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Causes and Effects of the American Revolution

Causes of the American Revolution

French and Indian War

Also known as the Seven Years War, this war was fought over conflicting territorial claims between the French and British in the Ohio River Valley. The British victory resulted in virtual expulsion of the French in North America, and the rationalization of taxing the Americans to recoup monetary losses.

Stamp Act

The 1765 Stamp Act required colonists to pay a tax (in the form of a stamp) on printed documents, various licenses, and other goods. Colonists rebelled and terrorized British tax collectors.

Townshend Acts

The Townshend Act of 1767 authorized Parliament to issue taxes on in-demand imports such as glass, lead, paint, paper and tea. British soldiers had to be brought into Boston to prevent an uprising.

Boston Massacre

Tension over the presence of British troops in Boston led to the Boston Massacre, the first episode which resulted in the loss of life. Four Bostonians were killed when Redcoats fired into an angry mob.

Boston Tea Party

Angry Bostonians known as the Sons of Liberty boarded a British tea vessel dressed as Indians and dumped all of its tea into Boston Harbor in protest of the Tea tax. This event resulted in the Intolerable Acts.

First Continental Congress | Second Continental Congress

With war looming, the Continental Congress was formed for the purposes of drawing consensus within the colonies for action against the growing threat of British occupation.

Thomas Paine and Common Sense

Common Sense, one of the most influential pamphlets in American history galvanized the American public to support the Revolution and condemn the monarchy in England.

Effects

The purpose of this iconic American document was to tell the world why America was breaking away from British rule

Treaty of Paris

This document outlined the terms of the British surrender in 1783. Its ratification officially ended the Revolution, making America a free country.

Articles of Confederation

America’s first attempt at organized government was the ill-conceived Articles of Confederation. This government gave the new “states” too much power and was insufficient as a means of governing a nation.

Constitutional Convention

The 1787 Constitutional Convention resulted in the elimination of the Articles of Confederation and the formation of a new, more effective government and constitution.

Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers were a series of essays written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, which outlined reasons why the states should ratify the Constitution.

Bill of Rights

Although many legislators believed a Bill of Rights was not necessary as part of the Constitution, it was nevertheless included. The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Trials and Tribulations of the New Nation

Foreign policy issues, newspaper wars, and partisan politics threatened to destroy the new nation in its infancy.

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