Cliff Notes for Chapter 5:
The Road to the Revolutionary War


[audio] The following information was presented in this chapter:

The 13 Colonies were dominated by the British through trade laws and revenue-generating laws. These laws were meant to increase the amount of money the British could extract from the colonies. The British had economic problems. The British needed this money because of their colonial expansion and wars over land claims. This left them short of money to operate their government.

These laws affected the 13 colonies in many negative ways, including disrupting their economies. As the situation escalated, it caused them to rebel, and the British reacted by increasing the harshness of their laws to prevent the 13 colonies from going around the laws.


The Revolutionary War was started by an escalation of events:

  • The Trade Laws set by Britain curtailed profits, sales of natural resources, and increased the price of goods for the 13 colonies.
  • The French and Indian War, and Pontiac's War were battles over land claims. The British finally won because of advantages in capability and leadership but ended up in debt.
  • Revenue-generating laws were imposed on the colonies by Britain to pay for their expenses.
  • The colonists rebeled against the tax laws by smuggling, boycotts, and organizing groups of resistance.
  • Conflict was further sparked by violence and destruction of property.
  • New laws meant to punish the colonists were enacted. These hurt the colonies by further limiting the colonies' trade and markets.
  • Colonial radical leaders emerged, and united the people to overthrow the British domination of their economy.
  • Independence from Britain was declared by the 13 colonies, and the colonists were willing to fight to establish certain rights.

    [audio] Important dates to remember:

  • 1660 The Navigation Acts
  • 1754 The French and Indian War
  • 1764 The Sugar Act
  • 1776 The Declaration of Independence

    [audio] Who's who in this chapter:

  • Chief Pontiac of the Ottowa tribe in the Ohio Valley fought the British.
  • Paul Revere engraved a picture of the Boston Massacre which is widely distributed in the colonies.
  • King George II of Britain refused to solve things peacefully.
  • Patrick Henry was a colonial radical who sold a half-million copies of his book, "Common Sense" in six months.
  • Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.