Out of Many, “From Empire to Independence”: Mr. Cala’s Notes p. 135-160
Thesis Statement: From 1754 to 1776, colonial solidarity arose first from the cultural differences between
them and then became about more political issues.
Albany Conference (1754)- British and colonial representatives to work out coordination in the growing border conflicts with the French. Attempts to work with the Iroquois fail because some British officials bribed an unofficial delegation, leading the official delegation to walk out.
During this meeting, Benjamin Franklin offers the Albany Plan of Union—trying to put numerous colonial policies
beneath a grand council—rejected by the British representatives and colonial assemblies.
French and Indian War (one part of the Seven Years’ War)
During this meeting, war broke out as 24 year old George Washington lost the small fort, Fort Necessity that he had set up near the border of New France and the English colony of Pennsylvania.
There would be three zones of conflict:
Nova Scotia—where Britain would begin to take the land and kick out the native Acadians.
Northern New York—Large colonial force repulsed. Edward Braddock is defeated by Indian fighters and a few French Canadians despite having 900 more troops.
Along the Ohio River Valley— Fort Necessity
Overall summary of first two years:
1757-Prime Minister William Pitt turns the war effort around for Britain—
1. Get them Indian support by promising fixed boundaries.
2. Hire Prussian troops (Hessians) just as the British would during the Revolution for Europe. Allowing them
to send 20,000 British troops to fight with 30,000 colonists.
3. Allows for an invasion of New France
4. Battle of Quebec- Montcalm and (French general) and James Wolfe (British) die and Quebec falls to the
5. 1763- Treaty of Paris- France loses all of its possessions east of the Mississippi (except New Orleans).
Spain gives Florida to Britain. Complete victory for Britain.
Think about it from the point of view of an Ohio Indian—how would you view the 1763 Treaty of Paris?
Americans Forming an Identity:
1. French and Indian War—shows many differences between British and colonial troops fighting side by side.
British soldiers used nasty language and were violent—and had to face punishment. Colonial soldiers were
volunteers, much less disciplined, and socially seen as below the British soldiers. Also created shared
experiences for colonists.
2. Colonial newspapers—print Enlightenment texts from John Locke (“Life, liberty, and property”) and other
republicans. State power is against liberty.
What was this basic American identity based around?
Effects of the French and Indian War;British reorganize Empire—keep 10,000 troops in America and PM
George Grenville needs to get revenue to pay for it and national debt.
; Sugar Act- 1764- Places a tariff on sugar imported into the colonies.
; Makes vice admiralty courts able to deal with smugglers (no trial by jury, no innocent until proven guilty) so
that they don’t try to get around it.
o James Otis—“Taxation without representation is tyranny!”
; Stamp Act- 1765- Larger tax require special stamped paper for all newspapers,legal documents, dice,
playing cards, etc. Came during economic downturn. Responses:
o British government-“Virtual Representation”—like women, children, and servants.
o Patrick Henry (member of Virginia House of Burgesses) writes Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions—
says people should directly be related to their political leaders.
o “Liberty Tree”—part of Bostonian Samuel Adams’ protests- string up effigies (symbols) of British
officials like stamp distributor Andrew Oliver.
o Soon rebellion is controlled by more middle class lawyers, merchants, etc. called the Sons of Liberty,
wanting moderate protests (written word)
o Parliament repeals the Stamp Act and passes the Declaratory Act.
Create a flow chart illustrating the responses to the Stamp Act:
The Late 1760’s
; Charles Townshend, British economic official, hoped to pass tariff on lead, glass, paint, paper, and tea on
external goods. Some protestors said they were against internal taxes like the stamps, not external. He
thought he would get more resistance from Britain for such a small tax.
; John Dickinson—Philadelphian poses as a farmer and says they have no right to tax.
; Nonimportation associations—Boston town meeting leads to associations to run boycott campaigns
against luxuries from Britain to stimulate local industry. Women in particular (Daughters of Liberty).
