FIRST CONTINENTAL CONGRESS Philadelphia - September, 1774 • Prepare colonies for possible revolt • Begin to create militias • Most colonists don’t want a total split…yet • Just don’t want to be taxed unfairly • “No taxation w/out Representation”
King George III interprets colonists’ actions as rebellion Sends Redcoats to supress Brits learn where John Hancock & Sam Adams are (Lexington) Also learn where secret militia storage supply is (Concord) 700 British troops secretly set out to capture both BUT… The Opening of the Revolt
Patriots learn of British Plan “TWO IF BY LAND, ONE IF BY SEA”
Need to send someone to ride out to Lexington and Concord & to Philadelphia • Warn of the coming British ambush • Who???
PAUL REVERE’S MIDNIGHT RIDE??? • Riders: Sam Prescott, William Dawes, Israel Bissell & Revere • Revere and Dawes captured after 20 miles • Prescott made it to Concord • Only Bissell made it to Philadelphia to warn • Killed his horse he rode so hard
Jump to 1860 USA on brink of Civil War Need something to unify people Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wants to sell a book Writes “Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” Becomes a hit – legend becomes truth Why Revere so Famous???
Listen my children and you shall hear • Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, • On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five; Hardly a man is now alive • Who remembers that famous day and year. • He said to his friend, "If the British march By land or sea from the town to-night, Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch Of the North Church tower as a signal light,– One if by land, and two if by sea; And I on the opposite shore will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm Through every Middlesex village and farm, For the country folk to be up and to arm."
BATTLE OF LEXINGTONAPRIL 19, 1775“THE SHOTS HEARD ‘ROUND THE WORLD” • First battles of war • British looking to capture rebel leaders and supplies • Brits meet 70 Militia, who begin to disperse • Someone fires? • British gun down militiamen • 8 killed, 10 wounded
BATTLE OF CONCORDAPRIL 19, 1775 (later that day) • Word spreads about the “murders” • Patriots want revenge • Assemble 300 on North Bridge • Kill 14 British, who are exhausted • Brits retreat back to Boston
BATTLE MAP • Patriots keep attacking from trees the whole march back. 250 British killed. (90 minutemen)
SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS Philadelphia - MAY 10, 1775 • Continental Army officially created • Washington named C in C of Army • Accepts w/ no pay • Still No Call for Independence from “Gov’t” • Olive Branch Petition – plea to King to work it out
GENERAL GEORGE WASHINGTON • On the day he is commissioned General…
BUNKER HILL BATTLE“Don’t fire until you can see the Whites of their Eyes” - Patriot William Prescott
British foolishly advance up hill numerous times – thought Patriots would run • They didn’t • 1,000 British Killed • 250 Patriots killed • Compromise now unreachable to King • Colonial Gov’t STILL not want total independence!!! • Until…
Convinced colonists to use common sense and declare Independence THOMAS PAINE MEMORIALS
So we are at war…How can we win??? • American Strategy: • Can’t go head to head with British Empire • Must make war last as long as possible • Make British give it up • Use guerilla tactics – quick strikes and get out BUT… • GW did want a traditional army and trained for it
After a while… • War NOT going well at all • Morale very low in Continental Army • Washington has not yet won a battle • Enlistments will expire end of the year • Sooooooo… • Washington has plan to deliver Xmas Victory • Will attack a Hessian camp at Trenton
HESSIAN SURRENDER TO WASHINGTON & One week later…
XMAS Campaigns, 1776 • Trenton and Princeton • 2 Small Victories, but gave Army HOPE • GW gets new enlistments • Tells British colonists are tough and this will be a long fight
Army Grinds it out for another year • One Significant battle • October 17, 1777 – Battle of Saratoga, NY • Continentals win, but more importantly • Win convinces France to intervene in the War on Patriots side • British want to negotiate, Colonists Don’t
11,000 men in camp • Brutally cold Winter • No Supplies for troops • 3,000 will die from elements • Very low Morale – Many Desertions • Maybe only 1,000 actually stay and stick it out • GW incredibly stressed out • Congress has nothing to send the Army
Continental Army Problems • Only GW holds it together – his strength and personality • Army size always changing • Very short of supplies • (Never know what if anything will get from Congress)