Chapter 4 Section 1
Events Leading to
American Revolution
1.) Sugar Act - 1764
• After the F&I War, 10,000 troops in
colonies, colonists resented this
• Grenville decided colonists should pay
for troops
• Pass Sugar Act, tax on sugar and
molasses imported from West Indies
• Northern Merchants upset
• Sam Adams decries unfair tax
2) The Stamp Act – March 1765
• Britain - colonists should help pay debt from
F&I War
• Duties (taxes) on legal documents, licenses,
newspapers, pamphlets, almanacs, playing
cards & dice
• Sons of Liberty – secret resistance group to
oppose taxes, harassed customs agents
Samuel Adams was leader
• State assemblies said colonists could only
be taxed by their reps in colonial govs, not
Effect of Stamp Act
• Stamp Act Congress – delegates from 9
colonies met
• formed the Declaration of Rights and
• no taxation without representation
• Colonies acted as one
• merchants agreed not to import British
• Stamp Act was repealed in March 1766
3) Townshend Acts - 1767
Taxes on materials imported to colonies (lead, paper,
paint, 3 penny tax on tea)
1) Protests – boycotts (women made own clothes and tea)
2) Committees of Correspondence – formed to
communicate about threats to liberties, by 1774 it was a
network linking colonies
3) Smuggled goods so British pass Writs of Assistance (can
search any colonial ship or building to check for smuggling)
British seized ship owned by John Hancock, said he was
• Seizing ships led to riots – 2,000 troops sent to Boston
4) Boston Massacre – March 5, 1770
• Competition for jobs between
colonists & soldiers
• Mob gathered at Customs House,
taunted guards
• armed clash broke out
• Crispus Attucks and 4 others died –
perceived as British attack on
defenseless citizens
Event was used as “propaganda” –
made people upset with Britain
5) Tea Act
• British East India Co. losing $
• Allowed to sell tea without taxes, hurting
colonial tea sellers
• Boston Tea Party - December 16, 1773
 Colonists asked gov to return tea, he refused
 About 100 men dressed as Indians boarded
ships in Boston Harbor and dumped tea
6) Intolerable Acts (Coercive Acts) – 1774
Punished colonists for refusing to pay for tea
• Closed port in Boston
• English trial for British soldiers charged with
murder in the colonies
• Changed charter of MA – council appointed
by British; town meetings needed permission
• Colonists must house and feed British
soldiers (Quartering Act)
Intention – to bring MA under control
Result – united colonies in opposition to Britain
Effect of Intolerable Acts
• First Continental Congress – September 1774
• 56 delegates met in Philadelphia
• formed Declaration of Colonial Rights, defended
right to run their own affairs
• supported protests in Massachusetts
• stated if British used force, they should fight
• agreed to reconvene in May 1775 if demands
weren’t met
• Minutemen – volunteer soldiers, ready to take
up arms, trained & organized into the militia
before the war began
Paul Revere’s Ride - April 18, 1775
• Gen. Gage learned colonists were
storing weapons, planned to march on
Concord and destroy munitions
• Dr. Warren found out, told Paul
Revere, who formed network of riders
to spread the alarm
• “The Regulars are Coming!” (not
Lexington & Concord, April 19-20, 1775
• British arrived in Lexington, 70 minutemen
• British told them to leave
• Someone fired a shot (shot heard around the
• Battle lasted 15 minutes
• 8 killed, 10 wounded, 1 British soldier injured
• British marched to Concord, arsenal was
• 3,000-4,000 minutemen there, fired on troops
from behind stone walls and trees (learned in
F&I War)
• British retreated back to Boston