Tuesday, September 14, 2004

American Revolution Map links


The stationing of troops in Boston aggravated an already tense situation. On March 5, 1770, a platoon of British soldiers fired on some Americans who had been harassing them, killing five. The British soldiers were tried, and defended by Boston radicals John Adams and Josiah Quincy, and their acquittal made good propaganda for the American cause, showing that in America, even the British received a fair trial.

"The Bostonian's Paying the Excise-Man, or Tarring and Feathering." Anti-British tax protest print of 1774.

North America, 1775

Tuesday Sept. 14 : War and Revolution II

U.S. HISTORY AT THE HIGHLANDS AT PITTSFORD
Fall 2004
Tuesday Sept. 14 : War and Revolution II

The Revolutionary Period, 1764 to 1775

DURING THE REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD, American colonists began to rethink their position within the British Empire. Colonists also began to rethink their own identities—were they loyal British subjects, or were they "Americans"? Colonists were frustrated by England’s replacement of “salutary neglect” with a new and intrusive, possiblytyrannous interest in the colonies, and were blocked from access to new land (Indians' lands) by the frontier restriction of 1763. Americans’ initial resistance to specific measures gradually turned into overt hostility & into a movement for separation from the mother country.

American public life was transformed in these years by numerous discussions of equality & “inalienable rights.” The political revolution gave the American colonists (elites, artisans, working people, immigrant minorities, and even women and slaves) hope for a better life, and seemed to promise the spread of certain privileges & rights previously reserved for elites. In the process, colonists developed a sense of a shared American identity, and, for a while, a community of interests.

I. The Rise of American Resistance

A. The Offensive Acts of the British

1. British policy: to raise revenue, pay war debt
  • American views: taxes to raise revenue rather than regulate trade becomes constitutional issue

2. From 1760 on:

  • “Writs of Assistance”: General search warrants issued without “cause for suspicion” allowing British revenue officers to enter & ransack buildings & homes in which smuggled goods were suspected to be.
  • 1764: Sugar Act, a tax on imported sugar & molasses a threat to distillers & businessmen.

3. 1765: The Stamp Act (Act I of the American Revolution)
Stamp Act protest: http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer_pol_hist/thumbnail20.html

  • First direct internal tax levied upon American colonies! A tax on Newspapers, almanacs, diplomas, marriage certificates, all legal documents
  • Instant response: fear, suspicionis this the first of a series of assaults on liberty?

4. Response in 1765: Stamp Act Congress convened

  • First inter-colonial meeting, summoned to discuss opposition to Act, publishes a "Declaration of Rights & Grievances:”
  • No Taxation Without Representation in English Parliament
  • Colonies enter into Non-Importation Agreements (boycotts)

B. Colonists become Sons and Daughters of Liberty

1. Secret orgs. led by Paul Revere, Samuel Adams et al.

  • Sons of Liberty begin program of intimidation & sabotage
  • Colonial women form "Daughters of Liberty" groups in the 1760s boycotted goods and signed petitions

2. 1765: Patrick Henry’s “If This Be Treason” speech stirs up Virginia assembly

3. 1766: Stamp Act compromise

  • Act repealed, but a Declaratory Act is issued, asserting Parliament’s absolute right to lay taxes on colonies "in all cases whatsoever."
  • New British policy: to raise revenue & repress colonial disobedience.

C. More Offensive Acts!

1. 1767: Townshend Act: Taxes lead, glass, paint, & tea, reorganizes vice-admiralty court system, makes colonial governors independent of legislatures, suspends NY legislature, creates army of customs collectors

  • New Non-Importation Agreements ensure that these taxes produce little revenue
  • Townshend taxes repealed, except for Tax on Tea

2. 1768: 4,000 British troops dispatched to Boston!

  • This is seen as occupation by foreign troops: Nobody likes it.

Paul Revere's Ride!

