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The Second Continental Congress
At its largest, the CONTINENTAL ARMY numbered
about 15-20,000 SOLDIERS.
The CONTINENTAL ARMY lacked DISCIPLINE and
TRAINING. However, its soldiers knew the countryside
and how to survive in the wilderness. They also
believed in their cause of freedom. In addition,
GEORGE WASHINGTON was a brilliant military leader.
The British army numbered about 50,000 SOLDIERS.
The soldiers were WELL TRAINED and EXPERIENCED.
The British troops, however, were unfamiliar with the
American landscape. In addition, they had to fight an
army that knew how to hide in the wilderness.
The Green Mountain Boys; The
Battle of Bunker Hill
The colonist ETHAN ALLEN led a well-known
group of rebels called the GREEN MOUNTAIN
BOYS. In May 1775, they seized a British outpost
in New York and took a valuable supply of
AMMUNITION for the colonists.
In June 1775, British and colonial forces clashed
on BREED’S HILL outside Boston. More than
1,000 British were killed or wounded, while the
colonists lost 400 men.
The battle became known as the BATTLE OF
BUNKER HILL. It was a moral victory for the
Americans because the untrained militia had
stood up to the British Army.
The journalist THOMAS PAINE published Common
Sense in January 1776. It described why THE
COLONIES SHOULD BREAK FREE FROM BRITAIN. The
work helped stir many colonists to action.
In June 1776, colonial delegate RICHARD HENRY LEE
introduced a resolution to declare INDEPENDENCE
from Great Britain. Supporters of the resolution asked
THOMAS JEFFERSON to write a formal DECLARATION
On July 2, the Second Continental Congress adopted
LEE’S resolution. Two days later on JULY 4, 1776, the
delegates officially approved the DECLARATION OF
Declaring Independence (cont.)
The DECLARATION was based on the ideas of
JOHN LOCKE. It explained that the
government’s main duty was to protect THE
PEOPLE’S RIGHTS. If the government fails at
this duty, the people MAY OVERTHROW IT.
In the wake of the DECLARATION, the
colonists became divided. LOYALISTS
supported keeping ties with Great Britain.
PATRIOTS favored separating from Great