Ideas of the Revolution

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1 Warm up: Using your notes from last class and the posters you created answer the following question: Were the American colonists justified in rebelling against British rule?

2

3 Ideas of the Revolution Natural Rights: People born with natural rights such as life, liberty and property Social Contract: Each of us places his person and authority under the supreme direction of the general will, and the group receives each individual as an indivisible part of the whole. Sons of Liberty: Group of shopkeepers that protested British taxation without representation.

4 Were the American colonists justified in rebelling against British rule? Event Proclamation of 1763 Sugar Act (1764) Quartering Act (1765) Stamp Act (1765) British Conflicts between Indians and colonists made settlement difficult. To protect colonists, Britain bans settlement past Appalachians Britain cuts taxes on sugar to lessen incentive to smuggle and increase British revenues Britain requires colonists to provide housing for British troops in Boston; troops need a place to stay while protecting the colonists Britain needs to pay for cost of the war and cost of providing troops for colonial protection; requires colonists to pay for stamps on legal docs. Colonists Colonists see Act as restriction of liberty; defy the order and continue to push westward into the frontier. Colonists continue to smuggle to spite the British laws; see the Act as a British invasion of colonial rights Colonists see troops as an invasion of liberty and privacy; troops are taking colonists jobs to supplement their income Colonists outraged at taxation w/o representation; Stamp Act Congress is first organized resistance across all the colonies leads Britain to repeal the Act

5 Were the American colonists justified in rebelling against British rule? Event Townshend Acts (1770) Boston Massacre (1770) Boston Tea Party (1773) Intolerable Acts (1774) British Places taxes on tea, glass, lead, paper & paints; creates strict enforcement through Writs of Assistance Working class citizens of Boston continually harass British troops; one confrontation of rabble rousers and troops leads to shooting in self-defense Britain cuts taxes on tea (Tea Act) to ensure that the British East India Company will retain control of the tea trade in the colonies In response to colonial actions, Britain clamps down with a number of restrictions on trade in New England & closes Boston Harbor effectively shutting down trade Colonists Sons of Liberty organize boycotts of British goods that hurts British merchants and protests urging the repeal of the Act that lead to its repeal (except tea) 5 colonists are killed; colonists see incident as further evidence of a pattern of oppression no standing army has ever existed outside of wartime Despite tax cut, colonists see this as attack on liberties, creating a monopoly of one tea company; Sons of Liberty dump 300 chests of tea in Boston harbor Colonists see this as an act of war; take the opportunity to unite leaders of all colonies in opposition to Britain

6 Were the American colonists justified in rebelling against British rule? Event First Continental Congress Lexington & Concord (April 1775) Second Continental Congress Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) British Britain fails to understand significance of the Intolerable Acts (aka the Coercive Acts in Britain), seeing them as just punishment for rebellion Britain hears of troops drilling and storing supplies to prepare for military action; General Gage marches troops to Lexington to confiscate the weapons King George declares colonies in an open state of rebellion after Lex. & Concord and sends troops and generals to Boston to squash the rebellion After British victory at Bunker Hill and loss of city of Boston to colonists, Britain moves to occupy NYC Colonists Representatives from 12 colonies meet in Philly to plan a response to British tyranny, Townshend declared unconstitutional and boycotts continued Shot heard round the world leads to open military rebellion against Britain and start of the War for American Independence Colonists take initiative to find a way to peace through the Olive Branch petition; vote for independence when rejected by King George III 2nd Continental Congress votes for independence, seeing no means for peace; appoints Washington head of the Continental Army; adopts Dec. of Independence

7 How did we win the War for Independence? While it is not known what % of the population supported Britain, approximately 100,000 loyalists left America during and after the war Common Sense, a pamphlet by Thomas Paine (think blog!), helped persuade many literate urban citizens to support the war (think propaganda!) The American war strategy was to hit hard and fast and avoid frontal assaults (think guerrilla warfare and the Vietnam War!) The leadership of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, Ben Franklin et al. steered the military and financial course, convincing France (and to some extent Spain) to support the colonists despite their own interest to the contrary

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