Colonies to Independence Key People & Terms Mayflower Compact



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Intolerable Acts – The British response to the Boston Tea Party; they punished Massachusetts by closing the port of Boston, forbidding town meetings, closing the colonial legislatures, and sending more British troops to occupy the colony




  1. Boston Massacre– a violent incident in which the colonists were able to use as propaganda against the British




  1. First Continental Congress – a meeting in Philadelphia of representatives from 12 colonies in the summer of 1774 in order to plan a response to the British actions in Massachusetts




  1. Second Continental Congress – a group of colonial representatives who met after the start of the American Revolution in 1775 and took control of the war effort and eventually created a committee to draft the Declaration of Independence




  1. Battles of Lexington & Concord – the first battles of the American Revolution which became known as “The shot heard ‘round the world”




  1. Common Sense – a widely circulated essay written by Thomas Paine that became influential in persuading the colonists that independence from Britain was the most logical course of action




  1. Declaration of Independencewritten by Thomas Jefferson, it relied heavily on the ideas of the Enlightenment as well as John Locke’s social contract theory and belief in natural rights; it was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776




  1. Enlightenmenta philosophical movement that began in Europe and influenced the founders of our nation and the creators of our Constitution




  1. John Lockean English philosopher who stated that all men were born with natural rights, that societies create social contracts with their governments, and governments receive their power from the consent of the governed




  1. Montesquieu – French philosopher who believed government power should be divided amongst multiple branches




  1. Constitutiona nation’s plan of government and its set of laws




  1. Articles of ConfederationThe first constitution of the United States created by the Second Continental Congress and went into effect in 1781; it was known for its weak central government which reflected the colonists fear of a strong centralized government and its threat to freedom




  1. Northwest Land Ordinance of 1787an achievement of the Articles of Confederation, it set a pattern of settlement for the Northwest Territory and provided guidelines for admitting new states into the Union



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