Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > The American Revolution and Its Era

[Detail] An accurate map of North America.

The Colonists' Grievances

A map from the 1760s (drafted in 1766 and amended in 1767) provides information about some of the issues that prompted unrest among the colonists.

Use MrSID to look closely at the map.

  • What does cantonment in the title of the map mean?
  • Where were the cantonments most concentrated?
  • Why might the cantonment of British troops have caused unrest in the colonies?
  • The Proclamation of 1763 said colonists could not move into the country west of the Appalachian Mountains. According to this map, what was the land west of the mountains to be used for?
  • Why might this ban on settling western lands have caused unrest in the colonies?

Britain had large war debts following the end of the French and Indian War. Throughout the 1760s and early 1770s, Parliament passed various acts (Sugar Act, Stamp Act, Townsend Acts, Tea Act) to raise money from the colonies in order to pay this debt. The colonists, who had enjoyed considerable self-governance up to that point, were unhappy.

When the text of this 1769 map of Boston is examined closely using MrSID, one can find evidence of self-governance, as well as other aspects of Boston's development prior to the Revolutionary War.

  • What does the map tell you about self-governance in Boston in the 1760s?
  • What information does the map provide about British rule in Boston?
  • What economic activities can you identify from the map?
  • What information about culture (e.g., education, religion) can you find on the map?
  • Using information from the map, write a paragraph describing life in Boston in 1769. Can you make any inferences about why Boston became one of the centers of colonial rebellion?