American Revolution

Abigail Adams

wife of John Adams; ran most of the family business; wrote letters to husband to advise him on political issues and the "rights of women

Albany Plan of Union

Benjamin Franklin's first formal proposal to unite the American colonies in 1754 (Note - "Join, or Die")

Battle of Saratoga

This battle which was the turning point of the Revolution because after the colonists won this major victory, the French decided to support the U.S. with money, troops, ships, etc.

Battle of Yorktown

final battle of the war, in which French and American forces led by George Washington defeated British General Cornwallis in 1781

Battles of Lexington and Concord

First battles of the Revolutionary War, on April 19, 1775 in Massachusetts

Boston Massacre

The first bloodshed of the Amercan Revolution, as British guards at the Boston Customs House opened fire on a crowd killing five Americans, including Crispus Attucks

Boston Tea Party

A 1773 protest against British taxes in which Boston colonists disguised as Mohawks dumped valuable tea into Boston Harbor.


refusal to buy or sell certain products or services

Common Sense

a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine that claimed the colonies had a right to be an independent nation

Declaration of Independence (1776)

document drafted by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 that proclaimed the right of the American colonies to separate from Great Britain

Declaratory Act

Act passed in 1766 after the repeal of the stamp act; stated that Parliament had authority over the the colonies and the right to tax and pass legislation "in all cases whatsoever.

French and Indian War

A conflict between Britain and France (aided by Indian allies) for control of territory in North America, lasting from 1754-1763. Also know as the Seven Years' War

George Washington

Army Major during French & Indian War. Led the Revolutionary Army in the fight for independence. First President of the United States.

Intolerable Acts

..., A series of laws set up by Parliament to punish Massachusetts for its protests against the British; also know as the Coercive Acts

John Adams

Patriot leader during the American Revolution, member of Continental Congress, and 2nd President of the United States

King George lll

King of England during the American Revolution who taxed the colonies and refused the Olive Branch Petition


a colonist who remained loyal to Great Britain and the King


American colonial militia members who were supposed to be ready to fight at a minute's notice

Patrick Henry

Outspoken member of House of Burgesses; inspired colonial patriotism with "Give me Liberty or give me Death" speech


American colonist who supported the rebels for independence during the American Revolution

Paul Revere

American silversmith remembered for his midnight ride to warn the colonists in Lexington and Concord that British troops were coming (1735-1818)

Proclamation of 1763

Law passed by England prohibiting colonists from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains

Quartering Act

a law passed by Parliament in 1765 that required the colonists to house and supply British soldiers

Samuel Adams

Founder of the Sons of Liberty and one of the most vocal patriots for independence; signed the Declaration of Independence

Stamp Act

A British law which required all paper goods to have a special stamp on it to show that a tax had been paid; tax on legal documents, newspapers, playing cards, etc.

Taxation without representation

A colonial protest arguing that the right to tax the colonies belonged to the colonial assemblies, not to the Parliament

Tea Act

Tax on tea; made the East India Company the only tea company allowed to colonists; reason for BostonTea Party (1773)

Thomas Jefferson

Virginian, architect, writer, inventor, and diplomat who authored the Declaration of Independence

Thomas Paine

Wrote pamphlets like Common Sense and The Crisis to encourage American independence

Townshend Act

a law by the British Parliament which states the colonists had to pay a tax on products such as lead, glass, tea, paper, and paint

Treaty of Paris 1763

Ended French and Indian War; France lost Canada, land east of the Mississippi to British, New Orleans and west of Mississippi to Spain

Unalienable rights

rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which cannot be taken away

Benjamin Franklin

Writer, inventor, scientist, founding father, and diplomat who helped to win French support in the American Revolution

Marquis de Lafayette

French nobleman who volunteered to serve in Washington's Army during the Revolutionary War

Haym Solomon

Polish-Jew who helped raise funds for American independence during the Revolution

Bernardo de Galvez

Governor of Spanish who led Spanish troops to defeat the British during the American Revolution

Wentworth Cheswell

Revolutionary war veteran who was the first African American elected to office

Mercy Otis Warren

Patriot writer from Massachusetts who wrote poems, articles, and plays in support of American independence.

Crispus Attucks

Sailor of African-American and Native American ancestry who was the first killed at the Boston Massacre

James Armistead

African American slave who won his freedom spying for the Americans during the American Revolution

John Paul Jones

American sea captain during the American Revolution. Naval fighter who captured British ships.


A nation that joins another nation in some common effort such as winning a war.


A type of prejudice rooted in a person's point of view.


Goods sold to another country.


A complaint about a wrong that causes resentment and is grounds for action


Goods brought in from another country


Freedom from being controlled by another government


An economic policy under which nations sought to increase their wealth and power by obtaining large amounts of gold and silver and by selling more goods (exports) than buying more goods (imports)


A small army made up of ordinary citizens who are available to fight in an emergency


Not favoring either side in a dispute


Lawmaking body of the British government


A written request that individuals sign and then submit to government officials


Ideas spread to influence public opinion for or against a cause


To cancel or get rid of a law


The flow of money or income into a nation's economy (generated by tax dollars)


A change in government, usually by violent means

First Continental Congress

A meeting of colonial leaders who were deeply troubled about the relationship between Great Britain and its colonies in America.


British soldiers who fought against the colonists in the American Revolution; so called because of their bright red uniforms

Sons of Liberty

Secret society led by Sam Adams was formed to resist British laws by protests or boycotts

Sugar Act

English Parliament placed a tax on sugar, coffee, wines, and molasses which led to colonial protests (1964).

Writs of Assistance

A part of the Townshend Acts that approved the customs officers to search (without notice/warrants) in ships or private homes for smuggled goods

John Hancock

Patriot leader and president of the Second Continental Congress; first person to sign the Declaration of Independence

Navigation Acts

Colonists were required to ship certain products exclusively to England. These acts made colonists very angry because they were forbidden from trading with other countries.