AP EH CHAPTER 19 NOTES: A Revolution in Politics

AP EH CHAPTER 19 NOTES: A Revolution in Politics---the Era of the French Revolution and Napoleon

THE BEGINNINGS OF THE REVOLUTIONARY ERA: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Reorganization, Resistance, and Rebellion
in the colonies, where there was a preponderance of independent farmers, 50% of adult males could vote
in Britain, fewer than 20% of adult males could vote
a key result of the Seven Years’ War in North America was growing tensions between American colonists and the English government demanding more revenue from the colonies to pay for the victorious British army
the Tea Act of 1773 was devised by the British to bail out the British East India Company by allowing it to bypass American wholesalers
150 colonists responded in Boston by dumping British tea into Boston Harbor while disguised as Native Americans (Boston Tea Party)
the British Parliament responded to the colonists’ Boston Tea party by passing the Coercive Acts
closed the port in Boston until compensation was made for the destroyed tea
restricted town meetings
strengthened the authority of the royal governor in Massachusetts
designed to punish radical Massachusetts as an example to other colonies, the Coercive Acts backfired
colonial assemblies everywhere denounced the British action
led to the meeting of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia (September, 1774)
the 1st CC’s more militant representatives urged the forming of militias to counteract British actions
when the British army under General Gage attempted to stop rebel mobilization in Massachusetts, fighting between colonists and redcoats erupted at Lexington and Concord in April, 1775
The War of Independence
After Lexington and Concord, more than a year passed before the colonists decided to declare their independence from the British Empire
Thomas Paine’s political pamphlet Common Sense (January, 1776) was an important factor in mobilizing public sentiment toward independence
the pamphlet sold 120,000 copies in 3 months in the colonies
argued that it was ridiculous for “a continent to be perpetually governed by an island”
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson
affirmed the Enlightenment’s natural rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”
declared the colonies “free and independent states absolved from all allegiance to the British crown
officially began the American Revolution
the 2nd CC authorized the formation of a Continental Army with George Washington appointed its commander-in-chief
compared to British forces, the Continental Army consisted of undisciplined amateurs whose terms of service were usually brief
British Army: 50,000 British red coats & 30,000 German mercenaries
Continental Army: 400,000 served in army and militias but Washington never had more than 20,000 troops at his disposal for any one battle
Essential to the colonists’ winning independence was the generous military and financial aid provided from various European states, especially France
the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga (October, 1777) was the turning point of the war
despite the fact that the British had won most of the battles they were on the verge of defeat due to the fact that they were squared off against not only the Americans but much of Europe
the decisive battle took place at Yorktown (1781) where a combined Continental and French armies led by Washington along with the French Navy boxed in the British Army under General Cornwallis who was forced to surrender
Treaty of Paris (1783) formally ended the war
recognized the independence of the American Colonies
granted Americans control of western territory from the Appalachians to the Mississippi River
Toward a New Nation
due to their aversion to establishing a united nation with a strong central government, the colonies passed the dish-water weak Articles of Confederation (1781)
after the war’s conclusion, a series of economic, political, and international problems led to a movement for a stronger central government
In the summer of 1787, the Constitutional Convention met to initially revise the Articles but eventually to write an entirely new document
The US Constitution (1789) created a central government distinct from and superior to the governments of the individual states
national government was given the power to levy taxes, raise a national army, regulate foreign and domestic trade, establish a national currency
created a national government with 3 branches
Executive branch headed by a President who could:
execute the laws
veto the legislature’s acts
make judicial and executive appointments
supervise foreign affairs
direct military forces
Legislative branch
upper house called Senate elected by State legislatures (2 Senators per state)
lower house called the House of Representatives elected directly by the people (number of reps for each state based on state’s