Causes of the American Revolution Test - (10/21)

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Proclamation Act: When?

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Proclamation Act: When?

1763

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Proclamation Act: Summary

  • forbade private citizens and colonial governments from buying land or making any agreements with natives

  • the empire would conduct all official relations

  • only licensed traders would be allowed to travel west or deal with Indians

  • closed down colonial expansion westward beyond Appalachia

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Proclamation Act: Impact on the Revolution

fueled tensions between the British monarchy and the colonists

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Sugar Act: When?

April, 1764

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Sugar Act: Summary

  • taxing sugar, molasses, and other goods

  • it banned some exports to foreign countries, including lumber and iron

  • established strict restrictions on imports and exports

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Sugar Act: Impact on the Revolution

increased the colonists' concerns about the intent of the British Parliament and helped the growing movement that became the American Revolution

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Currency Act: When?

September, 1764

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Currency Act: Summary

  • assuming control of the colonial currency system

  • prohibited the issue of any new bills and the reissue of existing currency

  • Parliament favored a "hard currency" system based on the pound sterling, but was not inclined to regulate the colonial bills

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Currency Act: Impact on the Revolution

created tension between the colonies and Great Britain and was cited as a grievance by colonists early in the American Revolution

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Quartering Act: When?

May, 1765

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Quartering Act: Summary

  • required the colonies to house British soldiers in barracks provided by the colonies

  • If the barracks were too small to house all the soldiers, then localities were to accommodate the soldiers in local inns, livery stables, ale houses, victualling houses and the houses of sellers of wine

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Quartering Act: Impact on the Revolution

  • allowed royal governors, rather than colonial legislatures, to find homes and buildings to quarter or house British soldiers

  • this only further enraged the colonists by having what appeared to be foreign soldiers boarded in American cities and taking away their authority to keep the soldiers distant

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Stamp Act: When?

October, 1765

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Stamp Act: Summary

  • The act required the colonists to pay a tax, represented by a stamp, on various forms of papers, documents, and playing cards.

  • It was a direct tax imposed by the British government without the approval of the colonial legislatures

  • was payable in hard-to-obtain British sterling, rather than colonial currency

  • Further, those accused of violating the Stamp Act could be prosecuted in Vice-Admiralty Courts, which had no juries and could be held anywhere in the British Empire

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Stamp Act: Impact on the Revolution

extracted money from Americans without their consent, so both violated the principle of taxation without representation

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Sons and Daughters of Liberty

When: 1765 Why:

  • in response to the Stamp Act

  • Furious about “taxation without representation,” What:

  • American colonists who supported the patriot cause

  • used threats, protests, and acts of violence to intimidate loyalists, or those loyal to the British crown

  • made their grievances clear to the British Parliament

  • the Daughters upholded boycotts and fashioned homemade versions of products affected by non-importation agreements Actions:

  • helped organize and carry out the Boston Tea Party

  • though the Stamp Act was repealed in March 1766, the Sons continued to fight against what they perceived as Parliament’s unjust actions

  • after the Townshend acts, Sam Adams, one of the Sons’ leaders, organized a boycott of British goods. Other Sons attacked shops and threatened to tar and feather shopkeepers who did not comply with the boycott.

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Stamp Act Congress

When: October 1765 Where: NYC What:

  • It was the first colonial action against a British measure

  • 27 delegates from nine colonies gathered in New York City, issued these resolutions, and sent petitions to the king and both houses of Parliament

  • Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia were prevented from attending because their loyal governors refused to convene the assemblies to elect delegates. New Hampshire did not attend but approved the resolutions once Congress was over

  • formed to protest the Stamp Act issued by British Parliament What thye did:

  • The Stamp Act Congress passed a "Declaration of Rights and Grievances," which claimed that American colonists were equal to all other British citizens

  • In the first resolution they stated their allegiance to the king and its Parliament

  • protested taxation without representation

  • and stated that, without colonial representation in Parliament, Parliament could not tax colonists

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Declaratory Act: When?

1766

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Declaratory Act: Summary

  • the British Parliament’s taxing authority was the same in America as in Great Britain

  • British Parliament asserted its authority to make laws binding the colonists “in all cases whatsoever” including the right to tax

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Declaratory Act: Impact on the Revolution

  • to assert Parliament's authority to rule over the American colonies

  • a sign of parliament's determination to govern them as it saw fit

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Townshend Acts: When?

1767

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Townshend Acts: Summary

  • taxed goods imported to the American colonies

  • initiated taxes on glass, lead, paint, paper, and tea

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Townshend Acts: Impact on the Revolution

  • prompted colonists to take action by boycotting British goods

  • led to the Boston Massacre

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Boston Massacre: Summary

When: 1770 Where: King Street, Boston Why: Private Hugh White was the only soldier guarding the King’s money stored inside the Custom House on King Street. It wasn’t long before angry colonists joined him and insulted him and threatened violence What:

  • White struck a colonist with his bayonet

  • the colonists pelted him with snowballs, ice and stones

  • Bells (a warning of fire) started ringing throughout the town sending a mass of male colonists into the streets

  • assault on White continued, and he eventually fell and called for reinforcements

  • Captain Thomas Preston arrived on the scene with several soldiers and took up a defensive position in front of the Custom House

  • some colonists reportedly pleaded with the soldiers to hold their fire as others dared them to shoot.

