Unit 6 American Revolution The Road To Independence

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Unit 6American RevolutionThe Road to IndependenceGrade 4 Core Knowledge Language Arts Reader

Unit 6American RevolutionThe Road to IndependenceReaderGRAde 4Core Knowledge Language Arts

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ContentsAmerican RevolutionThe Road to IndependenceReaderChapter 1 Bills to Pay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Chapter 2 Trouble Is Brewing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10Chapter 3 The Fight Begins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18Chapter 4 Shots and Speeches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30Chapter 5 It’s War! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40Chapter 6 From Valley Forge to Yorktown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48Chapter 7 Heroes and Villains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56Chapter 8 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64Chapter 9 Rip Van Winkle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72Selections for EnrichmentPoints of View . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80Artillery Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85Maps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95

Chapter 1Bills to PayThe Big QuestionWhy did the Britishgovernment tax thecolonists, and why didthat make the colonistsangry?To better understand the events that led to the AmericanRevolution, we will have to travel back in time to the years between1754 and 1763, when the British fought against the French in a differentwar on North American soil.This war, known as the French and Indian War, was part of a largerstruggle in other countries for power and wealth. In this conflict, theBritish fought the French for control of land in North America.During the French and Indian War, many Native Americanschose sides. Some fought with the British, while others fought with theFrench. Battles were won and lost on both sides. However, as is oftenthe case in war, there is a turning point. In this war, it was a battlefought in a part of Canada controlled by the French.In 1759, British soldiers sailed up the St. Lawrence River andattacked the French city of Québec. The British were victorious in theBattle of Québec and then went on to take Montréal the next year.Montréal’s fall signaled the end of large battles between the French andBritish in North America. Sporadic fighting continued until 1763, whenthe Treaty of Paris finally ended the French and Indian War.2

French and Indian War3

In the treaty, France agreed to give up almost all of the land it hadclaimed in North America. The French handed over control of this landto Great Britain. However, with new land came new responsibilities andfinancial burdens.Territory gained by Britain (Treaty of Paris, 1763)Spanish TerritoryTerritory ceded to Britain(Treaty of Paris, 1763)Thirteen ColoniesNWES4Acquired from SpainBritish Territory

TaxesThe British government had borrowed a lot of money to fight thiswar. A lot of that money had been spent on protecting the colonists fromthe French and their Native American allies. All of the money had to bepaid back, and the British government felt that the colonists should paytheir share. In addition, more money was continually needed to protectthe colonies as well as the newly acquired land.To raise the needed funds, the Britishgovernment imposed new taxes, including severalthat would have to be paid by the colonists.In 1765, King George III and his governmentproposed the Stamp Act.The Stamp Act was a tax on printed materials.Colonists were required to buy stamps when theybought printed items such as newspapers, pamphlets, Stamps were imprintedor embossed on paper.even playing cards. These were not gummed stamps,but rather impressions imprinted or embossed on paper. Many people wereupset about the Stamp Act. They thought it was unfair that the king andhis government in London were making decisions about taxes the colonistshad to pay, while the colonists had no say in the matter.The British government had generally allowed the colonies toraise taxes themselves. For example, if the government of Virginianeeded money, an assembly of representatives from different parts ofVirginia would meet. This assembly was called the House of Burgesses.Members of the House of Burgesses would determine the best way toraise money. They would propose taxes, and they would vote. If manyrepresentatives thought the taxes were unfair, they would not vote forthem and, therefore, the taxes would not be approved. Because theHouse of Burgesses included representatives from different parts ofVirginia, most everyone felt the process was fair.5

Every colony had an assembly similar to the Virginia House ofBurgesses. The assemblies weren’t all called the House of Burgesses, butthey did the same thing: a group of representatives met to discuss newlaws and taxes.Although the colonists continued to raise their own taxes even after1765, they felt that, rather than imposing a new tax on the colonies, theking and his government should have asked these assemblies to find away to raise the money that was needed. Instead,without even as much as a dialogue, the king andhis government created the Stamp Act. They didnot send it to the colonial assemblies, but directlyto Parliament, part of the British governmentresponsible for passing laws and raising taxes.The colonists agreed that there were bills thathad to be paid, and they wanted to contribute.But they also wanted some say in how the money was raised. Theywere concerned that important decisions about taxes were beingmade thousands of miles away, by a parliament that had no colonialrepresentatives. This process didn’t seem fair to them.The Stamp Act wasvery unpopular.Other regions outside of England, such asScotland, had representatives in Parliament. Theirjob was to represent—and stand up for—the peopleof Scotland. But there were no representatives fromthe 13 colonies in Parliament. Not even one!When the colonists became upset about theStamp Act, they expressed their unhappiness invarious ways. They held protest meetings. Theywrote pamphlets. They sent petitions to London.They tried to explain why they thought the StampAct was unfair.6The Stamp Act wasseen as an unfair tax.

