About This Chapter
The Road to Revolution
Before we became the United States of America, we belonged to England. Then the American Revolution occurred and things changed forever. These lessons cover the period from 1700-1774 which directly proceeded the war. You'll learn why the colonists decided to separate themselves from England and what things made the War for Independence inevitable.
Start off your studies with the road to the revolution. Learn about the changes in society and the colonists attitudes during the Seven Years' War. Discover how a religious movement fueled the desire to become free. Then, study the French and Indian War - the cause, the effects of the war and its effects on the minds of the colonists.
With the tensions rising and colonists' minds tuned into the idea of becoming an independent nation, it didn't take much to get the colonists up in arms. See how tensions quickly escalated with Britain's new policies, such as the Stamp Act. Then, discover how such issues lead to the creation of organizations - like the Sons of Liberty - and acts of resistance - like boycotts.
However, these rather benign instances were just the start. With so much anger toward the throne, it was only a matter of time before people rebelled. Learn how violence first erupted against Britain in the colonies with the Boston Massacre. These lessons cover the Boston Tea Party, the First Continental Congress and the Intolerable Acts. After completing the lessons, continue on to study the Revolutionary War. Thanks for watching!
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.
7. Primary Source: The Boston Gazette's Coverage of the Boston Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party of 1773 is often seen as a great catalyst for the American Revolution. Bostonians famously raided a ship carrying British tea and dumped it into the harbor rather than pay taxes on it.
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Other chapters within the History 103: US History I course
- First Contacts (28,000 BCE-1821 CE)
- Settling North America (1497-1732)
- The American Revolution (1775-1783)
- The Making of a New Nation (1776-1800)
- The Virginia Dynasty (1801-1825)
- Jacksonian Democracy (1825 -- 1850)
- Life in Antebellum America (1807-1861)
- Manifest Destiny (1806-1855)
- Sectional Crisis (1850-1861)
- American Civil War (1861-1865)
- Reconstruction (1865-1877)
- Studying for History 103