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72 Cards in this Set

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A political body governed by its own elected representatives.


A union of sovereign powers in which each unit retains the power to control its own local affairs.


The policy of extending a nation's sovereignty to include possessions beyond the boundaries of the nation (colonies). In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, this was directly associated with mercantilism.

Loyalists (Tories)

Americans who, for many and varied reasons, remained loyal to the king and were called Tories by American Whigs. The name Tory came from the English political faction that supported the king and was less willing to see Parliament (especially the House of Commons) rise to power. American Tories rejected this classification, calling themselves Loyalists instead. In fact, some Loyalists argued that the real threat to liberty was not the king and Parliament, but groups, such as the Sons of Liberty, that carried out their programs through threats and violence. By opposing such people, the Loyalists contended, they were the ones who stood firm against arbitrary rule and for representative government--in short, that they were the true Whigs.

new colonial system

The system that emerged after 1763 (although there is evidence that the change was taking place in the 1740s) when the British government decided to reorganize the colonial system on more efficient (and profitable) lines. What it did was to alter the relationship between colonies and the mother country, stressing the supremacy of the latter just at the time that most North American provinces were feeling more secure and self-confident than ever before. Characterized by a series of acts that not only taxed the colonies, but also attempted to enforce collection, this "new" system stood in stark contrast to the "old" and raised fears in the colonies that if these actions were not opposed, even worse would follow. From the British standpoint, however, the "new colonial system" was simply an effort to get the colonies to pay for their own administration and to discourage the illegal trade that had flourished during the period of salutary neglect--neither of which concept the mother country felt was unreasonable.

old colonial system

The period extending from the mid-seventeenth century to the mid- eighteenth century, characterized by the acts, regulations, and enforcement institutions used by Britain to govern its colonies. Influenced by the theory of mercantilism, England first tried to direct colonial commerce through the mother country and regulate it through the Board of Trade and Plantations. But finding that the colonies (and, as a result, the empire) prospered under a less restrictive system, England eased enforcement, and the policy of "salutary neglect" (neglect for the good of all) emerged. It has been argued that had the British not altered this policy during and after the Great War for the empire, the American Revolution might not have taken place as it did, so content were the colonists with the economic freedom and relative self-government that the "old colonial system" provided.


A government in which, as in a democracy, the power to govern lies with the people, but the people exercise this power through elected representatives. Colonial elites distrusted this form as well, especially when low qualifications to vote threatened to allow mass participation. Nevertheless, this system was more acceptable than direct democracy was. For example, examine the colonial legislatures.

right of revolution

A concept found in the writings of John Locke which holds that if a government denies its people their natural rights, those people have the right--indeed, the duty--to rise up against the oppressive government, overthrow it (by force if necessary), and establish a more responsive government in its place. This, Locke contended, was what had taken place during the Glorious Revolution. It was also, Thomas Jefferson later contended, what brought about the American Revolution.


Large French estates. Such seigneuries along the bank of the St. Lawrence river helped to create the boundary line of French settlement before the Seven Years’ War.


Supreme power, independent of and unlimited by any other force, as in a sovereign state.


The name given the English political faction responsible for the Glorious Revolution. Basing its power in Parliament, it opposed arbitrary rule by the monarch, calling instead for the country to be governed by the representatives chosen by those people qualified to vote (essentially an electorate limited to the upper-class males). In America, many who protested against England's new colonial system adopted the name Whig, to indicate that they, too, opposed arbitrary rule and believed that government should rest in the hands of the people's representatives. Their point, however, was that the British government (specifically Parliament at first and later the king) was attempting to govern without legitimate authority and that the true representatives of the people in the colonies were the colonial assemblies. In this way, colonial opponents of British policies called attention to their belief that their protests were part of the tradition of opposition to tyranny on which the very government they protested claimed to have been founded.

The Albany Plan (1754)

A proposal to create a unified government for the Thirteen Colonies, suggested by Benjamin Franklin, then a senior leader (age 48) and a delegate from Pennsylvania, at the Albany Congress in July 1754 in Albany, New York. More than twenty representatives of several northern and mid-Atlantic colonies had gathered to plan their defense related to the French and Indian War, the front in North America of the Seven Years' War between Great Britain and France. The Plan represented one of multiple early attempts to form a union of the colonies "under one government as far as might be necessary defense and other general important purposes." It failed.

