Chapter Summary: The War For Independence

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Chapter 4 Summary The War for Independence The Stirrings of Rebellion The heavy costs of the French & Indian War convinced the British government that additional revenues should be raised from the American colonists Parliament, persuaded by Prime Minister Grenville, passed the Stamp Act in 1765, the first tax levied directly on the colonists, on their goods and services (previous taxes had been duties, or tariffs, on imports) Special stamped paper was required for documents and paper items, including pamphlets and newspapers, affecting everyone Many colonists lost respect for British authority and anger rose against the King and Parliament The Sons of Liberty, an organization formed by Samuel Adams and others, harassed British officials and protested against the tax…show more content…
The rejection of the Olive Branch petition convinced more colonists that independence, rather than reconciliation, should be the goal; Thomas Paine in "Common Sense" attacks the king as a "royal brute" and argues for independence in the 46 page pamphlet; over 500,000 copies are sold North Carolina declares itself independent in May 1776 and a majority of delegates in the Virginia House of Burgesses support independence as well; a committee is appointed, led by Thomas Jefferson, to draft a "Declaration of Independence" Jefferson, draws upon Enlightenment ideas of John Locke and others; Locke wrote of natural rights that all citizens should enjoy, including life, liberty and property; and that a social contract existed between citizens and their government, and if the government oppresses the people the people then have the right to resist and rebel Jefferson's unalienable rights, rights that could not be taken away, were life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that governments derive their powers from the consent of the governed "All men are created equal" referred to free white citizens were political equals; Blacks, native americans and women were not embraced in Jefferson's
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