Unit 02 – American Revolution

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Unit 02 – American Revolution
The following outline will guide your note taking during class lectures. It is your responsibility to complete the outline. If you miss a class, please read the scanned textbook pages, borrow a textbook from the classroom library and read the appropriate section, or read the Digital History pages for this section: http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/subtitles.cfm?titleID=53.

I. The Stirrings of Rebellion

Conflict between Great Britain and the American colonies grew over issue of taxation, representation and liberty.

  1. Stamp Act

  • Britain needed more money to pay for the military that was currently defending the colonies regarding the Proclamation Line of the Appalachian Mountains

  • Stamp Act was a way to gain money. It was a law requiring colonists to purchase special stamps and put it on all documents.

  • It taxed playing cards, newspapers, almanacs, legal documents, papers. All these documents needed a special stamp on them. Indicating they paid a tax


  • Colonists stopped buying British goods. (Boycott)

  • Claimed he Stamp Act was taxation without representation,

  • Colonists harassed the British agents/distributors that sold the stamps

  • Colonists protested

  • The Colonists prepared a “Declaration of Rights and Grievances”.

  • Colonists formed a resistance group, “The Sons of Liberty”.

  • Formed an organized group called the “Stamp Act Congress”

  • Outside of Georgia, no stamps were sold. The colonists put an end to the Stamp Act

  1. Stamp Act Congress

    1. Declaration of Rights and Grievances

  2. Townshend Acts

  • Glass Paint, Lead & Paper were imported goods that were taxed.

  • There was a 3 cent or 3 penny tax on tea.


  • Rage!

  • Protested taxation without representation (British are making the laws, taxing the Colonists but the Colonists had NO say in Govt.)

  • Boycott of British goods.

  • Women began to make clothing & tea

  1. The Boston Massacre

  • In Boston

  • Tension between colonists and the soldiers stationed in Boston

  • British Soldiers are looking for jobs in Boston. The Colonists and the British Soldiers feel tension because the British Soldiers are taking the Colonists’ jobs.

  • Argument broke out between the Soldiers and the Colonists.

  • The Soldiers fired and left 5 dead in the snow


  • Colonists were angry

  • Paul Revere made an engraving (a picture) of the Boston Massacre.

  • Paul Revere’s engraving made it seem like the event was a Massacre, but it was not a mass killing.

  • Newspapers began to publish anti-British propaganda.

  1. Committees of Correspondence

  • Adams forms the Committees of Correspondence.

    • Each member of the Committee would be responsible for communication with other areas of the colonies in an organized way.

    • This allowed Colonists in other areas to learn about what was happening in Boston

  1. Tea Act

  • British tea companies were losing money in America because Colonists are boycotting British goods including tea.

  • Britain gives British East India Company permission to sell their tea TAX FREE!

  • British East India Company’s tea was tax free, making it cheaper than the tea the Colonists were selling because the Colonists’ tea was taxed.

  • Colonial tea was not expensive and not being purchased! This put a strain on Colonial businesses. Colonists were angry.


  • Dec 16 1773, colonists took action.

  • Boston Tea Party

  • Colonists, dressed as Native Americans, snuck on to a British ship, anchored in a harbor and dumped tea into Boston Harbor.

  • This destroyed British Tea.

Sam Adams- part of the Sons of Liberty

  • Adams forms the Committees of Correspondence.

    • Each member of the Committee would be responsible for communication with other areas of the colonies in an organized way.

    • This allowed Colonists in other areas to learn about what was happening in Boston.

  1. Intolerable Acts (Coercive Acts)

  • British called these acts the Coercive Acts

  • Colonists called them the Intolerable Acts

  • British were angered by the Boston Tea Party so as a direct result of the Boston Tea Party, they passed the (Coercive) Intolerable Acts-

  • Goal of the Coercive Acts - to tighten Britain’s control over Massachusetts.

  • Harbors were shut down! This hurt Boston’s (Colonists) merchants!

