The Road to Revolution and
I. The British take a collision
A. British Situation in 1763
1. The Native Americans and the British were
in conflict west of the colonies.
2. Native Americans were capturing forts and
3. British army was fighting back, but they did
not have enough men to fight against the
4. The British government decided to send
more troops to help, and because it was in
the best interest of the colonists, they were
going to be taxed to pay for it.
B. Proclamation Line of 1763
1. Decision made by the British government
to help settle land disputes between colonist
and the Native Americans.
2. A law was made that the colonist could not
settle west of the Appalachian Mountains,
and the Native Americans could not settle
east of the line.
3. This caused major problems on both sides
of the issue, and no one was happy about the
C. Sugar Act of 1764
1. The British government was looking for a
way to pay for all the expenses from running
a world empire.
2. In 1764 Parliament passes the Sugar Act,
that puts a tax on any barrel of molasses that
is imported to the colonies.
3. Parliament was looking to get money out of
the colonies by taxing sugar, coffee, and
wines as well.
D. The Stamp Act (1765)
1. This laws stated that all printed paper must
have a stamp on it proving you have paid the
taxes for that item.
2. Punishments were fines and jail time,
without a trial.
3. The government set up Admiralty Courts
that could try smugglers and was not
controlled by the colonists.
E. The American reaction to
the Stamp Act
1. Many colonists were OK with the government
taxing import, but taxing the daily lives of the
colonists made many very angry.
2. They protested with town meetings and boycotted
3. Some formed a secret society called “The Sons of
Liberty” to hinder the British agents using various
methods from selling the stamp taxes.
4. Representatives from 9 of the 13 colonies met in
New York to discuss the issue and demanded from
Parliament a repeal of the sugar and stamp tax.
F. The Declaratory Act
1. Parliament repealed the Stamp and Sugar
acts in 1766.
2. The passed instead the Declaratory Act
that stated that Parliament still had the power
to make laws for the Americans in all cases
3. Many members of Parliament did not want
to give up any control of the colonies.
G. The Townshend Acts
1. Charles Townshend was the new leader of
Parliament, and he put a tax on lead, glass,
paint, paper, and tea.
2. He reorganized the customs service,
allowing dishonest agents to seize ships and
get 1/3 the profit from the cargo.
3. He wanted the colonies to provide for the
troops stationed in New York to protect the
4. These acts were very unpopular in the
colonies, and they boycotted British goods.
H. Sam Adams
1. The British sent soldiers to Boston to help
enforce the laws of Parliament
2. Sam Adams was a colonist who organized
a propaganda campaign against the British.
3. He was not a good manager of money, and
had some problems with running a business.
4. He blamed the British for many problems in
the colonies, and got the colonist riled up for
I. The Boston Massacre
1. Boston troops had been taunted by the
people of Boston for months, and late one
night people threw snowballs at them.
2. In the confusion the British troops opened
fire, and killed 5 colonists.
3. Sam Adams discussed the event as the
“Boston Massacre” and blamed bloodthirsty
soldiers killing innocent Americans.
4. The soldiers were brought to trial, and
found innocent of wrong-doing, but many
Americans were still angry about the incident.
J. Britain backs down
1. The American boycott of British goods was
hurting the British economy, and the British
parliament repealed all of the Townshend
2. King George wanted to retain some
control, so he kept the tax on tea.
3. Most colonists paid the tax, and things
somewhat returned to normal but there were
still issues to be resolved.
K. The Boston Tea Party
1. The British East India Tea Company was
given permission to sell their tea in the
colonies without paying a tax to Britain.
2. The merchants of the colonies did not like
that the Tea Company could sell tea without
the tax, therefore charging lower prices.
3. The tea became a symbol of British tyranny
that the colonies did not want to exist.
4. A group of men, dressed as Indians, went
aboard the ship, and through all the tea into
the Boston harbor.
L. The Intolerable Acts
1. The British government wanted to punish
Boston for its part in the tea party.
2. The British closed the port of Boston
- chose a governor’s council for the colony
- forbid any town meetings
- punished government officials and soldiers
- allowed soldiers to live in Boston homes
free of charge.
M. The Quebec Act
1. Added to the Intolerable acts
2. Cut off the property claims of
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, and
New York of their western lands
3. Governments were set up without
representative government and gave the
Catholic Church special concessions.
4. They saw this as a preview for what was
going to happen in the colonies.
Road to Revolution and
II. Declaring Independence
A. 1st Continental Congress
1. The colonies began to work together against the
2. September 5, 1774, 12 colonies sent delegates to
Philadelphia to discuss the trade issues with Britain.
3. A wide variety of views points came to the
meeting, and they agreed on a Non-Importation
This banned all trade with Britain
People from each colony were in charge of
making sure it was followed in each port.
