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The American Revolution. Causes and Course 1763 - 1783. Grievances – Beyond Taxes. All goods coming from Europe had to be shipped to England 1 st – they took taxes and gave the “middle man” a cut of the action/profits Colonial Industry could not compete w/England’s

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the american revolution

The American Revolution

Causes and Course

1763 - 1783

grievances beyond taxes
Grievances – Beyond Taxes
  • All goods coming from Europe had to be shipped to England 1st – they took taxes and gave the “middle man” a cut of the action/profits
  • Colonial Industry could not compete w/England’s
    • Meaning – colonists couldn’t make products such as: beaver hats, woolen cloth
  • No banks in the colonies
    • No valid currency on this side of the Atlantic
      • Paid for manufactured goods in “hard” currency – Spanish coins
    • Leaving little money here
      • Many colonists forced to resort to a barter economy
      • The “currency” used was in the form of pitch, nails, butter, feathers and other like goods.
When the colonies began to try to issue paper money directly – Parliament passed a law forbidding both the money and colonial bankruptcy laws
    • Which they believed were defrauding British merchants
the boston gazette 1765
The Boston Gazette (1765)
  • “A colonist cannot make a button, a horseshoe, nor a hobnail, but some snooty ironmonger or respectable buttonmaker of Britain shall bawl and squall that his honor’s worship is most egregiously maltreated, injured, cheated, and robbed by the rascally American republicans.”
veto power of the crown
Veto Power of the Crown
  • The “review board” for laws in England was the “Privy Council” – a group of the King’s advisors
role of the first continental congress
Role of the First Continental Congress
  • Given the taxes, other grievances (Quebec Act included), the colonies reacted to the closing of the Port of Boston in uncharacteristic unity
  • 55 Reps – from 12 of the 13 colonies (GA stayed out) met in Philadelphia from September 5 – October 26, 1774
  • Their mission: consult with each other to come up with a plan
the choices
The Choices
  • The Moderate Position:
    • Create some kind of “home rule” system within the British Empire
      • Advantages: they would remain within the largest trade system in the world, they could begin to make their own decisions
      • Based on the system in Quebec granted by the Quebec Act
    • Champions: Ben Franklin, John Dickinson
The Radical Position
    • Break away and run things for ourselves
    • Champions: John Adams, J. Hancock, S. Adams, P. Henry, G. Washington
The Congress drew up many “dignified papers”
    • A Declaration of Rights
    • The Association
      • The Association called for – and was followed – for a complete boycott of Britain and British goods – non-importation, non-exportation, non-consumption
      • Violators were systematically tarred and feathered
goals so far
Goals – So Far . . .
  • There was no systematic drive toward Revolution and independence
  • If grievances had been dealt with – or perhaps even addressed, there may not have been a revolt
  • If not – there was already a plan to reconvene the Congress in May 1775
british raids on colonial arms stores
British Raids on Colonial Arms Stores
  • In defiance of British authority, the colonists began to set up arms caches around eastern Massachusetts
  • September 1, 1774
    • General Gage sent troops into Cambridge to seize one such cache
      • What the British found (and seized) – 250 barrels of gunpowder
portsmouth nh
Portsmouth, NH
  • On December 14, 1774, colonists under the command of Paul Revere, attacked the fortress of William and Mary in Portsmouth
  • The British only had 11 soldiers on duty at the fort
  • The colonial forces seized the fort and the weapons stored there
  • Among the equipment seized were several cannon, rifles, and powder, shells, and bullets. These were reportedly stored in … Concord, MA
salem was next
Salem Was Next
  • On February 9, 1775 the British marched out to Salem to seize another major cache
  • They marched to the city along the route of present day 107 and were met at North Street by many people from the city
  • The British, not wanting a bloody confrontation, held their fire, and were “escorted” back to Boston, and were “serenaded” by the citizens of the city.
meanwhile in virginia
Meanwhile – in Virginia
  • In March the House of Burgesses met to decide what the colony would direct its delegates to the Continental Congress to do – it was the occasion for Patrick Henry’s most famous speech – “Give me liberty, or give me death”

Patrick Henry, 1736 - 1799

official british reaction
Official British Reaction
  • On February 9, 1775, the British Parliament passed a resolution declaring that Massachusetts was in a state of rebellion.
    • This would be extended to the rest of the colonies by April.
  • On April 14, 1775 Lord Dartmouth, Sec’y. Of State for the Colonies instructed Gen. Gage to arrest the leaders of the Massachusetts assembly and to use force to disarm the population.
april 19 1775 the shot heard round the world
April 19, 1775 – The Shot Heard Round the World
  • The beginning of the war was the result of the continued actions of the British Army to disarm and de-powder the rebel forces.
  • On the night of April 18, 600 British troops marched to Concord to seize John Hancock, Sam Adams, and the stolen munitions
  • Since they prepared in the open, the unemployed dock workers could watch them get ready all day
  • The troops marched all night and arrived in Lexington between 5:00 and 6:00 the next morning.
now the colonies were at war
Now the Colonies Were at War.
  • There was no turning back from war, but the Congress hoped for a negotiated settlement.
  • They adopted a policy of defense only until a peace could be negotiated.
they did not stay on the defensive for very long
They did not stay on the defensive for very long
  • Under orders from Congress, colonial forces seized Fort Ticonderoga in New York
  • They also invaded Canada, trying to capture Quebec City and Montreal
    • They failed in both cases
key battles that we need to worry about
Key Battles that We need to Worry About
  • Bunker Hill – Of the 2400 British regulars in the battle, 1054 were killed or wounded in the battle – to 441 Americans – 30 of whom were captured
  • Seige of Boston – after the battle, the British were trapped in Boston through the winter – they left on March 17, 1776
New York: 35,000 British troops against the New York Militia and Washington’s forces from Boston – all 18,000 of them
    • Routed from New York in 3 battles
  • Next Stop – New Jersey
    • Trenton, NJ – December 26, 1776
Princeton, NJ – 1/1/77 Washington’s forces beat British Regulars for the first time
    • Huge morale boost
  • 1777 – The capture of Philadelphia and the Battle of Saratoga
  • With the French Alliance – the war becomes global
  • 1778-9: George Rogers Clark and the Battle of Vincennes
1780 – 81 Moving toward Yorktown
  • The French arrived in force in 1780, and supplied money and arms to the American forces
  • In the decisive stroke of Yorktown, the French were the key