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The Revolutionary War Fighting for Independence. Hostilities With the arrival of British soldiers (called redcoats or lobsterbacks for their bright red.

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Presentation on theme: "The Revolutionary War Fighting for Independence. Hostilities With the arrival of British soldiers (called redcoats or lobsterbacks for their bright red."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Revolutionary War Fighting for Independence

2 Hostilities With the arrival of British soldiers (called redcoats or lobsterbacks for their bright red coats) after the F/I war in 1768, tensions between Britain and the colonies started to increase. With the deaths of Crispus Attucks and 4 others at the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770, the hostilities increased into violence.

3 A Country Divided The colonies were divided…do we stay with Great Britain and give up some of our freedoms (Loyalists), separate from Britain entirely (Patriots), or can we reach some sort of compromise (Neutrals)?

4 War for Independence

5 Patrick Henry Most colonists believed that if it came to fighting with Britain, it would be short because Britain would change it’s policies. Patrick Henry disagreed. Speaking in front of the House of Burgesses, Henry proclaimed that there would be war with Britain, and exclaimed, “I know not what course the others may take. But as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

6 Spies Samuel Adams, leader of the Boston Sons of Liberty – the secret society formed to oppose British policies, sent spies to watch British actions. British General Gage used his Loyalist spies as well – and found out that the Massachusetts militia was storing arms and ammunition. General Gage ordered the supplies destroyed and Sam Adams and John Hancock to be arrested. The Sons of Liberty had prepared for this. Paul Revere, a Boston silversmith, and William Dawes, were charged with spreading the news about British Troop movements. Across from Boston was the Old North Church – if British were coming in by land, they would hang one lantern, if by sea they would hang two. Revere would then ride to their stockpiles at Lexington and Concord from there.

7 The Midnight Ride When the British started to move towards Concord and Lexington, so did Revere and Dawes. On their midnight ride, they spread the news that the British were coming. In Lexington Revere and Dawes were detained, so Reverend Samuel Prescott rode on to deliver the message to Concord.

8 Lexington and Concord Two brief skirmishes in April of 1775 700 British were trying to capture ammo and Patriot leaders outside of Boston. Colonial Minutemen (ready to fight in a minute) 4000 strong fought for the patriots. Seen as both a victory for British (they captured the ammo) and for the Patriots (the British retreated) Marks the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Colonies start sending militia to Boston – eventually reaching @ 20,000 General Gage moves his troops to the peninsula across from Boston

9 The shot heard round the world.. “By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April's breeze unfurled; Here once the embattled farmers stood; And fired the shot heard round the world.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord Hymn

10 Layout of the Colonies – Loyalist vs Patriot

11 Fort Ticonderoga May 10, 1775 – Ethan Allen leads his backwoodsmen Green Mountain Boys on an attack against British Fort Ticonderoga. They capture cannon and guns (artillery) which they would use to drive the British from Boston.

12 2 nd Continental Congress May 10 th, the same day as the battle at Fort Ticonderoga, delegates meet in Philadelphia and agree to form the Continental Army. George Washington is chosen as the commanding general. Congress authorizes the printing of paper money to pay troops. I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with

13 Battle of Bunker Hill (& Breed’s Hill) Militiamen in Boston had seized Breed’s Hill and Bunker Hill in Charlestown, just outside of Boston British General Gage in Boston orders three waves of attack against the gathered militia and colonial army, led by General William Howe. Colonial Army held high ground on two hills – as Colonel Prescott ordered “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” British, falling back then charging again, eventually take the hills. Colonists lose the battle, but show they can fight! – Colonials kill 40%-50% of British soldiers (about 1000) – British only kill & wound 400! General Gage writes “The loss we have sustained is greater than we can bear.”


15 Olive Branch Petition Despite hostilities, Congress drafts an Olive Branch Petition in July 1775 to restore relations – even patriots signed, hoping for peace The King rejected the petition (didn’t even read it), and sent the British Navy to block American ships from leaving their ports. The King also sent hired German soldiers and mercenaries – “Hessians” to fight in America.

16 Washington’s Headaches Despite colonial forces being confident of their abilities – Washington was extremely aware of their shortcomings. Only 1/3 of the colonists were in favor of a war for independence. States and colonies had their own loyalties. Congress couldn’t tax to raise money for the Continental Army. Poor training [until the arrival of Baron von Steuben.

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