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The American Revolution: Precursors, Events & People - Chapter Summary
Our professional instructors outline the events, precursors and people associated with the American Revolution in this easy-to-understand chapter. Here you'll watch videos about the resistance of the Sons of Liberty, as well as the Boston Massacre and the Declaratory and Townshend Acts. Additional subjects include the First Continental Congress, the Boston Tea Party and the battles in Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill that started the Revolutionary War. This chapter is designed to ensure you know how to:
- Detail the Second Continental Congress and Thomas Paine's Common Sense
- Identify the signers, the legacy and the text of the Declaration of Independence
- Discuss the American Patriots and the British Loyalists during the American Revolution
- Describe George Washington's leadership at Saratoga, Valley Forge and Trenton
- Identify important and famous women in the Revolutionary War
- Explain the role of slaves and free blacks in the war
- Detail the Battle of Yorktown and the Treaty of Paris
- Provide an overview of the ratification of the Constitution and the new U.S. government
This chapter is accessible to you on any mobile device or computer for completely flexible and convenient study. Along with each lesson, we've included a short quiz so you'll be able to test yourself before moving on. Our videos are easy to navigate using the video tabs feature if you need to go back and review a topic over again.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill: The American Revolution Begins
Following the Boston Tea Party, Massachusetts was placed under the command of the British army. Rumors of a rebellion led to an attempted raid on the militia's arsenal. The events that followed at Lexington and Concord touched off the American Revolution.
5. The Second Continental Congress and Thomas Paine's Common Sense
1763 marked the beginning of the long road to revolution for the American colonies. By 1775, military actions had finally erupted. How were the colonists and their leaders going to respond?
6. The Declaration of Independence: Text, Signers and Legacy
After 12 years of tension and fighting, the colonists and their leaders were ready to declare themselves a new country, independent of Great Britain. This lesson examines the motives, the text, and the legacy of America's Declaration of Independence.
7. British Loyalists vs. American Patriots During the American Revolution
In this lesson, learn about the difficult decisions faced by individuals as the American Revolution erupted. Would you have been a Loyalist or a Patriot? Are you sure about that?
8. George Washington's Leadership at Trenton, Saratoga & Valley Forge
After a series of setbacks in 1776, George Washington's leadership of the Continental Army helped America turn the tide of the war in three pivotal locations, prompting France to recognize the United States as a nation and an ally.
9. Famous & Important Women in the Revolutionary War
Women were not officially allowed into the military until the 1900s, but even in the American Revolutionary War in the 1770s and 1780s, women still had a big impact on the actual war effort. Learn more about some of these famous and important women!
10. Slaves & Free Blacks in the Revolutionary War
In this lesson, learn how both slaves and free blacks were involved in the Revolutionary War. Understand their role and importance to both the Americans and the British war efforts.
11. The Battle of Yorktown and the Treaty of Paris
After the unsuccessful Southern Strategy, General Cornwallis pulled his army up to Yorktown, Virginia. A combined effort by the armies and navies of America and France resulted in British surrender and the 1783 Treaty of Paris that recognized the United States of America.
12. The Ratification of the Constitution and the New U.S. Government
The U.S. Constitution may be one of the most important documents in history, but it wasn't a sure thing. A lot of debate took place. There were many people passionate about ratification, and many people passionate about ensuring it didn't get ratified. The divide over the Constitution shows us the root of political parties in the U.S.
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