Topic 10
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The Empire Strikes Back





Lexington, April 1775


bulletCook, chaps.14-15
bullet 2nd Continental Congress, Causes . . .Taking Up Arms
bullet Charlotte Town Resolves, 1775
OVERVIEW: London's decision to strike at the Massachusetts radicals with the Coercive Acts gave the radicals an opportunity to rally others colonies in a united effort at resistance.


Early in 1775  the positions of the colonies and London pointed to armed conflict.
bulletParliament votes troops and declares New England in rebellion
bulletNorth is supported by large majorities
bulletConciliatory moves: In February, 1775, Lord North startled the House of Commons by introducing and passing a conciliatory resolution; but the offer did not have satisfactory terms nor the confidence in the ministry and the king and it had been effectually prejudiced by the passage, in March and April, of bills restraining the trade of the colonies to Great Britain and the British West Indies, and by further provisions for  providing for armed conflict. It was on the first of the restraining bills, that relating to New England, that Burke made his great speech on conciliation
bulletChatham and Burke and failure of conciliation.

The strategy of Samuel Adams and the radicals was to make the British act first so they could be described as aggressors, convincing other colonies to join Massachusetts. The major challenge for the radicals in this final stage was to unite the colonies against London.



Differing Accounts of the Battle of Lexington


Bunker Hill