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II. Second Continental Congress and Continued Fighting Warm Up: Why was the Stamp Act bad idea for the British?

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Presentation on theme: "II. Second Continental Congress and Continued Fighting Warm Up: Why was the Stamp Act bad idea for the British?"— Presentation transcript:

1 II. Second Continental Congress and Continued Fighting Warm Up: Why was the Stamp Act bad idea for the British?

2  The colonists prepared for war  Colonial early warning system  The Minutemen  Lexington and Concord

3  In several Massachusetts towns people had begun to stockpile weapons and train openly for combat  General Thomas Gage, British military governor of Massachusetts, learned of colonial military preparations, and ordered British troops to Lexington and Concord to seize weapons General Thomas Gage Colonists prepared for combat

4 Many of the leaders of the rebel movement, known as the “Patriots”, fled Boston to avoid arrest by the British. Those who stayed devised a plan to alert those who remained of a British advance: one lantern in the steeple of the Old North Church, two if from the Charles River. On April 18, 1775 silversmith Paul Revere saw the lanterns and along with William Dawes and Dr. Samuel Prescott, rode through the countryside warning colonists and militia that the British were on the march to Lexington and Concord. “One if by land, two if by sea”

5 William Dawes Dawes took the longer “by land” route across the isthmus of Massachusetts and was able to elude capture by British forces and warned militia at several locations along the route the British traveled to Lexington and Concord. Dawes was thrown from his horse and was captured. The riders Only Prescott was able to make it to Concord Revere was captured, but lied to the British about colonial troop strength, and was eventually released to return to Boston on a poorly rested horse. Paul Revere

6  Based on English militia model  All males over age 16 were required to join militia and attend musters. Minutemen were selected from colonial militia rosters  The average age was about 25 years old, and many were veterans of the French and Indian War  Term “minute men” first used in 1756; but not officially used for colonial militia until 1774; meant they would be ready to fight “in a moment’s notice” The Minutemen

7 Lexington and Concord April 19, 1775 “The shot heard round the world”

8 Cartoon shows George III and Lord Mansfield, seated on an open chaise drawn by two horses labeled "Obstinacy" and "Pride," about to lead Britain into an abyss represented by the war with the American colonies

9 When the British troops arrived in Lexington, the colonial militia under Captain John Parker, was lined up on the village green. Parker had ordered his men to “stand their ground…”, but added “if they mean to have a war, let it begin here”. As the two sides watched each other, a shot apparently was fired in the distance. The British responded by firing at the militia, who returned fire. At the end of the skirmish, along with the subsequent one at Concord, 50 militia and 73 British soldiers were killed. The British marched back to Boston under heavy fire from the colonists, who practiced guerrilla warfare, meaning they were hiding behind rocks and trees. The British army had always fought in a traditional style, in the open with both sides facing each other, which made it difficult for them to effectively fight back. Eventually the British troops made it back to Charlestown after suffering many more casualties on the march. The British army and colonials were now at war. How the war began

10 A. The Second Continental Congress 1.Where, When, Who, and What –May 1775: Meet in Philadelphia –New Members: Included Ben Franklin, John Hancock, and Thomas Jefferson

11 –Many still felt loyalty to the King George III –Blamed the Parliament –Only a few actually wanted independence –The Congress does 3 major things during this meeting

12 2.Creates Continental Army –Congress agreed to support the war already going on –Turns the New England forces into the Continental Army –June 1775: Appoints George Washington to lead the new army

13 3.Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms –July 1775: Congress issues this document –Explains why Americans were at war –Accused Parliament for causing the war –Says the war is not to separate from Great Britain but to defend its rights and property

14 4.Olive Branch Petition –Congress sends this to the King George III –Call themselves “faithful subjects of the Colonies” –Asks the king to make a reconciliation with the colonies –Despite petition the King says the Colonies are in open rebellion –Parliament passes law banning colonial trade outside the British Empire

15 B. Fighting Continues 1.Green Mountain Boys –Vermont Militia –Organized by Ethan Allen –May 10 1775: Capture British Fort Ticonderoga –Later captures a fort at Crow Point

16 2.Siege of Boston –After Lexington and Concord –British Soldiers fall back to Boston and occupy the town –15,000 militia from New England surrounded Boston


18 –Battle of Bunker Hill pushes the Militia back losing 400 soldiers –British lost 1000 but still won the battle

19 3. Washington takes Boston –Washington has captured weapons from Ticonderoga brought to Boston –By March 1776: Washington had enough weapons –Takes Boston –Forces the British to retreat out of Boston Harbor –British sail to Halifax Nova Scotia with 1,100 Loyalists (colonists who sympathized with the British)

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