The British Parliament made decisionson laws and taxes, including those thataffected the colonies.7

Many of the colonists were proud British subjects. But they also feltthat they had rights—rights that the king and his government could nottake away. Opposition to the Stamp Act spread.In Virginia, the House of Burgesses passed a motion protesting theStamp Act. The burgesses agreed that the British Parliament had noright to tax the people of Virginia.Prime Minister GrenvilleIn 1765, the primeminister of Great Britainwas George Grenville.He was the mastermindbehind the Stamp Act.Grenville was faced withthe challenge of findingmoney to support thethousands of Britishsoldiers stationed in theNorth American colonies.As far as he was concerned,the British soldiers wereprotecting the colonists,George Grenvilleso the colonists shouldhelp pay for the soldiers.At first, the British government was surprised by the colonists’response to the Stamp Act. As prime minister, Grenville remainedunsympathetic to the colonial complaints and protests. However, hedid not have widespread support, and other government ministerscriticized him. He was replaced as prime minister in 1766.8

A Leader EmergesGeorge Washington fought in the French and Indian Waralongside the British. He served as a major and led a group of militiaagainst the French in the Ohio River Valley. As a result of a successfulmission against a French scouting party, Washington was promotedto colonel. He became the commander of a group of soldiers fromVirginia and North Carolina. Although his next mission was not assuccessful, Washington had made a name for himself as a valiantleader. In 1755, he became the commander of all the Virginiamilitiamen. He was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1758.George Washington9

Chapter 2Trouble IsBrewingThe Big QuestionWho were the Sons ofLiberty, and what formof protest did they leadin Boston Harbor?Some of the most passionate protests against the Stamp Acttook place in Boston, Massachusetts. There, angry crowds took theirfrustration out on tax collectors.A new group of protestors formed in Boston in response to theStamp Act. The group met under a tree that they called the LibertyTree. They made public speeches against taxes and the Britishgovernment. They cried, “No taxation without representation!” Thisgroup became known as the Sons of Liberty.Eventually, after much protest, the British government decidedto repeal the Stamp Act in 1766. Parliament eliminated the tax onpaper products, but in 1767it replaced it with othertaxes—including taxes onimported goods, such as tea.These taxes were officiallycalled the Townshend Acts.Buying, selling, even drinking tea became a political act in 1773.10

Teapot celebrating therepeal of the Stamp ActTea was a popular drink in the colonies, just as it was in GreatBritain. However, many people decided they would not buy British teaif they had to pay an unfair tax. And they thought the new tax on teawas every bit as unfair as the old tax on paper. After all, the new tax hadbeen approved by the same British Parliament in London, and therewere still no representatives from the 13 colonies there.Suddenly, deciding to take a sip of tea meant something morethan just having a drink. If you bought British tea, you were paying atax, and, indirectly, you were agreeing that Parliament had the rightto tax the colonies. On the other hand, if you refused to buy Britishtea, you were making a statement of a different kind: you were sayingthat you did not approve of—and would not accept—taxation withoutrepresentation.Colonists who were angry about the new tax agreed not to buyBritish tea. But they didn’t stop there. They also visited inns and otherplaces that sold tea and asked the owners to stop selling it. Manyestablishments agreed to boycott British tea.11

Advertisement for aSons of Liberty meetingDebates and protests about the British government’s role incolonial affairs continued, especially in Boston.In 1768, in response to the protests about the new taxes, the Britishgovernment sent soldiers to Boston to keep an eye on the Sons ofLiberty. Because the British soldiers wore red uniforms, the colonistssometimes referred to them as “redcoats” or “lobster backs.”In March 1770, several Bostonians got into a tussle with a redcoat.The Bostonians surrounded the soldier and called him names. Theythrew snowballs at him, and some members of the crowd eventhreatened him with sticks and clubs.More British soldiers arrived on the scene. They ordered theBostonians to go home, but the angry protestors refused. The situationbecame more serious when even more people poured into thestreets. Soon a crowd of 300 angry Bostonians was pressing in on theoutnumbered British soldiers.12

Some of the Bostonians shouted at the soldiers, daring them to firetheir guns. One of the Bostonians threw something at the soldiers. Itmay have been a snowball. It may have been a rock. Whatever it was,it hit one of the soldiers and knocked him down. Perhaps thinking hislife was in danger, the soldier fired his musket. One of the Bostoniansfought back, attacking the soldier with a club. After that, the otherBritish soldiers responded. They fired into the crowd. When it was over,five people were dead.The Sons of Liberty were outraged. They began making speechesabout the incident, which became known as the Boston Massacre. Theyinsisted that the Bostonians had been protesting peacefully and theBritish had no reason to fire on them. One of the Sons of Liberty, a mannamed Paul Revere, created an engraving that showed British soldiersfiring into a crowd of peaceful protestors. It was not an entirely accuratepicture of what had happened, but many colonists thought it was.Paul Revere’s engraving of the event that became known as the Boston Massacre13

