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The Road to Revolution:


Chapter 7 The Road to Revolution: 1763 - 1775 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Road to Revolution:

Chapter 7
  • The Road to Revolution
  • 1763 - 1775

Deep Roots of Revolution
  • American Revolution began when the first
    colonists set foot on America
  • sense of independence had already begun--London
    was over 3000 miles away
  • Two ideas shaped American political thought by
    this time
  • Republicanism used Greek and Roman models of
    republics, a society where all citizens
    subordinated their selfish, private interests for
    the common good
  • Corruption of liberty the Whigs proposed that
    the arbitrary power (and rampant corruption) of
    the king and his ministers were a threat to
    colonists hard-won liberties
  • Colonists in America felt that they were
    fundamentally different from England--more
  • think of themselves as Americans as opposed to
  • Distance weakens authority, great distance
    weakens authority greatly
  • 1763 when the crown attempts to bring the
    colonies under tighter control, it is especially
    jarring to independent-minded colonists

Mercantile Theory
  • countrys economic wealth could be measured by
    the amount of gold or silver in its treasury
  • To be powerful, a country had to export more than
    it imported
  • Countries with colonies were at an advantageWHY?
  • Parliament looked at colonies as sources of raw
    materials markets for finished goods
  • For America, that meant giving Britain all the
    ships, ships stores, sailors, and trade that
    they needed and wanted
  • Navigation Laws (1650) were the most famous of
    the laws to enforce mercantilism
  • restricted commerce from the colonies to England
    (and back) to only English ships, and none other
  • Other laws stated that European goods consigned
    to America had to land first in England (taxed)

  • some colonial products (like tobacco) could only
    be shipped to England and not other nations
  • Settlers were even restricted in what they could
    manufacture for export
  • Americans smuggling led to a currency shortage
  • constantly buying things from British sellers
  • gold and silver was constantly draining out of
    America from illegal trade w/ Spanish French
  • colonists were forced to print paper money
    (little value)
  • daily trade became a barter system
  • The King reserved the right to veto any colonial
  • Used only 469 times in connection to 8,563
    colonial laws
  • Many colonists resented the principle of the

  • Merits of Mercantilism
  • Navigation Laws--not really enforced, resulting
    in widespread smuggling
  • John Hancock amassed a fortune through smuggling
  • Tobacco planters still had a monopoly within the
    British market
  • Americans had the mightiest army in the world
    didnt have to pay for it
  • Americans had it made even repressive laws
    werent enforced much, and the average American
    benefited much more than the average Englishman
  • Disadvantages
  • after Britain started to enforce mercantilism in
    1763, the fuse for the American Revolution was
  • couldnt buy, sell, ship, or manufacture under
    the most favorable conditions for them
  • Many colonists felt that Britain was just milking
    her colonies for all their worth
  • Virginians (tobacco), were at the mercy of the
    British buyers
  • paid very low
  • responsible for putting many planters into debt

Stamp Tax Uproar
  • After the Seven Years War, Britain had a HUGE
  • England had no intention of making the Americans
    pay off all of it
  • did feel that they should pay off one-third of
    the cost, since Redcoats had been used for the
    protection of the Americans
  • Prime Minister George Grenville ordered that the
    Navigation Laws be enforced
  • Quartering Act of 1765 required certain colonies
    to provide food and quarters for British troops
  • Stamp Act mandated the use of stamped paper of
    the affixing of stamps, certifying payment of tax
  • required on bills of sale for about 50 trade
    items as well as on certain types of commercial
    and legal documents
  • Stamp Act and the Sugar Act
  • offenders to be tried in the admiralty courts,
    where defenders were guilty until proven innocent

  • Americans felt that they were unfairly taxed for
    an unnecessary army (hadnt the French army and
    Pontiacs warriors been defeated?), and lashed
    back violently, especially against the stamp tax
  • No taxation without representation!
  • Americans denied the right of Parliament to tax
    Americans, since no Americans were seated in
  • Grenville replied with the idea of virtual
    representation, in which every Parliament member
    represented ALL British subjects
  • Americans in truth didnt really want
    representation because that wouldnt have done
    them goodno reason to rebel

