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Unit 3: 1754-1800

General Timelines

Timeline #1: Causes of American Revolution

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Timeline #2: American Revolution

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Timeline #3: Creation of Constitution

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General Maps

Map # 1: North America in 1763

APUSH Unit 3_ Causes of American Rev Map

Map # 2: Phase 1 of the Revolution

Map # 3: Phase 2 of the Revolution

Map # 4: Phase 3 of the Revolution

Map # 5: US in 1800

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Course Content

French & Indian War (1754-1763):


Initial Rivalries

Colonists' Resentment of Britain & Division among Colonies

  • The colonists hated that during the reign of George I & II, Parliament had significant power over them

    • George I & II were German, unfamiliar with English life, so they gave more power to Parliament

    • Only favored the wealthy colonists as they believed having strict control over all the colonists was expensive

    • Prime Minister Robert Walpole relaxed Navigation Acts, believing it would stimulate commerce

      • This was actually good for the colonies

    • Colonial legislatures believed themselves to be better than Parliament

      • Believed they themselves could levy taxes, appoint governors, etc.

      • Privy Council in England could veto colonial laws, but colonists could alter the law and circumvent this

  • British authority over colonies was bad & decentralized

    • No government agency in London solely controlled the colonies: Some agencies controlled Britain + its colonies, but not solely the 13 colonies

    • British-appointed governors were incompetent & often resided in England themselves​

      • Appointed a substitute to live in the colony

    • English customs officials would allow bribery

  • The colonies were divided among themselves and had more loyalty to Britain than among themselves

    • Albany Plan sought to bridge this gap

      • Proposed by Benjamin Franklin, had each colonial gov subordinate to a central gov

      • Central gov was appointed by British king

      • "Grand Council" was legislature, had representatives from all colonies

      • No one approved this plan

    • More colonial settlement created a continuous line of settlement along the coast

      • Allowed for intercolonial highway & postal service, bridging the gap​


French Expansion in the Americas

  • King Louis XIV of France sought to expand his empire in the Americas

    • Louis Joliet & Father Jacques Marquette traveled down the Mississippi river to its intersection w/ the Arkansas river in 1670s​

    • Rene-Robert Cavalier went to delta of Mississippi River in 1682, named it Louisiana after Louis XIV

    • Port of New Orleans was founded in 1718 in Louisiana

    • Fort Louisbourg was located in present-day Eastern Canada to guard the St. Lawrence River

    • Capital of Quebec was fortified

  • France claimed lots of land in American interior

    • Had most land west of Mississippi river that wasn't claimed by Spain

  • France had good relations with the Indians

    • Traded fur with them & even married them

    • Allied with many of them against the English


Initial Anglo-French Rivalries

  • Iroquois Confederacy (one of the largest native groups in the area) was neutral in Anglo-French conflict

    • Came to dominate Northeast region after defeating the Hurons in 1640s

    • Had commercial relationships with both English & French

      • Avoided being too close to either European power to maintain their independence

    • Ohio valley was the main area of conflict

      • French claimed it, and some neutral Indian group lived there

      • English were expanding there

  • Glorious Revolution (1689) put William III of Netherlands in charge, who previously opposed French expansion in the Netherlands area​

    • Main reason for Anglo-French rivalries

  • King William's War (1689-1697) was a neutral victory for both sides, but Queen Anne's War (1701-1713) was English victory

    • Queen Anne's War is also called War of Spanish Succession

    • In Treaty of Utrecht (1713), England got many French lands, including some in Canada

  • In King George's War (1744-1748), English occupied Fort Louisbourg but was forced to abandon it

  • After King George's War, Iroquois decided to side with the English

    • French were angered and thus built fortresses in the Ohio Valley in 1749

    • English thus built their own fortresses


Main War 

Start of War (1754)

George Washington led a Virginian militia to the Ohio valley. They built Fort Necessity & tried to attack French Fort Duquesne. French countered & trapped the Virginians in Fort Necessity, 1/3 of Virginians died, Washington surrendered.

First Phase (1754-1756)

This was before the war spread to Europe. Britain didn't provide much assistance to the colonies & failed to prevent French troops from arriving in Canada. English Gen. Edward Braddock failed in 1755 to retake Fort Necessity. The natives of Ohio valley were constantly attacking the English. 

Second Phase (1756-1758)

War spread to Europe as England & France took opposite sides in European Seven Years' War (1756-63). English Secretary of State William Pitt took control of war, forced military service for some colonists, forced other colonists to provide shelter to soldiers, without compensation, causing riots. 

Third Phase (1758-1763)

Pitt passed control of war to colonies, increased recruitment for army. French suffered from bad harvest of 1756, so English Gen. Jeffrey Amherst & James Wolfe took Louisbourg in 1758. In 1759, Wolfe led siege of Quebec, defeating army under French Com. Marquis de Montaigne (both generals died in war). French surrendered in 1760. 

Results of War

British Territorial Gains & Proclamation of 1763

  • In Peace of Paris (1763), English gained lots of French territories

    • France ceded many West Indian islands, Indian colonies, and Canada to England

    • English also won all lands east of Mississippi river

    • France ceded Louisiana territory to Spain

  • Now, Britain viewed its colonies more for territorial purposes rather than economic purposes

    • Wanted more land instead of more colonial wealth

    • More land means more people, so Britain could tax its people

  • Many disagreed on how Britain should deal with its new territory

    • Some believed westward expansion creates conflict with Indians

    • Some believed existing 13 colonies should expand westward

    • Others believed new colonies should be made

  • Britain issued the Proclamation of 1763 after the Ottawa chieftain Pontiac attacked some English for settling in Ohio Valley

    • Was a treaty line that limited English expansion and reserved land for the natives

    • This allowed Parliament to control colonists' westward expansion & extract the benefits of the western land before the colonists could

    • It gave more land to the English, but the natives agreed to it as it'd keep them safe