Virginia House of Burgesses bans import of Townshend goods.
; Massachusetts Circular Letter- Mass. House of Representatives approves Samuel Adams—attack plans
to make royal officials separate from colonial assemblies. Urges colonies to find ways to unite. ; After British occupy Boston to stop mob violence, Sam Adams plays up rumors of harassment of colonists.
Leads to Boston Massacre in 1770. Snowballs and stones thrown at British—confusion, someone yells
“FIRE!,” and five are killed. Paul Revere, engraver, makes print of the Boston Massacre.
; Parliament repeals more of Townshend Acts EXCEPT tax on tea to assert right to tax.
Summarize these six events in six words:
Committees of Correspondence- Governor Thomas Hutchinson of Mass. Says all royal officials salaries will be paid by Crown—leads to Boston
town meeting appointing a committee of correspondence
; To keep track of intelligence about British actions affecting America
; Formed across the colonies and leads to intercolonial communication.
The Boston Tea Party
; The colonists were a major consumer of tea, but when Britain passed the Tea Act to try to give them a
monopoly in America by decreasing the taxes they would have to pay while keeping the Townshend acts,
the colonists stopped buying the tea and the East India Company fell to the brink of bankruptcy. Tea
importers were thought of as enemies of the country in the colonies.
; On December 16, 1773 thousands crowded in a church to see the captain report to Sam Adams. Adams
signaled a group of 50-60 men, dressed as Indians, to board the ship and dump 45 tons, worth ?10000, into
the harbor. Other colonies follow the example.
Were the responses of the colonists to British taxes examples of mob violence or organized protests? Explain.
The Intolerable Acts- In response to the Boston Tea Party arliament passed the Coercive Acts
; The Coercive Acts consisted of:
o Boston Port Act- stopped ships from unloading in Boston Harbor until the town compensated the
East India Company.
o Massachusetts Government Act- delegates of the upper house would be chosen by the King.
o Administration of Justice Act- protected British officials from colonial courts.
o Quartering Act of 1774- people had to house British shoulders.
o The Quebec Act was passed in 1774 and it appointed a government for Canada, enlarged the
boundaries of Quebec, and confirmed the privileges of the Catholic Church.
o In response to the Intolerable Acts, the colonists created the Committees of Correspondence to
keep Americans informed about British measures that affected the colonists.
; The replacement of Boston officials with men chosen by the king was a “Hostile Invasion” in the eyes of
Were the Intolerable Acts a rational response to the Boston Tea Party or tyranny? Why or why not?
The First Continental Congress- Delegates from most of the colonies met in 1774 to respond to the Coercive Acts. All of the delegates agreed that the Intolerable Acts were unconstitutional. They urged the creation of Committees of Observation and Safety.
; The Congress establishes the Continental Association to enforce nonimportation.
Lexington and Concord- September 1, 1774- General Gage sent soldiers to seize stores of the Massachusetts Militia’s ammunition.
o The Massachusetts committee of safety created special units called minutemen that were ready at
a moment’s notice.
o Pitt tried to convince parliament not to attack again, but he was overruled.
o On April 18, 1775 General Gage attacked the ammunition stores in Concord.
; The colonists brought reinforcements to Lexington and vastly outnumbered the British
The Second Continental Congress (1775-1781)
; May15: Congress put the colonies into a state of defense.
; June 15: George Washington was nominated to be commander-in-chief.
“The American Revolution”
Canada, the Spanish Borderlands, and the Revolution
; The colonies sent soldiers to Canada to eliminate the possibility of an invasion from that quarter, but this
also killed the chance of the Canadians joining them in an anti-British effort.
; The British Navy prevented the colonists from talking with assemblies in the Caribean.
; Many Spanish Floridans in Cuba supported American independence. In 1775, Spain adopted Havana’s
recommendations and declared a policy of neutrality in the coming war. However the Spanish secretly
sought to support the Americans. The ability to do this came when Americans went to Spanish New
Orleans and requested that they sell weapons to the patriots. Havana and NO became important American
In the beginning, evaluate the success of the Americans in getting support from other countries.
