The American Revolution- Vocabulary Key Terms & Events Suffolk Resolves- Originally enacted in Massachusetts, it rejected the Intolerable Acts and called for their immediate repeal. It urged colonists to resist the act by making military preparations and applying economic sanctions (boycott) against British.
Economic Sanctions- Boycott- to abstain from buying or using: to boycott foreign products.
Declaration of Rights and Grievances- Enacted by the First Continental Congress: It was a petition urging the king to redress colonial grievances and restore colonial rights, but recognized Parliament's authority to regulate commerce.
Minutemen- The militia of Lexington, who were informed by Paul Revere and William Dawes, that stopped British advancement to colonial military supplies in the town of Concord.
First Continental Congress (1774)- A convention held in Philadelphia in September 1774 to determine how the colonies should address what they believed was a threat to their rights and liberties. Delegates came from all states except Georgia and came not in desire for independence, but in want to protest parliamentary actions.
Lexington- The sight of the first shots of the Revolution. The minutemen and British troops shot at each other, until the British retreated.
Concord- The British continued there march to colonial military supplies in concord and destroyed what they found. On their return march to Boston, militiamen fired at the British from behind stonewalls. Around 250 British soldiers died causing considerable humiliation because they had lost so many man to amateur fighters.
Battle of Bunker Hill- The first true battle of the war: British attacked a colonial militia of Massachusetts farmers fortifying Breed's hill. They lost the hill to the British, but managed to inflict heavy losses.
Second Continental Congress (1775)- As a final measure of the First Continental Congress, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in May 1775. The Congress was split between New England delegates that believed in independence and Middle Colony delegates that wanted to negotiate a new relationship with the British. They adopted the Declaration of Necessities for Taking up Arms, George Washington was appointed commander-in-chief, and tried to enact peace efforts.
George Washington and the Continental Army made camp at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania during the winter 1777-1778
George Washington and the Continental Army made camp at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania during the winter 1777-1778
Declaration of the Causes and Necessities for Taking Up Arms
- It called on the colonies to provide troops, appointed George Washington as commander-in-chief, and sent troops under Benedict Arnold to separate Canada from the British.
Olive Branch Petition- In July 1775, delegates sent the petition to the King George III, in which they pledged their loyalty and asked the king to intercede with Parliament to secure peace and protection of colonial rights.
Prohibitory Act (1775)- Parliament and King George responded to the Olive Branch Petition with this act in August 1775, which declared the colonies in rebellion, and forbade all trade and shipping between England and the colonies.
Thomas Paine; Common Sense- An English immigrant to the colonies who wrote the pamphlet in January 1776; The essay argued for the colonies becoming independent states and breaking of all political ties with the British Monarchy. He argued that it was contrary to common sense for a large continent to be governed by a small and distant island and for people to pledge allegiance to a king whose government was corrupt and whose laws were unreasonable.
Declaration of Independence- Completed on July 4, 1776 by Thomas Jefferson and four other delegates in support of Richard Henry Lee's idea of independence. The declaration drafted specific grievances against George III's government and also expressed the basic principles that justified revolution.
Patriots- Mostly from Virginia and New England, they were behind the revolution and the struggle for independence.
Loyalists (Tories)- A third of the colonial population that sided with the British (Loyal to the crown) and in a way caused a small civil war.
Valley Forge- Was the sight of the camp of the American Continental Army during the winter of 1777-1778 to keep a close distance from the British troops, but still be able to continue raids and was easily defended.
Battle of Saratoga- British troops marching down from Canada in October 1777 under the command of General John Burgoyne were attacked at Saratoga in upstate New York by troops commanded by Generals Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold. The colonial troops won the battle and ultimately the victory lead to an alliance with the French. The French would only send troops to help the colonial cause if they could prove to them they could win the war and Saratoga did just that.
Absolute Monarch- A monarch that holds all political power like in France with Louis XVI, who up until Saratoga was not convinced the colonies could win the war.
Battle of Yorktown- The last major battle of the revolution was fought near Yorktown and the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, in which the American troops supported by the French navy and military forced the surrender of a large British army commanded by General Charles Cornwallis. It ultimately ended the war.
Treaty of Paris (1783)- Under pressures at home the British agreed to a treaty of peace in Paris in 1783. The treaty provided for Britain to recognize the existence of the United States as an independent nation, recognize the Mississippi River as the western border of the nation, give Americans fishing rights off the coast of Canada, and the Americans would pay back debts to British Merchants and honor loyalist claims for property confiscated during the war.
Articles of Confederation- The constitution of the new nation written by John Dickinson at the same time as the declaration of independence in 1776, but was modified by Congress to protect the powers of individual states. States were allowed to govern as they pleased and it set up a unicameral legislature as the only body in the central government with very limited power.
Unicameral Legislature- A one-house congress
Land Ordinance of 1785- Congress under the Articles established a policy for surveying and selling western lands. The policy provided for setting aside one section of land in each township for public education.
Northwest Ordinance of 1787- For the large territory between the Great Lakes and the Ohio River, Congress passed a law that set the rules for creating new states and granted limited self-government to the developing territory as well as prohibit slavery in the region.
Shay's Rebellion- Captain Daniel Shays, a farmer and Revolutionary War veteran, led other farmers in an uprising against high state taxes, imprisonment for debt, and lack of paper money in Massachusetts. The uprising was put down when they attempted to seize weapons from a Springfield armory. The rebellion was one of the factors that led to the push for a new constitution.

