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The Revolution and Its Aftermath

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Dr.Liamvan Beek

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HIS271YThe Revolution and its AftermathOctober 13th 2010
Bonded colonists to Empire:
What separated colonists:
Lingering suspicions
Reluctance to lose colonial autonomy
Demographic and cultural diversity
Nevertheless, there were two identities in the period leading up to the
Revolution: British and American, and although they werent necessarily the
same, they werent competing, often overlapping
In fact, a lot of what connected them as colonists also made them more
British: consumer revolution
Balance between the two identities
How did balance become imbalance? When interests begin to conflict.
British = mercantilist American = defensive of colonial autonomy
Turning points:
French and Indian War: in the aftermath, we see a shift in interests
(Americans want to settle lands west of the Appalachians, British want to
protect those lands for Natives)
Proclamation Line

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HIS271YThe Revolution and its AftermathOctober 13 th 2010
The various Acts
Boston Tea Party/Massacre
However, many colonists were still reluctant to abandon the colonial imperial
relationship, preferring to adjust it and reform it
The problem in the colonists leading up to the Revolution wasnt with the
imperial system but with how the system was being run
Despite the growing opposition, there were still many moderates
Shift from moderacy to radicalism and unwillingness of the British to
Lexington and Concord
Locals had been working to amass weapons and military apparatus and form
militias, known as Minute Men because they could group in a minute
At the same time, the British were mobilizing as well
British were concerned with the growing strength of the colonial elite
mobilizing the local townspeople
Massachusetts had always been a hotbed of activity
They had suffered the most at British policies and were really at the centre of
Samuel Adams and John Hancock were known rebel leaders
The British general heard that they were at Lexington
Also heard that they were massing weapons at Concord
Set out in a surprise attack but, Paul Revere and another man warned
everyone and ruined the surprise
The British arrive at Lexington, kill 8 Minute Man, and move on to Concord,
but find the people and weapons gone

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HIS271YThe Revolution and its AftermathOctober 13 th 2010
The memory of Lexington and Concord, like the Massacre, rallied Americans
to the rebel cause, and similar attempts to undermined the British begin to
happen more and more
The shots at Lexington were the first shots of the Revolutionary War
Second Continental Congress
1775, Second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia
This time, they have the support of all 13 colonies
However, there is still reluctance to sever all ties with the British
On one side was a group of radicals, on the other was moderates
The radicals wanted to sever all imperial ties and the moderates wanted to
June 1775, the Continental Congress votes to raise an army with Washington
as the head
Washington becomes the symbol of American resolve
Olive Branch Petition
The Congress also agree to petition the British government
Draft the Olive Branch petition, professing loyalty to the crown and ask for
They did this in the hope of placating moderates
They also agree to an attack on Canada, in the hope that this would compel
the Crown to agree to their terms in the petition and avoid war
Draft the Declaration of the Causes of Necessities of Taking Up Arms
Complaints with the crown and their relationship
In particular, they emphasis the issue of taxation without representation
Talk about Providence, something that is necessary, not a choice
States that they would rather die as free men than live as slaves in this
tyrannical system
Argued that the cause was a just one
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