CHAPTER XX Chapter Title
hy It Matters
a Nation
American flag,
Revolutionary War
Washington Crossing
the Delaware
by Emanuel
Gottlieb Leutze
As you study Unit 3, you will learn
that the purpose of the Declaration
of Independence was to justify the
American Revolution and to explain
the founding principles of the new
nation. You will also learn that the
Constitution established a republic, in
which power is held by voting citizens
through their representatives.
Primary Sources Library
See pages 596–597 for primary source
readings to accompany Unit 3.
Use the American History
Primary Source Document Library
CD-ROM to find additional primary
sources about the American move
toward independence.
“Give me
liberty, or give
me death!”
—Patrick Henry, 1775
Road to
Why It Matters
A spirit of independence became evident early in the history of the American
people. Far from the established rules and restrictions they had faced in their
home countries, the new settlers began to make their own laws and develop
their own ways of doing things.
The Impact Today
The ideals of revolutionary America still play a major role in shaping the society
we live in. For example:
Americans still exercise their right to protest laws they view as unfair.
Citizens have the right to present their views freely.
The American Republic to 1877 Video The chapter 5 video,
“Loyalists and Tories,” portrays events leading up to the Revolutionary War
from a Loyalist’s point of view, as well as a Patriot’s.
Treaty of Paris
Rousseau publishes
The Social Contract
Mozart (aged
eight) writes
first symphony
Watt patents
steam engine
Russians destroy
Ottoman fleet
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Stamp Act protests
1766 1769
Boston Tea Party
Battles fought at Lexington
and Concord
Poland partitioned among
Russia, Prussia, and Austria
Louis XVI becomes
king of France
Chapter Overview
and click on Chapter 5—
Chapter Overviews to pre-
view chapter information.
Bunker Hill by Don Troiani Low on ammunition, Colonel William Prescott
gives the order, “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes.”
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
First Continental
Congress meets
Declaration of
Step 1 Fold one sheet of paper in half from
side to side.
Cause-and-Effect Study Foldable Make this
foldable to show the causes and effects of the
events that led the Americans to declare
independence from Great Britain.
Reading and Writing As you read this chapter,
fill in the causes (British Actions) and effects
(Colonial Reactions) in the correct columns of
your foldable.
Step 2 Fold again, 1 inch from the top.
(Tip: The middle knuckle of your index finger
is about 1 inch long.)
Step 3 Open and label as shown.
Fold the sheet
Draw lines
along the
fold lines.
of 1763
Parliament passes
Sugar Act
Parliament enacts
Stamp Act
Townshend Acts tax
colonial imports
Main Idea
The British government’s actions after
winning the French and Indian War
angered American colonists.
Key Terms
revenue, writs of assistance, resolu-
tion, effigy, boycott, nonimporta-
tion, repeal
Reading Strategy
Classifying Information British
actions created colonial unrest. As
you read Section 1, re-create the
diagram below and describe why
the colonists disliked these policies.
Read to Learn
why the British faced problems in
North America after the French and
Indian War.
why the American colonists
objected to new British laws.
Section Theme
Civic Rights and Responsibilities The
American colonists believed that new
British laws denied their civic rights.
Taxation Without
In 1763, the British government issued a proclamation ordering all settlement
beyond the Appalachian Mountains to stop. Yet, the fertile land of the west tempted
Americans to pull up stakes. Led by Daniel Boone and others, settlers spilled into western
New York, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Boone explored parts of Kentucky in the 1760s and
1770s and led settlers through the Cumberland Gap, which became part of the Wilderness
Road. Boone’s trail served as the main route for families moving west for many years.
Relations with Britain
After winning the French and Indian War, Great Britain controlled a vast
territory in North America. To limit settlement of this territory, Britain issued
the Proclamation of 1763. Parts of the land acquired through the Treaty of Paris
became the provinces of Quebec, East Florida, West Florida, and Grenada (a
combination of several Caribbean islands). Most importantly, the Proclamation
prohibited colonists from moving west of the Appalachian Mountains.
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
British action Colonists’ view
Proclamation of 1763
Sugar Act
Stamp Act
Preview of Events
Guide to Reading
St. Edward’s crown, worn
by George III
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Stopping western settlement provided sev-
eral advantages for Britain. It allowed the British
government, not the colonists, to control west-
ward movement. In this way, westward expan-
sion would go on in an orderly way, and conflict
with Native Americans might be avoided.
Slower western settlement would also slow
colonists moving away from the colonies on the
coast—where Britain’s important markets and
investments were. Finally, closing western set-
tlement protected the interests of British officials
who wanted to control the lucrative fur trade.
The British planned to keep 10,000 troops in
America to protect their interests.
These plans alarmed the colonists. Many
feared that the large number of British troops in
North America might be used to interfere with
their liberties. They saw the Proclamation of
1763 as a limit on their freedom. These two
measures contributed to the feeling of distrust
that was growing between Great Britain and its
The financial problems of Great Britain com-
plicated the situation. The French and Indian
War left Britain with a huge public debt. Des-
perate for new
revenue, or incoming money, the
king and Parliament felt it was only fair that the
colonists pay part of the cost. They began plans
to tax them. This decision set off a chain of
events that enraged the American colonists and
surprised British authorities.
Britain’s Trade Laws
In 1763 George Grenville became prime min-
ister of Britain. He was determined to reduce
Britain’s debt. He decided to take action against
smuggling in the colonies. When the colonists
smuggled goods to avoid taxes, Britain lost rev-
enue that could be used to pay debts.
Grenville knew that American juries often
found smugglers innocent. In 1763 he convinced
Parliament to pass a law allowing smugglers to
be sent to vice-admiralty courts. Vice-admiralty
courts were run by officers and did not have
juries. In 1767 Parliament decided to authorize
writs of assistance. These legal documents
allowed customs officers to enter any location to
search for smuggled goods.
300 kilometers
Lambert Equal-Area projection
300 miles
Gulf of Mexico
The Sugar Act
With a new law in place to stop smuggling,
Grenville tried to increase tax revenue. In 1764
Parliament passed the Sugar Act. The act low-
ered the tax on molasses imported by the
colonists. Grenville hoped the lower tax would
convince the colonists to pay the tax instead of
smuggling. The act also let officers seize goods
from smugglers without going to court.
The Sugar Act and the new laws to control
smuggling angered the colonists. They believed
their rights as Englishmen were being violated.
Writs of assistance violated their right to be
secure in their home. Vice-admiralty courts vio-
lated their right to a jury trial. Furthermore, in
trials at vice-admiralty courts, the burden of
Proclamation of 1763
Line of 1763
Other British
1. Place What natural feature marked the western bound-
ary of British territory?
2. Analyzing Information Who controlled the Louisiana
Territory in 1763?
proof was on defendants to prove their inno-
cence. This contradicted British law, which states
that the accused is “innocent until proved guilty.”
These measures alarmed the colonists. James
Otis, a young lawyer in Boston, argued that “no
parts of [England’s colonies] can be taxed with-
out their consent . . . every part has a right to be
represented.” In his speeches and pamphlets,
Otis defined and defended colonial rights.
Analyzing Why did Parliament pass
the Sugar Act?
The Stamp Act
In 1765 Parliament passed another law in an
effort to raise money. This law, the Stamp Act,
placed a tax on almost all printed material in the
colonies—everything from newspapers and
pamphlets to wills and playing cards. All printed
material had to have a stamp, which was applied
by British officials. Because so many items were
taxed, it affected almost everyone in the colonial
cities. Parliament also passed a law called the
Quartering Act. It forced the colonies to pay for
housing British troops in taverns, inns, vacant
buildings, and barns. Colonists were also
expected to provide food and drink. These laws
convinced many colonists of the need for action.