Seven Years' War (1756-1763)

It was fought between 1754 and 1763, the main conflict occurring in the seven-year period from 1756 to 1763. It involved most of the great powers of the time and affected Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines. The two major opponents were Great Britain and France.


A person of mixed European and black descent, especially in the Caribbean. In lower Mississippi there were plantations owned by these people of mixed French and local blood.

The Iroquois Confederacy

The Five Nations, was an alliance of five, later six, American Indian tribes—the Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora—located in modern-day New York state.

King William's War

First of four Anglo-French conflicts that was also fought in the colonies. This clash was between 1689-1697 that produced only a few indecisive clashes between the English and French in northern New England.

Queen Anne's War

The Anglo-French clash was the second in a series of four French and Indian Wars fought between France and England. It started in 1701 and lasted 12 years. A part of the larger War of the Spanish Succession ... France allied wtih Spain against the British.

The Treaty of Utrecht

Peace treaty of the Queen Anne's War signed in 1713. It transferred substantial territory from France to the English in North America including Acadia (Nova Scotia) and Newfoundland.

King George's War

The third Anglo-French clash (1744-1748) in a series of four French and Indian Wars fought between France and England. New Englanders captured the French bastion at Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island (in today's Nova Scotia.) It was given back to the French in the peace treaty.

George Washington

Inexperienced young American colonel sent by the governor of Virginia to defend the western frontier from French expansion (Fort Duquesne) into the Ohio Valley. Captured at his own Fort Necessity.

Fort Necessity (1754)

George Washington's crude stockade in the Ohio Valley, staging ground for Virginian attack on French at Fort Duquesne, the beginning of the French & Indian War.

Fort Duquesne

A fortification established by the French in 1754, at the convergence point of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers forming the Ohio river. The resulting tension started the French and Indian War.

French and Indian War (1754-1763)

This fourth Anglo-French conflict (1754–1763) was the North American theater of the worldwide Seven Years' War. The war was fought between the colonies of British America and New France, with both sides supported by military units from their parent countries of Great Britain and France, as well as Native American allies.

William Pitt (1708-1778)

The Prime Minister of England during the French and Indian War. He increased the British troops and military supplies in the colonies, and this is why England won the war. He force unpopular actions on the colonists including forced "impressment" of colonists into the army, seized supplies from local farmers and compelling colonists to offer shelter to British troops without compensation.


The act in which men are captured and forced into military or naval service.

Jeffrey Amherst

A English general who was a prime contributor to the British victory over the French in Canada in the French and Indian War. Captured the fortress of Louisbourg in July 1758. The French army formally surrendered to him in 1760 at Montreal.

James Wolfe

The British general whose success in the Battle of Quebec won Canada for the British Empire. Even though the battle was only fifteen minutes, Wolfe was killed in the line of duty during this famous sneak attack. This was a decisive battle in the French and Indian War.

Marquis de Montcalm

The French commander of the forces in North America during the Seven Years' War. He was killed at the Battle of Quebec.

Siege of Quebec

The fall of this French colonial capital in 1759 marked the beginning of the end of the American phase of the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War.)

Peace of Paris

It was signed on 10 February 1763 by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement, after Britain's victory over France and Spain during the Seven Years' War. The French ceded to Great Britain all territory in North America east of the Mississippi. All territory west of the Mississippi went to Spain.

King George III (r. 1760-1820)

Crowned in 1760, his reign destabilized the British government because he was determined to reassert the authority of the monarchy and had serious intellectual and psychological limitations.

George Grenville (1712-1770)

Prime Minister of Great Britain (1763-1765) who believed the colonists should be compelled to pay a part of the cost of defending and administering the empire. Mutiny Act of 1765, Sugar Act of 1764, Currency Act of 1764, and Stamp Act of 1765 --- all provoked widespread opposition in the American colonies

Pontiac (Pontiac's Rebellion)

An Ottawa war chief who became noted for his role in the coming war (1763–1766), an American Indian struggle against British military occupation of the Great Lakes region. He created an alliance of Indian Tribes in the upper Ohio Valley to strike at invading English frontiersmen.

