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Essential Questions Essential Questions: political economic What was the more precipitating factor that led to the outbreak of war between the American.

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Presentation on theme: "Essential Questions Essential Questions: political economic What was the more precipitating factor that led to the outbreak of war between the American."— Presentation transcript:

1 Essential Questions Essential Questions: political economic What was the more precipitating factor that led to the outbreak of war between the American colonies & England: political or economic stress? –What factors caused the British to fail in what should have been an easy campaign to subdue the American rebels?

2 The Decision to Fight For Independence

3 Decision for Independence The Lexington & Concord skirmish was the 1 st of a series of conflicts before the American call for independence from 1775 to 1776: –Fighting erupted around Boston, NY, Charlestown, & Quebec –The 2 nd Continental Congress met to organize a war plan –King George declared the colonists in “open rebellion” The Battle of Bunker Hill (Breed’s Hill) demonstrated that Americans were willing to stand up to a pitched battle In early 1776, both Spain & France began shipping war supplies to colonists Despite growing calls for independence, the congress issued the Olive Branch Petition to King George in July 1775 King George rejected the Olive Branch Petition in August 1775

4 Decision for Independence By 1776, the 2 nd Continental Congress served as an informal national gov’t for the colonies But the majority of colonists were undecided about independence Thomas Paine’s Common Sense proved to be the key factor in convincing Americans to support colonial independence Challenged “royal infallibility” Persuaded ordinary people to sever ties with England & its “royal brute”

5 Decision for Independence On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted for independence On July 4, the Declaration of Independence was issued to: –Justify the Americans’ desire to separate from England –Articulate the principles on which the new nation would be established Democratic ideals (republicanism) Natural rights & individual liberty

6 Declaration of Independence (1776)

7 The Decision for Independence The colonies divided: PatriotsWhigs –Supporters of independence were called “Patriots” or “Whigs” LoyalistsTories –Colonists that opposed independence were called “Loyalists” or “Tories” neutral –There were many “neutral” colonists who were conflicted by the prospect of independence

8 Patriots vs. Loyalists Where are the Loyalists? Why does it make sense that the Loyalists would be near cities?

9 Fighting the War for Independence

10 American Strengths and Weaknesses The colonists are fighting for independence George Washington can inspire his men to fight France will aid the colonies with weapons, supplies and their navy

11 Patriots and Loyalists Patriots were colonists who supported the break from England. Loyalists are colonials who support England. Colonists are divided as to whether or not they should rebel against England!

12 American Strengths and Weaknesses The colonists are not a trained army Colonists enlist for months instead of years Short on money, weapons and supplies to fight a war

13 British Strengths and Weaknesses The British have an experienced professional army Outnumber the Continental Army The British army is well supplied with equipment and weapons

14 British Strengths and Weaknesses The British are not fighting for a cause British officers are careless and poor leaders The British have a to cross the Atlantic Ocean to send men and supplies for the war The support at homes is rather weak

15 The Strategy of War American Colonies –Keep the Colonial Army together –Washington seeks to stretch the British army away from supply lines –Harass the enemy, defeat the British in a major battle –Get allies to help win! Britain –Seeks to destroy the Colonial Army –Regain control of the colonies by region –Take the fight to the Colonial Army using European war tactics –Use loyalists support against the colonies

16 The Outbreak of Revolution The British entered the war confident of a complete victory: –Their army was 400% larger; well-trained solders, experienced officers, & Hessian mercenaries –Strong manufacturing base –The world’s most dominant navy Believed the 1776 battles were a “police action” & the show of force would force rebels to submit

17 The Outbreak of Revolution In reality, England faced an impossible task: – Their long supply lines across the Atlantic would not be able to provide timely provisions – The American terrain was large find & defeat – To win, the English had to find & defeat the Continental Army – Underestimated the colonial commitment to independence

18 The American Revolution, Where was the American Revolution fought?

19 Building a Professional Army defend Washington’s task was to defend as much territory as possible: –Relied on guerrilla tactics & avoided all-out-war with Britain –Washington’s Continental Army served as the symbol of the “republican cause” –But, colonial militias played a major role in “forcing” neutrals to support the Revolution As long as England did not defeat the Continental Army, England could not win

20 Slaves & Indians in the War Black slaves supported whoever seemed likely to deliver freedom: –Northern slaves supported the colonists who offered freedom for any slave who fought –Southern slaves typically supported Britain Native Americans feared colonial expansion & overwhelmingly supported Britain The Continental Army had 2 all-black regiments composed of Northern slaves

21 Women in the War Women’s role in the revolution: –Supported their husbands & sons in enlisting in militias –Ran business affairs & continued boycotting English goods while men fought (i.e. Abigail Adams) –Created propaganda (political satires by Mercy Otis Warren) –Some helped in the battlefield (“Molly Pitcher”)

22 The Early Years: The initial battles of the revolution went badly for Americans: –British General Howe forced Washington to retreat at New York putting the Americans on the run –Gen Howe issued a “general pardon” to all Americans who swore an oath of allegiance to George III; thousands did so Colonial militias retaliated against those who deserted the patriot cause

23 The Early Years: The British strategy remained to fight a “major & decisive” battle; but Continental Army was elusive Despite British victories & 1,000s of colonial “oaths of allegiance”, Washington kept fighting –Won small victories that renewed American wartime morale Saratoga –“Won” at Saratoga in 1777 Howe captured New York Captured Philadelphia Washington’s army almost starved at Valley Forge Took TrentonTook Princeton

24 The French Alliance Since 1775, the French covertly aided Americans with supplies Saratoga But after the “victory” at Saratoga: –France recognized America as a new, independent republic –France promised to pressure England to agree to American independence after war’s end –France relinquished all of its claims to territory in America The turning point of the war!! A lot of these points were negotiated by none other than Ben Franklin And…England now has to worry about a possible (yet remote) invasion of England by France The Continental Congress refused the offer In 1778, England offered to remove all parliamentary legislation & vowed never to impose revenue taxes on the colonists again

25 The Final Campaign Yorktown (VA) By 1781, Washington pushed the Redcoats towards Yorktown (VA) where General Cornwallis was caught between the Continental Army & the French navy On October 19, 1781 Cornwallis surrendered; the English still controlled NY & Charles Town but the fighting virtually ended

26 The Loyalist Dilemma Loyalists believed in liberty too, but feared that independence would breed anarchy in America Loyalists were treated poorly: –The English never fully trusted the Loyalists –Patriots seized their property; imprisoned & executed others More than 100,000 Loyalists left America when the war ended

27 The Treaty of Paris, 1783

28 The Treaty of Paris (1783) The Treaty of Paris in 1783 was negotiated with England by Franklin, John Adams, John Jay The terms included: – Full American independence – All territory east of Mississippi River, between Canada & FL – The removal of the British army from U.S. claims in America – Fishing rights in the Atlantic

29 Treaty of Paris, 1763 North America after the Treaty of Paris, 1763

30 Treaty of Paris, 1783 North America after the Treaty of Paris, 1783

31 Preserving Independence After 176 years of British rule, the American Revolution began the construction of a new form of government elite people But...will the new United States be a government of the elite or a government of the people? Next: social revolution Next: To what degree did 1776 bring about a social revolution?


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