Patriots were American Colonists who wanted to be free of British rule.
John Adams Ben Franklin Sam Adams Thomas Paine Alexander Hamilton Paul Revere George Washington
Loyalist were Colonists who wanted to stay British citizens and thought of themselves as loyal subjects of the King.
The Virginia Conventions were a series of 5 political meetings in the Colony of Virginia during the American Revolution.
Royal Governor Lord Dunmore had dissolved the House of Burgesses in 1774.
The Burgesses, operating as the first convention, on August 1, 1774, met and elected representatives to the Virginia convention, banned all business and payment of debts with Britain.
The Burgesses declared support for the colonies and called for a congress of all the colonies called the Continental Congress.
First Continental Congress
Sept. 5 – Oct. 26, 1774
56 Delegates from 12 of the 13 colonies (not including Georgia)
Met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (midway between the New England colonies and the southern colonies.)
Met in response to the Intolerable Acts
People in attendance were: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Sam Adams, John Jay, Patrick Henry & George Washington
Accomplishments of the Congress
Colonists would continue to boycott English goods
Prepare militias/ armies in the colonies
10 Resolutions sent to the king - Declaration of rights such as life, liberty and property
The 56 delegates wrote a polite, respectful petition and sent it to King George III, urging him to consider their complaints. But the King didn’t listen.
Planned to meet again in May 1775 if the king did not listen
They did NOT want independence YET.
“ Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”
The second convention of the Virginia Convention began in Richmond, VA on March 20, 1775.
At the convention, Patrick Henry proposed arming the Virginia militia and delivered his “ Give me liberty or give me death ” speech to rally support for the measure.
War is near…..
Some Patriots, like Samuel Adams expected a war. But most Patriots still hoped to find peaceful ways to settle their differences with England.
The colonies prepared for the worst. The New England colonies began to stockpile cannonballs and gunpowder. Colonists kept their weapons in Concord, 20 miles northwest of Boston.
When the British officers heard about the colonists weapons being stored in Concord they decided to attack.
War is near…..
Paul Revere and Billy Dawes found out that the British were coming to Concord but Revere was worried about his friends, Sam Adams and John Hancock, that were in Lexington (located next to Concord.) The British wanted to hang Adams and Hancock for being traitors.
Someone had to get the warning to Lexington
But Revere and Dawes didn’t know what route the British would take. Would they travel by land or water?
Revere sent someone to send a signal….One lantern if they traveled by land…Two lanterns if they traveled by water.
Revere saw two lanterns…the British were going to travel by water and take the Charles River.
Lexington, Massachusetts 1775
Minutemen Paul Revere and William Dawes warned everyone that “the British were coming!”
When American colonists heard that the British were coming they grabbed their guns and were ready to fight in a minutes notice. These men were known as minutemen .
Paul Revere and Billy Dawes made it in time to Lexington to tell Sam Adams and John Hancock that the British were coming
Leader of the minutemen stated: “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they mean war let it begin here!”
Lexington, Massachusetts - 1775
Each side said the other fired first. No one knows for sure who really did
8 American minutemen were dead
It was April 19, 1775 and the shots first fired began the American Revolution known as The Shot Heard Round the World.
The British were more concerned with finding the weapons hidden in Concord so the British marched to Concord, but the weapons had been moved.
The British fired and the colonists fired back.
The song Yankee Doodle was made up by the British to insult the Americans.
They said a Yankee Doodle was a backwoods hick who didn’t know how to fight.
After the battle in Concord it was the Americans who sang the song and said “We’ll be Yankee Doodles and be proud of it!”
British suffered 250 casualties, Colonists less than 100
After violence erupted in 1775, Benjamin Franklin won support from France and Spain.
France & Spain secretly supplied the Continental army with gold, guns (arms), gunpowder, uniforms, and medicine.
2 nd Continental Congress
In May 1775, representatives from all the colonies, except Georgia, met in Philadelphia
Decided NOT to break away from Britain
The Colonists create an army and call it the Continental Army. Congress appointed George Washington as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.
Washington accepted the position but refused to take any money for the job
Olive Branch Petition was sent to King George III – the olive branch is a symbol of peace - so the colonist asked the king to consider their problems and frustrations before going into battle, but King George III didn’t even read the petition.
Began the process of producing the Declaration of Independence .
The Patriots went to ask Ethan Allen and his friends, the Mountain Boys for help in fighting the British.
Ticonderoga was an important fort which guarded the water route to Canada
During this battle the colonists took valuable cannons and artillery, which was eventually shipped to General Washington in Boston.
Battle of Bunker Hill
Colonial militia vs. British regulars
First major battle of the war
Colonists held off two British attacks, but ran out of gunpowder during the third attack
Colonel William Prescott – “ Don’t fire ‘til you see the whites of their eyes !”
Colonists lost the battle, but proved they had the ability to fight against the British soldiers
Battle of Bunker Hill
Battle at Breed’s Hill – July, 1775
One night in 1775, while the British were sleeping the Americans began digging structures used for defense and they dug all night. By morning the Americans were done building their defenses and the British were surprised and caught off guard.
The British had never seen the Americans work so fast……this whole time they thought the Americans were lazy.
The British won Breed’s Hill and Bunker Hill.
But what a price to pay for two small battles that didn’t mean much.
More than 1,000 British soldiers were killed or wounded and the Americans had lost 441 men.
Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense”
In January 1776, Thomas Paine published a pamphlet (booklet) called “Common Sense.”
Thomas Paine argued that it was ridiculous for the colonies to be governed by a far-off island like Britain.
Paine said it was only “ common sense ” that Americans should seek their independence.
The pamphlet electrified the country.
