Lious colonists although some colonists called

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lious colonists. Although some colonists, called Loyalists, wanted to remain loyal English citizens, others, called Patri- ots, began calling for independence. Beginning in January 1776, Patriot Thomas Paine’s pamphlets, called Common Sense, began circulating throughout the colonies. Paine’s writings began to convince peo- ple that both Parliament and King George III were acting like tyrants, and complete independence from Great Britain was necessary if Americans were to secure their rights. The Birth of a New Nation Americans won their independence from Britain in 1783 and later ratified a constitution that clearly spelled out the rights of individuals and the limits of government. Reading Connection Can you think of a time when a goal you had finally became a reality? Read to learn about the steps colonists took when they finally won independence. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved a declaration of independence written by Thomas Jefferson. Based in large part on the ideas of John Locke, the Declaration of Independence declared the colonies to be “free and independent 194 CHAPTER 2 Revolution and Enlightenment At the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Patriot leaders called for a Continental army. Courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection, Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia
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Essentials of Business Communication
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Chapter 2 / Exercise 41
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states absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown.” Like Locke, Jefferson stated that life, liberty, and property are natural rights and it is the govern- ment’s duty to protect those rights. When govern- ments do not, they can be rightfully overthrown. The people of the American colonies reacted with cele- bration to the Declaration of Independence. The American Revolution had formally begun. The Declaration of Independence amounted to a declaration of war against Great Britain. Such a dec- laration was an enormous gamble. The Continental Army was a brand-new creation. The soldiers were a motley group of ordinary citizens—small farmers, artisans, and merchants. They had no regular mili- tary training and usually agreed to serve for only a short time. These so-called Patriots faced the world’s best military force, one supported by a rich nation with a healthy economy. The Patriots had some important advantages, though. The British had to ship soldiers and supplies across the Atlantic, while the Patriots were fighting on home ground. One of the most important advantages that the Patriots had was their motivation to fight. Most of the British and German soldiers were fighting as part of a job or for money. For the Patriots, it was a battle for their freedom. A critical factor for the American victory was the financial support from other countries, especially France. The French, eager to inflict damage on the British in any way possible, gave arms and money to the Americans from early in the war. French officers and soldiers served under General Washington. One famous Frenchman, the Marquis de Lafayette, wrote this about the American Revolution: “The future of America is closely bound up with the future of all

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