Date Unit 2 REVOLUTION & NEW NATION--The Fight for Independence LECTURE #1

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1 4/2/06 State Sdn.- S1C4PO1A-B and S1C4PO2 and S1C4PO3A-E and S1C4PO6A-E and S1C1PO4 Date Unit 2 REVOLUTION & NEW NATION--The Fight for Independence LECTURE #1 OBJECTIVES: Assess economic, political, and social reasons for the American Revolution Analyze effects of European involvement in the American Revolution and on the outcome of war Describe significance of major events of the American Revolution Examine the experiences/perspectives of peoples of the new nation Construct timeline to interpret historical data Trouble in the Colonies In the 1700 s conflict between Great Britain and France spilled over into their North American colonies. The French had established colonies along the St. Lawrence River in what is now eastern Canada. British soldiers and colonial militia fought the French and their American Indian Allies in what became known as the French and Indian War. With victory in 1763, the British gained Canada, Spanish Florida, and most French land east of the Mississippi River. As large numbers of British settlers arrived in these areas, the American Indians already living there became alarmed. Ottawa chief Pontiac called upon Indians nations to unite and attack British forts on the frontier in what was known as Pontiac s Rebellion. Fear that conflict with American Indians would disrupt trade convinced British authorities to issue the Proclamation of 1763, which banned settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. It angered the colonists because it restricted movement and settlement. Violations of Colonists Rights One result of the French and Indian War was that Britain tried to raise taxes in the colonies to pay for the war. (Colonies were created to make money for Britain. Colonists had to EXPORT all raw materials to only Britain and IMPORT all manufactured goods from Britain). The British government passed a series of new colonial laws, which created new taxes to recover the costs of the war with France and put limitations on colonial trade. These laws violated a number of colonists rights. British officials first passed a tax on sugar, molasses, and other items entering the American colonies. Because the colonist had no official representation in the British parliament, the colonist objected to what they called taxation without representation. In addition, the act violated colonists right to a speedy trial by jury. In 1765 Parliament passed the Stamp Act. It put a tax on printed matter of all kinds. This included legal documents, newspapers, and even playing cards. Angry colonial merchants vowed to boycott, or not to buy or import, British goods. Committees of artisans, lawyers, merchants, and politicians formed to protest the Stamp Act. They came to be called the Sons of Liberty. Samuel Adams was a leader of the Boston Sons of Liberty. He was the son of a local merchant and brewer, who was born in He graduated from Harvard College and then worked for his family s brewing business. He also became involved in Boston Politics and served in a series of local offices, including tax collector. In 1765 Adams was elected to the legislative assembly of Massachusetts. The Stamp Act crisis turned him into a key political leader. Adams proved particularly skillful at staging demonstrations and writing articles that influenced the public s perception of events. His writing both expressed and heightened the colonists anger at the British government. The Colonist Respond Led by Samuel Adams and others, the colonists decided to inform King George III of their dissatisfaction. In October 1765, delegates met in New York City for the Stamp Act Congress. They voiced their objections to the Stamp Act and declared that Parliament did not have the right to tax the colonies. The Stamp Act Congress marked an important step toward a more unified resistance in the colonies. Britain repealed this act in 1766 but passed the Declaratory Act at the same time. It stated the Parliament had the full power and authority to make laws.to bind the colonies and people of America in all cases whatsoever. The following year Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, which placed import