    • John Stuart was in charge of relations with Indians in Southern Colonies

    • Sir William Johnson was in charge of relations with Indians in Northern Colonies

      • Married a Mohawk woman, Mary Bryant


Economic Collapse & Internal Rebellions After the War

  • Colonial economy had a slight depression after the war

    • During the war, Britain was providing lots of funds to the colonies, helping boost their economy

    • After the war, these funds stopped coming, declining the colonial economy

  • In addition to economic collapse, there were internal rebellions regarding class differences in the colonies

    • In New York, wealthy landowners rented their property to poor farmers

      • These poor farmers wanted to actually own the land they cultivated on

      • To protest, the poor farmers stopped paying taxes, but this movement failed

    • In Vermont (which was part of New York), the same problem: Poor farmers wanted to own the land owned by the wealthy landlords

      • Ethan Allen led these farmers (Green Mountain Farmers) & made Vermont an independent state in 1791​

      • Helped eliminate some of the wealthy estates

    • In 1763, a group from Western PA ("Paxton Boys") went to Philadelphia to demand relief from colonial taxes & money to defend against Indians

    • In 1771, Regulator movement in NC was where small farmers (Regulators) hated high taxes

      • They attacked tax collectors

      • NC Gov. William Tryon raised a militia to attack the 2000 Regulators

        • At Battle of Alamance (1771), Regulators lost


Causes of American Revolution:


Initial British Taxation Acts

Initial British Resentment, Sugar Act, and Mutiny Act

  • Colonists started to resent British during the war

    • British regarded the colonists as militarily inept as the colonists gave no financial contribution to the war

    • Britain thus tightened control on the colonies

    • Colonists grew closer together as they resented the British

  • Britain had lots of war debts & sought to raise taxes on the colonists

    • British landlords resisted tax changes, so Parliament decided to tax the colonists

    • Britain also placed troops on the border of the Proclamation of 1763, adding to its financial strain

  • King George III sought to promote tax-raising

    • He was immature & aging, so he was unstable​

    • He put power in a few of his trusted ministers

    • His Prime Minister, George Grenville, approved taxing the colonists to gain revenue for Britain

  • Mutiny Act (1765) put British soldiers in the colonies

    • Also, British ships would patrol the Atlantic Ocean to catch smugglers (who disobeyed the Navigation Acts)

  • British limited the colonial manufacturing industries so they don't compete with British industry

  • Sugar Act (1764) raised taxes on sugar to prevent smuggling sugar from French/Spanish West Indies

  • Currency Act (1764) banned all paper money


Stamp Act (1765) & its Effects

  • Stamp Act was passed on 1765, implementing taxes on all written documents

    • Many hated this as it affected everyone: Nearly everyone had some sort of written documents​

    • Colonists hated this as they realized the tax was meant to raise money for the British crown

  • Virginia House of Burgesses advocated for a collective voice against the Stamp Act

    • Collective voice was called "trumpet of sedition"

    • Patrick Henry was the leader of this group, passed resolutions called "Virginia Resolves"

      • Said that only colonial assemblies can levy taxes

  • MA Assembly member James Otis led the "Stamp Act Congress" (Oct 1765) in NY

    • Delegates from 9 colonies came, petitioned the King to repeal the act​

    • Parliament responded, said that the colonists owed all subordination to Parliament

  • Many anti-Stamp act riots broke out, led by group called Son of Liberty

    • Attacked stamp agents & those who supported British, including MA lieutenant gov. Thomas Hutchinson

  • Colonists boycotted British goods to protest the Stamp Act, so Britain repealed it

    • New Prime Minister, Marquis of Rockingham​, repealed it in 1766

    • Parliament protested that the colonists would similarly protest all the other acts, so Rockingham passed Declaratory Act (1766), saying Parliament has authority over colonies


Townshend Acts (1767)

  • English believed repealing taxes on colonists would increase taxes on the English people, so King dismissed Rockingham

    • William Pitt (general during the war) became prime minister, but he was really weak & old, that his chancellor, Charles Townshend, did the work

  • Townshend passed the Quartering Act (1765), an amendment to the Mutiny Act of 1765

    • Colonists were required to provide shelter to British soldiers

    • Colonists believed this to be like another tax

    • MA & NY assemblies refused to agree to the act, so Townshend disbanded NY assembly until they'd agree

  • Townshend passed Townshend Acts in 1767, putting a tax on all goods imported from England

    • Included lead, paint paper, tea, and others

    • Townshend believed this was just as it was a tax on non-colonial goods unlike the stamp act

  • MA Assembly circulated a letter (known as the circular) to each colony to protest Stamp Act

    • British Secretary of State Lord Hillsborough circulated his own letter, threatening to dissolve the MA Assembly

    • All the colonies, however, supported MA

  • In 1768, many merchants organized a boycott of English goods to protest the Townshend Acts

  • In 1767, Townshend died, so Lord North took over

    • Sought to limit taxation to prevent unity among the colonists

    • Repealed all taxes except for tax on tea in 1770


Later Resentment & More Acts

Boston Massacre (1770)

  • Britain put 4 army regiments inside Boston as the Bostonians were harassing customs officials

    • Colonists believed this to be oppression

    • During their off hours, the soldiers were competing with colonists for jobs at local stores, further angering the colonists

  • In March 1770, a group of people called "liberty boys" threw rocks & snowballs at the customs house

    • British Capt. Thomas Preston lined up soldiers in front of the building to protect it

    • One colonist knocked out a British soldier, so another soldier fired, killing 5 colonists


Tea Act & Boston Tea Party (1773)

  • Many colonists hated the British & spread resentment pamphlets throughout the colonies

  • In 1772, Rhode Island colonists boarded a British ship called Gaspee & set it to fire (Gaspee Incident)

  • The British East India Company was going bankrupt due to all the boycotts, so it passed Tea Act (1773)

