2015 Section III

US History
Fort Burrows
5.3 -- From Protest to Revolution
Main Idea:
Crises such as the Boston Tea Party and the Intolerable Acts lead to the outbreak fighting
between Britain and the colonies.
Tea Act – 1773 law that let the British East India Company bypasses tea merchants and sell
directly to colonists
Boston Tea Party – 1773 protest where colonists dressed as Indians and dumped
British tea into the harbor
Intolerable Acts – 1774 laws (4) passed to punish Boston for Tea Party
Quebec Act – law to set-up government in Canada and protect the rights of French Catholics
First Continental Congress – 1774 meeting in Philadelphia of delegates from 12 colonies
militia – army of citizens who serve as soldiers during an emergency
minuteman – colonial militia volunteer who was prepared to fight in a minute’s notice
battles of Lexington and Concord – 1775 conflict between Massachusetts
colonists and British soldiers that started the Revolutionary War
Setting the Scene:
All day, the men collected burnt cork and coal dust. As dusk approached, they began to
gather in small groups. In two and threes, they met in homes across Boston. It was December 16,
1773. A cold drizzle was falling while inside, by warm fires, the men were smearing coal dust and
cork on their faces. Then, they threw blankets over their shoulders, trying to disguise themselves as
Indians. George Hewes, a shoemaker, waited with some of the others for a signal from a packed
town meeting. By the time the signal came, the rain had stopped and night had fallen. As Hewes
“ When I first appeared in the street after being disguised, I fell in with many
who were dressed, equipped and painted as I was, and…
marched in order to the place of our destination.” George Hewes, Recollections, 1834
That place was Griffin’s Wharf, and the painted Indians were after tea. By 1773, the quarrel
between Britain and the 13 colonies had erupted again over taxes. Only this time, colonists began to
think the unthinkable. Perhaps the time had come to reject British rule and declare independence.
A Dispute Over Tea
Ә Tea was very popular in the colonies; 1 million brewed tea twice daily by 1770
Ә Parliament Passes the Tea Act
ω most tea was brought to the colonies from the British East India Company
ω the Company sold the taxed tea to the colonial merchants who raised the price and sold it
to the colonists to make a profit
ω many colonists resented tea taxes and refused to buy British tea
ω the Company was in financial trouble; 15 million pounds of tea sat unsold
ω Parliament passed Tea Act of 1773 which let the Company bypass tea merchants and sell
directly to colonists; cut merchants out of trade
ω Colonists protested the Tea Act and believed it was a British trick to make them accept
Parliament’s right to tax the colonies
Ә A New Boycott
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ω Colonists responded to the new tax with a boycott
“ Stand firmly resolved and bid Grenville to see,
That rather than freedom we part with our tea,
And well as we love the dear drink when a-dry,
As American patriots our taste we deny.”
Hannah Griffitts in Milcah Martha Moore, Commonplace Book, 1773
ω Daughters of Liberty served coffee
ω they made “liberty tea” from raspberry leaves
ω Sons of Liberty kept The Company from unloading cargoes of tea
Ә Boston Tea Party
ω Three ships loaded with tea reached Boston harbor in late November 1773
ω Governor ordered cargo to be unloaded as usual
ω Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty had other plans…..
ω On December 16, Sam and Sons had a meeting and sent message to the governor
demanding the ships leave the harbor
ω Governor rejected demands and Adams declared “this meeting can do nothing further to
save the country” (signal!)
ω Group of men in Indian disguises burst into the meeting and cried “Boston harbor a
teapot tonight! The Mohawks are come!”
ω The disguised colonists left the meeting and headed to the harbor
ω 50-60 men boarded ships, split open tea chests and dumped tea into harbor
ω 342 chests of tea floated in the harbor by the end of the “party” at 10:00pm
“ This destruction of the tea is so bold, so daring, so firm… it must have such important and lasting
results that I can’t help considering it a turning point in history.”
Diary of John Adams, December 17, 1773
¿¿ How did colonists respond to the Tea Act of 1773 ?
