War and Revolution, 1775-1783 Class6
Toward Independence, 1775-1776 *The Second Continental Congress and Civil War • After losing battles at Breed’s Hill and Bunker Hill, in 1775 the Continental Congress created the Continental Army headed by George Washington • Moderates led by John Dickinson of PA passed a petition that expressed loyalty to the king & asked for the repeal of oppressive parliamentary legislation • Zealous patriots such as John Adams and Patrick Henry won passage of a Declaration of Causes and Necessities of Taking Up Arms
Toward Independence, 1775-1776 • The king refused the moderates’ petition & issued a Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition in Aug. 1775 • Hoping to add a 14 th colony to the rebellion, the Patriot forces invaded Canada and took Montreal before failing to capture Quebec • Americans merchants cut off all exports to Britain & its West Indies sugar islands & Parliament with a Prohibitory Act, banning trade with rebellious colonies
Toward Independence, 1775-1776 • Lord Dunmore of VA organized two military forces—one white—one black—and offered slaves/indentured servants freedom to those who joined the loyalist (British) cause • Faced with black unrest and pressed by yeoman farmers & tenant farmers demanding independence, Patriot planters called for a break with Britain
Toward Independence, 1775-1776 • By April of 1776, radical patriots had through military conflict, transformed the NC assembly into an independent Provincial Congress, which instructed its representatives to support independence, by May 1776 VA patriots followed suit and had done the same
Common Sense • Many colonists retained a deep loyalty to the crown as to do otherwise might threaten all paternal authority and disrupt the hierarchical social order • By 1775, the Patriot cause was gaining greater support among artisans & laborers • Many Scots-Irish in Philadelphia became Patriots for religious reasons & some well-educated persons questioned the idea of monarchy al together
Common Sense • In Jan. 1776, Thomas Paine published Common Sense –a call for independence and republicanism • Common Sense aroused the general public & quickly turned thousands of Americans against British rule • Paine’s message was not only popular but also clear—reject the arbitrary powers of the king & parliament and create independent republican states
Thomas Paine’s Common Sense
Independence Declared • On July 4, 1776, the Congress approved the Declaration of Independence • Thomas Jefferson, the main author of the Declaration, justified the revolt by blaming the rupture of George III rather on Parliament • Jefferson proclaimed that all men are “created equal”; they possess the rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”; and the government derives its power from the “consent of the governed.”
What and Where .
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