    • This act exempted the company from taxes on tea that the colonists had to pay

    • Angered the colonists, believed it to be another unjust tax on them

    • Prime Minister Lord North believed the colonists would be happy as it would lower the price of tea

      • Colonists didn't care about this

  • People thus boycotted tea

    • Women played an important role in boycott as they were the main consumers of tea​

      • Mercy Otis Warren wrote literature about resentment of the British

    • People sought to prevent British ships from bringing tea into the port

  • In the Boston Tea Party (1773), several colonists dressed as Mohawk Indians boarded 3 British ships and dumped all their cargo of tea into Boston Harbor


Intolerable Acts & Quebec Act (1774)

  • After Boston Tea Party, King George III & Lord North passed Coercive Acts (1774)

    • Also known as intolerable acts, tightened control over the colonies

    • Closed Port of Boston, reduced colonial self-governance

    • Forced quartering of British soldiers in empty houses or even barns

  • Later passed Quebec Act (1774), making French-speaking lands in Canada & Ohio valley part of a region called Quebec

    • This was a Roman Catholic land

    • Colonists hated this as they believed England was about to impose Anglicanism on them

      • This was because Britain imposed Catholicism in Quebec​


Start of American Revolution

American Philosophies of Governance

  • Colonists believed their government should not be corrupt

    • Believed the government should be powerful enough to respond to the needs of the people

    • Believed the government should have "checks and balances" so it doesn't abuse its power

      • Multiple branches of the government should "check" the other branches' power

      • England had a balanced constitution, dividing power among monarchy, aristocracy, and commoners

        • This didn't work because the monarchs exercised absolute authority, and the other groups couldn't check their power

  • Colonists believed there should be a written constitution, and its assemblies should have representatives from each region

    • Hated that Parliament didn't have representatives from each British region

      • Rallied under the cry "no taxation without representation"

      • Believed each region of the British empire should have representation in Parliament

    • Believed British empire should be a commonwealth where each colony rules itself and is loosely unified by a king


New Governments & First Continental Congress (1774)

  • The colonies attempted to autonomize their governments from Britain

    • Many people enforced boycotts and met as assemblies to resist British rule

    • Colonists organized Committees of Correspondence to resist British rule

      • Samuel Adams (cousin of 2nd president John Adams) created the first one in MA​

      • VA created an intercolonial committee of correspondence

        • Governor disbanded it, so they met at Raleigh Tavern (1774)

        • Believed a Continental Congress was needed to discuss resistance plans

  • In Sept 1774, delegates from all colonies but GA met at Carpenters Hall, Philadelphia

    • Known as First Continental Congress

    • Made a list of grievances against Parliament

    • Passed resolutions to make military preparations to defend against British troops in case of war

      • Especially needed in Boston as most of the violence occurred there

    • Agreed to stop all trade with Britain

      • Formed a "Continental Association" to enforce this​

    • Agreed to meet next spring, making the Continental Congress a continuing organization

  • To make the colonists less angry, Lord North passed the Conciliatory Propositions (1775)

    • Instead of Parliament directly taxing the colonists, Parliament would make the colonial assemblies tax the colonists on their behalf

    • Did this to divide the colonial moderates and extremists, but it failed


Battles of Lexington and Concord (1775)

Massachusetts farmers (known as "minutemen") gathered arms/munitions to fight the British on a minute's notice

Gen. Thomas Cage, a British General dispatched in Lexington (near Boston) heard about a gunpowder storehouse created by the minutemen in Concord

Gen. Cage sent 1000 soldiers to Concord (18 miles from Lexington) to take over the storehouse

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While the British were returning to Lexington, the local farmers, hiding behind trees, shot the British soldiers, killing many

British troops arrived in Concord the next day, and local minutemen were waiting outside. British troops fired, killing many minutemen, and burned the storehouse

The Bostonians were secretly watching Gen. Cage, and in the night, 2 horsemen, William Dawes and Paul Revere, rode to Concord to warn the locals

American Revolution (1775-1781):


Start of American Revolution

2nd Continental Congress & Initial Sentiments among Colonists

  • Delegates from 12 colonies (not Georgia) met at Philadelphia State House as 2nd Continental Congress

    • Agreed that war with Britain was necessary, disagreed on the purpose of war

      • Extremists wanted complete independence from Britain

      • Moderates wanted some self-government but still British control

  • Delegates drafted the Olive Branch Petition, a document petitioning to King George III for a better relationship with the colonies

    • King George III refused, sparking the war

    • Colonists thus drafted "Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms" to explain why they needed an armed battle with Britain

  • Some colonists were unenthusiastic about the war due to its high financial & human cost

    • British recruited slaves & Indians to fight for them, further angering the colonists

    • Britain later signed Prohibitory Act (1775), closing all trade between colonies & Britain

  • Thomas Paine published Common Sense, a pamphlet detailing why it was necessary to have war with Britain

    • Helped fuel the interest in war among the colonists


Declaration of Independence (1776) & Its Effects

  • A feeling of independence spread among the colonists as Thomas Paine's pamphlet became popular

    • Continental Congress sought to proclaim independence from Britain

    • Benjamin Franklin & Samuel Adams helped Thomas Jefferson draft Declaration of Independence

      • Written on July 4, 1776​

      • First part echoed John Locke's social contract theory: "All men are equal ... have rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness"

      • 2nd part listed grievances toward the King

  • Loyalists (also called Tories) were colonists who were loyal to the British & hated independence

    • Patriots were people who wanted independence​

  • Individual colonies felt stronger & more like states (their own sovereign entity) as opposed to part of a larger nation-state

    • Colonies increased their self-government, independent of Parliament

    • Most states made their own constitution

  • A strong national government was needed in the colonies to provide effective leadership for the war

    • Continental Congress was just a unifying force among the states, not a strong nat'l government

