A) The Tea Act
1) In 1773, the British government passed the Tea Act.
2) The act gave the East India Company exclusive rights to sell tea to the American colonies
3) Result = colonial tea merchants were cut out of the business
B) Boston Tea Party
1) In the fall of 1773 = the Sons of Liberty crept onto a ship in Boston Harbor loaded with
East India tea
2) colonists dressed as Mohawk Native Ams.
3) then dumped the tea into the water to protest the Tea Act
4) action became known as the Boston Tea Party
IX The Intolerable Acts (Coersive Acts)
A) Lord North and King G
1) Lord North was stunned by the news of the Boston Tea Party.
2) tried to help the colonists by sending them cheap tea, which they then threw into the sea
3) King G agreed and decided to enforce his CONTROL over the colonies
4) Parliament repealed (canceled) the Stamp Act and other tax laws, BUT
things got worse!
B) Coercive Acts – A Series of Laws
1) CAUSE: Due to the “Boston Tea Party”…
2) March 1774: Parliament passed a series of laws known as the Coercive Acts
aa) One act closed the port of Boston until payment was made for the tea destroyed in
the “Boston Tea Party” – NOTHING IN OR OUT!
bb) Another act provided that British officials accused of a crime were to be tried in
English rather than American courts = NO TRIAL BY JURY OF PEERS
cc) A third provided that British troops could be quartered in any town in
Massachusetts – even in private homes = allowed British soldiers to search, and even to
move into, colonists’ homes
dd) Fourth – the Massachusetts charter was amended to greatly reduce the colony’s
right of self-government = couldn’t even hold a town meeting w/out the governor’s
3) EFFECT: Parliament Punishes Massachusetts
aa) Boston and the colony of Massachusetts = now to suffer for the actions of a
handful of protesters (Sons of Liberty)
bb) = called Intolerable Acts throughout the colonies
C) Quebec Act
1) passed by Parliament
2) extended the Canadian province of Quebec south to the Ohio River
3) allowed French Canadians to keep their laws, language, & Roman Catholic religion
4) Colonists saw the act as
aa) the first step toward doing away with JURY TRIALS
bb) the first step toward doing away with PROTESTANTISM (any Christian religion NOT Catholic)
5) RESULTS: Colonists thought the boundary changes were made to keep American settlers
out of the western lands
aa) (Remember: the Proclamation of 1763 – no colonists west of the Appalachian Mts)
D) The Colonies Begin to Unite
1) These Coercive Acts made many colonists want to fight back!
2) The colonial governments banded together to fight the Intolerable Acts (protest/rebel)
3) Many shop owners in the colonies closed their doors to British goods.
4) Also, several groups of colonists sent food and money to Boston so that its citizens
wouldn’t starve! WOW!!
5) George Washington expressed this feeling when he said, “The cause of Boston now is & ever
will be the cause of America!” - WHAT does this mean??
X Beginnings of the First Continental Congress
Committees of Correspondence = groups formed throughout the colonies as a means of coordinating action against Great Britain
1) Ex: Sons of Liberty
2) call went out for delegates from each colony to meet & discuss their common concerns
3) 56 delegates - every colony EXCEPT GEORGIA met in PHILADELPHIA = FIRST
B) The First Continental Congress
1) lasted about 7 weeks
2) discussions = difficult b/c each colony had its own needs and viewpoints
3) Massachusetts & Virginia spoke up the most!
4) Paul Revere: (Boston silversmith) arrived w/a set of resolutions passed at a meeting in
aa) Suffolk Resolves:
(1) called the Coercive Acts “the attempts of a wicked administration to enslave
(2) also demanded the return of constitutional government and an end to trade
w/Great Britain and its West Indian colonies
5) NOT ALL delegates shared this view
6) Compromise = Middle Ground was reached:
aa) MOST of the views were approved
bb) Massachusetts’ plan for arming and training a militia was accepted
C) The Continental Congress Takes a Stand
1) The congress based its final position on the colonists’ NATURAL RIGHTS
aa) John Locke = came up w/this term
bb) all governments are based on a social compact,or agreement, between the people and
the rulers. In return for the government protecting their lives, property, and
rights, the people give up some of their freedoms
2) Appeal to King George III
aa) delegates sent a document to King George III demanding that the rights of the
colonists be restored.
bb) peaceful at first
cc) said Parliament could make laws about trade
dd) BUT, it approved a BAN ON TRADE with GREAT BRITAIN until the COERCIVE
ACTS were REPEALED
ee) delegates vowed to hold another meeting if King George did not meet their demands
by the following year
D) King George III’s Response
1) some members of Parliament = sympathetic to the colonists
2) others = wanted them punished
3) George refused AND decided to use force against the colonists!
XI Moving Toward a Crisis
Many people spoke for and against Great Britain and the British troops
Edmund Burke: a writer who made several speeches asking for compromise
William Pitt: wanted British troops w/drawn from America
B) The Colonists Take Arms
1) winter of 1774-1775 = rebellions were uprising
2) tensions built between the British soldiers and the colonists
3) militia drilled on village greens and began to be called MINUTEMEN
1) 1775 – American spies heard that the British were making plans against the militia
2) British General Thomas Gage was supposedly sending soldiers to take the militia’s supply
of guns and gunpowder stored in Concord, a few miles from Boston
aa) - Gage - ordered to arrest two colonial leaders – Samuel Adams and Boston
merchant John Hancock
D) Battles at Lexington and Concord
1) 1775: 2 battles between British & colonial soldiers took place in Massachusetts at Lexington
2) Until this, MOST COLONISTS still CONSIDERED themselves BRITISH.
3) These battles changed many colonists’ minds.
E) One if by Land and Two if by Sea
1) APRIL 18, 1775 –
2) American spy network in Boston waited to discover the route the British soldiers would take
3) PLAN of action was clear: Boston’s North Church would serve as the signal tower
aa) Dr. Joseph Warren planned to flash one light from the church bell tower if the British
were approaching by land
bb) two lights if approaching by sea
F) The British Were Spotted
1) Dr. Warren spotted British troops
2) signaled the two waiting riders –
aa) William Dawes and Paul Revere
bb) immediately jumped on their horses and galloped to Lexington w/the urgent news that
the “redcoats” were coming!
G) The Battle is On – THE START OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR
1) 700 British soldiers marched toward Concord and reached Lexington (a town on the way
to Concord) soon after dawn on April 19
2) 70 minutemen armed w/muskets & pitchforks were waiting for them on Lexington Green
3) No one knows who fired the first shot!
aa) According to one account, a British officer rode onto the green and called out to the
militia: “Disperse, ye rebels!”
bb) someone fired a shot, then more shots were fired
cc) 8 colonists fell dead; 10 were wounded
dd) one British soldier was wounded
4) Redcoats continued on to Concord
aa) burned what little gunpowder the colonists hadn’t used
5) fighting ended by noon
aa) Colonists had proven their strength
bb) British had been forced to turn back toward Boston
cc) Minutemen nearby had been called to arms, hiding behind stone walls and trees, firing at
dd) BRITISH CASUALTIES: three times that of the Americans!!!