Beginnings of Revolt

II. From “English” to “Americans”

A. Protests:

  • Boycotting, petitions, threats, bodily harm, tarring & feathering tax collectors involve both
    men & women

1. Women take a leading role in boycotting, signing petitions, & arousing public opinion for the American cause.

  • Women hold spinning marathons to produce at home cloth & other goods formerly imported
  • Non-importation doesn’t work very well; the real results are in the sphere of public opinion
  • Americans hold mock funerals for “Liberty,” hanging in effigy of tax collectors & other "evildoers"

2. Colonists begin to redefine their identity as “American,” rather than “English”

  • They contrast American "virtue" with Old World "corruption"

III. A Spate of “Intolerable” Acts !

Boston Tea Party: http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer_pol_hist/thumbnail22.html
Boston in Distress: http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer_pol_hist/thumbnail24.html

A. 1770: the Boston Massacre

  • March 5: Five Colonials shot to death in Boston town by British soldiers. A mob of
    men & boys taunt a British sentry standing guard at Boston customs house. British soldiers come to his support; a free-for-all ensues, & shots are fired into the crowd.
  • Crispus Attucks, an African American, former slave, is one of the slain
    Paul Revere, engraver & Son of Liberty, rushes out an inflammatory engraving of the Boston Massacre

B. Boston Tea Interlude
Tea, Tar, & Feathers: http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer_pol_hist/thumbnail25.html

  • 1773: Tea Act grants East India Tea Co. a monopoly on tea trade in the Americas.
  • Dec. 16th: Boston Tea Party: Thomas Hutchinson, Mass. Governor, insists on unloading tea cargoes, despite Sons of Liberty boycott. Samuel Adams denounces Governor before thousands of Bostonians & farmers for denying clearance for vessels returning their tea cargoes. 50 citizens dressed as Indians board ships in the harbor & toss 90,000 lbs of tea.

C. 1774: Coercive Acts (or Intolerable Acts)

  • Boston Port Act: Port closed, until East India Co. is compensated for lost tea
  • Massachusetts Government Act: Royal governor will appoint all officials, sheriffs, juries, & control govt.
  • Administration of Justice Act: British soldiers cannot be tried in the colonies for crimes committed there.
  • Quartering Act: British soldiers may be quartered anywhere in the colonies

D. Quebec Act, 1774

  • Parliament passes this detested law establishing Roman Catholicism as Quebec’s official religion.
  • This Act confirms Protestant colonists' suspicions that British are corrupt, ungodly, anti-Christian, & intend the complete enslavement of Americans.
  • The law also extended Quebec’s 1774 land claims, & granted Canadian possessions no legislature, another deeply suspicious move.
  • Results: The Intolerable Acts unite the colonies to take action against the Crown & convene the first Continental Congress.

IV. First Continental Congress Convenes in Philadelphia, 1774

A. Task: to define the relationship between Colonists & the British govt.

  • Colonists united in belief that the British have no right to tax them, only to regulate trade.
  • Various strategies debated; Continental Congress ultimately agrees to oppose British actions & end all trade until the Coercive Acts are repealed.
  • Some delegates want to form a Continental Army; the majority disagree.
  • A major change occurs by 1776; the outbreak of hostilities in 1775 & publication of Tom Paine’s “Common Sense” & the Declaration of Independence in 1776 intervene.
  • Revolutionary War Maps:

Famous painting of a boat that probably would have capsized in real life!

The Battle of Lexington, 1775

Joseph Brant, by Gilbert Stuart, 1786. Brant, a Mohawk leader during the American Revolution, helped Tories raise troops and fought for the British cause in New York.

V. & VI. A War of Independence

V. 1775: The War Begins

By the rude bridge that arched the flood
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard ‘round the world.
-- from “Concord Hymn” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1836)


A. The Rising of the Countryside: Lexington & Concord

1. The Battles of Lexington & Concord: “Disperse, ye rebels!”

  • April 18-19: British move to seize cache of weapons at Lexington & Concord Mass.
  • Paul Revere & Dawes warn patriots; skirmish between Minutemen & Redcoats at Lexington.
  • Militiamen harass British between Concord & Boston.

2. May: Ethan Allen & the Green Mountain Boys seize Fort Ticonderoga

3. May 10: The Second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia

  • June 6: George Washington named Commander in Chief of the Army
  • Continental Army volunteers sign on for one year at first.
  • American forces are a combination of Continental troops & militia

B. . June 1775: Battle of Bunker Hill.
Heavy casualties on both sides. British evacuate from Boston.

VI. 1776: The Year of Independence

A. July 4, 1776: The Declaration of Independence is published

B. Consequences of 1776:

1. Thirteen Colonies begin to reorganize themselves as “states”

  • By 1781, most have written republican constitutions

2. Articles of Confederation (1778) adopted by Congress.

  • A plan of union outlining a decentralized system that was later deemed inefficient & weak

3. The Revolutionary War must now be pursued to a successful conclusion, or the rebels are in trouble.

C. Meanwhile, the War Heats Up

1. 32,000 British troops arrive in New York harbor, occupy New York.

