Resistance & Revolution

"O! Ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose not only tyranny but the tyrant, stand

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot
 will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country."



   I. New British Policies & Colonial Resistance
       A. Proclamation of 1763
       B. Sugar Act (1764)
       C. Stamp Act (1765)
            1. Stamp Act Congress
                  • nine colonies represented
                  • first unified effort against Britain
            2. "Taxation w/o representation"
                  • actual vs. virtual representation
                  • distinction between tax laws & others
            3. Repeal & subsequent Declaratory Act
       D. Townshend Duties (1767)
       E. Boston Massacre (1770)
            1. Boston = hotbed of colonial unrest
            2. Seething anger sparked by minor scuffle
            3. Mob of Bostonians cornered British patrol
            4. Five citizens killed (inc. Crispus Attucks)
            5. Paul Revere's propagandized engraving
       F. Gaspee incident (1772)
       G. Tea Act & Boston Tea Party (1773)
       H. Intolerable Acts, inc. Coercive Acts (1774)
  II. First Continental Congress (September 1774)
       A. Purpose = discuss relations w/ England
       B. Declaration of Resolves
       C. Crown reacted w/ alarm
III. Lexington & Concord (April 1775)
       A. Br. mission = arrest colonial leaders & seize arms
       B. Longfellow: Revere's legendary "midnight ride"
       C. 700 disciplined Redcoats vs. 70 ragged Minutemen
       D. Emerson: "...the shot heard round the world"
IV. Second Continental Congress (May 1775)
       A. Preparations for war
            1. Army under General George Washington
            2. Navy under Commodore Esek Hopkins
            3. Foreign aid (money & munitions) sought
            4. Authorized attack on Canada (the 14th colony)
       B. Battle of Bunker/Breed's Hill (June 1775)
            1. Heaviest British battle losses of entire war
            2. Marked point of no return for rebel colonists
            3. Olive Branch Petition refused by Crown
       C. Financing the war (Robert Morris & Haym Salomon)
            1. Gov't certificates (war bonds)
            2. State levies (money & goods)
            3. Foreign loans (esp. France)
            4. Print paper money (severe inflation)
  V. Early 1776
       A. Hessian soldiers hired by Britain
       B. Thomas Paine's Common Sense
       C. Colonies adopt constitutions
            1. Principle of popular sovereignty (people rule)
            2. Concept of limited gov't (restricted powers)
            3. List of "unalienable rights" (no gov't interference)
            4. Separation of powers (inc. checks/balances)
       D. Declaration of Independence
            1. Thomas Jefferson + four others
            2. John Trumbull's clever painting
            3. Contains four content areas
            4. Initial vote (July 1) not unanimous
 VI. The Revolutionary War
       A. Why the British would win
            1. Overwhelming military superiority
            2. Enormous financial resources
       B. Why the British could lose
            1. Logistics woes (ocean & vast enemy terrain)
            2. American heart (home soil & inspiring cause)
       C. New York Campaign (September 1776)
            1. Obvious early military target
            2. Lieutenant Nathan Hale's foiled spy mission
            3. First submarine warfare (Turtle vs. HMS Eagle)
            4. Continental Army defeated; no British pursuit
       D. Battle of Trenton (December 1776)
            1. First major American victory
            2. Emanuel Leutze's famous painting
       E. Battle of Saratoga (October 1777)
            1. Considered war's turning point
            2. France persuaded to enter war against England
            3. America spurned broad British peace offer
       F. Southern Colonies (late 1778)
            1. Northern setbacks & perceived southern pluses
                  • superior sea power
                  • large Loyalist presence
                  • aid from slaves promised freedom
            2. Fighting ceased in North; war's worst in South
            3. Savannah (Dec 1778) & Charleston (May 1780)
            4. American guerrilla warfare (as in The Patriot)
            5. Cornwallis trapped at Yorktown (Oct 1781)
       G. Treaty of Paris
            1. Britain retains only Canada in North America
            2. Benjamin West's "unfinished" painting
       H. Reasons for British defeat
            1. Underestimated American power & will
            2. Loyalists did not provide expected assistance
            3. Foreign assistance, esp. French alliance
            4. Poor performance of the British military



