Chapter 7. The Road to Revolution. Long Term Trends Bringing Tension Between England and the Colonies by the 1760s. Trends Bringing Tension. I. Increasing power of colonial legislature (5 colonies in particular: New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, S. Carolina).
Chapter 7 The Road to Revolution
Long Term Trends Bringing Tension Between England and the Colonies by the 1760s
Trends Bringing Tension • I. Increasing power of colonial legislature (5 colonies in particular: New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, S. Carolina). • Governor has significant power, but restrictions are placed on Governors by British govt., and most colonial Governors will have only limited patronage (not many jobs to give to their supporters).
Trends Bringing Tension • Colonial legislature has more and more control over many in the colonies (raising money and spending money). • Increasingly gain control over the Governor’s salary. • Legislatures gain increased control over elections (when held, where, who can vote, etc.) • Colonial legislature gets to elect officials to go to England and meet with Parliament about matters relating to the colonies.
Trends Bringing Tension • Control the release of news to the general public (spin news how they want in colonies). • II. Increase in consumerism in the colonies from England. • Between 1750-1773, the value of imports increases 120%. • Am increasing number of colonists are going into debt trying to buy these goods. • Some religious leaders thought the colonies were morally superior to England and that mercantilism was not good for the colonies
Trends Bringing Tension • III. A series of major religious revivals between 1720-1770. • The Great Awakening beings in the 1720s (New Jersey) then spreads to New England, the to South and frontier. • Membership to churches increases, but people reject the Puritan ideas (pre-destination) and emphasize free choice. • Emphasis on the emotional experience of conversion, “Heart over Mind”.
Trends Bringing Tension • This is significant because the Great Awakening challenges traditional ideas and leaders and soon challenges secular leaders. • IV. Population of colonial America dramatically increases in 18th Century. • 250,000 colonies in 1700; 1.2 million by 1750; 2.5 million by 1776. • The increase made it difficult to acquire abundant cheap land east of the Appalachians (Georgia to Northern Massachusetts).
Trends Bringing Tension • Parents could no longer give land to their children at 21, and they could no longer use promise of land as a way to control their children. • They were increasingly unable to control children’s sexual behavior before marriage. • In Hingham, MA in 1700, 10% of women were pregnant when they got married. • In 1750, 30% of women were pregnant when they got married.
Introduction After winning the 7 Year’s War the British sent 10,000 troops to guard the American frontier- which was very costly. The London government struggled to compel the American colonists to shoulder some of the financial costs of the empire.
Introduction This change in British colonial policy reinforced an emerging sense of American political identity and helped to precipitate the American Revolution. Even so, the Americans were reluctant revolutionaries.
The Deep Roots of Revolution Even from day one the New World nurtured new ideas about the nature of society, citizen, and government. Two main ideas had taken root in the minds of American colonists by the mid-eighteenth century.
Republicanism A just society was one in which all citizens willingly subordinated their private, selfish interests to the common good. The stability of society and the authority of government depended on the virtue of the citizenry. By its nature, republicanism was opposed to hierarchical and authoritarian institutions such as aristocracy and monarchy.
Radical Whigs The 2nd idea came from the British commentators known as radical Whigs. The Whigs feared that threat to liberty posed by the arbitrary power of monarch and his ministers relative to elected representatives in Parliament.
Radical Whigs Whigs warned citizens to be on guard against corruption and loss of liberties. Together, republican and Whig ideas taught the American colonists to be on high alert against any threat to their liberty. The American colonists had grown accustomed to running their own affairs.
Mercantilism and Colonial Grievances Not one of the original 13 colonies except GA was formally planted by the British government. The British authorities tried to justify their colonial control over the colonies through the theory of mercantilism.
Mercantilism and Colonial Grievances Mercantilists believe that wealth was power and that a country’s economic wealth (and military and political power) could be measured by the amount of gold or silver in its treasury. Possessing colonies gave England a distinct advantage; they had somewhere that could supply raw materials to the mother country and the colonies could provide a guaranteed market for exports.
Mercantilism and Colonial Grievances From time to time, Parliament passed laws to regulate the mercantilist system in the colonies. British policy also inflicted a currency shortage on the colonies. To facilitate everyday purchases, the colonists resorted to using butter, nails, pitch (resin), and feathers for exchange purposes.
Mercantilism and Colonial Grievances Currency issues came to a boil when dire financial need forced many of the colonies to issue paper money, which was swiftly depreciated. The British crown also reserved the right to nullify any legislation passed by the colonial assemblies if such laws worked mischief with the mercantilist system. Although this veto was rarely used, the colonists resented its very existence.
