American Revolution Causes Consequences Challenges to a new nation
Crane Brinton Phase One—Preliminary Stage Characteristics • 1. Class Antagonism • 2. Government Inefficiency • 3. Inept Ruler • 4. Intellectual Transfer of Loyalty • 5. Failure of Force Phase Two—First Stage Characteristics • 1. Financial Breakdown • 2. Government Protests Increase • 3. Dramatic Events • 4. Moderates Attain Power • 5. Honeymoon Period
Anatomy of a Revolution Phase Three—Crisis Stage Characteristics • 1. Radicals Take Control • 2. Moderates Driven From Power • 3. Civil War • 4. Foreign War • 5. Centralization of Power in a Revolutionary Council Dominated by a Strong Man Phase Four—Recovery Stage Characteristics • 1. Slow, Uneven Return to Quieter Times • 2. Rule by a Tyrant • 3. Radicals Repressed • 4. Moderates Gain Amnesty • 5. Aggressive Nationalism
Prior to the Revolution • In the 18th century, alarge percentage of colonists (British) were proud to belong to British empire. • 1763: Felt “British” • Americans had the highest standard of living in the world. • British goods were cheap for American colonists. • Land ownership is possible, better than in Europe
"Salutary neglect" Between 1713 and 1763 Britain reduced intervention in colonial affairs. Whig prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole: if the colonies were left alone to run their own affairs with minimal interference, they would produce more wealth and commerce, prosper, and THEREFORE, cause less trouble. Britain would simply provide peace, protection, commerce, ensure law and order, and send more immigrants to America to increase numbers of customers. Britain focused on Europe. Colonies left to raise, equip, train, own militia for whatever protection it believed was needed against the Indians. In effect, colonies left alone; had to develop self-reliance; effective organization
Development of self-government • 13 separate colonial governments emerged • Local government was much more responsive to local needs • Americans became used to regulating their own affairs without significant interference. • American manufacturing increased despite British policies to protect British manufacturers. • The cost of American goods increased, making merchants wealthy. • Smuggling became rampant due to British attentions elsewhere.
Whig Ideology • Concentrated power leads to corruption and tyranny • Emphasis on balanced government; parliament checks the power of the king. • The Whigs favor government reform
Protests • Regulator Movement (1771-1774) North Carolina was frustrated with British tax policies, inadequate representation of western farmers in the colonial assembly, and legislation favoring wealthy planters in the east. • Paxton Boys (1764):Philadelphia Scots Irish dissenters revolted against Quaker Indian policy: • Scalped 20 neutral Indians • 200-man march on Philadelphia demanding more representation, protection in the PA backcountry against Indians, and funds for internal improvements.
The Mercantilist System Mercantilism :Colonies existed for the benefit of the mother country Colonies should add to empire's wealth, prosperity, and self-sufficiency. Colonists expected to obey and not trouble colonial administration Colonies' benefit to Great Britain Ensure British naval supremacy by furnishing ships, ships' stores, sailors and trade. Provide a large consumer market for British goods. Keep gold & silver in the empire by growing cash crops like sugar that would otherwise have to be purchased from foreigners.
Navigation Laws • Purpose: enforce the mercantilist system • Motive: Discourage non-British trade • Basic provisions of Navigation Laws • Restricted commerce to and from the colonies to English or American vessels • All European goods going to America had to go through England first. • Forbade exportation of woolen cloth produced in America. • Molasses Act (1733) -- Imposed heavy tax on all molasses, rum and sugar imported form French Caribbean. • Colonists traded heavily with the French West Indies • Some of the rum consequently produced in America was traded for slaves • New England merchants heavily involved in the slave trade
Results of British Mercantilism Positive 1. Navigation Laws were not am intolerable economic burden. 2. Rights of Englishmen and unusual opportunities or self-government 3. British military protection- free of charge! 4. Great profit from manufacturing and trading. Negative 1. Colonial economy did not develop quickly 2. Southern colonies favored by British in their policy making (tobacco, sugar and rice); New Englanders grew resentful. 3. Writs of Assistance a. Search warrants to harass colonial shipping. b. Aimed to reduce colonial smuggling. c. 1761, James Otis, a young Boston lawyer, demanded Parliament repeal the acts. Parliament refused but Otis’ efforts gained press throughout the colonies. “No taxation without representation."
