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Moving Toward Independence. 1775-1776. Second Continental Congress. May 10, 1775 Second Continental Congress meets. Again in Philadelphia, same building. New Leaders Emerge Many members from the First Continental Congress returned, and new members arrived. Benjamin Franklin.

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second continental congress
Second Continental Congress

May 10, 1775 Second Continental Congress meets. Again in Philadelphia, same building

New Leaders EmergeMany members from the First Continental Congress returned, and new members arrived.

Benjamin Franklin

Thomas Jefferson

accomplishments congress started doing governmental functions
AccomplishmentsCongress started doing governmental functions.
  • 1. Authorized printing of money.
  • 2. Established a postal system.
  • 3. Establish communications with Native Americans
  • 4. Established an army George Washington in command.
olive branch petition
Olive Branch Petition

An attempt to reconcile with Great Britain.

Rejected by George III

thomas paine
Thomas Paine

January 1776, Paine wrote a pamphlet called “Common Sense” which advocated independence.

invasion of canada
Invasion of Canada

Late in 1775 American forces launched a two pronged attack into Canada.

canadian invasion leaders
Canadian Invasion Leaders

Richard Montgomery

Benedict Arnold

montgomery s route
Montgomery’s Route

Traveling north from Fort Ticonderoga, his men were able to seize Montreal.

arnold s route
Arnold’s Route

Traveling through the Maine Wilderness the route was much longer and more difficult.

battle of quebec
Battle of Quebec

Attacking during a blizzard on December 31, the assault fell short. Montgomery was killed, Arnold wounded.

daniel morgan
Daniel Morgan

Taking command of the Americans, Daniel Morgan led a skillful defense so the Americans could be saved.

boston 1776

British general William Howe controlled Boston. Washington wanted to drive him out. But he did not have the artillery to do it.

henry knox
Henry Knox

A former bookseller, Knox came up with the idea of transporting cannon from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston.

howe evacuates
Howe Evacuates

Knox transports 55 guns from Ticonderoga. Howe evacuates Boston to Halifax, Nova Scotia.


Reasons for Caution

Reasons for Independence

Captured soldiers treated as prisoners

Patriot government could confiscate goods

Better chance of getting foreign aid

  • Stability of English Law
  • If revolt fails—tried for treason
  • Fear of Anarchy
independence proposed
Independence Proposed

June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee presents a resolution for Independence.

committee formed
Committee Formed

June 11, five man committee is formed to write the document:

Benjamin Franklin

John Adams

Robert Livingston

Roger Sherman

Thomas Jefferson*

Jefferson youngest at 32 and is tasked with the writing.


The committee goes over the document.

resolution adopted
Resolution Adopted

Lee’s resolution is formally adopted July 2.

document discussed
Document Discussed

July 3: Document discussed and formally adopted.


July 4, 1776, Declaration is formally adopted.

john hancock
John Hancock

First to sign

So large so George III can read his name without spectacles.

public readings
Public Readings

July 8, Philadelphia

July 9, read to

Washington’s Army

something to fight for
Something to Fight For

Now the Continental Army had something to fight for.