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Unformatted text preview: Ebert Lecture 13- 1 - Atlantic Revolutions Revolution in North American British Colonies Little indication of forthcoming revolution in mid-18th century 13 colonies regarded themselves as British subjects Long cultural and personal connections with England Mutually profitable military and economic relationship Background to American Revolution Population explosion in North America is the greatest in the New World 1760s 250,000 1770s 2,500,000 Strong push beyond the Appalachian Mountains (Crevecoeur) Nature of immigrants to North America Mixed group of recently arrived, latecomers with uncertain loyalties. Those from England are young Many from parts of Britain that were recently conquered by England, i.e. Highlands Scotts New England in the Atlantic Economy NE had turned from a colony of farmers to maritime traders. Heavily involved in contraband and slave trades, and upset with the efforts of England to rein them in. French and Indian War, 1754-1763 Expensive, extensive Overlapped with Seven Years War (1756-1763) Conflict in Europe, India British victory ensured global dominance, North American prosperity: Canada falls to the British. However, the removal of the threat of the French in the north frees colonists to challenge England. Increased Taxation in 1760s Bills come due from the Seven Years War Tax burden falls to the colonies Sugar Act (1764) Stamp Act (1765) Quartering Act (1765) (Housing British Troops) Tea Act (1773) Ebert Lecture 13- 2 - Issue of slavery in the Chesapeake and the southern colonies In 1772 a British Judge declares slavery illegal on English soil. Raises hopes among slaves in the colonies. Northern states dont worry too much Slave-dependent states are very worried The War becomes an internationalized conflict France joins in 1778 Spain in 1779 French intervention is decisive. Britain finds no European allies Why a war for independence? Has a convulsive, spontaneous character: a response to short-term problems. Rebellions were common all over the Americas during this time. More of a character of a civil war. Twenty percent of the white population sides with England. So do most of the slaves and native peoples. Enlightenment rhetoric is invoked, but doesnt seem to be the causal factor....
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- Spring '08