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AMERICAN HISTORY.  May 1775—Second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia  New members: Ben Franklin, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson  Many delegates.

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Presentation on theme: "AMERICAN HISTORY.  May 1775—Second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia  New members: Ben Franklin, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson  Many delegates."— Presentation transcript:


2  May 1775—Second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia  New members: Ben Franklin, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson  Many delegates still felt loyalty to King George  All delegates rejected Britain’s attempt to tax  Only a few wanted independence

3  CREATING A CONTINENTAL ARMY  New Englanders and British troops were fighting around Boston  Congress made the New England forces the core of a new Continental Army  June 1775—George Washington chosen to lead the Continental Army

4  WAR OR PEACE??  July 1775—Congress issues two very different documents  1) A Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms (July 6, 1775)  --explained why Americans were at war  --Accused Parliament of having “an inordinate passion for power”  --Charged General Gage with “cruel aggression”

5  2) Olive Branch Petition (July 1775)  --authors called themselves the king’s “faithful subjects in the colonies”  --begged the King to reach a “happy and permanent reconciliation”  King declared the colonies in rebellion

6  May 10, 1775—Green Mountain Boys (VT) captured the British fort at Ticonderoga in New York  Other members also captured the fort at Crown Point  THE SEIGE OF BOSTON  British troops had withdrawn back to Boston

7  Several thousand British occupied the town  The Americans quickly put together a bigger army—some 15,000 soldiers from all over New England  The standoff at Boston led to the first major battle of the Revolutionary War—The Battle of Bunker Hill  Boston is surrounded by several hills

8  General Gage wanted the hills but American General Prescott moved to fortify the hills  June 17, 1775—2,500 British troops led by General Howe tried twice to dislodge the Americans from Breed’s Hill  The colonists were short on ammunition so they were told “don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes”

9  Third attempt—colonists run out of ammunition  Americans retreat from Breed’s Hill to Bunker Hill  Casualties: 1,000 British & 400 Americans  WASHINGTON TAKES COMMAND  Army seriously short of heavy weapons and gunpowder

10  Henry Knox sent to Fort Ticonderoga to bring back captured British weapons and supplies  March 1776—Washington recaptures Boston  British soldiers and loyalist forced to sail to Halifax, Nova Scotia  OTHER BATTLES  1775-76—Benedict Arnold leads unsuccessful attempt on Quebec

11  FEB 1776—Scottish Loyalists attacked colonists in NC but the colonists were waiting  Colonial victory ended British control in NC  June 1776—British launched an attack on a fort near Charleston, SC but were unsuccessful

12  Events of 1775 pushed more colonists to independence  Spring 1776—colonists still doubtful but leaders were becoming more certain  Continental Congress opened up ports to seaports to foreign trade with all countries except Britain

13  REVOLUTIONARY IDEOLOGY  Colonists still thought of themselves as British  Many of Parliament’s laws differentiated between the rights of British citizens and those in America  Led to not paying British taxes because they had no representation

14  A MATTER OF COMMON SENSE  British author Thomas Paine published a pamphlet called COMMON SENSE  He condemned the monarchy and George III and called for an American declaration of independence  Paine’s 50-page pamphlet sold over 100,000 copies within a few months

15  VIRGINIA CALLS FOR INDEPENDENCE  May 1776—VA Convention of Delegates issued VIRGINIA DECLARATION OF RIGHTS  First call for American independence  June 7, 1776—Richard Henry Lee (VA) presented 3 resolutions to Congress  --1) colonies should be independent

16  --2) Americans needed to form foreign alliances for support  --3) colonies should form a plan for unification  WRITING THE DECLARATION  No serious objections to Lee’s resolutions  Committee named to write a draft of a declaration of independence

17  John Adams, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin  Jefferson chosen to write the draft  Adams and Franklin made changes to Jefferson’s draft  Continental Congress made more changes  July 2, 1776—Congress votes in favor of the document declaring independence

18  July 4, 1776—The Declaration of Independence was signed and copied  The Declaration was read in public  Crowds in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and other cities cheered and rang church bells  The British now viewed the colonists as rebels

19  Not all colonists wanted independence  Western colonists feared that a war would expose them to Indian attacks  Some colonists remain loyal to Britain  Loyalists were used to fight the patriots  THE LOYALISTS  About 25% of colonists remained loyal

20  Most New Englanders and Virginians were on the patriot side  Loyalists were strong in GA and SC  Government officials tended to be loyalists  Landowners, merchants, doctors, and lawyers could be found on both sides  Debtors, small farmers, and shopkeepers were patriots

21  Local patriots harassed loyalists, attacking farms or property, and some were driven out of town  Loyalists fought along side the British during the war  Some people went to Canada, Britain, or British- held islands in the Caribbean  Some lived quietly and avoided politics  After the war about 100,000 loyalists left the USA, mainly for Canada

22 AA CHEER FOR THE PATRIOTS AAbigail Adams, wife of John Adams, wrote several letters to John before, during, and after the war, detailing her feelings and those of others TThese letters showed an active interest in politics and support for the growing independence movement TTHE END

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