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The War for Independence . Lessons 1 and 2. The Second Continental Congress.

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the second continental congress
The Second Continental Congress

After the battle at Lexington and Concord, the Committees of Correspondence worked quickly to spread the news. A second Continental Congress was called. The Patriots sent a letter called the Olive Branch Petition to King George, III, telling him of their desire for peace and asking him to repeal the Intolerable Acts.

other decisions by the second continental congress
A colonial army was formed.

George Washington was chosen to lead the colonial army.

Continental congress asked the colonies to give money to support the new army.

The Congress voted to start printing its own paper money, which came to be known as Continental Currency.

Other Decisions by the Second Continental Congress
colonial army vs british army
Colonial Army



Washington made rules for the soldiers and trained them.

The soldiers proudly became called the Continentals.

British Army

Professional soldiers

Newest weapons

Used mercenaries (hired soldiers from parts of Germany)

Fighting far away from home made it difficult to get supplies.

Colonial Army vs. British Army
what was the olive branch petition


What was the Olive Branch Petition?
  • A letter to the king asking for supplies.
  • A letter to the king showing a desire for peace and repealing the Intolerable Acts.
  • The Declaration of Independence.
who became leader of the continental army


Who became leader of the Continental Army?
  • John Hancock
  • George Washington
  • King George, III
  • Paul Revere
under george washington the colonial army became known as what


Under George Washington, the colonial army became known as what?
  • The Sentinels
  • The Redcoats
  • The Confederacy
  • The Continentals
thomas paine
Thomas Paine
  • One of the Patriots who did the most to change public opinion in the colonies was Thomas Paine. He published a pamphlet he called Common Sense. In it, he attacked King George, III as a bully and questioned the idea of one person having all the authority. He stated that the colonies should cut their ties with the British government and set up their own government.
paine continued
Paine continued…
  • After nearly a year of war, the colonists began to think about Paine’s Common Sense, and agreed that independence sounded nice.
  • The Continental Congress waited a month before voting on cutting ties with the British government.
declaration of independence introduction
Declaration of IndependenceIntroduction
  • The introduction of the declaration explained why it was needed.
  • It also explained that sometimes it is necessary for a group to form a new nation. Jefferson said that when people do this, they must have good reasons.
in the second part of the declaration
In the second part of the declaration…
  • Thomas Jefferson listed the colonists main ideas--

“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.”

the third part of the declaration was the longest section
The third part of the declaration was the longest section.
  • This section covered the grievances (or complaints) about the unfair practices of the king and Parliament.
  • It also stated how colonists tried to resolve peacefully, and the king refused to listen.
last part of the declaration
Last Part of the Declaration…

Jefferson wrote that for all the reasons he had described, the 13 colonies were no longer a part of Britain.


Jefferson presented the Declaration of Independence to Congress. On July 2, 1776, Congress voted on cutting ties to British and it was approved without a single “no” vote.

Congress discussed the Declaration for 2 days. After small changes were made, it was approved July 4, 1776.

which part of the declaration stated the grievances about the unfair practices of the king


Which part of the declaration stated the grievances about the unfair practices of the king?
  • Introduction
  • Part 2
  • Part 3
  • Part 4
what happened on july 4 1776


What happened on July 4, 1776?
  • George Washington became the first president of our country.
  • The Declaration of Independence was signed.
  • The Revolutionary War ended.
  • The Boston Massacre occurred.
heritage open response
Heritage Open Response

When John Adams wrote home to his wife, Abigail, he said that the event should be remembered “from this time forward for evermore.”

  • Name the holiday that we use to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Describe 3 different ways that Americans traditionally celebrate this day.