(1754-1763) The French and Indian War

Some people sometimes think that the two parties that fought were the French and Indians, but this is not true. The Indians took sides with the French and taught them their guerrilla style warfare, hiding behind bushes and targeting their opponents. The British did not adapt to this North American fighting style and it ended up transferring over to the Revolutionary War as a big disadvantage for the British.

At the time General George Washington was the commanding officer of the continental army, and his bullets were the first shots that started in a long spat called the French and Indian War. What made this war different from any other was the fact that this was the first war fought in the new world. This war began when the French and British both claimed the land west of the Appalachian Mountains, most of which was in the Ohio Valley because it had abundance of the merchants selling fur trade with the Native Americans. So it was a race between the British and French to get Ohio. The French captured many English trading posts and also built a fort called Fort Duquesne as a defense from the English, with also the help from the Natives for giving them food and helping them. George Washington and some militiamen marched to Ohio Country to kick the French out, while also hoping to capture Fort Duquesne. Alas the fort was to strong, so Washington retreated a few miles to a fort called Fort Necessity, this was the start of the war. In 1757 favor turned to the English. A man named William Pitt (the English Prime Minister) decided the only way to defeat the French was to conquer them in the New World.

The war continued in Europe, Africa, and Asia for three more years. Even though the French proved that new styles of fighting worked, the British came out winners. The conflict ended with the Treaty of Paris of 1763, France was kicked out of North America and Great Britain decided to begin to tax the colonies for the costs of the war.



The Road To Rebellion

After the French and Indian War, many things started to change for both the American colonists and the British. The American’s now felt that they didn’t need the British to protect them anymore, where as the British felt that they needed to tighten their hold on the Americans even more now than ever. In order to do this, they made many changes in the laws that were passed in the colonies.

One of the first major changes the British made was the taxing of the colonists. This occurred in order to offset debts from the war. In 1763, the British Parliament passed a proclamation that forbade the colonists to settle west of the Appalachian Mountains. This law allowed the British to have much more control over the colonies, as they could better monitor what the colonists were doing. To help with this, the British also stationed troops throughout the colonies.



1763 - Proclamation of 1763

This proclamation was issued after the French and Indian war, to keep settlers out of the Native American lands. The settlers were to stay east of the Appalachian Mountains and the Native Americans were to stay to the west. This purpose was to keep the Native Americans from killing the settlers. In the proclamation the king suggested tyranny, the unjust use of government power, to the settlers. Settlers objected to the proclamation because the lands east of the Appalachian Mountains were all filled up already. This only made the settlers even more angry.



Writs of Assistance

The Writs of Assistance was a general search warrant that allowed the British to search any location for any item at any time without specifying what item they were looking for. The British could take any item if they claimed it was smuggled. This warrant never expired and could be used for anything. In 1761 a man named James Otis tried to convince the courts that could issue the writs of assistance that any act Parliament passed that went against the natural rights of the colonists is invalid. James Otis lost the case and the writs continued to be published.


May 15, 1765 - Quartering Act

The Quartering Act was issued on May 15 1765, because the colonists refused to pay the tax on stamps and tea. Great Britain was trying to make the colonist pay for the soldiers protecting the colonists in any way they could. The Quartering Act stated that the colonists must supply a room for the British soldiers. The Act also stated that the colonists supply the soldiers with food and alcohol, candles, vinegar, fire, salt, and whatever the soldiers demanded.

The British soldiers arrived at New York in 1766. The New York Assembly refused to obey the Quartering Act. The soldiers had to stay
on their ships. For not obeying Quartering Act, Parliament suspended New York's Governor and legislature from 1767 to 1769.



March 22 ,1765 - The Stamp Act

The Stamp Act was passed on March 22,1765. The Stamp Act was the first tax placed on the American colonies. The American colonist had to pay taxes on every piece of paper that they bought and they were also taxed on legal documents, licenses, newspapers, other publications, and playing cards. The taxes placed on the colonists are not what made them angry. What made them angry was that they were being taxed without representation. The Stamp Act was one of Great Brittan’s ways to show that they had command of the American colonies.



March 5,1770 - The Boston Massacre

The Boston Massacre was about when American Colonists rebelled against the British, resulting in the death of many colonists. Four of them were killed in the shooting. The four of them were Crispus Attucks, James Caldwell, Samuel Gray, and Samuel Maverick. Two died immediately and the others died later in the day at the hospital. General Preston was the commander of the British army and was later tried along with his men for the massacre. A letter was then sent to the king about the massacre in Boston.The trial was held at a civilian courthouse in Boston. John Adams was the soldiers’ defense attorney and pronounced that six soldiers were not guilty but the others were pronounced. They branded their thumbs as their punishment.
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December 1773 - The Boston Tea Party

On December 16, 1773 the Sons of Liberty disguised themselves as Mohawk Indians. They took the boxes of tea and dumped them into the Boston boat harbor. After the Sons of Liberty did this, the colonists and the British started to criticize and got even angrier at each other.

