Objectives 1. Outline how the Declaration of Independence explained America’s break with Great Britain. 2. Evaluate how Americans reacted to the Declaration of Independence. 3. Detail the major problems that the Continental Army faced. 4. Identify the roles different people played in the war.
Reasons for Independence The two basic reasons for independence: A. The British government had violated their rights as British subjects. B. Fellow colonists had already died defending these rights.
Patrick Henry: Virginia’s Committee of Correspondence and a delegate to both Continental Congresses. He argued that the dispute between the colonies and Britain could not be resolved. In 1775, he delivered his famous, “…give me liberty, or give me death” speech.
Thomas Paine: was an immigrant from Britain living in Philadelphia. January 1776: Paine wrote Common Sense pamphlet, which promoted the public support for Revolution and called for the end of Britain’s rule of the colonies. Common Sense sold 120,000 copies in three months and helped the unfocused colonial rebellion into a directed movement for independence.
Thomas Paine People in History After the American Revolution, Thomas Paine traveled to Europe and attempted to incite revolution in his native Britain as well as in France. After the publication of Paine’s Rights of Man, which supported the demise of Britain’s monarchy, the British found him guilty of treason. Paine fled to France, where revolutionaries declared him a French citizen. Paine became deeply involved in the French Revolution, which caused some prominent Americans to turn against him. In 1802 Paine returned to America, no longer the hero of the American Revolution. Some men actually wore “TP” nails in the heels of their boots to signify their belief that he had trampled on their principles. Paine spent his final years in poverty and poor health.
The Declaration of Independence June 7, 1776: Richard Henry Lee from Virginia introduced a resolution in the Second Continental Congress. “…and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is …totally dissolved.” This is also called for the establishment of a confederation, or loose pact, of the states. Declaration of Independence: was drafted by a committee of five appointed by Congress. The committee was chaired by Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. Jefferson borrowed ideas from the Virginia Bill of Rights, written by George Mason. June 28,1776: the committee presented the Declaration to the Congress.
The Congress debated-quickly adopted –Lee’s resolution for independence. July 2, 1776: Congress officially declared the new United States of America to be independent of Britain. July 4, 1776: Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence.
The purpose of the Declaration was to win support for independence, both in the colonies and abroad. This was to weaken loyalty to the crown. The founding fathers also knew they had committed treason-the price imprisonment or death. Basic Principles: a.Outlined representative government and listed “self- evident” truths. b.Proclaimed the right of people “ to alter or abolish” a government that deprives them of these “unalienable Rights.” c.Outlined the misdeeds of King George III.
Activity I will divide you into small groups. As a group read the Declaration of Independence on pages 120-123. As a group make a list of the reasons why the colonists declared their independence from Great Britain. As a group select the three most significant reasons and explain why your group believes these are the most significant.
List A. Declaration detailed King George III’s misdeeds B. established the doctrine of unalienable rights C. declared that people have the right to abolish a government that deprives them of those rights
Reactions to Independence Declaration of Independence: Patriot Reaction: wild celebrations, destruction of British icons Loyalist Reaction: ignored the Declaration, opposed the Declaration, fled the country Other Reactions: Abigail Adams wanted women to have a role in the new government
The Loyalists After Defeat Loyalists were known as Tories. Loyalists based loyalty to Britain on the long-held belief that to resist the king was to rebel against God. Many Loyalists stood to lose power and wealth if royal authority ended.
Global Relations The Loyalists After Defeat Loyalists represented a significant portion of the colonial population – about 15 to 20 percent of the adult white male population. White males were not the only Loyalists, however, American Indians from a number of tribes fought for the British, as did some African Americans, both enslaved and free. During and after the Revolution, many Loyalists fled to Canada, the West Indies, or Britain itself. Approximately 1,000 black Loyalists eventually relocated to Sierra Leone. Just as the victorious Patriots began to create new governments, these Loyalists began to build new communities.
Fighting theWar Declaring independence was one thing; to fight for it and win was another. Lack of a central government made the American war effort particularly difficult. Second Continental Congress: no authority, they could ask the states to help, but cannot force them to comply. Colonial merchants charged high prices for poorly made goods. Farmers sold produce to the highest bidder, regardless if they were American or British.
Because of these problems, Washington’s troops suffered. Bitter winters at: Morristown, New Jersey-1777 Valley Forge, Pennsylvania-1777-78 Hygiene was an issue, illness in the camps. Poorly prepared food spread germs, and camp toilets contaminated water supplies.
Washington faced constant troop shortages. 231,000 soldiers served in the Continental Army throughout the war. At any one time Washington had only 26,000 troops nationwide. Many of the military problems came from short term enlistments. Most signed for one year or three months. Soldier-farmers deserted during planting or harvest times.
Economics Funding the Revolution When the Second Continental Congress raised the Continental Army, it was reluctant to impose a new tax on the already tax weary colonists. The Second Continental Congress then printed and issued a new national currency with the expectation that individual states would eventually collect an equivalent amount in taxes. Because the Congress had no authority to force the states to tax their residents, its demands were largely unheeded, creating a significant national debt. To raise money, Congress borrowed money from France, sold government bonds, and issued soldiers IOUs in lieu of pay. The financial situation led some future leaders to believe that the new United States would need a national government as well as a national currency.
Those Who Served Activity Choose a partner to work with on this assignment. Each pair will create a poster presentation on one of the following subjects: A. African Americans roles in the war B. American Indians’ roles in the war C. Women’s roles in the war. Poster presentations will be made in class and displayed.