BECK index

Volume 13: AMERICAN REVOLUTION to 1800

American Revolution to 1800 has been published as a book. For ordering information please click here.


English & Dutch Colonies to 1642

Hiawatha & the Iroquois League
Raleigh & Roanoke 1585-90
Jamestown, Smith & Pocahontas 1607-16
Virginia Company & Colony 1616-42
Maryland & Cecil Calvert 1632-42
New Netherland Company 1614-42
Plymouth Pilgrims & Bradford 1620-43
Massachusetts Puritans & Winthrop 1629-43
Pequot War & Connecticut 1634-42

Roger Williams & Rhode Island to 1642

English & Dutch Colonies 1643-64

New England Confederation 1643-64
Rhode Island & Williams 1643-64
New Netherland & Stuyvesant 1642-64
Maryland & the Calverts 1642-64
Virginia & Berkeley 1642-64

New England 1664-1744

New England & Metacom’s War 1664-77
New England Disunion 1676-91
Salem Witch Trials
Massachusetts 1692-1744
Cotton Mather & John Wise
Rhode Island 1692-1744
Connecticut 1692-1744
Edwards & the Great Revival

New York to Pennsylvania 1664-1744

New York under James 1664-88
New York 1689-1744
New Jersey 1664-1744
Penn & Pennsylvania 1681-88
Pennsylvania & Penn 1688-1701
Pennsylvania Expansion 1702-44

Maryland, Virginia, Carolinas & Georgia 1664-1744

Maryland & Calverts 1664-1744
Virginia & Bacon’s Rebellion 1664-80
Virginia Expansion 1680-1744
Carolina Proprietary Colonies 1663-88
North Carolina 1689-1744
South Carolina 1689-1719
South Carolina & Slavery 1720-44
Georgia & Oglethorpe 1732-44

Franklin’s Practical Ethics

Franklin’s Autobiography
Silence Dogood & Franklin’s Religion
Franklin’s Journalism 1729-47
Poor Richard’s Almanac 1733-58

English-French Conflict in America 1744-54

French & New England 1744-54
New York, New Jersey & Pennsylvania 1744-54
Franklin in Pennsylvania 1744-54
Virginia, Ohio & Maryland 1744-54
Carolinas and Georgia 1744-54

English, French & Indian War 1754-63

English-French War in America 1754-57
English Defeat of the French 1758-1760
New York & New Jersey 1754-63
Pennsylvania & War 1754-63
Franklin & Pennsylvania 1757-64
Maryland & Virginia 1754-63
Carolinas & the Cherokees 1754-63
Georgia & the Creeks 1754-63
New England & British Canada 1760-63
Pontiac’s Uprising of 1763

American Resistance to British Taxes 1763-75

Peace Treaty & Sugar Tax 1763-65
Stamp Act Crisis 1765-66
Townshend Acts 1767-70
Tea Tax Resistance 1770-74
Continental Congress 1774-75
Western Frontier 1763-75

American War of Independence 1775-83

British War in Massachusetts 1775
Congress & the War 1775-76
Paine’s Common Sense
American Declaration of Independence
British War in America 1776
British War in America 1777
British War in America 1778-79
British War in America 1780-81
American Peacemaking 1782-83
Frontier during the Revolutionary War

Confederation & a Constitution 1784-89

United States Confederation 1784-85
United States Confederation in 1786
Shays’s Rebellion & Congress 1786-87
Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia
Ratification & the Federalists
Transition & the Bill of Rights
American Frontier 1784-89

United States & Washington 1789-97

America’s New Government 1789-90
Washington & Hamilton’s Bank 1790
Washington & Hamilton’s Bank 1791
Washington & Hamilton’s Bank 1792
America & the French Revolution 1793-94
Whiskey Rebellion
Washington & Peace 1795
Washington & Peace in 1796
American Frontier 1789-96

United States & John Adams 1797-1800

Adams Administration in 1797
Adams & the Quasi-War in 1798
Adams & the Election 1799-1800

Summary & Evaluation

Dutch & English Colonies to 1664
New England & New York 1664-1744
New Jersey & Pennsylvania 1664-1744
Maryland to Georgia 1664-1744
English-French Conflict 1744-63
American Revolution 1763-1783
American Constitution & Federalists 1783-1800
Evaluating American Revolution to 1800
Evaluating Presidents Washington & Adams


