Resistance, Rebellion, and Revolution (1750–1775) for AP US History (page 4)

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By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Mar 4, 2011

The First Continental Congress

Fifty-six delegates from every colony except Georgia attended the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on September 5, 1774. Some of those present, such as Sam Adams, pushed for a total boycott of British goods; others proposed further negotiations with Parliament. John Adams worked out a compromise entitled the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, which stated that the colonists would not object to measures designed to regulate their external commerce. The colonies would, however, resist any measures that taxed them without their consent. The mood of the meeting was even clearer when the Suffolk Resolves were adopted. This act stated that colonies would continue to boycott English imports and approve the efforts of Massachusetts to operate a colonial government free from British control until the Intolerable Acts were rescinded. Colonies were also urged to raise and train militias of their own.

Before they adjourned, the Continental Congress sent a petition to George III requesting the repeal of all regulatory acts since 1763 and informing him of the continued boycott of British goods. Colonial leaders returned home, wondering what the response of George III to their petition would be.


To achieve the perfect 5, you should be able to explain the following:

  • Tensions between the British and the French intensified in the 1740s, when land speculators from English colonies began to acquire land in the Ohio Valley.
  • The Seven Years War (the French and Indian War in American textbooks) was between the English and colonial militias and the French; Native Americans fought on both sides.
  • The defeat of the French in this war largely ended their influence in the Americas; after the war, the British attempted to make the colonies pay their fair share for the war effort.
  • Parliamentary efforts during this era to produce money for Great Britain by imposing various taxes and duties on the colonies resulted in great unrest in the colonies.
  • The impact of the Stamp Act on the colonies was great; as a result, nine colonies met at the 1765 Stamp Act Congress and the Sons of Liberty formed in Boston.
  • Boston remained a center of opposition to British policy; the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the Boston Tea Party in 1773 helped to create resistance to the Crown in other colonies as well.
  • The 1774 Intolerable Acts, which closed the port of Boston and curtailed freedom of speech in Massachusetts, outraged many in the colonies.
  • The 1774 First Continental Congress passed a resolution that firmly stated the colonies would firmly resist measures that taxed them without their consent. At this meeting it was also decided that individual colonies should start to raise and train state militias.

    Time Line

      1754:   Representatives of colonies meet at Albany Congress to coordinate further western settlement
      1756:   Beginning of Seven Years War
      1763:   Signing of Treaty of Paris ending Seven Years War
      1764:   Parliament approves Sugar Act, Currency Act
      1765:   Stamp Act approved by Parliament; Stamp Act Congress occurs and Sons of Liberty are formed, both in opposition to the Stamp Act
      1766:   Stamp Act repealed, but in Declaratory Act, Parliament affirms its right to tax the colonies
      1767:   Passage of the Townshend Acts
      1770:   Boston Massacre occurs
      1773:   Boston Tea Party takes place in December in opposition to the Tea Act
      1774:   Intolerable Acts adopted by Parliament
          First Continental Congress held in Philadelphia

Test your knowledge with these practice exercises:

Resistance, Rebellion, and Revolution (1750–1775) Review Questions for AP US History

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