The Merits and Menace of Mercantilism Even though mercantilism seemed oppressive, the truth is that the Navigation Laws were only loosely enforced. Many American fortunes, including that of John Hancock, were amassed by smuggling.
The Merits and Menace of Mercantilism The colonists reaped the benefits of the mercantile system; London paid liberally for ship parts made in the colonies, much to the dismay of London builders. VA tobacco planters enjoyed a monopoly and ran the tiny British tobacco industry out of business,. The colonists benefitted from protection of the world’s strongest army and navy- without spending a penny for it.
The Merits and Menace of Mercantilism • The problems with mercantilism • Stifled economic initiative and imposed dependency on British • Kept the colonists in a state of perpetual economic adolescence. • According to Theodore Roosevelt years later, “Revolution broke out because Britain failed to recognize an emerging nation when it saw one.”
The Stamp Tax Uproar Even though they emerged victorious from the 7 Year’s War, the British also emerged with a new debt, half of which was spent defending the colonies. In 1763, British Prime Minister George Grenville ordered strict enforcement of the Navigation Laws. In 1764, he got Parliament to pass the Sugar Act.
The Stamp Tax Uproar This was the first time tax revenue was ever sought from colonies for the crown. Amid resentment, the tax was lowered and anger died considerably. In 1765, the Quartering Act was passed, which required certain colonies to provide food and quarters for British troops.
The Stamp Tax Uproar Also in 1765, Grenville passed the Stamp Tax to raise revenue for a new military force. Stamps were required on bills of sale for about 50 trade items as well, as commercial and legal documents, playing cards, pamphlets, newspapers, diplomas, marriage licenses, etc.
The Stamp Tax Uproar Grenville was asking the colonists to pay their fair share for the cost of their protection. The British people had endured a stamp tax in England that was much higher than that levied in the colonies. The colonists felt Grenville was striking at liberties they had assumed as a matter of right.
The Stamp Tax Uproar Because the offenders were tried in admiralty court, where no juries were allowed and people were seen as guilty until proven innocent, the Sugar and Stamp Acts jeopardized the basic rights of the colonists. Also, colonists were skeptical that a new army was needed in America after the French had been removed.
The Stamp Tax Uproar The cries of “No taxation without representation” began to ring free. They agreed that Parliament had the right to levy taxes, but they did not feel it had the right to do so without having any Americans seated in Parliament. Only their own elected colonial legislature, in their minds, had the right to tax them.
The Stamp Tax Uproar Grenville felt that the Americans were represented in Parliament through the theory of “virtual representation,” where every member of Parliament represented all British subjects, even those in America. The colonists scoffed at virtual representation and truthfully, didn’t want representation in Parliament either.
The Stamp Tax Uproar When the British replied that they could not split sovereign power between “legislative” authority in London and “taxing” authority in the colonies, they forced the Americans to deny the authority of Parliament altogether. This chain of logic eventually led, link by link, to revolutionary consequences.
Forced Repeal of the Stamp Act The Stamp Act Congress was formed in 1765 by 27 delegates from 9 colonies. They distinguished members debated and then drew up a statement of rights and grievances for the king and Parliament. Although it was dismissed in England, it became important in the colonies because it first brought together around the same table leaders from different and rival colonies.
Forced Repeal of the Stamp Act More effective was the adoption of nonimportation agreements against British goods. These agreements spontaneously united the American people for the first time in common action.
Forced Repeal of the Stamp Act Out of nonimportation agreement protests grew vigilante groups such as the Sons of Liberty and the Daughters of Liberty. Mobs of Sons and Daughters ransacked the homes of custom officials, confiscated their money, tarred and feathered the officials, and hanged effigies of stamp agents on liberty poles.
Forced Repeal of the Stamp Act Stamp agents were so scared that no one stepped in to take over the vacant jobs and no stamps were sold. The British economy was hit hard as the colonists accounted for ½ of all British shipping. In 1766, Parliament grudgingly repealed the Stamp Act as the colonists rejoiced and even built a statue to King George III in New York.
Forced Repeal of the Stamp Act The victory was short lived as, almost within the same breath, the Declaratory Act was passed. This act reaffirmed Parliament’s right “to bind” the colonies “in all cases whatsoever.” In a few years, the statue of King George was melted down to make bullets fired at his own troops.
The Townshend Tea Tax and the Boston “Massacre” “Champagne Charley” Charles Townshend promised to pluck the feathers fro the colonial goose with a minimum of squawking. In 1767, he persuaded Parliament to pass the Townshend Acts, which placed a light import duty on glass, whit lead, paper, paint, and tea. The colonists were even more upset to find out that the money from these taxes went to pay the salaries of the royal governors and judges in America.
