The American Revolution EXTRA

AGE 7. The Time of Wigs and Revolutions
4.2 The American Revolution (1)
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This lesson contains 45 slides, with interactive quizzes and text slides.

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AGE 7. The Time of Wigs and Revolutions
4.2 The American Revolution (1)

Slide 1 - Slide

Slide 2 - Slide

What you will learn in 
this lesson
  • what the American colonists' grievances were towards Britain
  • how the colonists were influenced by Enlightenment ideas 
  • what patriots and loyalists were
  • which events would lead to the start of the American Revolution

Slide 3 - Slide

This lesson is about the "birth" of the United States of America.
Watch the short animation in the next slide...

Slide 4 - Slide

Slide 5 - Link

1a) Before there was a USA , there were only 13 colonies.
To which country did they belong?
The Dutch Republic

Slide 6 - Quiz

1b) Who do we mean when we speak of
the "American Colonists"?
People who lived in the British colonies in America
American people who lived in England
Americans who lived in the East Indies
Native Americans, or Indians

Slide 7 - Quiz

1c) What do you think Americans today celebrate on Independence Day?
The 13 colonies became 13 independent countries
The 13 colonies became independent from Britain
The 13 colonies were given more rights by Britain
Britain became independent from the 13 colonies

Slide 8 - Quiz

The 13 British colonies in America, set up at different times, had different laws, governments, even money.
They had regular disputes with each other, especially over borders. Yet, in 1775, they united to demand independence from Britain. Why? 

In the next slides you can read about
4 reasons why the American colonists wanted independence.

Slide 9 - Slide

  1. Enlightenment ideas

Enlightenment ideas meant that, while not all colonists wanted independence, they did want a say in how they were governed. 

The thinker John Locke wrote about a 'social contract' between governments and the people. Locke said people had a duty to overthrow unfair rulers. 

Slide 10 - Slide

2. British troops

British troops (the so-called "Red Coats") were stationed in the colonies, supposedly to protect them against invasion. 
The colonists had to pay their living expenses. 
British governors used them to police the colonists.

Slide 11 - Slide

3. Mercantilism

he British restricted free trade. 
Colonists could only trade with 
Britain (the motherland), using British ships. They had to pay duty on goods traded with each other.

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4. British Laws

Laws made in Britain applied to the colonies, but the colonists had no say in making these laws. 
Each colony had its own government, but had to obey a British governor. In the 1760s, Britain passed several laws that caused economic problems in the colonies.

Slide 13 - Slide

2a) To which of the previous 4 grievances can you link this colonist slogan?
Enlightenment ideas
British troops
British Laws

Slide 14 - Quiz

2b) Explain your choice of the previous question.

Slide 15 - Open question

explain the slogan "No Taxation without Representation"
The colonists needed to obey British law and pay taxes to Britain. But they had no say in how the colonies were ruled. They were not represented in British parliament.
They were angry about that.

Slide 16 - Slide

Things get worse

The colonists had always secretly traded (with each other and foreigners) without paying duty. They did far more of this after 1764. So the British passed laws allowing soldiers to search homes and warehouses at any time for 'smuggled goods. The colonists also boycotted British goods. In 1764, the colonies bought £2,250,000 worth of British goods. In 1765, this was down to £1,944,000. The British replied by increasing duties on sugar.

Slide 17 - Slide

3. To boycot a certain product means that you
refuse to buy this product
only buy this product
want to sell this product
don't want to sell this product

Slide 18 - Quiz

Breaking Point

In 1765, the British passed the Stamp Act. It taxed all 
paper - from official documents to playing cards. People said this showed the British would never give them more rights. There were demonstrations, many of them violent, against the tax all over the colonies. Colonists began to divide into Loyalists (loyal to Britain) and Patriots
The local governments of the colonies began to act 
as a group. They formed militia (see picture) and Patriot groups (Sons of Liberty) to work secretly against the British. 
Representatives from the states met at the Stamp 
Act Congress in New York in 1765. In October they 
published A Declaration of Rights and Grievances. It began with an assurance of loyalty to the British king, then set out the reforms they wanted.

Slide 19 - Slide

4a) What is an "Act"?
a contract
a punishment
a grievance
a law

Slide 20 - Quiz

4b) Loyalists were
British people who were loyal to the colonial governments
Colonists who were loyal to the Patriots
members of the Loyal Society
Colonists who were loyal to Britain

Slide 21 - Quiz

4c) Patriots were
British people who were loyal to the colonial governments
Colonists who opposed British rule
Colonists who were born in England
Colonists who were loyal to Britain

Slide 22 - Quiz

4d) What was a Militia?
the British army
the American colonial army
a temporary army of local people
merchants who sell weapons

Slide 23 - Quiz

4e) Who were the "Sons of Liberty"?
colonists who worked secretly against the British
colonists who worked secretly with the British
small boys whose mother was called "liberty"
people who wanted to free American slaves

Slide 24 - Quiz

4f) Which statement is true?
colonists were represented in British Parliament
The Stamp Act only taxed stamps
colonists were allowed to trade with foreigners
colonists demonstrated against British taxes

Slide 25 - Quiz

5. Compare the Declaration of Rights and Grievances
to the Union of Utrecht, signed 200 years earlier (see LU 5.8).
What similarities do you see? Write down 2 at least.

