Before you read this post, let me give some questions relating to the events. These areas are important for the Mains exam and an idea about this happening will definitely shape your total stream of ideas. So go through certain questions and try to answer them.
PLEASE NOTE: These Mains questions are just an attempt to figure out and make some useful questions for your benefit.
The answer to all these may not figure in this article, but will definitely give you an insight how a question can be asked. You will get a good a good angle after reading this post and ultimately it’s you who should think and find answers. The central idea can be picked from this post.
While writing, you can disagree and agree with the statements. After all there is no readymade answers to all this. Use your ideas+ style+ interpretation and write a balanced answer.
MAINS PRACTICE QUESTIONS FROM THIS AREA
1. “The American Revolution was not ‘revolutionary’ at all, that it did not radically transform colonial society but simply replaced a distant government with a local one” Discuss
2. “The American Revolution was a unique and radical event that produced deep changes and had a profound impact on world affairs, based on an increasing belief in the principles of republicanism, such as peoples’ natural rights, and a system of laws chosen by the people.” Illustrate
3. “The American Revolution was the culmination of the actions of British ministers which made independence first a possibility and then likelihood.” Explain
4. “Paradoxically it was Parliament, supposedly the guardian of British liberty, which seemed to endanger the liberties of Britons in America in 1765.” Critically Analyse
5. “The policy of salutary neglect enabled the American colonies to prosper by trading with non-British entities, and then to spend that wealth on British-made goods, while at the same time providing Britain with raw materials for manufacture. Elucidate
6. Do you think that the wise and salutary neglect was the prime factor in the booming commercial success of the country’s North American holdings?
7.”The Boston Tea Party happened as a result of “taxation without representation”, yet the cause is more complex than that” Discuss
8.”Prior to the Stamp Act crisis British authority, rarely asserted, rested on ties of loyalty, affection and tradition, not force. In the wake of the Stamp Act, Parliament repeatedly asserted its sovereignty and was compelled by American resistance to back down” Critically Examine
9.”The greatest challenge to the old order in Europe was the challenge to inherited political power and the democratic idea that government rests on the consent of the governed.” Comment
10.”The example of the first successful revolution against a European empire provided a model for many other colonial peoples who realized that they too could break away and become self-governing nations.” Justify
THE CHAPTER CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING SUBHEADS
v THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
v WHAT EXACTLY WAS THAT?
v WAS THIS AN ABRUPT REVOLUTION?
v TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE FEATURES OF AMERICAN REVOLUTION
v THERE IS A REFERENCE ABOUT THE SEVEN YEARS WAR (1756-1763)
v WHAT WERE THE RESULTS OF THE WAR?
v CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SALUTARY NEGLECT?
v “NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION”
v WHAT WAS THE STAMP ACT?
v WHAT WAS THE PROCLAMATION OF 1763?
v WAS THERE AN INFLUENCE CREATED BY LIBERALISM?
v THERE WERE OTHER ACTS PASSED. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THEM?
v WHAT WAS BOSTON MASSACRE?
v BOSTON MASSACRE–WAS IT AN INSPIRATION TO FIRE THE REVOLUTION?
v WHAT WAS THE TEA ACT OF 1773?
v SO WHAT WAS BOSTON TEA PARTY? WAS THERE A REAL PARTY?
v WHAT WAS THE INTOLERABLE ACT?
v THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON & CONCORD
v THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL
v WHAT WAS THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS?
v THE SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS SESSION
v WHAT WAS THE OLIVE BRANCH PETITION?
v THE PATRIOTS, LOYALISTS & NEUTRAL FACTIONS IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION?
v THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
WHAT EXACTLY WAS THAT?
Ø The American Revolution (1775-83) is also known as the American Revolutionary War and the U.S. War of Independence.
Ø The conflict arose from growing tensions between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and the colonial government, which represented the British crown
WAS THIS AN ABRUPT REVOLUTION?
Ø For more than a decade before the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775, tensions had been building between colonists and the British authorities.
NB: So this is not something that happened all of a sudden. So logically a lot of history will be involved in this. So let’s decode it one by one.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE FEATURES OF AMERICAN REVOLUTION
ü The revolution included a series of broad intellectual and social shifts that occurred in early American society
ü The new republican ideals that took hold in the American population is an example.
