Chapter 5 Toward Independence 1 Introduction



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Chapter 5 Toward Independence
5.1 Introduction:

-Patriots, Americans who believed that the colonies had the right to govern themselves.

-Loyalists, Americans who felt deep loyalty toward Great Britain.

-The French and Indian War left the British with huge debts and a vast new empire to protect. To solve its problems, Parliament passed new laws and gained tighter control of the colonies.

-This was a huge change for the Americans. They used to be able to make their own laws and taxes. The rules were changing.
5.2 Before 1763:

-By 1750, the colonies were rapidly growing. Cheap land, religious freedom and economic opportunites were all part of why this was so. The big reason though, was that for almost 100 years, the colonies had pretty much been left alone to solve their own problems. Which led to them learning to govern themselves. The colonies had elected their own assemblies. The Americans had more power to run their affairs, then European countries.

-As time went on and the colonies grew, settlers wanted to move across the Appalachian mountains to the land that was claimed by both the British and French.

-The French built Fort Duquesne where Pittsburg is today, to help fortify their claim on this land. In response to this the Gov. of Virginia ordered a young George Washington to lead a force from the Virginia militia to drive the French out of the Ohio Valley.

-This was Washington’s chance to prove he could be a great British officer.

-This was the beginning of the French and Indian War, the battle between British and French for the control of this territory and power.

-The war lasted 7 years, the turning point was the Battle of Quebec, where the British captured Canada. The French signed a peace treaty and gave Canada to the British.

-Americans were never more proud of the British at this point, future looked bright.


5.3 Early British Actions:

-The pretty picture faded fast, as the new King, George III took over in 1760. He was not known as a bright man, and either were the people that he put in charge. They new little about the American colonies, and they wanted to take charge.

-One of the first problems the British government faced was how to keep the colonists and Native Americans from killing each other as settlers moved Westward.

-The King’s response was the Proclamation of 1763, which was an imaginary

line drawn down the middle of the Appalachain mountains. Native Americans

stay West, colonists stay East.

-The Americans saw this law as tyranny, or unjust use of government power.

-The Americans argued that the most of the land to the east was full, and that

people were already moving west. Also they had helped fight for this land, so

they had the right to settle it.

-The British government put 7,500 British troops in the frontier to keep peace.

-Big question, how to pay off huge debt from F & I War.

-Prime Minister George Grenvile felt the answer was to make the colonists pay

their fair share of the cost of protecting them.

-In 1765, Grenville proposed the Stamp Act. Which required the colonists to buy

a stamp for every piece of paper they used.

-Newspaper, wills, licenses, and even playing cards had to have the stamps.

-Again the colonists saw this as tyranny.

-The colonists didn’t mind paying taxes passed by their own assemblies, where

representatives voted for them. They were upset with the Stamp Act because it

made their taxes higher, but mainly because they had no representatives in

Parliament. Because they had no reps there, they felt they had no right to tax

them. No taxation without Representation. They saw this as a violation of

their rights as British subjects.

-Many forms of protest. Some sent letters to Parliament, Loyalists refused to buy

stamps, and Patriots were a little more violent.

-The Sons of Liberty would attack tax collectors homes. One group even

even tried to bury a tax collector alive, until he resigned from his post.

-Parliament finally repealed the Stamp Act after months of protest.

-Colonists were excited, they thought their troubles were over.

-The Quartering Act was passed in 1865, it ordered colonial assemblies to provide British troops with quarters, or housing. So the colonists had to house, feed and supply British troops whenever needed.

-Problem, this would cost money!

-The New York assembly voted not to give any money to support this act. As a result Parliament refused to let them meet until they agreed to the Act. So tempers flared again.
5.4 The Townshend Acts:

-Charles Townshend felt that the bad behavior of the colonists just proved the fact that troops needed to be in the colonies.

-In 1767 Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, which placed duties or taxes on certain goods the colonies imported from Britain. Examples; glass, paint, paper and tea.

-Colonists were set in not paying taxes that they had no say in.

-Samuel Adams, a Boston Patroit, led the opposition to the Townshend Acts. He wrote a letter protesting the Acts, which was sent to every colony. The letter stated that these new duties violated their rights as British citizens.

-All of the colonies decided to peacefully protest by boycotting British goods.

-Women played a huge role in this, they found many ways to avoid buying

British goods. They made many things and bought American made goods.

-Lord North took over power in the British government. He realized that the Townshend acts were losing money. They weren’t even making enough money to cover what the British Merchants were losing because of the boycott.

-He persuaded Parliamnet to repeal the Townshend acts, except for the tax on tea.

It was a way to continue to show that they were in power and could tax them.
5.5 The Boston Massacre:

-On the day the T Acts were repealed, a fight broke out between soldier and colonists in Boston. In the end, 5 colonists were dead and 10 were injured.

-The colonists used the Boston Massacre as propaganda. That is why they called it this, in actuality it was a small riot.

-The British the Bostonians as the biggest trouble makers in the colonies, so they sent 4 regiments of troops there to keep order.

-The Bostonians resented the troops and called them names, like “lobsterbacks”.

