Inspired by a belief in natural rights theory,American colonists rebelled against Britain tofound a new nation.
• In theory, the colonies were governed by the British, but in practice colonial legislatures often acted independently. (p. 191)• After the French and Indian War, the British angered colonists by imposing new taxes to help pay for the war. (p. 191)• Drawing on natural rights theory and the ideas of John Locke, the Declaration of Independence declared the colonies to be independent of the British Crown. (p. 192)• Americans won their independence from Britain in 1783 and later ratified a constitution that clearly spelled out the rights of individuals and the limits of government. (p. 194)• Americans struggled to find a balance between individual freedom and a unified central government. (p. 196)
1. Identify the causes of the American Revolution.2. Describe the short-term and long-term impact of the American Revolution.
John Hancock, the president of the SecondContinental Congress, was the first to sign theDeclaration of Independence. Hancockremarked that he wrote his name large enoughfor King George to read it without his glasses.Hancock’s bold signature stands out on theoriginal document. Eventually 55 delegatessigned the paper announcing the birth of theUnited States.
I. How the Colonies Learned Self-Government (page 191) A. The British colonies in North America were established to supply raw materials to Britain and to be a market for British goods. B. For decades, the colonists—who had formed 13 legislatures—had operated with little British interference. There were also county and local governments.
I. How the Colonies Learned Self-Government (page 191) Who elected the representatives in the colonial governments? White male citizens who owned land elected colonial representatives.
II. British and French Rivalry in North America (pages 191–192) A. The French colonies in North America (Canada and Louisiana) were thinly populated trading outposts. French settlers would not move to North America. The 13 British colonies were thickly populated with about 1.5 million people by 1750. The British colonies were quite prosperous. B. The American phase of the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763) between Britain and France was called the French and Indian War.
II. British and French Rivalry in North America (pages 191–192) C. The British and French fought for control of North America, especially the Ohio River valley. The French tried to establish forts in this valley to keep the British settlers from expanding into new territory. Native Americans allied with the French because the French were viewed as traders, not settlers. D. At first the French were winning, but then William Pitt the Elder, Britain’s prime minister, revived Britain’s cause. He focused the British navy against the French colonial forces. It defeated the smaller, weaker French navy.
II. British and French Rivalry in North America (pages 191–192) E. The British soon scored a series of land victories in the Great Lakes area and the Ohio River valley. The French made peace, and the 1763 Treaty of Paris transferred Canada and all lands east of the Mississippi to Britain. Spain, an ally of France, transferred Florida to British control, and France gave Spain its Louisiana territory. The Battle of Quebec in 1759 was a great British victory over the French in the French and Indian War.
II. British and French Rivalry in North America (pages 191–192) F. By 1763 Britain was the world’s greatest colonial power. G. After the Seven Years’ War, Britain needed more revenue from the colonies. In 1765 Parliament imposed the Stamp Act. Printed material such as legal documents and newspapers had to carry a stamp showing that a tax had been paid to Britain. After strong opposition, the act was repealed in 1766.
II. British and French Rivalry in North America (pages 191–192) Why did the British defeat of the French navy turn the tide in Britain’s favor in the land war? The French were unable to resupply and reinforce their garrisons.
III. The American Revolution (pages 192–194) A. Prior to the Stamp Act, tensions had been mounting between Great Britain and the colonies, mostly over trade restrictions imposed by Britain. B. Britain passed the Declaratory Act the same day they repealed the Stamp Act. The Declaratory Act led to new taxes and the undermining of colonial legislatures. The colonists were outraged, and ―No taxation without representation‖ became a rallying cry against the British.
III. The American Revolution (pages 192–194) C. The Tea Act of 1773 led to the Boston Tea Party, where colonists boarded a British ship and dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. A British cartoonist’s image of the Boston Tea Party
III. The American Revolution (pages 192–194) D. King George III punished Massachusetts with the Coercive Acts—renamed the Intolerable Acts by the colonists. The acts violated the traditional English rights to a trial by jury and to not be forced to quarter troops in one’s home. E. The First Continental Congress was held in 1774 to discuss the situation with Britain. It was here that an American identity began to be forged.
III. The American Revolution (pages 192–194) F. Fighting broke out between the colonists and the British Redcoats at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts in 1775. G. At the Second Continental Congress, held in May 1775, a Continental Army commanded by George Washington was organized. At the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Patriot leaders called for a Continental army.
III. The American Revolution (pages 192–194) H. In July 1775, the Second Continental Congress sent the Olive Branch Petition to King George III in an attempt to negotiate for peace and for their rights as English citizens. King George sent troops to suppress the colonial rebellion. I. Loyalist colonists wanted to remain loyal to the king. Patriots began calling for independence. Thomas Paine’s pamphlets, called Common Sense, began circulating. Paine said King George and Parliament were acting like tyrants and only full independence from Britain would secure the rights of Americans.
