10.11 - 10.11.07 History USA had to win a war in order to...

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10.11.07 History USA had to win a war in order to win their independence. Its tempting to thnk of the Revolutionary War as a David and Goliath, a few valiant farmers with no trained organized army against the greatest army in the world (GB army). If you see it this way it’s hard to see how they won, as they were badly organized, waged by men who had never had responsibilities on a comparable scale before. Britain had fought lots of wars, lots of colonial wars, and were the superpower of the 18 th century. But all of the reasons of why the British should have won there were also reasons why the British were doomed to fail as the nature of the war was a war for independence. For the British to win, they had to defeat the army in the field and subdue the rebellious population (80% of the whites). They would have had to do this at a distance of 3,000 miles away from England. British might have pulled it off if not for one more decisive factor the ENTRY of the FRENCH on the American side. Story today: how the Americans won their independence I. National Government: was synonymous with the 2 nd Continental Congress a. Continental Congress i. First continental congress was called by Mass to organize the protest against the Coercive Act, and was mainly there to strengthen the nonimportation movement ii. 2 nd Continental Congress met after war broke up after Lexington and Concord. Delegates meeting with the purpose of coordinating with each other with what could be seen as a resistence, they could not speak for or commit their colonial government. Even the decision of adopting the Declaration of Independence needed the approval of colonial assembly back home. iii. Important Action of Second Continental Congress Action: 1. Urging colonies to turn themselves into states by reorganizing their own governments. By drafting and adopting state constitutions 2. Two important things: States were key institutions a. Organizing new govts meant writing state constitutions adopting constitutions that were written down b. If they had learned anything it was that an unwritten constitution was a source of problems and a source of abuse 3. Most states did this: 1776-1777. Some took longer Mass took until 1780. 4. At national level: Continental Congress acting in emergency situation with no formal power and no precedence, and the delegates decided to act cautiously.
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5. IT wasn’t until 1777 they could draft a formal plan to draft a national govt. a. Formal Plan was the Articles of Confederation in 1777. b. Articles of Confederation i. First plan of national govt that could not go into effect until it was unanimously ratified by all state legislatures (1781). By this time the war was almost over. ii. What did it say? 1. Govt created by the Articles consisted only of Congress no president, no national courts, all you can call an executive power was committees of Congress.
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