Who discovered America?
1. Native Americans
2. The Vikings
3. Christopher Columbus

 Came from Asia over Beringia (Bering Strait) during last Ice Age.
 When they crossed is not certain approximately 17.000 years ago.
 Stone Age hunters in small band
 Few material remains (Clovis Spearpoints)
 They reached Tierra del Fuego 10.000 years ago
 After Ice Age ended they invented bow and arrow
 Around 7000 years ago in Peru they discovered agriculture
 About 5000 they domesticated corn
 By the 15
century 10 million people (500 tribes)
 Hunting-gathering and agriculture
 Only Anasazi (southwest) and the mound builders (south east) developed urban societies
 Remained in stone age (no domestic animals, no system of writing)
 Level of culture will be significant when they encounter Europeans
The Vikings
 They developed light and fast ships
 Vikings from Denmark attacked and settled in England, Ireland and France
 Vikings from Sweden went east into the river systems of Russia, the Caspian and black sea
then they established the state of Rus
 Vikings from Norway went west discovered and settled the Faeroe
 In Iceland a Viking named Eric the red was banished for 3 years for murder he discovered
Greenland. It was suitable for agriculture at that time
 Eric the Red’s son discovered Vinland (vine land) and returned Greenland gathering
colonists to settle in Vinland
 Viking settlement in north America lasted only for 15 to 20 years due to constant attacks of
“skrealings – natives”
 Greenland Norse maid voyages to north America until the mid-14
century to cut wood for
 Greenland settlement disappeared in the first half of 15
Why was the Norse unsuccessful in establishing permanent settlement in North America?
 There was no constant supply of migrants.


Developments in Europe by the 15

 Technology: navigation
 Large merchant class: profit and wealth
 Kings: political stability, concentration of power and resources
 Exploration
Why did Portugal make the first exploration?
 Given impetus by prince henry the navigator (established a school of navigation and sponsored
 They discovered Azure Islands
 They established sugar plantations
 They raid Africa to capture slaves to work in plantations
 Began a series of voyages down to western coast of Africa
 Discovery of the Cape of Good Hope – route to Indian ocean became possible
!! Spain never copied Portugal’s successful voyages. Why?
- Because of internal disputes (Reconquista – reconquest of Spain from Arabs)
- After Fernando and Isabella defeated Arabs they started to be interested in voyages
Columbus convinced Spain that he know a new route to India (never reached to north America and
died in prison)
Why were Europeans successful now, but the Vikings 500 years earlier have not been?
- Firearms and gun powders
- Europeans didn’t die due to diseases
Treaty of Tordesillas

 Columbus’ voyage created a rivalry between Portugal and Spain
 Pope was anxious to avoid it because Protestantism started to spread
 Pope divided new land between Portugal and Spain (limited Portuguese settlement in new
Vasco de Gama
 Sailed cape of good hope and reached India
 To protect the route to India and Portuguese he established settlements
 Portugal will be the most powerful state in east Africa until 17


Spanish Colonization
 Began in Caribbean
 Discovery of gold attracted numerous adventurers
 Mines first were worked by native American slaves
 Many slaves died due to diseases, others ran away
 They started sugar plantation with African slaves
 They sought new lands to exploit
Hernan Cortes and Mexico
 Burned his ships and began moving in islands
 Met a native woman who can speak Spanish then she became his translator
 He met Aztecs in Mexico, Aztecs had highly developed civilization
 Cortes had some factors in his favor ; Aztecs believed that a white, bearded god Quetzalcoatl
would return in 1519
 Cortes was honored until when Aztecs understood his intentions
 Cortes build ships and due to diseases in the region the city was taken by cortes in 1521 he
became enormously wealthy
Fransisco Pizarro and Peru
 Inspired by Cortes
 He was a bastard of a Spanish nobleman
 Landed in Peru in 1531
 Proceeded to Inca empire
 Incas distrusted Spain
 Pizarro took Inca king and demanded gold (he took the ransom but he attacked Incas and
defeated them. He became even wealthier than Cortes)
 In Spanish colonies economy primarily based on mining of the large ranches
 They settled to Texas in 17
century (in 18
century they established missions in California
John Cabot sailed to the North America for the henry the VIII
Giovanni da Verazzano sent by France
Jacques Cartier sent by France
 Fish men went to America seasonally and traded goods with natives
 By 17
century Dutch French and swedes were all involved in fur trade
 Until 1576 no British interest in Americas (events in 1497-1576; great influence on british for
north America)


