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Unformatted text preview: ADVANCED PLACEMENT UNITED STATES HISTORY
IDENTIFICATIONS: UNIT TWO 1754-1800
Molasses Act, 1733
British legislation that taxed all molasses, rum, and sugar that the colonies imported from countries other than
Britain and her colonies. The act angered the New England colonies, which imported a lot of molasses from
the Caribbean as part of the Triangular Trade. The British had difficulty enforcing the tax; most colonial
merchants ignored it.
John Peter Zenger trial
Zenger published articles critical of British governor William Cosby. He was taken to trial, but found not guilty.
The trial set a precedent for freedom of the press in the colonies.
Treaty of Paris, 1763
Treaty between Britain, France, and Spain, which ended the Seven Years War (and the French and Indian
War). France lost Canada, the land east of the Mississippi, some Caribbean islands and India to Britain.
France also gave New Orleans and the land west of the Mississippi to Spain to compensate it for ceding
Florida to the British.
Pontiac’s Rebellion, 1763
An Indian uprising after the French and Indian War, led by an Ottawa chief named Pontiac. They opposed
British expansion into the western Ohio Valley and began destroying British forts in the area. The attacks
ended when Pontiac was killed. The war was a failure for the Indians in that it did not drive away the British,
but the widespread uprising prompted the British government to modify the policies that had provoked the
Proclamation of 1763
A proclamation from the British government which forbade British colonists from settling west of the
Appalachian Mountains, and which required any settlers already living west of the mountains to move back
east. While the Proclamation of 1763 did improve England's relations with the Ohio Country natives, it greatly
upset the colonists. The whole reason they had supported the French & Indian War from 1756-1763 was to
gain access to land in the Ohio Country. By implementing the proclamation, England denied the colonists this
opportunity. Many colonists became convinced that England did not care about nor understand the colonists'
A series of British regulations designed to protect British shipping from competition which taxed goods
imported by the colonies from places other than Britain, or otherwise sought to control and regulate colonial
trade. Said that British colonies could only import goods if they were shipped on British-owned vessels and at
least 3/4 of the ship’s crew was British. Increased British-colonial trade and tax revenues. The Navigation Acts
were reinstated after the French and Indian War because Britain needed to pay off debts incurred during the
war, and to pay the costs of maintaining a standing army in the colonies.
Sugar Act, 1764
Part of Prime Minister Grenville's revenue program, the act replaced the Molasses Act of 1733, and actually
lowered the tax on sugar and molasses (which the New England colonies imported to make rum as part of the triangular trade) from 6 cents to 3 cents a barrel, but for the first time adopted provisions that would insure that
the tax was strictly enforced; created the vice-admiralty courts; and made it illegal for the colonies to buy goods
from non-British Caribbean colonies.
Stamp Act, 1765
British legislation passed as part of Grenville's revenue measures which required that all legal or official
documents used in the colonies, such as wills, deeds and contracts, had to be written on special, stamped
British paper. It was so unpopular in the colonies that it caused riots, and most of the stamped paper sent to
the colonies from Britain was burned by angry mobs. Because of this opposition, and the decline in British
imports caused by the non- importation movement, London merchants convinced Parliament to repeal the
Stamp Act in 1766.
Quartering Act, 1765
The Grenville government built up British troop strength in colonial North America at the end of the French and
Indian War to protect the colonies against threats posed by remaining Frenchmen and Indians. In March 1765,
Parliament passed the Quartering Act to address the practical concerns of such a troop deployment. Under the
terms of this legislation, each colonial assembly was directed to provide for the basic needs of soldiers
stationed within its borders. Specified items included bedding, cooking utensils, firewood, beer or cider and
candles. This law was expanded in 1766 and required the assemblies to billet soldiers in taverns and
unoccupied houses. Repealed in 1770.
Sons of Liberty
A radical political organization for colonial independence which formed in 1765 after the passage of the Stamp
Act. They incited riots and burned the customs houses where the stamped British paper was kept. After the
repeal of the Stamp Act, many of the local chapters formed the Committees of Correspondence which
continued to promote opposition to British policies towards the colonies. The Sons leaders included Samuel
Adams and Paul Revere.