Opposition to these acts centered on two
Parliament had interfered in colo-
nial affairs by taxing the colonies directly.
In addition, it taxed the colonists without
their consent. In passing the Stamp Act
without consulting the colonial legisla-
tures, Parliament ignored the colonial
tradition of self-government.
Protesting the Stamp Act
A young member of the Virginia House
of Burgesses, Patrick Henry, persuaded
the burgesses to take action against the
Stamp Act. According to tradition, when
he was accused of treason, Henry replied,
“If this be treason, make the most of it!”
The Virginia assembly passed a
formal expression of opinion—declaring it had
“the only and sole exclusive right and power to
lay taxes” on its citizens.
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
In Boston Samuel Adams helped start an
organization called the Sons of Liberty. Mem-
bers took to the streets to protest the Stamp Act.
People in other cities also organized Sons of
Liberty groups.
Throughout the summer of 1765, protesters
effigies—rag figures—representing
unpopular tax collectors. They also raided and
destroyed houses belonging to royal officials
and marched through the streets shouting that
only Americans had the right to tax Americans.
The Stamp Act Congress
In October delegates from nine colonies met
in New York at the Stamp Act Congress. They
drafted a petition to the king and Parliament
declaring that the colonies could not be taxed
except by their own assemblies.
In the colonial cities, people refused to use the
stamps. They urged merchants to
refuse to buy—British and European goods in
protest. Thousands of merchants, artisans, and
farmers signed
nonimportation agreements. In
these agreements they pledged not to buy or use
goods imported from Great Britain. As the boy-
cott spread, British merchants lost so much busi-
ness that they begged Parliament to
repeal, or
cancel, the Stamp Act.
The Act Is Repealed
In March 1766, Parliament gave in
to the colonists’ demands and
repealed the Stamp Act. Yet the
colonists’ trust in the king and Par-
liament was never fully restored.
While the colonists celebrated
their victory over the Stamp Act,
Parliament passed another act on
the same day it repealed the
Stamp Act. The Declaratory Act
of 1766 stated that Parliament had
the right to tax and make decisions
for the British colonies “in all
cases.” The colonists might have won one battle,
but the war over making decisions for the colonies
had just begun.
Evaluating What role did Samuel
Adams play in colonial protests?
Revenue stamp
New Taxes
Soon after the Stamp Act crisis, Parliament
passed a set of laws in 1767 that came to be
known as the Townshend Acts. In these acts the
British leaders tried to avoid some of the prob-
lems the Stamp Act caused. They understood
that the colonists would not tolerate internal
taxes—those levied or paid inside the colonies.
As a result the new taxes applied only to
imported goods, with the tax being paid at the
port of entry. The goods taxed, however,
included basic items—such as glass, tea, paper,
and lead—that the colonists had to import
because they did not produce them.
By this time the colonists were outraged by
any taxes Parliament passed. They believed that
only their own representatives had the right to
levy taxes on them. The colonists responded by
bringing back the boycott that had worked so
well against the Stamp Act. The boycott proved
to be even more widespread this time.
Checking for Understanding
1. Key Terms Write sentences or short
paragraphs in which you use the fol-
lowing groups of terms correctly: (1)
revenue and writs of assistance;
(2) resolution, effigy, boycott,
and repeal.
2. Reviewing Facts State two reasons
for the deterioration of relations
between the British and the colonists.
Reviewing Themes
3. Civic Rights and Responsibilities
Why did the colonists think the writs
of assistance violated their rights?
Critical Thinking
4. Identifying Central Issues Why did
British policies following the French
and Indian War lead to increased
tensions with American colonists?
5. Determining Cause and Effect
Re-create the diagram below and
describe the effects of these British
Analyzing Visuals
6. Geography Skills Review the map
on page 133. The Proclamation of
1763 banned colonists from settling
west of the Appalachian Mountains.
Why did the British government want
to halt western movement?
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Persuasive Writing Write a letter
to the editor of a colonial news-
paper in which you attempt to
persuade fellow colonists to boy-
cott British goods. Use standard
grammar, spelling, sentence struc-
ture and punctuation.
Sugar Act
British Actions Effects
Stamp Act
Townshend Acts
Patrick Henry Before the Virginia House of
Burgesses by Peter F. Rothermel Patrick Henry
gave a fiery speech before the Virginia House of
Burgesses in 1765.
Why did Henry deliver
the speech?
History Through Art
Women took an active role in the protest
against the Townshend Acts. In towns through-
out the colonies, women organized groups to
support the boycott of British goods, sometimes
calling themselves the Daughters of Liberty.
They urged Americans to wear homemade fab-
rics and produce other goods that were avail-
able only from Britain before. They believed this
would help the American colonies become eco-
nomically independent.
Comparing How did the Town-
shend Acts differ from the Stamp Act?
Study Central
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Boston Massacre
takes place
Samuel Adams sets up a
committee of correspondence
Boston Tea
Party occurs
Parliament passes the
Intolerable Acts
Main Idea
As tensions between colonists and the
British government increased, protests
grew stronger.
Key Terms
propaganda, committee of
Reading Strategy
Organizing Information As you read
the section, re-create the diagram
below and describe how the Intolera-
ble Acts changed life for colonists.
Read to Learn
why Boston colonists and British
soldiers clashed, resulting in the
Boston Massacre.
how the British government tried to
maintain its control over the colonies.
Section Theme
Groups and Institutions Colonists
banded together to protest British laws.
Colonial Unity
In the spring of 1768, British customs officials in Boston seized the Liberty, a ship
belonging to John Hancock, a merchant and protest leader. The ship had docked in
Boston Harbor to unload a shipment of wine and take on new supplies. The customs
officials, however, charged that Hancock was using the ship for smuggling. As news of
the ship’s seizure spread through Boston, angry townspeople filled the streets. They
shouted against Parliament and the taxes it had imposed on them. The Liberty affair
became one of the events that united the colonists against British policies.
Trouble in Boston
Protests like the Liberty affair made British colonial officials nervous. In the
summer of 1768, worried customs officers sent word back to Britain that the
colonies were on the brink of rebellion. Parliament responded by sending two
regiments of troops to Boston. As angry Bostonians jeered, the newly arrived
“redcoats” set up camp right in the center of the city.
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
American protest banner
Preview of Events
Guide to Reading
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Many colonists, especially those living in
Boston, felt that the British had pushed them too
far. First the British had passed a series of laws
that violated colonial rights. Now they had sent
an army to occupy colonial cities.
To make matters worse, the soldiers stationed
in Boston acted rudely and sometimes even vio-
lently toward the colonists. Mostly poor men,
the redcoats earned little pay. Some of them
stole goods from local shops or scuffled with
boys who taunted them in the streets. The sol-
diers competed off-hours for jobs that Bostoni-
ans wanted. The townspeople’s hatred for the
soldiers grew stronger every day.
The Boston Massacre
Relations between the redcoats and the
Boston colonists grew more tense. Then on
March 5, 1770, the tension finally reached a
peak. That day a fight broke out between towns-
people and soldiers. While some British officers
tried to calm the crowd, one man shouted,
We did not send for you. We will not have you
here. We’ll get rid of you, we’ll drive you away!
