America Secedes from the Empire1775-1783Congress Drafts George WashingtonThe Second Continental Congress selected George Washingtonto head the army besieging Boston.Bunker Hill and Hessian HirelingsFrom April 1775 to July 1776, the colonists were both affirming their loyalty to the king by sincerely voicing their desire to patch up difficulties while at the same time raising armies and killing redcoats.In May 1775, a tiny American force under Ethan Allenand Benedict Arnoldcaptured the British garrisons at Ticonderoga and Crown Point. There, a store of gunpowder and artillery was secured. In June 1775, the colonists captured Bunker Hill. The British took it back with a large number of soldiers.In July 1775, the Second Continental Congress adopted the "Olive Branch Petition", which professed American loyalty to the king and begged to the king to stop further hostilities. The petition was rejected by the king. With the rejection, the Americans were forced to choose to fight to become independent or to submit to British rule and power.In August 1775, King George III proclaimed that the colonies were in rebellion. He then hired German Hessiansto bring order to the colonies.The Abortive Conquest of CanadaIn October 1775, the British burned Falmouth (Portland), Maine. In the same month, colonists made an attack on Canada in hopes that it would close it off as a possible source for a British striking point. The attack failed when General Richard Montgomerywas killed.In January 1776, the British set fire to Norfolk. Thomas Paine Preaches Common SenseThe Americans continued to deny any intention of independence because loyalty to the empire was deeply ingrained; many Americans continued to consider themselves apart of a transatlantic community in which the mother country of Britain played a leading role; colonial unity was poor; and open rebellion was dangerous.