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You need to understand the causes of the American Revolution and its place in the global network for the AP World History Test. You do not need to know specific dates or battles. This Google Slides presentation will help you know and understand the material you will need for the AP World History test.
During the colonial period, the French established a number of colonies in North America.
Canada: The French claimed a significant portion of eastern Canada, including the St. Lawrence River Valley. Quebec, founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608, became a major French settlement. The French were actively involved in the fur trade with indigenous peoples in this region.
Louisiana: The French claimed a vast territory named Louisiana, which extended from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. The city of New Orleans, founded in 1718, became a key center of French influence in the region.
The Great Lakes Region: French explorers and fur traders established outposts and trading posts in the Great Lakes region, including places like Detroit and Michilimackinac.
Mississippi River Valley: The French explored and settled parts of the Mississippi River Valley, establishing Fort Saint Louis near present-day Starved Rock, Illinois.
Hudson Bay: The French briefly had a presence in the Hudson Bay area, although they faced competition from the English and other European powers in this region.
The French were primarily focused on the fur trade and maintained relatively fewer permanent settlements.
The English established a number of colonies in North America during the colonial period.
New England Colonies
Massachusetts Bay Colony (1628): Founded by Puritan settlers led by John Winthrop, it became a major center for Puritan religious influence.
Plymouth Colony (1620): Founded by the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, seeking religious freedom and a separation from the Church of England.
Connecticut (1636): Established by Thomas Hooker, a Puritan minister, as a haven for those who disagreed with the religious and political policies of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Rhode Island (1636): Founded by Roger Williams, a dissenter from Massachusetts, for the principles of religious freedom and separation of church and state.
New York (originally New Netherland): The English took control of the Dutch colony of New Netherland in 1664, renaming it New York. It became a diverse and economically important colony.
New Jersey (1664): Originally part of New York, it was granted to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, becoming a proprietary colony.
Pennsylvania (1681): Founded by William Penn as a Quaker colony, promoting religious tolerance and democratic principles.
Delaware: Initially part of Pennsylvania, it became a separate colony but maintained close ties.
Virginia (1607): The first permanent English colony, founded at Jamestown, focused initially on economic ventures such as tobacco cultivation.
Maryland (1632): Granted to Lord Baltimore as a haven for English Catholics, it became known for religious tolerance.
North Carolina and South Carolina (1663): Originally part of the Province of Carolina, it split into North and South Carolina in 1712.
Georgia (1732): Established as a buffer colony and a haven for debtors, it became the last of the original thirteen colonies.
The Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were a group of British colonies on the East Coast of North America that played a crucial role in the formation of the United States. Established in the 17th and 18th centuries, they were divided into New England, the Middle Colonies, and the Southern Colonies. Each region had its own economic focus, with New England emphasizing trade, the Middle Colonies known for diverse agriculture and religious tolerance, and the Southern Colonies relying on plantation agriculture. Over time, tensions between the colonies and British rule grew, leading to the American Revolution. The Declaration of Independence in 1776 marked the colonies’ transition into the United States, shaping the nation’s foundation.
The French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years’ War, was a major conflict from 1754 to 1763 between the British and the French, with Native American allies on both sides. It started in North America but was part of the larger Seven Years’ War. The main issues were disputes over territory and trade routes in the Ohio River Valley. Britain won the war, gaining control of Canada and territories east of the Mississippi River. However, the cost of the war strained Britain’s finances and contributed to tensions that eventually led to the American Revolutionary War. The Treaty of Paris in 1763 formally ended the French and Indian War, reshaping the map of North America.
Native American Tribes of the French and Indian War
During the French and Indian War, various Native American tribes aligned themselves with either the French or the British, influenced by a complex web of historical relationships, trade considerations, and local interests. It’s important to note that Native American alliances were not uniform, and individual tribes or even factions within tribes might have had differing allegiances. Here is a general overview:
Allies of the French
Algonquin Confederacy: The Algonquin tribes, including the Algonquin, Ojibwa, and Huron, were generally allied with the French. These tribes had long-standing fur trade relationships with the French and saw them as valuable economic and military partners.
Abenaki Confederacy: The Abenaki, located in the northeastern part of North America, formed an alliance with the French against British expansion.
Wendat Confederacy (Huron): The Wendat, a confederation of Iroquoian-speaking tribes, sided with the French during the conflict.
Allies of the British
Iroquois Confederacy: The Iroquois, also known as the Haudenosaunee, were a confederation of five tribes—Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. They were traditional enemies of the French and generally supported the British in hopes of gaining advantages in trade and territory.
Cherokee: While the Cherokee had some internal divisions, many Cherokee leaders chose to align with the British during the war, seeing them as a counterbalance to French and Native American threats.