-The troops were forbidden to fire on citizens, which mean the colonists could

make bolder attacks.

-On March 5, 1770, a mob of Bostonians were throwing rocks and ice balls at the Boston Customs House. They were asked to stop, but they kept it up. A soldier was knocked to the ground as the colonists moved closer, so the troops opened fire.

-Crispus Attucks was the first to die. He was a large black man who stood at the

front of the crowd.

-The crowd of angry colonists didn’t go home until they were told that the troops

would be tried for murder.

-Sam Adams saw this as the perfect opportunity to garner up anti-British support. That is why he called it a horrid massacre (propaganda). He had Paul Revere engrave a picture of it, showing soldiers firing at peaceful, unarmed citizens.

-The picture spread throughout the colonies. It made Patriots think the British troops she be pulled from the colonies. It made the Loyalists think that the troops were needed to keep order.

-John Adams was a hero during this event. Even though he knew it would cost him friends and clients, he chose to defend the soldiers on trial. He did it because he believed every person deserved the right to a fair trial.

-6 were found not guilty and 2 were found guilty of manslaughter.


5.6 The Boston Tea Party:

-The Tea Act was passed in 1773, which prompted more protests.

-The boycott on British tea had hurt the British East India Tea Company, it was about to go broke. So Lord North came up with the Tea Act to rescue the company.

-The Tea Act lowered the cost of British tea in the colonies, which made it so even the taxed British tea was cheaper than smuggled Dutch tea. It also gave the BEI Company a monopoly over tea sales in the colonies.

-Colonists saw this act as another attempt to tax them without their consent.

-Colonists became worried about what other monopolies the British might create.

-When the BEI Companies ships sailed to American shores, many of them were turned away. In Boston though the Governor ordered the British Navy to block the exit from Boston Harbor. This would make it so that all the tea would be unloaded before the ships could leave.

-On Dec. 16, 1773, the sons of liberty unloaded the tea, but not how the British

wanted it done. Around 50 men dressed as Native Americans boarded the ships

and dumped about 90,000 pounds of tea into the harbor.


5.7 The Intolerable Acts:

-King George was fed up with the colonies disrespect. He said we have to master them totally, or leave them to themselves. And he wasn’t going to leave them alone.

-As a result of the British anger towards the colonies, Parliament passed a new series of laws in 1774. They were so harsh that they became known as the Intolerable Acts.

-These acts were designed to punish Massachusetts for the Boston Tea Pary.

-One law closed the Boston Harbor until the ruined tea was paid for. Another put

the government of Mass. under British control. A third let soldiers accused of

murder go to Britian for their trial. Also more troops were sent to Boston to

enforce the laws.

-Boston Patriots responded by saying they would rather burn down Boston then pay for the destroyed tea. Other cities supported Boston in this time of need, by closing their shops and sending food and money.

-Virginia called for a Congress with delegates from all of the colonies to meet to find a peaceful solution to the problems with Britian.

-Loyalists saw this as wrong, thinking that the people of Boston had gone to far.

-Sept. 1774, around 50 leaders from 12 colonies met in Philidelphia, it became known as the First Continental Congress.

-Patrick Henry urged the delegates to come together as one. There were Patriots,

Loyalists and Neutralists there. The one thing they all had in common was their

love of liberty and hatred of tyranny.

-They came up with a letter to send to King George. It asked him to consider

their complaints and recognize their rights. They also called for a new boycott

of British goods until Parliament repealed the Intolerable Acts.

-Committees were formed in the colonies to enforce the boycotts. They also organized militias in case the boycott didn’t work. The militia in New England became known as the Minutemen, because they could be ready in a minutes notice.

-Militias were stealing British military supplies throughout the colonies. The Intolerable Acts were bringing the two sides to war, not peace.


5.8 Lexington and Concord:

-King George refused to answer the First Continental Congress’s letter. He responded by saying that “blows” would decide if the colonies would be subjects or independent.

-A spy told British General Gage that the colonists were hiding weapons and gunpowder in the village of Concord. So he ordered 700 troops to march their too seize the supplies at night.

-The colonists had spies also. Paul Revere and William Dawes marched through the country side warning the colonists that the British were coming.

-First Blow: In Lexington, a village on the road to Concord, 8 colonists were killed and 10 were wounded, as the British troops won the quick battle.

-Second Blow: The British troops made it to Concord, but the colonists had hid the supplies. So the British troops lit the town on fire, the militia men, who were up on ridge outside the city, marched down to stop them. They met at the North Bridge in Concord. After just a few minutes the British were retreating to Boston. It was a dangerous retreat, as over 4,000 militia men lined the road back to Boston and shot at every redcoat as then marched back.

-Big mistake of British since F & I War was that they thought of the colonists as

regular people who would not fight for their rights.

-Lexington and Concord proved that they would both fight and die for their rights.

5.9 Chapter Summary:

-American colonists had grown used to governing themselves and felt strongly about their right to do so.



-The F & I War left Britain with huge debts and a large empire to control, they tried to face their challenges by imposing new laws and taxes. This split the colonists into different groups. Loyalists urged obedience to Britain, Patriots resisted taxation without representation through protests, boycotts and riots.


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