A tradition of law The Road to Independence Copyright, Concept & Creation: Geetesh Bajaj BY: Donald Johnson World Geography IA Spring, 2009
From the settling of colonies along the east coast of North America to the establishing of rules to guide a new nation, this presentation will highlight milestones in the founding of the Untied States of America.
Magna Carta - 1215 Abuses by King John caused a revolt by nobles who compelled him to execute this recognition of rights for both noblemen and ordinary Englishmen. The Magna Carta established the principle that no one, including the king or a lawmaker, is above the law.
Magna Carta - 1215 This agreement was negotiated between King John's government and his subjects concerning the limits and responsibilities of Government and the legal rights of free citizens. It contained the pledge that no free man should have his rights removed without the due process of law and the judgement of his peers. It is taken to be the foundation of the liberties of the citizen in the English-speaking world.
Jamestown - 1607 In December 1606, the Virginia Company sent three ships to Virginia with 144 colonists, only 105 of whom actually disembarked at Jamestown the following May. Among them was Captain John Smith, a soldier-adventurer and promoter of the company, who became its chief historian.
Virginia House of Burgesses - 1619 The first elected legislature in the colonies. Virginians wanted to make their own laws partly because the English Parliament was too far away. "Patrick Henry Before the Virginia House of Burgesses," A painting of Patrick Henry's "If this be treason, make the most of it!" speech against the Stamp Act of 1765
Mayflower Compact 1620 Signed in 1620 by Pilgrims, English people hoping to establish a settlement in North America, the compact gave the settlers the power to frame and enact laws for the general good of the planned settlement. It was the first colonial agreement that formed a government by the consent of the governed.
Color an area on the consecutive years during which a war was fought
The Navigation Act of 1660 (British Acts of Trade) The Navigation Acts benefited British merchants by restricting the types of products produced in the colonies, mandating that only British ships transport products to and from the colonies, and prohibiting direct trade between the colonies and other nations.
Mercantilism This holds that colonies existed for the benefit of the Mother Country. The most important thing for Britain to do was keep its money and not trade with other countries to get necessary items. The colonists role was to provide many of these items to the British.
English Bill of Rights - 1689 One of the basic documents of English constitutional law, alongside Magna Carta, the Act of Settlement and the Parliament Acts. Unlike the U.S. Bill of Rights which confirms certain rights and freedoms of individual citizens that cannot be violated by the state, the English Bill of Rights does not address individual rights as against the state but rather the rights of Parliament as against the Crown.
Molasses Act of 1733 Although the British gave their colonies more freedom than the Spanish or French, they still made a number of laws that helped the businessmen in England more than the colonists.
Sugar and Molasses Act of March 1733 This was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which imposed a tax of sixpence per gallon on molasses in order to make English products cheaper than those from the French West Indies. Largely opposed by colonists, the tax was rarely paid, and smuggling to avoid it was prominent. The growing corruption of local officials and disrespect for British Law caused by this act and others like it like the Stamp Act or Townshend Acts eventually led to the American Revolution in 1776.
Seditious libel - 1734 Governor William Cosby was spiteful, mean-spirited, quick-tempered, greedy, jealous, dull, and a petty tyrant . John Peter Zenger was arrested in 1734 and imprisoned by virtue of a warrant from Governor William Cosby and the council for "printing and publishing" several seditious libels." Andrew Hamilton’s eloquent, and successful defense of Zenger on the charge of seditious libel re-defined the term.
Freedom of the Press - 1735 The burning of Zenger's New York Weekly Journal On August 5, 1735, twelve New York jurors, inspired by the eloquence of the best lawyer of the period, Andrew Hamilton , ignored the instructions of the Governor's hand-picked judges and returned a verdict of "Not Guilty" on the charge of publishing "seditious libels."
Great Awakening 1730s-1740s This made religion intensely personal to the average person by creating a deep sense of spiritual guilt and redemption. A powerful speaker Jonathan Edwards attracted a large following; " Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God ," while atypical for Edwards, is his most famous sermon. Methodist minister George Whitefield Jonathan Edwards
How did the French and Indian War begin the series of events culminating in the Revolutionary War?
Sugar Act - 1754 This reduced the rate of tax on molasses from six pence to three pence per gallon. The act also listed more foreign goods to be taxed including sugar, certain wines, coffee, pimiento, cambric and printed calico, and further, regulated the export of lumber and iron. Colonists protest the Sugar Act which lowered taxes but increased enforcement
Benjamin Franklin “ If we do not hang together we will all hang separately.” Benjamin Franklin's woodcut from May 9, 1754. Benjamin Franklin published this print of a snake in his newspaper in 1754. The picture was made from a carving in wood and was reprinted in newspapers throughout the colonies. This is believed to be the first political cartoon printed in America.
The French and Indian War 1754-1763 The name French and Indian War is so given because the British fought the French and many of the Native Americans (also known as "Indians") sided with France, although some did fight alongside the British.