2 duties on common items such as glass, lead and tea. These payments were used for military costs, which violated the colonists right to not have a standing army without their consent. To enforce these acts, British custom officials revived the use of special search warrants called writs of assistance. Once again the colonists opposed the tax. The British government sent troops (known as the Redcoats) because of their bright red uniforms, to Boston to enforce the law. In 1770 a confrontation between the colonists and Redcoats led the soldiers to open fire on the crowd, killing five people. Colonists called this incident the Boston Massacre. The Tea Act Parliament repealed some of the new duties but again angered colonists when it passed the Tea Act in Colonists believed that the act gave Britain a monopoly on the tea trade. After the governor of Massachusetts allowed three shiploads of tea to enter Boston Harbor, colonists boarded the ships at night. They threw 342 chests of tea into the water. News of the so-called Boston Tea Party spread rapidly. British officials were furious. Parliament passed the Coercive Acts, which colonists referred to as the Intolerable Acts. These laws (or provisions) closed the port of Boston, revoked the colony s charter, and ordered local officials to provide food and housing for British soldiers. The acts went against many traditional rights of British citizens, such as freedom of travel in peacetime and no quartering of troops in private homes. The Revolution Begins In the fall of 1774, representatives met in Philadelphia at the First Continental Congress to discuss how to respond to British actions. The colonists resolved to remain loyal to the Crown but also claim their rights as British subjects. King George considered the delegates and colonists who agreed with them to be rebels. Parliament ordered General Thomas Gage to stop the rebellion. Early Battles General Gage (British Commander) tried to seize rebel military supplies stored in Concord, Massachusetts. On April 18, 1775, under cover of night, some 700 British troops left Boston and rowed across the Charles River. Patriots (colonist who supported independence from Britain) had stationed watchmen on the far shore. They spotted the British troops as they emerged from the darkness. Paul Revere and two other men rode horses through the countryside sounding the alarm that the (Regulars were coming). Patriots quickly gathered to confront the British. The next day, Redcoats and Patriots clashed in Lexington near Concord (Massachusetts). At the battle someone fired what was later called the shot heard round the world. Eight colonists were killed, and 10 others were wounded. The Redcoats continued on to Concord but found few Patriot weapons. The colonists had hidden them elsewhere. Minutemen (members of the militia who promised to be ready at a minute s notice) fired on the British troops as they marched back to Boston. The Patriots killed or wounded 273 British soldiers while suffering fewer than 100 casualties in the day s fighting. News of the events spread throughout the colonies by the time the Second Continental Congress opened in May. The Congressional delegates agreed to establish the Continental Army for the defense of American liberty. The delegates unanimously chose George Washington of Virginia to command this new army. Washington had acquired military experience and a reputation for bravery while fighting for the British in the French and Indian War. With Washington as leader and the British reluctant to engage in a full-scale war, and later with the help of the French, the colonists would be able to win the war. Declaring Independence Many colonists believed that the British government had violated their rights as British subjects. Patrick Henry and Thomas Paine emerged as powerful supporters of independence. Henry expressed these views in a speech he made in Virginia. He declared, Give me liberty, or give me death! 4/2/06 State Sdn.- S1C4PO1A-B and S1C4PO2 and S1C4PO3A-E and S1C4PO6A-E and S1C1PO4 2

3 Paine promoted the Patriot cause in his January 1776 pamphlet Common Sense. It rallied up public support for the Revolution and called for the end of British rule in the 13 colonies. Paine argued, Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. Common Sense eventually sold some 500,000 copies and helped transform a disorganized colonial rebellion into a focused movement for independence. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia introduced a resolution in the Second Continental Congress declaring the colonies to be free and independent States. The resolution called for a plan of confederation, or an alliance, between the states. Before voting on Lee s proposal, the Congress appointed a five-person committee to draft a formal Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, a Virginia lawyer, planter, and slaveholder, became chairman of the committee and did most of the actual writing. On June 28, congress members quickly accepted Lee s resolution. On July 2 the Congress officially declared the new United States of America to be independent from Britain. Two days later, on July 4, the Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration s immediate purpose was to win support for independence, both at home and abroad. To weaken the public s lingering loyalty to King George, the Declaration described his misdeeds. It also outlined basic principles of representative government (a government by the people). We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. This document also proclaimed the right of people to alter or abolish a government that deprived them of these unalienable Rights. War for Independence Bunker Hill M.A.- for weeks both the British and the Americans had been pouring troops and supplies into the Boston Area, the center of radical agitation. On the night of June 16, American General Israel Putnam occupied and fortified Breed s Hill and Bunker Hill. The next morning more than 1,500 British troops launched a frontal attack on the heights, with each soldier carrying a full pack of almost 125 pounds. He said, Don t fire until you see the whites of their eyes! He wanted to conserve their ammunition. The fight was on. The British captured the entire area around Charlestown, but they paid a high price for it. Over 1,000 soldiers were killed or wounded, including a number of officers. The Americans lost only 397 soldiers. The Battle of Bunker Hill was a technical victory for the British but a moral victory for the Americans. Colonial forces had proved they could hold their own against better trained and better equipped troops. Now they could enter the struggle in hopes of possibly beating the British. Saratoga N.Y.- during the winter of 1777, the British secretary of war approved a plan to conquer New York and isolate New England. Had the strategy succeeded it would probably have split the United States in two and paved the way for a British victory. Through a combination of chance, poor coordination by British generals, and American persistence, the plan failed. This failure turned the tide of the war firmly in the Patriots favor. The victory at Saratoga proved to be a major turning point of the war. It wiped out the British threat from the North and destroyed an entire British Army. Even more important, it brought France into the war on the American side. Yorktown V.A.- George Washington who was in camp near New York City, again acted boldly; he left the middle states and moved his army quickly south. There, together with the recently arrived French army, he laid siege to Yorktown in September. Luckily for the Americans, a French fleet turned back a British fleet off the coast of Virginia, and Cornwallis was trapped by a force twice the size of his own. On October 19, 1781, he had the mortification, as he put it in a later letter to his superior, of surrendering his army to Washington and the French. With the defeat at Yorktown, the British lost their will to continue the war, and peace talks began. Great Debates Today about the fight for Independence and what it did for our Country 4/2/06 State Sdn.- S1C4PO1A-B and S1C4PO2 and S1C4PO3A-E and S1C4PO6A-E and S1C1PO4 3