Bloody Mary – Colonization of Ireland
Elizabeth continued his father’s policies
Establishment of trading companies in Britain
1. East Land Company (Baltic)
2. 1581 Levant Company (Middle East)
3. 1600 East India Company (India and East Indies)
 With growing trade England became interested in north America (thinking of establishing
Martin Frobisher
 Explored and mapped areas in the Canadian arctic
Humphrey Gilbert
 Got a crown charter to establish a colony

What is a “crown charter”?
 Legal contract given by the king to individuals or companies
 Colonization is a private enterprise not actively directed by central government
 Gives the recipient the right to establish a colony
 Specifies the colonies’ boundaries, the rights of charter holder, obligations of monarch

 H. Gilbert claimed some area in Newfoundland but could not establish a settlement.
 Humphrey’s half-brother got charter too, made a voyage. Then he called the area Virginia for the
honor of Queen Elizabeth.
 In 1580s English and French had war
 By the end of 16
century Spain and Portugal had numerous colonies but Britain did not;
however, they got experience

James I
 War with Spain ended
 Men and money were free for other enterprises
 1606 joint stock companies in Virginia


 The London Company would be the first to attempt colonization
 Needed to attract settlers but how?
 Who would want to go North America?
 People wanted to go to have land which means wealth!

Two Categories:
 Independent paid for their passage: you can begin work for yourself immediately
 Financed by company: food and shelter (but passenger would work for company for 7 years in

 1607 May; 104 English settled in Jamestown

Jamestown: There were no Native Americans.
Water resources
Less likely to be attacked by Spanish
In summer, English people understood why natives do not live there; malaria, no large
animals for hunting, water was brackish in summer

 In 1609; company adopts a new charter
 Company council will appoint a governor with an advisory Virginia council
 Administration moved from England to Virginia
 Local participation (colonists got some words for their colonies)
 In Jamestown they planted tobacco
 In 1618; they made reforms to attract people to settle – 50 acres of land will be given to settlers
 English law will be enacted
 Planters will elect representatives to an assembly
 In 1619; two important events:
1. First meeting of Virginia assembly
2. First African slaves were brought from West Indies
 In 1622; local tribes killed many settlers
 In 1624; king took over control of colony – assembly shut down, cost the crown E 100.000
 Royal takeover improves life in the colony
 Population grew


 In 1629; Virginia assembly was reopened because conditions in Virginia were much more than in
 In 1630; drop in tobacco prices but profit remained
 In 1639; labor shortage occurred ( new ways to attract) – indentured servants (private
individuals pay passage for a settler in exchange for work)
 New problems – some settler ran away, some got freedom but became propertyless

 History of Massachusetts colony is linked to the Puritans ( Protestant sect)
 Puritans: John Calvin
Radical and conservative
Strict and liberal interpretation of Bible
Simple rituals and minimal decoration in church
Did not observe most Christian holidays
Belief in predestination
Society should be regulated by God’s laws
No public amusement
Clothes should be simple – no bright colors
Disagreements with official church of Britain
 They divided into two large groups:
1. Presbyterians – accepted general church organization and looser membership criteria
2. Congregationalist – no overall church organization above individual church, membership
open only to overt, true believers

 Congregationalist divided into two:
1. Non-separatist – stay and reform church from within
2. Separatists – separate and form new church

 Separatists will be the first ones to settle in North America
 1608-1609; Group of Separatists emigrate to Holland ( Dutch very tolerant but they feared the
assimilation of their children and returned to England )
 Applied to Virginia company to establish a “peculiar plantation” in northern part of Virginia,
would work for company for 7 years
 1620; ship “Mayflower” leaves England with 102 Puritans – called themselves “pilgrims”
 December 1620; land near Cape Cod – Massachusetts outside of Virginia colony
 Establish Plymouth colony
 Since outside of Virginia governor’s authority decided they needed to establish a government
 Men of Mayflower wrote a document the Mayflower Compact describing their government and
elected John Winthrop


 Half of them died in the first winter
 Local Indians teach basic farming
 Thanksgiving
 Heavily influenced by events in England
 1620s, depression of wool industry and series of bad harvest
 1625; Charles I becomes king begins non-stop arguments with Parliament which contains large
number of Puritans
 1628; Puritans in England form New England Company and get Massachusetts and New
Hampshire land grant
 1629; Puritans in England get a royal charter and become the Massachusetts Bay Company
 Charter gave company full authority to govern its own territory with no restriction
 1629; Charles decided to rule without Parliament
 Appointed churchmen opposed to Puritanism
 1630; about 1000 new settlers came to Massachusetts Bay Sea
 1630-1640; “The Great Migration” – 15.000-20.000 new settlers
 1640; Charles recalls Parliament to end the great migration