Stamp Act Congress, 1765
Twenty-seven delegates from 9 colonies met from October 7-24, 1765, and drew up a list of declarations and
petitions against the new taxes imposed on the colonies.
Patrick Henry (1736-1799)
An American orator and member of the Virginia House of Burgesses who gave speeches against the British
government and its policies urging the colonies to fight for independence. In connection with a petition to
declare a "state of defense" in Virginia in 1775, he gave his most famous speech which ends with the words,
"Give me liberty or give me death." Henry served as Governor of Virginia from 1776-1779 and 1784-1786, and
was instrumental in causing the Bill of Rights to be adopted as part of the U.S. Constitution.
Declaratory Act, 1766
Passed at the same time that the Stamp Act was repealed, the Act declared that Parliament had the power to
tax the colonies both internally and externally, and had absolute power over the colonial legislatures.
Townshend Acts, reaction
Another series of revenue measures, passed by Townshend as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1767, they
taxed quasi-luxury items imported into the colonies, including paper, lead, tea, and paint. The colonial reaction
was outrage and they instituted another movement to stop importing British goods. John Dickinson
Drafted a declaration of colonial rights and grievances, and also wrote the series of "Letters from a Farmer in
Pennsylvania" in 1767 to protest the Townshend Acts. Although an outspoken critic of British policies towards
the colonies, Dickinson opposed the Revolution, and, as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1776,
refused to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Sam Adams (1722-1803)
A Massachusetts politician who was a radical fighter for colonial independence. Helped organize the Sons of
Liberty and the Non-Importation Commission, which protested the Townshend Acts, and is believed to have
the Boston Tea Party. He served in the Continental Congress throughout the Revolution, and served as
Governor of Massachusetts from 1794-1797.
Committees of Correspondence
These started as groups of private citizens in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York who, in 1763, began
circulating information about opposition to British trade measures. The first government-organized committee
appeared in Massachusetts in 1764. Other colonies created their own committees in order to exchange
information and organize protests to British trade regulations. The Committees became particularly active
following the Gaspee Incident.
Boston Massacre, 1770
The Massacre was the 1770, pre-Revolutionary incident growing out of the anger against the British troops
sent to Boston to maintain order and to enforce the Townshend Acts. The troops, constantly tormented by
irresponsible gangs, finally on March 5, 1770, fired into a rioting crowd and killed five men: three on the spot,
two of wounds later. The funeral of the victims was the occasion for a great patriot demonstration. The British
captain, Thomas Preston, and his men were tried for murder, with Robert Treat Paine as prosecutor, John
Adams and Josiah Quincy as lawyers for the defense. Preston and six of his men were acquitted; two others
were found guilty of manslaughter, punished, and discharged from the army.
Crispus Attucks (1723-1770)
He was an African American and one of the colonials involved in the Boston Massacre, and when the shooting
started, he was the first to die. He became a martyr.
A Massachusetts attorney and politician who was a strong believer in colonial independence. He argued
against the Stamp Act and was involved in various patriot groups. As a delegate from Massachusetts, he urged
the Second Continental Congress to declare independence. He helped draft and pass the Declaration of
Independence. Adams later served as the second President of the United States.
Boston Tea Party, 1773
British ships carrying tea sailed into Boston Harbor and refused to leave until the colonials took their tea.
Boston was boycotting the tea in protest of the Tea Act and would not let the ships bring the tea ashore.
Finally, on the night of December 16, 1773, colonists disguised as Indians boarded the ships and threw the tea
overboard. They did so because they were afraid that Governor Hutchinson would secretly unload the tea
because he owned a share in the cargo.
Coercive Acts / Intolerable Acts / Repressive Acts
All of these names refer to the same acts, passed in 1774 in response to the Boston Tea Party, and which included the Boston Port Act, which shut down Boston Harbor; the Massachusetts Government Act, which
disbanded the Boston Assembly (but it soon reinstated itself); the Quartering Act, which required the colony to
provide provisions for British soldiers; and the Administration of Justice Act, which removed the power of
colonial courts to arrest royal officers.
