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The Early Years of the War Ch. 10, Sec. 2, Part I Explain the major reasons why the colonial desire to gain rights and liberties led them to fight for.

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Presentation on theme: "The Early Years of the War Ch. 10, Sec. 2, Part I Explain the major reasons why the colonial desire to gain rights and liberties led them to fight for."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Early Years of the War Ch. 10, Sec. 2, Part I Explain the major reasons why the colonial desire to gain rights and liberties led them to fight for Independence from Great Britain.

2 Americans Divided The issue of breaking from England divided the very fabric of American colonial society. Not everyone wanted independence. Roughly 40% were for independence. 40% wanted to remain neutral. 20% were Loyalists, or people born in the colonies that remained loyal to Great Britain. In short, the majority of Americans did not support the Revolution. Most of the Loyalists/Tories were located in the big cities like New York, Boston and Charleston. The war also divided Native American tribes and African- Americans as well. The Cherokee Indian nation sided with the British during the war.


4 Black Soldiers in the Revolution During the war, African- Americans fought for both the British and the Americans. Both sides offered them freedom if they served honorably. It is estimated that several hundred to a few thousand may have served in the Continental Army.

5 Wentworth Cheswell Wentworth Cheswell was the grandson of black slave who had earned his freedom in Wentworth was also highly-educated for the times and was an important leader in his community. He even served as a town constable and was one of the other riders with Paul Revere that helped to alarm the minutemen at Lexington and Concord.

6 In addition to his civic service, Wentworth was also a patriot leader, having served in the Committee of Safety and as a soldier in the Continental Army. After returning from his military service, Wentworth was elected to the convention to draft his states first constitution. Wentworth died in 1817 and is known as a patriot, teacher, church leader, historian, and soldier.



9 The Early Battles Throughout the summer and fall of 1776, Washington and the Continental Army fought the British for control of New York and New Jersey. The Continental Army was severely defeated in nearly every battle and engagement. By December of 1776, the Continentals under General Washington were almost ready to break and surrender. They had little or no clothes, food, or equipment. It looked as though the rebellion was going to be put down.


11 Creating an Army

12 The Soldiers -Rebels and Redcoats-

13 The British Regular At the start of the war, the British soldier was the best and most disciplined in the world. He had proven this fact time and time again on the battlefields of Europe and in the Americas. Over 50,000 British soldiers served in the colonies during the war. Life and discipline were harsh for the individual soldier. Most had joined the army because there were little or no opportunities for them in England.



16 The American Soldier



19 Yankee Doodle Dandy The American colonies entered the war without a standing Army or Navy. Save for the militia, or part- time soldiers called, minutemen, the US military was created from scratch. The Continental Army, created in May 10 th, 1775, formed the basis for the regular United States Army. Throughout the war, both the militia and Continentals were usually undermanned, undersupplied and underfed.




23 Trenton! Christmas Eve, December 25 th, The Continental Army is near collapse. General Washington knows that if a victory does not come soon, all will be lost. In the middle of a raging snowstorm, Washington and his ragtag army cross the Delaware River into New Jersey and completely surprise the Hessian garrison at the small town of Trenton. The Hessians, tired and drunk from an all night party, are taken completely by surprise. Eight days later, Washington wins another battle against the British at Princeton. These two back-to-back victories are huge for the American cause. It gave them hope.








31 British Strategy Strategy-An overall plan of action. In mid-1777, the British armies in North America were planning a campaign to split the colonies in two. Despite losing several key battles and engagements, the Continental Army in the north held on by sheer luck and determination. The turning point of the Revolutionary War in the northern colonies took place in New York in September and October of The British Army under General John Burgoyne was surrounded and defeated by American Generals Daniel Morgan and Horatio Gates. The Battle was called Saratoga. 1) An entire British army was captured. 2) European nations, namely France, decided to help the Americans.




35 The kinds of military weapons dictated how the armies fought in 18 th century warfare. Since the standard small-arm of both the American and British armies was either the Brown Bess or Charleville musket, long lines of men faced one another, oftentimes at 60 yards or less, and blazed away, firing volley after volley to achieve maximum destruction on one another. A bayonet charge usually came after the firing.

36 An American Widow Maker. A Continental rifleman at the Battle of Saratoga. These men were greatly feared by the British and German soldiers.


38 ives/americanrevolution/

39 The Articles of Confederation The government of the newly-created United States that was in place during the years of the Revolution. The Central Government (Continental Congress) had very little power while the most important powers were let to the 13 states.




43 1.What well-known individual was given the task of heading the Continental Army? 2.Who were the minutemen? 3.Which of the following statements is true of the first shot fired in the Revolution a) No battles occurred until months after the shot was fired b) The shot was fired under the orders of ordinary citizens c) The shot was fired by a British soldier against official orders d) No one knows who fired the first shot 4.Why did the Americans build a fort on Breeds Hill? a) To expand the war west b) to force the British to retreat from Boston c) to gain control of the Charlestown peninsula d) to launch surprise attacks on Lexington and Concord 5.Explain who Wentworth Cheswell was and why he should be remembered.

44 Bibliography

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