4. They all agreed on a Declaration of Rights and
Grievances to be given to the British government.
They wanted to tax themselves, and allow British to regulate
B. Battles of Lexington &
1. April 18, 1775 the British went to confiscate
weapons that the people of Massachusetts had
collected in the town of Concord.
2. Paul Revere and William Dawes went ahead to
warn the colonist that the British were coming.
3. 70 men gathered in the town square at Lexington
to stand up to 700 British soldiers.
4. After the first shots were fired and some men were
killed, the army continued on to Concord.
5. On the way to Concord and on the way back to
their ships, the Americans picked off many soldiers,
and killed over 300.
C. 2nd Continental Congress
1. 12 colonies sent delegates in May 1775 to
Philadelphia to demand their rights from the
2. George Washington was chosen as the
commander and chief of the army.
3. The congress wrote a letter of marquee
that allowed American ships to capture and
destroy British ships.
4. Congress tried to provide the continental
army with food, clothing, and supplies.
D. The Battle of Bunker Hill
1. 16,000 men from New Hampshire,
Connecticut, Rhode Island, and
Massachusetts gathered around Boston to
fight the British.
2. June 16, 1775, Colonel Prescott was sent
to fortify Bunker Hill, but he fortified Breeds
Hill by mistake, and the battle was fought
there, but called the Battle of Bunker Hill.
3. The colonists were behind a wall, and the
British charged up the hill 2 times with high
4. The colonists ran out of ammunition, so
they had to use bayonets to fight and win.
E. The Olive Branch Petition
1. After the battle of Bunker Hill, the
Continental Congress sent this petition
asking King George to stop taxing them
and to give them peace.
2. The King refused to see the petition
and hired 30,000 Hessian troops to put
down the rebellion.
3. Congress declared a declaration of
war on July 6, 1775
F. “Common Sense”
1. January 15, 1776, Thomas Paine
published a pamphlet that was very influential
in united the colonies.
2. Paine urged it was only “common sense” to
reject England and the King.
3. He urged them to rule themselves
4. 100,000 copies were sold very quickly, and
spread throughout the colonies.
5. Many people think that Thomas Paine was
one of the people who most influenced the
colonists agreeing to a Declaration of
G. British leave Boston
1. March 1776, Washington seized the
Dorchester Heights overlooking Boston.
2. The British soldiers and all the
loyalist in Boston set sail in the navy
fleet, and sailed to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
3. The siege of Boston was over, and
the colonist could use the harbor again.
H. Aid from France
1. March 1776, Silas Deane was sent to ask
the French for help with soldiers, ships, and
2. April 6,1776 the Congress opened all
American ports for trade from any country
except the British.
3. The French, trying to get back at the British
empire, agreed to supply all the gunpowder
for the American rebels.
I. The Declaration of Independence
1. July 2, 1776 the Continental Congress adopted a
short resolution that all political connections with
Great Britain would be ended.
2. Written by a committee of men: Thomas Jefferson,
John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin.
3. Divided into sections:
Declaration of Natural Rights
List of grievances with the crown.
Resolution of Independence by the United States
4. July 4, 1776 the Declaration was approved by the
Second Continental congress, it was signed by the
president of congress (John Hancock) and eventually
56 men signed it in agreement with the declarations.
The Road to Revolution
III. How British
Power was Overthrown
A. European wars in 1700’s
1. Armies fought according to certain rules.
Open fields, good weather, known opponents, no
unusual weapons used
Officers were aristocrats
Regular soldier were common men or hired
soldiers from other countries
Weapons were not accurate
Casualties were usually light
2. Colonial armies did not use these methods
to fight and this gave them some advantage
during the war.
General John Burgoyne
Colonel Barry St. Leger
General William Howe
General Henry Clinton
General Charles Cornwallis
General Thomas Gage
B. The American Soldier
1. Colonist learned to fight from the Native Americans
who fought a total war, not a polite, traditional war.
2. Colonist called their soldiers “militia” who were
regular men who owned weapons, not trained
3. There was a wide rage of ages, no uniform, not
4. There was no enlistment, so some men came and
went as they pleased. This was a constant
frustration for Washington in fighting a trained, large
5. Washington trained the Continental Army, who
were enlisted men who were paid by the Congress,
and who then would help the colonial militia.
American Generals & Soldiers
Baron von Steuben
Ethan Allen & the
Marquis de Lafayette
Francis “Swamp Fox”
Green Mountain Boys
George Rogers Clark
General Jean de
John Paul Jones
Admiral Francois de
C. George Washington
1. Worked for the British during
the French and Indian War.
2. Fought in Pennsylvania, lost
the battle, was captured by the
French, and eventually released.
