Resistance, Rebellion, and Revolution (1750–1775) for AP US History
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Summary: Tensions between the British and the French intensified in the 1740s; a result of this tension was the Seven Years War, in which colonial militias were involved. The French were defeated in this war, essentially ending their political influence on the Americas. During and after this war the British imposed a number of taxes and duties on their colonies, creating unrest. The Stamp Act created great resentment in the colonies. The results of this resentment included the Stamp Act Congress of 1765, the Boston Massacre of 1770, and the Boston Tea Party of 1773. The First Continental Congress met in 1774 and resolved that the colonies would resist efforts to tax them without their consent.
French and Indian War (1756–1763): also known as the Seven Years War, a conflict between the British and the French that also involved Native Americans and colonial militias. French defeat in this war greatly decreased their influence in the colonies.
Stamp Act (1765): imposed by the British, this act dictated that all legal documents in the colonies had to be issued on officially stamped paper. This act created strong resentment in the colonies and was later repealed.
Townshend Acts (1767): British legislation that forced colonies to pay duties on most goods coming from England; these duties were fiercely resisted and finally repealed in 1770.
Boston Massacre (1770): conflict between British soldiers and Boston civilians on March 5, 1770; five colonists were killed and six wounded.
Sons of Liberty: radical group that organized resistance against British policies in Boston in the 1760s and 1770s. This was the group that organized the Boston Tea Party.
Committees of Correspondence: created first in Massachusetts and then in other colonies, these groups circulated grievances against the British to towns within their colonies.
Boston Tea Party (1773): in response to British taxes on tea, Boston radicals disguised as Native Americans threw 350 chests of tea into Boston harbor on December 16, 1773.
First Continental Congress (1774): meeting in Philadelphia at which colonists vowed to resist further efforts to tax them without their consent.
Problems on the Frontier
An energetic traveler going west of the Appalachian Mountains in 1750 would discover a land inhabited by Native American tribes who had no desire to release their territory to colonial or European settlers. The Iroquois and other tribes of the region had traded and allied with both the English and the French, depending on who offered the best "deal" at the time.
Beginning in the 1740s, English and French interests in this region began to come into conflict. Land speculators from Virginia and other colonies began to acquire land in the Ohio Valley, and they tried to broker further treaties with Native Americans who resided there. French colonial officials viewed this with alarm, as their ultimate aim was to connect Canada and Louisiana with a series of forts and settlements through much of the same region.
In 1754, delegates from seven northern and middle colonies met at the Albany Congress, at which the colonies attempted to coordinate their policies concerning further westward settlement and concerning Native Americans. While the representatives couldn't agree on several main points, Governor Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia sent a young militia officer to attempt to stop the French construction of a fort at what is now the city of Pittsburgh. The young officer, George Washington, was defeated in battle there. Several Native American tribes, noting the incompetence of Washington and the colonial army, decided to cast their lot with the French. After hearing of this defeat in early 1756, the British sent a seasoned general, Edward Braddock, to stop the French construction of Fort Duquesne. Braddock's army was routed by the French, and he was killed in the battle. When London heard of this, war was officially declared against the French. This was the beginning of the Seven Years War (called the French and Indian War in American textbooks).