ü In some states sharp political debates broke out over the role of democracy in government
ü The American shift to republicanism, as well as the gradually expanding democracy, caused an upheaval of the traditional social hierarchy, and created the ethic that formed the core of American political values.
HEY!!! CAN YOU CONNCECT ALL THIS & GIVE A FAIR PICTURE? IT SOUNDS CONFUSING. WE NEED A BETTER CHRONOLOGICAL PICTURE
It is a revolution like every other revolution and had many sequences of events that led to this revolution. Understanding these sequences will give one a clear idea about this revolution.
THERE IS A REFERENCE ABOUT THE SEVEN YEARS WAR (1756-1763) CAN YOU TELL ABOUT IT & ITS CONNECTION TO THE REVOLUTION?
Ø The North American theater of the primarily European Seven Years’ War was known as the French and Indian War.
Ø It was fought between Britain and France from 1754 to 1763 for colonial dominance in North America.
DID THE AMERICANS PARTICIPATE IN THIS? WHAT WERE THE OTHER FEATURES?
Ø British officials tried to rally public opinion for the war at the Albany Congress in 1754 but mustered only halfhearted support throughout the colonies.
Ø Nevertheless, American colonists dutifully fought alongside British soldiers, while the French allied themselves with several Native American tribes (hence the name “French and Indian War”).
WHAT WERE THE RESULTS OF THE WAR?
Ø The war ended France’s position as a major colonial power in the Americas (where it lost all of its possessionsexcept French Guiana,
ØGuadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Domingue, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon) and its position as the leading power in Europe
Ø On February 10, 1763, the French & Indian War (Seven Years’ War) came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Paris
Ø The French Navy was crippled
Ø Great Britain, meanwhile, emerged as the dominant colonial power in the world
HEY WHAT ABOUT THIS WAR’S IMPACT IN INDIA? IT SEEMS THAT WE HAVE HEARD IT SOMEWHERE
The same conflict in India is termed the Third Carnatic War..!!!!!
DID THE WAR CREATE STRAINS FOR BRITAIN?
Ø The British victory in the Seven Years’ War had been costly in human and financial terms
Ø In 1763, George Grenville, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, reckoned that Britain’s budget deficit was in excess of £122 million.
Ø Desperate to find new sources of revenue, Grenville looked to the colonies and viewed from cash-strapped London, the North American settlements were very attractive
In an effort to alleviate these financial burdens, the government in London began exploring various options for raising revenues.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SALUTARY NEGLECT? WHAT IS SALUTARY NEGLECT?
Ø Salutary neglect was Britain’s unofficial policy, initiated by Prime Minister Robert Walpole, to relax the enforcement of strict regulations, particularly trade laws, imposed on the American colonies late in the seventeenth and early in the eighteenth centuries.
Ø Britain, by easing its grip on colonial trade, could focus its attention on European politics and further cement its role as a world power.
This policy, which lasted from about 1607 to 1763, allowed the enforcement of trade relations laws to be lenient.
Ø Salutary neglect enabled the American colonies to prosper by trading with non-British entities, and then to spend that wealth on
Ø British-made goods, while at the same time providing Britain with raw materials for manufacture.
Ø It enabled the colonies to operate independently of Britain, both economically and politically, and to forge an American identity.
Some historians argue that this loose hold on the colonies, which George III and his ministers tightened in 1760, gave them the freedom to pull away from Britain and start down the path to revolution.
HEY HAVE YOU HEARD THIS STATEMENT BEFORE? “NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION”– PLEASE TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT IT
Ø The British government sought to tax its American possessions, primarily to help pay for its defense of North America from the French in the Seven Years’ War.
Ø The problem was not that taxes were high but that they were not consulted about the new taxes, as they had no representation in parliament.
Ø The phrase “no taxation without representation” became popular within many American circles
NB: From now onwards a series of new taxes came to the fore which changed the perception of the people.
WHAT WAS THE STAMP ACT?
In 1765 Grenville, acting as prime minister, proposed a far-reaching tax for Americans and Parliament adopted a Stamp Act in March of 1765
BACKDROP: In 1763, the average Briton paid 26 shillings per annum in taxes whilst a Massachusetts taxpayer contributed one shilling each year to imperial coffers.
