Second Continental Congress Moderates led by John Dickinson of Pennsylvania—delayed a declaration of independence Raise an army and made George Washington Commander in Chief Offered the Olive Branch Petition-George III rejected it Issued the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms
Second Continental Congress Appoints George Washington
Causes for a Change of Mind American military achievements British use of Hessians Prohibitory Act Thomas Paine and Common Sense Radicals were gaining support
Thomas Paine O! ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose not only the tyranny but the tyrant stand forth!
Hessians After the battle of Bunker Hill (Breeds Hill June 1775) King George hired soldiers from Germany called Hessians. The British paid the Prince of Hesse $500,000 a year plus $35 for each Hessian killed and $12 for each wounded. Unfortunately the money was not given to the soldiers. It was spent to help Germany's economy and even to build elaborate palaces.
Richard Henry Lee's Resolution On the 7th of June 1776, Lee put forth the motion to the Continental Congress to declare Independence : " Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."
Stamp Act: 1765 taxed newspapers and other printed materials including legal documents. Directly affected Some powerful people. Printers, merchants and lawyers. John Locke: Political Philosopher that set the tone of Democracy and its Principles in America Natural Rights: Live, Liberty, Property Social Contract: The people give the government power to govern and protect their natural rights
Declaration of Independence Congress appointed a committee: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston. Most of the work was done by T. Jefferson The document is divided into two parts Part one restates the contract theory of John Locke or philosophy of government What is it?
John Locke maintained that the state exists to preserve the natural rights of its citizens – the right to life, liberty and property. If the government fails in its duty to the citizens, The citizens then have the right to resist or rebel against that government.
Declaration of Independence: A statement of reasons why the colonies would separate from England. 1.Introduction 2. A declaration of rights. “Inalienable Rights” 3. A list of complaints against the King. 4. A “Resolution of Independence”. Thomas Jefferson: Main author of the Declaration of Independence. He was a lawyer and planter and later became the third President of the United States.
More Declaration Second Part: List of Grievances Jefferson’s conclusion is ”these united colonies are and of right ought to be, free and independent states” John Hancock signed it first—by August 2- all had signed Painting by John Trumbull
Significance Colonies now called themselves states States had to create new government to replace royal governments except Connecticut t and Rhode Island Most states produces written constitutions- republican governments-executive- legislative branches On a national level the process was more uncertain
Strength and Weakness Strengths Britain 1. Professional army-well-trained and fed 2. Assistance from American Loyalists 3. Large and professional navy 4. Resources of a large empire—population- monetary wealth
Weaknesses Britian 1.Separation from England-supplies-orders took months to reach the front 2.Unrest in Ireland 3.Never concentrated their forces-second rate generals—ignorance of American land and people 4.Government inept and confused-George III 5.Increasing opposition at home to the war- Whigs cheered American victories.
American Strengths 1.Washington’s leadership 2.Heroic actions of individual leaders George Roger Clark- Nathanael Greene 3.Fighting on their own land 4.Small but good navy 5. Foreign volunteers 6. Foreign aid from France and other nations- Spain
American Weaknesses American government did not yet exist no money American army made up of citizen-soldiers who were badly trained few officers with any experience Loyalists who aided the British