The Second Continental Congress

The Second Continental Congress - The Second Continental...

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Unformatted text preview: The Second Continental Congress Congress The Atmosphere at the Meeting The Some delegates were militant radicals – Colonies declare independence – Establish a Continental Army and name a general to Establish lead them lead – Ie. John Adams Others were more moderate – Ie. John Dickinson wanted peaceful reconciliation Problem remains: militia still camped around Problem Boston Boston Olive Branch Petition Olive Colonies state loyalty to the King Ask for His help in ending the conflict King George III proclaims the Colonies in a state of King rebellion and hires mercenaries, also blockades the American coast. American Other Congress Measures Other Second Continental Congress (May 1775) Second Called Washington to head colonial army Called While not a military genius (he lost more battles than he won), he was trusted implicitly by his soldiers He refused to be paid, though his records indicate expenses of over $100,000 Shrewd political choice by Congress: Virginian, wealthy, aristocratic, above reproach wealthy, Other Congress Measures Other Began printing Began paper $ to pay soldiers soldiers Organized a Organized committee to deal with foreign nations. foreign Following Bunker Hill (costly victory for British), King George III proclaimed colonies in rebellion and hired Hessians to crush rebels Thomas Paine published Common Sense, a pamphlet Common pamphlet selling 120,000 copies. selling – Appealed to natural law ("an island should not rule a continent") Appealed – King George was brutish and undeserving of colonials' respect King – America had a moral obligation to the world to be independent America and democratic and Second Continental Congress declared independence July 2, 1776. July – Jefferson headed the committee drafting the written Jefferson statement. Arguments were based on John Locke's contract theory of government: theory All people have natural rights ("Life, liberty, and the pursuit of All happiness") happiness") When a government abuses rights, the people have a right to "alter or abolish" it King George has acted tyrannically. Long list of wrongs done by King to colonists. The colonies are independent. The – Declaration gave a clear position for rebellious colonists, forcing others Declaration to choose rebellion or declare as Loyalists. Reactions to Independence Reactions Public celebrations and demonstrations rang out Public through the colonies among the patriots through The Women’s reaction – Abigail Adams took care of her children and the business Abigail of the farm of – Supported independence, championed women’s rights – “…Remember the ladies, and be more generous and Remember favorable to the them than your ancestors”. favorable Loyal Subjects to the King…..Loyalists Loyal – Colonial Americans opposed to independence – Also known as Tories affiliated with the political party of Also Lord North Lord – Attacks made on loyalists in the colonies Articles of Confederation Articles Created by the 2nd Continental Congress in 1777, but not approved by the states until 1781 approved Congress was dominant force, but it was weakened by rules – All bills required 2/3 vote for passage – Any amendment tot eh Articles required an unanimous vote – Each state had 1 vote regardless of its population or number of Each representatives in congress representatives – No power to regulate commerce (trade) – No tax enforcement power (states paid taxes voluntarily) The Congress was weak while the states remained strong The politically politically Treaty of Paris Treaty American negotiators (Franklin, Jay, John Adams) sought to American advance American interests in lengthy negotiations advance – Original demands were for independence, large territorial Original concessions (Franklin wanted all of Canada), and fishing rights in North Atlantic. rights – Americans feared the French and Spanish would bargain Americans with British at the expense of the U.S. with – Ignoring the instructions of Congress, they made a separate peace with the British before full negotiations took place. took Major provisions – Britain formally recognized independence of U.S. – Boundaries set from Great Lakes on the North to the Boundaries Mississippi River on the West to Florida on the South. No access to the Gulf of Mexico access – No further persecution of Loyalists and restitution for No confiscated property "recommended" to states. confiscated – Fishing access for Americans in waters off East Canada – No reference to ending slave trade, an original goal of the No Americans Americans The follow through The – British did recognize American Independence; however British they gave little respect to the US. The same from Allies they – We had no access to the Gulf of Mexico – British troops continued to occupy outposts and forts in the British (old) Northwest Territory (Ohio Country) (old) – Congress never gave any restitution to Loyalists, some Congress 80,000 fled to Nova Scotia, Eastern Canada and England 80,000 – Many states forbade slavery in their state constitutions but Many continued to thrive in the agricultural South. Eventually Britain would band slavery in its Empire Britain ...
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2011 for the course EL ED 365 taught by Professor Brothermercier during the Fall '11 term at BYU.

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