Americans, British officials concluded, benefited from the protection afforded by the British army and the Royal Navy, and it would only be fair if they contributed to their own defence.
WHAT WERE THE TERMS?
Ø Under the terms of the Act, scheduled to take effect on 1 November, almost anything formally written or printed would have to be on special stamped paper for which a tax must be paid
Ø Anyone who was involved in any legal transactions purchased a newspaper or pamphlet or accepted a government appointment would have to pay the tax.
Ø In short, the Stamp Act would affect nearly all Americans.
WHAT DID IT INCLUDE?
Among the items covered by the Tax were wills, deeds, diplomas, almanacs, advertisements, bills, bonds, newspapers, playing cards and even dice
WHAT WAS THE AMERICAN REACTION?
Ø Americans responded negatively to the Stamp Act, arguing that they had contributed to their own defence during the late war by providing manpower, money and supplies to the British war effort.
They argued that they already paid taxes which were raised locally – each colony had its own assembly which levied local taxes’
Ø Its major town, Boston, had a long tradition of rioting and popular demonstrations to defend local interests
Ø The demonstrations spread throughout the colonies
Several colonies sent delegates to New York to attend a ‘Stamp Act Congress’ which proposed a commercial boycott as means to pressure Parliament to act.
Ø American opponents of the Stamp Act would refuse to purchase British goods in order to put commercial pressure on Parliament to repeal the act.
THE BRITISH REACTION
Ø The government in London was unimpressed by the constitutional arguments made by the colonists or the petitions and resolutions adopted by their assemblies.
WHAT WAS THE PROCLAMATION OF 1763?
On October 7, 1763, King George III issued a royal proclamation which forbade American colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains.
WHY WAS THIS INTRODUCED?
This was intended to stabilize relations with the Native American population, most of which had sided with France in the recent conflict, as well as reduce the cost of colonial defence
BETWEEN THIS WAS THERE AN INFLUENCE CREATED BY LIBERALISM? DID THE EUROPEAN IDEAS INSPIRE PEOPLE?
Ø American leaders were influenced by the liberal and republican ideals espoused by Enlightenment writers such as John Locke.
Ø Locke’s theories were that of the “social contract” which stated that legitimate state authority must be derived from the consent of the governed. Also, that should the government abuse the rights of the governed, it was the natural responsibility of the people to rise up and overthrow their leaders.
Ø Men like Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, were taught key tenets such as that all men are created equal, that there is no divine right of kings, and wicked laws should be disobeyed.
The motivating force was the American embrace of a political ideology called “republicanism,” which was dominant in the colonies by 1775
Ø For women, “republican motherhood” became the ideal, as exemplified by Abigail Adams and Mercy Otis Warren; the first duty of the republican woman was to instill republican values in her children and to avoid luxury and ostentation
Ø The “Founding Fathers” were strong advocates of republicanism, especially Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams.
THERE WERE OTHER ACTS PASSED. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THEM?
Ø The Sugar Act was the first fully enforced tax levied in America solely for the purpose of raising revenue.
Ø The British Parliament passed the Declaratory Act, which stipulated that Parliament reserved the right to tax the colonies anytime it chose.
Ø In 1767, Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, which levied another series of taxes on lead, paints, and tea known as the Townshend Duties
Ø The economic situation in America was made worse later that year with the implementation of the Currency Act which prohibited the colonies from printing paper money.
RESULT CURRENCY ACT: Many American businesses engaged in credit sales with Britain were crippled when several financial crises gripped London in the 1760s and 1770s.
Ø These forced British merchants to call in their debts. Unable to generate any form of liquid currency, American businesses were frequently ruined and the colonial economy damaged
Ø Britain passed the Suspension Act, which suspended the New York assembly for not enforcing the Quartering Act.
Ø Since the mid-1600s, British trade had been regulated through a set of laws known as the Navigation Acts.
Ø Operating on the philosophy of mercantilism, these laws required that all trade between British territories be carried on British ships and routed through Britain to ensure that proper duties were paid.
In an effort to increase revenues during the latter years of the French & Indian War, the British government began cracking down on American smugglers.
Ø Customs officials were empowered with writs of assistance (transferable, open-ended search warrants), which permitted them to search warehouses, homes, and ships on a whim without cause.
