American Revolution-Causes Chart



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American Revolution-Causes Chart



Immediate Causes: Britain’s Actions/Colonies Reactions (After French/Indian War, Britain tightens control over colonies because of money to pay off its debts)

Proclamation Line (1763): (p. 143)

England has “geographic” control over colonies. It was an imaginary line along Appilachian Moutains. British tightens control on settling Western frontier (Great Wagon Road and backcountry) to stop settlers from traveling and settling west


England sent troops to enforce law, which angered the colonists
Sugar Act (1764): (p. 143-144) A new tax on molasses. It was a lowered tax from the previous one, but British officials were able to bring smugglers (those who break the law or get around the taxes) to trial. The problem- it was unfair to colonists that the British officials were in charge: why do they address smuggling issues?

Stamp Act (1765): (p. 144)

New duties (tax) put on legal documents, such as wills, diplomas, marriage papers, etc, forcing colonists to pay taxes to England. Problem: why taxes to England? Famous cry: “No taxation without representation


*Riots break out when officials try to enforce the new taxes
~Nine colonies send delegates to the Stamp Act Congress (a meeting) where they draw up a petition (formal written request to authority/signed) to King George II and Parliament rejecting the Stamp Act of 1765; No right to tax the colonies (making money) (p. 144)
~This is ignored and colonists start to boycott (refuse to buy certain goods that get taxed). In 1767, parliament debates over taxing with Charles Townshend (the British Treasury) (p. 144)
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Townshend Act (1767) (p. 145)
Taxes on all goods, such as glass, paint, lead, tea.
British officials would go to the American ports to stop smuggling (again) but this time with legal documents or WRITS of ASSISTANCE, allowing them to inspect cargo without a reasonno warrant needed

~Sons of Liberty - created to protest. They would riot and boycott. The Daughters of Liberty also created to protest. They were a group of woman who paraded, signed petitions, and helped organize boycotts against British cloth and other goods (p. 145 & 147)


~In 1770 a crowd gathered outside of Boston customs house shouting insults to British soldiers (throwing things at them)…Soldiers shot into the crowd and five people were killed. Colonists protested this. It was called the Boston Massacre
Boston Massacre (1770): (p. 148-149)
The colonists protested outside of the Boston Customs House, shouting that their rights (basic freedoms and rights as British citizens) were being violated. For example, they argued that no British Official should be able to search without a good reason for suspecting a crime. So the Colonists created the NON IMPORTATION agreement: stating colonists of MA will not import goods taxed by the Townshend Acts.
SO they BOYCOTT (many key leaders protest and held secret meetings)

~Key leaders spoke out: John Adams: defend British soldiers to show that colonists believe in justice to make the colonists look good. Sam Adams created a letter writing campaign called: Committee of Correspondence: where members wrote letters and pamphlets reporting the events in Massachusetts. (p. 149)

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Tea Act/Boston Tea Party (1773): (p. 150)
Tea Act: Tax on tea that allowed the British East India Company to bypass colonial tea merchants in order to sell directly to the colonists (which would mean the tea cost less). The Problem: Colonists are angry because why is it only British making the money? Why bypass colonial tea merchants, which is not good for colonial economy. Why is this in the hands of the Brits?
Event: Boston Tea Party:

One day colonists protest…dress up as Mohawk Indians and dumped the tea into the harbor to prove a point. They disguised themselves to hide identity from the king…most likely members of the Sons of Liberty.
*this angers the king…cost money…he wants someone to be held responsible…so he places the intolerable acts on Boston
Intolerable Acts (1774): (p. 151 & 153)


  1. Shut down port of Boston




  1. Massachusetts only: cannot have town meetings…can only hold 1 a year




  1. Customs officials and officers charges with any crime would be tried in Britain




  1. New Quartering Act: no longer do the redcoats (British soldiers) have to stay in tents…now they can stay in citizens home.

~So, Committees of Correspondence sent news of the Intolerable Acts warning other colonies. The other colonies came to help Massachusetts. In Virginia, an assembly formed (Thomas Jefferson) suggested a meeting to discuss these acts. Governor of Virginia disagreed (Royal Governor), so colonists did it anyway but meet in Philadelphia.


~1774: delegates met in Philadelphia from 12 colonies (no GA) to create the First Continental Congress:

1. Pass a resolution backing Massachusetts and agreed to boycott British goods,

2. Stop exporting to Britain until the acts were lifted or repealed;

3. Urged colonies to set up a militia (army of citizens who serve as soldiers during emergencies).


* They agreed to meet again in 1775-- Fighting breaks out at Lexington, MA

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