Despite a number of disagreements, by 1763 Anglo-American ties seemed stronger than ever. The colonies had prospered under British rule, had developed local institutions through which they seemed to govern themselves, and with the defeat of France, appeared ready to expand into the heart of the continent. No sooner was the war ended, however, than the British began to alter the pre-1763 system in an effort to make it more efficient and more responsive to control from London. The means chosen to do so?enforced regulations to end the illegal trade that had flourished under salutary neglect, plus taxation to pay for the colonial administration?were seen by the colonists as threats to the way of life they had come to accept as rightfully theirs. Rising in protest, the colonies faced a British government determined to assert its authority, and with neither side willing to give in, the cycle of action and reaction continued. Finally, spurred by a propaganda campaign that characterized the mother country as a tyrant determined to bring America to its knees, the colonies acted. The Intolerable Acts proved the final straw, and in September 1774, twelve British provinces met in a Continental Congress in hopes that a united front would cause London to reconsider and that conflict would be avoided. But it did not work. In the spring, fighting broke out at Lexington and Concord. Although independence was not yet declared, the American Revolution had begun.
Brinkley, Alan (2007). American history: A survey. New York, New York: McGraw Hill.
Colonial North America, 1702-1763
1619 First African slaves arrive in Virginia.
1660s Virginia enacts its first laws governing slavery.
1732 Founding of Georgia, the last of England?s thirteen colonies.
1751 Revocation of Georgia?s charter and reversion to the Crown.
Benjamin Franklin publishes Experiments and Observations on Electricity.
1754 Thomas Chippendale publishes Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker?s Directory.
1739 Stono Rebellion in South Carolina.
1754 Benjamin Franklin publishes Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind. Colonists reject the Albany Union. Major George Washington constructs Fort Necessity in the Ohio Valley.
1755 Braddock's defeat at Fort Necessity.
1756 England and American colonists begin war against France (French and Indian War, or Seven Years? War).
1758 English and Americans capture Fort Duquesne and Louisbourg.
1759 English and Americans capture Quebec.
1760 English and Americans capture Montreal.
1763 The Peace of Paris ends the French and Indian War and expels Canada from North America.
American Identity: During the French and Indian War and its aftermath, events led many American colonials to reassess what it meant to be British. For many colonists the war was the first close contact they had with British individuals and they found it unsettling. With the end of Salutary Neglect, Americans began to question just how British they really were.
Economic Transformations: As political tensions heightened after 1763, Americans came to see economics as a tool of protest and began to see their economy as somewhat independent of Britain and powerful in its own right. Commercial warfare and the boycott became embedded in American diplomacy.
Politics and Citizenship: A wholesale reassessment of the colonial political system within the context of empire occurred in the dozen years after the French and Indian War. Issues of sovereignty and representation came to the fore as both the British and Americans questioned their status as subjects of the individual colonies and the Crown. An American political ideology emerged.
War and Diplomacy: This period was sandwiched between two wars, both of which transformed America's place within the British Empire and its place in the world. The French and Indian War marked a shift in British policy toward its American colonies and ended the French presence on the North American continent. The beginning of the Revolutionary War marked a giant stride toward independence from England.
George, J. & Brown, J. (2007). AP achiever: Advanced placement american history exam preparation guide. McGraw Hill.
Much more than a revolt against British taxes and trade regulations, the American Revolution was the first modern revolution. It marked the first time in history that a people fought for their independence in the name of certain universal principles such as rule of law, constitutional rights, and popular sovereignty. The roots of the American Revolution can be traced to the year 1763 when British leaders began to tighten imperial reins. Once harmonious relations between Britain and the colonies became increasingly conflict-riven. Britain?s land policy prohibiting settlement in the West irritated colonists as did the arrival of British troops. The most serious problem was the need for money to support the empire. Attempts through the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, and the Townshend Acts to raise money rather than control trade met with growing resistance in the colonies. Tensions increased further after Parliament passed the Coercive Acts and the First Continental Congress took the first steps toward independence from Britain. Before the colonies gained independence, they had to fight a long and bitter war.
The Coming of Independence
Professor Maier tells the story of how the English-loving colonist transforms into the freedom-loving American rebel. The luminaries of the early days of the Republic -- Washington, Jefferson, Adams -- are featured in this program as they craft the Declaration of -- and wage the War for -- Independence.