Road to the American Revolution
By: Jamar Ellis & Joernest Petway
The French and Indian War: The final Colonial War was the French and Indian War, which is the name given to the American theater of a massive conflict involving Austria, England, France, Great Britain, Prussia, and Sweden called the Seven Years War. The conflict was played out in Europe, India, and North America. In Europe, Sweden , Austria, and France were allied to crush the rising power of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. The English and the French battled for colonial domination in North America, the Caribbean, and in India. The English did ultimately come to dominate the colonial outposts, but at a cost so staggering that the resulting debt nearly destroyed the English government. It was that debt that caused the escalation of tensions leading to the Revolutionary War.
The Sugar Act: On April 5, 1764, Parliament passed a modified version of the Sugar and Molasses Act (1733), which was about to expire. Under the Molasses Act colonial merchants had been required to pay a tax of six pence per gallon on the importation of foreign molasses. But because of corruption, they mostly evaded the taxes and undercut the intention of the tax — that the English product would be cheaper than that from the French West Indies.
The Boston Massacre: The Boston Massacre was a street fight that occurred on March 5, 1770, between a "patriot" mob, throwing snowballs, stones, and sticks, and a squad of British soldiers. Several colonists were killed and this led to a campaign by speech-writers to rouse the ire of the citizenry.
Minutemen: Although the terms militia and minutemen are sometimes used interchangeably today, in the 18th century there was a decided difference between the two. Militia were men in arms formed to protect their towns from foreign invasion and ravages of war. Minutemen were a small hand-picked elite force which were required to be highly mobile and able to assemble quickly. Minutemen were selected from militia muster rolls by their commanding officers. Typically 25 years of age or younger, they were chosen for their enthusiasm, reliability, and physical strength. Usually about one quarter of the militia served as Minutemen, performing additional duties as such. The Minutemen were the first armed militia to arrive or await a battle.
Lexington, Concord: During the wee hours of April 19, 1775, he would send out regiments of British soldiers quartered in Boston. Their destinations were LEXINGTON, where they would capture Colonial leaders Sam Adams and John Hancock, then CONCORD, where they would seize gunpowder.