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The Revolutionary War. The Second Continental Congress. Called as result of fighting in Massachusetts Met in Philadelphia (May , 1775) Radicals (John & Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, etc.) wanted war Moderates (John Dickinson – PA) looking for reconciliation. The Second Continental Congress.

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the second continental congress
The Second Continental Congress
  • Called as result of fighting in Massachusetts
  • Met in Philadelphia (May, 1775)
  • Radicals (John & Sam Adams, Patrick Henry, etc.) wanted war
  • Moderates (John Dickinson – PA) looking for reconciliation
the second continental congress1
The Second Continental Congress
  • Dickinson’s Olive Branch Petition
    • Loyalty to King George III
    • Asked for repeal of oppressive legislation
  • King’s response
    • Refused to receive Olive Branch Petition
    • determined to crush rebellion
the second continental congress2
The Second Continental Congress
  • Fighting continues
    • Breeds and Bunker Hills (Boston)
    • Patriot attempt at Quebec
      • Capture Montreal
      • Fail to capture Quebec City
    • Virginia and the Carolinas rebel
  • Washington commander of Colonial forces
  • Merchants refused British goods
thomas paine common sense
Thomas Paine: Common Sense
  • Many Americans
    • angry with Parliament
    • still loyal to King
  • Thomas Paine
    • Emigrated from England (1774)
    • Radical
  • Common Sense(January, 1776)
    • Built on
      • John Locke and Glorious Revolution
      • Great Awakening: all equal in the eyes of God
    • root of the problem was monarchy
revolutionary war
Revolutionary War:

Great Britain

American Colonies

  • Advantages
    • Large economy/world empire
    • Well established government - Constitutional Monarchy
    • Professional Army
    • Large Royal Navy
  • Disadvantages
    • Long lines of Communication
    • Fighting on “foreign” soil
  • Advantages
    • Fighting on “Home Turf”
    • Ready market of resources
  • Disadvantages
    • Weak government: Continental Congress
    • Economy designed to support Britain (mercantilism)
    • Disunity - Loyalists or Tories = 1/3 of population


  • British
    • Command of the Sea
      • Blockade American ports
      • Transport troops to areas of rebellion (mobility)
    • Hudson River Valley
      • Cut off New England from middle and southern colonies
      • Rally Loyalist Support in South
  • American
    • War of Attrition
      • Wear down British forces
    • Diplomacy
      • Gain European allies with large navies - France
    • Commerce Raiding
      • Privateering
Phase II:
  • NY & PA[1777-1778]
general washington 1776 78
General Washington – 1776-78:
  • Defense of New York from British invasion.
    • Prevent British from dividing colonies
    • Continental Army defeated and forced to retreat toward Philadelphia
  • Valley Forge
  • Washington crosses the Delaware
    • Trenton
    • Princeton
  • Continental Army remains a threat to the British
battle of saratoga
Battle of Saratoga:
  • Americans defeat and capture General John Burgoyne in upstate New York
  • Turning point of the war
    • French enter the war as America’s ally
  • French Navy: 80 ships of the line
    • Small American rebellion becomes major world war
  • Great Britain faces multiple enemies:
    • 1775 American Colonies
    • 1778 France and Spain
    • 1780 Russia, Denmark, Sweden, Prussia, Austria, and Portugal form an Armed Neutrality
franco american treaty of 1778
Franco-American Treaty of 1778
  • Permanent, defensive alliance
    • France looking for revenge from French & Indian War
    • American contingent led by Ben Franklin, Silas Deane, and Arthur Lee
    • French Foreign Minister Comte de Vergennes convinces King Louis XVI to support Americans
  • France agreed to fight until U.S. independence achieved
  • America would recognize French conquests in West Indies


Franco-American Alliance

Charles Gravier,

Comte de Vergennes

southern strategy
Southern Strategy
  • Nathanael Greene commander in Carolinas and Georgia
    • Little over 1,000 Continentals and bands of ill-disciplined militia against Cornwallis’ 10,000 men
  • Had to create circumstances to achieve success
  • Guerilla warfare
  • Greene divided army
    • Allowed him to better feed own men, sustain militia, harass British
    • Tempted Cornwallis to divide main body, making it more vulnerable
      • Cornwallis did this in Jan 1781, sending 1,100 men (commanded by Tarleton) to attack Greene’s western division (commanded by Daniel Morgan)
  • Americans suffered 6.2% losses (12 killed and 60 wounded)
  • British suffered 90% losses
  • Cornwallis became obsessed with Morgan and turned to pursue him
    • Morgan retreated into Virginia
    • In a month Cornwallis had marched 225 miles without achieving decisive battle
  • From Aug 21 to Sept 26, 1781 Washington and Rochambeau (French) marched their armies from New York to Virginia
  • Simultaneously, De Grasse (French) sealed off the Chesapeake with the Navy
  • Objective was to trap and defeat Cornwallis’ army on the York Peninsula
  • Battle would begin with two parallel siege lines followed by an assault
  • Allies had an overwhelming advantage in numbers (16,000 to fewer than 8,000)
  • On Oct 19, the British surrendered and in Sept. 1783 they formally recognized American independence
did the americans win

Did the Americans win?

Did the British lose?

treaty of paris 1783
Treaty of Paris, 1783
  • American Delegation

Benjamin Franklin

John Adams

John Jay

treaty of paris 17831
Treaty of Paris, 1783
  • Terms:
  • British recognition of United States
  • U.S. granted territory east of Mississippi
    • Granted to native tribes after French and Indian War
  • Loyalist property returned
    • Some ended up being auctioned to pay off debt
  • Pre-war colonial debts to be paid
  • US fishing rights off Grand Banks
  • Florida returned to Spain by separate treaty
treaty of paris 17832
Treaty of Paris, 1783
  • What did it mean for
  • Women
    • Contributed to war effort through clothing for troops
    • Often ran farms while men were away
  • Blacks
    • In south
      • Many joined British cause to escape slavery
      • Slavery kept for fear of blacks outnumbering whites and taking control
    • In north
      • Many joined patriot cause
      • Beginning of emancipation in north (relatively few blacks anyway)
  • Loyalists
    • Many fled to Canada, West Indies, or back to Britain
    • Those who stayed had property reinstituted