The Road to Revolution



Proclamation of 1763


Following the French and Indian War, the British issued a proclamation that halted westward expansion for the colonists. Its purpose was twofold: it facilitated tax collection and would decrease conflict with Native Americans.

Currency Act


The currency act banned the colonies from producing or using any form of their own paper money; they were only allowed to use the British currency in trading and transactions.

Sugar Act

April 4, 1764

In 1764 the British government issued a tax on sugar imported from the west indies

Sons of Liberty


George Mercer (Stamp Distributer) hanged in effigy


Truly hated by the colonists, stamp distributer George Mercer was tormented by angry mobs who hung and burned dummies of him (hanged in effigy)

Boycott of the Stamp Act


Colonists have a non-importation agreement to not buy British goods. This boycott seriously hurts the British economy and British merchants. This leads to the repeal of the stamp act.

The Quartering Act

March 1765

This required colonists to open their houses to British troops and supply them with food.

The Stamp Act


A tax implemented on the colonies by the British requiring a tax on every piece of printed paper used in order to help pay for their own protection. It was seen as the first direct attempt by the British to raise money in America without the consent of the colonies. It was a small cost overall, so everyone just bought stamps anyway. Eventually the Virginia House of Burgesses argued that Americans had the same rights as he British and should therefore only be taxed by their own representatives. Their protests worked had an effect for a while, but King Henry defeated them in the end.

Virginia Resolutions

May 30, 1765

Patrick Henry, governor of Virginia, introduced the seven Virginia Resolutions to the House of Burgesses. In these resolutions was the law that only Virginia could legally tax Virginian colonists, contradicting the many British laws that had been enforced. He said, "If this be treason, make the most of it." The seeds of revolution are being spread!

Hutchinson's Home Attacked

August 26, 1765

On this day, a mob attacked the home of the Chief Justice of Massachusetts, Thomas Hutchinson, in Boston. The Hutchinson family barely escaped.

Stamp Act Congress

October 7, 1765 - October 25, 1765

In 1765, representatives from nine of the colonies met in New York City to discuss a unified protest to the Stamp Act and other acts of 1764. They sent a resolution to King George asking that he repeal those acts and stating that only the colonies had the right to tax colonists. "No taxation without representation"

Declaratory Act


This states that the British government has total power to legislate any laws governing the American colonies in all cases.

Repealing of the Stamp Act

March 1766

King George III signed a bill to repeal the Stamp Act after debate in the English Parliament. Ben Franklin argued for repeal and warned of a possible revolution in American Colonies if it was enforced by the British military.

Townshend Acts


These laws placed new taxes on glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea. Colonial reaction to these taxes was the same as to the Sugar Act and Stamp Act, and Britain eventually repealed all the taxes except the one on tea.

Massachusetts Assembly


Circular Letter

February 1768

Samuel Adams wrote this to oppose taxation without representation and called for the colonists to unite their actions against the British government. This letter was sent throughout the colonies and instructed them on methods that the Massachusetts general court use to oppose the Townshend Acts.

Boston Massacre

March 5, 1770

A mob harasses British soldiers and then the soldiers fire their muskets into the crowd and kill 3 and wound 2 others and injures 6. After this happened, the new Royal Governor of Massachusetts who was Thomas Hutchinson with Sam Adams insisting, withdrew British troops out of Boston. The British soldiers Captain, who is Thomas Preston, is arrested along with 8 other men and charged with murder.

Repeal of Townshend Act except for the tax on tea

June 29, 1770

Burning of Gaspee (Rhode Island)

June 1772

Boston Tea Party

December 16, 1773

1st Continental Congress

September 1, 1774

1) Petition to king
2) Petition British people
3) Non-importation / non-consumption agreement (agreement to to use any british products)

Coercive/Intolerable Acts

October 1774

The Intolerable Acts (Coercive Acts)
1) Quartering Act: soldiers were to be housed with colonial families
2) Boston Port Act: shut down Boston’s port until the damages of the Boston tea party were paid for and repaired.
3) Tried in Great Britain: Great Britain soldiers accused of a capital crime were tried in British courts in order to receive a fair trial; “disturbers of the King’s peace” were also to be tried in England
4) Massachusetts Government Act: Shut down the Massachusetts legislature, appointed Thomas Gage as the new governor and military commander, sent four regiments of British troops to Massachusetts.

Quebec Act

October 1774

one day after the intolerable acts

Concord and Lexington


Declaration of Independence

July 4, 1776

July 4th