SS8H3aExplain the immediate and long-term causes of the American Revolution and their impact on Georgia; include the French and Indian War (Seven Years War), Proclamation of 1763, Stamp Act, Intolerable Acts, and the Declaration of Independence.
FRENCH and INDIAN WAR 1754 -1763
Great Britain and its Indian allies fought against the French and their Indian allies over control of the land in North America located between the Mississippi River and Appalachian Mountains. Great Britain defeated the French and gained control over this territory. The British colonists expanded their boundaries westward knowing that the French were no longer a threat, however, the Indians already living in these lands did not want colonists to settle there. The war created a huge debt that the British government and citizens thought the colonists should help pay for. King George III and Parliament agreed to start taxing the colonists, however, this made colonists very upset since they were not allowed to vote for representatives in Parliament. The slogan “No Taxation Without Representation” became the battle cry for colonists protesting unfair laws and taxes.
PROCLAMATION of 1763
At the end of the French and Indian War many American colonists wanted to settle the territory gained by Great Britain that was located between the Mississippi River and the Appalachian Mountains. However, already in debt from the French and Indian War, King George III could not afford to protect the colonists from Indian attacks that would occur when colonists moved onto tribal lands. So, he created a boundary line (red line on map above) and told the colonists they could not settle west of that Appalachian Mountains. In addition, allowing colonists to settle further west would weaken the control the British would have on the colonists. Again, the colonists were upset that they had to pay for the War without any representation in Parliament, yet could not even settle on land they helped gain for Britain.
INTOLERABLE ACTS of 1774
To bring the colonies under control because the events of the Boston Tea party, Britain’s Parliament passed several Coercive Acts:
1. closing of Boston Harbor until damages from Boston Tea Party were paid for
The Declaration of Independence was a formal document that was written to officially announce the colonies' break from Great Britain.
Thomas Jefferson explained to King George III of Great Britain why the colonists were upset and the reasons for wanting liberty. Each colony sent delegates to approve and sign the document before it was sent to England.
STAMP ACT 1765
Another tax colonists were forced to pay to help pay for the French and Indian War. The colonists had to buy a stamp (British seal) on all legal and commercial documents. This included books, newspapers, court documents, land deeds, and even playing cards.
Colonists were upset because they never had to pay this tax in the past. Since the colonists did not have a voice in Parliament they felt their rights were being ignored. The colonists protested and boycotted and eventually Great Britain repealed the act.
Great Britain claims French lands east of the Mississippi River. The Proclamation Line is drawn over the Appalachian Mountains in 1763.
At the conclusion of the French and Indian War the boundary of Georgia expanded westward to the Mississippi River. Sir James Wright was the royal governor of Georgia during this time. He created treaties with Creek Indians in Georgia that allowed colonists to settle new lands.
Colonists who opposed British rule and wanted to break away and form their own country. These colonists were angered over the many ACTS (rules and taxes) that they were forced to pay and follow, especially since they had no voice in government (Parliament). The slogan “no taxation without representation” was what they rallied behind. The Patriots would eventually fight the British in the American Revolutionary War.
Though Georgians opposed British trade regulations, many hesitated to join the revolutionary movement that emerged in the American colonies in the early 1770s and resulted in the Revolutionary War (1775-83). The colony had prospered under royal rule, and many Georgians thought that they needed the protection of British troops against a possible Indian attack.
Georgia's most acclaimed female participant during the Revolutionary War (1775-83) was Nancy Hart. A devout patriot, Hart gained notoriety during the revolution for her determined efforts to rid the area of Tories, English soldiers, and British sympathizers. Her single-handed efforts against Tories and Indians in the Broad River frontier, as well as her covert activities as a patriot spy in the Battle of Kettle Creek, have become the stuff of myth, legend, and local folklore.
Georgia was the youngest and most loyal colony. In fact, Georgia was the only colony that did not send representatives to the First Continental Congress in 1774 that united the colonies together to protest the Intolerable Acts. While Georgians were loyal to the crown at the beginning of the Revolution they began to protest and fight for independence. In 1775, the 2nd Continental Congress was formed after fighting began between the patriots and British army. Each colony sent delegates to Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence. The three men who represented the colony of Georgia were Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, and George Walton. Their names are found on the far left.
Austin Dabney was a slave who became a private in the Georgia militia and fought against the British during the Revolutionary War (1775-83) in the Battle of Kettle Creek. He was the only African American to be granted land by the state of Georgia in recognition of his bravery and service during the Revolution and one of the few to receive a federal military pension.
Elijah Clarke was a patriot and a hero of the Revolutionary War from Georgia. Clarke County is named for him. On February 14, 1779, Clarke led a charge in the rebel victory at the Battle of Kettle Creek, Georgia.
- New Georgia Encyclopedia
BATTLE OF KETTLE CREEK 1779
The most important event to occur at Kettle Creek took place on Sunday, February 14, 1779. On that morning 600 American supporters of the British cause, popularly known as Loyalists or Tories, encamped atop a hill in a bend of the creek. Elijah Clarke and other patriot soldiers were able to defeat the loyalists and prevented the British from invading northern Georgia.
- New Georgia Encyclopedia
SIEGE OF SAVANNAH 1779
In 1779, Patriot forces with the help of the French navy tried to regain control of Savannah, but were badly defeated by the British army. 752 patriots died while only 18 British troops died. The British controlled the colony of Georgia until 1783 when the Treaty of Paris was signed – when Britain officially gave up the fight to keep control of the colonies – ending the Revolutionary War.