Rhode Island
 1631-1634; Massachusetts Bay Company changes how it elects its representatives
 “Freemen” the eligible voters of the company had to be Puritan Church members
 1631; Roger Williams – a strong separatist, arrives in Massachusetts
 Williams calls for complete rejection of English Church and purchase of land from natives
 He said that government had no authority over religious matters
 1636; he was banished and went to Rhode Island
 Soon, he was followed by Anne Hutchinson
 1640; he applies for charter, granted in 1644:
 Voting is not limited to church members
 Clergy should not be supported by taxes
 1663; guarantee of religious freedom

 1636; Puritan settlers move into Connecticut River Valley
 1662;
 New England will begin to grow faster than Virginia, due both to immigration and larger lifespan
 Unlike Virginia economy was diverse (farming fishing, lumber…)
 Due to harsh climate settlers gave importance to commerce, fishing and ship building


 Success of Virginia and Massachusetts colonies will encourage others to establish colonies on the
east coast of North America

The Proprietary Colonies
 Proprietary colonies were established by individuals
 1632; Lord Baltimore – English Catholic who are given land for colony
 He intended as refugee as Catholics, but Catholics soon became minority
 1649; to protect Catholic rights Maryland Toleration Act guaranteeing freedom of worship for all
Christians is passed

New York
 1664; Duke of York inherits Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam
 1673; retaken by Dutch
 1674; retaken by English
 1683; due to dissatisfaction of settlers with Duke of York’s rule, first elected assembly
 Extent of Dutch and Swedish settlement in North America in 17
 1685; King James II grants land for a colony to two of his friends
 Divided territory into eastern and western districts
 1702; New loyal charter

The New Carolinas
 1663; Proprietors get royal charter
 Settlers come from New England, Virginia and Barbados
 1665; First Assembly; tobacco cultivation begins
 1669; New settlement near Charleston, SC
 1680; settlement moved to present site of Charleston; economy based on tar, turpentine and
 Rice was profitable, but its cultivation was unfamiliar to the English
 Imported slaves from area of Sierra Leone – slaves have already spoken a form of pidgin English
called Krio
 Environment and climate of South Carolina was very similar to Sierra Leone
 PIDGIN; no one’s native language
CREOLE (KRIO); has become a native language
 Slaves brought knowledge of rice cultivation (they also brought diseases)


 Plantation houses moved away from coasts; only overseas for the slaves left
 Descendants of the slaves is called the Gulla still live on the coastal islands and speak a language
much like Krio
 1712; rebellion against proprietary governor

 1681; William Penn – Quaker and commoner
Son of an admiral
 Quakers; Pacifist Protestant Sect
 Penn served as governor, but elected assembly more powerful; granted religious liberty to all
 1701; after numerous disagreements between Penn and assembly “Charter of Privileges”
granted effectively ended Penn’s rule

Economics and Events in England
 Prevailing economic theory in 17
and 18
century was mercantilism
 State directs all economic activities within its borders; discouraged imports and encouraged
 American colonies were suppliers of new materials and England provided manufactured goods
 England would direct American economy but distance and English political development made
English direction very ineffective
 1630-1640; Charles I ruled without Parliament
 1640; Charles recalls parliament to get money, dismissed parliament then recalled it again. this
time MPs won’t leave
 1642; Parliament raises an army against king – start of English civil war
 1649; Charles I was beheaded
 1649-1658; Oliver Cromwell heads the Puritan Commonwealth of England as Lord Protector
 1660; The Restoration – English monarchy was reestablished
 New king Charles II was very cooperative
 1685; James II forced to flee due to serious disagreements with Parliament
 1688; Glorious Revolution – William and Marry were put on throne
 Parliament was clearly the predominant authority in England and now ready to establish its
authority everywhere
 12 of the 13 colonies were established before 1688 (under authority of king but without his
active participation and support)
 Colonies had a very uncertain relationship with Parliament
English Attempts to Regulate Colonial Economic Activity


 1650-1651; Cromwell passed laws to keep foreign shipping out of colonies (not very affective)
 1660-1663; Parliament passed The Navigation Acts:
 Use only English or colonial made ships
 Sugar, cotton, indigo and tobacco could only be shipped to England most valuable items)
 Almost all imports to come from England

 Navigation Acts required enforcement but it was problematic. Why?
 Charters had distributed power to the colonies and provided for local assemblies
 Required local consent for legislation

