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Coercive Acts (1774) - This was the official name for the set of laws called the Intolerable Acts by the American colonists, passed by Parliament in order to punish Massachusetts for the Boston Tea Party. The acts closed the port of Boston until the colonists paid for the damaged tea; deprived the people of Massachusetts of the right to elect officials, choose jurors, and hold town meetings; appointed General Thomas Gage (1720-1787) military governor of the colony; and required that British soldiers and officials accused of crimes in Massachusetts be tried in England. In addition, the Coercive Acts included the Quartering Act and the Quebec Act.
Committee of Safety - These were organizations formed throughout the colonies by patriot citizens, in order to recruit and train local militia, collect money and supplies, gather information, and harass representatives of the Crown. Joseph Warren (1741-1775) of the Committee of Safety sent Paul Revere and William Dawes on their famous Midnight Ride.
Committees of Correspondence - In 1772, Samuel Adams (1722-1803) made a general call to the colonies to organize Committees of Correspondence in order to maintain contact with the other colonies and keep them informed of internal events and developments. Most colonies adopted this suggestion.
Common Sense (1776) - This pamphlet by Thomas Paine (1737-1809), published in 1776, convinced many Americans to support the cause of independence from Britain. In it, Paine attacked the British monarchy and explained that a continued colonial state would threaten American republican virtue. The pamphlet was inexpensive to purchase (one shilling per copy) and was written in an accessible style, so it became popular among people of all classes.
Continental Army - The Continental Army was established in 1775 by the Second Continental Congress. The army included the Minutemen around Boston, with George Washington (1732-1799) as commander-in-chief. Congress also called upon the colonies to raise troops and financially contribute to the war effort.
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