The Sons of Liberty were a group of people who were rebelling against the Stamp Act. At that time they actually were called the Loyal Nine. As the group grew, then they changed their name. The people that were in this group had jobs like artisans or shopkeepers.

The tea came from Britain’s East India Company because they had an overstock of tea. The colonies were not tricked by Parliament because when the tea ships tried to land in Philadelphia and New York they wouldn’t let them. This shows the colonies were smart and were determined to get the British out.



1774 - The Intolerable Acts

In 1774, Lord North was completely surprised of the news of the Boston Tea Party. He thought that by sending the colonists cheap tea it would make things a lot better, but it made things worse instead. Once the colonists threw the tea in the Boston Harbor, they didn’t care about the taxes anymore. They wanted full control of the colonies instead.
Britain was so angry that their Parliament passed a new series of laws. The laws were so harsh that the colonists them unacceptable or “intolerable.” They called these the Intolerable Acts. The government spent a large sum of money on troops and equipment on an attempt to subjugate Massachusetts. Merchants of Britain lost enormous amount of money on looted, spoiled, and destroyed goods brought to the colonies. On March 5, 1770 the Parliament canceled all the duties except for the one on tea.



June 17th, 1775- The Battle of Bunker Hill

On the night of June 16th, Israel Putnam, the general of the militiamen, led about a hundred men up Breed’s Hill. When they got there they dug out a crude fort on the on the north side of the Boston Harbor. When General William Howe, the leader of the British, arrived on July 17 with British troops he was worried about the fort. Howe ordered a fast attack at the militiamen and marched the redcoat men to the base of the hill in two long lines. When the British were getting closer to the militiamen, Putnam said ‘’ Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes’’. They both fired the British fell back. They lined up again and fired. The British ended up winning because the militiamen pulled back because they ran out of bullets.

The battle was short and bloody. There were 2,400 troops on the British side and 1000 of them were killed or hurt. The militiamen had 1500 men and half of them were killed or hurt. This battle was misnamed, it should have been named The Battle of Breeds Hill.



March 16, 1776 - The Siege of Boston

This was the opening of the American Revolutionary War. It was when the Continental Army surrounded the city of Boston Massachusetts. The Americans had placed artillery from the run down Fort Ticonderoga on the hills that lay around Boston. Seeing the cannons and other artillery the colonist had the British ran for it and the colonist let them do this because they had no strong ships to chase after them. As a siege it was not completely successful, but it played a very important part in the war. We gained very valuable land from this and it raised the spirits of all the colonist. Gave most of them hope that we would come out on the top even if Britain did have more men.



January, 1776 - Common Sense

Common Sense was a pamphlet published by Thomas Paine on January 10, 1776 during the American Revolution. The document talked badly about British rule and was very popular because of the time in which it was written.

The pamphlet was copied over 120,000 times, but Paine donated it so he didn’t get any profit out of all of it. He even had to pay for the first printing of it.

Paine’s arguments included:

“It is ridiculous for an island to rule a continent.”

“Even if Britain was the Mother Country of America, that made her actions all the more horrendous, for no mother would harm her children so brutally.”

“British ruled the colonies for its own benefit, and did not consider the best interests of the colonists in governing them.”

And here is one of the most important quotes from the pamphlet is: “I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense…”

Common Sense persuaded many people who were loyal to the British and people who were still undecided about the whole idea of independence. Thomas Paine basically convinced half of America to declare independence from Britain.



December 25, 1776 - The Victory in Trenton

The Battle of Trenton was one of the first major turning point in the war against the British. It all started with Washington crossing the Delaware River which was almost impossible at that time and that just added to the surprise. The Continental Army was helped by two Majors: Major Green who attacked from the north and Major Sullivan who attacked from the west while Washington attacked from the front. There was supposed to be another group but they couldn't make it with the weather the way it was. Johann Rall the commander of the contingent of about 1,400 Hessians. Washington totally took the Hessians by surprise and lost only 2 from the march and only 2 wounded compared to the 23 dead, the 92 wounded, and the 913 captured Hessians. Commander Rall was mortally wounded and then died on the same day. It was victory the Colonists would never forget and Washington would definitely go into the history books.