1763: End of "salutary neglect" Americans were particularly angry about enlarged authority of Admiralty Courts that could now try smugglers, customs evaders, ship owners, and others accused of violating commercial restrictions; no trial by jury; located in Nova Scotia. British debt from the Seven Years' War was enormous: Half the debt was due to the protection of the colonies, so…. British fairly believed colonists should pay 1/3 of maintaining a garrison of 10,000 British soldiers to protect against Indian uprisings. King George III a. Extremely stubborn and surrounded himself with successive governments of inexperienced, inward-looking, narrow-minded men. b. Sought to exercise increased control over the colonies.
Proclamation of 1763 • Prohibited colonials to move west of the Appalachians • British aim: Settle land disputes with Indians fairly to prevent more bloody episodes • Colonials infuriated • Many veterans had fought in the war and felt betrayed • Land was a birthright of British citizens. • Colonists generally ignored the Proclamation
Other Acts • Currency Act (1764) a. British restricted colonial printing of paper money -- Sought to make colonists pay back their debts and taxes with hard currency. b. Trade deficit between England & America hurt the colonies i. Most gold & silver flowed to England from colonies since colonies bought more than they sold. ii. Lack of gold meant lack of hard cash; bartering increased 5. Sugar Acts passed in 1764 (updated version of Molasses Act of 1733) a. First act ever passed specifically that raised revenue for the crown. b. Aimed to regulate illegal triangular trade to collect duties that the colonists had been averting for decades. c. Reduced taxes on molasses but taxed all molasses, not just molasses from French West Indies. d. Not enforced effectively; duties eventually lowered after Stamp Act uproar. 6. Quartering Act, 1765: Certain colonies required to provide food & quarters for British troops.
Raising Revenue • Purpose: support the new military force in the colonies • Stamp Act: Tax applied to published materials and legal documents e.g., pamphlets, newspapers, diplomas, bills of lading, marriage certificates, death certificates, deeds, leases, mortages, insurance policies, bonds, ship charters, liquor licenses, playing cards. • In effect in Britain for nearly 50 years • Both Sugar Act and Stamp Act provided for trying offenders where juries were not allowed. Burden of proof on defendants; were assumed guilty unless proved innocent.
Virginia Resolves (led by Patrick Henry) • Virginia’s leaders saw Stamp Act as an attack on colonial's rights as Englishmen • Claimed that Virginia could only be taxed by Virginians. • "No taxation w/o representation" • Assemblies of 8 other colonies passed resolutions similar to Virginia’s.
No Taxation . . . • Colonist distinguished between "legislation" and "taxation" a. Legislation, "external taxes", the right of Parliament regarding the empire; e.g. trade b. Taxation, "internal taxes", exclusive right of local, popularly elected government- British taxation was robbery; attacking sacred rights of property. c. Grenville’s response: colonies had "virtual representation" in Parliament • All British subjects represented, even those who did not vote for members in Parliament. • Colonists believed "virtual representation" was neither adequate nor justified • Did not really want "direct representation" (actual representation) -- Would mean increased taxes (as in Britain) -- Increased responsibilities to the crown -- Colonial reps. would be heavily outnumbered in Parliament
Stamp Act Congress (1765) • 27 delegates from 9 colonies • Statement of their rights and grievances and demanded that the king and Parliament rescind the Stamp Act. • Largely ignored in England • Significance: Brought together reps from different & rival colonies and set a precedent for future resistance to British rule. • Helped break down sectional suspicions within the colonies.
Sons of Liberty • Samuel Adams • enforced non-importation agreements against violators • Houses of unpopular officials ransacked, possessions stolen, while officials were often hanged in effigy; warehouse where stamps stored was destroyed. • All stamp act agents were forced to resign; no one selling stamps.
