Let’s begin with a little review. At this point, there are 13 English colonies along the Atlantic Ocean. They are English Colonies because they are still being ruled by England. They still pay taxes to the king and are obeying all of his rules. They still do not have the independence that they came for.
A NEW COUNTRY As you can guess, the colonists are getting tired of being ruled by England. After all, the left England to find freedom…… freedom to worship as they wish, and freedom from the King. Some colonists decided they wanted to make their own laws.
They wanted independence from England. Independence means they wanted to be free from other people and places. They wanted independence from England and from King James.
The colonists decided they were going to tell the king how they felt. They were going to send a letter to the king.
On July 4, 1776, American leaders wrote and signed the Declaration of Independence. The declaration said that Americans wanted to have a new country. It said that the colonies were now “free and independent.” They told him that they were now called Americans.
How do you think the king felt about this? What do you think he said? What do you think he did about it?
Well,…The king did not like this idea. He said…….
Let’s talk about what he did…. He refused to let the colonies have freedom from England. How did he plan on stopping them???? He sent soldiers to America to fight.
England and America Go to War This disagreement started the American Revolutionary War. Now, America is getting ready for the war. They know that the King refused to give them freedom, and he was sending over soldiers to fight. They want their freedom, so they are willing to fight for it.
They knew that they would need to choose a person to be the leader of the American army. They chose George Washington as their leader.
He told his people, “ We are dreaming of freedom and independence.” George Washington wanted one flag to represent the American Army. Betsy Ross made a flag to represent the American people.
They are now ready to fight. Did you ever hear of Paul Revere? He lived in the colony of Massachusetts. He warned American soldiers that England’s soldiers (the British) were coming. He rode his horse from town to town shouting, “The British are coming! The British are coming!”
FREEDOM AT LAST???? The Revolutionary war lasted for eight years. It was a very tough fight. For a long time, it looked like the colonists would never win. The English soldiers were stronger, had better guns, and training. The American soldiers were out of food, they were sick and cold, some soldiers had no shoes.
Things were not looking very good for the American colonists. The people of France decided to help the American colonists. They joined in the fighting and helped the American soldiers defeat England. Finally……..
The United States of America was born. George Washington had been such a good leader, he was chosen to be the first president of the United States of America.
While America was getting bigger and stronger, the North and the South were drifting apart. Although America won it freedom from England, not all Americans were free. States in the South had large plantations. These plantations were very large farms. The plantation owners bought people from Africa and brought them back to America to work on their plantations.
The laws of the United States allowed slavery. Slavery is when one person owns another. Slaves were treated very poorly. Slaves were forced to work without pay. Many people tried to escape slavery.
Harriet Tubman was one person who escaped from slavery. She helped others escape slavery also.
The people in the North felt slavery was wrong. They felt all people should be free. This difference in opinion, was causing great problems between the North and the South.
President Abraham Lincoln was another person that helped put an end to slavery. He did not like slavery, either. This eventually led to another war. A war between the North and the South.
THE CIVIL WAR The Civil War was fought because President Lincoln wanted to end slavery. The South wanted to leave the Union, so they could continue to own slaves. President Lincoln believed the united states should remain united. He wanted to bring the South back into the union. He asked congress to declare war. South – Union SoldiersNorth – Confederate Soldiers
The Civil War went on for four years. The South finally surrendered. The war was over, the North won, and the nation became one again. Slavery is now against the law.