 Problems of enforcement in New England
 New England economy was heavily dependent on shipping
 Evaded Navigation Acts (smuggling)
 Puritans were suspicious of Charles II
 1662; King Charles demands large reforms to make Massachusetts law conform with English Law
but he was ignored
 1664; Investigatory Committee was sent and they got cold reception and little cooperation
 1673; Attempts to make smuggling less profitable
 1679; Massachusetts government moves into New Hampshire, outside of its charter
 King takes territory and gives it his own royal government
 1685; Massachusetts was revoked
 By 1688; All of New England is combined into the “Dominion of New England”
 No assembly, king appoints one governor for entire region
 Governor was sent to enforce Navigation Acts and collect taxes without the consent of any
representative assembly
 Also overrode old land grants
 1688; during Glorious Revolution, citizens of Boston seize and imprison governor and his men
 Kin William allows temporary restoration of old Massachusetts charter, followed by other
 Parliament requires all colonial governments to enforce Navigation Acts
 Established regular customs service with rights of search
 Violation of Navigation Acts to be tried in Admiralty Courts without jury
 Governors and their council were appointed by king; they will approve laws passed by popular
assemblies which have sole authority to levy taxes

Differences between English and Spanish Settlement
 Spanish
 Centralized control
 Immigration was low; mostly single males


 Large native population
 Catholic; church-state cooperation

 English
 Charters and locally elected assemblies together with appointed governors
 Little royal interference
 Continuous high level of immigration
 Relatively small native population
 Numerous, mostly Protestant sects; many mistrust government
Conflict and Rivalry
 King Philip’s War (1675-1676)
 The war was led by Metacomet ( the leader of Indians)
 Fighting began in summer 1675
 Most engagements were Native American victories through winter 1675-1676
 Spring 1676; colonists began to win
 Metacomet was killed in August 1676 then most of the fights ended
 Over 600 colonists were killed
 12 towns was destroyed
 Over 3000 Native Americans were killed
 New England open to expanding settlement without interference with Native Americans
Conflict with France
 As French and English settlement expanded some lands were claimed by both countries
 Wars beginning in between England and France would spread to North America
 1689-1697 – King Philip’s War
1702-1713 – Queen Anne’s War
 In all these conflicts the colonists had to defend themselves
 No British troop were sent to fight or to protect the colonies

Georgia – The Last Colony
 James Oglethorpe for two purposes:
1. To defend English colonies against Spain
2. To give poor debtors a chance at rehabilitation
 1732; Oglethorpe and friends were given a 21 year charter:
 Rum and slaves were banned
 Every settler were given minimum of 50 acres of land
 1751; Rum and Slavery were allowed


 1752; Colony reverts to king; many settlers come from South Carolina to raise rice

Colonial Patterns of Existence
 English colonists developed patterns of existence different from those in England
 By the early 18
century; four main patterns emerged
1. Plantation:
 Found in southern countries
 Large farm was dedicated to growing one main cash crop
 First developed in Virginia in 1620s
 Labor was provided by English bondsmen
 Less expensive then slaves
 By 1670s large numbers of freedmen in rebellion
 Slavery now becomes a more attractive labor source because it was easier to
control, escape is more difficult for slaves and it helps to decrease number of
poor freedmen
 Slaves not worked to death
 By 1720-1740; natural increase of slave population accounts for most African-
Americans in the colonies
 Plantations were usually isolated like a small and self-sufficient community
 They were consisted of “big house”, slave quarters, kitchen, barns, other
buildings and surrounding fields
 Kitchens were separate from the houses because kitchen fires might lead to
house fires and houses are already hot enough
 Skilled slaves or indentured servants worked near the big house
 Unskilled slaves worked in the fields
 Plantations were located next to the rivers to provide transportation from farm
to market
 Planters were arranged for private education of their children; imported luxury
goods from Europe

2. New England Town
 Primarily a pattern established by Puritans
 Establishment of new towns was a planned and organized efforts
 Towns were established with both private and common lands
 Church districts – Parishes
 Churches had no political power
 Town churches were also used as town halls – but their functions were separate
 People met at town meetings to discuss and decide on local issues
 Taverns, schools and churches were main meeting places


3. Individual Farm
 Most common pattern of existence around south of New England; settlers lived
on large isolated farms
 No organized social life
 Religious needs were met by itinerant preachers
 Families were responsible for meeting most needs
 Life was hard; primitive and sometimes dangerous
 Sometimes hunted and trapped for skins and furs that could be sold or traded
 Relations with Native Americans were often very close
 Buckskin clothes, tomahawks and moccasins all were copied from Natives

4. Coastal Cities
 Smallest of all four patterns – but important
 These cities were centers of commerce and culture
 Best educated and most influential sector in colonial society
 Most urban problems were dealt with by voluntary associations, some by city

