The Birth of a DemocraticNation Chapter 2 Section 2
After years allowing the colonists to manage their own affairs (salutary neglect),the British began to take an active interest in the colonies.
Why? EconomicsThere were economic reasons why England wanted close control over the colonies
The prevailing economic theory in the 1600 & 1700s was mercantilism
Characteristics of Mercantilism A nation’s wealth is measured by the amount of gold & silver in its country A nation should export more than it imports The government should place tariffs on imports The government should allow only unfinished products (raw materials) to be imported The government should subsidize key industries The government takes an active role in the economy
Mercantilism is the exact opposite of laissez-fair
The Albany Plan of Union (1754) Proposed by Benjamin Franklin at the Albany Congress in 1754 in Albany, New York An early attempt at forming a union of colonies that would unite English colonists with mainland England to assist in defending the New World during the French and Indian War The Albany Plan of Union was used to help write the Articles of Confederation It established an elected inter-colonial legislature without the power to tax the citizens
Proclamation of 1763 The purpose was to organize Britains new North American empire and to stabilize relations with Native North Americans through regulation of trade, settlement, and land purchases on the western frontier Colonists could not settle west of Appalachians without British permission This angers western farmers who want more land
In 1765, the colonists still consideredthemselves loyal subjects of the BritishCrown, with the same historic rights and obligations as subjects in Britain
In 1765, Parliament enacted the Quartering Act, which stated that British soldiers were cared for in peacetime in certain areas
The Quartering Act provided that Great Britain would house its soldiersin American barracks and public houses, but if its soldiers outnumbered the housing available, would quarter them "in inns, livery stables, ale houses, victualing houses, and the houses of sellers of wine and houses of persons selling of rum, brandy, strong water, cider or metheglin, and if numbers required in "uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings"... "upon neglect or refusal of such governor and council in any province", required any inhabitants (or in their absence, public officials) to provide them with food and alcohol, and providing for "fire, candles, vinegar, salt, bedding, and utensils" for the soldiers "without paying any thing for the same"
England did not expect the colonies to pay off the war debt, but it did a portion of theexpenses for maintaining British soldiers to be paid by the Americans
In 1765, the Stamp Act was the first direct tax ever levied by Parliament on the colonies
All newspapers, almanacs, pamphlets, andofficial documents—even decks of playing cards—were required to have the stamps
Colonists resented it because they had no representatives in Parliament
In short, many in the colonies believed the lack of direct representation in the distant British Parliament was an illegal denial of their rights as Englishmen, and therefore laws taxing the colonists and other laws applying only to the colonies, were unconstitutional
All 13 colonies protested vehemently, aspopular leaders such as Patrick ―Give-me-liberty-or-give-me-death‖ Henry, rallied the people in opposition
Colonists formed groups, such as the Sons of Liberty, to organize protests and demonstrations
The Sons of Liberty threatened violence if anyone sold the stamps, and no one did
The colonists resorted to an economicboycott of imported British merchandise
Benjamin Franklin made the case for the boycotters, explaining the colonies had spent heavily in manpower, money, andblood in defense of the empire in the Frenchand Indian War, and that further taxes to pay for those wars were unjust and might bring about a rebellion
Parliament agreed and repealed (cancelled) the tax
In March, 1766 Parliament passed the "Declaratory Act‖ that insisted thatparliament retained full power to make laws for the colonies "in all cases whatsoever"
In 1767, the Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, which placed a tax on anumber of essential goods including paper, glass, and tea
Angered at the tax increases, colonists organized a boycott of British goods
The Boston Massacre March, 1770 In Boston, a large mob gathered around a group of British soldiers. The mob grew more and more threatening, throwing snowballs, rocks and debris at the soldiers. One soldier was clubbed and fell. All but one of the soldiers fired into the crowd. Eleven people were hit Three civilians were killed at the scene of the shooting, and two died after the incident. The event quickly came to be called the Boston Massacre.
Although the soldiers were tried andacquitted (defended by John Adams), the widespread descriptions soon became propaganda to turn colonial sentiment against the British
This was the first violence between the British and the colonists
This in turn began a downward spiral in the relationship between Britain and the Province of Massachusetts
Committees of correspondence – Organized by local governments of the 13colonies that helped them communicate with each other and coordinate plans to resist British
The group of committees was the beginningof what later became a formal political union among the colonies
The Boston Tea Party (1773) On December 16, 1773, a group of men, led by Samuel Adams and dressed to evoke American Indians, boarded the ships of the government- favored British East India Company and dumped an estimated $10,000 worth of tea on board (approximately $636,000 in 2008) into the harbor. This event became known as the Boston Tea Party and remains a significant part of American patriotic lore.
The British government responded by passing the Coercive Acts (1774), whichcame to be known as the Intolerable Acts, which further darkened colonial opinion towards the British.
