Chapter 08 - America Secedes from the EmpireI. Congress Drafts George Washington1. After the bloodshed at Lexington and Concord in April of 1775,about 20,000 Minutemen swarmed around Boston, where they outnumberedthe British.2. 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.o 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.o 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 Hirelings1. In the first year, the war was one of consistency, as the colonistsmaintained their loyalty while still shooting at the king’s men.2. 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.3. 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.4. After Bunker Hill, George III slammed the door for all hope ofreconciliation and declared the colonies to be in open rebellion, atreasonous affair.5. 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 Canada1. In October 1775, the British burned Falmouth (Portland), Maine.2. The colonists decided that invading Canada would add a 14th colonyand deprive Britain of a valuable base for striking at the colonies in
revolt.* Also, the French-Canadians would support the Americans because theysupposedly were bitter about Britain’s taking over of their land.* General Richard Montgomery captured Montreal.* At Quebec, he was joined by the bedraggled army of Gen. Benedict Arnold.* On the last day of 1775, in the assault of Quebec, Montgomery waskilled and Arnold was wounded in one leg, and the whole campaigncollapsed as the men retreated up the St. Lawrence River, reversing theway Montgomery had come.