Colonial Patterns of Existence
 New England towns and coastal cities had some similarities to English towns and cities
Colonial Attitudes
 By early 18
century American colonists had begun to develop attitudes and ideas:
1. Responsible and Representative Governments
 Colonists believed in actual rather than virtual representation
 Actual representation  citizens are only represented by those they voted
 Virtual representation  all British people wherever they live are represented by
members of Parliament
 THUS; the fact that the American colonists did not vote for representatives in
Parliament was unimportant
 Actual representation meant members of American colonial assemblies were much
more closely monitored than British MPs
 In England, only around 25% of adult males could vote, in colonies about 50%-70%
 More colonists participate in political process and participate more closely
2. Clergy and Laity
 Clergy exists to serve, not to rule
 Anglican Church in America was state-sponsored
(Only church members could hold elected office)
 Anglican Church never appointed on American bishop


 Very large number of sects due to immigration
 Some colonies supported churches with taxes but even there ministers had no
political or legal powers

The Great Awakening (1730s-1760s
 Emotional religious revivalism, reaction to Enlightenment rationalism and
effort to convert non-religious immigrants and poor rural folk
 Starts with Jonathan Edwards
 Spreads with the preaching of another guy
 People are sinners in the hands of an angry god
 Highly emotional services caused a split in many sects:
Old Lights: followers of traditional religious practices and formal trained
New Lights: supporters of the Great Awakening’s emotional aspects

 Greater religious diversity
 Greater tolerance of religious diversity
 Individuals could decide which religious views they would accept and
which church they would attend

3) Education
 Part of Protestant culture – all believers should be able to read bible themselves
 New England Towns generally required towns to employ a schoolmaster at taxpayer expense
 Literacy rate much higher than England
 Puritans established Harvard University in 1636 to train clergy.
 Soon followed by other universities and their curricula changed from religious field to other
 Tuition low relatively, students come from all backgrounds unlike England (just aristocracy in
 Every colony had printing press to produce books etc.
 Colonial society generally better educated than England (New England and elites)
 Larger audience for new books and ideas

4) Enlightenment
 European intellectual movement beginning in 17
 Stresses use of experimentation and reason to solve problems
 John Locke (Tabula Rosa)
 Two Treaties of Civil Government (1691): government not unchanging and unchangeable.
Government is a human creation. Created by mutual consent for the enforcement of ‘natural
law’ – generally interpreted as human beings, and ‘natural rights’ of life, liberty, property.
 If government does not protect rights of citizens, citizens have the right to change it, even by
 Enlightenment thinkers advocated free speech, trade and laws.


 Enlightenment ideas change the courses in American universities and are applied to thinking
about politics and theology.
 Also these ideas were widely discussed among educated colonial elites and in colonial
 When enlightenment ideas on government and rights reappear later, many colonists already
familiar with their arguments.
 Ideas of enlightenment best represented in colonies by Benjamin Franklin—printer, politician,
inventor, scientist, satirist, political theorist, one of the founding fathers of US

5) Social Structure
 Social leveling – colonies begin as primitive settlements and conditions remain primitive on the
 Birth counts for little and social divisions not very wide
 Social mobility—greater opportunity to move up and down the social ladder. Financial success
becomes the mark of social status not mobility
 Greater opportunity for land ownership. Land was cheap, labor source and wages 100% higher
than in Britain.
 Overall, white population was much better off than average European

6) Guns
 A necessity on the frontier for hunting and defense.
 German immigrants brought good weapons that were improved in colonies—Pennsylvania , later
Kentucky rifle
 Colonial population had more guns than England—generally better guns and know how to use

 By the middle of the 18
century American colonists considered themselves as British but have
developed unique way of life and attitudes.
 Have also grown accustomed to a far greater degree of self-rule than other parts of the British
 These differences will come into conflict in second half of the 18

French & Indıan War

 Contest between France and Britain over the control of Ohio
 Britain feared French expansion behind their colonies
 France feared British expansion towards their colonies responded by building forts along rivers in
Ohio territory
 1754—Albany congress: this is the first time of joint action
 Representative of 7 colonies met in Albany, NY to discuss common defense strategy against
France, improve relations with Native American tribes and attempt to convince Iroguois to
abandon their neutrality – unsuccessful
 October 1753—Major George Washington sent by governor of Virginia to warn French to leave
territory claimed by Virginia.
 December 1753—Washington and his men reach French bir yere – French politely refuse to
 January 1754—Washington returns, reports French are going to build a fort at the head of Ohio