The Proclamation of 1763

A proclamation from the British government which forbade British colonists from settling west of the Appalacian Mountains, and which required any settlers already living west of the mountains to move back east.

The Sugar Act of 1764

An act that raised tax revenue in the colonies for the crown. It also increased the duty on foreign sugar imported from the West Indies while lowering the duty on molasses. It also established new vice-admiralty courts to try accused smugglers.

The Currency Act of 1764

This law required that the colonial assemblies stop issuing paper money.

The Mutiny or Quartering Act of 1765

This act required the colonists to help provision and maintain the army, and it was made by the Greenville ministry to try and increase their authority in the American colonies.

The Stamp Act of 1765

This act imposed a tax on every printed document in the colonies: newspapers, almanacs, pamphlets, deeds, wills, licenses.

The Paxton Boys (1764)

A band of Pennsylvania frontiersmen that descended from Philadelphia in 1763, to demand tax relief and financial support for the defense against the Indians.

Patrick Henry

A colonial leader that made a dramatic speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses in May 1765. This speech ended with a vague prediction that if the present policies were not revised, George III, like many other tyrants, might lose his head. At first cries of treason broke out, but ended when he introduced his set of resolutions. Only some were passed.

"Virginia Resolves"

The set of resolutions that was introduced by Patrick Henry in the Virginia House of Burgesses. In them it was declared that Americans had to same rights as the English, especially the right to only be taxed by their own representatives; that Virginians should pay no taxes except those voted by the Virginia assembly; and that anyone advocating the right of Parliament to tax Virginians should be seen as an enemy to the colony. These resolutions were printed and circulated.

James Otis

A colonial leader in Massachusetts that persuaded his fellow members of the colonial assembly to call an intercolonial congress to take action against the Stamp Act. In October 1765, they met in New York as the Stamp Act Congress, which they called themselves, and they had delegates from nine different colonies. They sent a petition to the British government in which congress denied that the colonies could rightfully be taxed except through their own provincial assemblies.

Sons of Liberty

In the summer of 1765, mobs were rising up everywhere in several different colonial cities, this was the biggest of these mobs and they were located in Boston. The men in this group terrorized stamp agents and burned stamps. They also attacked a pro-British lieutenant governor, Thomas Hutchinson, and destroyed his house.

Thomas Hutchinson

The pro-British lieutenant governor in Boston whose elegant house was pillaged and virtually destroyed by the Sons of Liberty. They did this to him because he supposedly supported the Stamp Act. However, he secretly opposed it, but when it became a British law he felt obliged to support it.

Declaratory Act

An act pushed through by the new prime minister in England, the Marquis of Rockingham, and it confirmed parliamentary authority over the colonies "in all cases whatsoever." The colonies were too busy rejoicing over the repeal on the Stamp Act that they barley noticed this new declaration of Parliament's power.

Charles Townshend (1725-1767)

The chancellor for Lord Chatham, the man who took office over Rockingham, but once he was in office he was incapacitated by mental illness most the time, so most of the leadership fell to Charles. When he began in office he had to deal with a lot of grievances from the Greenville ministry, and now that the Stamp Act was repealed the colonists biggest grievance was with the Mutiny Act of 1765, which required the colonists to provide shelter and supplies for British troops. The colonists didn't have a huge problem in doing so, but just with the fact that London was forcing them to, so the Massachusetts and New York assemblies went so far as to refuse. He responded to this by disbanding the New York Assembly until they agreed to oblige by the Mutiny Act. He also imposed new taxes, known as the "Townshed Duties", on various goods that were imported such as lead, paint, paper, and tea. He assumed that since these taxes were on "external" goods only that the colonists wouldn't object.

Internal Taxes

Taxes which arose out of activities that occurred "internally" within the colonies. The Stamp Act was considered an internal tax, because it taxed the colonists on legal transactions they undertook locally. Many colonists and Englishmen felt that Parliament did not have the authority to levy internal taxes on the colonies.

