The American Journey © 2007

Chapter 5: Road to Independence

Chapter Overviews

The end of the French and Indian War did not lead to a period of peace. Colonists became angry at Britain’s Proclamation of 1763 prohibiting settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. They were also alarmed at new regulations and taxes designed to increase British revenues. To oppose those measures, men like Patrick Henry spoke out in colonial legislatures. Others formed organizations such as the Sons of Liberty. Through boycotts and protests they forced Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts.

Tensions increased when violence erupted in 1770 in the Boston Massacre. Three years later colonists disguised as Native Americans dumped tea into Boston Harbor. The British response was quick and, to the colonists, intolerable. By 1774 colonial leaders recognized the need for unified action. The First Continental Congress was called.

The first shots of the American Revolution were fired on April 19, 1775, in Lexington, Massachusetts. The Second Continental Congress created the Continental Army and appointed George Washington as the army’s commander. By July 1776 the colonists were ready to declare independence.

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