Road to American Revolution

1215

Magna Carta-

  • Magna Carta, meaning "The Great Charter", is a very famous English document that was originally issued to King John of England.
  • The document said that the law applied to everyone, including rulers.

1688

Glorious Revolution-

  • The Glorious Revolution ended the reign of James II and brought forth the reign of William III and Mary II.
  • Political and religious issues led to this revolution in England.
  • The Glorious Revolution got rid of absolutism (absolute monarchy) and established constitutional monarchy in England, as well as led to the English Bill of Rights.

1689

English Bill of Rights-

  • The English Bill of Rights had a huge influence on the colonies in America and the U.S. Constitution.
  • Important articles of the document included: "No excessive fines should imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." and "Members should have freedom of speech in Parliament." (Sound familiar?)

1756-1763

French and Indian War-

  • The French and Indian War, or the Seven Years' War, lasted from 1756 to 1763 and was a war between England and France (France had help from the Indians, ergo, French and INDIAN War)
  • This war was the beginning of open hostilities between colonists and Great Britain, as England required money and supplies that drained America's resources.
  • The French ended up losing the war overall (see Treaty of Paris below for more details)

1763

Treaty of Paris-

  • The Treaty of Paris ended the French and Indian War between Great Britain and France.
  • As part of the treaty, France gave up all of its territories in North America, ending any foreign military threat to British colonies.  

Proclamation of 1763-

  • The Proclamation of 1763 closed off the frontier to colonial expansion, forbidding colonists from traveling beyond the Appalachian Mountains.
  • The colonists ended up breaking this law, as they needed to expand due to increasing populations.

1764

Sugar Act-

  • Colonial merchants were required to pay a certain amount of tax money per gallon of sugar and other products such as coffee and certain wines.
  • Because of corruption, however, many merchants evaded the taxes on sugar.
  • The English market suffered because of this.

1765

Stamp Act-

  • The Stamp Act imposed a tax on all paper documents in the colonies.
  • This act was an attempt to get out of debt by the English.
  • Colonists protested against the Stamp Act, but one named Patrick Henry stood above the rest for his famous quote of "Give me liberty or give me death!!"
  • Parliament repealed the Stamp Act in 1766.

Quartering Act (March)-

  • The Quartering Act required colonies to house British soldiers in barracks provided by the colonies
  • If the barracks were too small to house all the soldiers, then locals were to house them in local inns, livery stables, ale houses, victualing houses, and wine-sellers' houses.

Sons of Liberty (early summer)-

  • In Boston, a group of shopkeepers and artisans called The Loyal Nine began preparing for agitation against the Stamp Act.
  • As the group grew, it came to be known as the Sons of Liberty.
  • The first widely known acts of the Sons took place on August 14, 1765.

1766

Declaratory Act-

  • The Declaratory Act accompanied the repeal of the Stamp Act.
  • It stated that the British Parliament's taxing authority was the same in America as in Great Britain.

1767

Townshend Act-

  • The Townshend Acts imposed taxes on glass, lead, paints, paper and tea imported into the colonies.
  • It was introduced by a Chancellor of the English Parliament named Charles Townshend.

1770

Boston Massacre (March 5th)-

  • The Boston Massacre was the killing of five colonists by British soldiers.
  • The colonists threw snowballs, stones and sticks at the squad of British soldiers.
  • The soldiers were tried and found not guilty by a jury.




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