The American Revolution

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There were a variety of causes of the American Revolution (taxes, acts of Parliament, lack of representation, disparity of rights between British and colonists, etc.), but effects the Proclamation of 1763 had as big an impact as any relative to the Ohio territory.

The Proclamation required that a 10,000-man army be formed to patrol the Allegany Mountain frontier between the whites and the Indians. The colonists were required to pay for this army through a sugar tax instituted in 1764. The Sugar Act of 1764 actually cut the tax on sugar by 50%. Unlike the previous sugar tax, however, this tax was enforced.

The Sugar tax did not raise enough money for the frontier army, so the Stamp Act of 1765 was enacted. This was a tax on all printed materials. The colonists staged a successfully boycott of the Stamp Act and it was repealed in 1766. A boycott of the Sugar Act was eventually successful as well.

In 1767 the British Parliament passed the Tungsten Act. The Tungsten Act ordered a tax on paper, tea and other items. This act infuriated the colonists even more than the previous two. Tea sales plummeted and Parliament repealed most of the Tungsten Act in 1768, but the tea tax remained.

The British East India Tea Company was facing financial hardship because of the reduced tea consumption in the colonies. In order to cut costs, the tried to eliminate the middleman by selling tea directly from their ships in Boston Harbor. A group of colonists, dressed as Indians, boarded one of these ships and dumped 18,000 lbs. of tea into the water. This "Boston Tea Party" prompted Parliament to pass the "Intolerable Acts."

The Intolerable Acts included a stamp act, tea tax, sugar act, forced quartering of British troops in colonists' homes and the closing of Boston Harbor. The Intolerable Acts led to the Boston Massacre. A group of Bostonians gathered to protest the Intolerable Acts and some boys threw snowballs at British troops who were on hand to police the crowd. The troops panicked and fired shots into the crowd and killed five men.

Bostonians were whipped into frenzy by Sam Adams and John Hancock and began to horde guns and supplies in preparation for a confrontation. The colonists formed two armories in Massachusetts, one at Lexington and one at Concorde.

The British learned of the armories and began a search intended to commandeer the weapons. They approached Lexington in April of 1775. Paul Revere and William Dowde rode to Lexington and Concorde to warn the colonists. The first battle of the American Revolution followed when the British marched on Lexington on April 18, 1775.

During the American Revolution, most of the Ohio area Indian tribes joined forces with the British. The British painted a picture that the colonists were the true transgressors and that the British were committed to honoring the Treaty of Fort Pitt and the Proclamation of 1763. The Delaware were one of the few tribes not to ally themselves with the British, instead of remaining neutral.

A group of Pennsylvania militiamen ventured into Ohio and built Fort Laurens (near present-day Canton, Ohio) about halfway between Fort Pitt and Fort Detroit. Approximately 150 men were stationed there, making it the only manned fort in the Ohio territory during the Revolutionary War.

In 1779 an Army of British and Indians laid siege to the fort. After six weeks, the Indians negotiated a truce with the Americans. In exchange for a barrel of flour and a barrel of meat, the Indians ended their siege.

Later n 1779 Ft. Laurens was held under another Indian siege and abandoned by the Americans. Wyandotte, Delaware and Mingo undertook the second and successful siege under the leadership of Simon Girty.

In 1781 the Americans defeated the British and General George Washington accepted the surrender of General Cornwallis. The Treaty of Paris officially ended direct hostilities between the Americans and the British. The Indians continued fighting the Americans, however, sometimes with direct British involvement.

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