The American Revolution - Introductory

Declare your independence and master these words related to the American Revolution. Learn all about the conflict between the colonists and the redcoats, from the Boston Tea Party to the British surrender at Yorktown. Explore causes of the war and review major battles, key historical figures, and the structure of the new American republic.

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definitions & notes only words
  1. Alexander Hamilton
    United States statesman and leader of the Federalists
  2. ally
    a friendly nation
  3. amendment
    a statement that is added to a proposal or document
  4. Articles of Confederation
    a written agreement ratified in 1781 by the thirteen original states; it provided a legal symbol of their union by giving the central government no coercive power over the states or their citizens
  5. battle of Saratoga
    a battle during the American Revolution
  6. Benjamin Franklin
    printer whose success as an author led him to take up politics; he helped draw up the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; he played a major role in the American Revolution and negotiated French support for the colonists; as a scientist he is remembered particularly for his research in electricity (1706-1790)
  7. Bill of Rights
    a statement of fundamental rights and privileges
  8. blockade
    a war measure isolating an area of importance to the enemy
  9. Boston Tea Party
    demonstration (1773) by citizens of Boston who (disguised as Native Americans) raided three British ships in Boston harbor and dumped hundreds of chests of tea into the harbor; organized as a protest against taxes on tea
  10. boycott
    refusal to have commercial dealings with some organization
  11. Bunker Hill
    the first important battle of the American War of Independence (1775) which was fought at Breed's Hill; the British defeated the colonial forces
  12. colonist
    one who settles or establishes a settlement in a new region
  13. colony
    a geographical area controlled by a distant country
  14. Congress
    the legislature of the United States government
  15. Constitutional Convention
    the convention of United States statesmen who drafted the United States Constitution in 1787
  16. Continental Congress
    the legislative assembly composed of delegates from the rebel colonies who met during and after the American Revolution; they issued the Declaration of Independence and framed Articles of Confederation
  17. Declaration of Independence
    the document recording the proclamation of the second Continental Congress (4 July 1776) asserting the independence of the Colonies from Great Britain
  18. delegate
    a person appointed or elected to represent others
  19. executive
    having the function of carrying out plans or orders
  20. federal
    of a government with central and regional authorities
  21. freedom of speech
    right guaranteed by the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution
  22. French and Indian War
    a war in North America between France and Britain
  23. George III
    King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1760 to 1820
  24. George Washington
    1st President of the United States
  25. grievance
    an allegation that something denies some legal right
  26. import
    commodities bought from a foreign country
  27. independence
    freedom from control or influence of another or others
  28. James Madison
    4th President of the United States
  29. John Hancock
    American revolutionary patriot who was president of the Continental Congress; was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence (1737-1793)
  30. John Jay
    United States diplomat and jurist who negotiated peace treaties with Britain and served as the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court (1745-1829)
  31. judicial
    relating to the administration of justice
  32. legislative
    relating to a lawmaking assembly
  33. legislature
    an assembly that makes, amends, or repeals laws
  34. levy
    impose and collect
  35. Lexington and Concord
    the first battle of the American Revolution (April 19, 1775)
  36. liberty
    freedom of choice
  37. mercenary
    a person hired to fight for another country than their own
  38. militia
    civilians trained as soldiers, not part of the regular army
  39. Minuteman
    an American militiaman prior to and during the American Revolution
  40. musket
    a muzzle-loading shoulder gun with a long barrel
  41. Nathan Hale
    a soldier of the American Revolution who was hanged as a spy by the British; his last words were supposed to have been "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country" (1755-1776)
  42. parliament
    a legislative assembly in certain countries
  43. Patrick Henry
    a leader of the American Revolution and a famous orator who spoke out against British rule of the American colonies (1736-1799)
  44. patriot
    one who loves and defends his or her country
  45. Paul Revere
    American silversmith remembered for his midnight ride (celebrated in a poem by Longfellow) to warn the colonists in Lexington and Concord that British troops were coming (1735-1818)
  46. petition
    a formal request that something be submitted to an authority
  47. quarter
    provide housing for military personnel
  48. ratify
    approve and express assent, responsibility, or obligation
  49. rebel
    a person who takes part in an armed insurrection
  50. rebellion
    organized opposition to authority
  51. redcoat
    British soldier; so-called because of his red coat
  52. regiment
    army unit smaller than a division
  53. repeal
    cancel officially
  54. representation
    the right to have delegates in some legislative body
  55. representative
    related to government in which citizens elect officials
  56. republic
    a political system in which power lies in a body of citizens
  57. revolution
    the overthrow of a government by those who are governed
  58. Samuel Adams
    American Revolutionary leader and patriot
  59. self-government
    government of a political unit by its own people
  60. siege
    an action of an armed force that surrounds a fortified place
  61. Stamp Act
    an act passed by the British Parliament in 1756 that raised revenue from the American Colonies by a duty in the form of a stamp required on all newspapers and legal or commercial documents; opposition by the Colonies resulted in the repeal of the act in 1766
  62. tariff
    a government tax on imports or exports
  63. taxation
    charge against a citizen's person or property or activity
  64. Thomas Jefferson
    3rd President of the United States
  65. traitor
    someone who betrays his country by committing treason
  66. treaty
    a written agreement between two states or sovereigns
  67. tyranny
    government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator
  68. tyrant
    a cruel and oppressive dictator
  69. Yorktown
    in 1781 the British under Cornwallis surrendered after a siege of three weeks by American and French troops; the surrender ended the American Revolution
Created on February 14, 2017 (updated March 31, 2017)

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