    • Continental Congress adopted Articles of Confederation in 1777 (ratified in 1781)

      • Helped unify the colonies but did little change as individual states had lots of power


Mobilization for War

  • The colonists needed to produce enough weapons

    • Gunsmiths couldn't meet the high demand, so colonists relied on capturing weapons from the British on the battlefield

    • Congress created an arsenal at Springfield, MA

  • The colonists needed to raise money, but Congress couldn't levy taxes on the people, so it asked the state governments to do so

    • Congress issued long-term bonds, but these failed

    • Congress thus issued paper money, but this led to extreme inflation

      • During the war, farmers would sell their produce to the British instead of the colonists as the British would pay in silver/gold coins

  • The colonists had problems with organizing the military

    • States had to recruit people for the military ​due to its low membership

    • There was no national military, so Congress created the Continental Army

      • George Washington led this army

    • Washington had problems with his military as soldiers protested about low pay & low food rations

      • Congress refused to provide him with aid to quell these rebellions​

      • Marquis de Lafayette of France helped Washington & increased his army's size

  • Overall, while the colonies were very decentralized, Washington helped hold them all together


Start of American Revolution

Phase 1: Battles of New England

  • Initially, the Battles of the American Revolution occurred in Boston

  • In June 1775, British attacked the colonists in Boston at Battle of Bunker Hill

    • Patriots suffered severe losses, but many British also died​

  • On March 17, 1776, British evacuated many New England Loyalists to Nova Scotia, Canada (Evacuation Day)

  • When British came back from Nova Scotia, they sought get help from the Loyalists in the southern colonies

    • However, in Feb 1776, Patriots defeated Loyalists at Moore's Creek Bridge (NC)

  • Colonists later sought to invade Canada to prevent Canadians from providing aid to British

    • Commanders Benedict Arnold & Richard Montgomery went to Canada but failed to siege Quebec​

  • 1st phase of the war is mostly in Boston, but when British returned from Nova Scotia, they realized the war would be much bigger, not just in Boston


Phase 2: Battles of the Mid-Atlantic

British General William Howe led a huge invasion of New York City (NYC) w/ 32k troops & hundreds of vessels

Howe abandoned this plan, decided to attack Philadelphia instead. Defeated Washington at Battle of Brandywine Creek & Germantown (1777)

Washington & his army retreated to Valley Forge in winter of 1777-1778. He was short of supplies & food

George Washington organized a 19k men poorly-equipped army & was forced to retreat to New Jersey then to Pennsylvania

British were used to seasonal warfare (no warfare during winter). During winter, they settled around New Jersey & put Hessians (German troops hired by British) in outposts to look out for colonists

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Britain had a new plan to attack the colonists from both sides in NY. Howe would move to NYC & lead his army up Hudson river to Albany. John Burgoyne would lead his army south from Canada into upper Hudson valley

On Dec 25, 1776, Washington attacked British bases at Princeton & Trenton, but was unable to maintain control of them

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Burgoyne had to command Northern forces on his own. Sent Col. Barry St. Leger to conquer Eastern NY. Burgoyne went to upper Hudson Valley, took over Fort Ticonderoga which had lots of American supplies

Colonists got mad that British took over Fort Ticonderoga. Congress replaced Gen. Philip Schuyler with Horatio Gates

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Burgoyne was short of supplies & withdrew to Fort Saratoga, where Horatio Gates surrounded him and his 5k men. Burgoyne surrendered in Oct 1777

Burgoyne later suffered 2 defeats: At Battle of Oriskany, NY (1777), he failed to attack colonists, which were led by Nicholas Hermiker. Later, at Bennington (VT), while his army was getting supplies, New England milita led by John Stark attacked him

  • Howe made many mistakes, otherwise he could have easily won

    • Shouldn't have left Burgoyne on his own

    • Should have attacked Washington in Pennsylvania without allowing him to regroup many times

    • Should have attack Washington at Valley Forge

Iroquois & their Involvement in the War

  • Initially, most Iroquois supported the British

    • Believed the British would prevent white encroachment on their land

  • Mohawk siblings Joseph & Mary Bryant helped the British

    • Got other tribes to support the British, helped Burgoyne's campaigns

  • Later, Iroquois Confederacy started to unravel

    • Iroquois Confederacy was an alliance of 6 tribes

    • 2 of those tribes supported the English, one was neutral

  • Some Indians helped the British raid white settlements in upstate NY

  • American Gen. John Sullivan attacked many Iroquois villages while retaliating after a defeat

    • Many Iroquois fled to Canada, some never returned

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Securing French Aid in the War

  • Before Declaration of Independence, Congress dispatched diplomats to different European capitals

    • Needed nations to recognize the US as an independent nation

    • Needed trading partners after independence (because Britain would not trade w/ the colonies)

    • Known as "militia diplomats"

    • Had inadequate communication with the colonies

  • The French agreed to help the US as they hated the British after losing the French & Indian War

    • Louis XVI & his foreign minister, Count de Vergennes, agreed to help

    • Supplied arms & soldiers to the colonies but refused to recognize the US as a nation

    • Benjamin Franklin later traveled to France to negotiate treaties

      • Franklin believed Britain would launch an offensive raid after Battle of Saratoga

      • French thus agreed to recognize independence of US & laid groundwork to aid in the war effort

    • French provided navy & soldiers to the colonists


End of American Revolution

Phase 3 (Final Phase): Battles of the South

British sought to go to the south as there were more Loyalists there. This failed as Loyalist turnout was lower than expected. 