Fighting in the North and South
o The Americans were forced back from Canada.
o The British were forced out of Boston and were pushed to Halifax.
; The Americans turned back the British assault in Charleston.
Let’s look at the ebb and flow of colonists’ losses and victories. Create a timeline of battles with your evaluation of each.
No Turning Back
nd; 2 Cont. Congress formed the American Navy and declared British ships open to capture.
; The French joined Spain in supporting America unofficially.
; Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, reshaped American thinking and was one of the most important pieces of
writings from this era attacking monarchy.
; The Declaration of Independence announced and justified the breaking of the colonies’ allegiance to Britain.
ndo Written by Thomas Jefferson with some changes by other members of the 2 Cont. Congress
o Approved on July 4, 1776 with no dissent.
How was the year 1776 important in changing the minds of many Americans?
The War For Independence
; At the start of the war Britain had the best-equipped and most disciplined army, along with a navy that was
unopposed in American waters. Initially the British thought they could regain political control by having one
military victory. This strategy did not work due to the geography on eastern North America
; Due to the native officer corps and considerable experience in colonial wars, the Patriot forces proved
formidable. Washington and his officers wanted a force that could directly engage the British, but Congress
initially refused to invoke a draft or mandate army enlistments lasting over one year (due to fear of a
standing army). Patriots had the advantage of fighting on their own land and the popular support for the
American cause. Included:
o 350,000 eligible men
o Over 200,000 saw action. No more than 25,000 were engaged at one time
o Over 100,000 served in the Continental Army under George Washington. The rest served in Patriot
o Militias lack of discipline, short terms of enlistment, and appalling rates of desertion mean they
couldn’t win the war but they could defend their own areas.
o The victory of the war resulted from the constant struggle of the Continental Army
o Militias fail in early battles ; congress enlarges state quotas for the Continental Army and extend
the enlistment term to three years. To spur enlistments Congress offered bounties, regular wages,
and promises of free land after victory
o At the end of the war 25,324 American men died
o Patriot gained control of most local governments during the period of committee organization in
1774 and 1775
; As men left for war, women took up the management of family farms and businesses. Women also followed
both armies; some were prostitutes, wives, cooks, launderers, and nurses. A few even impersonated men and
What advantages and disadvantages did the patriots have compared with the British army?
; 500,000 called Loyalist or Tories, remained loyal to the British crown-- often newcomers to America, royal
officeholders, people dependant on the British for a salary, or members of a minority ; Patriots passed state treason acts that prohibited speaking out against the Revolution and punished Tories
by using the “grand Tory ride” or by tarring and feathering
; The British strategy was to mobilize Loyalists and many Loyalists did (50,000 fight) ; During and after the war many Loyalist fled to England, the British West Indies, or Canada
Why do you think Tories remained Tories despite all the mob action against them?
The Campaign for New York and New Jersey
; In the winter of 1775-76 the British developed the strategy of having Sir William Howe work his way up
from New York and have another army head south from Canada. Washington anticipated this strategy and
set up fortifications in Brooklyn. In July of 1776 The Battle of Long Island ended in disaster for the Patriots
giving the British New York City
; On September 6, 1776 Ben Franklin, John Adams, and Edward Rutledge engaged in peace talks with
General Howe and Admiral Richard Howe
o These talks ended when Admiral Howe asked for the repeal of the Declaration of Independence
; The British invaded Manhattan and only an American stand at Harlem Heights prevented the destruction of
a large part of the Patriot forces
o The British then had some victories that pushed Washington back at White Plains and overran the
American posts at Fort Washington and Fort Lee
o By November the Americans were fleeing south across New Jersey
; Morale low, desertions high, and the end of many soldiers terms
o On Christmas night 1776, Washington lead 2,400 troops back across the Delaware in a surprise
counterattack defeating the Hessian forces at Trenton, New Jersey. The Americans also pushed the
British back and inflicted heavy loses at Princeton—Washington realizes need for “RUN AWAY!”
