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American Independence. Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” = all.

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Presentation on theme: "American Independence. Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” = all."— Presentation transcript:

1 American Independence

2 Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” = all humans should have same rights& opportunities  “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” = God gave all people permanent rights  “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” = John Locke’s natural rights: to live, be free & to seek afulfilling life

3 Key points of Dec of Independence  “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted” = governments were created to protect people’s rights  “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” = people give govt. permission to have powers to govern

4 Key points of Dec of Independence  “Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alteror to abolish it” = people have right to overthrow a government that abuses power  “and to institute new Government.” = people are to replace it w. a government that DOES protect their rights.

5 Colonial Government  Parliament governed American colonies,  but in practice colonists had their own colonial legislatures  Caucasian, land-owning males elected their representatives to the legislatures.

6 FRANCE VS BRITAIN :Cause of Independence  French North America = Canada & Louisiana Territory, vast trading area, sparsely populated  England’s 13 colonies = densely populated. British colonists wanted to settle west, but French forts prevented.

7 Seven Years War/ French and Indian War )  Britain & France fought control N. American continent.  Britain’s P M William Pitt used British navy to defeat weaker French fleet.  British forces defeated French near Quebec, Canada.  1763 Treaty of Paris granted Canada & French land east of the Mississippi to Britain.  British Empire was largest in world but in Debt  (Tax the Colonist)


9 British Taxes  Parliament imposed 1765 Stamp Act on colonies (repealed a year later due to protest.)  Parliament placed tariffs on non-British made goods,  American smuggling & British searches ofAmerican homes w/o warrants.  Declaratory Act = Parliament stated that Parliament alone had right to tax and make decisions for colonies.  undermined colonial govt’s authority, colonists outraged, “No taxation without representation!”

10 Colonist React to Taxes  Boston Massacre resulted in 5 deaths, but huge anti-British propaganda campaign (Paul Revere.)  1773 Tea Act gave British East India Co. a monopoly on tea market and decreased colonist profits.  Thomas Jefferson encouraged communication amongst colonies  Boston Tea Party = Samuel Adams & other patriots dressed as Indians, boarded ship & dumped British tea.

11 Kings reaction  King George III ordered Parliament to pass Coercive Acts (Intolerable Acts) to punish MA. & end colonialrebellion  No trial by jury, forcing people to “quarter” British troops, etc.)

12 1774 First Continental Congress in Philadelphia  “I am not a Virginian, but an American” Patrick Henry Congress called :  repeal Intolerable Acts  boycott of British goods  form colonial militias,  sent a Declaration of Rights & Grievances to king,  but still claimed loyalty to the “Crown.”

13 Colonist Fight British  April, 1775 British troops sent to seize arms & supplies of militias.  Lexington & Concord, first time fighting broke out between British & American forces, “the shot heard round the world!”

14 May, 1775 Second Continental Congress  Gen. George Washington organize Continental Army  Olive Branch Petition. Of peace King refused. Sent 30,000 German troops instead!  Jan, 1776 Thomas Paine’s pamphlet “Common Sense” widely circulated = demanded American independence

15 Independence  July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence proclaimed & colonies celebrated. American Revolution had begun.  Big gamble: signers signed their own death warrant! Patriots vs. world’s best military force & richest nation.

16 Patriot advantages  fighting on home turf, fighting for freedom  Early success of guerilla tactics  support from France (Lafayette) & Spain  Help Colonist because enemy was Britain  Both sides thought war would be short, but it lasted 7 years!


18 Saratoga October 1777  British made two attempts to break through American defenses, but failed.  British withdrew to Saratoga, where they were surrounded by American troops.  The British had to surrender on October 13, 1777.  One quarter of the British forces in North America thus surrendered,  Major turning point and victory for Colonist

19 Valley Forge-winter 1777-1778  British Army secure in Philadelphia  The American army settled into winter quarters at Valley Forge.  winter of hardship and suffering for the troops.  It was also a winter of training, in which the American troops were taught how to be professional soldiers.

20 York Town May 1781  General Cornwallis and British forces began preparing a naval base in York Town  General Washington moved south and, together with French ground and naval forces, surrounded the British army  Assault forced British to surrender  This victory ended the war and guaranteed independence

21 Americans gain independence  Gen. Cornwallis surrendered to Americans & French at Yorktown in 1781.  1783 Treaty of Paris recognized U.S. independence & expansion west to the Mississippi (doubled in size!)

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