  • colonists struck the soldiers with clubs and sticks

  • someone supposedly said the word “fire,” a soldier fired his gun, although it’s unclear if the discharge was intentional

  • other soldiers opened fire, killing five colonists and wounding six Impact:

  • Preston and his soldiers were arrested and jailed and the propaganda machine was in full force on both sides of the conflict

  • Sons of Liberty leaders such as John Hancock and Samuel Adams incited colonists to keep fighting the British

  • Paul Revere encouraged anti-British attitudes by etching a now-famous engraving depicting British soldiers callously murdering American colonists. It showed the British as the instigators though the colonists had started the fight.

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Committees of Correspondence

When: most influential COCs operated in 1772 Why:

  • Samuel Adams called for a Boston town meeting to create committees of correspondence

  • to communicate Boston's position to the other colonies

  • similar committees were soon created throughout the colonies What:

  • Towns, counties, and colonies had their own committees of correspondence

  • Men on these committees wrote to each other to express ideas, to confirm mutual assistance, and to debate and coordinate resistance to British imperial policy

  • organized and mobilized hundreds of communities across the British North American colonies

  • 3 systems: The Boston-Massachusetts system, the inter-colonial system, and the post-Coercive Acts system

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Tea Act: When?

May, 1773

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Tea Act: Summary

  • not intended to raise revenue in the American colonies, and in fact imposed no new taxes

  • would launch the final spark to the revolutionary movement in Boston

  • By 1773, the British East India Company was in financial distress due in part to the colonial boycott and access to smuggled tea. The company had a large surplus of tea it needed to sell. In order to help the company sells its surplus tea, Parliament passed the Tea Act.

  • It allowed the company to sell the tea at a low cost, which undercut colonial merchants. The company was also allowed to handpick the merchants — or consignees — that would sell the tea in the colonies.

  • Colonists resented the act because it maintained the British position that Britain could tax the colonies without granting them representation in Parliament

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Tea Act: Impact on the Revolution

  • led directly to a protest: Boston Tea Party

  • colonists dumped 342 chests of East India Company tea into the ocean

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Boston Tea Party: Summary

When: 1773 Where: Griffin's Wharf in Boston Why: American colonists were frustrated and angry at Britain for imposing “taxation without representation” (specific acts: stamp act, townshend acts) What: colonists dumped 342 chests of tea, imported by the British East India Company into the harbor Impact: showed Great Britain that Americans wouldn’t take taxation and tyranny sitting down, and rallied American patriots across the 13 colonies to fight for independence

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Intolerable and Coercive Acts: When?

1774

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Intolerable and Coercive Acts: Summary

  • the Boston Port Bill: closed Boston Harbor

  • the Massachusetts Government Act: replaced the elective local government with an appointive one and increased the powers of the military governor

  • the Administration of Justice Act: allowed British officials charged with capital offenses to be tried in another colony or in England

  • the Quartering Act: permitted the requisition of unoccupied buildings to house British troops

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Intolerable and Coercive Acts: Impact on the Revolution

the outrage they caused became the major push that led to the outbreak American Revolution

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The First Continental Congress

When: 1774 Where: Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Why: prompted by the Coercive Acts What:

  • Delegates from twelve of Britain’s thirteen (not Georgia) American colonies met to discuss America’s future under growing British aggression

  • many prominent colonial leaders, such as Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, and two future presidents of the United States, George Washington, and John Adams

  • discussed boycotting British goods to establish the rights of Americans

  • Peyton Randolph of Virginia was named President of the First Continental Congress Impact:

  • endorsed the Suffolk Resolves - ordered citizens to not obey the Intolerable Acts - refuse imported British goods - raise a militia

  • planned for a Second Continental Congress

  • drafted and discussed the Continental Association - called for an end to British imports starting in December 1774 and an end to exporting goods to Britain in September 1775

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Second Continental Congress

When: May 1775 Where: Independence Hall Why: To prepare for war after Lexington and Concord What they did:

  • established a Continental army

  • elected George Washington as Commander-in-Chief

  • drafted the Olive Branch Petition and sent it to King George III in hopes of reaching a peaceful resolution - The king refused to hear the petition and declared the American colonies in revolt

  • On June 7, 1776, Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee put forth the resolution for independence: “Resolved, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states…”

  • a committee of five men was assigned to draft a document of independence: John Adams (MA), Benjamin Franklin (PA), Thomas Jefferson (VA), Roger Sherman (CT), and Robert R. Livingston (NY) - Jefferson did most of the work

  • voted to adopt Lee’s resolution for independence Impact:

  • the Declaration of Independence

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Common Sense: Summary

When: January 1776 Where: Philadelphia Why: colonists seemed reluctant to consider the idea of actually breaking away from Britain, and instead insisted that they were still its loyal subjects, even as they resisted what they saw as its tyrannical laws and unfair taxation What:

  • a pamphlet that shifted American sentiment toward independence

  • made an equally eloquent argument that Americans had a unique opportunity to change the course of history by creating a new sort of government in which people were free and had the power to rule themselves Impact:

  • sold an estimated 500,000 copies

  • attracted public support for the Revolution and put the rebellion’s leaders under pressure to declare independence

  • some of his ideas found their way into the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights

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Common Sense: Main Points

  • Government's purpose was to serve the people

  • Having a king was a bad idea

  • America as the home of the free

  • America had a rare opportunity to create a new nation based on self-rule

  • A strong central government was needed

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