America Secedes from the Empire

America Secedes from the Empire - America Secedes from the...

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America Secedes from the Empire I. Congress Drafts George Washington a. 2 nd Continental Congress i. In Philadelphia, on May 10, 1775, all 13 colonies met at the 2 nd Continental Congress. It served as our first government and met for 5 years until the Articles of Confederation took place ii. There was still no well-defined sentiment for independence – merely a desire to continue fighting in the hope that the king and Parliament would consent to a redress of grievances iii. At the 2 nd Continental Congress, they 1. Raised an army and navy 2. Bought supplies 3. Made treaties 4. Drafted the Olive Branch Petition (July 1775) 5. Drafted the Articles of Confederation 6. Drafted the Declaration of Independence 7. Selected George Washington to head the army b. George Washington i. This choice was made with considerable misgivings: 1. He had never risen above the rank of a colonel in the militia 2. His largest command had numbered only 1,200 men 3. Lost more battles than he won ii. However, the Virginian was gifted: 1. Outstanding powers of leadership and immense strength of character 2. Radiated patience, courage, self-discipline, and a sense of justice 3. He was a great moral force rather than a military mind – a symbol and rallying point 4. People trusted him and he insisted on serving without pay iii. His selection was political: 1. Americans in other sections of the country, already jealous, were beginning to distrust the large New England army being collected around Boston 2. It was natural to pick a commander from VA, the largest and most populous of the colonies 3. As a man of wealth, Washington could not be accused of being a fortune-seeker 4. As an aristocrat, he could be counted on by his peers to check “the excesses of the masses” II. Bunker Hill (1775) and Hessian Hirelings a. No Independence Yet
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i. Although the Americans were fighting the British, many were affirming their loyalty to the king and hoping to patch things up ii. The war was fought for 14 months, from April 1775 – July 1776, before the fateful plunge into independence was taken b. Battle of Bunker Hill i. The British had captured Boston ii. In June 1775, a tiny American force under Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold seized a hill, now known as Bunker Hill (actually Breed’s Hill), from the British iii. Sharpshooting Americans number 1,500 turned back two frontal assaults from 3,000 British soldiers iv. They held the British off until they ran out of ammunition and was overrun v. America’s strong defense led to strengthened morale and many British dead c. Colonies In Rebellion i. After Bunker Hill, the Continental Congress adopted the Olive Branch Petition, professing American loyalty to the crown and begging the king to prevent further hostilities ii. However, following Bunker Hill, King George III would not hear any more pleas for reconciliation iii. In August 1775, he formally proclaimed the colonies in rebellion 1. Now the skirmishes were treason, a crime by hanging
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This note was uploaded on 02/04/2012 for the course HISTORY 104 taught by Professor Reed during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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America Secedes from the Empire - America Secedes from the...

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