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Second Continental Congress And Revolutionary War.

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Presentation on theme: "Second Continental Congress And Revolutionary War."— Presentation transcript:

1 Second Continental Congress And Revolutionary War

2 Second Continental Congress

3 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

4 Second Continental Congress Appoints George Washington

5 Causes for a Change of Mind American military achievements British use of Hessians Prohibitory Act Thomas Paine and Common Sense Radicals were gaining support

6 Thomas Paine O! ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose not only the tyranny but the tyrant stand forth!

7 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.

8 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."

9 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



12 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?

13 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.

14 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.

15 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


17 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

18 Old Tun Tavern

19 Reading the Declaration

20 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

21 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.

22 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

23 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

24 Battles Chart Molly Pitcher

25 Saratoga On October 17, 1777, following a defeat at the second Battle of Saratoga, British General John Burgoyne surrendered to American General Horatio Gates at Saratoga, New York. The surrender, depicted here in a painting by John Trumbull, encouraged France to join the American side and was thus a turning point in the American Revolution.

26 Turning Point

27 Wartime Problems facing the Colonies Providing a Government Continental Congress acted as the central government form1775 to 1781-concerned itself with winning the war Handicaps: could only request men, money and cooperation-it was inexperienced and many times inefficient—there was a lot of bickering in Congress

28 ACHIEVEMENTS Held the thirteen states together Authorized an army and appointed George Washington as commander in chief Issued Declaration of Independence Arranged military alliance with France Raised Funds Proposed Articles of Confederation

29 Raising Funds Severest Problem Congress couldn’t tax-issued paper money called Continentals-backed by confidence in American cause States issued paper money-infatuation Congress requested funds from states Congress requested loans both domestic and foreign—Netherlands, Spain and France Patriotic American—Haym Salomon Robert Morris –Superintendent of Finance

30 Maintaining an Army Not enough men volunteered-draft Never trained properly—inadequate food, shelter, and military equipment Continental army often was reinforced by local militiamen Equipment always a problem--

31 Tories or Loyalists. American Loyalists, or "Tories" as their opponents called them, opposed the Revolution, and many took up arms against the rebels. Estimates of the number of Loyalists range as high as 500,000, or 20 percent of the white population of the colonies

32 More Loyalists Loyalists came from all walks of life. The majority were small farmers, artisans and shopkeepers. Most British officials remained loyal to the Crown. Wealthy merchants tended to remain loyal, as did Anglican ministers, especially in Puritan New England. Loyalists also included some blacks (to whom the British promised freedom), Indians, indentured servants and some German immigrants, who supported the Crown mainly because George III was of German origin.

33 Other Problems Anglicans-the church suffered –few clergy stay- Episcopalian Church reorganized independently of Britian—John Carroll becomes first Catholic bishop in America Women ‘s Rights---During the Revolutionary War, women contributed in virtually every capacity, from doing fieldwork at home to fighting on battlefields. But their pleas for rights under the new democracy were disregarded. Women actually lost legal ground as a result of the new United States Constitution War Economy Diplomacy

34 Women’s Rights The ideals of liberty and equality did not come to fully encompass women. However, during the Revolutionary War women voiced their political opinions freely and were considered part of the Revolutionary effort. Despite the freedom of speech and Republican ideals, following the Revolutionary War women were still primarily relegated to the domestic sphere and a women's role was limited by society. Women could not own property or engage in legal transactions. However, a woman's role in the household was given greater importance. The Republican woman's duty was to create a supportive, virtuous environment and she was valued for doing so.

35 War Economy Produced important changes American trade found itself on its own Didn’t have the protection of the British Navy Merchants did not have access to the markets of the empire Scarcity of goods-home industries sprang up Paper money still a major problem Large transfers of land—Loyalist land sometimes confiscated and sold In the long run-it strengthen American economy

36 Diplomacy Agents of the new nation notably Benjamin Franklin, Arthur Lee, Silas Deane, and later John Adams were striving to get help, and in 1777 Pierre de Beaumarchais had succeeded in getting arms and supplies sent to the colonials in time to help win the battle of Saratoga


38 Articles of Confederation The Articles reflect the wariness by the states of a strong central government. Afraid that their individual needs would be ignored by a national government with too much power, and the abuses that often result from such power, the Articles purposely established a "constitution" that vested the largest share of power to the individual states.