The Northern Campaigns of 1777
; Fighting with American forces had stopped Howe from heading north and the British forces from Canada
were stopped by American resistance at Lake Champlain. British send 8,000 British and German troops
under General John Burgoyne from Canada and Howe was to move his troops north
; Fort Ticonderoga fell to Burgoyne on July 6, but he was bogged down by Patriot militia in the rough
country south of Lake George. Burgoyne retreated to Saratoga
o At Saratoga Burgoyne and his forces were surrounded by Patriot forces and on October 19, he
surrendered his nearly 6,000 men
; The British General Howe had many victories in Pennsylvania like Brandywine Creek, Paoli, Philadelphia
and Germantown. The Continental Congress fled to the town of York while the British occupied
; Washington and his forces settled in at Valley Forge for the winter after the various victories. ; Though the British won many victories during the two years of war their strategy for suppressing the
Revolution was judged a failure.
The French Alliance and the Spanish Borderlands
; During the first two years of fighting Americans were sustained by loans from France and Spain
o Ben Franklin was sent by Congress to Paris as a delegate for America and he was successful in
negotiating recognition of American independence, a Franco-American alliance, and multiple loans ; France signed a the Treaty of Alliance with the US stating:
o France is to aid America in war
o Neither party shall enter into a treaty with Britain without consent of the other
o France guarantees the US all of the northern parts of America and other “conquests” gained by the
o The US promised to recognize French acquisition of British islands in the West Indies
o A year later Spain entered the war. The Spanish had their own independent fight against the British
fearing the threat Americans posed to New Spain.
; Worried of the consequences of French involvement Lord North sent a peace commissioner wish promises
to repeal the legislation that caused the war, but the attempt was 3 years too late ; Britain rethought its strategy, sent 5,000 troops to the Caribbean, and evacuated Philadelphia in June 1778 ; The American-French forces pushed the British all the way back to New York, but after a defeat at
Newport, Rhode Island, Washington decided on a defensive strategy and the war in the northeast went into
The War in the South
; The most intense fighting of the war occurred in the South
; This was due to a massive number of loyalists and the number of slaves who left to join the British side to
; The British strategy was to take town by town and then turn it over to Loyalist control ; The British endured a lose at Charleston, but then quickly regained victory against General Horatio’s force
and eventually the resistance in the south faded
; When Cornwallis decided to move his base to Yorktown instead of the Carolinas the Patriots were able to
regain control of the Lower South
; The American forces under Washington and the French forces under General Jean Baptiste Donatien de
Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau defeat the British
o On October 19, 1781, between lines of victorious American and Frnech troops Cornwallis’s second-
in-command (because he was “ill”) surrendered to George Washington
The United States in Congress Assembled
; The Articles of Confederation was the first written government of the US--It created a weak government
with almost no power
; In the November of 1777, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Articles of Confederation ; The Articles set up a national assembly called Congress in which each state had one vote and one
representative who was chosen in a manner determined by the state legislatures and that representative
could serve no more than three years out of six
; A presiding president was picked by Congress every year and could only serve one year out of three ; All issues would be decided by a simple majority, except for major issues which required 9 votes ; Congress had authority in:
o The conduct of foreign affairs
o Matters of war and peace
o Maintenance of the armed forces
; Congress could:
o Raise loans
o Issue bills of credit
o Establish coinage
o Regulate trade with Indian nations
o Be the final authority in jurisdictional debates between states
o Establish a national postal system
o Establish a weights and measures system
; 12 state legislatures voted for the Articles, but ratification was held up for 3 years by Maryland
o Maryland demanded that 8 states with western claims cede the land to Congress “for the good of the
whole” The States refused to do that
o In 1781 when Virginia, who had the most westward claims, promised to cede its land Maryland