  • Proclamation of 1763
  • George Grenville
  • writs of assistance
  • virtual vs. actual representation
  • Sugar Act
  • Stamp Act
  • "no taxation without representation"
  • Sons of Liberty
  • Declaratory Act
  • Townshend Duties
  • Boston Massacre
  • Gaspee incident
  • Tea Act
  • Boston Tea Party
  • Samuel Adams
  • Paul Revere
  • Intolerable Acts
  • Coercive Acts
  • First Continental Congress
  • Declaration of Resolves
  • Minutemen
  • Redcoats
  • John Hancock
  • Lexington & Concord
  • Committees of Correspondence
  • Patrick Henry
  • Second Continental Congress
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • George Washington
  • Robert Morris & Haym Salomon
  • Battle of Bunker Hill
  • Olive Branch Petition
  • Esek Hopkins
  • Hessians
  • Common Sense
  • Declaration of Independence
  • John Trumbull
  • Loyalists
  • Battle of Trenton
  • Emanuel Leutze
  • Battle of Saratoga
  • Battle of Yorktown
  • Charles Cornwallis
  • "Yankee Doodle"
  • Treaty of Paris
  • Benjamin West

1776: America and Britain at War by David McCullough
Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick


  • Thomas Paine: Common Sense & The American Crisis (1776)
  • Thomas Jefferson (et al.): Declaration of Independence (1776)
  • John Trumbull: Various paintings of the American Revolution


1.  John Adams, a delegate to the First Continental Congress, later remarked, "...the
     revolution was complete, in the minds of the people, and the Union of the colonies,
     before the war commenced." Explain what you think Adams meant by this statement.

2.  "Differences created conflicts while similarities were overlooked." Validate this
     theme of the American revolutionary period.

3.  "Despite the view of some historians that the conflict between Great Britain and its
     thirteen North American colonies was economic in origin, in fact the American
     Revolution had its roots in politics and other areas of American life." Assess the
     validity of this statement.

4.  "The American Revolution was not so much won by the American colonists as it was
     lost by the British." Analyze this statement.

5.  Briefly discuss the Declaration of Independence, including its formation and
     significance. Defend the decision of the colonial leaders to deliver such a strong
     proclamation to Great Britain in lieu of continued efforts at reconciliation. Why did
     Thomas Jefferson choose to attack the King rather than Parliament when he penned
     the Declaration?

6.  "This history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and
     usurpation, all having, in direct object, the establishment of an absolute tyranny over
     these States." Evaluate this accusation against King George III in the Declaration
     of Independence.


  1. The First Continental Congress met to
    1. declare war on England.
    2. discuss relations with England.
    3. adopt the Declaration of Independence.
    4. protest the Stamp Act.

  2. King George III responded to the demands of the First Continental Congress by
    1. repealing the Intolerable Acts.
    2. arresting several American agents in Britain, including Benjamin Franklin.
    3. sending troops to attack the colonial militiamen at Bunker Hill.
    4. adopting even harsher policies against the colonists.

  3. The event which greatly reduced the possibility for a negotiated agreement between England and her North American colonies was
    1. the Boston Massacre.
    2. the Battle of Bunker Hill.
    3. Paul Revere's ride.
    4. the Olive Branch Petition.

  4. The Declaration of Independence states that a just government is based on the
    1. will of its political leaders.
    2. cooperation of church and state.
    3. strength of its laws.
    4. consent of the governed.

  5. The Battle of Saratoga was especially important because it
    1. was the first major colonial victory of the war.
    2. caused France to enter the war against Great Britain.
    3. resulted in the capture of several key colonial leaders.
    4. effectively removed the British naval threat from the Great Lakes region.

Typical of American glorification of bigness and modern technology, each of the heads on Mount Rushmore is approximately 60 feet tall. According to scale, this would compute to a human of some 465 feet in height! The memorial rises more than 500 feet above the valley. Thomas Jefferson's image is noticeably the most youthful of the four Presidents. He looks to be in his early 30s, when he authored the Declaration of Independence—long before he ever reached the White House. Click on the faces to access LECTURE GUIDE for this unit.


"Yankee Doodle"   by the 2nd Maryland & Camp Chase Fife & Drum Corps