Stamp Act repealed in 1766 • Stamp Act as a possible cause of civil crisis • British merchants encourage Parliament to rescind the tax. • Parliament passed the Declaratory Act at the same time • to save face • Parliament had the right to tax colonies I the future. • Sugar Act tax lowered from 3-pence per gallon to 1-pence
Townshend Acts (1767) Punish the colonies for the Stamp Act Small import duty on glass, white lead, paper, paint, silk and tea. Revenues from taxes to pay the salaries of royal governors and judges
Colonial reaction • John Dickinson, Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania • No taxes simply to raise revenue to pay salaries without REPRESENTATION
Massachusetts Circular Letter(Feb. 1768) • Mass. legislature, urged by Sam Adams and James Otis, reiterated Dickinson’s arguments and called for other colonies to pass petitions calling on Parliament to repeal the acts. • Parliament sent troops to Boston and threatened to dissolve Mass. legislature and hold new elections if the letter not retracted. • Some colonies reenacted previous non-importation agreements (MA, NY, PA, SC) • British exports to America fell 40% over the next few months.
Boston "Massacre" • Arrival of troops in Boston aroused American resistance • Colonials believed Britain sought to suppress colonial liberties. • March 5, 1770 British soldiers fired on a crowd of Bostonians • Eleven "innocent" killed or wounded • Word of the "massacre" spread by Sons of Liberty • Colonial propaganda exaggerated the event and made British appear sinister.
Townshend Acts repealed • 1770 • British manufacturers were suffering • Three-pence tax on tea remained to demonstrate Parliament's right to tax • Taxed tea still cost less than smuggled tea. • Half the troops in Boston removed. • General feeling of goodwill until 1773.
Gaspee Incident (1771) • Only real source of conflict during this time • British warship "Gaspee" ran aground near Providence, RI, pursuing smugglers. • Ship was notorious for extorting smaller vessels • Sons of Liberty members, dressed as Indians, took crew off the ship and set it on fire • guilty parties – never found -- would have been sent to England for trial.
Committees of Correspondence • Some colonial discontent continued as British redoubled efforts to enforce Navigation Laws. • “committees of correspondence” -- Mass., Nov.1772. • spread propaganda and false info. to keep opposition to British policy alive.
The Tea Act Crisis and the First Continental Congress • Tea Act (1773) • British gov't granted British East India Company a monopoly of American tea business. • BEIC on the verge of bankruptcy costing the gov't tax revenue. • Price of tea forced even lower than existing prices, even with the 3-pence tax. • Americans reacted angrily: saw Tea Act as a sneaky attempt to trick colonies to accept the tax through cheaper tea.
Boston Tea Party, Dec. 16, 1773 • Sons of Liberty smashed 342 chests open, and dumped the tea into the harbor.
"Intolerable Acts" (Coercive Acts) • 1774, Parliament passed the "Repressive Acts" designed to punish Boston • Boston Port Act -- harbor remained closed until damages were paid and order restored. • Massachusetts charter revoked • King now had the power to appoint the Governor's Council, not the assembly • No town meetings except for election of town officials. • Administration of Justice Act: Enforcing officials who killed colonists could now be tried in England instead of the colonies. • Quartering Act: Provided for the quartering of troops once again in Boston.
Quebec Act • Not designed to punish colonies • French in Canada guaranteed right to practice Catholicism. • Colonial reaction: Viewed act as insidious attempt to create a new French Canadian and Indian threat • Anti-Catholic sentiment arose; seen as an attack on Protestantism
The First Continental Congress • In response to "Intolerable Acts," Bostonians adopted a solemn league and covenant against all trade with Great Britain and invited the other colonies to join in it. • First Continental Congress deliberated from Sept. 5 to Oct. 26, 1774 • All but Georgia, delegates included S.Adams, J. Adams, G. Washington, & Patrick Henry. • 1st Step: • Denounced "Intolerable" Acts • organize militia for defensive purposes • suspend all trade with rest of British empire • Urged citizens not to pay taxes.