Quebec Act, 1774
The Quebec Act, passed by Parliament, alarmed the colonies because it nullified many of the Western claims
of the coast colonies by extending the boundaries of the province of Quebec to the Ohio River on the south
and to the Mississippi River on the west. The concessions in favor of the Roman Catholic Church also roused
much resentment among Protestants in the Thirteen Colonies as some colonials took it as a sign that Britain
was planning to impose Catholicism upon the colonies.
First Continental Congress, 1774
The First Continental Congress met to discuss their concerns over Parliament's dissolutions of the New York
(for refusing to pay to quarter troops), Massachusetts (for the Boston Tea Party), and Virginia Assemblies. The
First Continental Congress rejected the plan for a unified colonial government, stated grievances against the
crown called the Declaration of Rights, resolved to prepare militias, and created the Continental Association to
enforce a new non-importation agreement through Committees of Vigilance. In response, in February, 1775,
Parliament declared the colonies to be in rebellion.
Lexington and Concord, 1775
The first military engagements of the Revolution, fought on April 19, 1775 within the towns of Lexington and
Concord near Boston. The battles marked the outbreak of open armed conflict between Britain and its thirteen
colonies in North America. 700 British Army regulars, were ordered to capture and destroy military supplies
that were reportedly stored by the Massachusetts militia at Concord. The first shots were fired just as the sun
was rising at Lexington. The militia was outnumbered and fell back. Other British colonists, hours later at the
North Bridge in Concord, fought and defeated three companies of the king's troops. The outnumbered soldiers
of the British Army fell back from the Minutemen after a pitched battle in open territory. More Minutemen
arrived soon thereafter and inflicted heavy damage on the British regulars as they marched back towards
Boston. The occupation of surrounding areas by the Massachusetts Militia marked the beginning of the Siege
Olive Branch Petition
On July 8, 1775, the colonies made a final offer of peace to Britain, agreeing to be loyal to the British
government if it addressed their grievances (repealed the Coercive Acts, ended the taxation without
representation policies). It was rejected by Parliament, which in December 1775 passed the American
Prohibitory Act forbidding all further trade with the colonies.
Thomas Paine: Common Sense
A British citizen, he wrote Common Sense, published on January 1, 1776, to encourage the colonies to seek
independence. It spoke out against the unfair treatment of the colonies by the British government and was
instrumental in turning public opinion in favor of the Revolution.
John Locke, Second Treatise of Government
He wrote that all human beings have a right to life, liberty, and property and that governments exist to protect
those rights. He rejected the theory of the Divine Right of the monarchy, and believed that government was
based upon a "social contract" that existed between a government and its people. If the government failed to uphold its end of the contract by protecting those rights, the people could rebel and institute a new
Declaration of Independence, 1776
An act of the Second Continental Congress, adopted on July 4, 1776 which declared that the Thirteen British
Colonies in North America were "Free and Independent States" and that "all political connection between them
and the State of Great Britain” was dissolved. The document, explained the justifications for separation from
the British crown.
Battle of Saratoga, 1777
A decisive American victory resulting in the surrender of an entire British army of 9,000 men invading New
from Canada. British General John Burgoyne surrendered his entire army after being surrounded by much
larger American militia forces. The capture of an entire British army secured the northern American states from
further attacks out of Canada and prevented New England from being isolated. A major result was that France
entered the conflict on behalf of the Americans, thus dramatically improving the Americans' chances in the war.
The battle of Saratoga is commonly seen as the turning point of the Revolution.
Battle of Cowpens, 1781
An overwhelming victory by American Revolutionary forces under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, in the
Southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War. It was a turning point in the reconquest of South
Carolina from the British, part of a chain of events leading to the Patriot victory at Yorktown.
Battle of Yorktown, 1781
Was a decisive victory by a combined assault of American forces led by General George Washington and
French forces led by General Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by General Lord
Cornwallis. It proved to be the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War, as the surrender of
Cornwallis’s army prompted the British government to eventually negotiate an end to the conflict.
Treaty of Paris, 1783
This treaty ended the Revolutionary War, recognized the independence of the American colonies, and granted
the colonies the territory from the southern border of Canada to the northern border of Florida, and from the
Atlantic coast to the Mississippi River.
Articles of Confederation: powers, weaknesses, successes
The Articles of Confederation delegated most of the powers (the power to tax, to regulate trade, ...
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- Fall '07