3. Planter and plantation owner in
4. In response to Boston, he said,
“the cause of Boston now is and
will ever be the cause of
Famous Pictures of George Washington
Was apart of the 1st
Chosen by the 2nd
to build an army.
D. Two Stages
of the War
Fighting in the
Fighting in the
Washington had to
Washington had to
organize an army,
keep the southern
keep it together, and
colonies from losing
not be defeated by
to the British
E. The New York Campaign
1. In 1776 Howe returns from Canada, and
moved into New York City.
2. Washington attempted to defend the city
from Long Island.
Colonial troops were out-numbered and less
trained than the British troops
1,500 killed, and Washington almost captured
3. Washington lead his army in retreat to New
Jersey, and then into Pennsylvania.
4. The British control New York city until after
F. Battles at Trenton
1. In retreat, Washington stopped an staged a
surprise attack on Trenton, New Jersey.
December 25, 1776
Cold, snowstorm, 2400 men crossed an icy
early morning while the enemy was sleeping they
invaded the town.
2. After this victory Washington headed to
Princeton, on January 3, 1777 an achieved
G. The Battle of Saratoga
1. In the summer of 1777, the British goal was to cut
off New England from the rest of the colonies.
2. Burgoyne would come south from Canada, St.
Leger would come east from Lake Ontario, and Howe
would come up the Hudson River.
3. St. Leger did not make it very far into New York,
Burgoyne was stopped by forests and the number of
militia, and Howe did not get the message, and went
up the Chesapeake Bay to capture Philadelphia.
4. Burgoyne captured Fort Ticonderoga, and fought
at Saratoga, NY, all his escape routes were cut off by
5. Burgoyne surrendered his 6,000 man army on Oct.
17, 1777, and the French decided to publicly support
the cause of the American revolution.
H. Winter at
1. Soldiers had little protection from the
2. 2,500 American soldiers died from
cold, disease, or hunger.
3. Baron Friedrich von Steuben, a
Prussian soldier, spent the winter
helping Washington train the troops to
Pictures of Valley Forge
Soldiers slept in
tents in the winter
until shelters were
Usually 12 men
lived in a small
This is the home
stayed during the
I. Help from Europe
1. Marquis de Lafayette
Young, French officer who served with
2. Thaddeus Kosciuszko
From Poland, experienced engineer who built
trenches and forts for the Americans
3. Casimir Pulaski
From Poland, experienced cavalry soldier who
trained and organized the first American cavalry
4. Bernardo de Galvez
Governor of Louisiana (Spain) who sent supplies
and soldiers to help defeat the British in the West.
J. Victory in the South
1. In 1778 Savannah is captured by the British, and a
year later General Clinton sends 8,500 soldiers to
2. In May 1780 Charleston is captured by the British,
and the rest of South Carolina soon followed.
3. October 7, 1780 some backwoods soldiers, fought
back an killed more that 1,000 British soldiers. Many
guerrilla bands of soldiers continued to terrorize the
4. Eventually General Cornwallis (British) gradually
moves to Virginia to join other British generals, but is
outmaneuvered by Lafayette and moves to the coast
of a town near Yorktown, Virginia.
K. Women at War
Many women took up the jobs of the men who left to fight in the
1. Margaret Corbin
Followed her husband to war, when he was killed in battle
she took his place until she was wounded.
2. Mary (Molly) McCauley “Molly Pitcher”
Carried pitchers of water to the soldiers during the Battle of
Monmouth on June 28, 1778 and took her husbands place
at a cannon during the battle after he was killed.
3. Deborah Sampson
Disguised herself as a man and fought as a soldier
4. Abigail Adams
Ran the farm and business while her husband was at
Congress, and wrote many letters that were preserved.
L. Blacks in the Revolution
1. Blacks fought along with whites at the
beginning of the war.
2. Washington did not like blacks and whites
fighting together, so he took them out of the army
until the end when he needed more men.
3. The British offered freedom to any blacks who
would fight for them, and so many blacks fought
for the British.
4. Congress then changed their minds, and
allowed blacks to fight, and granted freedom to
slaves (with permission) who helped fight in the
M. The Treaty of Paris
1. Ben Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay when to
Paris to negotiate peace.
2. On September 3, 1783, Treaties were signed with
Great Britain and France, Spain, and the United
Britain acknowledge the independence of the
United States with the northern boundary at
present day and the western boundary being the
Mississippi River was open to trade from all
Newfoundland was open to fishing
Debts from both sides must be repaid
N. Reasons for British defeat
1. Distance from headquarters
2. British government was badly informed
about the Americans
3. British faced an impossible task of keeping
control of an entire continent.
4. America could not be won, by capturing a
5. George Washington’s perseverance in
keeping his army together
6. Colonists idea of fighting for family and
home, not on foreign soil.