The First Continental Congress • Petition for redress of grievances --Declaration and Resolves • Gave colonists the legal right to assemble in order to seek redress. • "Bill of Rights": established structure for the Declaration of Independence • Called for a complete boycott of British goods: nonimportation, nonexportation, and nonconsumption. • Yet, Congress restated allegiance to the King • No real desire to independent; merely wanted grievances redressed. • "Give me liberty, or give me death." • King and Parliament did not respond
“The Shot Heard Around the World”Lexington and Concord • a. Parliament ordered General Gage, new Gov. of Massachusetts, to arrest leaders of the rebellion and prepare for military action. • Gage sought to prevent bloodshed by disarming the local militia. • April 1775, a detachment of 700 British redcoats sent secretly to nearby Lexington & Concord to seize stores of gunpowder and arrest Sam Adams & John Hancock. • Paul Revere and William Dawes warned the Minutemen.
Battle of Lexington and Concord • Minutemen refused to disperse on the Lexington Green and shots were fired. • 8 Americans killed, 10 wounded. Who fired the first shot? • Concord -- British forced to retreat by American reinforcements • Militia picked-off British soldiers as they retreated to Boston • By day’s end, 273 British casualties; 95 Americans casualties
British Strengths during the American Revolution • Population favored Britain: 7.5 million to 2.5 for the colonies. • Superior monetary advantage and best navy in the world About 20,000 slaves in the Carolinas and Georgia joined the British (only 5,000 for rebels) • British promised slaves freedom if they fought on their side • . Many fled with the British after the war and left the country • Many Indians also sided with the British and wreaked havoc along the frontier • British represented last hope for keeping land-hungry colonists out. • Britain possessed a 50,000 man professional army • King George hired an additional 30,000 German "Hessians" as mercenaries. • British also enlisted about 50,000 loyalists
British Weaknesses • Enormous distance from England to the Colonies • Communication was inefficient • America too large a region for Britain’s army to effectively occupy; population too dispersed • British generals in America were poor leaders • Many British soldiers did not want to kill their American cousins • Provisions for the army were poor • Americans had only to tie in order to win; British had to win outright. • France was waiting for an opportunity to exact revenge • London gov't was confused and inept; King George & Lord North inadequate • Whig factions in Parliament cheered American victories at the outset
American Strengths • Outstanding leadership: George Washington and Benjamin Franklin • Economic aid from France at the outset; later military aid was decisive. • Defensive military tactics worked to their advantage • Agriculturally self-sustaining • Colonials were competent marksmen; better than the redcoats • Moral advantage from belief in a just cause
American Weaknesses • Badly organized and lacked unity from the beginning. • Continental Congress was weak and ineffective • Jealousy among colonies -- Resisted Congress' to exercise its weak power • Economic difficulties: Little metal money, worthless paper money • Soldiers deserted due to economic difficulties of their families • Debtors paid their debts which were tremendously devalued • Military supplies were inadequate esp. firearms and gunpowder; Militiamen highly unreliable • Morale was undermined by opportunistic American profiteers a. Sold goods to British for payment in gold b. Speculators forced prices sky-high c. <erchants made profits of 50-200% while soldiers were dying. • Only a select minority of American colonials truly committed themselves to the cause.
Second Continental Congress -- May 10, 1775 • All 13 colonies present -- delegates still not interested in independence but rather redressing of grievances • Selected George Washington to head of theContinental Army. • Political – Northerners wanted to bring Virginia into the war. • Drafted 2nd set of appeals to the king and British people for redress of Americangrievances. • Adopted measures to raise money and to create an army and a navy. • Olive Branch Petition: loyalty to the crown; restore peace, King should reconsider “Intolerable Acts” • King refused to recognize Congress and the war raged on
Early Battles – Bunker Hill June 17, 1775 Over 1,000 oncoming redcoats in ill-conceived frontal assault were mowed down by 1,500 American sharpshooters. Viewed as an American victory Bloodiest battle of the War for Independence Following Bunker Hill, King formally proclaimed the colonies in rebellion (Aug. 23, 1775) – basically a declaration of war. 18,000 Hessians (German mercenary soldiers) hired by King to support British forces
Americans Support the War • Still, most Americans did not desire independence; proud to be British citizens • Reasons for shift of loyalty 1. Hiring of Hessians 2. Burning of Falmouth & Norfolk 3. Governor of Virginia promised slaves who would fight for the British would be freed. • Impact: persuaded many southern elite to join New England in the war effort.
