American Revolution DBQ Before the American Revolution, as many know, was a period of time where the colonists were being controlled by the British. The British had complete control over almost everything but during the time period of 1750-1776, the colonists decided to show a sense of unity by working together as one to solve their nation’s problems and seeking their identity to gain their independence today. In the early 1750’s, the British were going through tough times within their country, thus they did not bother the colonies.
This was know as the Salutary neglect where Britain ignored the colonies in terms of distance, few British tax officials were going to the colonies, and the colonies were doing exactly what they were supposed to do as in trading. It was not until 1754 when Ben Franklin had proposed the Albany Plan of the Union where the delegates from all 13 colonies came to discuss and tried to form their own form of government, but it was later turned down by British.
This is one of the first steps towards unity in America.
Ben Franklin also proposed the “JOIN, or DIE” political cartoon as shown in Document A to provide this sense of unity. This cartoon was created to show a symbolic symbol as a start for the colonists to come together and created unity towards the British during predicaments such as being turned down on trying to form a government to provide self defense. After the French and Indian War occurred, everything that was set in the colonies, British came up with it. For example, after the French and Indian War, colonists decided to move westward thus created more conflict with Native Americans.
This conflict sparked a rebellion know as the Pontiac’s Rebellion in 1763 where Native Americans waged war on British generals which led to the Proclamation of 1763. The Proclamation prohibited settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains and the British decided to enforce taxes on the colonies due to the damages that were being done. Britain went into debt for years thus establishing troops into colonies and placed taxes to pay off debts. The first act that was established was the Sugar Act which hurt colonial trade by cutting import taxes on molasses and made good more expensive.
Many people in the colonies were furious about what the British had done to the colonies. In document B, in particular, Edmund Burke opposed the British rule. Burke showed a sense of identity and pointed out one particular thing that he wanted to tell the British. He said, “Govern America, as you govern an English town. ” This document showed notes he wrote for a Speech to give to the Parliament and wanted to show wanted America really is and demanded equality. Meaning America is the same as any English town, but overseas from Britain.
Throughout the years after the French and Indian war, acts such as the stamp act, Townshend act, and Declaratory act were enforced on the colonies. Sons of Liberty were formed due to the Stamp act because they wanted nothing to do with British and their harsh taxation. Another alliance that was created was the Stamp Act Congress. This Congress was organized in a way that they passed the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, stating Parliament couldn’t tax colonists. This show defined the colonies in two ways, unity by coming together, and identity showed what the colonies are capable of.
Later on, the Tea act was established 1773 which led to the Boston Tea party where colonists, dressed in Native American clothing, went aboard British ships and dumped all the tea. This lead to the intolerable acts where affected the colonies exports on trade. A year later in the late summer, the first continental congress was held. But before that, in document C, Richard Henry talked about the First Continental Congress and talked about how the colonists are uniting to fight against British rule. Henry said that “all of N. America is now most firmly united and as firmly resolved to defend their liberties ad infinitum against every power on Earth that may attempt to take them away. ” Thus leading to the first Continental Congress that came together consider handling the situation from the Intolerable Acts. As an result, they passed the Declaration and Resolves which states that natural rights was always granted to the people and couldn’t be taken away from the government. Another document that was passed was the Suffolk Resolves which pledge to continue nonimportation (a movement began to boycott British goods).
Although the country were still becoming more and more united, they still needed to work out the issues they still had. In document D, Mather Byles questioned his grandson. As a Tory preacher/poet, he asked, “which is better, to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away, or by three thousand tyrants not a mile away? ” This question showed that British rule still exist, not needed anymore, and showed that the colonies needed start forming and striving to get rid of that problem by being ruled by a small country.
This also showed a strive for their identity to becoming a nation. As this point, the colonists, or patriots, are further into their demand of becoming independent from British rule. The patriots finally come together as one and created the minutemen, a colonial militias, due to Britain sending troops to Boston to seize colonial weaponry. A battle broke up between the colonist and British in two different places, Lexington and Concord. This signified the first true American Revolution and showed that the colonists were capable of defending themselves.
After all the chaos, the colonists also supported each other, as shown in document G. Donations were made to Boston to give them relief such as live stocks, food, and money to repair the damages. A simple act like this shows a step towards Americans’ independence and identity that they are capable of supporting each other. The true identity came from the 2nd Continental Congress which served as the colonies first government. Delegates from all thirteen colonies came together and issued the Declaration for the Causes of Taking up Arms. Doc E) The Declaration was a second set of appeals to King George and British people to state the American grievances. The colonist wanted Britain to lessen their rule over the colonists. But later the Declaration of Independence was written by Benjamin Franklin to fight as a fight for freedom rather than being slaves.. The process over the years of the Revolution transformed from being fed by the mother country, Britain to their child, U. S. , being rebellious. (Doc F) But being rebellious was all part of growing up for the colonists. They wanted to move out and started being their own. Pring
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