Second continental congress
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Second Continental Congress PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Second Continental Congress. The Second Continental Congress was a body of representatives appointed by the legislatures of several British North American colonies which met from May 10, 1775, to March 1, 1781

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Second Continental Congress

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Second Continental Congress

  • The Second Continental Congress was a body of representatives appointed by the legislatures of several British North American colonies which met from May 10, 1775, to March 1, 1781

  • By the time the Second Continental Congress met, the American Revolutionary War had already started with the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.

  • Thus, the Second Continental Congress found itself in the unenviable position of being the decision-making body of a military alliance at war with a far more powerful enemy.


One Last Try

  • The Congress created the Continental Army

  • They extended the Olive Branch Petition to the crown as an attempt at reconciliation.

  • King George III refused to receive it, issuing instead the Proclamation of Rebellion, requiring action against the "traitors".


Thomas Paine and Common Sense

  • In January 1776, Thomas Paine published Common Sense

  • He attacked the strongest bond tying tying America to Britain – the King

  • He pointed out the advantages of freedom from British rule and commercial restrictions

  • The book divided Americans into either Patriots or Loyalists


Independence!

  • Beginning in April of 1776, the colonies advised their delegates to vote for independence

  • On June 7th, Richard Henry Lee introduced a brief “Resolution of Independence”

  • On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted Lee’s resolution “that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states.”


The Declaration of Independence

  • The Official Declaration of Independence was agreed upon on July 4th, 1776

  • Its purpose was to justify the Revolution, state that the colonies were independent and to express the nation’s principles

  • The rest is history!


Financing the War

  • Britain's war against the Americans, French and Spanish cost about £100 million

  • Heavy spending brought France to the verge of bankruptcy and revolution, while the British had relatively little difficulty financing their war


Britain is Split

  • On February 6, 1778, a Treaty of Amity and Commerce and a Treaty of Alliance were signed between the United States and France

  • William Pitt spoke out in Parliament urging Britain to make peace in American, and unite with America against France

  • Other British politicians who had previously sympathized with colonial grievances now turned against the American rebels for allying with British International rival and enemy


More Trouble for Britain

  • Later Spain (in 1779) and the Dutch (1780) became allies of the French, leaving the British Empire to fight a global war alone without major allies, and requiring it to slip through a combined blockade of the Atlantic.

  • The American theater thus became only one front in Britain's war. The British were forced to withdraw troops from continental America to reinforce the valuable sugar-producing Caribbean colonies, which were considered more important.


Yorktown

  • The British army under Cornwallis marched to Yorktown, Virigina where they expected to be rescued by a British Fleet

  • The fleet came but so did a much larger French Fleet

  • Cornwallis was trapped and on October, 1781 after a siege, the British surrendered their second invading army of the war


Independence!

  • Many in Britain wanted to fight on but much of the support for the war in Britain was waning.

  • America finally finds its freedom on September 3rd, 1783 with the Treaty of Paris


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