Few British troops were left in north (as most went south). These were now led by Sir Henry Clinton (replaced Howe), attacked NYC and had a stalemate with Washington

Virginia employed George Rogers Clark to lead expedition over Appalachian Mtns to capture some settlements from British & their Indian allies

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Lord Cornwallis (British commander in South) defeated Patriot force under Horatio Gates in Aug 1780.  Congress recalled Gates & put Nathanael Greene in charge

As the British moved through the countryside, they had a disadvantage as they were walking in enemy land. Group of guerilla fighters known as "Swamp Fox" (Francis Marion) attacked British in the countryside

Britain had some successes in the South. Got Savannah in Dec 1778, got Charles Town in May 1780. Some Loyalists joined them

War turned against the British now. At Battle of King's Mountain, SC (Oct 1780), Patriots defeated entire force of 1100 Tories employed by Cornwallis

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At Battle of Guilford Court House, NC (Mar 1781), Greene lost, but Cornwallis lost so many men (probably weakened his army)

Cornwallis retreated to Wilmington, NC, to wait for supplies being sent to him by ship. However, upon Clinton's request, he retreated to Yorktown & built forts there to wait for British ships to take his troops to NYC or Charles town

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They trapped Cornwallis & his army at Yorktown by land and sea, so Cornwallis was forced to surrender in Oct 1781

Washington along with French commanders Jean Baptiste de Rochambeau and Admiral Francois Joseph Paul de Grasse sought to trap Cornwallis at Yorktown. De Grasse sailed into Chesapeake bay while Washington & Rochambeau went to Yorktown by land

End of War & Peace Settlement

  • After Capture of Yorktown, war wasn't over

    • Britain still had control of many ports like Charles Town, Wilmington, Savannah, NYC

    • Still, many British didn't want to continue the war

  • New British Prime Minister Lord Shelburne sent emissaries to talk with American diplomats in Paris

    • Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay were present

    • French foreign minister Count de Vergennes would only agree to peace if British would cede Gibraltar back to Spain

      • Franklin, Adams, and Jay ​drafted their own peace agreement, trying not to directly oppose France so they don't break their alliance

  • Final Treaty, Treaty of Paris (Sept 1783), gave US its independence

    • US got all lands north of Florida, south of Canada, west of Atlantic, east of Mississippi River

    • France & Spain would end hostilities with Britain

    • Last British forces left New York


Society During the American Revolution

Attitudes Towards Loyalists & Religious Groups

  • Many Loyalists left the country during or after the war​

    • Made up about 1/4 of the colonists

    • Often had special ties to England: international merchants, governmental employees, etc.

    • Often had their homes attacked by the Patriotic colonists

    • Most left to Canada and England

    • Many had important high-end jobs or roles, so leaving the colonies opened these up for the colonists

  • Anglicans suffered the most during the war

    • Virginia & Maryland implemented a special tax for Anglicans

    • New revolutionary regime disbanded the Anglican church & many Anglican priests left

    • Many hated Anglican church due to its strong ties to England

  • Colonists gained close ties with Catholics during war

    • French Catholics came to help the colonists, which boosted their ties to Catholicism​

    • Father John Carroll (from Maryland) was named head of Catholic missions in US in 1784


Slaves During the War

  • Many slaves in the south took advantage of British presence to defect & escape

    • In South Carolina, ~1/3 slaves defected

    • British recruited some slaves to join their army

    • British also emancipated some slaves to disrupt American war effort

  • Ideas about abolitionism spread throughout the north

    • Slavery was much less common the north (before the war)

    • Whites in the north sought to abolish slavery

  • Ideas about white superiority spread in the south

    • Whites believed that slavery for blacks ensures liberty for whites

    • Whites believed integrating blacks into society (as free people) would be hard & hurt their liberty

    • Feared that it would be hard to recruit a stable workforce if slaves were freed

  • As idea  of liberty spread among slaves, some slaves wrote literature about it


Natives During the War

  • Natives sought to remain neutral, but most chose one side over the other

    • Most hated westward expansion of Patriots, so they joined the British

    • Patriots recruited Indians as they hated the British recruitment of Indians

  • Natives led many raids on white settlements to support the British

    • In western Carolinas, a Cherokee man called Dragging Canoe led many raids on white settlements

      • Patriot militias pushed his followers west

    • Indians were not centralized and couldn't lead strong resistance to the whites

      • In 1774, Shawnee Indians lost Lord Dunmore's War against whites as they couldn't get other Indian allies to help

  • In 1782, whites slaughtered Gnadenhutten Indians, claiming the Indians had attacked them

  • Position of Indians worsened after Patriot victory

    • Patriots expanded westward onto their land

    • Patriots viewed them as uncivilized and adaptable to American society


Women During the War

  • Many men went to fight in the war, so women were left at home

    • Some grew in power as they could own the family estate or farm

    • Most became impoverished, protested high price of food, often looted businesses to get food

    • Some raided British troops to protest the Quartering Act

      • Believed quartering British troops was expensive

  • Some women even joined the army

    • Often performed auxiliary roles (cooking, laundry, etc.)

    • Some even joined the battlefield (notably Molly Pitcher)

  • Many people questioned the revolution's ideals of "rights of man"

    • Abigail Adams (wife of John Adams) notably questioned it

    • Judith Sargent Murray wrote an essay in 1779 saying that women are as smart as men

  • The Revolution strengthened the traditional role of women

    • Women were regarded as subordinate to men

    • Known for their motherly behavior


War Economy

  • America couldn't rely on Britain for economic support, so it had to develop on its own

    • Actually strengthened the American economy as it could trade with South America & Caribbean​

    • Many private merchant groups (notably the Yankees) went to other countries to trade

    • Some Yankees sailed to West Coast to acquire furs and traded it in China

  • During colonial boycotts (of the unjust taxes), Americans developed domestic industries

    • Most notably homespun cloth industries

    • Factories were built to make munitions

    • Allowed the colonies to develop independently from Britain


Post-Revolution State Building:


Creation of State Governments

Creation & Revision of State Governments

  • People were exposed to the revolutionary ideals of equality & sought to create state governments to reflect these ideals

  • Initially, people made state governments with more power in legislature

    • Believed executive branch could abuse its power

    • Some states abolished the executive branch, others removed executive branch's seats in legislature

  • Later, state constitutions were revised as too much power in the people was bad & troublesome

    • Sought to limit popular power​

    • States appointed a constitutional convention that will meet to write the constitution

      • Previously, legislature would write the constitution, but they could amend & violate it at any time

      • Now, constitutional convention would only meet once unless absolutely necessary to amend

    • Executive branch became stronger

      • Had a fixed salary, could appoint people to office, could veto legislation, etc.


