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Early Conflicts and Colonial Actions: 1774–1776


Articles of Association

agreement by all colonies except Georgia to boycott the import of British goods until the Coercive Acts were repealed


sharp, swordlike weapons mounted on the ends of Revolutionary-era rifles

Boston Tea Party

event in 1773 when angry colonists dumped tea into Massachusetts Bay to protest the import taxes levied upon it

Breed's Hill

location of the Battle of Bunker Hill. American soldiers meant to go to Bunker Hill but ended up on Breed's Hill.

Coercive Acts

set of four laws passed by British Parliament in 1774 as punishment for the Boston Tea Party

Committees of Correspondence

groups appointed by colonial legislative bodies to provide leadership and help the colonies work together as necessary

Common Sense

pamphlet by Thomas Paine published in January 1776. It advocated colonial separation from Great Britain.

Continental Army

first official army of the American colonies. Its first soldiers were the New England militia members surrounding Boston in 1774.


announcement or proclamation

Declaration and Resolves

document written by the First Continental Congress in response to the Coercive Acts

Declaration of Independence

document written to justify the American colonies' separation from the British Empire. It was ratified July 4, 1776.



Dr. Samuel Prescott

member of the Sons of Liberty who successfully delivered a warning message to allies in Concord, Massachusetts

First Continental Congress

meeting of 56 delegates from 12 colonies to discuss a united response to the Coercive Acts

General Thomas Gage

commander of all British troops in the American colonies from 1763 to 1774

George Washington

member of the First and Second Continental Congresses and commander of the Continental Army who became the first president of the United States

Lexington and Concord

two towns in Massachusetts where the first battles of the American Revolution took place


volunteer soldiers in the American colonies

Olive Branch Petition

1775 document requesting negotiation of tax and trade policies with the British government

Paul Revere

silversmith and messenger who delivered warnings to allies about British army movements on April 18, 1775


British army troops. The nickname comes from the color of their uniforms.

Second Continental Congress

regrouping of the First Continental Congress that met on May 10, 1775, and remained in session through the end of the American Revolution

Siege of Boston

event during which New England militias surrounded the British army in Boston for 11 months


someone who signs an official document, such as the Declaration of Independence

Sons of Liberty

group of colonial rebels who opposed British parliamentary rule and were responsible for the Boston Tea Party

Thomas Paine

editor and writer who anonymously published a pamphlet called Common Sense


criminal act of plotting against one's own government

William Dawes

substitute messenger sent to warn the allies in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, on April 18, 1775