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Important Events Leading to the American Revolution - Chapter Summary
Use this study guide chapter to review the events that led to the American Revolution. Our expert history instructors will walk you through significant historical figures, dates, events and movements, including the American Enlightenment, French and Indian War, Townshend Acts, Boston Massacre and First Continental Congress. You'll also see how certain events influenced others and how they ultimately culminated in a war for independence between the American colonists and the British.
After watching these engaging video lessons, you should be able to:
- Learn how America's values were influenced by the American Enlightenment and First Great Awakening
- Outline the causes and effects of the French and Indian War following the Seven Years' War
- Understand how the Sons of Liberty resisted British rule
- Explain how the colonists responded to the Declaratory and Townshend Acts
- Summarize the outcomes of the Boston Tea Party, Intolerable Acts and First Continental Congress
After you complete a lesson, try the accompanying quiz to make sure you fully understand the material. Lessons can be watched as many times as needed, and if you want to go back to a specific topic, you can easily locate it using your course Dashboard and interactive video tags. Our instructors are available to answer your questions and you can study these lessons any time and anywhere it's convenient.
1. The American Enlightenment: Intellectual and Social Revolution
For a thousand years, Europe had been living in the Dark Ages until a series of philosophical, religious and scientific movements helped turn on the lights. The Enlightenment began in Europe, but quickly spread throughout America in the 1700s and helped set the stage for a revolution against British rule.
2. The First Great Awakening: Religious Revival and American Independence
While the Enlightenment was shaping the minds of 18th-century colonists, another movement, the First Great Awakening, was shaping their hearts. With freedom of conscience at its core, the Awakening led Americans to break with religious traditions and seek out their own beliefs while sharing common values.
3. The French and Indian War: Causes, Effects & Summary
In the mid-1700s, the Seven Years' War involved all of the world's major colonial powers on five continents. The biggest fight was between France and Great Britain, and the victor would come away with control of North America.
4. Sons of Liberty: Resistance to the Stamp Act and British Rule
In 1763, British Prime Minister George Grenville passed new legislation aimed at solving some of the empire's problems stemming from the French and Indian War. The colonists cried, 'Taxation without representation is tyranny!' They organized boycotts, the Sons of Liberty and the Stamp Act Congress until some of the new taxes were lifted.
5. Boston Massacre: Colonists and the Declaratory and Townshend Acts
After overturning the hated Stamp Act, Parliament asserted its right to tax the colonists without representation by passing the Declaratory Act. When the Townshend Acts imposed import duties, the colonists went into action again. An escalating cycle of violence ended with the Boston Massacre, resulting in the cancellation of all duties except the one on tea.
6. The Boston Tea Party, Intolerable Acts & First Continental Congress
Three years of calm followed the Boston Massacre and the repeal of most Townshend duties. But no sooner had Parliament passed a new tax on tea than the colonies were in an uproar again about taxation without representation. What followed were the Boston Tea Party and the fateful last steps leading to war.
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