Essay Chapter 5 the American Revolution Summary

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CHAPTER 5 The American Revolution: From Elite Protest To Popular Revolt, 1763-1783
SUMMARY
This chapter covers the years that saw the colonies emerge as an independent nation. The colonial rebellion began as a protest on the part of the gentry, but military victory required that thousands of ordinary men and women dedicate themselves to the ideals of republicanism.

I. STRUCTURE OF COLONIAL SOCIETY

In the period following the Seven Years' War, Americans looked to the future with great optimism. They were a wealthy, growing, strong, young people.

A. Breakdown of Political Trust

There were suspicions on both sides of the Atlantic that the new king, George III, was attempting to enlarge his powers by restricting the liberties of
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Just when affairs reached a crisis, the English government changed again. Lord North headed a new ministry and repealed all of the Townshend taxes except for the duty on tea, which North retained to demonstrate Parliament's supremacy.

E. Last Days of the Old Order, 1770--1773

Lord North's government did nothing to antagonize the Americans for the next three years, and a semblance of tranquility characterized public affairs. Customs collectors in America, however, contributed to bad feelings by extorting bribes and by enforcing the trade acts to the letter, while radicals such as Samuel Adams still protested that the tax on tea violated American rights. Adams helped organize committees of correspondence that built up a political structure independent of the royally established governments.

F. The Final Provocation: The Boston Tea Party

In 1773, Parliament aroused the Americans by passage of the Tea Act. This act, designed to help the East India Company by making it cheaper for them to sell tea in America, was interpreted by Americans as a subtle ploy to get them to consume taxed tea. In Boston, in December 1773, a group of men dumped the tea into the harbor.

The English government reacted to the "Tea Party" with outrage and passed the Coercive Acts, which closed the port of Boston and put the entire colony under what amounted to martial law.

At the same time, Parliament passed the Quebec Act, establishing an

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