CHAPTER 21: ENGLISH AND AMERICAN REVOLUTIONS
Class Notes: Chapter 21 /Section 1: Civil War
Causes of the English Civil War
JAMES I BELIEVES HE’S THE ONE
Elizabeth I was a just leader who died in 1603, leaving no heir. Her rule teased Parliament with some power and
when she died, the House of Commons vowed to gain more power. James I, a member of the Stuart family gained the
throne in 1603. He agreed with the Divine Right of Kings or the fact that the king got his right to rule from God.
Parliament had James in a difficult situation in that they controlled the money raised from taxes. As he asked for more and
more, Parliament denied him. He began to sell titles of nobility to raise money. In addition to disliking the king for his
spending habits, the Parliament also disliked his religious beliefs. Many of the members of Parliament were Puritans who
wanted to “purify” the Church of England from all effects of Catholicism. James was not of the same mindset.
CHARLES I AND HIS PROBLEMS WITH PARLIAMENT
James I died in 1625 and his son, Charles I inherits the throne. The conflicts that Charles has with Parliament
were similar to his father. In fact, he tried to dissolve the organization and raise money by getting the nobles to “loan” the
govt. money. He also forced the people to billet the troops that made them even angrier. Charles finally calls Parliament
back into session in 1628. The Petition of Right is passed by Parliament that stated:
1. The king cannot collect taxes or force loans without Parliament’s consent.
2. The king could not imprison anyone without just cause
3. Troops could not be housed against the will of the house’s owner.
4. The king could not declare martial law unless the country was at war.
The king ignored the Petition of Right and disbanded the Parliament and vowed never to reinstate them.
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT…PARLIAMENT THAT IS.
During this time, King Charles I named William Laud as the Arch bishop of Canterbury and persecuted the
Puritans, burning their writings and denying their right to preach in public. Many of them left for the American Colonies.
This was called The Great Migration and lasted from 1630 to 1643. At which time, as the Scots had invaded England, the
King reconvened Parliament. Parliament still refused to grant the king’s wishes and the king disbanded them again. They
were known as the Short Parliament, being in session only three weeks. The country was so in need of money the king
had to recall Parliament. This time it was known as the Long Parliament and lasted 20 years. The Puritans were so mad
at the king they were going to take his power any way possible.
OLIVER AND THE ROUNDHEADS VS. THE CAVALIERS
They tried, as did Charles and the situation eventually lead to Civil War. The two sides were the Cavaliers or
supporters of the king from the North and West versus the Roundheads from the South and East who were supporters of
the Parliament. The war went on for 4 years and the Roundheads; lead by Oliver Cromwell eventually won and the
Parliament took over control of the Government. The Government was run by the Parliament and the King was executed.
Cromwell took over serving as Lord Protector until his death in 1658 when his son, Richard Cromwell took over for
only one year.
After some time, the Long Parliament was recalled and they, in turn, put Charles I’s son, Charles II on the throne.
This was a different throne than the one previously. Gone was the absolute leader and individual rights ruled the
Government of England.
Class Notes: Chapter 21/ Section 2: A King Returns to the thronE
KING CHARLES II COMES BACK TO RULE, KIND OF
After wandering the various countries of Europe, sometimes received as a hero, sometimes as an outlaw, Charles II was
reinstated as the King of England. He was known as the Merry Monarch and was more responsive to the population than
his father had been, perhaps remembering the fate of his father. He returned to England in 1660 and restored the House of
Stuart to control of England. This period of time is known as the Restoration.
PARLIAMENT SETTLES THE ISSUES
The King allowed the Parliament to settle the religious differences of the country. The elections of 1661 elected a Cavalier
Parliament that was characterized by many loyalists to the king. They passed the Clarendon Code that made the Church
of England the official Church of England and forbade anyone but Anglicans or members of the Church of England, from
attending universities, serving in Parliament. This Parliament also limited the power of the King. The king was in power
within the Constitution (Constitutional Monarchy) and never fought or publically disagreed with Parliament. Charles II
dies of natural causes in 1685 without any official heirs, leaving the throne open to his brother, James.
PARLIAMENT DEALS THE KING
As a result of the lack of an heir to King Charles and the rise of his Catholic brother James, the Parliament tried to pass the
Exclusion Bill in 1679. (This bill…) and would have kept James from becoming King. As a result of this bill, the
Parliament became divided between the Whigs who wanted to exclude James from the throne and the Tories who defended
the right of James to the throne. The compromise between the two sides saw the Tories defeat the Exclusion Bill but
accepting the principal of habeas corpus which made it illegal for the king or anyone else to hold anyone without just
cause or without trial, thereby increasing the rights of the individual and decreasing the rights of the king.
