I. The American Revolution: Causes and Results (1775-1783)


   A. English Law

       1.  England’s constitution is called the Magna Carta.

       2.  What does the Magna Carta say?:

            a. no person can have his life taken away without a trial that includes a jury.

            b. no person can have his property taken away without a trial that includes a jury.

            c. the government cannot create tax laws without permission from the people.

            d. “Rule of Law”- the King and the Queen must follow the law just like everyone


  1. English Bill of Rights (1689) – a list of rights that all English people have that the

      government cannot take away – example: trial by jury.

  1. England’s congress is called PARLIAMENT.
  2. The leader of Parliament is called the PRIME MINISTER.


  B. The American Revolution (1775-1783)

      1.  What caused the American Revolution?

     a. The French and Indian War and British tax policies after the French and Indian

         War caused the American Revolution.

1)      The French and Indian War (1754-1763)

a)      Britain and France fought the French and Indian War to gain control of

      North America.

b)      Treaty of Paris 1783 ended the French and Indian war; Britain won the

                                 war and France lost ALL of its colonies in North America.

c)      Britain raised taxes on the American colonies in order to pay for the

      French and Indian War.

d)      The American colonists believed that the tax laws violated the Magna

      Carta because they did not have a chance to vote on the laws

2)      Some British tax laws that helped to start the American Revolution:

a)      creation of “writs of assistance” (c.1764)

b)      Sugar Act (1764)

c)      Stamp Act (1765)

d)      Declaratory Act (1766)

e)      Townshend Acts (1767)

f)       Tea Act (1773)

g)      Intolerable Acts (a.k.a. “Coercive Acts”) (1774)

3)      Events leading to the America Revolution:

a)      Boston Massacre (March 1770) – British soldiers kill 5 colonists when

      they are attacked by an angry anti-tax mob in Boston; the soldiers were

                                 tried for murder and found “not guilty” … but … many colonists now 

                                 believe that the British will kill to enforce unfair tax laws.

b)      Boston Tea Party (December 1773) – In Massachusetts, members of

      the “Sons of Liberty” (an anti-tax group started by John Hancock and

                                 Samuel Adams) dump a large shipment of British tea into Boston Harbor

                                 to protest the Tea Act.  King George III declares that “the colonies are in

                                 a state of rebellion” and sends more troops to the colonies to enforce the


c)      Intolerable Acts (1774) – Parliament passes these laws to punish Boston

      for the Tea Party; Boston harbor is closed, public meetings are made

                                 illegal, and military rule was imposed in the colony until the tea was paid


d)      Battle of Lexington and Concord (April 1775) – FIRST BATTLE OF

      THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION; British troops leave Boston to

      search for weapons being stored by the Sons of Liberty and to arrest

      John Hancock and Samuel Adams; warned by Paul Revere, nearly 4,000

      colonists attack the British soldiers as the march from Boston to Concord

      and then back to Boston.  The British suffer 273 casualties; the

      Americans 90.



     C.  The War: Battles and Events from the American Revolution      

           1.  Events from the American Revolution (1775-1781)

                a. Battle of Lexington and Concord (April 1775) – FIRST BATTLE OF THE

                    AMERCIAN REVOLUTION took place near Boston Massachusetts.

                b. Battle of Bunker Hill (April 1775) – Continental Army kills a large 

                    number British soldiers near Boston Massachusetts – it will be a long war!

       c. Second Continental Congress (Spring 1775) governed the U.S during the

          American Revolution; they did the following things during the war:

                    1). Olive Branch Petition (Spring 1775) – a letter to King George III Britain 

                          asking for a peaceful solution to the problems between Britain and the 

                          American colonies; King George III ignored the letter.

      2)  Formation of the Continental Army (Spring 1775) – Congress created the

            Continental Army and appointed George Washington of Virginia as

            commander of the army.

      3)   Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) – written by Thomas Jefferson of


      a)  What does the Declaration of Independence say?

