2 The Continental Congress September 1774: 55 delegates from all the colonies (except Georgia) arrived in Philadelphia.Established a political body that would represent American interests and challenge British control.
3 Delegates to Congress Samuel Adams John Jay Richard Henry Lee Patrick HenryGeorge Washington
4 Continental Congress – Meaning: “The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and New Englanders, are no more. I am not a Virginian, but an American.”Patrick Henry, at the Continental Congress________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
5 Decisions of Congress: The colonies are beginning to unite and show that they are not in agreement with how England is treating them.The delegates drafted a statement of grievances that called for the repeal of “13 acts of parliament”. They believed that these laws violated the laws of nature, the English Constitution…etc
6 Decisions of Congress Cont. The delegates voted to boycott British goods – nothing could be brought into the colonies.Resolutions also called on the people of the county to arm themselves against the British. The people responded by forming militia’s – groups of citizen soldiers.
7 The First BattlesPreparation: Colonists expected fighting to break out in the New England area first. Militia companies were holding trainings and stockpiling weapons to ensure that they would be ready.“minutemen” - companies of soldiers boasted they would be ready at a minute’s notice to fight.
8 Britain Sends TroopsThe British were preparing for conflict and stated that New England colonies were in a “state of rebellion” and that “blows must decide”.By April 1775, several thousand British soldiers were in the colonies – with more on their way.
9 Alerting the Colonists: Dr. Joseph warren walked the streets of Boston looking for unusual activity. He saw a regiment forming ranks in Boston, and alerted William Dawes and Paul Revere – a members of the Son’s of Liberty.Dawes and Revere rode to Lexington to warn Adams and Hancock that the British were coming. The fight for independence was about to begin.
10 Lexington and ConcordAt dawn the red coats approached, and discovered 70 minutemen who had been alerted by Revere.Both sides let loose in an exchange of bullets. With 8 minutemen dead, the British marched toward Concord.Militia had been hiding out and firing along their path to Concord. By the time they reached Boston 174 –wounded; 73 dead.
11 More Militia Action:Benedict Arnold: A Captain in the Connecticut Militia was authorized to raise a force of 400 men to seize Fort Ticonderoga. It was strategically important because of its location/supplies.Arnold was able to team up with the Green Mountain Boys (Ethan Allen’s force) take the British by surprise; and Fort Ticonderoga surrendered on May 10, 1775.
12 Battle of Bunker HillJune 16, 1775 about 1200 militiamen (13 colonies) under the command of Colonel William Prescott, set up fortifications at Bunker Hill.British assembled at the bottom of the hill and charged. Colonel Prescott shouted “don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes”.Battle ensued; Americans ran out of gun powder and withdrew. British victory.