1. ____________________________________________________________________
2. ____________________________________________________________________
3. ____________________________________________________________________
Parliament Strikes Back
Ә Colonists had mixed reactions to Boston Tea Party
Ә Supporters cheered it as a firm protest against unfair British laws
Ә Others worried it would encourage lawlessness in the colonies
Ә Both sides were shocked at Britain’s response…..
Ә Punishing Massachusetts
ω In 1774, Parliament, encouraged by King George III, punished colonists
ω Colonists called the four laws, the Intolerable Acts, since they were so harsh
Law 1 – Parliament shut down port in Boston
Law 2 – Parliament forbade Massachusetts colonists to hold town meetings more than once a year
without governor’s permission
Law 3 – Parliament allowed customs officers and other officials who might be charged with a crime
to be tried in Britain or Canada instead of Massachusetts
Law 4 – Parliament passed new Quartering Act, so colonists had to house British soldiers in their
homes when no other housing was available
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Ә Quebec Act
ω Parliament passed the Quebec Act which set-up a government for Canada and gave
complete religious freedom to French Catholics
ω The Act also extended the borders of Quebec to include the land between the Ohio and
Missouri Rivers
ω French Canadians were pleased but colonists were angered; some claimed ownership of
these lands based on royal land grants
Ә Other Colonies Support Boston
ω Boston received support/food from other colonies
ω In 1774, colonial leaders called a meeting in Philadelphia called First Continental
Congress; 56 delegates gathered from 12 colonies. (Georgia did not send delegate)
ω Delegates passed resolution backing Massachusetts and its struggle
ω Agreed to boycott all British goods and stop exporting to Britain until the
Intolerable Acts were repealed
ω Delegates also urged each colony to set-up a militia
“… give me liberty or give me death” Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775
Turn to page 163.
Lexington and Concord
In Massachusetts, colonists were preparing to resist
Volunteers known as minutemen trained regularly
Colonists collected weapons and gunpowder and stored them in Concord
Britain also built up its forces bringing total to 4,000 soldiers in Boston
In 1775, British General Gage planned a surprise march to Concord to seize arms
Sounding the Alarm
ω 700 British troops left Boston in the dark to seize the colonial arms
ω Sons of Liberty were watching and sent signal
ω Messengers mounted horses and galloped towards Concord
ω Paul Revere shouted “The redcoats are coming!” through villages
Ә The Shot Heard Around the World
ω Redcoats reached Lexington, near Concord, and found 70 minutemen
ω Outnumbered and commanded to leave, colonists began to depart
ω A shot rang through the air – no one knows who fired it?????
ω Brief struggle began and 8 colonists were killed
ω British pushed on towards Concord where they found NO arms
ω British headed back towards Boston and met 300 minutemen
ω Fighting broke out and British withdrew
ω Colonial sharpshooters killed 73 and wounded 200 British soldiers
ω News of the battles of Lexington and Concord ( the 1st )spread swiftly
ω Only war would settle the future of the 13 colonies
ω The “embattled farmers” faced 6 long years of fighting to become a new, independent
“ By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world ”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn, 1837
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¿¿ What is the significance of the battles of Lexington and Concord?
ω Parliament passes the Sugar Act and Stamp Act
ω Parliament passes the Townshend Acts
ω Parliament repeals the Townshend Acts but later passes a new tax, the Tea Tax
ω The colonies oppose the tax by boycotting tea
ω The British ship tea to Boston Harbor
ω Parliament passes the Intolerable Acts to punish Massachusetts
ω Other colonies back Massachusetts in its struggle against Britain
ω Massachusetts minutemen clash with British soldiers at Lexington and Concord
How did a dispute over tea lead to tension between the colonists and the British government ?
How did Parliament strike back at the people of Boston ?
A. closed the harbor
B. passed the four Intolerable Acts
C. canceled the election for Mayor
D. arrested the 6 Indian men
Fighting broke out at Lexington and Concord for what reason ?
British were trying to seize colonial arms in Concord
the British captured Lexington
British soldiers were ambushed at Niagara and many were killed
the colonists captured the British ship ‘Queen Mary I’
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