Prologue To Revolution
Important Sources From This Period
Patrick Henry's Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions
Captain Thomas Preston's Account of the Boston Massacre
Common Sense by Thomas Paine
I. The New Imperial Policy (1763-1770)
A. Reasons for inaugurating the policy
1. Rebellious attitude of colonists
2. Western problems
a) Proclamation of 1763
b) Boone and other western settlement leaders
c) Need for defense of frontier
B. Early tax measures (1763-1766)
1. Grenville taxation program.
a) Reform of custom service (prosecution of smugglers)
b) Sugar Act threatened triangular trade
c) Currency Act forbade the issue of paper money
d) Stamp Act (1765) sought to raise funds for defense of America.
2. Colonial opposition to new program
a) Postwar depression left Americans short on cash
b) Custom reform, Sugar Act, and currency limits cut flow of currency into the colonies
c) Stamp Act affected lawyers, merchants, editors most heavily.
d) Stamp Act Congress met to call for boycott of British goods and state that Parliament had no right to tax colonies without consent. Important constitutional issues:
i. Were the colonies represented in Parliament?
ii. Did Parliament have the right to tax the colonists if they had the right to regulate trade?
e) Sons of Liberty used mob violence to force all stamp agents to resign.
3. Parliament repealed Stamp Act but asserted its rights (with Declaratory Act) to regulate colonies "in all ways whatsoever."
C. Townshend Acts (1767-1770)--new duties placed on a number of goods led to protests against the collection of customs duties.
1. Samuel Adams led radicals in urging a renewed boycott of British goods.
2. Boston Massacre resulted in deaths of four persons (1770) when soldiers sent to protect agents were attacked by a mob.
3. By 1770 all duties except that on tea were repealed.
II. The Move Toward Independence (1770-1776)
A. Key factors
1. Constitutional factor--colonists demanded the right to examine the purpose for each law passed, refusing to obey those that raised revenue.,
2. Social conflicts factor
a) Lower class discontent resulted from limited franchise, established churches, inheritance laws.
b) Upper class colonists welcomed protest support from lower classes at first, but became alarmed with mob violence. England had two groups of protestors to deal with.
B. Tea Act (1773)
1. In an attempt to support the East India Tea Company, Parliament removed the tax on tea and allowed it to be sold in the colonies through its own agents, not American retailers
2. Mobs turned back tea ships in several ports and dumped shiploads into Boston Harbor.
3. Parliament responded with Coercive (Intolerable) Acts which
a) Closed Boston Harbor
b) Removed trials involving royal officials out of New England
c) Allowed for quartering of troops in colonists' homes
d) Extended Quebec's boundaries south, convincing colonists that liberty was threatened.
C. First Continental Congress (1774)
1. Radical delegates favored active resistance while moderates argued for conciliation.
2. Declaration of Rights and Grievances promised obedience to king but denied Parliament's right to tax colonies.
3. Set up Continental Association to prohibt importation of English goods and later the export of American goods to England.
|Title:||"U.S. History Resources" (Directory)|
|Author:||Feldmeth, Greg D.|
herein are included under the fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright
law and have been prepared according to the educational multimedia fair
use guidelines and are restricted from further use. This work may be
protected by further copyright, reproduction and distribution in
violation of United States Copyright Law is prohibited.
Redistributed with permission.