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Thomas Paine. He was a famous writer whose words greatly influenced the leaders of the American Revolution.

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Thomas paine
Thomas Paine

  • He was a famous writer whose words greatly influenced the leaders of the American Revolution.

  • He wrote and published the pamphlet "Common Sense" which demanded complete independence from Great Britain. It also stated a strong case against the monarchy and inherited privilege. It was the most widely distributed pamphlet in American history at that time - popular with the highly educated as well as the common man.

  • He stated, “’tis time to part” – meaning it was time to break with England

  • Common Sense urged for the Declaration of Independence

John adams
John Adams

  • He was a Massachusetts lawyer

  • He married Abigail Adams, a devoted mother of six children

  • John Adams was a patriot in the fight for independence but believeinfollowing LAW and doing what was right.

  • As a big surprise he defended the Redcoats after the Boston Massacre

  • In the summer of 1776, he and Benjamin Franklin helped Thomas Jefferson make revisions on the Declaration of Independence not receiving much credit for his actions

Patrick henry
Patrick Henry

  • He was a distinguished statesman, lawyer and orator, best remembered for his words, "Give me liberty or give me death!" spoken while urging Virginia colonial militia to be armed for defense against England.

  • He became governor of the new commonwealth of Virginia in 1776 and worked tirelessly to support the revolution.

  • On the floor of the Virginia House of Burgesses he spoke, “If this be treason, make the most of it!”

  • “I’m not a Virginian, I am an American”

  • His strong feelings of democracy were evident when he was the first American politician to call voters, "fellow citizens."

Samuel adams
Samuel Adams

  • He was a cousin of John Adams.

  • Founder of the Sons of Liberty, a secret rebellion group stationed in Boston

  • He led Boston's resistance to the Tea Act, which reached its high point with the Boston Tea Party.

  • Failed businessman, finally found success in father’s malt house business

Abigail adams
Abigail Adams

  • She was wife - John Adams, and mother to the 6th President of the U.S.- John Quincy Adams

  • A devoted women’s advocate

  • Founder of the Daughters of Liberty – these women urged colonists to “homespun” their own cloth and BOYCOTT English cloth

  • She urged her husband to "remember the ladies" when writing the nation's new laws and she opposed slavery.

  • While her husband was away for long periods of time on diplomatic missions and serving to form a new nation, she managed the family farm and raised four children.Her letters to her husband detailed life during the Revolution and the hardships she and others endured

Benjamin franklin
Benjamin Franklin

  • By serving as a diplomat in France and gaining France's help, he contributed greatly to winning the Revolutionary War.

  • His newspaper, the "Pennsylvania Gazette," was one of the most successful papers in the colonies. He was the first editor to publish a newspaper cartoon and to use maps to illustrate a story. He never bought “stamped” paper.

  • Creator of the Albany Plan of Union cartoon to urge colonies to come together during French and Indian War

  • Man of Science during the Enlightenment Period: His inventions include, electricity, the Franklin stove, bifocal lenses, the lightning rod. His scientific studies promoted an understanding of the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean and he encouraged "daylight-saving" time in summer. He did not patent any of his inventions or use them for profit, preferring to give them to the world for everyone's comfort and convenience.

  • He wrote and published the yearly almanac, "Poor Richard's Almanac" for twenty-five years.

  • Devoted Quaker

George washington
George Washington

  • Claimed military status during the French and Indian War

  • Wife, Martha Custis, a wealthy widow

  • Planter and owner of Mount Vernon, a plantation in Virginia

  • He represented Virginia as a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses.

  • In June 1775, Congress unanimously chose him to be Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army.

  • He arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in July of 1775 to take command of his ill-trained troops in a war that was to last six years.

Paul revere
Paul Revere

  • His engraving of the Boston Massacre (March 5, 1770) was a powerful propaganda tool against the British and enflamed anti-British feelings.

  • As an early supporter of independence, he participated in the Boston Tea Party.

  • He is most famous for his "midnight ride" to Lexington, Massachusetts spreading the word that the British were on the move.

  • He also warned Sam Adams and John Hancock that they were in danger of being arrested by the British, which enabled them to get away.

  • He was made famous by the poem "Paul Revere's Ride" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

  • He was a prominent silversmith and artist and also made bells - many of which are still in use today in New England

Thomas jefferson
Thomas Jefferson

  • He was the author of the Declaration of Independence.

  • Captured words from John Locke to place in Declaration of Independence – “life, liberty and property” – changed the word property – did not want to divide the colonies into pro-slave/anti-slave issue as of 1776

  • Virginian, excellent writer, 33 years old

  • One of the leading architects of his time, he designed the Virginia Capitol, the University of Virginia and his home, Monticello.

  • An inventor and scientist, he invented the lap desk, a decoding device, and developed the decimal system of coinage that is the basis of American money - dollars and cents.