Views Toward Slavery & Religious Toleration

  • All states believed in religious toleration

    • Didn't believe that certain Christian denominations had special rights

    • In 1786, Virginia adopted Statute of Religious Liberty (written by Thomas Jefferson)

      • Complete church-state separation

      • Other states enacted similar legislation

  • Slavery was weak in the north & became largely abolished

    • With the revolution, abolitionist sentiment spread, and slavery became abolished

  • Slavery was strong in the south & was not abolished there

    • There was some pressure for abolition, but southerners still believed in white superiority

    • All states but SC & GA banned further importation of slaves

    • Some had huge economic investments in slaves, so freeing them would be bad

    • Some believed that blacks would never be fully integrated into society (if they were free)

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Articles of Confederation (National Government)

Creation of Articles of Confederation

  • The first national government of America

    • Very similar to the Continental Congress

    • Each state had lots of power

    • Congress was the main source of authority, there was no single "president"

    • Managed foreign relations & wars but couldn't levy taxes

      • Had to request state legislatures to levy taxes​

  • Articles of Confederation required approval of all 13 states for its creation & amendment

    • Led to lots of disapproval

    • Smaller states wanted equal representation, larger states wanted more representation

  • Lasted from 1781-1789

  • Struggled to survive as it struggled to impose its will on the individual state legislatures

  • Britain struggled to fully recognize independence of America even though it signed the Treaty of Paris (1783)

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Problems with the Land in the Northwest

  • Since many people settled to the west of the Appalachian Mountains (not part of the 13 states), the Confederation had to figure out what to do with the land

    • Adopted Ordinance of 1784, dividing the land in 10 districts

      • Proposed by Thomas Jefferson

      • Each district could petition statehood once its population reaches that of the least populous state

    • Later adopted Ordinance of 1785, dividing all land north of Ohio river into townships

      • Each township was 36 square miles, divided into 36 1-square mile land plots

      • 4 land plots were reserved for the government, one was used for public schools

      • Helped develop the idea of "grids" among American rural areas

  • Many real estate companies would buy all the land in the west and sell it for profits

    • This angered many Americans

  • Confederation later adopted Northwest Ordinance in 1787, combining the 10 districts into a single district

    • Created a better criteria for statehood, had a proper government structure

    • Had trial by jury, freedom of religion, no slavery

  • This land was all Indian territory, angering the Indians

    • In 1786, the Iroquois Confederacy threatened to attack white settlements

    • In 1790-1791, Little Turtle, a member of a tribe called Miami, led a group of Indians to attack whites settlements to protest the white settlement

      • Killed 630 whites, but failed to negotiate treaties to gain land

    • At Battle of Fallen Timbers (1794), Gen. Anthony Wayne led an army & defeated the Indians

      • Indians signed Treaty of Greenville (1795), ceding more land to the Americans


National Debts

  • The Confederation had lots of post-war debts

    • Had a postwar economic depression

    • Petitioned to state governments to levy taxes, but only received 1/6 of the money it needed

  • Robert Morris (head of Confederation's treasury) proposed a "continental impost," a 5% tax on all imported goods

    • Many Congressmen were angry as it would put too much power in Morris, so the Confederation didn't approve it

    • Thus, Morris and his allies withdrew from any involvement with the Confederation

  • State legislatures also levied many taxes

    • Farmers wanted paper money to increase money supply

    • New England farmers believed such taxes would give more wealth to the Boston merchants


Shays's Rebellion (1786-1787)

Former Continental Army Captain Daniel Shays led a group of dissidents in New England who hated high taxes. Created a list of demands, including debt relief. 

Went to Springfield, MA, to get weapons from the governmental arsenal there, but a militia came and dispersed his rebellion (Jan 1787)

As a military, Shays failed, but he gained concessions pertaining to tax relief 

Creation of the Constitution:


Constitutional Convention

Differing Opinions Among Delegates

  • All delegates initially believed in a strong national government

    • Believed in having a national tax instead of state tax

    • Wanted one national policy instead of 13 smaller state policies

    • Wanted a strong national government that can stop rebellions & mobs

      • One example is Shays's Rebellion (1786-87)

  • Alexander Hamilton & James Madison wanted an interstate convention to write a new Constitution

    • Held a meeting at Annapolis in 1786, but only delegates from 5 states came

    • Later held a meeting at Philadelphia State House in 1787

      • Not many states were interested, but after Shays's Rebellion, they decided to come​

  • From May to Sept 1787, members from 12 states (no RI) met at Philadelphia as the Constitutional Convention

    • These were known as "Founding Fathers," were very young, well educated in modern affairs

    • George Washington presided over the meeting

    • Unanimously decided that a strong national gov was needed instead of strong state govs

  • Edmund Randolph & James Madison of Virginia proposed the Virginia Plan

    • Wanted 3 branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial)

    • Wanted 2 legislative houses

      • Lower house would have members proportional to the state's population​

      • Upper house would be elected by lower house

    • William Paterson of NJ advocated for small states & believed the Virginia Plan to be unfair

      • Wanted one house, with each state getting equal representation

    • The Convention made concessions: Upper house would be elected by state legislatures & each state would have at least one representative​

  • Question of slavery remained: Do they count as the state's population or property to be taxed?