Slide 26 - Open question

Too little, too late

The Declaration was sent to the British in December 1765. British governors wrote frantic letters home about the riots and demonstrations. So the Stamp Act was repealed. But, in 1767, the British passed new laws putting duties on glass, oil, lead, paint and paper - all goods in everyday use that would go up in price. 
Bad feeling between the colonists and the British grew worse. There were regular demonstrations and outbreaks of violence against the British and their troops. 
Then, in 1770, British soldiers shot five unarmed civilians during a protest in Boston (see video). The Sons of Liberty reacted by more sabotage against British soldiers and ships. In 1773, they attacked and burned the Gaspée, a British ship. 
source A
The Bloody Massacre Perpetrated in King Street Boston on March 5th, 1770, a copper engraving by Paul Revere modeled on a drawing by Henry Pelham,1770.

Slide 27 - Slide

Slide 28 - Link

6. You watched the video of the Boston Massacre.
Explain how the events in the video differ from the painting.
Use elements from the painting to explain your answer.
Then write one sentence to express your view on the likely effect of the painting on the events that were to follow.

Slide 29 - Open question

painting Boston Massacre
In the video you saw that the British soldiers were ordered not to open fire. The soldiers felt threatened and intimidated by the shouting colonists.
One soldier fired in panick and the rest followed.

The painting shows unarmed colonists and soldiers who open fire as if ordered by their officer (holds up a stick like he gioves the order to open fire). It looks like an execution of innocent colonists.

When the painting spread it caused much anger with the colonists.

Slide 30 - Slide

The Boston Tea Party

In December 1773, three British ships reached Boston with cargoes of tea. 

On the evening of 16 December, over 100 Sons of Liberty, many disguised as Native Americans, boarded the ships and threw the tea overboard.

Slide 31 - Slide

Slide 32 - Link

Slide 33 - Link

7a) Why were many colonists who were involved in the Boston Tea Party dressed as indians?

Slide 34 - Open question

Why were many colonists who were involved in the Boston Tea Party dressed as indians?
They did not want to be recognised by the British

Slide 35 - Slide

7b) What did the colonists who dressed up as Indians
want to express?

Slide 36 - Open question

What did the colonists who dressed up as Indians want to express?
They wanted to show they felt more like Americans than British

Slide 37 - Slide

Reactions to the Boston Tea Party

When they heard about events in Boston, people in other ports started throwing tea into the sea. 

In 1774, the British passed the four 'Intolerable Acts'. 

1.) The Boston Harbor was closed. No ships could enter or leave. 
2.) Colonist could not hold town meetings whenever they wanted. They were only allowed 1 meeting per year. 
3.) British officials and soldiers accused of crimes would have their trials in England. 
4.) Citizens were forced to have soldiers sleep in their homes (Quartering Act). 
source A
The Bloody Massacre Perpetrated in King Street Boston on March 5th, 1770, a copper engraving by Paul Revere modeled on a drawing by Henry Pelham,1770.

Slide 38 - Slide


On 19 April 1775, the British army met at Lexington to march to Concorde and take the Patriot weaponry they thought was hidden there. 
The Lexington militia fired at them. 
The British moved on to Concorde where there was more fighting. Massachusetts was at war with Britain. The fighting spread to other colonies. What would happen next?

Slide 39 - Slide

8. Choose two events as "the start" of the American Revolution. Explain both choices.

Slide 40 - Open question

Summary 7.2

Slide 41 - Slide

Word Duty


independence: freedom from control by others
to boycot: refuse to buy or use something 
militia: temporary army of local people
patriots: a patriot is someone who loves his country. Patriots in this lesson were colonists who wanted their country to be free from the British.
loyalists: colonists who remained loyal to Britain
to billet: a government billets its troops when it makes people in the area provide rooms and food for them
sabotage: to secretly damage something
to repeal: to overturn a law

Slide 42 - Slide

Important dates in this lesson:

1770: Boston Massacre
1773: Boston Tea Party
1775: War between Britain and American colonists begins

Slide 43 - Slide

Write down a question about something from this lesson that you don't understand.

Slide 44 - Open question


Slide 45 - Slide