4 The meaning of the American Revolution has provoked heated and ongoing debates among historians. While independence was one obvious consequence of the Revolution, Thomas Jefferson s words all men are created equal have been a source of controversy from the time they were written. Some historians have chosen to focus on the limitation of revolutionary ideas. Clearly, the Declaration of Independence did not create political liberty for everyone. American women were excluded from political life until Some slaves fought for and gained their freedom during the Revolution, but slavery as a system did not end until after the Civil War in Many American Indians lost their lands and homes as a result of the Revolutionary War. Other historians have viewed the Revolution as an event of great social consequence. While America in the 1700 s was full of inequalities, these scholars argue that the Revolution began to change Americans ideas about how power should be distributed in society. No longer did people assume that a few well-born individuals should rule over everyone else. This fundamental change in attitude would eventually lead to the expansion of democratic rights to include Americans, whatever their gender, race, or economic condition. Main Points of Lecture #1 (Answer questions in complete sentences) 1. What is a tariff? 2. What was the Proclamation of 1763? 3. How did the colonists react to The Proclamation of 1763? Why? 4. Why did the British government pass new laws taxing the colonists? 5. Why did the colonists object to taxation without representation? 6. List three general factors that caused the colonists to revolt. 7. What was the Stamp Act crisis? 8. Who were the Sons of Liberty and how did they express their opposition to the British government? 9. How did the colonists react to the Tea Act? 4/2/06 State Sdn.- S1C4PO1A-B and S1C4PO2 and S1C4PO3A-E and S1C4PO6A-E and S1C1PO4 4

5 10. What were the Intolerable Acts? 11. Why were the Intolerable Acts enacted? How did the colonists respond? 12. Why was the clash in Lexington called the shot heard round the world? 13. Name three reasons that the Americans were able to win the war. 14. Who wrote Common Sense and what did it do? 15. What were the three purposes of the Declaration of Independence? 16. Who had the power in the government the Declaration outlined? 17. What was the significance of the Battle of Bunker Hill? 18. What was the battle that was the turning point of the war? Why was it a turning point? 19. Why was the battle of Yorktown important? 20. Who had political liberties? Who did not? Create a Timeline for this Reading. Use facts from today s reading/questions/answers to create a timeline on a separate sheet of paper. When listing each event include a statement explaining the significance of the event. You must list at least ten events with a significance statement for each event. Use color, pictures, borders, etc. You must draw at least four pictures showing events on the timeline. Be creative. 4/2/06 State Sdn.- S1C4PO1A-B and S1C4PO2 and S1C4PO3A-E and S1C4PO6A-E and S1C1PO4 5

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