Fort Necessity - 1754 The confrontation between George Washington and the French at Fort Necessity in the summer of 1754 was the opening battle of the war fought by England and France for control of the North American continent. It was also the opening episode of a worldwide struggle known in North America as the French and Indian War and elsewhere as the Seven Years' War.
Fort Duquesne - 1755 Braddock’s expedition to capture the French stronghold of Fort Duquesne resulted in ambush, with England losing more than a thousand men that day. He invited George Washington along as an aide-de-camp. The British troops, in Washington’s words, were “immediately struck with such a deadly Panick that nothing but confusion prevail’d amongst them.” Braddock was mortally wounded.
This etching depicts General Edward Braddock’s burial by George Washington, then a Braddock aide.
Treaty of Paris 1763 It was signed by the Kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain to end the French and Indian War and the Seven Years' War. France gave up Quebec to Britain and all claims to territory east of the Mississippi. Spain ceded Florida to the British but gained New Orleans and Louisiana from France and Cuba and the Philippines were restored to Spain.
Proclamation of 1763 It closed the Region west of the Appalachians to settlers Colonists continued to migrate there, further undermining Britain's authority in America
Proclamation of 1763 The decisive result of the war meant that it was the last of the French and Indian Wars and thereby set the stage for the American Revolutionary War. The British colonists no longer needed British protection from the French and resented the taxes imposed by Britain to pay for its military commitments as well as limitation on colonial settlements imposed by the Proclamation of 1763 in the newly acquired French territories in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys.
The Indians were still enemies of the English and British settlements
King George wanted the colonists to pay for the French and Indian Wars through higher taxes
“ No taxation without representation" This catchphrase in the period 1763-1775 summarized a primary grievance of the American colonists in the Thirteen colonies leading to the Revolution.
The Stamp Act - 1765 If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. - Samuel Adams Contrary to popular impression, taxes in America existed throughout the colonial period prior to the American Revolution. Colonial governments relied on a variety of taxes to support themselves including poll, property and excise taxes.
The Stamp Act (Repealed – 1766) Threatening or attacking the Crown-appointed office-holders became a popular tactic against the act throughout the colonies. Though it doubtful that any stamp commissioner was actually tarred and feathered, this Medieval brutality was a popular form of 18th century mob violence in Great Britain, particularly against tax collectors.
Townshend Act 1767 Charles Townshend wanted to strengthen the power of the British parliament which would simultaneously strengthen the power of royal officials. He convinced the Parliament to pass a series of laws imposing new taxes on the colonists.
The Boston Massacre - 1770 On March 5, 1770 s squad of British soldiers come to support a sentry who was being pressed by a heckling, snowballing crowd, let loose a volley of shots.
This chromolithograph by John Bufford after William L. Champey, ca. 1856, of the Boston Massacre prominently features a black man believed to be Crispus Attucks. First martyr Three persons were killed immediately and two died later of their wounds, among the victims was Crispus Attucks , a man of black or Indian parentage. A stranger to Boston, he was leading a march against the Townshend Acts when the killing occurred.
The Boston Tea Party - 1773 The Boston Tea Party was one of the most effective pieces of political theater ever staged. John Adams, no fan of mob action, wrote of the dumping of the tea: "There is a dignity, a majesty, a sublimity, in this last effort of the patriots that I greatly admire."
The Intolerable Acts - 1774 Britain responded Predictably to the Boston Tea Party by passing several laws in 1774 that became known in America as the Intolerable Acts . One law closed Boston Harbor until Bostonians paid for the destroyed tea.
Land Transportation The American colonies in 1775 were sparsely settled and largely rural in character. Only a few centers of population were large enough to be classed as cities. On the eve of the Revolution main roads connected the principal port towns. All important places in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island were connected by stage wagons. Such conveyances provided transportation between Boston and New York as well. Indian trails across New Jersey had been improved to provide routes between Philadelphia and New York City via Burlington and Perth Amboy or by way of Bordentown and New Brunswick. The existing roads, however, can scarcely be described as providing a good network of communications. They were little more than cleared paths which not infrequently fell into disrepair.
Olive Branch Petition - 1775 The war had already started, the Americans still had not declared their independence yet. With the Olive Branch Petition , they gave King George III one last attempt to find a peaceful end to the revolution, but he rejected the petition. He believed the Americans were rebels, and believed he could end the war with violence.
The Spirit of ‘76 When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776
Independence Hall, Philadelphia Construction of the Pennsylvania State House, which came to be known as Independence Hall, began in 1732. At the time it was the most ambitious public building in the thirteen colonies. The Provincial government paid for construction as they went along, so it was finished piecemeal. It wasn't until 1753, 21 years after the groundbreaking, before it was completed.
Thomas Jefferson, with some editing help from Ben Franklin, gets credit for this document’s authorship. He would later become the third President of the United States. Declaration of Independence We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;