  • Quartering Act- British troops were stationed in Colonists’ homes


  • Colonists were not paying taxes as they were supposed to.

  • The Committee of Correspondence held…The First Continental Congress

  • The First Continental Congress was created.

  • The Declaration of Colonial rights was created.

  • Each Colony also began to train troops.

  1. Minutemen - (militia fighters who pledged to be ready at a minute’s notice)

Battles of Lexington and Concord

(for notes Key Battles of the Revolutionary War Graphic Organizer)

    1. British action

    2. Colonist reaction

II. Ideas Help Start a Revolution

Tensions increased throughout the colonies until the Continental Congress declared independence on July 4, 1776

  1. Second Continental Congress

  2. Continental Army

  3. Battle of Bunker Hill

  4. Olive Branch Petition

  5. Common Sense

  6. Declaration of Independence

    1. “Natural Rights”

  7. Patriots – People who wanted to break away from England. The Colonists who supported independence from England.

  8. Loyalists – People who wanted to remain Loyal to England The opposed independence.

III. Major Battles of the Revolution (for these notes see “The Battle Chart” as well as “The Advantages During the Revolution” Notes)

  1. Strengths of the Colonial Army

  2. Weaknesses of the Colonial Army

  3. Strengths of the British Army

  4. Weaknesses of the British Army

  5. Battle of Trenton

  6. Battle of Princeton

  7. Battle of Saratoga

  8. Battle of Yorktown

  9. Treaty of Paris (1783) – Was signed after the last battle. Established America as a nation. It outlined our borders from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River AND Canada to the Florida border

IV. Significant Historical Figures of the American Revolution

  1. Benedict Arnold - originally fought for the colonists, later switched allegiance and supported the British because he was upset that he was not promoted to a General in the Continental Army. Despite military accomplishments, became widely known as a traitor.

  1. Benjamin Franklin - drew the political cartoon “Join or Die” which was originally published during the French and Indian war but later used as a symbol for the American Revolution. He also invented many things such as bifocals and Daylight Savings Time. He had a good relationship with the French and convinced them to provide aid to the colonists after the American victory at Saratoga. He also helped negotiate the Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War.

  1. Betsy Ross – I was the famous seamstress who stitched the first flag of the United States. George Washington designed the flag but gave it to me to sew. There have been some rumors that I wasn’t the person who stitched this flag but primary source evidence (in the form of diary entries) disproved them.

  1. Paul Revere- Part of the midnight riders that alerted the townspeople of Lexington and Concord that British soldiers were about to arrive to search for hidden arms (weapons). Also an engraver and depicted the Boston Massacre in a masterful piece of anti-British propaganda.

  1. General Charles Cornwallis- British General who fought against the Continental Army. Led a victory in Charleston, South Carolina but later lost the Battles of Princeton and Yorktown. Signed the orders to surrender to the American force outside of Yorktown, Virginia.

  1. “Gentleman” Johnny Burgoyne – British General, very popular with my soldiers. made war more civilized by bringing food, wine and music to my troops. Surrendered my sword to the colonists in the Battle of Saratoga.

  1. George Washington- His military career did not start off well. He lost the Battle of Fort Necessity in the French and Indian War. He learned from my mistakes though and helped lead the colonists to victory in the Battle of Trenton. He knew that troop enlistments were close to expiration, so he led my troops across the icy Delaware River and defeated the Hessians.

  1. John Adams – First vice president then the second president of the United States. Helped write the Declaration of Independence. While in the Second Continental Congress, wanted to make peace with Britain through the Olive Branch Petition but it was rejected by the British government. Helped to write the Declaration of Independence which was ratified (voted on) on July 2, 1776 but signed on July 4, 1776.

  1. Molly Pitcher – carried water back and forth to soldiers during the Revolution. George Washington believed she had the qualities to be a sergeant. She helped load the cannons in battle.

  1. Samuel Adams – helped organize the Boston Tea Party by passing out circulars saying “no taxation without representation”. A member of the Sons of Liberty, helped to create the Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence.

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