Chapter 5
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Chapter 5. Decision for Independence. Committee of Correspondence wrote letters and pamphlets reporting to other colonies on events in Massachusetts became a major tool of protest in every colony. committees continued to analyze the perilous situation in the colonies

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Chapter 5

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Chapter 5

Chapter 5

Decision for Independence


Chapter 5

Committee of Correspondence

  • wrote letters and pamphlets reporting to other colonies on events in Massachusetts

  • became a major tool of protest in every colony


Chapter 5

  • committees continued to analyze the perilous situation in the colonies

    • were not sure what course of action to take

  • called for a Continental Congress, a gathering of 55 elected delegates from twelve colonies

    • Georgia sent no delegates, but agreed to support any decisions that were made


First continental congress

First Continental Congress

  • convened a meeting on September 5, 1774 in Philadelphia

  • passed a resolution to help Massachusetts, the Suffolk Resolves

    • encouraged forcible resistance to the Coercive Acts

      • agreed to halt all commerce with Britain until Parliament repealed the Acts

      • agreed to boycott all British goods


Shots heard round the world

Shots Heard Round the World

  • George III – “blows must decide whether they are to be subject to this country or independent”

  • the blows the king warned about would come at Lexington and Concord

    • two small farm villages in Massachusetts


Chapter 5

  • more and more British troops continued to arrive in Boston, around 4,000 in the city

    • under British General Thomas Gage

  • scouts reported that minutemen had a large store of arms in Concord – about 18 miles from Boston

  • Gage dispatched troops to seize the rebel supplies

    • around 700 troops left Boston


Chapter 5

  • Paul Revere

    • active patriot warned the colonists that “The British are coming!”


Chapter 5

  • the British reach Lexington a small town near Concord

  • 70 minutemen are waiting with their leader, Captain John Parker

  • they decided to stand on the village green

  • no one planned to fight

  • a shot was fired (probably a colonist), the redcoats discharged a volley and eight colonists were killed


Chapter 5

Minutemen

  • special companies of Massachusetts militia prepared to respond to instant military emergencies

  • men kept muskets at hand; ready to fight at a minute’s notice

  • also collected weapons and gunpowder


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  • British continued on to Concord

  • no arms were found in the village and the long march back to Boston turned into a rout

  • 300 minutemen then forced the British to retreat

    • colonial sharpshooters, and women shooting from windows

  • 73 redcoats killed, 200 more wounded or missing


Battle of lexington and concord

Battle of Lexington and Concord

- fighting ended all hope of peaceful settlement with Britain


Battles of bunker hill and breed s hill

Battles of Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill

  • Colonel William Prescott had 1,200 minutemen on Bunker Hill to fire on British ships in Boston Harbor

  • he noticed that Breed’s Hill had a better position and had the minutemen move there


Chapter 5

  • British General William Howe had 2,400 redcoats attack

  • the British were forced to retreat twice until finally they took the hill

  • 1,000 redcoats were killed and 400 Americans

  • first major battle of the Revolution

  • proved the Americans could fight bravely and proved the British would not be easy to defeat


Beginning the world over again

Beginning “The World over Again”

  • Second Continental Congress meets in May 1775 at Philadelphia

  • knew the country desperately needed strong central leadership and took control of the war

  • began issuing paper money to purchase supplies

  • even though they were assuming the powers of a sovereign government, they refused to declare independence


Chapter 5

  • the delegates formed a Continental Army

  • appointed George Washington as commander

    • seemed to have greater military experience

    • looked like he should be commander in chief


Olive branch petition

Olive Branch Petition

  • sent a petition to King George III – declaring their loyalty to the king and asking him to repeal the Intolerable Acts

  • King George III was furious about the petition

    • vowed to bring rebels to justice

  • he ordered 20,000 more troops to the colonies to crush the revolt


Chapter 5

  • Parliament passes the Prohibitory Act

    • declared war on American commerce

    • colonists could not trade with the rest of the world

    • the British navy blockaded their ports and seized American ships on the high seas

  • British begin to hire German mercenaries

  • try to stir up rebellion in the colonies, by urging slaves to take up arms against their masters


Thomas paine

Thomas Paine

  • wrote the most important pamphlet in American history called – Common Sense

  • he did not believe Parliament had the right to make laws for the 13 colonies


Chapter 5

  • set out to change colonists’ attitudes toward Britain and the king

    • claimed the colonists did not owe Britain anything

    • that Britain only helped the colonies for its own profit

    • it would hurt the colonists to remain under British rule

  • Common Sense sold many colonists on the idea of independence

  • persuaded the common folk to sever their ties with Great Britain, that “Europe, not England is the parent country of America.”


The continental congress

The Continental Congress

  • meets in June 1776 and finally votes for independence

    • 12 states for, none against, New York abstaining

  • appointed a committee to draw up a formal declaration of independence

  • committee included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman


Chapter 5

  • purpose of the document would be to tell the world why the colonies were breaking away from Britain

  • Thomas Jefferson is the primary author

  • July 2, 1776 the Continental Congress voted that the 13 colonies were “free and independent States”

  • delegates adopted document on July 4, 1776

    • the Declaration of Independence is printed and distributed


Chapter 5

  • John Hancock was the president of the Continental Congress and signed Declaration first, he did so boldly


Declaration of independence

Declaration of Independence

Preamble – Introduction

3 Main Parts

  • Natural Rights

  • Lists of Wrongs by King George III

  • Announces Colonial Independence and the creation of the United States of America


1 natural rights

1. Natural Rights

  • rights that belong to all people from birth

  • include certain unalienable rights

    • life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

  • claimed that people have the right to protect these rights and to get rid of any government that threatens these rights


2 lists of wrongs

2. Lists of Wrongs

  • King disbanded colonial legislature

  • King sent troops to colonies in peacetime

  • King limited trade

  • King imposed taxes without consent of people

  • colonies had petitioned the King and the injustices had remained


3 announcing independence

3. Announcing Independence

  • political ties with England are cut

  • they were now a free and independent nation

  • as a free nation they have the power to declare war, make alliances, conduct business and do all other acts that independent countries have the right to do


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