The angry townspeople moved through the
streets, picking up any weapon they could
find—sticks, stones, shovels, and clubs. They
pushed forward toward the customshouse on
King Street.
As the crowd approached, the sentry on duty
panicked and called for help. The crowd
responded by throwing stones, snowballs, oyster
shells, and pieces of wood at the soldiers. “Fire,
you bloodybacks, you lobsters,” the crowd
screamed. “You dare not fire.”
After one of the soldiers was knocked down,
the nervous and confused redcoats did fire. Sev-
eral shots rang out, killing five colonists. One
Bostonian cried out:
Are the inhabitants to be knocked down in the
streets? Are they to be murdered in this manner?
Among the dead was Crispus Attucks, a
dockworker who was part African, part Native
American. The colonists called the tragic
encounter the Boston Massacre.
The Word Spreads
Colonial leaders used news of the killings as
propaganda—information designed to influence
opinion—against the British. Samuel Adams put
up posters describing the “Boston Massacre” as a
slaughter of innocent Americans by bloodthirsty
redcoats. An engraving by Paul Revere showed a
British officer giving the order to open fire on
an orderly crowd. Revere’s powerful image
strengthened anti-British feeling.
The Boston Massacre led many colonists to call
for stronger boycotts on British goods. Aware of
the growing opposition to its policies, Parliament
repealed all the Townshend Acts taxes except the
one on tea. Many colonists believed they had
won another victory. They ended their boycotts,
except on the taxed tea, and started to trade with
British merchants again.
Some colonial leaders, however, continued
to call for resistance to British rule. In 1772
Samuel Adams revived the Boston
committee of
an organization used in earlier
protests. The committee circulated writings about
colonists’ grievances against Britain. Soon other
committees of correspondence sprang up through-
out the colonies, bringing together protesters
opposed to British measures.
; (See page 596 of the
Primary Sources Library for readings about colonial resistance.)
Explaining How did the Boston
Massacre contribute to the repeal of the Townshend Acts?
The British soldiers never stood trial for the massacre.
Eight soldiers and the commanding officer at the Boston
Massacre were jailed and tried for murder. Many Patriots
thought it was an act of disloyalty to defend the soldiers.
The soldiers’ hopes for justice rested in the hands of
John Adams, who believed that even the enemy should
be given a fair trial. Two of the soldiers were found
guilty of manslaughter. The others were found not guilty
on grounds of self-defense. Some Patriots questioned
Adams’s loyalty; others argued that the trial showed
even the hated redcoats could receive a fair trial.
The Boston Massacre
A Crisis Over Tea
In the early 1770s, some Americans consid-
ered British colonial policy a “conspiracy
against liberty.” The British government’s
actions in 1773 seemed to confirm that view.
The British East India Company faced ruin. To
save the East India Company, Parliament passed
the Tea Act of 1773. This measure gave the com-
pany the right to ship tea to the colonies without
paying most of the taxes usually placed on tea. It
also allowed the company to bypass colonial mer-
chants and sell its tea directly to shopkeepers at a
low price. This meant that East India Company
tea was cheaper than any other tea in the colonies.
The Tea Act gave the company a very favorable
advantage over colonial merchants.
Colonial Demands
Colonial merchants immediately called for a
new boycott of British goods. Samuel Adams
and others denounced the British monopoly.
The Tea Act, they argued, was just another
attempt to crush the colonists’ liberty.
At large public meetings in Boston and Philadel-
phia, colonists vowed to stop the East India Com-
pany’s ships from unloading. The Daughters of
Liberty issued a pamphlet declaring that rather
than part with freedom, “we’ll part with our tea.”
Parliament ignored warnings that another cri-
sis was brewing. The East India Company
shipped tea to Philadelphia, New York, Boston,
and Charles Town. The colonists forced the
ships sent to New York and Philadelphia to turn
back. The tea sent to Charles Town was seized
and stored in a warehouse. In Boston, a show-
down began.
The Boston Tea Party
Three tea ships arrived in Boston Harbor in
late 1773. The royal governor, whose house had
been destroyed by Stamp Act protesters, refused
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
“Fellow countrymen,
we cannot afford to
give a single inch! If we retreat
now, everything we have done
becomes useless!”
— Samuel Adams,
December 1773
The Boston Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party is one of the significant events leading
ultimately to American independence.
Most of the Townshend Acts
are repealed. The tax
on tea remains.
In November 1773, the
citizens of Boston refuse to allow
three British ships to unload
342 chests of tea.
On the evening of
December 16, Boston citizens
disguised as Native Americans board
the ships and empty the tea
into Boston Harbor.
King George III and
Parliament respond by
closing the city port.
to let the ships turn back. When he ordered the
tea unloaded, Adams and the Boston Sons of
Liberty acted swiftly. On December 16, a group
of men disguised as Mohawks and armed with
hatchets marched to the wharves. At midnight
they boarded the ships and threw 342 chests of
tea overboard, an event that became known as
the Boston Tea Party.
Word of this act of defiance spread throughout
the colonies. Men and women gathered in the
streets to celebrate the bravery of the Boston Sons
of Liberty. Yet no one spoke of challenging British
rule, and colonial leaders continued to think of
themselves as members of the British empire.
The Intolerable Acts
When news of the Boston Tea Party reached
London, the reaction was quite different. King
George III realized that Britain was losing con-
trol of the colonies. Lord North, who became
prime minister in 1770 and was fiercely loyal to
King George, asked Parliament to take action
against the colonies. In the spring of 1774, Par-
liament passed the Coercive Acts, very harsh
laws intended to punish the people of Massachu-
setts for their resistance.
The Coercive Acts closed Boston Harbor until
the Massachusetts colonists paid for the ruined
tea. This action prevented the arrival of food and
other supplies that normally came by ship. Worse,
Checking for Understanding
1. Key Terms Use these terms in sen-
tences that relate to the Boston Mas-
propaganda, committee of
2. Reviewing Facts How did colonial
leaders use the Boston Massacre to
their advantage?
Reviewing Themes
3. Groups and Institutions Why were
the committees of correspondence
powerful organizations?
Critical Thinking
4. Drawing Conclusions Do you think
the Boston Tea Party was a turning
point in the relationship between the
British and the colonists? Explain.
5. Organizing Information Re-create
the diagram below and describe how
colonists showed their opposition to
British policies.
Analyzing Visuals
6. Picturing History Examine the
material about the Boston Tea Party
on page 138. What artifacts are
shown? When did the “tea party”
take place?
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Art Draw a cartoon strip showing
the story of the Boston Tea Party.
Use at least four cartoon frames to
present the sequence of events
from your point of view. Compare
your cartoon to a classmate’s and
describe his or her point of view.
Increased colonial opposition
the laws took away certain rights of the Massa-
chusetts colonists. For example, the laws banned
most town meetings, an important form of self-
government in New England. Another provision
permitted royal officers to be tried in other
colonies or in Britain when accused of crimes.
The Coercive Acts also forced Bostonians to
shelter soldiers in their own homes. Parliament
planned to isolate Boston with these acts.
Instead the other colonies sent food and clothing
to demonstrate their support for Boston. The
colonists maintained that the Coercive Acts vio-
lated their rights as English citizens. These
included the rights to no quartering of troops in
private homes and no standing army in peace-
time without their consent.
The Quebec Act, passed shortly after the
Coercive Acts, further angered the colonists.
This act set up a permanent government for
Quebec and granted religious freedom to French
Catholics. Colonists strongly objected to the pro-
vision that gave Quebec the area west of the
Appalachians and north of the Ohio River. This
provision ignored colonial claims to the area.