Parliament Forced to Repeal the Stamp Act
  • 1765 - representatives from nine colonies met in
    NYC to discuss the Stamp Tax
  • Stamp Act Congress was largely ignored in
    Britain, but was a step toward intercolonial
  • colonists agreed to boycott supplies
  • Sons and Daughters of Liberty took law into their
    own hands, tarring and feathering violators among
    people who had agreed to boycott the goods
  • demands appeared in Parliament for repeal of the
    stamp tax
  • why did 7.5 million Brits have to pay heavy taxes
    to protect the colonies
  • 2 million colonials refused to pay only one-third
    of the cost of their own defense
  • 1766 - Parliament repealed the Stamp Act but
    passed the Declaratory Act - act of power

Townshend Tea Tax and the Boston Massacre
  • 1767 -Townshend Acts
  • light taxes on white lead, paper, paint, and tea
  • Tea became smuggled, though, and to enforce the
    law, Brits had to send troops to America
  • March 5, 1770 - a crowd of about 60 townspeople
    in Boston were harassing some ten Redcoats
  • One got hit in the head, another got hit by a
  • heavily provoked, they opened fire, wounding or
    killing 11 innocent citizens, including Crispus
    Attucks, the leader of the mob
  • Only 2 Redcoats got prosecuted (defended by John

  • Colonists start to spread propaganda keep the
    rebellious mood by setting up committees of
  • the first started by Samuel Adams
  • 1773 - British East India Company, sitting on 17
    million lbs. of unsold tea, was facing bankruptcy
  • decided to sell it to the Americans, who were
    suspicious that it was an attempt to trick the
    Americans in to paying tax
  • Boston Tea Party
  • December 16, 1773
  • disguised as Indians opened 342 chests and dumped
    the tea into the ocean
  • Intolerable Acts
  • 1774 - Parliament passed a series of repressive
    acts to punish the colonies, namely
  • Boston Harbor was closed until retribution was
  • charter of Massachusetts was revoked

Continental Congress and Bloodshed
  • Philadelphia, from 9/5 10/26, 1774, the First
    Continental Congress met
  • 55 representatives from 12 colonies (John Adams,
    Samuel Adams, George Washington, Patrick Henry
    among them)
  • Georgia didnt have a representative there
  • came up with a Declaration of Rights
  • April 1775 - the British commander in Boston sent
    a detachment of troops to nearby Lexington and
    Concord to seize supplies and to capture Sam
    Adams and John Hancock
  • 8 Americans were killed
  • Minutemen--fought back at Concord, pushing the
    Redcoats back, sniping them from behind stone
  • Drove the British back to Boston
  • 300 British casualties (70 dead)

Imperial Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Positives
  • 7.5 million people to Americas 2 million
  • supreme naval power
  • great wealth
  • 30,000 Hessians (German mercenaries)
  • 50,000 American loyalists
  • Negatives
  • Britain still had Ireland (used up troops)
  • France was just waiting to stab Britain in the
  • no William Pitt to lead them
  • Many Brits had no desire to kill their American
  • Britains generals were second-rate
  • Provisions were often scarce
  • fighting a war some 3000 miles away from home.

American Pluses and Minuses
  • Positives
  • great leaders like George Washington (great
    general), and Ben Franklin (smooth diplomat).
  • had French aid (indirect), as the French provided
    the Americans with guns, supplies, gunpowder, etc
  • were fighting in a defensive way, and they were
  • They were better marksmen
  • fighting for a just cause in the eyes of the
  • Negatives
  • lacking in unity
  • Sectional jealousy boiled up over the appointment
    of military leaders
  • Inflation also hit families of soldiers hard
    made many people poor
  • American army was desperately in need of
    clothing, wool, wagons to ship food, and other
  • soldiers received very basic rudimentary