Thomas Paine’s Common Sense(published early 1776) • Best-seller in the colonies; effective propaganda • Main ideas: a. Colonial policy was inconsistent; independence was the only course b. Nowhere in the physical universe did a smaller heavenly body control a larger one. Why should tiny England control huge North America? c. King was nothing more than the "Royal Brute of Great Britain." d. America had a sacred mission; moral obligation to the world to set up an independent, democratic republic, untainted by association with corrupt monarchical Britain.
The Declaration of Independence • June 7, 1776, Philadelphia Congress, Richard Henry Lee moved for independence. 1. "These United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states..." 2. Motion was adopted on July 2, 1776 3. Yet, formal explanation was needed to rally resistance at home and invite foreign nations to aid the American cause, especially France. • E. Congress appointed Committee on Independence to prepare an appropriate statement shortly after Lee's speech on June 7. 1. Task fell to a committee that chose Thomas Jefferson—33-year old Virginia attorney. --Other members: B. Franklin, J. Adams, Roger Sherman, & Robert Livingston 2. Some debate and amendment had preceded its adoption especially slavery clause which was heavily modified with some portions being excised. a. Jefferson had blamed England for continuing the slave trade despite colonial wishes (despite his owning slaves). b. Yet, southerners in particular still favored slavery and dismissed the clause. 3. Declaration not addressed to England, nor did signers expect any response from the king. 4. Declaration of Independence formally approved on July 4, 1776
The Declaration • Preamble (heavily influenced by John Locke) • Stated the rights of colonists to break away if natural rights were not protected: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (property) • All men are created equal • List of 27 grievances of the colonies (seen by Congress as most important part) • Charged the King with imposing taxes w/o consent, eliminating trial by jury, abolishing valued laws, establishing a military dictatorship, maintaining standing armies in peacetime, cutting off trade, burning towns, hiring mercenaries, inciting Indian violence upon colonies • Formal declaration of independence a. Officially broke ties with England b. "United States" officially an independent country • Result: Foreign aid could now be successfully solicited
Patriots & Loyalists • "Tories" (loyalists) = about 20% of the American people 1. Colonists who fought for return to colonial rule; loyal to the king. 2. Usually conservative: educated and wealthy; fearful of “mob rule.” 3. Older generation apt to be loyalists; younger generation more revolutionary 4. King's officers and other beneficiaries of the crown 5. Anglican clergy and a large portion of their followers; most numerous of the loyalists (except in Virginia) 6. Well entrenched in aristocratic NY, Charleston, Quaker PA, and NJ. 7. Least numerous in New England 8. Ineffective at gaining allegiance of neutral colonists
Patriots & Loyalists • Patriots 1. Sometimes called "whigs" after British opposition party 2. American rebels who fought both British soldiers and loyalists 3. Most numerous in New England 4. Constituted a minority movement 5. More adept at gaining support from colonials 6. good financing: Robert Morris
Patriots & Loyalists • The Loyalist Exodus 1. Loyalists regarded by Patriots as traitors. 2. About 80,000 loyalists were driven out or fled the colonies -- Estates confiscated and sold; helped finance the war 3. 50,000 fought for the British
Articles of Confederationadopted in 1777 • Set up by 2nd Continental Congress in light of exigencies: need to organize a nation and an army; maintain civil order and establish international recognition and credit; defend its territory from the British; and resolve internal quarrels and competition.) • Did not go into effect until 1781 • First constitution in U.S. history; lasted until 1789 when the Constitution was adopted • Congress had power to: conduct war, handle foreign relations & secure loans, borrow money. • No power to: regulate trade, conscript troops, levy taxes.