Key People Patrick Henry- A delegate from Virginia at the Continental Congress's that was behind the radical faction that wanted great concessions from Britain. His famous Liberty and Death speech persuaded many in the congress that Britain was wrong and needed to be dealt with.
Samuel Adams- Another delegate from Massachusetts that was behind the radical faction in the Continental Congress. Was a leader of the Boston Tea Party and Sons of Liberty.
John Adams- Also a delegate from Massachusetts and the cousin of Sam. He was also behind the radical faction and also helped draft the declaration with Thomas Jefferson.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin all played major factors during the Revolution
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin all played major factors during the Revolution
George Washington- The commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the first President of the United States who was a moderate delegate from Virginia to the Congress.
John Dickinson- Wrote the Articles of Confederation and was also a moderate delegate from Pennsylvania.
John Jay- A conservative delegate from New York, who favored a mild statement of protest.
Joseph Galloway- Also a conservative delegate from Pennsylvania to the congress.
Paul Revere- Famous for his "midnight ride" to warn colonial troops of British advancement toward Lexington and Concord, He was a patriot and silversmith in Massachusetts.
William Dawes- Rode with Paul Revere to warn the minutemen.
Thomas Jefferson- The main author of the Declaration of Independence and future president who took many aspects of European Enlightenment into his philosophy and declaration.
George Rogers Clark- A soldier from Virginia and the highest ranking officer out west during the Revolutionary War. He helped secure the area west of the Ohio River and is often called the "Conqueror of the Old Northwest"
Mary McCauley (Molly Pitcher)- Molly Picture, often regarded as folklore not a historical figure, is the symbol for women who fought in the revolution by giving water to the troops. She is based mostly off of Mary McCauley, John Hay's wife.
Deborah Sampson- A women from Massachusetts that pretended to be a man for seventeen months in the Continental Army before being wounded and honorable discharged at West Point.
Abigail Adams- John Adam's wife, who is famous for letters written to John during the Continental Congresses that gave great depictions of the war and reminded John to remember the ladies.

3 documents with ap partsCommon SenseAuthor: Thomas Paine- A British immigrant to the American colonies; and printed by R. Bell in English
Place and Time: January 1776 in the colonies (published in Philadelphia)
Prior Knowledge:
Some knowledge that would help the audience better understand this document can be found during the time period of 1754-1774. It would help the reader if the knew about the laws that the British mother country was enforcing on the colonist. This would make it clear to the reader why this document came into existence.
The audience that Thomas Paine is trying to contact are that of virtually all the colonists. He preached a separation from Britain. He wanted all the colonist to support his assertions. His eventually created the revolution sentiments that drove the colonist to war.
Reason: Paine's political pamphlet brought the rising revolutionary sentiment into sharp focus by placing blame for the suffering of the colonies directly on the reigning British monarch, George III. First and foremost, Common Sense advocated an immediate declaration of independence, postulating a special moral obligation of America to the rest of the world. Not long after publication, the spirit of Paine's argument found resonance in the American Declaration of Independence. Written at the outset of the Revolution, Common Sense became the leaven for the ferment of the times. It stirred the colonists to strengthen their resolve, resulting in the first successful anti-colonial action in modern history.

Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence
Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson (Main Author), John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman

Place and Time: It was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. It was adopted in Philadelphia.
Prior Knowledge: Some knowledge that would help the audience better understand this document can be found during the time period of 1754-1774. It would help the reader if the knew about the laws that the British mother country was enforcing on the colonist. This would make it clear to the reader why this document came into existence. Knowledge of the American Revolution and the young war at the time the document was written.
Audience: The Audience was the World, mainly Britain and the king. They wanted to tell the King that the US was now a independent nation because of all the of the grievances of the war. The other main focus was the American people because the declaration was ultimately a form of propaganda because it tried to rally the American public behind the War.
In Jefferson's words, the Declaration was written, "In order to place before mankind the common sense of the matter in terms so plain and simple as to command their assent." The Declaration of Independence was drafted and sent to King George III of England politely requesting independence from English rule. It asserted a philosophy of government that said that any government can only rule with the consent of the governed and that the basic purpose of government is to protect people's rights. It gave many examples of how the government of Great Britain had violated the rights of the colonists and so lost their consent. It then proclaimed that, as a result of this, the colonies were free and independent states. To be specific, it was written to declare to the world, that the British Colonies in America were declaring themselves an independent nation; and to explain (by listing the grievances against the King) why the colonies were declaring independence.

Articles of Confederation

Author: John Dickinson and the Continental Congress.

Place and Time: It was initiated in 1776, shortly after the committee for the declaration was started. It was completed in Philadelphia during the summer of 1777 and ratified on March 1, 1781.
Prior Knowledge: It is important to know about the Revolution and events leading up to it, once again because the Articles were a direct response to strong rule and taxation without representation.
Audience: The main audience was the states and the American people. It also set up a legitimate government and allowed the French to align themselves with the new nation, so in a way it was also directed toward the European nations.
Reason: The articles for mainly written to create a new weak, central government and establish an independent nation. If a government was established, foreign nations would be willing to align with their nation.

American History: Alan Brinkley
United States History
Revolutionary War