Chapter 5 the American Revolution Summary Essay

1725 Words Sep 21st, 2012 7 Pages
CHAPTER 5 The American Revolution: From Elite Protest To Popular Revolt, 1763-1783
SUMMARY
This chapter covers the years that saw the colonies emerge as an independent nation. The colonial rebellion began as a protest on the part of the gentry, but military victory required that thousands of ordinary men and women dedicate themselves to the ideals of republicanism.

I. STRUCTURE OF COLONIAL SOCIETY

In the period following the Seven Years' War, Americans looked to the future with great optimism. They were a wealthy, growing, strong, young people.

A. Breakdown of Political Trust

There were suspicions on both sides of the Atlantic that the new king, George III, was attempting to enlarge his powers by restricting the liberties of
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They rallied to support the Boston colonists and protest the British blockade.

The ultimate crisis had now been reached. If Parliament continued to insist on its supremacy, rebellion was unavoidable. Ben Franklin suggested that Parliament renounce its claim so that the colonies could remain loyal to the king and thus remain within the empire. Parliament rejected this advice.

III. STEPS TOWARD INDEPENDENCE

Americans organized their resistance to England by meeting in a continental congress. This section traces the major events, from the seating of the First
Continental Congress in September 1774 to the decision for independence in July 1776.

A. Shots Heard Around the World

On April 19, 1775, a skirmish broke out between Americans and English troops in Lexington, Massachusetts. The fighting soon spread, and the English were forced to retreat to Boston with heavy losses.

B. Beginning "The World Over Again"

The Second Continental Congress took charge of the little army that had emerged around Boston by appointing George Washington commander.

The English government decided to crush the colonists by blockading their ports and hiring mercenary troops from Germany. Royal governors urged slaves to take up arms against their masters. These actions infuriated the colonists. Thomas Paine, in his pamphlet Common Sense, pushed them closer to independence by

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