Chronology of America to 1817
World Chronology



      Successful colonization by the English, French, and Dutch began early in the 17th century, and they came mostly to North America. The Dutch settled in the Hudson River valley and purchased the island of Manhattan from the natives for trinkets. In 1664 the English overwhelmed New Netherland and renamed it New York.
      The English came to Virginia in 1607 to farm and developed the habit-forming tobacco as their main export and currency. They created the first representative Assembly in 1619. In New England religious motives brought Puritans to America as a refuge where they could practice their beliefs. The pilgrims on the Mayflower in 1620 founded the Plymouth colony that made a treaty and celebrated Thanksgiving with the local Indians. Winthrop and the Puritans who founded the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1630 also set up a theocracy, but they created conflict by taking land from the “heathens” and persecuting those with variant religious beliefs. Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson were banished but established Rhode Island as a haven for religious freedom and the separation of church and state. Virginia, New England, and other colonies had conflicts with Indians that led to hostility and wars.
      England’s King Charles II granted Pennsylvania to the Quaker leader William Penn in 1681, and he made it a “holy experiment” in pacifist government as they refused to establish a military. They developed good relations with the local Indians until the notorious “Walking Purchase” grabbed extra land in 1737. The English colonies not only developed legislative assemblies with increasing power but also universities and newspapers. Benjamin Franklin published satires, news, and political commentary. He initiated various efforts to improve conditions. His practical ethics and defense of liberty would eventually lead to a revolution. The plantation economies of the southern colonies exploited large numbers of African slaves, except in Georgia where in 1732 James Oglethorpe began another experiment to help the poor while prohibiting the importation of slaves and alcohol.
      The European conflict between England and France was already affecting the colonies in northern America in 1744 when King George’s war began. Although this war did not last long, the Seven Years War that actually was begun in the wilderness south of the Ohio River in 1754 by an attack led by young George Washington. This would be the first world war that was fought in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. The French in Canada were outnumbered, and the growing British empire managed to defeat the French on the American continent and take control of Canada.
      This huge war had cost the British much money, and they expected the American colonists to help pay off the debt with their taxes which they imposed on the colonies without consulting their local assemblies or by giving them representation in their Parliament. The British Americans understood their rights as British citizens, and they had been developing their local governments for generations. Every one of the thirteen colonies south of Canada resisted paying these oppressive taxes to a mother country that was also exploiting them with commercial restrictions. This American Revolution began nonviolently for the most part as people gathered in town meetings and decided not to pay the taxes even if they had to stop purchasing British imports. The resistance to the Stamp Act of 1765 was so widespread and successful that the British repealed it the next year. Americans found that they could forego the luxury of tea to assert their right to govern themselves.
      Unfortunately King George III tried to impose his will on the colonies by using military force in Boston; but this only provoked more resistance and led to war on 19 April 1775 when the patriots refused to let the British take their weapons from Lexington and Concord. Some Virginians, though slave owners, were well educated as to their rights, and they provided leaders such as Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison who would guide the transformation to a republic without a monarch.
      The proliferation of newspapers and pamphlets by James Otis, John Adams, Jefferson, and Thomas Paine during the war encouraged the struggle for freedom and republican institutions. The genius of Ben Franklin gained the alliance with France that helped the Americans overthrow their English overlords. George Washington commanded a defensive war that defeated the imperialistic British, and then he retired. For a few years the thirteen states experimented with a weak confederation and found that it did not work very well. In May 1787 delegates sent to Philadelphia debated and by September created a constitution that established a stronger federal government with a balance of powers in three branches that would include a Bill of Rights to protect their cherished liberties.
      Washington was overwhelmingly elected as the first President of the United States, and Federalists led by Alexander Hamilton became influential as they consolidated the debts of the states and established a banking system. Washington wisely set a neutral foreign policy and retired after eight years to show that a republic could change its leadership by elections rather than by death. The Federalist John Adams was elected President over the Republican Jefferson and was able to prevent a war against France despite the efforts of Hamilton and other Federalists.
      Most of this book is factual description, but the last chapter contains a summary and ethical evaluation. The Chronological Index has page numbers for looking up events.

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