Mercy otis warren
Mercy Otis Warren

  • Mercy Otis Warren was one of the voices of the American Revolution, although not a very loud or well-known one. She was not a firebrand, as was Samuel Adams. She preferred to make her case with her pen. She was a poet whose friends included the famous John and Abigail Adams.

  • Her brother, James Otis, who was heavily involved in the independence movement – stating the famous saying, “No Taxation without Representation”

  • The first Committee of Correspondence was held in the Warren home

  • A propaganda screenplay writer who wrote plays against the British

  • One of her first writings was "Massachusetts Song of Liberty," which became a very popular song in the 13 Colonies. She wrote both poems and plays, but it is for her plays that he is best remembered. Her first published play, The Adulateur, was published anonymously and was basically a propaganda piece, endorsing the call for independence. She also published The Defeat and The Group, plays on a similar subject. Each of these plays was a thinly veiled attack on a public official, all British.

Wentworth cheswell
Wentworth Cheswell

  • His grandfather was a freed slave and first to own property in the colony of New Hampshire

  • Beginning in 1763, he received an formal education, studying Latin, Greek, swimming, horsemanship, reading, writing, and arithmetic.

  • In addition to his civic service, Wentworth was also a patriot leader. In fact, the town selected him as the messenger for the Committee of Safety – the central nervous system of the American Revolution that carried intelligence and messages back and forth between strategic operational centers. Serving in that position, Wentworth undertook the same task as Paul Revere, making an all-night ride to warn citizens of imminent British invasion.

  • In April 1776, he signed a document in which he pledged, “at the risk of…live and fortune,” to take up arms to resist the British

John locke
John Locke

  • English Philosopher

  • Locke was very important to the writers of the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

  • Locke said that all people had these natural rights: the right to life, to own property, and to revolt against unjust governments.

  • Unalienable rights – natural rights

Crispus attucks
Crispus Attucks

  • Crispus Attucks was forced into slavery as a child.

  • Attucks escaped from slavery. He traveled to Boston, where he worked as a sailor on whaling ships.

  • The British treated the colonists unfairly in Boston. As a sailor, Attucks could have been forced to join the British navy. Attucks was angry about the high taxes the British charged the colonists. He saw that many colonists felt the same way. Fights often broke out between soldiers and colonists.

  • On March 5, 1770, Attucks led a group of angry sailors to protest. They threw snowballs and sticks at a group of soldiers. The soldiers fired shots into the crowd. When it was over, Crispus Attucks and four other men were dead.

  • Patriots remembered Crispus Attucks as the first hero to die for their cause. African American soldiers in the Revolutionary War named their companies “Attucks Guards” in memory of him.

King george iii
King George III

  • Monarch of England

  • He was determined to make the colonies pay for their own security after the French and Indian War.

  • Had to send military troops to colonial cities to enforce taxes

  • He passed the Stamp Act of 1765 levied a tax on every official document but later repealed it.

  • Known to colonists as the ROYAL BRUTE

  • He was outraged when in 1773 colonists threw chests of tea overboard in Boston harbor in a protest know as the ‘Boston tea party’.

Common sense
Common Sense

  • Published in 1776, Common Sense challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy.

  • The plain language that Paine used spoke to the common people of America and was the first work to openly ask for independence from Great Britain.

  • The pamphlet pushed loyal colonists to rethink their position towards the King

  • “‘Tis time to part”

  • “Even the distance at which the Almighty hath placed England and America, is a strong and natural proof, that the authority of the one, over the other, was never the design of Heaven.”

Olive branch petition
Olive Branch Petition

  • John Dickinson drafted the Olive Branch Petition, which was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 5 and submitted to King George on July 8, 1775.

  • It was an attempt to assert the rights of the colonists while maintaining their loyalty to the British crown.

  • King George refused to read the petition and on August 23 proclaimed that the colonists had "proceeded to open and avowed rebellion."

Declaration of independence
Declaration of Independence

  • The main purpose of America’s Declaration of Independence was to explain to foreign nations why the colonies had chosen to separate themselves from Great Britain.

  • A list of grievances to the King of England

  • The Revolutionary War had already begun, and several major battles had already taken place. The American colonies had already cut most major ties to England, and had established their own congress, currency, army, and post office.

  • Thomas Jefferson was chosen to draft the letter – which he did in a single day. Four other members, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were part of the committee to help Jefferson.

  • In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson explained that a body of people have a right to change governments if that government becomes oppressive (unfair and controlling).

  • He further explained that governments fail when they no longer have the consent of the governed. Since Parliament clearly lacked the consent of the American colonists to govern them, it was no longer legitimate.

  • The Declaration was presented to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was approved with a few minor changes. Of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock, of Massachusetts was the first.