External Taxes

Taxes arose out of activities that originated outside of the colonies, such as customs duties. The Sugar Act was considered an external tax, because it only operated on goods imported into the colonies from overseas. Many colonists who objected to Parliament's "internal" taxes on the colonies felt that Parliament had the authority to levy external taxes on imported goods. Townshend assumed these taxes would not create objections from the colony.

Townshend Duties of 1767

A series of measures introduced into the English Parliament by Chancellor of the Exchequer Charles Townshend in 1767, these new colonial taxes imposed duties on glass, lead, paints, paper and tea imported into the colonies. American response was to boycott of British goods subject to the duties.

Captain Thomas Preston

British officer, a captain who served in Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He commanded some troops in the Boston Massacre in 1770 and was tried for murder, but he was acquitted.

Boston Massacre (1770)

This was on March 5, 1770, when a group of dockworkers began pelting rocks and snowballs at the sentries at the customs house. The Captain, Thomas Preston, lined up several men in front of the building to protect it. Their was scuffling and one of the soldiers fell to the ground, then shots were fired into the crowd and five people were killed. Locals then transformed the accident that was a result of confusion and panic into something that was completely awful. A man named Paul Revere portrayed this event as a calculated assault on a peaceful crowd. What happened was blown up everywhere and the soldiers were tried before a jury of Bostonians and were found guilty on manslaughter and given token punishment.

Samuel Adams

The leading figure in fomenting public outrage over the Boston Massacre. He argued that England had become a morass of sin and corruption. Also in 1772, he proposed that the creation of a "committee of correspondence" in Boston to publicize the grievances against England.

Committee of Correspondence

This group was proposed in 1772, by Samuel Adams in Boston. Its purpose was to publicize the grievances against England. After this proposal many other colonies were inspired to follow Massachusetts lead, and soon a loose inter-colonial network of political organizations was established this kept the spirit of dissent alive through the 1770s.

"country Whigs"

Inspired American revolution as British citizens themselves who felt excluded from power and considered the existing system corrupt and oppressive. They drew their ideas from John Locke framing a powerful argument against their own British government. Early activists in the colonies called themselves "Whigs", seeing themselves as in alliance with the political opposition in Britain, until they turned to independence and started emphasizing the label Patriots.

Virtual and Actual Representation

The theory of virtual representation, according to the English constitution was that the members of Parliament did not represent individuals or particular geographical areas, instead each member represented the whole nation's interests and the entire empire, this including the colonies. Even though many members of the Parliament were not elected by any of the colonists. The Americans, however, drawing from their experiences with town meetings and colonial assemblies, believed in actual representation. This was representation for every community and the representatives being elected by the members of that community. They felt this was better suited for the colonies and that their assemblies were like the Parliament for England.


A British schooner that, in 1772, was boarded by angry colonists of Rhode Island, set on fire, and was sank. This act was the result of frustration among the colonists about the Navigation Acts, and it wasn't the first form of rebellion.

Lord North

Prime Minister of Great Britain (1770-1782) who hoped to end the American boycott, repealed all the Townshend Duties except the tea tax.

The Tea Act of 1773

This act was passed because in 1773, Britain's East India Company was sitting on large stocks of tea that they couldn't sell. They were on the verge of bankruptcy, so in effort to save it this act was passed by the government. This act gave the company the right to export its merchandise directly to the colonies without paying any of the regular taxes that were imposed on the colonial merchants, who had normally been the middleman in this transaction. With this the company was able to undersell American merchants and monopolize the tea trade. This act angered the colonist and reminded them of why they hated taxation without representation. The colonists responded by boycotting tea.

Daughters of Liberty

A women's patriotic organization that was committed to agitating against British policies. They were particularly important to the boycott movement and proclaimed " rather than Freedom, we'll part with our Tea."

The Boston Tea Party

An act that occurred in rebellion to the tea act in late 1773. Many leaders in colonies planned to prevent the East India Company from landing its cargoes in colonial ports. So colonies like New York and Philadelphia they kept the tea from leaving the ships, and in Charleston, colonists stored it in a public warehouse. This even occurred in Boston, however, on December 16, 1773. Companies of about fifty men each, disguised as Mohawk Indians, went aboard three ships and dumped all the tea into the harbor. Electrifying news of this event inspired other colonies to stage similar acts of resistance.