WHAT WAS BOSTON MASSACRE?
Ø The Boston Massacre was an attack on colonist civilians by British troops on March 5, 1770, and its legal aftermath, which helped spark the American Revolutionary War.
Ø Boston Massacre quickly spread throughout the colonies
BOSTON MASSACRE–WAS IT AN INSPIRATION TO FIRE THE REVOLUTION?
Ø The Boston Massacre is one of several events that turned colonial sentiment against British rule.
Ø While it took five years from the massacre for outright revolution to begin, the Boston Massacre foreshadowed the violent rebellion to come.
Ø It also demonstrated how British authority galvanized colonial opposition and protest.
WHAT WAS THE TEA ACT OF 1773?
Ø In 1773, Parliament passed the Tea Act, granting the financially troubled British East India Company a trade monopoly on the tea exported to the American colonies.
Ø In many American cities, tea agents resigned or canceled orders, and merchants refused consignments in response to the unpopular act
SO WHAT WAS BOSTON TEA PARTY? WAS THERE A REAL PARTY?
Ø It is an incident in which 342 chests of tea belonging to the British East India Company were thrown from ships into Boston Harbor byAmerican patriots disguised as Mohawk Indians.
Ø The Boston Tea Party was organized and carried out by a group of Patriots led by Samuel Adams known as the Sons of Liberty.
Ø The Sons of Liberty were made up of males from all walks of colonial society
Ø The Americans were protesting both a tax on tea (taxation without representation) and the perceived monopoly of the East India Company.
It took nearly three hours for more than 100 colonists to empty the tea into Boston Harbor. The chests held more than 90,000 lbs. (45 tons) of tea, which would cost nearly $1,000,000 dollars today.
Ø When three tea ships, the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver, arrived in Boston Harbor, the colonists demanded that the tea be returned to England
Ø After Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused, Patriot leader Samuel Adams organized the “tea party” with about 60 members of the Sons of Liberty, his underground resistance group.
The tea was shipped by an exporter in London, which is still in existence and sells a tea called “Boston Harbour.”
THE BRITISH RESPONSE
Ø In retaliation, Parliament passed the series of punitive measures known in the colonies as the Intolerable Acts, including the Boston
Ø Port Bill, which shut off the city’s sea trade pending payment for the destroyed tea.
Ø The British government’s efforts to single out Massachusetts for punishment served only to unite the colonies and impel the drift toward war.
WHAT WAS THE INTOLERABLE ACT?
Ø In January 1774, Parliament passed the Coercive Acts, also known as the Intolerable Acts, which shut down Boston Harbor until the
Ø British East India Company had been fully reimbursed for the tea destroyed in the Boston Tea Party
The Intolerable Acts included four acts
1. The first was the Massachusetts Government Act, which altered the Massachusetts charter, restricting town meetings.
2. The second act was the Administration of Justice Act, which ordered that all British soldiers to be tried were to be arraigned in Britain, not the colonies.
3. The third act was the Boston Port Act, which closed the port of Boston until the British had been compensated for the tea lost in the Boston Tea Party (the British never received such a payment).
4. The fourth act was the Quartering Act of 1774, which compelled the residents of Boston to house British regulars sent in to control the vicinity.
NB: Parliament also passed the Quebec Act at the same time, which granted more rights to French Canadian Catholics and extended French Canadian territory south to the western borders of New York and Pennsylvania.
THE BATTLE OF LEXINGTON & CONCORD
Ø The Battle of Lexington was a military conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and its thirteen colonies in North America during the American Revolutionary War
Ø On April 19, 1775, part of the British occupation force in Boston marched to the nearby town of Concord, Massachusetts, to seize a colonial militia arsenal.
The British and the American colonists were in a face-off position on the green. There were over 100 spectators. Neither sides wanted the situation to escalate and were ordered not to fire.
Ø No one knows who fired the first shot of the American Revolution – but many believe that it was an onlooker.
Ø The Battle of Lexington ended with the retreat of the colonists who were vastly outnumbered by the British.
The British marched out of Lexington and made their way to Concord to seize arms and ammunition and capture any rebels that resulted in the Battle of Concord.
Ø The significance of the conflict was that it was that this was the first battle in the American Revolutionary War.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL
Ø The Battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17, 1775 on Breed’s Hill, as part of the Siege of Boston during the American Revolutionary War.