The feelings of the colonists were made clear by
their name for the new laws—the Intolerable
Summarizing List the effects of the
Coercive Acts on the citizens of Boston.
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Johnny Tremain
Esther Forbes (1891–1967)
Esther Forbes
wrote a number
of books; among
them is the
biography Paul
Revere and the
World He Lived In. As she
researched Paul Revere’s life,
Forbes learned that many young
apprentices played a role in the
American Revolution. Johnny
Tremain, a fictional work, tells
the story of such an apprentice.
In this passage from Johnny
Tremain, 14-year-old Johnny
and his friend Rab have dis-
guised themselves as Mohawks.
They join the crowd at Griffin’s
Wharf in Boston Harbor, where
three English ships carrying tea
are docked and are unable to
leave or unload their cargo.
boatswain: officer on a ship
warped: roped
jargon: strange language
hold: place where cargo is
stored on a ship
winch: machine for hauling
here was a boatswain’s
whistle, and in silence one
group boarded the Dart-
mouth. The Eleanor and the Beaver
had to be warped in to the wharf.
Johnny was close to Mr. Revere’s
heels. He heard him calling for the
captain, promising him, in the
jargon everyone talked that night,
that not one thing should be dam-
aged on the ship except only the
tea, but the captain and all his crew
had best stay in the cabin until the
work was over.
Captain Hall shrugged and did as
he was told, leaving his cabin boy to
hand over the keys to the hold. The
boy was grinning with pleasure. The
“tea party” was not unexpected. . . .
The winches rattled and the
heavy chests began to appear—one
hundred and fifty of them. As some
men worked in the hold, others
broke open the chests and flung the
tea into the harbor. But one thing
made them unexpected difficulty.
The tea inside the chests was
wrapped in heavy canvas. The axes
went through the wood easily
enough—the canvas made endless
trouble. Johnny had never worked
so hard in his life.
Then Mr. Revere called the cap-
tain to come up and inspect. The tea
was utterly gone, but Captain Hall
agreed that beyond that there had
not been the slightest damage.
It was close
upon dawn when
the work on all
three ships was
done. And yet
the great, silent
audience on the
wharf, men,
women, and chil-
dren, had not
gone home. As
the three groups
came off the
ships, they formed in fours along
the wharf, their axes on their shoul-
ders. Then a hurrah went up and a
fife began to play.
Excerpt from Johnny Tremain by Esther
Forbes. Copyright © 1943 by Esther Forbes
Hoskins, © renewed 1971 by Linwood
M. Erskine, Jr., Executor of the Estate of
Esther Forbes Hoskins. Reprinted by per-
mission of Houghton Mifflin Co. All rights
Paul Revere
1. Recall and Interpret Why was
the “tea party” expected?
2. Evaluate and Connect What
does the conduct of the “tea
party” participants suggest about
the protest? Explain your answer.
Interdisciplinary Activity
Expository Writing Write a
one-page paper about how you
think you would react in Johnny’s
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
At first few colonists wanted a complete break with Britain. One of the most popular
songs of the time, “The Bold Americans,” called for both liberty and continued loyalty
to the British king:
We’ll honor George, our sovereign, while he sits on the throne.
If he grants us liberty, no other king we’ll own.
If he will grant us liberty, so plainly shall you see,
We are the boys that fear no noise! Success to liberty.
As tensions mounted, however, a peaceful compromise was no longer possible.
The Continental Congress
Colonial leaders realized they needed more than boycotts to gain the liberty
they sang about in “The Bold Americans.” They needed the colonies to act
together in their opposition to British policies.
In September 1774, 55 men arrived in the city of Philadelphia. Sent as dele-
gates from all the colonies except Georgia, these men had come to establish a
political body to represent American interests and challenge British control.
They called the new organization the Continental Congress.
Main Idea
Colonial leaders met at Philadelphia
in 1774 to discuss a united response
to British policies. Seven months later
American and British troops met in
battle for the first time.
Key Terms
militia, minutemen, Loyalist, Patriot
Reading Strategy
Sequencing Information As you
read the section, re-create the dia-
gram below and list six events leading
to the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Read to Learn
what happened at the Continental
Congress in Philadelphia.
how the colonists met British
soldiers in the first battle.
Section Theme
Groups and Institutions With the
establishment of the Continental
Congress, the colonies continued to
A Call to Arms
Revolutionary War
drum and fife
Preview of Events
Guide to Reading
1) 2)
5) 6)
The Battle of
Bunker Hill
3) 4)
September 1774
First Continental
Congress meets
April 19, 1775
Battles of Lexington and
Concord are fought
May 10, 1775
Ethan Allen captures
Fort Ticonderoga
June 17, 1775
Battle of Bunker
Hill is fought
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Delegates to the Congress
Major political leaders from all the colonies
attended the Congress. Massachusetts sent fiery
Samuel Adams and his younger cousin John
Adams, a successful lawyer. New York sent
John Jay, another lawyer. From Virginia came
Richard Henry Lee and Patrick Henry, two of
the most outspoken defenders of colonial rights,
as well as George Washington.
Patrick Henry summed up the meaning of the
The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylva-
nians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders are no
more. . . . I am not a Virginian, but an American.
Decisions of the Congress
Although the delegates were hardly united
in their views, they realized they needed to
work together. First they drafted a statement of
grievances calling for the repeal of 13 acts of
Parliament passed since 1763. They declared
that these laws violated the colonists’ rights.
Their rights were based on the “laws of nature,
the principles of the English constitution, and
the several charters” of the colonies. The dele-
gates also voted to boycott all British goods
and trade. No British products could be
brought into or consumed in the colonies, and
no colonial goods could be shipped to Britain.
One of Congress’s major decisions was to
endorse the Suffolk Resolves. These resolu-
tions had been prepared by Bostonians and
others who lived in Suffolk County, Massa-
chusetts. They called on the people of Suf-
folk County to arm themselves against the
British. The people responded by forming
militias—groups of citizen soldiers. Many
wondered if war was coming. The answer
came the following spring.
Explaining What was the purpose
of the Continental Congress?
The First Battles
Colonists expected that if fighting against the
British broke out, it would begin in New Eng-
land. Militia companies in Massachusetts held
frequent training sessions, made bullets, and
stockpiled rifles and muskets. Some companies,
known as
minutemen, boasted they would be
ready to fight on a minute’s notice. In the winter
of 1774–1775, a British officer stationed in
Boston noted in his diary:
The people are evidently making every
preparation for resistance. They are taking every
means to provide themselves with arms.
Britain Sends Troops
The British also prepared for conflict. King
George announced to Parliament that the New
England colonies were “in a state of rebellion”
and said that “blows must decide” who would
control America. By April 1775, British general
Sir Thomas Gage had several thousand soldiers
under his command in and around Boston, with
many more on the way. Gage had instructions to
Relations between Britain and America worsened during
the 1760s and the 1770s.
Analyzing Information Why did the colonists fight for
A long war with Great Britain
Self-government for the United
World recognition of United
States independence
Colonists’ tradition of self-
Americans’ desire for a separate
identity from Britain
Proclamation of 1763
Harsh British policies toward North
America after 1763
3 kilometers
Lambert Equal-Area projection
3 miles
Revere captured;
Dawes turned back.
April 19, 1775
April 19, 1775
North Bridge
“Stand your ground . . . if they mean
to have a war, let it begin here!”