The Final Compromise

  • Benjamin Franklin encouraged the delegates to not give up & come up with a compromise

    • Delegates created the "grand committee," consisting of one delegates from each state

  • The "grand committee" created the Great Compromise

    • Legislation has 2 houses

      • Lower house (House) is based on a state's population​

      • Upper house (Senate) has 2 reps from each state

    • Each slave counts as 3/5 of a person when determining property tax & total population

    • This was approved in July 1787

  • Also reluctantly came to a compromise on slavery

    • Northerns believed slavery to be unethical

    • Southerners believed abolishing slavery would harm their economy

    • Compromise was that no tax would be put on exports, congress can't tax more than $10 per imported slave, Congress can't interfere w/ slave trade for 20 years


The Final Constitution & Its Problems

  • After all the compromises, James Madison and others had to actually write the constitution

  • One main idea was that the power of the constitution came from the people, not the government

    • Starts with "We the people..."

    • National gov has broad & supreme powers, but each state & the people also have their powers​

  • Constitution also balanced power among all 3 branches to prevent the gov from becoming tyrannical

    • Each branch (executive, legislative, judicial) could "check" the power of the other branches

    • Both legislations (Senate & House) can check each others power

    • Prevents one branch from becoming too powerful

    • Idea came from Enlightenment thinker Baron de Montesquieu

    • Wanted to protect America from despotism in the English government

  • Limited the power of the people so that the representatives are indirectly elected by the people

  • Final Constitution was signed on 9/17/1787

    • Now, each state had to approve it & join the union​

  • Constitution served the whites (mostly males), but blacks & Indians weren't given many rights


Ratification of the Constitution

  • After the delegates signed the Constitution, each state had to approve it to join the Union

    • Most states organized Constitutional Conventions to approve it

    • Delegates were divided among Federalists & Anti-Federalists

  • Federalists wanted the Constitution, favored a strong national government

    • Led by Washington & Franklin, had really strong leadership

    • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison wrote The Federalist Papers to promote Federalism

  • Opponents of the Constitution were Anti-Federalists

    • Believed a central gov would increase taxes, harm individual liberties, and produce a dictatorship

    • Wanted a Bill of Rights, stating the fundamental rights of all people

  • Ratification started quickly as most states approved of the Constitution

    • 9 states had approved it (which was needed for it to go into effect), but NY and VA didn't yet​

      • As the largest states, it didn't make sense to exclude them​

      • They later narrowly approved the Constitution

    • RI opposed the Constitution as it was small & didn't receive equal representation

  • First elections happened in 1789, Washington became president, John Adams became VP

    • Ratified 10 amendments to the Constitution by 1791, which became the Bill of Rights

    • Later organized Judicial courts & appointed 6 justices to Supreme Court & created district courts

  • Congress later created 3 executive departments

    • Hamilton was secretary of treasury

    • Jefferson was secretary of state​

    • Henry Knox was secretary of war

    • Edmund Randolph was attorney general


State-Building After the Constitution:


Federalists vs Republicans


  • After ratification of the Constitution, Federalists & anti-Federalists (known as Republicans) had differing views regarding legislation​

  • Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of Treasury, was a leading federalist who wanted a central finance system

    • Wanted nat'l gov to assume all state debts & issue bonds to all speculators (people who invest in bonds)

      • National gov would keep issuing new bonds while repaying the old bonds

    • Wanted a central bank

      • Would act as a treasury for the nat'l gov

      • Can give loans to small businesses

  • Hamilton wanted to raise taxes to fund the national treasury

    • Wanted a tax on all liquor, angering many whiskey farmers (especially in NC, PA, and VA)

    • Wanted a tax on all imports to protest domestic manufacturing industries​​

      • Wrote "Report on Manufactures" in 1791, presented it to Congress to promote domestic manufacturing

  • Overall, Federalists wanted a strong nat'l gov ruled by the wealthy & upper class that fosters a thriving industry & gives the US importance in the world

  • Congress slightly disagreed on assuming all state debts, but they later approved it

    • Believed that states w/ little debt would have to pay for the states with lots of debt

    • VA (a state w/ little debt) later approved the law, contingent that the capital be moved closer to it

      • On 1790, the capital was moved to Washington, D.C., between VA and MD

    • Created a State Bank in 1791

    • With the new policies, the speculators (people who invest in bonds) and merchants profited



  • Republicans were led by Madison & Jefferson

    • Disagreed w/ Federalists, believed they were wielding too much power & were corrupt like the British

    • The Republican party created Republican committees & conventions in each state

  • Republicans wanted in decentralized agrarian republic

    • Hated when industry is concentrated in few places

    • Believed big cities to be bad as they have mobs and lots of landless workers

    • Wanted a decentralized society with small businesses & small landowners

  • Differences in Federalists & Republicans can be seen in their reaction to French Revolution

    • Federalists hated the French Revolution

    • Republicans praised it, believed the Jacobins (the Revolutionary Party) to be good

  • Washington claimed to be neutral although he was closer to Federalism

    • Won a 2nd term in 1792


Consolidating Internal Power

  • Many farmers in the Western regions hated the tax on all liquor & distilleries

    • Some farmers from Western PA organized the Whiskey Rebellion (1794), attacking tax collectors, refusing to pay taxes

      • Washington organized a huge militia to disperse this rebellion​

  • To gain allegiance among farmers, Washington added new states in Western lands to the Union

    • NC finally approved the Constitution in 1789

    • RI approved Constitution in 1790

    • VT joined in 1791 when NY & NH gave up their claims to it

    • KY joined in 1792 when VA gave up its claims to it

    • TN joined in 1796 as NC gave its claims to it

  • National gov struggled to decide the fate for Indians

    • Ordinances of 1784-1787 created many conflicts, but the gov had eliminated most conflicts w/ Indians

    • Indians were somewhat excluded in Constitution & weren't regarded as US citizens