The Coercive or Intolerable Acts of 1774

Also known as the "Intolerable Acts," was what Parliament used in retaliation to the Boston Tea Party. These acts closed the port of Boston, which reduced the powers of self-government in Massachusetts. They also permitted royal officers in America to be tried in other colonies of England when accused of crimes. Finally they forced the providing of quartering of troops by the colonists. These acts were followed by the Quebec Act, and not only isolated Massachusetts, but made them seen as a martyr to the rest of the colonies, sparking new resistance up and down the coast.

First Continental Congress (1774)

Met in 1774, in Philadelphia, with delegates from all the colonies except for Georgia. This congress made five major decisions. The first was rejecting the the plan for a colonial union under British authority. Second, they endorsed a relatively moderate statement of grievances, sent to the king, whom they addressed as "Most Gracious Sovereign." In this they also asked for the repeal of all the acts since 1763. Third, they approved a series of resolutions recommending that military preparations be made for defense against possible attack by the British troops in Boston. Fourth, they agreed to a series of boycotts that they hoped would stop all trade with Great Britain. A "Continental Association" was formed to see that these agreements were enforced. Finally, the delegates agreed to meet again in the following spring.

Conciliatory Propositions

A series of measures drawn up by Lord North, that were approved in 1775. Parliament proposed that the colonies would tax themselves at Parliament's demand. In doing so, Lord North hoped to separate American moderates, whom he believed represented the views of the majority. His offers, however, were too late and didn't reach America until after the first shots of war had been fired.


Private colonists who independently organized to form well-prepared militia companies self-trained in weaponry, tactics and military strategies from the American colonial partisan militia during the American Revolutionary War. Volunteers ready to fight on a minute's notice.

General Thomas Gage

A British General known for his service in the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. In Boston in 1775, he had received intelligence that Concord, Massachusetts, was being used to store weapons for the colonists. He sent a troop to march there, leading to a skirmish that was the start of the American Revolution.

Lexington and Concord (1775)

Lexington was the town that Samuel Adams and John Hancock, rebel leaders, were supposedly in the vicinity of. Concord, a town 18 miles from Boston, was where the minutemen had stored a large supply of gunpowder. Lexington was also they place that General Thomas Gage, command of the British garrison, sent 1,000 troops on April 18, 1775, in hopes of surprising the colonists and seizing their weapons without any bloodshed. When the British arrived in Lexington, minutemen were waiting for them on the town common, and shots were fired; eight killed and ten wounded. After this the British advanced to Concord to gain the supplies, but upon the arrival they discovered that the Americans had hastily removed most of the powder supply. First shots by the Americans were called the "shots heard 'round the world."

William Dawes

One of two Boston patriot horsemen that rode out the night before the British arrived in Lexington and Concord and warned the villages and farms. He escaped the British and returned to Boston.

Paul Revere

One of two Boston patriot horsemen that rode out the night before the British arrived in Lexington and Concord and warned the villages and farms. He was captured by the British. Known later for the famous "midnight ride."

Major Thomas Pitcairn

British commander at Battle of Lexington and Concord who shouted "Disperse, ye rebels!" Killed later at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Regulator Movement (1771)

An uprising in the British North America's Carolina colonies, lasting from about 1765 to 1771, in which citizens took up arms against colonial officials. Though the rebellion did not change the power structure, some historians consider it a catalyst to the American Revolutionary War

Non-Importation Agreement (1768)

A formal collective decision made by Boston based merchants and traders not to import or export items to Britain. The agreement, essentially a boycott, was a series of agreed upon commercial restrictions the colonists put in place with regard to trade with the mother country. The decision for the agreement came about as a way to protest and combat the 1767 Townshend Revenue Act. - See more at: http://www.bostonteapartyship.com/boston-non-importation-agreement#sthash.DZObvtel.dpuf


Continental paper money that was really promissory notes. Very weak.