—Captain John Parker, Lexington Militia
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Colonial messengers
Colonial troops
British troops
British victory
American victory
The Battles of Lexington and Concord
1. Location In which battle did the Americans win their first
victory over the British?
2. Analyzing Information About how many miles did
the British troops march from Lexington to Concord?
people and houses he passed along the way.
When he reached Lexington, he raced to tell
Adams and Hancock his news. Adams could
barely control his excitement. “What a glorious
morning this is!” Adams was ready to fight for
American independence.
Fighting at Lexington and Concord
At dawn the redcoats approached Lexington.
When they reached the center of the town they
discovered a group of about 70 minutemen who
had been alerted by Revere and Dawes. Led by
Captain John Parker, the minutemen had posi-
tioned themselves on the town common with
muskets in hand. A minuteman reported,
There suddenly appeared a number of the
King’s troops, about a thousand . . . the fore-
most of which cried, ‘Throw down your arms,
ye villains, ye rebels.’
A shot was fired, and then both sides let loose
with an exchange of bullets. When the fighting
was over, eight minutemen lay dead.
take away the weapons of the Massachusetts
militia and arrest the leaders.
Gage learned that the militia was storing arms
and ammunition at Concord, a town about 20
miles northwest of Boston. He ordered 700 troops
under Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Smith to
to Concord, where you will seize and destroy
all the artillery and ammunition you can find.
Alerting the Colonists
On the night of April 18, 1775, Dr. Joseph War-
ren walked the streets of Boston, looking for any
unusual activity by the British army. He saw a
regiment form ranks in Boston Common and
then begin to march out of the city.
Warren rushed to alert Paul Revere and
William Dawes, leading members of the Sons of
Liberty. Revere and Dawes rode to Lexington, a
town east of Concord, to warn Samuel Adams
and John Hancock that the British were coming.
Revere galloped off across the moonlit coun-
tryside, shouting, “The regulars are out!” to the
The British troops continued their march to
Concord. When they arrived there, they discov-
ered that most of the militia’s gunpowder had
already been removed. They destroyed the
remaining supplies. At Concord’s North Bridge,
the minutemen were waiting for them.
Messengers on horseback had spread word of
the British movements. All along the road from
Concord to Boston, farmers, blacksmiths, saddle
makers, and clerks hid behind trees, rocks, and
stone fences. As the British marched down the
road, the militia fired. A British officer wrote,
“These fellows were generally good marksmen,
and many of them used long guns made for
duck shooting.” By the time the redcoats
reached Boston, at least 174 were wounded and
73 were dead.
Looking back, the poet Ralph Waldo Emer-
son wrote in “The Concord Hymn” that the
Americans at Lexington and Concord had fired
the “shot heard ’round the world.” The battle
for America’s independence from Great Britain
had begun.
Describing What tactics did the
colonists use against the British troops on their march back
from Concord to Boston?
More Military Action
Shortly after Lexington and Concord, Benedict
Arnold, a captain in the Connecticut militia, was
authorized to raise a force of 400 to seize Fort
Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain. Ticonderoga
was not only strategically located but was rich in
military supplies. Arnold learned that Ethan
Allen was also mounting an expedition in Ver-
mont to attack the fort. Arnold joined with
Allen’s force, known as the Green Mountain
Boys, and together they caught the British by sur-
prise. The garrison surrendered on May 10, 1775.
Later during the war, Arnold conspired to
surrender the key fort of West Point to the
British and led British raids against the Amer-
icans in Virginia and Connecticut. Arnold
became a general in the British army.
Building Forces
After the battles of Lexington and Concord,
the committees of correspondence sent out calls
for volunteers to join the militias. Soon the colo-
nial militia assembled around Boston was about
20,000 strong. For several weeks, the American
and British armies waited nervously to see who
would make the next move.
A View of the Town of Concord, 1775 by an
unknown artist Two British officers (left) search
for fleeing minutemen, while British troops march
through Concord.
Why did the British march to
Lexington and Concord?
History Through Art
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
The Battle of Bunker Hill
On June 16, 1775, about 1,200 militiamen
under the command of Colonel William Prescott
set up fortifications at Bunker Hill and nearby
Breed’s Hill, across the harbor from Boston.
The British decided to drive the Americans
from their strategic locations overlooking the
city. The next day the redcoats crossed the har-
bor and assembled at the bottom of Breed’s Hill.
Bayonets drawn, they charged up the hill. With
his forces low on ammunition, Colonel Prescott
reportedly shouted the order, “Don’t fire until
you see the whites of their eyes.” The Americans
opened fire, forcing the British to retreat. The
redcoats charged two more times, receiving furi-
ous fire. In the end the Americans ran out of
gunpowder and had to withdraw.
The British won the Battle of Bunker Hill but
suffered heavy losses—more than 1,000 dead
and wounded. As one British officer wrote in his
diary, “A dear bought victory, another such
would have ruined us.” The British had learned
that defeating the Americans on the battlefield
would not be quick or easy.
Choosing Sides
As American colonists heard about these bat-
tles, they faced a major decision. Should they join
the rebels or remain loyal to Britain? Those who
chose to stay with Britain, the
Loyalists, did not
consider unfair taxes and regulations good rea-
sons for rebellion. Some remained loyal to the
king because they were officeholders who
would lose their positions as a result of the Rev-
olution. Others were people who lived in rela-
tive isolation and who had not been part of the
wave of discontent that turned so many Ameri-
cans against Britain. Still others expected Britain
to win the war and wanted to gain favor with
the British. The
Patriots, on the other hand, were
determined to fight the British to the end—until
American independence was won.
Describing What did the British
learn from the Battle of Bunker Hill?
Checking for Understanding
1. Key Terms One of the following
terms does not belong with the other
three. Identify the term that does not
belong and explain why. Terms:
tia, minutemen, Loyalist, Patriots.
2. Reviewing Facts What decisions
were made by the First Continental
Reviewing Themes
3. Groups and Institutions Why did
the Continental Congress pass a res-
olution to form militias?
Critical Thinking
4. Making Inferences What reasons
might Loyalists have had to support
Great Britain?
5. Comparing Re-create the diagram
below and list the differing beliefs of
Patriots and Loyalists and those
shared by both.
Analyzing Visuals
6. Chart Skills Review the cause-
and-effect chart on page 142. What
event in 1763 was significant to the
independence movement?
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Expressive Writing Write a one-
act play in which a small group of
ordinary men, women, and chil-
dren in a small town react to news
of the Battle of Lexington. Remem-
ber that reactions varied from
colony to colony and that not all
colonists wanted independence
from Great Britain.
The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought on Breed’s Hill.
Most of the fighting did actually take place on Breed’s Hill.
The Patriot soldiers received instructions to set up defen-
sive positions on Bunker Hill. For reasons that are
unclear, they set up the positions on nearby Breed’s Hill.
The Battle of Bunker Hill
Patriots LoyalistsBoth
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Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking
Distinguishing Fact From Opinion
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Why Learn This Skill?
Suppose a friend says, “Our school’s basket-
ball team is awesome. That’s a fact.”
Actually, it is not a fact; it is an opinion.
Knowing how to tell the difference
between a fact and an opinion can help
you analyze the accuracy of political
claims, advertisements, and many other
kinds of statements.
Learning the Skill
A fact answers a specific question such as:
What happened? Who did it? When and where did it
happen? Why did it happen? Statements of fact can
be checked for accuracy and proven.