The Townshend Tea Tax and the Boston “Massacre” The worst fears of the colonists were realized when the London government suspended the legislature of New York in 167 for failure to comply with the Quartering Act. On March 5, 1770, a crowd of 60 townspeople began taunting and throwing snowballs at a squad of 10 redcoats. The colonists were still enraged about the shooting death of an 11 year old during a protest.
The Townshend Tea Tax and the Boston “Massacre” Acting without orders, but apparently provoked by the crowd, the troops opened fire and killed or wounded eleven citizens. One of the first to die was Crispus Attucks, who was “mulatto” and the leader of the mob. Both sides were to blame and the prosecution was only able to bring a guilty verdict of manslaughter on 2 troops (defended by future U.S. President John Adams).
The Seditious Committees of Correspondence The ill-timed Townshend Acts failed to produce revenue, but it did produce a near rebellion. Net proceeds in one year of tax was 295 pounds sterling, whereas British military costs in the colonies was 170,000 pounds sterling. The Townshend Acts were repealed, but the three-pence toll on tea remained, just to remind the colonists of Parliament’s right to tax.
The Seditious Committees of Correspondence In 1772, Samuel Adams organized the committees of correspondence in Boston and 28 towns followed suit. The chief function was to spread the spirit of resistance by exchanging letters and keep alive opposition to British policy. By 1773, each colony had a committee to exchange ideas and information with other colonies. They evolved directly into the first American congresses
Tea Brewing in Boston By 1773, nothing happened that made rebellion inevitable. Nonimportation was weakening. People were paying the tea tax, because taxed tea was cheaper than smuggled tea. The British East India Company was burdened with 17 million pounds of unsold tea, and was facing bankruptcy.
Tea Brewing in Boston The British government granted the BEIC a monopoly over the tea sold in the colonies. This, although making the tea cheaper, was met with resistance by the colonists. In Philadelphia and New York, the ships were forced to return to England with their holds full. In Annapolis, citizens burned the cargo and ship.
Tea Brewing in Boston Governor Thomas Hutchinson of Boston (who had his home destroyed by stamp Act protestors) ordered the ships on to budge until they unloaded their cargo. On December 16, 1773, 100 Bostonians, loosely disguised as Indians, boarded the ships, smashed open 342 chests of tea, and dumped their contents in the Atlantic
Parliament Passes the “Intolerable Acts” In 1774, Parliament passed a series of acts designed to chastise Boston in particular. The most drastic was the Boston Port Act, which closed Boston Harbor until damages from the Tea Party were repaid.
Parliament Passes the “Intolerable Acts” Other “Intolerable Acts” swept away the chartered rights of colonial Massachusetts. Officials who killed colonists in the line of duty could be sent to Britain for trial (where they would likely be let off scot-free). The new Quartering Act allowed British officials to house soldiers anywhere, even in private homes.
Parliament Passes the “Intolerable Acts” The Quebec Act in 1774 felt like a slap in the face to many Americans. This act allowed the 60,000+ French still residing in Canada the right to keep their old customs and institutions. It also extended the province of Quebec southward into the Ohio River Valley.
Bloodshed The other colonies rallied around Mass. And sent food to the colony. In 1774, the First Continental Congress met in Phila. To find ways to redress colonial grievances. 12 of the 13 colonies were present (only GA was not) and represented by 55 well-respected men (Adams, Adams, Washington, Henry, etc.).
Bloodshed The First CC met for 7 weeks, from September 5 to October 26, 1774. John Adams was the most important man in the room as he moved his colleagues from a proposal by the moderates to have American home rule under direction from the British to a revolutionary course. The congress drew up papers such as the Declaration of Rights, as well as appeals to other British American colonies, the king, and the British people.
Bloodshed Most importantly, The Association was created. The Association called for a complete boycott of British goods: nonimportation, nonexportation, and nonconsumption, but they still were not calling for independence. If colonial grievances were redressed, it was great, but if they were not, the Congress would meet again in May 1775.
Bloodshed The petitions were rejected in Parliament. Violators of The Association were tarred and feathered in the colonies. In April 1775, a detachment of English troops was sent to Lexington and Concord to seize a store of colonial gunpowder and also bag the rebel leaders; Samuel Adams and John Hancock.
Bloodshed The colonial “Minute Men” refused to disperse and shots were fired. 8 Americans were killed and several more were wounded. The redcoats pushed on to Concord, where they were forced to retreat. 70 British were killed and 300 wounded. The Revolutionary War was on.