 Virginia governor had already sent a group to occupy the same point/build a fort and get them
 26 May 1754—Washington forces attack and defeat French. Pulls back and build Fort Necessity
 3 July 1754—French attack and Washington was forced to leave
 British decide to send a larger force to remove French and French also send more troops to
North America
 General Edward Braddock ordered to take Ft. Duquesne
 June 1755-- he died
 Spring 1756—Britain declares war on France.
 Colonial assemblies divided over the war; reluctant to provide men or supplies
 French encourage tribes in Ohio to attack British settlers, numerous raids and many flee the
 1756-1757—French were doing better
 1757—Ft William Henry surrenders to French during withdrawal of French allied Indian attack
the British, killing and capturing several hundreds.
 Increased colonial support for war
 1758—French abandon Ft. Duquesne driven out of Ohio
 English gain control
 French forts along Great Lake isolated
 Many tribes now join British
 1759—James Wolfe captured Quebec
 1769—George III becomes the new king of England—policies over 10 years will be inconsistent
due to disagreements with wealthy families in Parliament
 French withdraw from Montreal and then all of Canada, most fighting in N. America over but war
will continue elsewhere through 1762.
 February 1763—Treaty of Paris
 English gain Canada and all N. America east of Mississippi river
 French keeps two small islands
 Spain(England ally) gets Cuba, Philippines, Louisiana
Colonial Expectations

 End to high levels of taxation
 Opening of Ohio territory to settlement
 Greater consideration by Britain for their contribution to war effort

 Large British military forces in N. America for that time –fear of French return
 First direct dealings with England for many colonists—not positively impressed
 British viewed colonial contribution to war effort as limited and had low opinion of colonial
fighting men
 Royal Proclamation of 1763—settlement beyond Appalachian mountains prohibited, most lands
between Appalachian and Great Lake, Ohio, Mississippi left to tribes unpopular with settlers

 This war marks the beginning of events which end with American Revolution

Post-war British Actions


 English national debt doubled
 Colonists paying lower taxes than in England and less in customs duties
 New British Prime Minister George Grenville decides to find new ways to make colonists pay for
the war and their security
 1763—strict enforcement of Navigation Acts to reduce smuggling (molasses) and customs
 1764—Currency Act: bans colonial paper money
 Each colony had printed its own money, needed to conduct daily business due to lack of
British currency in colonies
 Very negative effects on colonial economies
 1764—Sugar Act: revised customs duties and regulations esp. on molasses
 New paper work very complicated
 Violations tried in Admiralty Courts without a jury
 1765—Quartering Act and Stamp Act: both very important for the reaction to them in colonies
and results
 Quartering Act: required colonial government to supply ‘suitable lodging’ to British troops
stationed in their colony—NY refused to comply
 Stamp Act: all printed matter required to have a tax stamp
 Grenville believed colonists would accept it. In Britain a similar tax had been imposed almost a
century earlier
 Stamps had to be paid for in hard currency, very limited due to Currency Act
 Violations tired in admiralty courts
 Most widespread tax ever proposed for colonies
 Broke long tradition of colonies self-taxation
 Stamp act hit elites harder than others but elites means to oppose the Act

Colonial Perceptions of British Actions

 Saw themselves being taxed directly by Parliament, not locally elected representatives
 Power to tax was power to take property and thus liberty
 Saw trial by jury being eliminated by Parliament through use of admiralty courts, burden of proof
on the defendant
 British troops seen not as a force to protect the colonists but as a force to control them
 Combination of troops in America at same time taxes not approved by American legislatures
were being imposed created great suspicion of British motives
 Most colonist believed that Parliament could legislate for them but not tax ( job for local
 British actions showed that Americans were not equals of those living in England—no right to
jury trials or taxation by consent
 Hurt colonial pride and post war expectations
 In addition, economy was in a recession with loss of war time spending

 In summary, Britain’s attempts to bring American colonies’ economies and taxation into line
with the rest of British Empire came at a very bad time both psychologically and

Stamp Act Crisis


 Virginia assembly first to deny Parliament’ s taxes on colonies
 Nine other colonies join Virginia. They met at ‘Stamp Act congress’
 Colonies imposed boycotts of British made goods
 Stamp offices attacked and some burned
 Resistance to Stamp Act organized and enforced by ‘Sons of Liberty’—an inter colonial
 Organized numerous and large protests
 Colonial argument against Stamp Act written by Samuel Adams
 Within 3 months the act is practically unenforced
 1766—Stamp Act repealed due in part to boycotts of British goods but also new PM who
opposed the act
 Repeal linked to passage of ‘Declaratory Act’ repeating Parliament’s right to tax colonies


