C7 - The Road to Revolution 1763 - 1775 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in C7 - The Road to Revolution 1763 - 1775 Deck (40):

Townshend Acts

1767: Pushed by British PM Townshend, these acts put import duties on some goods the colonists imported from Britain like glass and tea. The fee was collected when these goods arrived at American ports.

The $ raised was to be used to pay royal governors (put in place in the colonies by the King) who were hated by the colonists.


Board of Trade



Stamp Act

To raise $ to support the British Army (partly needed to defend all of Britain's new land in America, that it gained during the 7 years war), this law required people to buy stamps to put on many documents like diplomas, marriage license, newspapers, playing cards, etc.


Boston Tea Party

December 1773. Colonists disguised as Indians got onto British ships trying to deliver tea to the colonies. Dumped all the tea into Boston Harbor.

They were protesting Britain's tea tax.


Quartering Act

1765: Law passed by Parliament requiring colonies to give food and living quarters to British troops stationed in the colonies.



Belief by a country that wealth has power. So England's goal was to amass large amounts of gold/silver. This could only happen if its exports (goods sold to other countries) exceeded its imports (goods bought from other countries).

England wanted to use the colonies to make it richer: get raw materials from the colonies so they didn't have to buy foreign...plus the colonies were a market for English goods.

Parliament in England passed laws to regulate the mercantilist system, like the Navigation Law of 1650.

This system had benefits for the colonists too. Britain was a good market for many colonial goods like tobacco. The colonists goods were also protected by the great British Navy, at no cost to the colonies.


"No taxation without representation"

Colonists belief that Parliament could not make new laws to tax the colonists because the colonists were not represented in Parliament (they had no elected representatives). Parliament consisted only of Englishmen, not colonists.

Colonists believed in the right of Parliament to pass "legislation" to regulate the colonies...they just did not believe Parliament had the right to pass "taxes". Colonists thought taxes should only be passed in their own colonial assemblies where they had representatives.


Baron von Steuben



Samuel Adams

Cousin of John Adams. Lived in Boston and stirred up rebellious feelings among the colonists, based partly on propaganda (half truths) told about the British government, the Boston Massacre, etc.


Navigation Acts

British Parliament ruled that colonies had to ship their products on British ships and had to send many goods, like tobacco, to Britain first before the country it was being sold to (so Britain could collect a fee first). Some goods could only be sold to Britain even if the colonies could have gotten a better price from a different country.

Most of these laws were not really enforced by Britain. Some colonists got rich by smuggling or disregarding these laws.


nonimportation agreement

Agreement in the colonies to protest Britain's tax laws by not importing British goods like clothing and wool.

Colonists made their own fabric and traded together.

Another sign of inter-colonial unity.


committee of correspondence

Started by Samuel Adams...he organized the first Committee of Correspondence, in Boston in 1772.

Function was to spread the spirit of resistance to Britain by interchanging letters/ideas. Other colonies also formed these committees and they all began to share.



Colonists who were loyal to Britain...did not want a revolution. Britain hired them and some Indians to fight on their side.


Quebec Act

1774: Parliament passed a law to define the way it would govern its Quebec territory. It gave those colonists (who were mostly French and Catholic) the right to remain Catholic and also to keep their tradition of not having jury trials in civil cases.

This was a good law passed by Parliament, but the timing was bad...passed at the same time as the Intolerable acts, the colonists saw this as another infringement on their rights...misunderstanding the spirit of the law and assuming Parliament was looking to change courts/the requirement of a jury trial in all of the colonies...jury trials were seen as a basic right.

This helped to fuel more rebellion in the colonies.


George Grenville

Prime minister of Britain in 1763. Ordered Sugar Act, Quartering Act, Stamp Act.

Not well liked by colonists.


Crispus Attucs

One of 11 colonists killed @ the Boston Massacre.


"virtual" representation

Idea of British Prime Minister Greenville that colonists were represented in Parliament...he said that every member of Parliament represented all British subjects, including those in the colonies.

The colonists scoffed at this.


Sons of Liberty

Groups that "enforced" the non-importation agreements by tarring and feathering colonists who were caught buying cloth made in Britain



Complete boycott - no importing, no exporting, no consuming. in 1774 the Association called for a complete boycott of British goods.


King George III

British King - 32 years old in 1770. Tried to assert the power of the British monarchy. He was a good man, but a poor leader.


Intolerable Acts

1774: Parliament passed acts in response to the Boston Tea Party, to punish Boston. One was the Boston Port Act: Boston harbor was closed until Boston repaid the loss suffered by Britain as a result of the Tea Party.


Boston Massacre

British soldiers opened fire on unruly colonists who were taunting the troops (Redcoats) and even hit one of the Redcoats/British soldiers with a club.