An opinion, on the other hand, expresses beliefs,
feelings, and judgments. Although it may reflect
someone’s thoughts, we cannot prove or disprove it.
An opinion often begins with phrases such as I
believe, I think, probably, it seems to me, or in my
opinion. It often contains words such as might,
could, should, and ought and superlatives such as
best, worst, and greatest. Judgment words that
express approval or disapprovalsuch as good,
bad, poor, and satisfactoryalso usually indicate
an opinion.
To distinguish between facts and opinions, ask
yourself these questions:
Does this statement give specific information
about an event?
Can I check the accuracy of this statement?
Does this statement express someone’s feelings,
beliefs, or judgment?
Does it include phrases such as I believe,
superlatives, or judgment words?
Practicing the Skill
Read each numbered statement below. Tell
whether each is a fact or an opinion, and explain
how you arrived at your answer.
Paul Revere rode to Lexington with the news that
the British redcoats were coming.
The redcoats were the most feared soldiers
in the world at that time.
The Daughters of Liberty opposed the Tea Act
of 1773.
The Boston Tea Party raiders should have sunk
the tea ships.
George III was a foolish king.
Paul Revere’s ride
Applying the Skill
Distinguishing Fact from Opinion Analyze 10
advertisements. List at least three facts and three
opinions presented in the ads.
Skillbuilder Interactive
Workbook CD-ROM, Level 1,
instruction and practice in key social
studies skills.
Main Idea
The Second Continental Congress
voted to approve the Declaration of
Key Terms
petition, preamble
Reading Strategy
Organizing Information As you read
the section, re-create the diagram
below and describe the parts of the
Declaration of Independence.
Read to Learn
what happened at the Second Con-
tinental Congress.
why the colonists drafted the Decla-
ration of Independence.
Section Theme
Government and Democracy The
Declaration of Independence declared
the colonies free and independent.
Moving Toward
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Preview of Events
Guide to Reading
Parts of the Declaration
of Independence
May 10, 1775
Second Continental
Congress meets
July 1775
The Congress sends Olive
Branch Petition to George III
March 1776
George Washington takes
Boston from the British
July 4, 1776
Declaration of
Independence is approved
In June 1776, delegates to the Second Continental Congress came to a momentous
decision. They agreed to have a committee draw up a document declaring America’s
independence from Great Britain. The committee included Thomas Jefferson, John
Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, and Robert Livingston. Jefferson later
recalled that “[the committee members] unanimously pressed on myself along to
undertake [the writing]. I consented . . .” On July 4, 1776, one of the world’s most
important political documents was adopted. In it Americans made a commitment as
Lincoln later stated in the Gettysburg Address, “to the proposition that all men are
created equal.” In the twentieth century, Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister
of India, called the Declaration of Independence a “landmark in human freedom.”
Colonial Leaders Emerge
On May 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress assembled for the first
time. Despite the fighting at Lexington and Concord, many members of Con-
gress were not yet prepared to break away from Great Britain.
Adams and Jefferson
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Continental Colors, 1775–1777 The Continental Colors,
or Grand Union flag, was the first to represent all the
colonies. Its 13 stripes stood
for the thirteen colonies. The
crosses represented the British
flag and symbolized the
colonists’ loyalty to Great
Britain at that time.
America’s Flags
The Second Continental Congress acted as a central government for the colonies.
The delegates to the Second Continental Con-
gress included some of the greatest political lead-
ers in America. Among those attending were
John and Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, Richard
Henry Lee, and George Washington—all dele-
gates to the First Continental Congress held in
1774. Several distinguished new delegates came
as well.
Benjamin Franklin, one of the most accom-
plished and respected men in the colonies, had
been an influential member of the Pennsylvania
legislature. In 1765, during the Stamp Act Crisis,
he represented the colonies in London and
helped secure the repeal of the act.
John Hancock of Massachusetts, 38 years old,
was a wealthy merchant. He funded many
Patriot groups, including the Sons of Liberty.
The delegates chose Hancock as president of the
Second Continental Congress.
Thomas Jefferson, only 32 when the Congress
began, had already acquired a reputation as a
brilliant thinker and writer. As a member of the
Virginia House of Burgesses, Jefferson had
become associated with the movement toward
The Second Continental Congress began to
govern the colonies. It authorized the printing of
money and set up a post office with Franklin in
charge. It established committees to communi-
cate with Native Americans and with other
countries. Most important, the Congress created
the Continental Army to fight against Britain in
a more organized way than the colonial militias
could. On John Adams’s recommendation, the
Congress unanimously chose George Washing-
ton to be the army’s commander.
After Washington left to take charge of the
colonial forces in Boston, the delegates offered
Britain one last chance to avoid all-out war. In
July the Congress sent a
petition, or formal
request, to George III. Called the Olive Branch
Petition, it assured the king of the colonists’
desire for peace. It asked the king to protect the
Born into a comfort-
able Massachusetts
household, Abigail Smith
spent her youth reading
and studying. At age 19
she married 28-year-old
lawyer John Adams, who
became a leader in the
independence movement.
Through her letters to
family and friends, Abi-
gail left us a record of
her thoughts about the
revolution as it devel-
oped. She also shared
her hopes for the new
As Congress consid-
ered a declaration of inde-
pendence, she teasingly
—but seriously—wrote
to her husband:
“I long to hear that
you have declared an inde-
pendency . . . I desire
you would Remember the
Ladies, and be more gener-
ous and favorable to them
than your ancestors.”
Their correspondence
during the times they
spent apart showed a
thoughtful exchange of
ideas and a strong
respect for one another.
Abigail Adams would
later become the second
of the new nation’s first
colonists’ rights, which Parliament seemed
determined to destroy. George III refused to
receive the Olive Branch Petition. Instead he
prepared for war, hiring more than 30,000 Ger-
man troops to send to America and fight beside
British troops.
The Colonies Take the Offensive
Meanwhile the Congress learned that British
troops stationed in what is now Canada were
planning to invade New York. The Americans
decided to strike first. Marching north from
Fort Ticonderoga, a Patriot force captured
Montreal in November. An American attack on
Quebec led by Benedict Arnold failed, how-
ever. The American forces stayed outside the
city of Quebec through the long winter and
returned to Fort Ticonderoga in 1776.
Washington reached Boston in July 1775, a
few weeks after the Battle of Bunker Hill. He
found the members of the militia growing in
number every day, but he realized they lacked
discipline, organization, and leadership. He
began the hard work of shaping these armed
civilians into an army.
By March 1776, Wash-
ington judged the Conti-
nental Army ready to
fight. He positioned the
army in a semicircle
around Boston and gave
the order for its cannons
to bombard the British
forces. The redcoats,
under Sir William Howe, hurriedly withdrew
from the city and boarded their ships. On
March 17 Washington led his jubilant troops
into Boston. The British troops sailed to Halifax,
Nova Scotia.
Moving Toward Independence
Throughout the colonies in late 1775 and early
1776, some Americans still hoped to avoid a com-
plete break with Britain. Support for the position
of absolute independence was growing, however.
In January 1776, Thomas Paine published a
pamphlet called Common Sense that captured
the attention of the American colonists. In bold
language, Paine called for complete independ-
ence from Britain. He argued that it was simply
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Student Web Activity
and click on Chapter 5—
Student Web Activities
for an activity on the Dec-
laration of Independence.
“common sense” to stop following the “royal
brute,” King George III. Paine told the colonists
their cause was not just a squabble over taxes
but a struggle for freedom—“in a great measure
the cause of all mankind.” Common Sense
inspired thousands of Americans.
