Abridged PEPS - Colonial US through Revolution

The CENTERED info is vital; the other (left justified) is very important. 

Focus on the significance of the people/places/events.  

Colonial History to 1776

Jamestown 1607

Who:               The Virginia Company, John Smith

Where:             Jamestown, Virginia

What:              The Virginia Company sent young men, with no future in overpopulated England.  They were lured by the Virginia Company with promises of land and wealth--much as people were lured to California during the Gold Rush. But there was no gold in Virginia, and these "prospectors" didn't know how to farm, didn't know how to hunt, and,  possibly feeling betrayed by the Virginia Company's promises, and lacking any land of their own, were not known for their spirit of cooperation among themselves or with the local Indians of the Powhatan confederacy.  They suffered greatly for several years until tobacco became available as a cash crop.  While they did not discover gold, tobacco became an adequate substitute.

Sig:                  Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in the new world. 

Source:            AP29   

Puritans early settlement and religious intolerance within the colony

Who:               Puritans (not Separatists but those who wanted to “purify” the Church of England)

Where:             Massachusetts (Boston)

When:              1630

What:              They believed in the doctrine of a calling to do Gods work on earth. They had serious commitment to work yet they also enjoyed simple pleasures.  They established a bible commonwealth with no tolerance for religious dissent (Williams, Hutchinson were banished for heresy).   The colony was economically successful but religiously intolerant.

Sig:                  Church members had rights (vote) as “freemen.”  They were intolerant of others who did not share their beliefs. 

Source:            AP47

William Penn’s Settlement of Pennsylvania 1681

Who:               William Penn

Where:            Pennsylvania

What:              King Charles II awarded Penn a tract of land in 1681 to repay a debt owed to Penn’s father.

Sig:                 Penn, representing persecuted Quakers, advertised Pennsylvania as a colony known for freedom and religious toleration.  (Even though Penn was a Quaker, he enjoyed the King’s support.)

Source:           AP 59, 60


Where:             British Empire (England to 1707:  Britain thereafter)

What:              Justified British control over the colonies. This theory proposed that wealth was power and that a country’s economic wealth could be measured by the amount of gold or silver in its treasury.  A favorable balance of trade must be created by exporting more expensive goods to colonies and importing less expensive raw materials from colonies.  The mother country produced finished goods; colonies supplied markets for finished goods and raw materials.  Gold and silver would flow to the mother country as a result (finished goods are more valuable than raw materials.)  Trade within the empire should not permit outsiders (Dutch, French, Spanish) to profit, lest gold and silver be shifted to them.

Sig:                  Mercantilism was the foundation for the economic relationship between the colonies and England up to the Revolution.   Source:    AP123


Mercantilism in practice

What:              Navigation and Trade Acts brought mercantilism to life.  The Navigation Acts from 1650 to 1663 required that all goods flowing to and from the colonies could be transported only in British ships.  The captain of the ship must be English, and the crew must be ¾ English.  Certain commodities must be shipped to England first before going to Europe from the colonies or to the colonies from Europe.   Various Trade Acts included the hat and iron acts, which prohibited final colonial manufacture of hats and iron goods.  Tariffs were imposed to protect British sugar planters, such as the Molasses Act of 1733 which imposed a duty of 6 pence per gallon on imported foreign molasses (thus favoring British molasses).  The 6 pence was not meant to be paid and was, therefore, not really a tax.  (When the Act was amended in 1764 to lower the rate to 3 pence per gallon, which was meant to be paid, the issue of taxation without representation arose and led in time to the Revolution.)

Sig:                  The colonies did not object to Navigation and Trade Acts in part due to “salutary neglect” (weak enforcement of the acts), and the colonies smuggled around the acts anyway.  

Source:            AP93, 123

The Great Awakening of the 1730’s-1740’s

Who:               Jonathan Edwards (pastor & theologian) and other pastors, George Whitefield

Where:             Started in Northampton, Massachusetts, spread to the rest of New England

What:              Unlike the preaching styles of older clergy, Edwards’s new unconventional preaching style emphasized a direct, emotive, spirituality that was seriously ignored by older clergy.  Powerful evangelical preaching convicted sinners and brought them to conversion and a new understanding of faith.

Sig:                  It was the first mass movement and religious upheaval within the colonies which reduced the influence of the established church and strengthened the power of ordinary people.

Source:            AP96-97,104

Proclamation Line of 1763

Who:               King George III

Where:             Along the crest of the Appalachian Mountains

What:              The King prohibited settlement in the area beyond the Appalachians as a reaction to Pontiac’s Rebellion. The purpose was to work out the “Indian problem” fairly and prevent another bloody eruption such as Pontiac’s.

Sig:                  Americans charged west despite the proclamation, as they saw the west as their birthright.   This signified the American’s defiance, and the early beginnings of separation from Britain.

Source:            AP121 Stamp Act (1765)

What:              The Seven Years’ War had left Britain with a large debt. In order to pay it off, Parliament passed the Stamp Act.  Stamps were required on bills of sale for about fifty trade items as well as on certain types of commercial and legal documents, including playing cards, pamphlets, newspapers, diplomas, bills of lading (documents that list goods to be shipped), and marriage licenses.  Colonists used 1) violence (Sons of Liberty) to prevent collection, 2) nonimportation agreement, 3) Stamp Act Congress, asserting no taxation without representation and that the colonies could not be represented in Parliament [note revolutionary consequence of Stamp Act Congress resolves]. 

