Presentation on theme: "The American Revolution. Vocabulary mercenary – hired soldier recruit – to enlist in the military blockade – a measure that keeps a country from communicating."— Presentation transcript:
The American Revolution
Vocabulary mercenary – hired soldier recruit – to enlist in the military blockade – a measure that keeps a country from communicating with other nations privateer – privately owned ship outfitted with weapons siege – an attempt to force surrender by blocking the movement of people or goods into or out of a place ratify – to approve officially ambush – an attack in which the attacker hides and surprises the enemy
Timeline to Independence Assignment For this assignment, you must create a timeline of the various events that led to American independence. Your first entry on the timeline should be 1763, the year in which the French & Indian War ended. Your final entry should be 1776, the year in which the Declaration of Independence was written and signed. For the years that took place in between, you should utilize your notes to effectively highlight the major events that took place. You may arrange your timeline in any way that you see fit, but your final product should be clear, concise, colorful, and creative, and I will be giving 5 points for each of the abovementioned criteria, for a total of 20 points.
Choosing Sides As news spread that fighting had begun in Massachusetts, colonists had to decide whether to join the rebels or remain loyal to Great Britain. Those who sided with Britain were known as Loyalists. Those who sided with the rebels were known as Patriots.
Liberty or Death During the American Revolution, many Patriots used Benjamin Franklin’s well-known political cartoon, “Join, or Die” as a symbol of colonial unity. Patrick Henry created a similar rallying cry in 1775 when he stated: “Give me liberty or give me death!”
The Second Continental Congress Once fighting began in 1775, a Second Continental Congress was formed. This Congress would serve as the governing body for the colonies throughout the war. Congress authorized the printing of money and set up a post office. Congress also created the Continental Army and chose George Washington to be the Commander- in-Chief. Once appointed, Washington left Philadelphia to take charge of the forces in Boston.
The Olive Branch Petition The delegates of the Second Continental Congress then sent a petition, or formal request, to King George III. It was called the Olive Branch Petition, and it assured the king that the colonists wanted peace. It asked the king to protect the colonists’ rights. The king rejected the petition, and instead began making preparations for war. He hired more than 30,000 German troops (called Hessians) to fight alongside the British troops.
The Continental Army When Washington reached the Boston area in July 1775, he found the men disorganized and lacking discipline. He immediately began the task of turning these armed civilians into soldiers. Still, he needed guns. In a covert operation, Washington arranged to have dozens of cannons hauled 300 miles from upstate New York. Then, under cover of darkness, he moved soldiers and cannons into a strategic position overlooking Boston. When British General Howe realized his soldiers were within range of Washington’s guns, he ordered his soldiers to board ships and withdraw from Boston.
Common Sense During this time, many colonists held on to hope that the colonies could remain a part of Great Britain. Still, support for independence was growing, inspired in part by writer Thomas Paine. In January 1776, Thomas Paine published a pamphlet called Common Sense that made a strong case for independence. It became a bestseller, and it greatly influenced the opinions of the colonists.
A Resolution for Independence In June of 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia offered a bold resolution: “That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States …and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
The Declaration of Independence In June of 1776, the Continental Congress chose a committee to draft a document to explain why the colonies should be free. The committee then chose Thomas Jefferson to write the document. While drafting the document, Jefferson drew on John Locke’s ideas about natural rights and social contract. The end result was the Declaration of Independence.
July 2, 1776 On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted on Lee’s resolution for independence. Twelve colonies voted for independence, while the delegates from New York abstained. (Later they announce their support for independence.) The resolution had passed!
July 4, 1776 On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence announced that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as free and independent states. Later that same day, the manuscript copy of the document is taken to a local printer, where approximately 200 broadsides (or posters) are made. Clip
The Declaration – Printed / Read / Signed Copies of the Declaration of Independence were printed and sent out to the newly declared states. George Washington had the Declaration read to his troops in New York City on July 9. Most of the members of Congress sign the “engrossed copy” on August 2.
Betsy Ross and the American Flag On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution, which stated: “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a blue constellation.” Betsy Ross is given credit for making the first American flag, although this is disputed by some historians.
British Advantages When the war began, the British seemed to have a big advantage. They had the strongest navy in the world, and they had a well-trained army. The Americans had no regular army and a weak navy, and American soldiers lacked experience and weapons. In addition, not all Americans supported the struggle for independence.
Patriot (or American) Advantages The Patriots also had their advantages. The Patriots were fighting on their own ground, and had greater motivation. The Patriots also had a greater stake in the war’s outcome as they were fighting for freedom in their own land. The Patriots’ greatest advantage was probably their leader George Washington. Washington was courageous and determined, and without his leadership, the war might have had a different outcome.