2. The British cccupy Philadelphia in 1777, Savannah, Ga. in 1778, Charleston, SC in 1780.

3. Washington’s army of 19,000 mostly untrained volunteers is pitted against the largest professional army in the world.

  • Washington, an 18th-century gentleman, realizes that the war cannot be conducted in 18th-century style, a lesson of the french & Indian War.
  • After a string of defeats, GW avoids pitched battles & keeps his army on the run.

4. Washington's Victory at Princeton, January 1777.

  • On Dec. 26, 1776, a desperate Washington & his Continentals slip across the Delaware River, surprising a garrison of Hessian soldiers at Trenton, NJ. Washington marches to Princeton & takes it. Washington cannot hold Trenton & Princeton, & etreats to Morristown, NJ.
  • But no matter: a much-needed hero is created, & the Revolution goes on.

Winter at Valley Forge, 1777-1778.

VII. Native Americans and the American Revolution

VII. Native Americans and the American Revolution

A. The American Revolution was disastrous for Native Americans.

1. Iroquois Confederacy of Five Nations (Mohawk, Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga, Oneida. Tuscaroras adopted in 1722). A political and social system, uniting the nations’ territories (present-day NY state) in a symbolic longhouse. British had allied with the Five (or Six) Nations in the French and Indian Wars, using them as a buffer against a French advance from Canada
Confederacy declares neutrality in Revolutionary war.
  • Led by Mohawks Joseph & Mary Brant, 3 tribes join British side. A British/Native American force defeated at Oriskany, NY. After raids on upstate NY settlements.
  • General John Sullivan destroys Iroquois villages; many killed or flee to Canada.

2. Cherokees & others tribes wage war against Americans in western Virginia, Pennsylvania, & New York, & suffer heavy retaliation from the American armies. Southern and Northern tribes warring against Americans saw similar retaliation measures.

  • "I hope that the Cherokees will now be driven beyond the Mississippi and that this in future will be declared to the Indians the invariable consequence of their beginning a war. Our contest with Britain is too serious and too great to permit any possibility of avocation from the Indians." - Thomas Jefferson

3. The war greatly weakened the Iroquois Confederacy & the positions of other tribes.


Flintlock muskets of the Revolutionary War, from the museum at Valley Forge.

Soldier of the Continental Army

VIII. 1777-1779: The Times That Try Men’s Souls

VIII. 1777-1779: The Times That Try Men’s Souls

The Revolutionary War posed major problems for the Americans: raising & sustaining an army & navy, supplying the war effort, protecting the civilian population, & overcoming discouragement because of many defeats. A powerful ally would be a great help, but soldiers also had to reach inside themselves and justify the sacrifices and sufferings that were now shown to be the cost of breaking free from England.

A. The Battle of Saratoga and the French Alliance

1. Saratoga, October, 1777: British General John Burgoyne led a campaign down Lake Champlain toward the Hudson River, trying to cut off New England from the rest of the colonies.

  • Burgoyne opted to cut a road through the wilderness instead of going via Lake George. This 3-week interval gave Americans time to assemble militia. After a battle at Bemis Heights, NY, Burgoyne held the field, but realized he must retreat or engage the 20,000 American troops now blocking his path.
  • Expecting help from Albany which did not arrive, Burgoyne fought General Horatio Gates’s forces in several engagements near & at the fort at Saratoga, NY.
  • On Oct 17, 1777, General Burgoyne surrendered to General Horatio Gates.
    Trumbull painting: http://www.americanrevolution.org/burglg.html

2. Consequences: A French Alliance. After Saratoga, Congress decided to seek French military & financial support against GB, & sent Benjamin Franklin to meet with Louis XVI & his Foreign Minister.

  • The French agreed to an alliance against France’s longtime enemy, England. (For revenge for French & Indian War defeat, & to keep Britain & America occupied.)
  • A Treaty was signed February 1778, the first document to recognize the independent American nation.

B. The Winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1777-78

VALLEY FORGE has become a symbol of the “underdog” aspects of the American Revolution. General Washington & 12,000 poorly trained, inexperienced troops made their winter quarters at Valley Forge, out of reach of attack, but close enough to Philadelphia to observe the enemy. There were troops of English, Scottish, German, Native American & African American origin.

  • What motivated the troops (men of all these diverse backgrounds) to maintain their bonds of loyalty to a weak new nation, to a precarious cause, and stay on through this hard winter?

