Tension Mounts! • Boston Massacre (1770) • Mob of colonists throw stones and snowballs with ice at British. • British fire on crowd and kill five – labeled a “massacre” by colonists • Massacre - the act or an instance of killing a number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty • Do you think this qualifies?
The Trial John Adams Video Clip
The First Continental Congress • Met in Philadelphia - September 1774. • Movement by the colonists to organize their reaction to British acts • Twelve of the 13 colonies sent delegates - Georgia did not because they needed British help with Native Americans • The Congress did not push for independence! • Wanted to right the wrongs that had been inflicted on the colonies • Hoped a unified voice would help
“Listen my children and you shall hearOf the midnight ride of Paul Revere…” • Sam Adams built a spy network to keep watch over British • April 18, 1775: Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Samuel Prescott rode to spread the word that the British were coming • North Church: If one lantern, the troops were coming by land; if two, by water.
Shot Heard Round the World! • The colonial militia had been stockpiling weapons – an illegal action! • April 1775: 700 redcoats send to capture militia leaders and destroy weapons. • Lexington, MA: British arrive and find about 70 militiamen waiting • Within a few minutes 8 militiamen dead, 9 wounded, 1 British soldier injured • The “Battle of Lexington” only lasted 15 minutes.
On to Concord! • British marched to Concord but arsenal was empty • Nearly 4,000 Minutemen now lined the road between Concord and Lexington. • From behind stone walls and trees militiamen fired upon the Redcoats and forced them back to Boston • 74 British dead, 200 wounded or missing. • 49 colonists dead, 41 wounded.
Second Continental Congress • May-June 1775: Second Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia. • Debate independence vs. reconciliation • Recognize the colonial militia as the Continental Army and appoint George Washington as commander.
Battle of Bunker Hill • June 17, 1775: British attack the colonial militia on Breed’s Hill • Sent 2,400 Redcoats marching up Breed’s Hill in the typical lines that the English army favored • Colonists able to hold off two attacks and lost the third only because of low ammunition supplies • Colonists lost 450 men, British lost over 1,000 - deadliest battle of the war
Olive Branch Petition • July 1775: many still hoping for a peaceful resolution, blame the King’s advisors for the situation • Congress writes Olive Branch Petition • Asked George III to restore harmony • King George III rejected the Petition • Claims colonies are in rebellion • Blocked American ports along the entire coast • Hired thousands of Hessians (Germans) to fight for Britain.
Common Sense • Common Sense was a 47 page pamphlet written by Thomas Paine • Arguments for independence: • allow free trade and aid from other foreign countries • social equality for all • economic opportunities to all • (well … not all. Who do you think isn’t included?) • Sold 500,000 copies and convinces many colonists
Choosing Sides • Loyalists: stayed loyal to the British crown • Had served the crown • Unaware of current events • Thought the British would win and wanted to avoid repercussions • Thought that the British government could protect their rights better • Patriots: supporters of independence • Almost half the colonial population • Saw economic opportunities in Independence. • Many Americans did remain neutral in the conflict. • Native Americans supported British
Decision Time • May 1776: NC declared itself independent and Virginia was looking to follow • Congress finally moved to have each colony form its own government • June 7: Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution calling for “free and independent States” • Congress appointed a committee, led by Thomas Jefferson, to draft a document explaining the reasons behind the colonies’ actions
Writing the Declaration • Jefferson drew on the ideas of English philosopher and humanist, John Locke • Locke argued that people have the right to life, liberty, and property • Locke also argued that if people come together under a social contract, they have the right and the duty to resist a government that becomes tyrannical and goes against the contract • July 4, 1776 – Congress adopts declaration
Specifics of the Declaration • Declaration says that “all men are created equal” • did not include women, Native Americans, or slaves • Jefferson included attack on the cruelty and injustice of slavery • South Carolina and Georgia (the two colonies most dependent on slave labor) refused to ratify the Declaration with this included • Jefferson himself owned over 650 slaves during the course of his lifetime "Nobody wishes more ardently to see an abolition, not only of the trade, but of the condition of slavery; and certainly, nobody will be more willing to encounter every sacrifice for that object.” --Thomas Jefferson to Brissot de Warville, 1788.
Five Parts of the Declaration of Independence • Preamble - Reason for document • Rights of the People • List of unfair acts of George III • Actions taken to avoid Declaration. • Declaration of independence from Britain.