 United the colonists—almost all colonies had communities to oppose the Stamp Act
 They met to determine the action they would take
 In short, they acted together against a problem
 Colonies realized that they have distinct American attitudes: no taxation without
representation, rejection of theory of virtual representation
 Strengthened colonial view that good government was one that left them alone and wielded
limited power
 Also realized that Britain generally did not understand their position
 Realized that they really did not want colonial PMs in London could be out-voted at any time
 Just wanted a fair degree of self-government

Townshend’s Acts/ Townshend’s Follies

 1766—Charles Townshend named chancellor of the Exchequer
 Determined to raise more money from the colonies
 1767—proposed a new taxes for paper, glass and tea( all imported from Britain), revenue could
be used to pay salaries of royal officials in colonies
 Till now colonial assemblies had paid royal officials
 Also proposed:
 American Board of Customs Commissioners
 Vice-Admiralty Courts in Boston, Philadelphia, Charleston
 Appointment of Secretary of State for American Affaires
 Suspension of NY legislature for non-compliance with Quartering Act
 1767—The American Board of Customs Comm. Was based in Boston, center of the intense
resistance to acts
 Colonial reaction swift
 Some colonist stated that Parliament could regulate trade but not use that power to raise
 Implied that colonies would have to examine ant Parliamentary law before deciding whether or
not to obey it
 1768—Massachusetts colony sent a letter others for unit and protest petition


 British Secretary of State for American Affaires ordered Mass. Governor to have assembly to
recall the letter and ordered colonial governors to prevent from even discussing letter
 This threat to the powers and rights of colonial legislatures united the colonies
 1768—Bostonian colonial ship seized for smuggling led to riot
 In response British station two regiments of soldiers in Boston made people of Boston see the
redcoats as reminder of oppressive British power
 Late 1768—Mass. Legislature rejected recalling letter so Secretary of State dissolved assembly
 Other assemblies were dissolved later when they met and discussed the letter
 1768-1770—Sons of Liberty worked to include ordinary American colonists in resistance to
Townshend Acts
 Published articles and published their activities
 Women also become involved in the resistance movement… significance : a much broader
support in society
 British was not aware of these facts
 2 March 1770—Bostonians attack redcoats looking for extra work at a shipyard; both sides get
reinforcements and fight groups
 5 March 1770—crowd begins throwing snowballs at soldiers guarding customs house. Guards
open fire killing 4 immediately and injuring 8 (one of them died later). Event became known
‘Boston Massacre’. Great anti-British propaganda but colonial leaders did not manage to keep
situation calm.


 New PM Lord North repeals Townshend taxes except tea tax
 For next 2 years, things remain calm in colonies but the arguments for resistance to British
measures continues and grows in press
 Still no call for independence, envisaged colonies loyal to king but ruled by their elected local
 This concept of government totally alien to British
 1772—British begins to pay governors and judges from customs revenues
 Boston voters establish a Committee of Correspondence to inform other Mass. Towns of their
decision to resist British actions
 Soon colonies established their own committees
 These committees spread the resistance to more distant area away from the coastal cities and
made resistance movement much more of a popular movement
 Published a list of grievances:
 Taxation without representation
 Unnecessary troops and customs officials in the colonies
 Use of customs revenues to pay royal officials

Gaspée Affair

 June 1772—it was a ship used to enforce customs regulations
 Group of men from Sons of Liberty attacked, boarded and burned ship
 British authorities wanted to charge attackers with treason and try them in England
 Many colonial leaders saw this as another attempt to interfere with their legal system and
Gaspée Affair become another case of tension between colonies and England



 1773—tea tax—colonial boycott had not been very effective but still very symbolic of hated
Townshend Acts
 Before 1773—British East Indian Company had monopoly on sea trade. Paid 25% tax in England.
Sold their tea at acık artırma. English merchants then shipped tea to colonies and sold it to
colonial merchants
 Tea imported from Holland was not taxed, so Dutch tea smuggled by colonial traders was
cheaper and very popular
 British government wanted to change this situation
 May 1773—the teas act passed to help the financially troubled British East Indian Company
 East Indian Company directly sells its tea to colonies. Tea was sent on consignment to colonial
merchants who got a percentage of their sales
 Hated Townshend tea tax was kept to pay colonial officials but British tea now cheaper than
smuggled tea.
 The act created a protest. WHY?
 Taxation without representation
 Disliked use of tea tax revenues
 Hurt very profitable smuggling
 Tea merchants not working for East Indian Company would go out of business
 Gave East Indian Company a monopoly on colonial tea trade
 Some colonists feared that British monopolies on other goods in future
 By early 1774—merchants working for company forced to resign in Charleston, Philadelphia, NY
 Tea was either seized by customs officials or ships returned to England
 Late November 1774—three ships arrive in Boston, the only city with East Indian Company office
 Ships had 20 days to unload and pay custom duties
 Colonial workers refused to unload tea. Boston protesters urged the ships to return to England
with their tea
 Mass. Governor refused to let ships go was determined to unload tea and collect tax tea
 Meeting between colonial representatives and governor: unsuccessful
 That night 16 December 1774—group of colonists from Sons of Liberty disguised and dump tea
Boston Harbor—Boston Tea Party
 Samuel Adams defended action, other colonial leader offered to pay the tea
 British officials determined to punish act and ordered a series of measures…

