America Secedes from the Empire
I. Congress Drafts George Washington
After the bloodshed at Lexington and Concord in April of 1775,about 20,000
Minutemen swarmed around Boston, where they outnumberedthe British.
The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia on May 10,1775, with no
real intention of independence, but merely a desire tocontinue fighting in the
hope that the king and Parliament wouldconsent to a redress of grievances.
It sent another list of grievances to Parliament.
It also adopted measures to raise money for an army and a navy.
It also selected George Washington to command the army.
Washington had never risen above the rank of colonel, and
hislargest command had only been of 1,200 men, but he was a tall figurewho
looked like a leader, and thus, was a morale boost to troops.
He radiated patience, courage, self-discipline, and a sense
ofjustice, and though he insisted on working without pay, he did keep acareful
expense account amounting to more than $100,000.
II. Bunker Hill and Hessian Hirelings
In the first year, the war was one of consistency, as the colonistsmaintained their
loyalty while still shooting at the king’s men.
In May 1775, a tiny American force called the Green Mountain Boys,led by Ethan
Allen and Benedict Arnold, surprised and captured theBritish garrisons at Forts
Ticonderoga and Crown Point
The importance of this raid lay in the fact that they captured much-
needed cannons and gunpowder.
In June 1775, the colonials seized Bunker Hill (prior known as Breed’s Hill).
Instead of flanking them, the Redcoats launched a frontal attack,and
the heavily entrenched colonial sharpshooters mowed them down untilmeager
gunpowder supplies ran out and they were forced to retreat.
After Bunker Hill, George III slammed the door for all hope ofreconciliation and
declared the colonies to be in open rebellion, atreasonous affair.
The king also hired many German mercenaries, called Hessians, who,because
they were lured by booty and not duty, had large numbers desertand remained in
America to become respectful citizens.
III. The Abortive Conquest of Canada