Study Guide Starting with V and W

Valley Forge - General George Washington (1732-1799) and the troops of the Continental Army spent the winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge, in Pennsylvania. The experience was grueling for the troops, who were lacking adequate food, clothing, and shelter in the midst of a harsh winter. General Washington worked hard to keep the army unified and prepare the troops for the campaigns of 1778.

Whigs - This was a term used to describe Americans who favored independence, also called Patriots. 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 Whigs were called Tories. In Britain, Whigs supported tolerance of religious dissent, supremacy of the Parliament, and an anti-French foreign policy. The terms were only approximate descriptions of the American political groups, however.

Woolen Act (1699) - This British law forbade colonial merchants to export wool overseas or from one colony to another. This act was intended to restrict colonial manufacturing, and was one of several which constituted the Navigation Acts.

Writs of assistance - These legal documents were general search warrants which allowed customs officers to enter and search any ship, warehouse, or home for any smuggled goods. They were intended to discourage American merchants from trading with nations other than England. British officials used them more frequently after the French and Indian War (1754 - 1763), as part of their attempts to exert greater parliamentary control over the colonies and collect revenue to offset the war debt.