Sig:                  The Stamp Act was a direct blow to the colonist’s rights, bringing cries of "no taxation without representation.” The Stamp Act Congress of 1765 was formed because of it. The colonists eventually forced a nullification of the tax. This was an early beginning of a separation from Britain.

Virtual Representation in 1760’s

Who:               Prime Minister George Grenville

Where:             Britain

What:              This theory states that the members of Parliament represent all British people, even those living in America who do not vote for members of Parliament.

Sig:                  Grenville claimed this theory in response to the colonists’ outrage at being taxed by the Stamp and Quartering Acts of 1765. The Americans said that Parliament should not be allowed to tax them because there were no American representatives. This eventually led to the Americans rejecting Parliament’s influence and power.

Source:            AP126

   The American Revolution 1776-1783“Philosophy of the American Revolution” #1:       John Locke

Who:               John Locke

Where:             England (philosophies spread through the colonies)

What:              Locke’s theories on natural rights were part of colonial arguments. “Natural rights” is part of a political theory that states when individuals enter into society they have basic rights that no government can take away.

Sig:                  Locke’s philosophy (see his Treatise on Civil Government, 1690) was the foundation for the American Revolution.  That is, when government becomes destructive of certain ends (life, liberty, property), the people have the right to abolish it.

Source:            Locke’s Treatise on Civil Government, 1690

“Philosophy of the American Revolution” #2:       Popular Sovereignty

Who:               Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau

What:              A doctrine (that is closely associated with the social contract) that the state is created by and subject to the will of the People, who are the source of all political power.  Contrast this with monarchy, where the people may have no formal voice in governmental affairs

Sig:                  Once Americans, as a whole, accepted the ideas of Popular Sovereignty, they started molding the foundations for a democratic political system (which was, of course, republican in form—republican meaning that the people vote for representatives who then make political decision). 

Source:            Britannica

“Philosophy of the American Revolution” #3:       Small, Limited GovernmentWhat:              Limited government is a system of government that is bound to specifically defined principles of action by a written constitution.

Sig:                  The concept of limited government flows naturally from the assumption of popular sovereignty: If the people are sovereign, then any powers held by government are "given on loan” and cannot detract from the people's innate sovereignty. Therefore such powers are inherently limited.                 Source:            Britannica       

Declaration of Independence--July 4, 1776

What:                          The Second Continental Congress approved an official document declaring independence from Great Britain, including justification for the rupture.

Sig:                  Arguably the most significant document in U.S. history, the declaration placed the colonies in open rebellion against the mother country, with the consequence being that armed conflict would determine the final outcome.  War would decide the question:  Who is sovereign?

Source:            AP145

Saratoga October 1777

Who:               Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold (U.S.), John Burgoyne (British)

Where:             Saratoga, New York

What:              General Burgoyne surrendered a large British army at Saratoga, New York, on October 17, 1777.  This was one of the most significant battles in U.S. history because it stopped the British invasion from Canada, lifted sagging American morale, and led to the treaties of military alliance and friendship/commerce with France in 1778

Sig:                  The battle convinced the French that the Americans were capable of winning, which led to the treaties between the French and the U.S. a few months later.

Source:            AP152-54       

Revolutionary War diplomacy: the Franco-American Alliance of 1778

What:                          France, thirsting for revenge against the British, provided Americans with supplies, and then officially became allied with the colonies in 1778.  Both sides agreed to not end the war without the other’s consent [a pledge broken by the United States and not to France’s dismay (France could not deliver Gibraltar to Spain and the separate peace between the United States and Britain that ended the war also ended a problem for the French)].  The treaty was made possible as a result of the American victory at Saratoga the previous October (1777).

Sig:                  Without French help the colonies and then the United States may not have been able to win the war.  Further, the treaty became a sticking point between France and the U.S. in the 1790s, when France wanted U.S. assistance in the Caribbean in fighting the British.  (The treaty was cancelled in 1800 by the Convention of 1800.)

Source:            AP154-155; class notes

Treaty of Paris 1783

Who:               Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Jay representing the U.S.

What:              This treaty ended the Revolutionary War between the U.S. and Britain.   Also, the boundaries were set, from the Mississippi on the west, to the Great Lakes on the north, and to Spanish Florida on the South.  (Recall that the Treaty set the southern border at the 31st parallel, while Spain independently claimed that West Florida went up to 32º28″-- an issue finally resolved in U.S. favor with the Pinckney Treaty of 1795.) America agreed to stop persecution of Loyalists, and Congress was to recommend to the state legislatures that the confiscated Loyalist property to be restored.  Debts to British creditors should also be paid. Britain pledged to get out of western forts.   (U.S. treatment of the loyalists and British withdrawal from the forts became sources of friction.)

Sig:                  Britain recognized the independence and sovereignty of the United States after almost eight years of being at war.   The U.S. entered the world stage as a new nation with the Treaty.  

Source:            AP159-60