Revolution Vocabulary

Blockade: sealing off an area - usually done with ships around a port or harbor so that other ships can't enter or leave. Can hurt the blockaded area economically and cause shortages and starvation.


Strategy: a plan designed to achieve a specific set of goals.


De Facto and De Jure: "De Facto" means that's the way it is, naturally and without interference. "De Jure" means we have laws that guarantee it will happen. Example: Southeast is de jure racially integrated but de facto racially segregated.


Partisan: a member of an armed group formed to fight secretly against an occupying force.


Hierarchy: a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority.


Guerilla Warfare: surprise attacks, ambushes and sneak attacks carried out by small numbers of partisans against a much larger regular army.  


Pyrrhic victory: a phrase that means that while you won a small battle, you lost the larger war.


White Collar: someone who works in a skilled area that doesn't require a lot of physical effort so they can wear nice clothes to their job.


Blue Collar: someone who works for an hourly wage and does semi-skilled physical labor that usualy results in getting sweaty or dirty.


Quitrent: in colonial America, when you bought property you often had to keep paying a yearly fee to the original landowner. This fee was called a quitrent.


Absentee Landlord: someone who owns property and rents it out but doesn't live in the same community where his property is. In the case of Revolutionary America, the absentee landlords owned land in Ameruca but lived in England.


Propaganda: information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.  


Paradigm: a way of seeing the world, baed on a set of assumptions about how the world works.


Founders Timeline

1730's: Led by charismatic preachers, the First Great Awakening moves American Protestants towards a more personal sense of spirituality


1739: One of the largest slave revolts in the English colonies, the Stono Rebellion, takes place and is violently suppresed in South Carolina, near Charleston


1754: Benjamin Franklin proposed a unified colonial government, known as the Albany Plan of Union, to provide for a common defense. It is rejected by the 13 colonies.


1754: Conflict over land claims between the French and the British in the Ohio River Valley leads to the start of the French and Indian War.


1756: Wordwide conflict between the British and the French leads to the Seven Years War.


1759: Prime Minister Pitt decides to borrow and spend as much money as is needed to beat the French, resulting in a string of British victories known as the "Year of Miracles".


1763: The Treaty of Paris is signed. France gives up all her lands in North America. Britain now claims all of America east of the Mississippi.


1763: Pontiac's Rebellion is supressed by the British Army.


1763: King George III issues the Proclamation Line which forbids the American colonists to settle or claim any lands west of the Appalachian Mountains.


1765: The British Parliament passes the Stamp Acts to collect taxes directly from the American colonies.


1767: The Stamp Acts are repealed and replaced by a set of tariffs known as the Townsend Acts.


1770: American protestors in Boston are fired upon by British soldiers in what the colonists will call The Boston Massacre.


1773: Protesting the Tea Acts, angry colonists destroy a shipment of tea in what becomes known as "The Boston Tea Party".


1774: Parliament passes the Intolerable Acts, suspending colonial governments and shutting down the port of Boston.


1775: British soldiers attempt to confiscate the weapons of the colonial militia. The colonists fight back, resulting in the Battle of Lexington and Concord. In Philadelphia, the 2nd Continental Congress meets to organize the revolution.


1777: Decisive American victory at the Battle of Saratoga convinces the French to aid the colonists.


1777-78: Continental Army spends the winter at Valley Forge where Baron Von Steuben arrives and trains the soldiers.


1781: The British Army is defeated at the Battle of Yorktown, ending the Revolutionary War.


1783: The Treaty of Paris is signed and American independence is achieved.


1785: Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress passes the Northwest Ordinance, regulating the settling of the Ohio River lands.


1786-87: Angry over taxes and foreclosures, farmers in New England take up arms in Shay's Rebellion.


1787: The Constitutional Convention meets in Philadelphia to write a new governing document for the United States.


1789-90: North Carolina and Rhode Island are the last two states to ratify the Constitution, making it the law of the land.