James became King and proceeded to do the same thing that his father did which was to fight with the Parliament.
He converted to Catholicism and instituted many Catholic into the government and demanded Absolute Power. The
members of Parliament were concerned but thought the best course of action would be to wait until James II died as his
Protestant daughter, Mary would take the throne. Her Husband was William of Orange who was the ruler of the
Netherlands. When James II’s second wife had a boy, James announced the boy would be raised Catholic. Parliament put
aside their differences and at this time encourages William of Orange to attack England. James II had little to no support
and fled allowing William and Mary to take control of the throne with little effort. This change in leadership was called the
WILLIAM AND MARY ARRIVE IN COUNTRY
This new rule of William and Mary was different than other rulers. They were willing to allow Parliament to rule
the country and would enforce any rules that Parliament passed. The Bill of Rights was modified from its original form
(four parts) and added even more individual rights. The Parliament mandated Trial by Jury, outlawed cruel and unusual
punishment, placed limitation on the amount of bail, granted the ability to appeal to the king by ordinary citizens was
guaranteed by the new and improved Bill of Right. After James II tried one more time to take the throne, Parliament passed
the Act of Settlement that banned Catholics from ever taking the Throne and the Catholics of Ireland were forbidden from
ANNE AFTER WILLIAM ALONE
These changes in Government made one thing sure, that the King could not rule without the consent of the
Parliament. The concept of democracy is raised here. The Parliament is a place that was run by the rich. You had to be a
landowner to vote and this was only 4% of the population. The power of Parliament also increased when Mary’s sister
Anne took the throne from William in 1702. There was concern that she would pass away and leave the throne of England
to someone who was not English. To avoid this, Parliament passed the Act of Union (1707) that brought together Scotland
and England into Great Britain in an effort to make a stronger country.
GEORGE IS FROM GERMANY??
Anne’s reign saw an increase in the control of Parliament until she died in 1714. When she died, the child of
James I’s granddaughter took the throne. His name was George I who was born and raised in Germany. The way he was
able to rule was by appointing a Prime Minister by the name of Robert Walpole who advised him and who ran much of
the political affairs. George II succeeds him in 1727. By 1760, the throne is under George III the grandson of George I
who greatly expands the empire of Great Britain. Most of the holdings of France fall to the British through war. The
expense of this war causes the American Revolution as George attempts to pay for the war with Colonial money.
Class Notes: Chapter 21/ Section 3: Road to Revolt
AMERICA IS RIPE
America was ripe for revolt for the following reasons:
1. The colonists shared a common language and political background.
2. Many of the radical political ideas had died in Great Britain but remained alive in America.
3. There was no aristocracy and the hardships of life in the frontier blurred class distinctions.
4. Each colony had a representative assembly and they were used to governing themselves.
BRITAIN CONTROLS THE TRADE
Britain attempted to keep control of the booming trade in the Colonies. By passing the Navigation Acts in the 1600’s, the
British regulated trade both to and from the Colonies.
Cons: some to Great Britain only
All goods going to the colonies had to be taxed by Great Britain
All goods must be carried by British boats
Pros: Strong shipping industry
No competition from foreign countries
AMERICAN POLITICAL POWER
America had a greater percentage of voters as land ownership was more possible.
Colonies are by definition: a Crown appointed governor who would in turn appoint judges and other officials
governed the colonies. Each colony also had an elected assembly that was populated by male landowners, just as in
England. Only in America more men owned land. The assembly also had the right to approve taxes requested by the
Crown or the Governor. Assemblies could limit salaries of members.
THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR
The rivalry for land in America between France and Britain led to the French and Indian War in 1754 that ended
in a British victory in 1760. In the Treaty of Paris, France gave up land west of the Appalachian Mountains and Canada. In
an effort to keep control, George Grenville, appointed by George III as lord of the Treasury, closed the land to colonist
settlement with the Acts of 1763 which also established a British army in the Colonies. The Crown also began to pay for
the defense of the land recently gained from France through a number of different laws:
PAYING FOR THE WAR
The Parliament passed the Sugar Act was part of the Revenue Act of 1764 to raise money. Molasses was taxed
to cover the cost of protecting the colonies.
The Quartering Act was passed in 1765. Americans were ordered to house British troops in public inns or
private barns and to provide fuel, candles and cider to troops.
The Stamp Act (1764-1765) was passed and became a major problem that the Colonists had with the Crown.
Every piece of printed material had been stamped to prove the tax had been paid. The colonists refused to purchase any
British stamped goods, arguing that they could not be taxed without representation in the British Parliament. The Stamp act
was repealed but the movement toward self-control had begun in the colonies.
