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Ch.8 - Ch.8 America Secedes from the Empire 1775-1783...

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Ch.8 America Secedes from the Empire 1775-1783 Bloodshed at Lexington & Concord April 1775; 20,000 armed Minute Men were soon around Boston (to outnumber the British) May 10, 1775 2 nd Continental Congress meets in Philadelphia (all 13 colonies repre.), still conservative: didn’t want indep. yet, would fight until laws were fixed; raised money & created army + navy - Congress Drafts George Washington Important decision by Congress: G.W. as head of army around Boston G.W.: tall, powerfully built, Virginia planter, 43 yrs. old, never been more than a colonel in the militia, only commanded 1,200 soldiers (20 yrs. earlier), wasn’t a military genius, lost more battles than won; had good leadership skills, had strength of character, great moral force, served w/o pay Congress reasons for choosing G.W. was political: N.E. colonies had too much power, so they chose G.W. from the most pop. middle colonies, was already wealthy (couldn’t be accused of being a fortune seeker) - Bunker Hill and Hessian Hirelings On one hand the Americans wanted to patch things up w/ Brit., but they were raising armies; this war was fought for 14 mths. (April 1775-July 1776) Fighting tempo increased. May 1775: Ethan Allen & Benedict Arnold captured Brit. garrisons Ticonderoga and Crown Point (upper N.Y.), gunpower & artillery got for Boston June 1775: colonists seize Bunker (Breed’s) Hill, colonies mowed down Brit. (15,000 colonists), colonists had to abandon hill when ammunition ran out, but it proved that colonists could take the Brit., was seen as a colonial victory for their ability to slaughter the Brits. July 1775, Continental Congress: “Olive Branch Petition”, Amer. loyalty to crown & stop hostilities; King George III “slammed the door”; in Aug. he “proclaimed the colonies in rebellion”; next month King hired thousands of German troops (he needed men), Amer. ppl called them Hessians Amer. ppl felt it was supposed to stay w/i the family, Why involve others? Hessians were good soldiers, but also interested in booty, after war claimed their own land in the U.S. and became Amer. citizens - The Abortive Conquest of Canada Oct. 1775: Brit. burned Falmouth (Portland) Maine. Amer. ppl thought Canada would be their 14 th colony (knew French were restive of Brit.) it would also deprive Brit. of a base to attack them from; contradict the claim that they would only be fighting a defensive war; 2,000 Amer. troops went to Canada Almost got Canada; Richard Montgomery (formerly in the Brit. army) went up to Lk. Chaplain & captured Montreal; joined by Benedict Arnold (men had been starving as they march through Maine woods); Amer. attack on Quebec was beaten; Montgomery was killed; Arnold was wounded in leg; retreated up St. Lawrence R.; French Canadian ppl would were not mistreat w/ the Quebec Act in 1774 showed “no deal desire to welcome the plundering anti-Catholic invaders” Fighting continued (although Amer. ppl “disclaimed all desire for indep.”); Jan 1776: Brit. burn Norfolk, Virginia; Mar. 1775: Brit.
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