Leading up to The Revolutionary War

By Maggie Bagatta

give me liberty or give me death!

Many people and events lead up to the revolutionary war. The Sons of Liberty like Paul Revere helped the colonists, while British like king George hindered them. Over the course of boycotts and acts, tension grew between both sides ended up in war.

The Boston Massacre

The Boston Massacre was when Britain had sent 1,000 more soldiers come to Boston under the command of General Thomas Gage. The Colonists were angered by this and on March 7, 1770 a group of colonists surrounded the soldiers and began to throw rocks and snowballs and yell at them, feeling threatened they began to shoot into the crowd, killing four colonists. The soldiers that shot were tried for murder, although many colonists said they deserved no trial, but John Adams, although he was ridiculed, defended them in court, stating that everyone was subject to the law. This event lead to the colonists angered that the British killed colonists and that lead to the Committees of Correspondence informing the colonists of anymore British acts against the colonists to ensure that no more colonists were killed.

The stamp act

What was it?

The British made an act so that for every legal or commercial document had to be stamped showing that a tax had been paid for it. This angered the colonists and they started to protest, sometimes violently, because they were being taxed unfairly without representation.

Stamp act congress

Then in 1765 delegates from all nine colonies formed the stamp act congress in New York there they made a petition to the king protesting the Stamp Act, this was called the “Declaration of rights and Grievances”.

Stamp act debate

Seeing all the protesting and boycotts against british goods Lord Rockingham, the new British Prime Minister, agreed with the colonists and brought Benjamin Franklin, an important colonist figure, to the Stamp Act debate in England. March 18, 1766 the Stamp Act was repealed and at the exception that the Declaratory act passed stating that parliament had the right to make laws for the colonies in all matters.

The Intolerable Acts

The Intolerable acts were caused because the King was furious about the Boston Tea party, these were passed in 1774 and were meant to punish the Massachusetts colony and give them more power and control over all the colony. In 1774 the first Continental congress met, including delegates from each colony except for Georgia. They decided that they were going to ban all trade with Britain until the acts were repealed. They also decided to start to gather troops, this was when Patrick Henry gave the “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech. This resulted in the British becoming even more frustrated that the colonists were officially defying them more.


-Boston Port Act

-Massachusetts Government Act

-Administration Justice Act

-Quartering Act of 1774

-Quebec Act of 1774

First Continental Congress

The First Continental Congress was made because the colonists were all affected be the acts and unfair taxes and decided to do something about it. Several delegates from each colony, including Samuel Adams for the Massachusetts colony, except for Georgia, came together for this meeting. They decided to ban all trade with Britain until the Intolerable acts were repealed and decided to train troops although they were not ready to declare independance.

It was the first time all the colonies gathered together and decided to officially go against Britain and decide to start getting troops together in case of a battle or potential war. This irritated the British even more that the colonists were going to go against the new laws they had passed (The Intolerable acts) that were meant to punish them for the Boston Tea Party so the British did not end up repealing the Intolerable acts, unlike the other acts.

The Sons of liberty

The sons of Liberty were a secret society created by Samuel Adams who opposed the British. During different acts such as the Townshend Acts when other colonists were angry the Sons of Liberty encouraged them to protest and strike back against the British. They were important because, like the other colonists they had experienced all the acts and taxes and they helped the other colonists know that Britain was against them, controlled their every move and taxed them unfairly. This made sure that the other colonists also became angry at the British and wanted to rebel against them.

Paul Revere

Paul Revere was a Silversmith, he originally had a rudimentary in writing, but decided to follow in his father's footsteps of craftsmanship. He was a lieutenant in the French and Indian war, and after the Stamp Act he became a Son of Liberty having great respect and pride of his country and was not willing to let Britain step on it.

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere

As a Son of Liberty Paul Revere had a job protecting the colonies. His job, as well as three others, was to alert the colonists if the British troops started to advance. On the night of April 18, 1775 he was sent to go and warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British troops were advancing to come arrest them. He rode to the house they were staying at in Lexington, and on the way warned the colonists on the country side of the advancing regulars(British troops). After he warned them and they fled the other two messengers with different routes, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott, joined him on the way to Massachusetts to warn more colonists.


On the way to the Massechucettes colony all three informants were arrested by the regulars. William Dawes and Samuel Prescott escaped earlier, and Paul Revere was released in time to witness the Battle of Lexington, although he did not fight in it.


Throughout the events leading up to the war more and more tension grew between the British and the colonists. The colonists realized that Britain was controlling them and taking whatever money they wanted, and they were angry and would not let it happen, but the British were not about to allow them to be out of there control. So when boycotts and protests were not enough battles lead to a war.