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Intolerable Acts Some Americans thought the Boston Tea Party was wrong. Some businessmen even offered to pay for the damages. King George wanted to punish.

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Presentation on theme: "Intolerable Acts Some Americans thought the Boston Tea Party was wrong. Some businessmen even offered to pay for the damages. King George wanted to punish."— Presentation transcript:


2 Intolerable Acts Some Americans thought the Boston Tea Party was wrong. Some businessmen even offered to pay for the damages. King George wanted to punish the Americans. The British Parliament passed a new set of laws called the Intolerable Acts. The Intolerable Acts closed the Boston Harbor until the tea was paid for in full. They said the Americans could not hold town meetings. The Americans were forced to house the British soldiers. Any British subjects who committed a crime in America would be tried in England. This led to many problems. With the port closed no food could be shipped to Boston. Boston asked the colonies for help. Many colonies sent food overland.

3 First Continental Congress All colonies except Georgia sent men to Philadelphia to talk about what to do about the Intolerable Acts. This group was called the First Continental Congress. They met in September 1774 in Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia. The Congress decided they must force the British to repeal the acts. They also decided to cut off all trade between England and the colonies until the acts changed.

4 War Begins at Lexington and Concorde April 19, 1775 As tensions between the colonists and the British grew, a split developed and widened between those taking sides in America as the loyalists (colonists remaining loyal to the king) and the patriots (those opposing British laws). Near midnight, April 18, 1775 General Thomas Gage (British commander-in-chief) sent his soldiers toward Lexington. He wanted to seize patriot arms and ammunition stored in Concord. Paul Revere and William Dawes rode ahead to warn the local minutemen, or patriot volunteers. At dawn 70 minutemen met the English soldiers on the Village Green at Lexington. The British again engaged in fighting at the bridge north of Concord before retreating to Boston.

5 Second Continental Congress Philadelphia May, 1775 Following the the fighting at Lexington and Concord a meeting was called in Philadelphia on May 10, 1775 to assemble delegates to the Second Continental Congress. Those present included Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington. Some wanted to declare America independent immediately; some wanted to avoid war at all costs. The Response of Congress was twofold. While giving peace a final try, Congress established a Continental army and appointed George Washington as commander-in-chief. In an effort to bring peace, John Dickinson and others in Congress drew up a document referred to as the "The Branch Petition" which King George refused to read.

6 Battle for Bunker Hill June 17, 1775 In Massachusettts, the patriot army was growing. Thousands of rebels poured into England ready to drive the British out of the colonies, and more specifically, out of Boston. The rebel army took position on Breed's Hill near Boston on June 16, 1775. They also intended to take neighboring Bunker Hill. The British, however, attacked on June 17 before these plans were completed. Although the resulting battle was for Bunker Hill, the fighting took place on Breed's Hill. The British attacked the hilltop on three separate charges, with one coming as close as forty yards before the patriots opened fire. The rebels did not flee the hill until they had run out of bullets. Though the British won, about 1,000 redcoats were killWashington Takes Command

7 General George Washington July 3, 1775 On June 15, 1775, General George Washington was voted commander-in-chief of the Continental army by the American Congress. However, he did not arrive in Massachusetts to assume his duties until July 3, 1775. The army which Washington met at Cambridge was largely an untrained and undisciplined lot. Consisting mostly of local farmers, a few artisans, and skilled workers, they basically knew little about military discipline and the expectations of a real military leader like Washington. The soldiers lived in tents and other makeshift shelters. Supplies came in sporadically, but there never seemed to be enough guns, ammunition, cloth, food, or back pay.

8 British Evacuation of Boston March 26, 1776 In the spring of 1776, the colonists had something to cheer about. The British cannon they had captured and taken from Ft. Ticonderoga had been hauled overland during the winter by Colonel Henry Knox and his men. The cannon had reached the rebel army outside Boston in March, and in one night, Washington set up the fortification of Dorchester Heights overlooking the city with the heavy guns aimed at the British fleet anchored below. On March 26, 1776, British fleet left Boston.

9 Final Steps to Independence With the passage of time and the events of the war. the concept of independence gradually took root and became a growing popular movement. Many of those in the Congress saw the fulfillment of a dream of liberty in fighting for independence. Below is a list of chronological events and how they relate to the moves for independence that took place in the hot summer of 1776.

10 Timeline June 7 In Congress, Richard Henry Lee introduces a resolution, "That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, free and independent states." June 11 A committee is selected to write a formal declaration of the reasons for independence. Members include Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston. July 1 Debate on Lee's resolution begins in Congress. July 2 Twelve delegations vote to adopt Lee's resolution. New York delegation abstains. July 3 The Declaration of Independence is read in Congress and debate begins on the document. Wording of the document is of special concern.

11 Timeline Continued July 4 The Declaration of Independence is adopted by twelve of the thirteen delegations. Again, New York abstains. On this date, only John Hancock signs the Declaration. July 8 In Philadelphia, the Liberty Bell rings signaling adoption by Congress of the Declaration. July 15 Belatedly, New York delegation votes to adopt the Declaration of Independence. August 2 In a formal signing ceremony, fifty members of the Second Continental Congress sign the Declaration of Independence.

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