                              (1)  all people are created equally and are entitled to

                                    certain basic rights like life, liberty and happiness

      (2)  the purpose of government is to protect the people’s rights

      (3)  if the government does not protect the people right’s, then the people

            have the right to rebel against the government and create a new


      (4)  lists the ways in which Parliament violated the colonists rights under the

            Magna Carta

      (5)  declared that the American colonies are an independent nation separate

                                    from Britain

      4)  Articles of Confederation (1777) the first constitution of the United States

            2.  “Common Sense” published (January 1776) – book written by Thomas Paine – it

                 contained simple and powerful arguments in favor of independence – many  

                 people read the book and began to support independence

      3.  “The Crisis” published (December 1776) - book written by Thomas Paine – the

           colonists were losing the war and this book convinced many to continue fighting

           even though they were losing – some say it convinced Washington to attack


            4.  Battle of Trenton, New Jersey (Dec 1776) – Continental Army crosses the

                 Delaware River to surprise and capture 900 German troops in Trenton on

                 December 26, 1776.

   5.  Battle of Saratoga, New York (Fall 1777) – 6,000 British soldiers surrender to the

        Continental Army in New York – after this battle France becomes an American

        ally against Britain

            6.  Battle of Yorktown (October 1781) – LAST BATTLE OF THE AMERICAN

                 REVOLUTION; with the help of the French navy and army, the Continental

                 Army defeats the British near Yorktown, Virginia; the British surrender ending

                 the American Revolution


      D. Results of the American Revolution

            1. Treaty of Paris 1783 – this is the treaty that ended the American Revolution

                a. What did the Treaty of Paris 1783 say?

                    1) The English colonies in American are independent from England are area 

                        new nation:  United States of America.

                    2) The treaty created the borders for the U.S.A.; which were!!:

                                    North – to the Great Lakes

                                    South – to, but not including, Florida

                                    West – to the Mississippi River

                                    East – to the Atlantic Ocean



Review:  Causes and Results of the American Revolution                          Name:



INSTRUCTIONS: Complete this assignment on a separate sheet of paper using your textbook,

class notes, complete homework and class work for reference.


VOCABULARY: Provide complete definitions for each of the following terms.


export                                                     import                                     subsistence farming                           

cash crop                                               diversity                                overseer                

mercantilism                                          apprentice                             speculator

literacy                                                   militia                                      patriot

loyalist                                                   tory                                         mercenary

guerrilla warfare                                    blockade                                committee of correspondence

triangular trade                                     smuggling                             writs of assistance

resolution                                              effigy                                      boycott

repeal                                                     propaganda                           minutemen

petition                                                  preamble                                ratify



PEOPLE: How did the following people contribute to, or work against, American independence from


George Washington                            Thomas Jefferson                                Thomas Paine                                      

John Adams                                          John Hancock                       George III                             

Samuel Adams                                      Benjamin Franklin                Benedict Arnold                                  

Marquis de Lafayette


MAIN IDEAS: Write your answer to the following questions in a complete sentence.

       1.     Place each of the following events into the correct order.

French and Indian War begins                          Treaty of Paris 1763

Declaration of Independence is written           Sugar Act passed

Stamp Act passed                                                Boston Massacre occurs   

Intolerable Acts passed                                      Boston Tea Party occurs   

Townshend Acts passed                                   Battle of Lexington and Concord     

Battle of Yorktown                                               Treaty of Paris 1783                                            

Tea Act is passed

2.     Give the name of the war fought in North America between England and France in the

        mid-1700’s.  Why did England and France fight this war?  Who won the war, England or


3.      What was the Iroquois Confederation?

4.     How did the Treaty of Paris 1763 change the lands controlled by England and France

        in North America?

5.     Why did the English decide to tax the American colonies after the French and Indian War?

6.     Why did the American colonists believe that the tax laws created by the English after the

        French and Indian War were illegal? 

7.     What is the name of England’s constitution?  What does England’s constitution say about


8.     What is meant by the phrase “no taxation without representation”?  List three tax laws that the

        colonists believed were illegal.

9.     List three actions taken by the colonists to show their opposition to English tax laws.

10.   Explain why the following battles are important in the history of the American Revolution:

Battles of Lexington and Concord                    Battle of Bunker Hill 

Battles at Trenton                                                Battle of Saratoga 

Battle of Yorktown 

11.   Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?  What does the Declaration of Independence say

        about the following items:

                        What rights are all men (and women) entitled to?

                        What is the purpose of government?

                        What should the people do if the government does not protect them?

12.   Who wrote the publications listed below?  Explain in what way each of  these publications

        influenced American public opinion during the American Revolution: 

                      Common Sense

               The Crisis

13.   Which European nation became an American ally during the American Revolution?

14.     What were the borders of the United States as created by the Treaty of Paris 1783?