; (See page 596 of
the Primary Sources Library for another excerpt from Common Sense.)
Explaining Why was Thomas Paine
important to the independence movement?
The Colonies Declare
At the Second Continental Congress in
Philadelphia, the meeting hall was filled with
spirited debate. One central issue occupied the
delegates: Should the colonies declare them-
selves an independent nation, or should they
stay under British rule?
In April 1776, North Carolina instructed its
delegates to support independence. On June 7
Virginia’s Richard Henry Lee proposed a bold
That these United Colonies are, and of right
ought to be, free and independent States . . .
and that all political connection between them
and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to
be, totally dissolved.
The Congress debated the resolution. Some
delegates still thought the colonies were not
ready to form a separate nation. Others argued
that war already had begun and a large portion of
the American population wanted to separate
from Great Britain. Still others feared Great
Britain’s power to hold down the rebellion.
While the delegates debated the issue, the
Congress chose a committee to draft a Declara-
tion of Independence. Jefferson was selected
to write the document. Jefferson drew on the
ideas of thinkers such as English philosopher
John Locke to set out the colonies’ reasons for
proclaiming their freedom. Locke wrote that
people were born with certain natural rights to
life, liberty, and property; that people formed
governments to protect these rights; and that a
government interfering with these rights might
rightfully be overthrown.
On July 2, 1776, the Congress finally voted on
Lee’s resolution for independence. Twelve
colonies voted for it. New York did not vote but
later announced its support. Next the delegates
took up Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of
Independence. After making some changes,
they approved the document on July 4, 1776.
John Hancock, the president of the Congress,
was the first to sign the Declaration of Indepen-
dence. Hancock remarked that he wrote his
name large enough for King George to read it
without his glasses. Hancock’s bold signature
stands out on the original document. Eventually
56 delegates signed the paper announcing the
birth of the United States.
Copies of the Declaration went out to the
newly declared states. Washington had it read
to his troops on July 9. In New York American
soldiers tore down a statue of George III in cel-
ebration. In Worcester, Massachusetts, the read-
ing of the Declaration of Independence was
followed by “repeated huzzas [cheers], firing of
musketry and cannon, bonfires, and other
demonstrations of joy.”
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Thomas Jefferson prepared the draft of the Declara-
tion, while Benjamin Franklin and John Adams made
Why is July 2, 1776, a historic day?
The Declaration of Independence
The Declaration has four major sections. The
preamble, or introduction, states that people who
wish to form a new country should explain their
reasons for doing so. The next two sections list
the rights the colonists believed they should have
and their complaints against Britain. The final
section proclaims the existence of the new nation.
The Declaration of Independence states what
Jefferson and many Americans thought were
universal principles. It begins with a description
of traditional English political rights.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that
all men are created equal, that they are
endowed by their Creator with certain unalien-
able Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty,
and the pursuit of Happiness.
The Declaration states that government exists
to protect these rights. If it does not, it goes on to
state that “it is the Right of the People to alter or
to abolish it and to institute new Government.”
The Declaration goes on to list the many
grievances Americans held against the king and
Parliament. The crimes of George III included
“cutting off our trade with all parts of the
world” and “imposing taxes on us without our
consent.” Americans, the Declaration says, had
“Petitioned for Redress” of these grievances.
These petitions, however, were ignored or
rejected by Britain.
The Declaration ends by announcing Amer-
ica’s new status. Now pledging “to each other
our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor,”
the Americans declared themselves a new nation.
The struggle for American independence—the
American Revolution—had begun.
; (See pages
154–157 for the entire text of the Declaration of Independence.)
Summarizing What grievances
against King George III were included in the Declaration of
Checking for Understanding
1. Key Terms Connect the terms below
with the proper document. Then write
a sentence in which you use each
term. Terms:
petition, preamble.
Documents: Declaration of Indepen-
dence, Olive Branch Petition
2. Reviewing Facts What was King
George III’s response to the Olive
Branch Petition?
Reviewing Themes
3. Government and Democracy Why
was the Second Continental Congress
more like a government than the First
Continental Congress?
Critical Thinking
4. Analyzing Primary Sources Based
on the quote from the Declaration of
Independence on this page, what are
the “unalienable Rights” to which
Jefferson referred? Give examples.
5. Organizing Information Re-create
the diagram below and describe each
individual’s role in the movement
toward independence.
Analyzing Visuals
6. Picturing History Compare the flag
on page 148 with the flag on page
128. How are the two flags similar?
How are they different? Which of the
flags more closely resembles the
American flag of today?
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Expository Writing Prepare a
help-wanted ad to locate a person
qualified to write the Declaration
of Independence. Describe the
responsibilities of the job as well as
the experience and character traits
that are needed.
Congress voted for independence on July 4, 1776.
Actually, Congress voted for independence on July 2,
1776. Why, then, is Independence Day celebrated on the
fourth? On that day the delegates voted to accept Jeffer-
son’s statement, the Declaration of Independence, as
the reason why they had voted for independence two
days earlier.
Independence Day
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Paine
Samuel Adams
Benjamin Franklin
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Charles Town
St. Augustine
1. How do you think the geography of the colonies
made communication difficult?
2. Near what cities did the early battles take place?
IN THE EARLY 1770s most colonists thought of them-
selves as British subjects. However, they also thought of
themselves as Virginians or Georgians or New Yorkers.
It wasn’t until colonists began to unite in opposition to
harsh British policies that they began to consider them-
selves Americans.
In 1772 Samuel Adams convinced a group of
Bostonians to join a Committee of Correspondence
to communicate with other towns in Massachusetts.
Soon, the idea spread. In colony after colony, Ameri-
cans joined Committees of Correspondence. In this
era before radios or telephones, the committees spread
opposition to British policies into nearly every county,
town, and city.
In 1774 delegates gathered at the Continental Congress
in Philadelphia to form an organization to represent their
interests as Americans. In addition to stating their griev-
ances and voting to boycott British products, the Patriots
decided to organize their own militias.
The Revolutions first blow fell early on the morning of
April 19, 1775. British redcoats clashed with colonial min-
utemen at Lexington and Concord. This clash, later called
the “shot heard round the world, was the first battle of
the Revolutionary War. The Battle of Bunker Hill in June
showed that the war would be hard, long, and expensive
on both sides.
Proclamation Line of 1763
American Revolution
Post road
British fort or post
Scale varies in this perspective
The Continental
Army was organized
in May 1775.
(District of Massachusetts)
Ft. Crown Point
Ft. Ticonderoga
New Haven
New Bern
New York City
The British Army occupied more than 70
forts and posts in North America when
the American Revolution began.
Post riders and Patriots carried mail along
routes called post roads. From New York
City, a rider could travel to Charles Town,
South Carolina, in 16 days or less, to
Williamsburg in 4 to 8 days, or to Boston
in one day.
Battle of Concord
Mill Pond
Tea Party
1/2 mile
1/2 kilometer
In Congress, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration
of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one
people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with
another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and
equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle
them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they
should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
[Declaration of Natural Rights]
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these
ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute
new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing
its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their
Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments
long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and
accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to
suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the
forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and
usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to
reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to
throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future
[List of Grievances]
Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now
the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Gov-
ernment. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of
repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establish-
ment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be
submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary
for the public good.
The Declaration of Independence
impel force
endowed provided
despotism unlimited power
usurpations unjust uses of power
What It Means
The Preamble The Declaration
of Independence has four parts.