39 Land Problems Chief writer was John Dickinson from Pennsylvania Articles submitted in November 1777-not ratified until 1784 because of a debate over western land claims Maryland refused to ratify because seven states claimed territory west of Appalachians-Virginia had the largest claim Problem will not be solved until 1784

40 More Land In 1784 Congress made some important decisions regarding land Would be organized as states equal to any of the original thirteen a. first adopt a constitution of an older state b. At 20,000 would draft their own constitution

41 Ordinances Ordinance of 1784-sponsored by Jefferson—didn’t pass Land Ordinance of 1785—surveying of public land Ordinance of 1787 or Northwest Ordinance-Northwest territory divided into not less than three nor more than five states—steps for statehood—three stages

42 Provision Under Articles Build a navy Raise an army Make treaties Manage foreign holdings Could regulate the value of coin—borrow, spend and issue money Central government acted as an administrative agency

43 Weaknesses All bills required 2/3 vote for passage Any amendment required a unanimous vote Each state had one vote No power to regulate commerce No tax enforcement power No executive or judicial departments Sovereignty resides in states

44 Last Years of the War Guilford Court House-1781

45 Yorktown

46 Spain enters the war in June 1779-angry at Britian because of Gibraltar Benedict Arnold defected to the British side in September of 1780-needed money –felt he was mistreated by Continental Congress He was found guilty on two counts in a court- martial, for which he was reprimanded by Washington Arnold sold information to General Henry Clinton-later he negotiated with Andre to turn over West Point Andre was captured and information intercepted

47 Treaty of Paris 1783 American negotiators-B. Franklin-John Jay and John Adams Provisions: Britain recognized the thirteen colonies as independent- new nation (a) on the north by Canada and the Great Lakes (b) On the south by Spanish owned Florida (c) On the east by the Atlantic Ocean (d) On the west by Mississippi River

48 More Treaty (2) American retained their rights to fish on the banks off Newfoundland (3) U. S. would recommend to states to restore confiscated Loyalists property and payments of debt owned to British merchants –states didn’t pay any attention to this provision

49 Benjamin West, The Treaty of Paris (1783) (unfinished painting — from left to right: John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, and William Temple Franklin. The British commissioners refused to pose, and the picture was never finished.)

50 Commercial and Financial Difficulties Independence brought depression-confederation had no bargaining power and couldn’t win any trading privileges with England or Spain Spain wouldn't open trade with Spanish West Indies Conflicts over tariffs among states brought confusion States conducted commercial and foreign affairs without regard to national government

51 Financial Problems National government couldn’t pay war debts Did get some funds from the sale of public lands Distressed farmers rioted Shay’s Rebellion

52 Shays’ Rebellion


54 A wave of farm foreclosures in western Massachusetts swept the young republic to its first episode in class struggle. Demonstrators and rioters protested high taxation, the governor's high salary, high court costs and the assembly's refusal to issue paper money (an inflationary measure highly favored by the debtor class).

55 More Shays January 1787 –Daniel Shays, a Revolutionary War veteran, who headed an “army” of 1,000 men. They marched first for Worcester where they closed down the commonwealth's supreme court, then turned west to Springfield where they broke into the jail to free imprisoned debtors. The barns of some government officials were burned. Wealthy Bostonians, who feared the rebellion in the west, contributed money for soldiers under the command of General Benjamin Lincoln.

56 Accomplishments of the Confederation Led the American people through the last phase of the Revolution and negotiated the Treaty of Paris Kept the thirteen states together until they were ready to accept a stronger plan of union Laid the foundation for America’s later expansion westward-provided for the sale of public land and steps for statehood

57 Meetings Mount Vernon Conference--delegates from Maryland and Virginia met at Washington’s home in Mount Vernon in 1785 and settled some problems dealing with shipping on the the Potomac River

58 Annapolis Convention 1786, interstate convention called by Virginia to discuss a uniform regulation of commerce. It met at Annapolis, Md. With only 5 of the 13 states— Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia—represented, there could be no full-scale discussion of the commercial problems the nation faced as a result of the weak central government under the Articles of Confederation. The main achievement of the convention was the decision to summon a new meeting for the express purpose of considering changes in the Articles of Confederation to make the union more powerful. An address was drawn up by Alexander Hamilton and was sent to all the states, asking them to send delegates to Philadelphia in May, 1787. Congress passed a resolution urging attendance.