John Adams (future president) was the defense attorney for the soldiers at their trial. Only 2 soldiers were found guilty.

Both sides were really to blame.


Marquis de Lafayette

19 year old Frenchman who came to fight with the colonists. Great leader. Helped secure help and $ from France.


"royal veto"

Power of the King to veto any acts passed in colonial assemblies.


Declaratory Act

1766: Parliament was forced to repeal the stamp act because of the economic problems being caused by the colonists' non-importation agreements (British merchants, etc. were suffering and out of work because their markets in the colonies were drying up due to the colonists agreements.

Colonists originally rejoiced at the news (even put up a statue of King George III in New York), but then were let down again by this Declaratory Act, which said that Britain had complete power over the colonies.


internal/external taxation

Idea held by colonists that any tax laws had to be passed internally (in the colonies) not externally (in London)



German soldiers who were hired by Britain to fight the colonists.


First Continental Congress

1774: Formed in response the Intolerable Acts. Was to meet in Philadelphia to discuss problems between Britain and the colonies.

12 colonies (GA was missing) sent representatives. 55 men were there including Samuel Adams, John Adams, George Washington, Patrick Henry. They deliberated (met) for 7 weeks.

John Adams was a leader...they wrote papers including the Declaration of Rights.

They were not yet calling for independence from Britain...just the repeal of Parliamentary actions the colonists didn't like.

The plan was to meet again in May of 1775 if they were not satisfied with the progress.


John Hancock

Wealthy colonist. Made some of his money by smuggling, or ignoring Britain's Navigation Laws and selling to foreign countries anyway.


The Association

1774: Action of the First Continental Congress. Called for a complete boycott of British goods.


Stamp Act Congress

1765: In NY City, delegates from 9 colonies got together and wrote a statement of their rights and grievances (problems with the Stamp Act) and sent it to Parliament.

This was a first step toward cooperation between the colonies...inter-colonial unity that would be needed to start thinking about revolution.


Sugar Act

1764: First law ever passed by the British Parliament imposing a tax on the colonies.



Paper $ that was printed by the colonies due to a shortage of gold/silver/metal coins.

So much had to be printed that it eventually became worthless. The saying "not worth a continental" came about...to describe something that wasn't worth anything.


Charles Townshend

Became British Prime Minister in 1767. Called "Champagne Charley" because he could deliver a good speech in Parliament even when drunk.

Persuaded Parliament to pass the Townshend Acts.


John Adams

Future President. Defense attorney for the British soldiers who fired on colonists during the Boston Massacre.


Lord North

British Prime Minister in 1770 under King George III. Persuaded Parliament to repeal the Townshend acts because they were causing more expense (military expense) than the small amount of revenue they brought in to Britain.

But he kept the duty on tea, just to make the point that Parliament did have the right to tax the colonies.


American colonists were reluctant revolutionaries

Many just wanted the "rights of Englishmen". New ideas let them to consider revolution: their newfound ability for upward mobility in the colonies (in the Old World, being born poor meant staying poor).

Republicanism: colonists got used to being involved in governing themselves/representative government/running their own affairs.

"Whigs": commentators that warned English citizens against letting the monarchy infringe on their liberties (these commentators were read widely by the colonists)


Problems for Britain at start of Revolutionary War

While Britain had $ to hire Hessians and Loyalists and Indians to fight on their side, their leadership was inept (bad). Britain did not have support of all of its own people (some British citizens cheered the Americans for fighting for their liberty). Also some British soldiers withdrew b/c they did not want to kill their colonial "cousins".

British generals were not good...British soldiers were treated badly, food was scarce, etc. Being 3000 miles away from London was hard...soldiers were receiving orders from London with great delays.

Also, the colonies did not have one major city (like London in Britain or Paris in France) that could be captured and therefore topple the country. The colonies were spread out, with many cities and towns...hard for Britain to capture them all.


Advantages for American revolutionaries

Excellent leadership: George Washington

Excellent diplomat/speaker/idea person: Benjamin Franklin.

Foreign aid: France supported the Americans, partly due to their bitterness over having lost the 7 years war to Britain.

They were fighting for what was seen as a just cause (liberty/independence from Britain's tyranny)...easier to get support from others.


Problems for American revolutionaries

Shortage of $ - leading to printing of paper money called "Continentals"...eventually this became worthless.

Shortage of guns. No gun factories in the colonies. Finally, French aid helped...they provided some guns to colonial militiamen.

Disorganized + some colonial jealousy caused problems...one colony might not want a leader from a different colony.

Example: Valley Forge - winter of 1777-1778. American soldiers were cold and hungry, some with no shoes.

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