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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 don’t 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 doesn’t seem to be the causal factor....
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course HISTORY 2.2 taught by Professor Ebert during the Spring '08 term at CUNY Brooklyn.
- Spring '08