59 Founding Fathers

60 Most of the delegates were politically experienced, conservative, realistic and well qualified. About half of the 55 delegates were lawyers—the others were planters or merchants

61 Founding Fathers George Washington- 55-Virginia elected president

62 Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin-81

63 James Madison Father of the Constitution Detailed records From Virginia 36 years old

64 Roger Sherman was influential in securing the passage of the Connecticut Compromise., Connecticut Superior Court 1766-1789, Signed the Declaration of Independence, Signed Articles of Confederation, Member of Continental Congress 1774-1781, Confederation Congress 1783-1784, Mayor of Newhaven 1784-1786

65 Other Delegates Alexander Hamilton-30 years old—from New York-he wanted a strong national government. Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania—final draft James Wilson-lawyer from Pennsylvania- spoke for a strong central government William Paterson of New Jersey-offered the New Jersey Plan

66 Delegates William Roger Alexander James Patterson Sherman Hamilton Wilson

67 Bundle of Compromises The Rule of Secrecy The Great Compromise-The Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan Three Fifths Compromise Commerce Compromise

68 Compromises at the Convention There were major disagreements about the Virginia Plan and New Jersey Plan. The Connecticut delegates came up with a compromise. The Great Compromise (or Connecticut Compromise) –Bicameral legislature –In the lower house, the number of representatives for each state is determined by population. –In the upper house, each state has an equal number of representatives.

69 Compromises at the Convention Compromises on slavery Southern states wanted to count all slaves for representation purposes but none for taxation. Northern states objected. Three-Fifths Compromise: all whites plus three-fifths of the slave population would be counted for both representation and taxation. Native Americans were not counted. In order to maintain unity between North and South, delegates agreed to a clause allowing the slave trade to continue for 20 years. Another clause, the fugitive slave clause, stated that a slave who fled to another state had to be returned to his or her original state.

70 Checks and Balances Constitutional Convention 12 states attended some or all of the meetings. Politicians in Rhode Island were opposed to a stronger government; they chose not to take part in the convention. James Madison kept a detailed account of the convention in his diary. Controversial plans Congress had to find a balance between the large and small states and northern and southern interests. The Virginia Plan: Gave more power to states Bicameral legislature The number of representatives for each state would be based on population. Small states objected; came up with new plan. New Jersey Plan: Gave more power to national government Unicameral legislature Each state would have an equal number of representatives.

71 Checks and Balances Planning the court system Delegates wanted to keep judges and courts independent, maintaining a separation of powers. President nominates federal judges. Senate approves them. Judges cannot be fired arbitrarily.

72 Federalists and Antifederalists Federalist viewpoint Led by James Madison, John Dickinson, and Alexander Hamilton Benjamin Franklin and George Washington also backed the Federalists. Federalist cause was generally popular in the cities, but they were outnumbered in the general population. Well organized and knew how to gather political support

73 Federalists and Antifederalists Antifederalist viewpoint They were less organized and less unified than the Federalists. Their core consisted of farmers and planters. Agreed on one central issue: they distrusted any central authority Believed strong national government would lead to a kind of tyranny like the kind they fought against in the Revolution. Worried that the government would abuse both states’ rights and individual liberties Thought the new government favored the educated and wealthy over ordinary people Led by Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and Richard Henry Lee Robert Yates, New York delegate, wrote anti-Constitution essays under the name Brutus.

74 Federalists and Antifederalists Ratification process Antifederalists demanded the addition of a Bill of Rights. Wanted to spell out some basic rights in the Constitution to make sure those rights would be protected Adding the rights became the main focus of the struggle over ratification. Congress called for special ratifying conventions in each state.

75 The Federalist Papers Ideas in the Federalist Hamilton wrote that the decision they were about to make was important for the whole world. Madison warned against the dangers of factions—groups with specific, often opposing, interests. –Had torn apart some European governments –They were a natural part of American society and should not be suppressed. –A republican government would help balance the influence of factions. He explained how the separation of powers described in the Constitution would limit government powers.

76 The Federalist Papers Adding a Bill of Rights Fight for ratification The Federalists were better prepared than their opponents. They quickly organized and gained control of several state conventions, especially in small states. After 11 states had ratified the Constitution, the Congress of the Confederation set dates for elections to choose members of Congress and presidential electors.

77 Adding a Bill of Rights The Bill of Rights First eight amendments dealt with individual civil liberties. Ninth Amendment stated that listing certain rights given to the people did not mean that other rights did not exist as well. The final amendment addressed the actions that states could do. Tenth Amendment defined two kinds of government powers. –Delegated powers: powers that the Constitution gives to each branch of the national government –Reserved powers: powers that the Constitution does not specifically give to the federal government or deny to the states Reserved powers belong to the states or to the people.


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