Catawba: The Catawba, a tribe located in the Carolinas, also sided with the British.
It’s crucial to recognize that Native American alliances were complex and multifaceted, with individual tribes often making decisions based on their own interests and circumstances. Additionally, within each tribe, there might have been factions with differing perspectives on which side to support.
The Boston Tea Party, a defiant act by American colonists in December 1773, marked a turning point in the strained relations between the Thirteen Colonies and the British Crown. In protest against the Tea Act, which granted the British East India Company a monopoly on tea sales in the colonies, colonists, disguised as Mohawk Indians, dumped 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor. The British response was swift and punitive, implementing the Coercive Acts, also known as the Intolerable Acts, in 1774 to assert control over Massachusetts. These acts fueled colonial resentment and resistance, prompting the convening of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia in September 1774. Tensions escalated further in April 1775 when British troops marched to seize colonial military supplies in Concord. The confrontation at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, marked the outbreak of armed conflict between British forces and colonial militias, igniting the American Revolution. The “shot heard ’round the world” at Lexington echoed the sentiments of a population unwilling to accept continued British imposition, propelling the colonies into a struggle for independence.
The Enlightenment and the American Revolution
The Enlightenment greatly influenced the American Revolution by introducing ideas about individual rights, freedom, and the role of government. Thinkers like John Locke and Montesquieu argued for the importance of natural rights and a social contract between citizens and their government. These concepts resonated with American colonists seeking to break free from British rule. The belief in inherent rights and the idea that governments derive their legitimacy from the consent of the governed inspired the call for independence. The principles of the Enlightenment, emphasizing reason and a distrust of unchecked power, influenced the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, shaping the structure of the new American government. In essence, the Enlightenment laid the intellectual groundwork for the ideas that fueled the American Revolution and the establishment of a new nation.
Common Sense by Thomas Paine
“Common Sense” by Thomas Paine, published in 1776, was a powerful and straightforward pamphlet that had a significant impact on American colonists. Paine argued for independence from British rule, using clear and accessible language to make his case. His ideas resonated widely, reaching a broad audience and contributing to a growing sentiment for independence. Paine’s persuasive arguments played a crucial role in uniting colonists and encouraging them to break away from British rule. The pamphlet’s popularity and influence were instrumental in shaping public opinion and paving the way for the eventual declaration of independence.
The Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence, adopted on July 4, 1776, served as the formal proclamation of the American colonies’ break from British rule. Drafted primarily by Thomas Jefferson, the document eloquently asserted the inherent rights of individuals, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Its central argument, heavily influenced by Enlightenment ideas, justified the colonies’ right to independence and self-governance. The Declaration not only declared the intentions of the American colonies but also articulated a powerful moral and political philosophy that resonated with many colonists. Its ringing call for independence and the establishment of a democratic government inspired and mobilized the population. The Declaration of Independence thus became a unifying force, galvanizing colonists and providing a compelling rationale for their resistance to British oppression. It laid the ideological foundation for the American Revolution, shaping the course of the conflict and ultimately leading to the establishment of the United States as an independent nation.
The Printing Press
The printing press was crucial during the American Revolution for spreading revolutionary ideas and information. It allowed for the mass production of pamphlets, newspapers, and important documents like the Declaration of Independence. This widespread dissemination of materials helped unite the colonists and build support for the revolutionary cause. Key figures like Thomas Paine used the press to reach a broad audience, influencing public opinion. The printing press served as a powerful tool for communication and played a vital role in shaping the narrative and mobilizing the population during the revolutionary period.
France and the American Revolution
The French played a crucial role in the American Revolution by supporting the American colonists in their fight against the British. France provided military assistance, troops, and naval support, notably in the decisive Battle of Yorktown in 1781. Additionally, French financial aid and diplomatic efforts, exemplified in treaties with the United States, significantly contributed to the American victory. The French alliance was a game-changer, shifting the balance of power in favor of the colonists and influencing the outcome of the Revolutionary War.
The end of the American Revolution marked a historic moment as the Thirteen Colonies successfully secured their independence from British rule. The Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783, formally ended the conflict and recognized the United States as a sovereign nation. Negotiated by American diplomats including John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay, the treaty outlined the new boundaries of the United States, extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River. Britain acknowledged the independence of the former colonies and agreed to withdraw its troops. The conclusion of the war ushered in a new era, as the United States embarked on the challenging task of establishing a stable government and defining its identity as a fledgling nation. The American Revolution’s impact reverberated globally, inspiring movements for independence and democracy in other parts of the world and leaving an enduring legacy in the pursuit of liberty and self-determination.
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