America’s Revolution: George Washington Strikes the Spark II

 

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Sent by the Governor of Virginia to build and defend a fort on the Ohio River at present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in spring 1754, young militia Lt. Colonel George Washington helped kick off the first true world war. As he approached the site of what he would name Fort Necessity, he discovered the presence of a French scouting party. Fearing treachery, on May 28th Washington and his Indian allies ambushed and captured the French led by Ensign Joseph Coulon de Jumonville. Washington, who spoke no French, was struggling to interrogate Jumonville who spoke no English. While they thrashed about the interview, in one of history’s murkiest events, apparently Washington’s Indian confederate Tanaghrisson murdered Jumonville.

America’s Revolution: George Washington Strikes the Spark I

 

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had ever done that. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: When King George III of Britain and his advisors heard the news that George Washington had been appointed commander of what would become the victorious Continental Army in 1775, they were quite familiar with the name and reputation of the Virginian. Washington had been a major international player for over two decades since a little known event on the frontier of Pennsylvania in May 1754 gave the 22-year old Lieutenant Colonel of the Virginia Militia the beginning of an outsized status. His exploits that spring became the catalyst of the first real world war, known in Europe as the Seven Years’ War and in America as the French and Indian War.

American Revolution: Taxation Without Representation III

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Severe financial burdens resulting from British involvement in the French and Indian War caused the government in London to seek revenues from the thirteen North American colonies, essentially to pay for a peaceful frontier and oceans free for colonial commerce. Surprisingly there were calls by some in Britain proposing colonial representation in Parliament. Adam Smith, Edmund Burke and for a time, Benjamin Franklin, Pennsylvania’s representative in London, advocated some form of Colonial seats in the commons, but these proposals went nowhere and were not revived until long after the beginning of open hostilities in the late 1770s. Ironically, American radicals ultimately squelched the idea of colonial representation. They were convinced that if there were Americans seated at Westminster, there would be no restraint on Parliamentary enthusiasm for draining colonial pockets. Better to argue that Parliament had no right to tax the colonies, period.

American Revolution: Taxation Without Representation II

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: One of the important catalysts of the American Revolution was the French and Indian War and the crushing financial burden the war laid upon Great Britain. By 1763 the national debt was in excess of 120 million pounds, much of it expended to protect the North American colonies and take Canada from the French. The British people were being squeezed dry to pay for the war. The government of King George III thought it reasonable to tax the colonies to pay for their own defense. This was not an unreasonable course of action. Boston, even with a population of only 15,000, was the third largest port in terms of shipping tonnage in the English speaking world, behind Bristol and London. The British Navy made that trade possible and Americans contributed not one pound to naval support.

American Revolution: Taxation Without Representation I

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: It is hard to believe, but as late as 1770 most people living in the colonies of North America thought of themselves as loyal subjects of the British Crown. Except for a few radicals, most Americans considered themselves ordinary faithful Englishmen who just happened to live 3000 miles to the west of the Irish Sea. In just six short years a Congress of the colonies had declared independence and was raising an army to banish the rule of King George III forever. The reason: taxes.

America’s Revolution: French and Indian War V

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: The first three years of the French and Indian War, 1755-1757, witnessed an almost complete series of French victories. French commander Major General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm was clearly superior to his British counterparts, with a tactical boldness without equal. Incompetent British leadership and effective coordination between the French and their Native-American allies delivered devastating raids all along the western frontier and a powerful series of blows against British garrisons in New York, culminating in the 1757 collapse of British resistance at Fort William Henry on Lake George.

America’s Revolution: French and Indian War IV

 

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: One of the primary catalysts of the American Revolution was the French and Indian War. The London government of the Duke of Newcastle sent General Edward Braddock to America to begin cleaning the French out of the Ohio Valley. Even before Braddock left England, word reached Paris, and the French dispatched troops to counteract the British thrust. Attempts by British naval units to interdict the French were measures that led to an official declaration of war between the antagonists in 1755. When Braddock arrived in North America he conferred with colonial governors and they planned a four-pronged attack on the French in the west. Nearly all of these efforts failed. In fact, nearly everything the British tried from 1755 to 1757 in America came to grief. Only the capture of Fort Beauséjour on the border between French Acadia and British Nova Scotia was an unrestrained success.

America’s Revolution: The French and Indian War III

Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Unable by negotiation to convince the French to withdraw from the Ohio Valley or to dislodge them by direct confrontation in a military expedition led by George Washington in 1754, the British government, led by the Duke of Newcastle, decided to ramp up its engagement and take the valley by force. It dispatched a large expedition under Major General Edward Braddock to confront the French and seize Fort Duquesne at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers at present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This action provoked the beginning in 1755 of the French and Indian War, the North American theater of a much wider conflict, the Seven Years’ War, history’s first truly world war.