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Epochs of American History. The Formation of the Union, 1750–
Epochs of Modern History. The War of American Independence.
As books of Reference:
BANCROFT'S History of the United States. Vols. iv-x.
FISKE'S American Revolution. 2 vols. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. FISKE'S History of the United States for Schools. Houghton, Mifflin & Co.
'American Statesmen Series':
Benjamin Franklin. J. T. MORSE, Jun. Houghton, Mifflin & Co.
Thomas Jefferson. J. T. MORSE, Jun.
LECKY'S History of England in the Eighteenth Century.
BURKE'S Speeches on American Questions. Edited by PAYNE,
GUIZOT's Life of Washington.
BRIGHT'S History of England. Vol. iii. Clarendon Press.
GRENVILLE AND THE COMMERCIAL SYSTEM.
1. Rise and development of the American colonies. The French in America. The Seven Years' War and its results. Sense of dependence weakened by extent of British success. Prophecies of ultimate separation between Great Britain and her American colonies.
2. The colonies in relation to the mother-country. The colonial constitutions. Separation and jealousies existing between the colonies. Franklin and the need for a Federal Union. The colonies refuse to federate. The tie binding each to England mainly a tie of sentiment. Views of England as to value of her colonies. The Commercial system and the Navigation Laws. How the system affected the Americans. Its disadvantages and counterbalancing advantages. Laxity of Walpole's government towards colonial questions. Loyalty roused by Seven Years' War. Situation at the close of the war.
3. Fall of Bute's Administration, 1763. George Grenville Prime Minister. Character of Grenville. His proposals in relation to America. Abstract merits of these proposals:
(1) To enforce the Commercial System.
(2) To maintain a military force in America.
(3) To tax America directly in order to raise contributory
funds (Stamp Tax).
Outcry in America against Grenville's proposals. American objections examined. Grenville and Franklin. Real nature of Grenville's mistakes. The Stamp Tax and its reception in America.
Fall of Grenville, 1765. Lord Rockingham succeeds him. Burke and Rockingham. Repeal of Stamp Tax. The Declaratory Act. Views of Americans as to the Declaratory Act. Prospects of permanent pacification.
BURKE AND PITT IN RELATION TO AMERICAN QUESTIONS.
1. Burke's political career to 1763. His mind and character. Natural antipathy to Grenville's policy. Examination of his speeches on American questions.
Burke's pleas are based upon―
(1) His imagination.
The rise of the colonies appealed to his imagination in the same way as India, or Marie Antoinette, did in later years.
(2) His innate conservatism.
Grenville's policy was one of innovation. Direct taxes had never been raised before in America. A sufficient reason for not raising them now.
(3) His sense of expediency.
The advantages to be gained by a new policy not proportionate to evils to be anticipated. Thus he based his objections not on right, but expediency.
2. Pitt opposes Grenville on grounds of right as well as expediency. His views as to the principles of British freedom. Grenville's policy an infringement of these fundamental principles. Direct taxation must be accompanied by representation in Parliament. Pitt forms a Government on Rockingham's fall, 1766. Nature of this Ministry. Pitt retires to the Lords, 1767. Policy pursued by his late colleagues. Pitt's opposition. Consistency of his views on American questions. He denies that Imperial supremacy is threatened. But with the outbreak of war, America seeks assistance from France. Declaration of Independence. Pitt urges the vigorous prosecution of the war. His death, 1778.
Examination and criticism of Pitt's later policy.
Direct causes of the war.
1. Policy of Townshend. Chancellor of the Exchequer in Pitt's 1766 Ministry. His commercial duties. Their withdrawal, except the tea duty. Impolicy of Townshend's measures. Reception of Townshend's measures in America. They tend to consolidate the colonies in opposition.
2. Lord North, Prime Minister, 1770. Conditions under which he took office. The party of the King's Friends. The king in relation to American questions. Troops despatched to the colonies. Non-importation agreements among the colonies. The Boston massacre.
Lord North's Regulating Act. Its bearings on the American question. The Boston Harbour outrage. Punishment of Boston and Massachusetts by
(1) The Boston Port Bill.
(2) The Massachusetts Government Bill. The Hutchinson letters.
Hutchinson Governor of Massachusetts. His correspondence with Whateley, Grenville's Secretary. The letters fall into Franklin's hands. Effects of the publication of the letters in Massachusetts. Privy Council inquiry into the Hutchinson question. Insult to Franklin by Wedderburn.
The colonies, threatened as to their institutions by the Acts of Government, call for a Congress of the various States. Attitude of Virginia. Patrick Henry's efforts in Virginia. Congress of Philadelphia, 1774.
Declaration of the Rights of Man.
Position of Washington. Independence not the object sought. Preparations for war.
The outbreak of hostilities.
Skirmish at Lexington, April, 1775.
1. Composition of the American Army: (a) Colonial militia; (b) Continental army; (c) Indian allies. Condition of the American troops in relation to experience, discipline, &c. Numerical strength.
2. Composition of the British Army: (a) Regulars; (b) German mercenaries; (c) Indian allies. Co-operation of the British fleet. Strength of forces employed.
Comparison between the Generals employed. Washington: nature and extent of the influence he exercised. British Generals. Their lukewarmness and inefficiency. Hopes of conciliation paralysing to vigorous effort.
The campaign of 1775. Investment of Boston-importance of the New England colonies. The strategical plan of action. Battle of Bunker's Hill. Its effects upon the struggle now definitely engaged. American invasion of Canada. Montgomery and Arnold. Washington fashions an American army. Progress of siege of Boston, 1776. Difficulties of Washington. His insufficient supplies, and unruly troops. He succeeds at Boston. (Evacuation of Boston by General Howe, March, 1776.) Strategic effect of this event.
Spread of the idea of Independence as the logical outcome of the struggle. Proposals for a Declaration of Independence. American reverses in Canada. Washington at New York.
Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. Its terms and political meaning.
Progress of the campaign. Desperate condition of Washington. He evacuates New York. Howe's successes. Washington's retreat. Crosses the Delaware. Partially retrieves the position, December, 1776. Despondency in America.