The Preamble explains why the
Continental Congress drew up
the Declaration.
What It Means
Natural Rights The second part,
the Declaration of Natural Rights,
lists the rights of the citizens.
It goes on to explain that, in
a republic, people form a gov-
ernment to protect their rights.
The Declaration refers to these
rights as unalienable rights. The
word unalienable means non-
transferable. An unalienable right
is a right that cannot be sur-
What It Means
List of Grievances The third
part of the Declaration lists the
colonists’ complaints against the
British government. Notice that
King George III is singled out for
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and press-
ing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should
be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend
to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large dis-
tricts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Repre-
sentation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable
to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfort-
able, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole
purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with
manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others
to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation,
have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining
in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and
convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that
purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to
pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions
of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent
to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their
offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of
Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
The Declaration of Independence
relinquish give up
inestimable priceless
annihilation destruction
convulsions violent disturbances
Naturalization of Foreigners process
by which foreign-born persons
become citizens
tenure term
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the
Consent of our legislature.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to
the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to
our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to
their acts of pretended legislation:
For quartering large bodies of troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders
which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring
Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its
Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for
introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and
altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislature, and declaring themselves invested
with Power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protec-
tion and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and
destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to
compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with
circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most bar-
barous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas
to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their
friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeav-
oured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Sav-
ages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of
all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in
the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only
by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act
which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free People.
Nor have We been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have
warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an
unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the cir-
cumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to
their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the
ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would
inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have
been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore,
acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them,
as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
The Declaration of Independence
quartering lodging
render make
abdicated given up
perfidy violation of trust
insurrections rebellions
petitioned for redress asked
formally for a correction of
unwarrantable jurisdiction
unjustified authority
consanguinity originating from
the same ancestor
[Resolution of Independence
by the United States]
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in
General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the
world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Author-
ity of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare,
That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Inde-
pendent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British
Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of
Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and
Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace,
contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and
Things which Independent States may of right do.
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Pro-
tection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives,
our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
The Declaration of Independence
John Hancock
President from
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton
North Carolina
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll
of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean
New York
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
New Hampshire
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Matthew Thornton
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
Roger Sherman
rectitude rightness
What It Means
Resolution of Independence
The final section declares that
the colonies are “Free and
Independent States” with the
full power to make war, to form
alliances, and to trade with
other countries.
What It Means
Signers of the Declaration The
signers, as representatives of the
American people, declared the
colonies independent from Great
Britain. Most members signed
the document on August 2, 1776.
Reviewing Key Terms
Write five true and four false statements using the terms
below. Use only one term in each statement. Indicate
which statements are true and which are false. Below each
false statement explain why it is false.
1. revenue 4. propaganda 7. Patriot
2. boycott 5. militia 8. preamble
3. repeal 6. minutemen 9. unalienable
Reviewing Key Facts
10. What did the British do to keep colonists from moving
11. How did the British government use the colonies to
raise revenue? Why did this anger the colonists?
12. What incident caused the British Parliament to pass
the Coercive Acts?
13. What was the purpose of the First Continental Congress?
14. How did the events of 1776 move the colonists closer to
15. According to the Declaration of Independence, if a gov-
ernment does not protect the basic rights of the people
it governs, what do people have the right to do?
16. Identify the four sections of the Declaration of
Critical Thinking
17. Drawing Conclusions Why did the colonists think
that the Stamp Act ignored the colonial tradition of
Organizing Information Re-create the diagram below
and show ways the colonists, by working in groups,
resisted the British during the revolutionary period.
Analyzing Primary Sources What did Patrick Henry
mean when he said, “I am not a Virginian, but an
Analyzing Information According to the Declaration
of Independence, what are the three basic freedoms
to which every person is entitled?
Group action
by colonists
Road to Independence
Follow the arrows to review the causes and the effects
that led to the colonies declaring independence.
French and Indian War leaves Great Britain in
Effect: Britain taxes colonies; Parliament passes Sugar
Act and Stamp Act Becomes Cause
Effect: Colonists boycott British goods Becomes
Effect: British send troops to Boston, resulting in the
Boston Massacre Becomes Cause
Effect: British repeal import taxes
Becomes Cause
Effect: Colonists respond with Boston Tea Party
Becomes Cause
Effect: Parliament passes the Coercive Acts
Becomes Cause
Effect: First Continental Congress drafts a statement of
grievances Becomes Cause
Effect: British troops fight colonists at battles of Lexing-
ton and Concord; British defeat colonial forces at Bunker
Congress signs Declaration of Independence
Self-Check Quiz
Visit and click on Chapter 5—
Self-Check Quizzes to prepare for the chapter test.
Directions: Choose the best
answer to the following question.
Test Practice
Economics Activity
31. How did laws passed by the British after 1763 affect
American trade and industry? Write your answer in a
one-page paper.
Alternative Assessment
32. Persuasive Writing What do you think a good citizen is?
Is it someone who follows the law? Or might it be some-
one who breaks the law in order to stand up for an ideal?
Do you think that people like the Sons of Liberty acted
as good citizens? Write a persuasive paper explaining
your views.
Read the following passage and choose the best
answer to the question that follows.
An English philosopher named John Locke wrote
about his belief that people had natural rights.
These included the right to life, liberty, and prop-
erty. In Two Treatises of Government, Locke wrote
that people created government to protect natural
rights. If a government failed in its basic duty of pro-
tecting natural rights, people had the right to over-
throw the government.
Locke’s ideas contributed to the
A Proclamation of 1763.
B Intolerable Acts.
C Declaration of Independence.
D Articles of Confederation.
Test-Taking Tip:
Look for clues in the passage to support your answer.
For example, the passage refers to life, liberty and
property. It also states that people had the right to
overthrow the government. Which answer does
this information best support?
Practicing Skills
Distinguishing Fact From Opinion Read the following state-
ments. Tell whether each is a fact or an opinion.
21. Great Britain should not have tried to stop the colonists
from settling west of the Appalachians.
22. The Stamp Act placed a tax on almost all printed material
in the colonies.
23. The Daughters of Liberty urged Americans to wear home-
made fabrics.
24. Thomas Jefferson was a better writer than John Adams.
Geography and History Activity
Study the map on page 133; then answer the following
25. What bodies of water did the Proclamation of 1763 pre-
vent colonists from reaching?
26. What nation claimed the land west of the Mississippi River?
27. The land west of the Appalachian Mountains became part
of what province?
28. What natural feature was cited in the Proclamation of
1763 as an approximate boundary?
Citizenship Cooperative Activity
29. Work with a group of classmates to create your own
“Declaration of Independence.” Use the original Declara-
tion of Independence on pages 154–157 as a guide to
create your document. Outline the basic freedoms that
you expect to have as a citizen and describe why these
freedoms are important to you. Then write at least three
responsibilities and/or sacrifices that citizens should be
willing to make to enjoy the freedoms you listed. After
your group has completed its Declaration of Indepen-
dence, have the groups come together as a class. Share
all the groups’ documents and compare the ideas
expressed in each.
Technology Activity
30. Using the Internet On the Internet, locate the computer
address for the National Archives or the Library of Con-
gress in Washington, D.C. Search each site for documents
concerning the drafting of the Declaration of Indepen-
dence and/or photos of pamphlets produced by the
colonies in the 1700s. Print a copy of what you find or
sketch a likeness to share with the class.
CHAPTER 5 Road to Independence
Test Practice