The Declaratory Act of 1766 did the following:
Closed the lands west of the Appalachian Mountains
In forced the Navigation Acts
Quartered troops in the Colonists homes
Taxed a variety of items coming into America among which was tea
The Townshend Acts (1767) were a external tax on imports. This taxed tea and paper, glass, led and paint
imported into the colonies. The Colonists boycotted these goods and the British repealed the tax except on tea.
CONFLICT BECOMES PHYSICAL
In 1770 the first of the clashes between colonists and tax collecting British came in Boston. Five died in the
Boston Massacre. In an effort to keep the peace, the British took the tax on all but the tea, which resulted in the Boston
Tea Party (1773). As a result of this, in 1774 the British passed the Intolerable Acts that required the colonists to pay for
the tea, closing the harbor until they did.
Class Notes: Chapter 21/ Section 4: A War for Independence
A SHOT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD
The First Continental Congress met in 1774 in Philadelphia and decided that they could make laws and govern
themselves instead of working through the Crown. They declare a boycott of British goods and as a result and troops began
to assemble in each colony. The first shots are fired at Lexington and Concord-April 19th, 1775. Americans are
attempting to gather weapons and ammunition. The British attempt to seize the arms and these once loyal colonist
“patriots” resisted and routed them and solidified the Revolutionary War.
OUR FIRST ACTIONS AS A COUNTRY
Olive Branch Petition (July 1775) The Continental congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition which states American
loyalty to the Crown and to stop more British onslaught. The kind totally disregarded this.
The Second Continental Congress meets and names George Washington as the commander-in-chief of the Continental
PAINE’S COMMON SENSE
In January of 1776, Thomas Paine’s pamphlet called Common Sense came out. It provided logical explanations
for separating from England. In December of the same year, Paine also wrote 16 papers called the American Crisis which
inspired Washington’s troops, quoted “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine
patriot will in, this crisis shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands in now, deserves the love and thanks of
man and woman.” The people were galvanized. He is also quoted about the upcoming struggle as “Those who expect to
reap the benefits of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it”.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
On the Second of July Congress voted to declare independence. On the Fourth of July adopted the Declaration of
Independence that was written by Thomas Jefferson. Cites Locke’s Social Contract and it’s obligation to overthrow the
government. This assured the Colonists that they were going to war and if they lost would be prosecuted as traitors.
Benjamin Franklin, “We must all hang together now, or assuredly we shall hang separately.”
FIGHTING THE WAR
Fighting the war, the two sides were mismatched:
Well Led Well led by George Washington
Well-trained little battle experience
Well equipped identified by colored ribbon (no uniforms)
Assisted by 30,000 German mercenaries Assisted by the French arms/ammunition
Had to wait for supplies and reinforcements used surprise tactics to avoid large scale
To cross the Atlantic conflict
The British plan was to divide the Americans in New England from those colonies in the southern part of the
country. Most of the early fighting occurred in New Jersey and New York states. And many were British victories. The
Americans managed to turn the tide of Battle at Saratoga in New York. The American captured 6,000 British soldiers in
1777. This convinced the French to enter the war against the British. In 1779 Spain declared war on Britain and both
Spain and France sent their navies to fight the British in the West Indies. The Netherlands joined the war in 1780 against
Britain. By October 1781, the British had been defeated. General Washington accepted the surrender from Lord Charles
Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia.
WHAT KIND OF COUNTRY NOW?
The end of the Revolutionary War and the recognition of the United States by Britain, forced the need for a system
of government in the new nation. In the midst of the war, the Second Continental Congress adopts the Articles of
Confederation and Perpetual Union. The states formed a loose confederation of states. This was in part because each
did not want to give up their power to a central authority, as this had been the way England had worked. This
confederation was a weak bond between states and presented several problems. The Articles were finally ratified by all
states in March of 1781. The questions of “how national debts would be paid?” were pressing issues. Taxes could not be
collected by the central government and as a result debts could not be paid and armies were not funded. States could not be
regulated economically. This caused them to compete against each other.
DIVIDING THE POWER
As a result of these and other problems, the confederation called a meeting to adopt a new system of government.
A Constitutional Convention was called in 1788 and a system of federal government was approved which divided the
power between the federal and the local (state) governments. Jefferson followed Montesquieu The Spirit of the Laws
(1748) as the power was divided among three branches and a system of checks and balances were approved also. The
United States was declared a republic and in 1789, George Washington was elected its first president. On of Congress’ first
actions was to add the bill of rights, which guaranteed individual rights and well as the rights of the states which made up