1. 1777: Washington’s Army is defeated at Brandywine Creek near Philadelphia. The British occupy Philadelphia, the rebel capital.

Valley Forge artifacts: http://www.cr.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/revwar/vafo/vafoconti.html
Continental crime & punishments: http://www.2nc.org/18THCRIM.htm

2. Washington makes his camp at Valley Forge, Pa. where the Continentals build 1,000 log huts, undergo rigorous training, cut firewood, & generally try to survive the bitter cold, insufficient & bad food, inadequate clothing, & disease.

  • 2,000 soldiers die that winter, mostly of disease.
  • Tradesmen who supplied the troops often cheated the Army, probably believing the that British would win and they would not be held to account.
  • A Prussian general, von Steuben, is charged with training troops to observe strict military discipline and to fight like professional soldiers.Soldiers learn to load & fire their muskets at a rate of three rounds a minute, to lay down a deadly field of musket fire, & to use the bayonet.
  • They would need these skills in the coming fight.

THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier & the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love & thanks of man & woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
—Thomas Paine, The Crisis #1, December 23, 1776

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


Flag of the Federal period, late 1700s.

U.S. History at the Highlands at Pittsford

Sara Dougherty, Instructor
Dept. of History, University of Rochester
phone: 585 256 0994
email: sdoughe3@mail.rochester.edu

America: from the Revolution to the end of the Civil War

THIS COURSE will cover the period from the American Revolution through the Civil War. Its scope will include the wars that shaped our nation, the establishment of the Constitution and political parties, the spread of democracy, the industrial and transportation revolutions, the early Women’s Rights movement, the slavery question, and the crisis of the Union leading up to the great Civil War. The course will show the inter-relatedness of these events, and will look at the experiences and contributions of a variety of important American men and women.

CLASSES will begin Tuesday, September 7, and will continue every Tuesday (except for Nov. 23) through December 14.

TIME AND LOCATION: 2:00 to 3:30 PM, at The Highlands, 100 Hahnemann Trail, Pittsford, New York 14534.

PARTICIPANTS will be able to find my notes, links, maps, and other interesting information sources for US History on this weblog. Other reading materials will be provided by the instructor from time to time.

Fall 2004 Weekly Topic Schedule

Weekly Topic Schedule:

Tues. Sept. 7 : War and Revolution I
· Prelude: The French & Indian War

Tues. Sept. 14 : War and Revolution II
· Founders of the Republic
· The Shot Heard ‘Round the World
· General Washington & the Continental Army

Tues. Sept. 21 : War and Revolution III
· The Times that Try Men’s Souls
· Valley Forge to Yorktown

Tues. Sept. 28 : A New Nation & a New Constitution
· And a Bill of Rights

Tues. Oct. 5 : Thomas Jefferson’s America
· Lewis & Clark’s Trek
· Marbury v. Madison & the Supreme Court

Tues. Oct. 12 : Transportation Fever! Cotton Fever!
· Cotton! Factories! Steamboats! Canals! Trains!
· And a Little About Young Mr. Lincoln

Tues. Oct. 19 : The Age of Jackson
· Indian Wars & Indian Removal

Tues. Oct. 26 : New Spiritual Visions of America
· Christian Perfectionism in America
· The Latter-Day Saints, the Shakers, & Others

Tues. Nov. 2 : Antebellum Reformers
· Seneca Falls and Rochester, NY.
· Frederick Douglass & Antislavery

Tues. Nov. 9 : The Old South and Slavery
· A Culture Based on Honor
· The Mexican War

Tues. Nov. 16 : The Impending Crisis!
· Lincoln the Republican
· The 1860 Election to Fort Sumter!

(no class Nov. 23)

Tues. Nov. 30 : The Civil War, Part I
· Bull Run to Chancellorsville!
· The Songs of the Civil War

Tues. Dec. 7 : The Civil War, Part II
· Antietam to Gettysburg!
· The Casualties of War

Tues., Dec. 14 : The Civil War, Part III (last class)
· Vicksburg to Appomattox!
· To Bind Up Our Nation’s Wounds
· The Civil War in American Memory

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The times that try men's souls

THESE ARE THE TIMES THAT TRY MEN'S SOULS. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love & thanks of man & woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
Thomas Paine, The Crisis #1, December 23, 1776

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


British Soldier, French & Indian War Posted by Hello

The Death of General Wolfe, by Benjamin West (French and Indian War) Posted by Hello

Colonial woman with a rifle Posted by Hello