Battle of Long Island After Bunker Hill, the British realized they were going to need more troops. During the summer of 1776, Britain sent 32,000 troops across the Atlantic to New York. There the two sides clashed in the Battle of Long Island in August At Long Island, the British badly defeated the outnumbered Americans. After the defeat, Washington retreated from New York, which became a Loyalist stronghold.
The Need for Soldiers After the defeat in New York, the British chased Washington and his army across New Jersey into Pennsylvania. The Continental Army was near collapse. Many soldiers had completed their terms. Others had run away. The growing need for soldiers convinced most states to allow African Americans to fight. Those who fought had their own reasons for doing so.
African Americans and the American Revolution During the American Revolution, there were a considerable number of African-Americans who fought on both sides. Both sides offered freedom and re- settlement to slaves who were willing to fight for them. Following the war, many slaves who fought for the British side were resettled in Nova Scotia.
Native Americans and the American Revolution During the American Revolution, some Native Americans helped the Patriots, but more sided with the British. To most Natives, the British seemed less of a threat than the Americans, who lived in their midst and took their land. West of the Appalachians, the British and their Native American allies raided American settlements.
The Battle of Trenton By December 1776, the Patriots were at a low point. They needed a win, and they needed it badly. On Christmas night 1776, Washington saw a chance to catch the British by surprise. He led 2,400 troops across the Delaware River to surprise the enemy at Trenton the next day. The Battle of Trenton resulted in a much-needed American victory.
Early Battles / Northern Theater Battle of Princeton (1777) – American victory Battle of Brandywine (1777) – British victory Shortly after, the British capture Philadelphia and occupy the city. Battle of Saratoga (1777) – American victory This victory was huge, and it was a turning point in the war! It convinced France that the Americans might win the war. As a result, the French declared war on Britain and began sending money, equipment, and troops to aid the Americans. Battle of Monmouth (1778) – British victory (closer to a draw though) Associated with the legend of Molly Pitcher Last major battle in the northern theater
Valley Forge In the winter of , Washington set up camp in Valley Forge (PA). There, Washington and his troops suffered through a terrible winter. They lacked decent food, clothing, shelter, and medicine. The troops lacked supplies, and many became sick and died. There were also many deserters. Several volunteers, including Martha Washington, made clothes for the troops and helped care for the sick.
An American Naval Victory In 1779, John Paul Jones became an American hero when his ship, the Bonhomme Richard, defeated the British warship Serapis. At one point, the British captain asked Jones whether he wished to surrender. Jones is said to have answered: “I have not yet begun to fight.”
Florida during the American Revolution Throughout the American Revolution, Florida remained a loyal British colony. In May 1777, Americans initiated an invasion of Florida, but were ambushed by British soldiers and Indians. This is known as the Battle of Thomas Creek. In June 1778, the Americans staged another unsuccessful invasion of Florida. This is known as the Battle of Alligator Bridge.
Later Battles / Southern Theater 1778 – Savannah comes under British control 1780 – Charles Town comes under British control This was the worst American defeat in the war The Battle of Camden results in a British victory As British troops advanced through the southern countryside, small forces of Patriots attacked them using hit-and-run tactics. Weakened, the British army marched to Yorktown, Virginia, where they expected to be rescued by a British fleet.
Victory at Yorktown In 1781, Washington secretly sent his force to Yorktown (in Virginia) to catch the British by surprise. There they were joined by a French fleet, and together, they surrounded the British. General Cornwallis surrendered on October 19, and his surrender convinced the British that the war was too costly to win. The Americans had won the war!
The Treaty of Paris The Treaty of Paris in 1783 formally ended the war. Under the treaty, Great Britain recognized the United States as an independent nation. The British also promised to withdraw all of their troops from the American territory. In addition, Great Britain agreed to give Florida back to Spain.
Why America Won… There are a number of factors that contributed to the American victory over the British. Americans were fighting on their own land, and they were expert at wilderness fighting. The Americans also received help from other countries, specifically France. Perhaps most importantly, the American Revolution was a people’s movement. Its outcome depended on the determination and spirit of the people.
Inspiration The ideas of the American Revolution inspired people in other parts of the world. In 1789, French rebels fought a revolution in defense of “liberty, equality, and fraternity.” In 1791, enslaved Africans took up arms in the French colony of Saint Domingue and successfully shook off French rule. That nation is now known as Haiti.
GROUP ASSIGNMENT (worth 20 points) You will be placed in groups, and together, you will ponder the following prompt: Imagine that the United States did not win the American Revolution. How differently would life be? Together, the members of your group must brainstorm and create a prediction in written form. You need to have at least 2 paragraphs. I will be grading as follows: 5 points per each paragraph, 5 points for grammar and punctuation, and 5 points for effort and creativity. Some things to think about: What would have been the repercussions for losing the war? Would we still be a part of Great Britain, or would we have gained our independence later on down the road? If we did gain our independence later on down the road, how was it won? How did the outcome affect future settlement in America? How did it affect the institution of slavery? What would the world look like in the year 2013?