Ø This was the second battle of the Revolutionary War.
Ø General Israel Putnam was in charge of the revolutionary forces
Ø The British were victorious but they suffered a devastating loss of more than 1,000 casualties
WHAT WAS THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS? CAN YOU TELL US SOMETHING IN SHORT
Ø The Continental Congress was the governing body by which the American colonial governments coordinated their resistance to British rule during the first two years of the American Revolution.
Ø As the war progressed, the Congress became the effective national government of the country, and, as such, conducted diplomacy on behalf of the new United States
The Congress first met in Philadelphia on September 5, 1774, with delegates from each of the 13 colonies except Georgia
WHAT ABOUT THE SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS SESSION?
Ø The second Congress managed the colonial war effort, and moved slowly towards independence, adopting the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
The Second Continental Congress formed the Continental army and dispatched George Washington to Massachusetts as its commander.
IN THIS REGARD WHAT WAS THE OLIVE BRANCH PETITION?
Ø The Second Continental Congress, drafted the Olive Branch Petition, which attempted to suggest means of resolving disputes between the colonies and Great Britain.
Ø Congress sent the petition to King George III on July 8, but he refused to receive it.
WHO WERE THE PATRIOTS, LOYALISTS & NEUTRAL FACTIONS IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION?
Ø During the American Revolution, the American colonists had to decide to support the War for Independence or remain loyal to the British and King George III.
Ø Some Americans could not decide which side to choose and remained neutral during the war.
Ø Most American colonists, however, did choose sides.
Those who supported independence from Britain were known as Patriots and colonists who opposed independence from Britain were known as Loyalists
SO WHAT WAS THE TRIBAL ANGLE IN THIS?
Ø Native Americans mostly rejected American pleas that they remain neutral.
Ø Most groups aligned themselves with the empire.
Ø There were also incentives provided by both sides that helped to secure the affiliations of regional peoples and leaders; the tribes that depended most heavily upon colonial trade tended to side with the revolutionaries, though political factors were important as well.
QUAKER ANGLE: A minority of uncertain size tried to stay neutral in the war.
Ø Most kept a low profile. However, the Quakers, especially in Pennsylvania, were the most important group that was outspoken for neutrality.
Ø As patriots declared independence, the Quakers, who continued to do business with the British, were attacked as supporters of British rule
1776- THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE– FINALLY ITS HAPPENING—PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT IT
Ø On January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine published a political pamphlet entitled Common Sense arguing that the only solution to the problems with Britain was republicanism and independence from Great Britain
On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was ratified by the Second Continental Congress.
Ø The Declaration is a watershed event not only in American history, but in the history of freedom and democracy.
Ø By declaring themselves an independent nation, the American colonists were able to confirm an official alliance with the Government of
Ø France and obtain French assistance in the war against Great Britain.
Ø However, Congress did form a committee to draft a declaration of independence and assigned this duty to Thomas Jefferson.
Ø Benjamin Franklin and John Adams reviewed Jefferson’s draft.
CAN YOU TELL US THE EVENTS THAT LED TO THE FORMATION OF USA– AFTER THE DECLARATION– BRITAIN IS PREPARING FOR A WAR
Ø The British returned in force in August 1776, engaging the fledgling Continental Army for the first time in the largest action of the Revolution in the Battle of Long Island.
Ø In 1777, the British launched two uncoordinated attacks. The army based in New York City defeated Washington and captured the national capital at Philadelphia.
The British government at first started treating American prisoners as common criminals. They were thrown into jail and preparations were made to bring them to trial for treason.
Ø After the surrender at Saratoga in 1777, there were thousands of British prisoners in American hands who were effectively hostages.
Ø The Sultan of Morocco mentioned American ships in a consular document in 1777,
Ø but Congress had to wait until the 1778 Treaty of Alliance with France for a formal recognition of U.S. independence.
Ø The Netherlands acknowledged U.S. independence in 1782.
Ø Although Spain joined the war against Great Britain in 1779, it did not recognize U.S. independence until the1783 Treaty of Paris.
Ø Under the terms of the treaty, which ended the War of the American Revolution, Great Britain officially acknowledged the United States as a sovereign and independent nation.
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