Unit 3: A Nation is Created

  • Course Outline


    Unit 3: A Nation is Created

    I. Background Causes of the  American Revolution

    A. Economic factors

    1. Growth of mercantilism: triangular trade

    2. Rise of an influential business community in the colonies

    3. Cost of colonial wars against the French

    B. Political factors

    1. The role of the British Civil War

    2. Periods of political freedom in the colonies

    3. Impact of the French and Indian War: Albany Plan of Union

    4. Political though of the Enlightenment influenced prominent colonial leaders

    C. New social relationships between European powers and the American colonies: development of a new colonial identity


    II. The Shift from Protest to Separation

    A. New British attitude toward colonies following victory of France.

    1. Colonies could not protect themselves.

    2. Colonies were not paying a fair amount toward their support.

    B. New British policies antagonized many American colonists.

    1. Various acts of Parliament such as the Quartering Act

    2. New tax policies and taxes: Stamp Act and others

    3. Other acts of repression: Zenger Case and others

    C. Public opinion was shaped in different forums.

    1. Political bodies

    2. Public display and demonstration

    3. Print Media

    D. Wide variety of viewpoints evolved

    1. Complete separation

    2. More autonomy for the colonies

    3. No change in status quo: the Loyalist position


    III. Early Attempts to Govern the Newly independent States

    A. The Revolution begins

    1. Early confrontations

    2. Important leaders

    3. First Continental Congress

    B. The Second Continental Congress represented the first attempt to govern the colonies.

    1. Republican government

    2. Request for state constitutions and political systems

    3. Asserting independence

    C. A movement for independence evolved from the political debate of the day.

    D. Declaration of Independence

    1. Origins

    2. Content

    3. Impact

    4. Ideas embodied

    E. Independence creates problems for New Yorkers.

    1. Organizing new state government

    2. Economic problems

    3. Political factions

    4. Slavery

    5. Recruiting soldiers for war


    IV. Military and Political Aspects of the Revolution

    A. Strategies of the principal military engagements

    1. Washington's leadership

    2. New York as the object of strategic planning

    3. Evolution of the war from the North to the South: Lexington and Concord to Saratoga and Yorktown

    B. Role of the Loyalists

    1. In New York City

    2. Colonists in Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island did not join the Revolution.

    a. Refuge for Loyalists

    b. Staging ground for attacks on New York Patriots

    C. The outcome of the war was influenced by many factors.

    1. Personalities and leadership

    2. Geography: importance of various physical features

    3. Allocation of resources

    4. Foreign aid: fund and volunteers

    5. Role of women, blacks, and Native American Indians

    6. Haphazard occurrences of events: the human factor

    7. Clash between colonial authority and Second Continental Congress


    V. Economic, political, and Social Changes Brought About by the American Revolution.

    A. On the national level

    1. Britain gave up claims to govern.

    2. Slavery began to emerge as a divisive sectional issue because slaves did not receive their independence.

    3. American economy was plagues by inflation and hurt by isolation from world markets.

    B. In New York State

    1. The effects of the American Revolution on the Iroquois Confederacy

    2. Disposition of Loyalist property and resettlement of many Loyalists after the Revolution to Canada, thus changing the French/British balance

    3. A republican ideology developed that emphasized shared power and citizenship participation.

    C. In the Western Hemisphere

    1. Britain did not accept the notion of American dominance of the hemisphere.

    2. The remaining British colonies in Canada strengthened their ties to Great Britain.

    3. Many leaders in South America drew inspiration from American ideas and actions in their struggle against Spanish rule.





Unit 3: A Nation is Created