They consisted of four laws enacted by the British parliament The first restricted town meetings in Massachusetts. The second Act ordered that all British soldiers to be tried were to be arraigned in Britain, not in the colonies. The third Act closed the port of Boston until the British had been compensated for the tea lost in the Boston Tea Party (the British never received such a payment). The fourth Act was the Quartering Act of 1774, which allowed royal governors to house British troops in the homes of citizens without requiring permission of the owner
The First Continental Congress (September, 1774) A convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen colonies (Georgia did not send delegates) met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Called in response to the passage of the Coercive Acts (also known as Intolerable Acts ) The Congress was attended by 56 members appointed by the legislatures of twelve of the Thirteen Colonies The Congress met briefly to consider options, an economic boycott of British trade, publish a list of rights and grievances, and petition King George for redress of those grievances.
The Congress also called for anotherContinental Congress in the event that their petition was unsuccessful in halting enforcement of the Intolerable Acts
Their appeal to the Crown had no effect, and so the Second Continental Congress wasconvened the following year to organize the defense of the colonies at the onset of the American Revolutionary War
The king responded by sending more British soldiers to the colonies
Battles of Lexington & Concord (April 1775) The British sent a force of roughly 1000 troops to confiscate arms and arrest revolutionaries in Concord They clashed with the local militia, marking the first fighting of the American Revolutionary War The news aroused the 13 colonies to call out their militias and send troops to besiege Boston The Battle of Bunker Hill followed on June 17, 1775. While a British victory, it was made a victory by heavy losses on the British side; About 1,000 British casualties from a garrison of about 6,000, as compared to 500 American casualties from a much larger force.
Many colonists started to question theirloyalty to Britain and began talking aboutindependence, but others still felt loyal to Britain
Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense(published January 10, 1776) swayed public opinion toward independence
Paine published Common Sense anonymously because of its treasonous content. it sold as many as 120,000 copiesin the first three months, 500,000 in the first year
In Common Sense, Paine argued that the only solution to the problems with Britainwas republicanism and independence from Great Britain
Paine’s arguments It was ridiculous for an island to rule a continent. America was not a "British nation"; it was composed of influences and peoples from all of Europe. Even if Britain was the "mother country― of America, that made her actions all the more horrendous, for no mother would harm her children so brutally. Being a part of Britain would drag America into unnecessary European wars, and keep it from the international commerce at which America excelled.
Paine’s argument’s continued… The distance between the two nations made governing the colonies from England unwieldy. If some wrong were to be petitioned to Parliament, it would take a year before the colonies received a response. The New World was discovered shortly before the Reformation. The Puritans believed that God wanted to give them a safe haven from the persecution of British rule. Britain ruled the colonies for its own benefit, and did not consider the best interests of the colonists in governing them.
The Second Continental Congress (May, 1775) The Second Continental Congress convened in May, 1775 after the war had started The Congress created the Continental Army and extended the Olive Branch Petition to the crown as an attempt to peacefully resolve the issues King George III refused to receive it, issuing instead the Proclamation of Rebellion, requiring action against the "traitors"
The Second Continental Congress (May, 1775) The second Congress managed the colonial war effort, and moved slowly towards independence, adopting the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 By raising armies, directing strategy, appointing diplomats, and making formal treaties, the Congress acted as the de facto national government of what became the United States. With the ratification of the Articles of Confederation in 1781, the Congress became known as the Congress of the Confederation
The Declaration of Independence (Adopted July 4 1776) A statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies (then at war with Great Britain) were now independent states, and thus no longer a part of the British Empire Written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration is a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain
The Declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing colonialgrievances against King George III, and byasserting certain natural rights, including a right of revolution
Thomas Jefferson was heavily influenced by the ideas of John Locke and Thomas Paine.He argued that the British government didnot look after the interests of the colonists, and listed many abuses by the king.
Preamble to the DeclarationWhen 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 Natures God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
Declaration of Rights passageWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowedby 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, That whenever any Form ofGovernment becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government,…
Abuses of the King(29 were listed, among of which:) For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury For suspending our own Legislatures
The next section states that manyAmericans still felt a kinship with the people of Great Britain, and had tried in vain to convince the Parliament and the King torelax his more objectionable policies toward the colonies. It reflects the disappointmentthat these attempts had been unsuccessful.
The Final Section … cutting the ties We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States
The Declaration of Independence The Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration on July 4, 1776. However, the American colonies were only independent in theory. The Revolutionary War continued until 1781, and Great Britain officially recognized the United States as an independent nation in 1783.
NC Moves TowardIndependence• Provincial Congress (1774) met in Wilmington to elect delegates to First Continental Congress.• Edenton Tea Party (1774) – women burned their household supplies of tea to protest British policy• Mecklenburg Resolves (1775) – declared Provincial Congress as only lawful government in colony• Halifax Resolves (1776) – called for full independence from Great Britain.