III. The American Revolution (pages 192–194) What grievances did the American colonists have with the British? Taxes, restrictions on trade, and restrictions on English citizen’s rights were the main grievances of the colonists.
IV. The Birth of a New Nation (pages 194–195) A. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration declared the colonies to be ―free and independent states absolved from all Thomas Jefferson allegiance to the British crown.‖
IV. The Birth of a New Nation (pages 194–195) B. The Continental Army and the colonies faced a formidable foe in the British. But they held several advantages: they had the home ground advantage, they were fighting for their freedom, and they had the support of the French.
IV. The Birth of a New Nation (pages 194–195) C. The war dragged on from 1776 to 1783. Finally British General Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. The 1783 Treaty of Paris acknowledged an independent United States and granted Americans control of territory stretching to the Mississippi River.The March to ValleyForge, 1883 by WilliamB.T. Trego conveyedthe suffering GeneralWashington and hisContinental Armyendured during thebrutal winter of 1777 attheir headquarters inPennsylvania.
IV. The Birth of a New Nation (pages 194–195) How would America be different now if the British had won the Revolutionary War? Answers will vary. Accept relevant, thoughtful answers.
V. Ruling a New Nation (pages 196–197) A. The 13 former colonies were now states, having created a new social contract. They had little interest in forming a country with a strong central government. Each kept to its own affairs, as the weak Articles of Confederation showed. Soon it was clear the government under the Articles lacked the power to deal with the new nation’s problems.
V. Ruling a New Nation (pages 196–197) B. In 1787 delegates met to revise the Articles. That meeting became the Constitutional Convention. The delegates wrote a plan for a new national government. This 1867 painting depicts the signing in Philadelphia of a new plan of government for the former British colonies—the United States Constitution.
V. Ruling a New Nation (pages 196–197) C. The proposed Constitution created a federal system. Power is shared between the national and state governments. The national (federal) government had the power to levy taxes, raise an army, regulate trade, and create a national currency. D. The federal government was divided into three branches in a system of checks and balances. The president (executive) had the power to execute laws, veto the legislature’s acts, supervise foreign affairs, and direct military forces.
V. Ruling a New Nation (pages 196–197) E. The second branch (legislative) consisted of the Senate, elected by the state legislatures, and the House of Representatives, elected directly by the people. The Supreme Court and other courts made up the third branch (judicial). The courts were to enforce the Constitution as the ―supreme law of the land.‖
V. Ruling a New Nation (pages 196–197) F. The promise of a Bill of Rights helped get the Constitution adopted. These 10 amendments guaranteed freedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly. They gave Americans the right to bear arms and to be protected from unreasonable search and seizures. They guaranteed a trial by jury, due process of law, and the protection of property rights. G. Many of these rights were derived from the natural rights proposed by the eighteenth- century philosophes.
V. Ruling a New Nation (pages 196–197) H. The new American republic was a great inspiration to the French. The French Revolution began in 1789—the same year the American Bill of Rights was proposed. I. The American Revolution inspired events in nineteenth-century Latin America and twentieth-century independence movements around the world.
V. Ruling a New Nation (pages 196–197) An irony of the American Revolution is that Founders such as Thomas Jefferson continued to own slaves, not entirely practicing what they preached. If a person does not practice what he or she preaches, is that sufficient reason to reject the ideas he or she espouses? Answers will vary. Accept relevant, thoughtful answers. One good avenue to explore is getting students to see that people can hold beliefs for reasons other than the kinds of people they are. Evidence can be independent of life history.
VocabularyMatch the term on the left with the correct definition. ___ B colony A. the American nation’s first constitution approved in 1781 ___ E Stamp Act B. a settlement of people living in a new ___ D Declaration of territory, linked with the parent country Independence by trade and direct government control ___ A Articles of C. the first ten amendments to the Confederation Constitution ___ federal system D. a document outlining why American F colonies were free from Britain ___ C Bill of Rights E. required that certain printed material show proof that a tax had been paid to Britain F. a form of government in which power is shared between the national government and state governments
Reviewing Big IdeasList the freedoms guaranteed under theAmerican Bill of Rights.The freedoms guaranteed under the AmericanBill of Rights are freedom of religion, speech,press, petition, and assembly; to bear arms;from quartering soldiers; from unreasonablesearch and seizure; due process of law; trial byjury; and from cruel and unusual punishment.
Critical ThinkingAnalyzing Cause and Effect Why did theAmerican colonies declare their independencefrom the British Empire?The British Parliament imposed unpopulartaxes on the colonists, which led to widespreadopposition and eventually to fighting. CA HI 2