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In What Sense Did the Seven Years War Pave the Way to the Revolution?

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Unit 5

1. In what sense did the Seven Years War pave the way to the revolution?

Britain had won the Empire. But its victory led directly to conflict with its American colonies. Even before the final defeat of the French, colonists in search of better land began move over the Appalachian Mountains into the Ohio valley. To prevent war with the Amerindian tribes who lived in the area, the English king, George 3, issued a proclamation in 1763. It forbade colonists to settle west of the Appalachians until proper treaties had been made with the Amerindians. The king’s proclamation angered the colonists. They became angrier still when the British government told them that they must pay new taxes on imports of sugar, coffee, and other goods.

2. What was the aim of Regulatory Acts and Intolerable Acts (compare)?

Intolerable Acts (1774) were aimed at punishing Massachusetts: they closed the port of Boston to all trade until the tea was paid for and restricted the power of the colonial assembly in Massachusetts.

Aim of regulatory acts was raising taxes on various goods

3. Compare the First Continental Congress and the Second Continental Congress (where, when, why).

The First: In response to the Intolerable Acts, the Massachusetts legislature called the First Continental Congress in 1774. All colonies (except Georgia) sent representatives to Philadelphia. The First Continental Congress tried to negotiate with the British for a return to the situation that had existed in the colonies before 1763.

The Second: In 1775, after the first fights in Lexington and Concord, representatives from all American colonies met in Philadelphia at the Second Continental Congress. They officially declared the war with Great Britain and appointed George Washington as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

4. The War of Independence (When and where did it start? What was the turning point of the war? Why were the battle at Saratoga and Yorktown important? When did the war finish? What were the results of the war?)

1. The first shots of the war were fired in Massachusetts. The Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, were the beginning of the American Revolution.

2. Success began to come to Amerindians in October 1777. They trapped a British army of almost 6000 men at Saratoga in northern New York.

3. Saratoga- 1777, this battle a decisive victory by Amerindians over the British.

    Yorktown- 19 October 1781, the battle was a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army troops. The culmination of the Yorktown campaign, the siege proved to be the last major battle of the American Revolutionary war.

4. The last major battle took place on October 19, 1781. It ended with the surrender of British General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. However, for all parties to negotiate acceptable terms required some time.

5. The American Revolution officially ended with the Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783. Great Britain acknowledged the independence of the United States, with the Mississippi River as the western boundary. Navigation on the river remained open to both nations.

5. How does the theory of social contract explain the beginning of the Revolution?

John Locke is the best-known proponent of the social contract theory. He developed it in Two Treaties of Government, published in February 1690. The idea behind it is that there is an unspoken contract between the governors and the governed. The governed have duties to the governors, but the governors also have duties to the governed, and the people have the right to modify or revoke the social contract.

The colonists believed that there was a kind of agreement between them and the British government. The colonists took risks to create wealth and increase British imperial power, and spread British political and religious ideals and institutions. In return, they thought, the British government had promised: free land, self-government and a Protestant haven. It was a bargain for both sides.

From 1763 to 1775, from the colonial point of view, the old contract was broken by England:

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 stopped the settlement of new lands.

The Declaratory Act gave the British government the right to make laws for the colonies

The Quebec Act established Catholicism as the official religion of Canada.

In 1775, the colonists felt free to break the contract with GB, since from their point of view, GB had already done it.

The British however, considered the colonists as employees. Since the colonists did not fulfil this mission (Britain went into big expenses after the 7 Years War) they had to be punished as bad employees.

The trouble that American colonists never considered themselves as employees. They considered themselves equal partners in a joint venture. The moment the British denied them of this equal status, they felt humiliated. They started to protest against taxation without representation and made it as a slogan of the War of Independence.


The Seven Years War (the French and Indian War) - (1756-1763) was fought between Britain and France over control of North America, that eventually became part of the Seven Years War. The French had colonies in Canada and Louisiana, and were attempting to link them by taking control of the Ohio Valley. This would have encircled the British colonies on the coast, and stopped any expansion on their part. The war begin with conflict between the French in the Ohio Valley and the Virginians, led by George Washington, who was forced to withdraw by the French.



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