America`s Political Heritage (Chapter 4) Exam Study Guide

Chapter 4: America's Political Heritage
Study Guide
Road to Independence
Lexington and Concord – was the first military battle of the Revolutionary War
First Continental Congress – tried to convince the British to respect the rights of the
colonists (the British didn’t care, and didn’t listen); agreed to boycott British goods
Second Continental Congress – adopted the Declaration of Independence and the
Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation – the first ‘constitution’ of the United States
Road to Independence Timeline
Know the order in which the events that led to American Independence occurred:
1. French and Indian War
2. First Continental Congress Meets (1774)
3. Thomas Paine writes Common Sense
4. Declaration of Independence is written (1776)
5. Articles of Confederation are ratified (1781)
Declaration of Independence
 Read over the Declaration of Independence
 Was written mainly by Thomas Jefferson
 It declared America’s Independence from Great Britain
 It listed the complaints that the colonists had with Great Britain
o Some were: King George refused to pass laws, he taxed without the consent of the
colonists, and he declared war on the colonies
Revolutionary War
 Sugar Act – a British tax placed on things like sugar and tea in the colonies
 Stamp Act – a British tax placed on things like newspapers and legal documents in the colonies
Articles of Confederation
 It was the first constitution of the United States
 It created many problems in the young government (law and order was difficult to uphold,
various currency was used, open to invasion from foreign countries, no national court system)
 The States had more power than the national government
 It established a weak system of government
o Congress Had Power To: Establish a Postal System, Create an Army and Navy, and
Print and Borrow Money
o Congress Had No Power To: Enforce Its Own Laws, Collect Taxes, and Raise or
Draft Troops Into Service