The Coercive Acts/ Intolerable Acts

1. Mass. Government Act: changed Mass. Charter
 Governor’s elected council replaced with an appointed council
 Governor’s power increased
 Most town meetings prohibited without governor’s permission

2. Administration of Justice Act: British soldiers accused of murder while enforcing law would be
tried in England. This act granted change of venue


3. Boston Port act: closed Boston harbor until destroyed teas was paid for and coastal trade was
also banned

4. Quartering Act: gave military commanders power to house troops in private homes without
permission of owner

5. Quebec Act
 Greater religious freedom for Catholics made protestant colonists very suspicious
 Reinstated French civil law
 Colony governed by an appointed council
 Annexed area east of Mississippi river and north of Ohio river to Quebec cancelled colonial
claims to this territory

Colonial Response to Acts

 Colonial leaders decide to meet in Philadelphia in 1774 September
 Purpose was to create a joint colonial response to Intolerable Acts
 Had to come to realize that their ideas on politics and rights were different from England and
that colonial and English economic interests were not always the same
First Continental Congress/5 September
 Three things to do:

1. Define American complaints
2. Develop a plan for resistance
3. Outline a theory of colonies’ constitutional relations with England

 Complaints easy to define:

1. Taxation without representation
2. Unnecessary British troops and customs officials
3. The Intolerable Acts

 Plan for resistance:
 Petitioned King to repeal the Intolerable Acts
 Establish ‘Continental Association’ in change of economic boycotts (no imports of English
goods and no exports to Britain) and ‘Committees of Observance’ to enforce boycotts
 It worked in each colonies, inspired local popularly elected Provincial Conventions—took
over the role of government in most colonies. Effectively replacing authority of governor and
closed assembly
 Courts preventing from holding sessions and taxes collected by provincial tax collecters
 Began forming militias and gathering arms


 Third task: three main theories

1. Radical theory: allegiance to king only. Parliament is merely English local legislature with no
authority over colonies
2. Conservative theory: laws pertaining to colonies would require joint consent of parliament
and a general American legislature to be created in the future
3. Compromise theory: colonies consent to Parliamentary acts limited to regulating commerce
because for the time being it is in colonies’ best interest. Would continue to resist taxes in
 This theory was accepted by Continental Congress
British Response
 1774—king George III: ‘The die is cast now. The colonies must either submit or triumph.’
 1775 January—British government orders General Thomas Gage commander in Boston to arrest
several colonial leaders. Orders do not reach Boston until 1775 April
 1775 April—most of colonial leaders in Boston had fled or in hiding
 General Gage ordered to confiscate colonial arms reported to be stored in Concord
 Colonist moved all arms from Concord 8 April
 Also informed of British plans to march to Concord, possibly by Gage’s wife Margaret Kemble
 Aware of British plans Paul Revere and two others rode to worn colonists along road to British
approach—known as Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride
 19 April—Lt. Francis Smith arrives Concord with 700 soldiers
 Arrived in Lexington to find 80 colonial militiamen assembled on village green
 Militias did not intend to stop British troops
 British moved to block militiamen and order them to leave as most of their force
 Around 5.00 someone fired a shot and 10 killed START of AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Second Continental Congress/ 15 May 1775
 Declares war, takes states militias as start of continental army and appoints George Washington
from Virginia
 He spent his time organizing a supply system and imposing discipline and order on his new army
 June 1775—Battle of Bunker Hill
 In Boston British try to drive Americans from their position on Breed’s Hill
 British succeeded but with 228 killed and over 800 injured. American losses less than half of
British Assumption about Revolution


 Colonists could not resist assaults of trained British troops, so sent only 32.000 troops to
 Thought war would like be European war, so concentrated on capturing American cities
 Assumed military victory would result in keeping the colonies’ loyalty to Britain
 Americans would stand against British soldiers
 Military defeat did not make them abandon their political aims
 British gained control of most American cities but commerce did not stop – only 5% of
population lived in cities so loss of a city had little effect on the Americans
 Did not understand the nature of Revolution. Victory required not only military success but
success in convincing colonists to again be loyal to England