Thomas Paine - “Common Sense”
Paine’s pamphlet sold 500,000 copies throughout colonies, or one for every five people in America, including slaves.
Common Sense was easy to read, since it was written for the “common man”
Said that people, not monarchs (kings & queens), should make the laws
Stated that a monarchy was not fair - people, not kings should make laws
New idea, helped gain colonial support for the American Revolution
Colonist had a new reason to fight for their independence from Britain.
The Crisis is a collection of articles written by Thomas Paine during the American Revolutionary War.
The essays comprise of Paine's ongoing support for an independent and self-governing America through the many severe crises of the Revolutionary War.
General Washington found the first essay so inspiring, he ordered that it be read to the troops at Valley Forge.
Thomas Paine - “ The Crisis ”
Continental Congress – May 1776
Continental Congress met in Philadelphia while battles are being fought.
The Continental Congress decides to be free of Great Britain.
Congress decides that a declaration of independence must be made, but who’s going to write it ?
Thomas Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence (he had help from John Adams and Benjamin Franklin .)
The D of I announced that the 13 American colonies were now officially at war with Great Britain and were now independent states, and therefore no longer a part of the British Empire .
Declaration of Independence, 1776
Jefferson declared that governments were created to serve the people, and could only act with the consent of the people.
There are 3 parts to the Declaration of Independence:
Natural rights (3) – the preamble describes the peoples rights and states that “all Men are created equal” and have the God-given right to “ Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness .”
Grievances against King George III
Declaring Independence from Great Britain
The Battle of Trenton
In July 1776 the British officer, General William Howe arrived in New York with over 30,000 British soldiers and Hessian troops.
Hessian troops were German soldiers who were hired to fight for the British army. 25% of the British army was Hessians.
General Washington had to abandon New York.
Washington and his men had been running and fighting for 4 long months and they were tired, footsore and hungry.
Washington decided to attack the British army and Hessians in a town called Trenton just across the Delaware River.
During the night of December 25, Washington led his troops across the icy Delaware River about 9 miles north of Trenton.
Washington Crossing the Delaware River
The Battle of Trenton
The weather was horrible; high winds combined with snow, sleet and rain. What’s worse is that some of Washington’s men did not have shoes.
The next morning Washington and his men attacked to the south, taking the Hessians by surprise.
The Hessians surrendered.
This victory is just what the American colonists needed.
Women’s role in the Continental Army
Many women helped the Patriot cause, and in many different ways.
Some joined sewing clubs, others served as messengers, nurses, and spies.
Mary Hays also helped on the battlefields by carrying water pitchers to thirsty soldiers & loaded cannons . She was known as Molly Pitcher.
Battle of Saratoga, 1777
Fighting began on Oct. 7, 1777
“ Turning Point Battle ”
Fought in Saratoga, New York
British troops ran out of supplies
20,000 Patriots surrounded 6000 Redcoats
British Gen. Burgoyne surrenders to American Gen. Gates on Oct. 17, 1777
News of the American victory helped convince France to enter the war fighting along side the Americans.
American Victory Must Know
Countries who helped the U.S.
Following the American victory at Saratoga, Benjamin Franklin negotiated a treaty in which France openly declared its support and recognized American independence.
Holland, Spain, and France provided troops and warships and challenged Britain worldwide transforming the war for American independence into a war that Britain could not win.
By the end of the war France had provided nearly $20 million in aid in various kinds and it’s estimated as much as 90% of the gunpowder used by the Americans in the Revolution was supplied or paid for by the French.
The Continental Army arrived at Valley Forge on December 19, 1777 after a series of tough battles with the British.
General Washington had problems with getting supplies to his troops.
As winter approached, the problems became worse. It was extremely cold.
Soldiers received irregular supplies of meat and bread. Shortages forced the men to look for food in the forests and farm fields that they passed.
Feeding the 12,000+ men at the encampment was only one of the problems facing the Commander-in-Chief.
General Washington also was having a tough time getting support from Congress.
There were threats made based on his leadership.
Washington’s officers were unhappy and he needed to better prepare the troops to meet the enemy in the coming battle.
Clothing, too, was a problem. Long marches had destroyed the men's shoes.
Blankets were scarce.
Many soldiers became very sick due to being undernourished, poorly clothed and living in crowded, damp quarters.
George Washington read the following quote from The Crisis by Thomas Paine to his men at Valley Forge to inspire them to continue serving their country considering the difficult conditions they were in.
“ These are the times that try men’s soul s. The summer solider and the sunshine patriot will, in the crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
Battle of Yorktown Oct.9-17, 1781 Must Know
Battle of Yorktown, 1781
British General Cornwallis moved him and his men into Yorktown, Virginia.
The city of Yorktown is surrounded by water on three sides, but Cornwallis was confident the British navy could rescue him if necessary.
Washington is currently in New York working with the French army Generals.
Washington and his men along with the French army (led by Marquis de Lafayette) marched down to Yorktown, cornering and trapping Cornwallis in the city.
The French fleet blocked the Chesapeake Bay, preventing British warships from helping Cornwallis.
After 8 days under fire, Cornwallis had no choice but to surrender.
French and Americans join forces at Yorktown
Final battle of the American Revolution
British General Cornwallis surrendered 8,000 men
The war is over
Must Know American Victory
Treaty of Paris, 1783
Written by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams
Ends the American Revolution
Britain recognizes the 13 Colonies as the Thirteen United States America and that they are a free and independent country.
The U.S. receives all land East of the Mississippi River, except for Spanish Florida
Britain agrees to leave all British Forts on U.S. property
We are now known as the Thirteen United States of America and are free of Great Britain's rule. YIPEE!!
Great Britain Yes!!!! The Colonies are finally free from Great Britain’s rule!!!!