The World’s Largest Tea PartyIn December 1773, there was another incident in Boston. Threeships loaded with tea were docked in Boston Harbor. The captains hadorders to unload the tea so it could be sold in Boston.The Sons of Liberty refused to let this happen. They had spent alot of time convincing the people of Boston not to buy or sell British tea.There was no way they were going to let the captains unload all that tea.The Sons of Liberty demanded the captains raise anchor and sail away.The captains weren’t sure what to do, so they did not do anything.The ships sat in the harbor until the Sons of Liberty finally decidedto get rid of the tea once and for all. Dressed as Native Americans,they and other members of the patriot movement boarded the shipsand threw the tea into Boston Harbor. They dumped approximately340 chests of tea—worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in today’smoney—into the Atlantic Ocean. Later, this act of protest came to beknown as the Boston Tea Party.14

Boston Tea Party15

Phillis WheatleyWhen the Stamp Act was repealed,many people in the colonies were delighted.Some people wrote articles, letters, and songsexpressing their gratitude. One woman, namedPhillis Wheatley, wrote a poem. Phillis Wheatleywas an enslaved African who had been broughtto Massachusetts on a slave ship. She had gonePhillis Wheatleyto work in the home of a merchant named JohnWheatley. The Wheatleys taught her to read and write. Eventually, shebegan to write poetry. A book of her poems was published in 1773.Her poem to King George became one of her best-known works:To the King’s Most Excellent Majesty 1768YOUR subjects hope, dread Sire—The crown upon your brows may flourish long,And that your arm may in your God be strong!O may your sceptre num’rous nations sway,And all with love and readiness obey!But how shall we the British king reward!Rule thou in peace, our father, and our lord!Midst the remembrance of thy favours past,The meanest peasants most admire the last*May George, beloved by all the nations round,Live with heav’ns choicest constant blessings crown’d!Great God, direct, and guard him from on high,And from his head let ev’ry evil fly!And may each clime with equal gladness seeA monarch’s smile can set his subjects free!* The Repeal of the Stamp Act16

Crispus AttucksCrispus Attucks was among the peoplekilled during the Boston Massacre. Attuckswas part African and part Native American.He had been enslaved, but at the time of theBoston Massacre he was a sailor. During thecrossfire, Attucks was shot in the chest anddied immediately. Three others, and eventuallyCrispus Attucksa fourth, also died as a result of the incident inBoston. On the day of the funerals, many shops closed. Thousandsof people filed through the streets of Boston following the victims’coffins. Attucks and the others became heroes.The Sons of LibertyThe Sons of Liberty was largely made up of small businessowners. Several were merchants and tradesmen. The group got itsname from an Irishman named Isaac Barre. Barre was a soldier and apolitician. He spoke out in the British Parliament againstsome of the decisions being made regarding thecolonies. Like George Washington, Isaac Barrefought in the French and Indian War. He wasinvolved in the defeat of the French at theBattle of Québec. He was strongly opposedto the taxes that were being imposed onthe colonists. In one of his speeches, Barrereferred to the colonists as Sons of Liberty.The name inspired some of the protestors inthe colonies, and the group has been known asthe Sons of Liberty ever since.Isaac Barre17

Chapter 3The Fight BeginsThe Big QuestionWhat was theRevolutionary War, andwhat were the causesthat led to it?When news of the Boston Tea Party reached Great Britain in 1774,many people were shocked. Many members of the British governmentwere furious. They made a decision to punish the people of Boston.Over the next few months, Parliament approved a series of newlaws. The Boston Port Act declared that Boston Harbor would remainclosed until the colonists paid for the tea that had been destroyed. Noships were allowed to enter or leave without British permission.18

The Massachusetts Government Act declared that the people ofthe colony were now under stricter control in terms of meetings andelecting their own officials. From that point on, the British king and hisministers would make all decisions about which colonists would servein important positions in Massachusetts.The Administration of Justice Act made new rules for trials.Bostonians accused of a crime would no longer be tried in Boston byfellow Bostonians. Instead, they would be sent either to another colony,such as Canada, or even to London. They would also be tried in aspecial Admiralty court by a judge handpicked by the king.The Quartering Act declared that the colonists had to providequarters, or temporary places to live, for the British soldiers stationedin the colonies. The colonists also had to provide supplies such as food,bedding, candles, and firewood. This was significant because the Britishgovernment was getting ready to send more soldiers to Boston.Alfred Thompson, Redcoats Sack New England19

Members of the First Continental Congress gather at Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia20

The people of Massachusetts were very angry about these newlaws. How could they make a living if goods could not be shipped inor out of Boston? How would they get a fair trial if they were sent tofaraway courts

To better understand the events that led to the American Revolution, we will have to travel back in time to the years between 1754 and 1763, when the British fought against the French in a different war on North American soil. This war, known as the French and Indian War, was part of a larger struggle in other countries for power and wealth. In this conflict, the British fought the French for .

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