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Early British Actions

The Townshend Acts, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, Intolerable Acts, First Continental Congress, Lexington and Concord. Early British Actions. Townshend Acts. Charles Townshend=member of British Parliament In 1767, he persuaded Parliament to pass the Townshend Acts

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Early British Actions

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  1. The Townshend Acts, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, Intolerable Acts, First Continental Congress, Lexington and Concord Early British Actions

  2. Townshend Acts • Charles Townshend=member of British Parliament • In 1767, he persuaded Parliament to pass the Townshend Acts • Townshend Acts placed a tax on certain goods imported to the colonies from Britain. (ex. Glass, paint, paper, tea)

  3. Townshend Acts • Colonists thought the Townshend Acts were another way to be taxed by Great Britain. • Boston Patriot, Samuel Adams, led the opposition to British goods. • To protect colonists’ rights, Adams suggested they boycott British goods. • All the colonies supported the boycott

  4. Townshend Acts • Lord North = new head of British government • Saw that the Townshend Acts were losing money for Great Britain because of the boycott. • 1770, North persuaded Parliament to repeal the all the Townshend Acts except for the tea tax. • King George agreed.

  5. The Boston Massacre • On the same day the Townshend Acts were repealed, there was a fight between British soldiers and American colonists in Boston. • 5 Bostonians were dead and 10 were injured. • Patriots called this the “Boston Massacre” to describe the killing of defenseless people. • Truthfully, it was a small riot.

  6. The Boston Massacre • There had already been tension between the Boston Patriots and the British soldiers. • British soldiers thought Bostonians were trouble-makers • Bostonians called British soldiers “lobster-backs” because of their red uniforms. • British troops were not allowed to fire at citizens and the Bostonians knew that.

  7. The Boston Massacre • Mob violence breaks out and Bostonians threw rocks at troops and a soldier was knocked to the ground. • The troops panicked and opened fire. A Bostonian, Crispus Attucks, was shot and killed. The crowd was told the troops would be tried for murder.

  8. The Boston Massacre • Sam Adams used this to raise the anti-British feelings among the colonists. • Loyalists saw this as proof that troops were needed even more. • John Adams (Sam Adams’ cousin) was a Patriot lawyer who defended the soldiers in trial. • He believed all people deserved a fair trial. • 2 of 8 soldiers found guilty • John Adams proud of upholding the law.

  9. The Boston Tea Party • In 1773, the Tea Act was passed which prompted more protests than the previous tea tax. • Because of the colonists’ boycott of British tea, the British East India Company was loosing money. • British Tea Act lowered the price of tea so it was cheaper than the Dutch tea that colonists’ smuggled into the colonies.

  10. The Boston Tea Party • The Tea Act gave Great Britain a monopoly (complete control) over tea sales in the colonies. • Great Britain used cheap tea to sell to the colonists. Lord North thought he tricked the colonists by charging low prices. • Colonists were not fooled. • Saw the Tea Act as another attempt for Great Britain to unfairly tax them

  11. The Boston Tea Party • When British ships arrived in American ports, angry protesters kept them from unloading cargo. • Many ships returned to England. • Boston’s governor ordered the British navy to protect the 3 ships from protesters. • December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty, dressed as Mohawk Indians, boarded the ships and dumped their cargo overboard into the ocean. • Encouraged Patriots throughout the colonies.

  12. The Intolerable Acts • Britain was less concerned about taxes and more concerned with getting control over the colonists. • Parliament passed a series of laws in 1774 that were so harsh, colonists called them the Intolerable Acts. • The Intolerable Acts were a British punishment for the Boston Tea Party.

  13. The Intolerable Acts • 1st Law: Closed Boston Harbor to all shipping until the ruined tea was paid for. • 2nd Law: Placed the government of Massachusetts strictly under British control • 3rd Law: British soldiers accused of murder would be tried in England, not in the colonies. • 4th Law: More British troops were sent to Boston to enforce the new laws.

  14. The Intolerable Acts • Some British leaders thought the acts might push colonists to the edge, but King George was sure they would put colonists back under British control. • Colonists began to unite. • Colonies sent food and supplies to Boston • Virginia was assembling a congress to try to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict • Not everyone agreed on how to solve the problem.

  15. First Continental Congress • September 1774, 50 leaders from 12 colonies met in Philadelphia. (all but Georgia) • Continental Congress = colonies delegates from the North American continent • Patrick Henry = Virginia representative said, “I am not a Virginian, but an American.” • This was a Patriot idea. • Loyalists were against it. • Others were in-between

  16. First Continental Congress • Delegates send a respectful message to King George urging him to recognize their complaints. • Delegates also called for a new boycott of British goods until Parliament repealed the Intolerable Acts.

  17. Colonial Militias • Militias formed across the colonies in case the boycott didn’t work. • In New England, the volunteers called themselves Minutemen because they could be ready to fight in 60 seconds. • Instead of forcing the colonists to give in, the Intolerable Acts brought the 2 sides to the brink of war.

  18. Lexington and Concord • King George ignored the colonists message and believed that “blows must decide whether they are to be subject to their country or independent.” • Lexington and Concord = Massachusetts • The first blow at Lexington: • April 1775, a British spy says colonists are hiding weapons in Concord and troops are sent. • Colonial spies warned colonists.

  19. Lexington and Concord • Paul Revere and William Dawes galloped through the countryside warning colonists that the British are coming. • Minutemen in Lexington were preparing to fight. • Don’t fire unless fired upon. • British troops appeared in the early morning and a shot was fired, but no one knew where it came from. • Soldiers rushed forward shooting. • 8 colonists dead or dying and 10 were wounded. • British cheered at their victory and marched on Concord.

  20. Lexington and Concord • The Second Blow at Concord: • British soldiers were in Concord looking for weapons, but the colonists hid them. • In frustration, soldiers set some wooden tools on fire. • Militiamen were surrounding the countryside. • Militiamen marched down the hill and British troops opened fire.

  21. Lexington and Concord • Minutemen fired back causing the red coats (British soldiers) ran away in panic. • The retreat back to Boston was terrible for the British because Minutemen lined their route and fired at them. • 74 British soldiers were dead; 200 missing or wounded • 49 Colonists were dead; 41 were missing

  22. Lexington and Concord • Victory for the colonists! • British were wrong in thinking colonists were just ordinary people who would not fight for their rights. • At Lexington and Concord, Americans proved that they were not only willing to fight for their rights; they were willing to die for them.

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