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Study Guide 1--Causes of the Revolution

Causes of the American Revolution Study Guide
Key Vocabulary:
1. Colony: a settlement under the control of another
2. Government: A person or group of people who rule or
have control.
3. Independence: Freedom from another’s control.
4. Revolution: A fight to replace one government with a
different government.
6. Boycott: An act when people stop buying a product.
8. Patriot: A person who wanted the 13 colonies to be
independent from England.
10. Congress: A group of representatives who meet to work
out a problem.
12. Declaration: An announcement.
14. Oath: An agreement.
5. Tax: Money the government collects from people.
7. Intolerable: Means something is unfair and should not
be allowed.
9. Loyalist: A person who wanted the 13 colonies to
remain loyal to England.
11. Constitution: A set of written laws.
13. Blockade: A group of ships that block other ships from
sailing in and out of a harbor.
15. Traitor: A person who acts against his country.
16. Militia: A group of men who fight together.
Key Concepts: What led to the American Revolution?
*Great Britain (England) thought the colonies should help pay for the French and Indian War. Colonists already paid taxes on
imported goods from England, but they believed that only their colonial assemblies had the right to tax them directly for the
purpose of raising money.
*The Stamp Act: The Stamp Act was the first direct tax that Great Britain placed on the colonies. This act taxed paper products
such as newspapers, playing cards, and legal documents. Colonists responded by saying, “no taxation without representation.”
The colonies had no representatives in the British Parliament (government). The colonists boycotted the British goods which led
to the end of the Stamp Act.
*The Tea Act: The Tea Act was not a tax. The Tea Act allowed the English Tea Company to provide tea at a very cheap price.
This would cause the colonists to buy the English tea since they sold it for the lowest price. But, the colonists boycotted British
tea. When the British shipped the tea to the colonies, people in Charleston, South Carolina stored the tea in a warehouse and
would not allow it to be sold. In Boston, Massachusetts a group of colonists called the Sons of Liberty dressed as Native
Americans, boarded the English ships, and threw chests of tea overboard. This was known as the Boston Tea Party.
*The Intolerable Acts: Angry over the Boston Tea Party, England passed laws to punish Boston called the Coercive Acts. The
colonists called these laws the Intolerable Acts. The laws closed the port of Boston so goods could not be shipped in or out. The
Intolerable Acts also took the right to self-government away from Massachusetts by ending their colonial assembly. During this
time, South Carolinians sent the Bostonians rice and money to help them survive the closing of their port.
* The First Continental Congress: In response to the Intolerable Acts, colonists sent representatives to the First Continental
Congress. At the meeting, the representatives sent a letter to the King of England pledging their loyalty, but stating their
opposition to British actions. The First Continental Congress advised the colonies to establish militias and arm themselves. They
also started another boycott of trade with Great Britain. British troops in Boston heard that people in Lexington and Concord
had guns and ammunition. The British marched to those towns and shots were fired…the Revolutionary War began.
*The Second Continental Congress: During this meeting, representatives named George Washington as Commander of the
newly formed Continental Army. The King of England declared that the colonies were in a state of rebellion. Soon the British
troops and the new Continental Army were fighting for control of the colonies.
*Declaration of Independence: In July of 1776, the Second Continental Congress issued a declaration establishing the United
States of America. This Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson and stated the reasons why the colonies
should be free and independent states. It said “all men are created equal” and have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness.” It also listed all of the reasons why the colonists believed they had the right to declare their independence from
Great Britain.