clothes – nasty cookery…I can’t endure it – Why are we sent here to starve and freeze?” Under the leadership of Baron Friedrich Von Steuben, the Continental Army became a formidable force to oppose the British.
patrick henry
Patrick henry

In the wake of the Stamp Act crisis, Virginians were outraged. The House of Burgesses passed resolutions condemning the Stamp Act. This Virginian exclaimed, “If this be treason, make the most of it!” He’s more famous for another quotation, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

the boston tea party
The boston tea party

This is a primary source from December of 1774: “It was now evening, and I immediately dressed myself in the costume of an Indian, equipped with a small hatchet, which I and my associates denominated the tomahawk, with which, and a club, after having painted my face and hands with coal dust in the shop of a blacksmith, I repaired to Griffin's wharf, where the ships lay that contained the tea. When I first appeared in the street after being thus disguised, I fell in with many who were dressed, equipped and painted as I was, and who fell in with me and marched in order to the place of our destination.”

samuel adams
Samuel adams

This man was the leader of the Sons of Liberty, an organization created in 1765 in order to oppose the Stamp Act. The Sons of Liberty were created to organize protests and boycott certain products, in order to punish the English economically for their policies of taxation without representation.

the stamp act
The stamp act

“For every skin or piece of vellum or parchment, or sheet or piece of paper, on which shall be ingrossed, written, or printed, any copy of any petition, bill, answer, claim, plea, replication, rejoinder, demurrer, or other pleading in any such court, a stamp duty of three pence.”

ben franklin
Ben franklin

The political cartoon above was originally created during the French and Indian War. It had a completely different meaning then than it would in the years before the American Revolution.


People who believed that the British had become tyrants and that they must be opposed – that the time had come to alter, abolish, and replace the English rulers – were called this.


American colonists who supported the British side during the Revolutionary War period were known by this title. About one third of Americans were loyalists during the conflict.

william prescott
William prescott

During the famed “Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,” Revere was captured by the British. So was William Dawes. But this man was able to deliver the message to the minutemen of Massachusetts: “The Redcoats were a-coming!”

john dickenson
John dickenson

He was the author of the famous Olive Branch Petition – an attempt to reconcile between the Continental Congress and the Parliament. He was personally opposed to declaring independence.

crispus attucks

This African-American was one of the five men killed at the Boston Massacre, in March of 1770.

george grenville

This English prime minister was the mastermind behind the English tax policies of the early 1760s – including the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act.

james otis
James otis

He coined the expression, “No Taxation Without Representation!”

john adams
John adams

During the years preceding the American Revolution, he was a young lawyer in New England. He defended John Hancock when he was charged with smuggling and the English attempted to try him in vice admiralty courts. He also defended the soldiers who were accused for murder for their role in the Boston Massacre!

nathan hale
Nathan hale

When he was convicted of spying on the English and sentenced to death, this American patriot’s dying words were, “I regret that I have but one life to lose for my country!”

john hancock
John hancock

He was a smuggler of molasses and a variety of other products of the Caribbean into Boston. When his ship the Liberty was boarded by British customs agents, his “roughs” liberated the ship – in open defiance of the British government.

charles townshend
Charles townshend

The taxes charged on items like glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea – which were leveled on the colonists starting in 1767 were named after this man, the new Prime Minister of England.