Coming of the American Revolution banner pastiche of images from MHS collections

The Coming of the American Revolution: 1764 to 1776

× The Sugar Act The Stamp Act The Formation of the Sons of Liberty The Townshend Acts Non-consumption and Non-importation The Boston Massacre The Formation of the Committees of Correspondence The Boston Tea Party The Coercive Acts The First Continental Congress Lexington and Concord The Second Continental Congress The Battle of Bunker Hill Washington Takes Command of the Continental Army Declarations of Independence

Core Concepts and Lessons

  • CONCEPT 1:

    The rights and responsibilities of British subjects living in America were the focus of intensive debate and conflict in the years leading up to the Revolution.

  • CONCEPT 2:

    In both Britain and America, those involved in economic and political disputes used a variety of tactics and forms of communication before resorting to military action.

  • CONCEPT 3:

    People living in the thirteen colonies increasingly defined themselves as different from other British subjects as ideas of what it meant to be an American emerged over time.

  • CONCEPT 4:

    The decade before the Revolution began was a continual tug of war between those who wanted to force confrontation and those who sought accommodation and compromise.
    Lesson | Lesson

  • CONCEPT 5:

    Between 1763 and 1776, individuals encouraged other individuals, towns encouraged other towns and colonies encouraged other colonies to join in united resistance to Britain.

  • CONCEPT 6:

    At some point, each colonist had to face the individual dilemma of whether to remain loyal to the Crown or resist, knowing that his choice would have consequences.
    Lesson | Lesson

  • CONCEPT 7:

    People from different social and economic classes had different expectations of how the growing conflict with Great Britain would affect their lives.
    Lesson | Lesson

  • CONCEPT 8:

    History is a process involving a series of decisions that could have had different outcomes, not a set of preordained events that simply unfolded over time.

  • CONCEPT 9:

    Documents reflect the personalities, perspectives and agendas of their creators.
    Lesson | Lesson

Funding from the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati supported enhancements to this website.

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