    • Relationship with Indians was defined later on in a series of treaties


Diplomatic Relations

Maintaining Neutrality against France & Spain

  • In French Revolution, as Revolutionary Party declared war against Britain & its allies in 1793, US worked to declare neutrality

  • However, French diplomat Edmond Genet already arrived in the US & got US to help the French

    • Got American Gen. George Rogers Clark to lead expeditions to Spain​

    • Got American shipowners to help French navy

    • Negotiated to dock French ships in US ports

    • Ignored Washington's policies of neutrality

  • By the time Washington sought to end Genet's involvement, Genet had already retired to the US

  • In 1794, Britain started seizing American merchant ships in the French West Indies

    • Created anti-British feeling in the US

    • Hamilton didn't want war w/ Britain as that would stop British imports, which generated lots of taxes

Jay's Treaty & Pinckney's Treaty

  • Washington sent John Jay to Britain to negotiate a treaty to end British assaults on American ships

    • Negotiated Jay's Treaty (1794)

      • Recognized US sovereignty

      • Created strong trade relationships with Britain

    • Many hated Jay's Treaty, especially Republicans, as it was Pro-Britain & Anti-France

      • In the end, Senate ratified it​

  • Spain believed US & Britain would ally against Spain, so US sent Thomas Pinckney to Spain to negotiate peace

    • Negotiated Pinckney's Treaty (1795)

      • Resolved territorial disputes in FL, gave Spain all lands south of 31st parallel in FL

      • Allowed US ships to sail through Mississippi River & use Port of New Orleans


The Decline of the Federalists:


Election of John Adams (1796)

  • Washington decided not to run for a 3rd term

    • In his farewell address, he attempted to bring a vision of unity among Republicans & Federalists

  • Thomas Jefferson became Republican nominee

  • Federalists had 2 choices: Hamilton or John Adams

    • Hamilton was more extreme & many hated him

    • Adams was a bit moderate & didn't associate himself with the extreme Federalist ideas

    • Adams became the nominee

  • At this time, nominee w/ most votes becomes president, nominee w/ 2nd most votes becomes VP

    • Thomas Pinckney was Adams's running mate

    • Federalists were divided among Pinckney & Adams, so not all Federalists voted for both of them

    • Adams received the most votes, but Jefferson received 2nd most

      • Adams became Pres, Jefferson became VP

      • Created awkward situation w/ Federalist pres & Republican VP, was very inefficient

  • Adams was not a strong president, Federalists were very divided, and Republican opposition was strong


XYZ Affair (1797) & Quasi War with France

During French Revolution, France was angered that US signed peace treaties w/ Britain & Spain. France started attacking US ships at sea

John Adams sent Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (brother of Thomas Pinckney) to France as a diplomat, but France refused to accept him

Adams sent 2 more people, John Marshall & Elbridge Gerry, to join Charles C. Pinckney in France

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Before war gets bigger, France sought peace. Napoleon agreed to peace agreement in 1800

In response, Congress allowed American ships to attack French ships & created the Dept. of Navy. Americans captured 85 French ships (Quasi War, 1798-1800)

French agents refused to accept them, forced them to pay a bribe. French sent a report to US Senate, labeling the diplomats as X, Y, and Z (XYZ Affair)

Alien & Sedition Acts (1798)

  • Federalists gained popularity after successful war w/ France

    • Sought to maintain this popularity by suppressing Republicans

  • Passed Alien Acts (1798), making it harder to become US citizens

    • Many immigrants were Republicans​

    • It was harder for immigrants to gain citizenship & be able to vote

  • Later passed Sedition Acts (1798), allowing Congress to prosecute anyone who opposes the government

    • Many Republicans were distributing anti-Federalist propaganda & some ended up in jail

  • Madison & Jefferson made the Virginia & Kentucky Resolutions, seeking to nullify those acts

    • Believed that Congress is a compact/contract between the states & only has certain powers

    • States can nullify any legislation they believe exceeds those powers delegated to Congress

    • Only KY and VA actually nullified the acts

    • News of these resolutions spread nationally, and protests broke out, causing the acts to be repealed


Election of 1800

  • Election of 1800 was between Adams & Jefferson

    • Federalists portrayed Jefferson as a radical that wanted a reign of terror like French Revolution

    • Republicans portrayed Adams as a dictator that'll take away human liberties

    • Aaron Burr was Jefferson's running mate​

  • The Tammany Society, a political group in NYC, promoted republican ideals

    • Helped win support for Republicans throughout NY, one of the main factors in Jefferson's victory

  • Election was a tie between Burr and Jefferson

    • Candidate w/ most votes becomes pres, candidate w/ 2nd most votes becomes VP

    • Congress had to decide the pres & VP in case of a tie

      • This Congress was the Federalist congress under Adams as the new Republican congress only convenes after Inauguration Day

      • Thought about electing Burr as pres & gaining Federalist concessions from him

      • Later realized that Burr was unfit & made Jefferson the pres

  • Federalists controlled the judiciary & wanted to keep it

    • Adams & Congress modified the Supreme Court to maintain a Federalist majority​

    • Stayed up the night before Jefferson's inauguration to appoint court justices ("midnight appointments")

  • Republicans viewed their win as saving US from tyranny


French & Indian War (1754-1763):

The French & Indian War was a conflict that started as British colonial westward settlement in the Ohio Valley threatened the French-Indian alliances there. In particular, one neutral tribe, the Iroquois, decided to ally with the British, so the French built forts in the Ohio Valley to protect themselves. The British got mad and started attacking the forts, sparking the French & Indian War. In the beginning, under Edward Braddock & William Pitt, the British were losing due to poor leadership. However, the British later managed to defeat the French due to a bad French harvest of 1756. The British laid siege to many French cities, causing them to surrender. In the Peace of Paris (1763), the French had to cede many lands in the Americas (including all land until the Mississippi River as well as present-day Canada) to the British. 

Causes of the American Revolution: