Tea Act (1773) - The British Parliament wished to address the financial difficulties of the British East India Company due to the American boycott of British tea. As a result, they passed the Tea Act in 1773, which maintained the tea tax from the Townshend Acts (1767), but allowed the British East India Company to undersell the smugglers whose foreign tea was facilitating the boycott of British tea. In Boston, some Americans protested the Tea Act in an incident that became known as the Boston Tea Party.
Tories - This was a term used to describe Americans who favored allegiance to Britain, also called Loyalists. The term was borrowed from the British party labels from the reign of Queen Anne (b. 1665, reigned 1702-1714). Both in Britain and the colonies, those opposing the Tories were called Whigs. In Britain, Whigs opposed the tolerance of religious dissent, supremacy of the Parliament, and anti-French foreign policy espoused by the Whigs. The terms were only approximate descriptions of the American political groups, however.
Townshend Acts (1767) - Parliament passed these acts because of the efforts of Charles Townshend, Chancellor of the Exchequer (treasury) in Britain (1766-67), after whom they were named. As a result of the acts, duties were levied on colonial imports of glass, lead, paint, paper. and tea, the revenue from which was used to pay the salaries of colonial officials. Before the Townshend Acts, officials' salaries were controlled by colonial legislatures. In addition, the acts reaffirmed Britain right to use writs of assistance to enforce the Navigation Acts.
Treaty of Alliance (1778) - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Silas Deane (1737-1789), and Arthur Lee (1740-1792) negotiated two treaties with France: the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance. Both were signed on February 6, 1778. In the Treaty of Alliance, France and the United States established a pact of mutual support and defense against Britain, and France renounced possession of the Bermudas and rejected any claim to Canada, except for the fishing areas around Newfoundland. Both parties promised not to make peace with Britain until it recognized American independence. A confidential addendum to the treaty invited Spain to join the alliance.
Treaty of Amity and Commerce (1778) - Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Silas Deane (1737-1789), and Arthur Lee (1740-1792) negotiated two treaties with France: the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance. Both were signed on February 6, 1778. In the Treaty of Amity and Commerce, France cut diplomatic relations with Britain, recognized the United States, gave the United States most-favored-nation status, and created a number of political and economic ties between the two countries. The treaty brought France into the Revolutionary War, providing military aid to the United States and forcing Britain to fight a war on many fronts. France's entry into the war was a decisive step toward the American victory.
Treaty of Paris (1763) - This treaty ended the French and Indian War (1754-1763). In it, France gave Canada and all land east of the Mississippi, except New Orleans, to Britain. France's territory west of the Mississippi went to Spain, and Spain gave Florida to Britain in exchange for Cuba, which Britain had seized during the war. France maintained two small fishing islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as well as several islands in the West Indies. Nevertheless, Britain emerged from the war the clear victors, although they were heavily in debt.
Treaty of Paris (1783) - Signed on September 23, 1783, the treaty ended the Revolutionary War. In it, Britain acknowledged the independence of the thirteen American colonies, agreed that the boundaries of the nation would be the Atlantic Ocean on the east, the Mississippi River on the west, Canada on the north, and Florida in the south. The United States received full fishing privileges around Newfoundland, and Spain received Florida. The United States Congress ratified the treaty on January 14, 1784.
Triangular Trade - These were trade routes used by colonial merchants, especially in New England. One such route had merchants selling American grain, meat, fish, and lumber in the West Indies, where sugar, molasses, and fruit would be purchased. These goods would be sold in Britain, where manufactured products would be purchased and sold in the American colonies. Another trade route involved the sale of American rum in West Africa, where slaves were purchased and sold in the West Indies. In the West Indies, molasses was bought and shipped to the North American colonies.