Background • Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party and 1st Continental Congress have already occurred • Colonists are angry and have told Britain so. • Britain has said either win against us or surrender. Patrick Henry said at the Cont. Congress “Give me liberty or give me death” • The stage is set………..
Lexington & Concord • British General Gage wants to secure the colony’s military supplies so the American Patriot militias cannot get them • On April 14, 1775 the British crown gave him official approval to do this. He was told to “disarm the rebellious militias and to arrest key colonial leaders” • He believed Sam Adams and John Hancock were on their way to Concord. Therefore he had part of his troops start for Concord to try and occupy the town.
Lexington & Concord • April 16 • A British scouting party headed out for Concord • They did their job (gathering intelligence about the colonial militia) BUT they also forewarned the colonists the British were coming. • Sam Adams & John Hancock amongst others left Boston to seek safety in the country. • The colonists also started moving supplies from Concord to secret hiding places.
Paul Revere’s Ride • April 18: At 10pm on a Tuesday night, Dr. Joseph Warren sends Paul Revere and William Dawes, Jr to Lexington to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British are planning to march there to seize military supplies. • At 11, friends row Revere across the Charles River to Charlestown where a fast horse awaits. Meanwhile, Dawes takes the longer land route through Roxbury. • At 11:30, avoiding two British soldiers, Revere takes the Medford road, awakening all the people in houses along his path.
Patriot’s Day • April 19, 1775 • Midnight: William Dawes catches up with Revere; the bells start to ring summoning the Minutemen (including Dr. Samuel Prescott) • 1 am: British soldiers mount a surprise attack. Revere is captured. Dawes escapes towards Lexington, Dr. Prescott escapes towards Concord. • 1:30 am: Mary Hartwell carries the message to the nearby Lincoln minute men • 2 am: The British have been ferried over and start their March to Concord.
Sunrise: The British troops, led by Major John Pitcairn arrive in Lexington. Pitcairn demands to militia to disperse and lay down arms. • They do leave, but keep their muskets. • As they disperse, a shot rings out which leads to a fire exchange. • The British charge forth and drive the militia from the green. • 8 of the militia were dead and 10 wounded. 1 British soldier was wounded.
The British leave Lexington and push on towards concord. • The Concord militia was unsure of what happened in Lexington so they fall back and take positions up on a hill across the bridge. • The British occupy the town and look for colonial munitions. • During this time, the concord militia are being reinforced as other towns’ militias arrive. • The British don’t find much but burn what little they do find.
The Concord Militia see the far, move closer to the bridge and see around 90-95 British troops fall back across the river. • The Militia fires and forces them to flee back towards concord. • The British stop for lunch and then order their troops to start marching back to Boston at noon. • Meanwhile, word has spread and colonial militias are racing to the aware.
The British are not stupid……they know this is happening. They use flankers around the main column of soldiers to protect against attacks. • The first attack comes a mile from Concord at Meriam’s Corner. Another follows at Brooks Hill. The third is at “Bloody Angle” near Lincoln where the British are caught in a cross-fire between Bedford and Lincoln militia.
As the British near Lexington, they are ambushed by the colonists. The colonists have been seeking revenge for the morning’s fight and wait until the British are in view before firing. • When the day’s fighting was over: • Massachusetts militia: 50 killed, 39 wounded & 5 missing. • British: 73 killed, 173 wounded & 26 missing. • Lexington & Concord proved to be the opening battles of the American Revolution.
What should I remember? • The minutemen were colonial militia who vowed to be ready at a minute’s notice • What role did the riders play? • They alerted the colonists that the British were coming • Lexington & Concord were considered the start of the American Revolution
2nd Continental Congress • The 2nd Continental Congress spanned years. It was a single event. • May 10, 1775 – 1781 • (American Revolution 1775 – 1783) • Delegates from 12 of the 13 colonies were present • GA did not participate initially. • Changed their mind in July and sent delegates. • Although many colonies wanted independence, they did not have the authority to actually declare that for their colony
2nd Continental Congress/Olive Branch Petition • 7/5/1775 • Even though the war had started, America had not officially declared it’s independence • Olive Branch Petition was one last attempt at finding a peaceful end to the war • Outlined issues • Asked British to respond & deal with them • King George III refused • He thought he could quickly win the war
2nd Continental Congress • May 10, 1776 2nd Continental Congress passed a resolution recommending all colonies should establish a proper (revolutionary) government • This was the first step towards the Declaration of Independence (7/4/1776) • It was issued in multiple forms. • A printed “broadside”….John Dunlap, a 28 yr. old Irish Immigrant spent all night setting and printing the copies • Many mistakes & errors were made • The original has been lost • In 1989 24 copies were known to be in existence until one was found at a flea market and purchased for 4 dollars. Norman Lear then purchased the authenticated document at a Sotheby’s auction for 8.14 Million.
2nd Continental Congress • The Declaration of Independence housed at the National Archives was actually created sometime after July 19th and signed by the majority of delegates by August 2nd. • The purpose of the Declaration of Independence was:
2nd Continental Congress • The Northern & Southern colonies were convinced independence was necessary, but not the middle colonies • The representatives believed the Declaration was a clear way to state to the colonies why the break with Britain was necessary. • It was also a way for the colonists to explain their vision of proper government • To support that, the Declaration also pointed out the grievances the colonists had with Britain • By providing a united front, the colonists hoped that another country (France or Spain) would help them in the fight against Britain
Influences on the quest for independence • Compact Theory • The beginnings of the philosophical movement that motivated the American Revolution • First appears in the late 1600s • Radical change from monarchical, divine-right governing • John Locke was the biggest proponent • Claims the formation of the country was through a compact with all the states individually and the national government is consequentially a creation of the states • Therefore states should be the final say of the government
Influences on the quest for independence • Common Sense • Published 1776 • Challenged British authority • Used plain language • First work to openly ask for Independence from Britain • “Claimed that it was simply a matter of common sense that an island could not rule a continent.”
Battle of Saratoga • The Revolutionary War is enshrined in American memory as the beginning of a new nation born in freedom. In this memory the conflict was quick and easy, the adversaries are little more than cartoon-like tin soldiers whose brightly colored uniforms make them ideal targets for straight-shooting American frontiersmen.
Battle of Saratoga • In reality, this is all false. The first year of the Revolution was almost it’s last. • Late fall, 1777 • Who was fighting? The British and German (hessian) troops against the Americans • British troop size: ~ 7000 • American troop size: ~ 12000 to 14000
Battle of Saratoga • American captured the British army • Turning point of the war • This event convinced the French that the American had a change to win • The French recognized American independence • France & Spain declared war on Britain and the American independence movement was strengthened
Battle of Saratoga • The British planned a 3 pronged approach. • Ticonderoga, Hubbardton & Bennington • Ticonderoga & Hubbardton were won by the British • Bennington was won by the Americans • Saratoga is actually multiple fights
Yorktown • American captured a British army • Turning point of the war • This event convinced the French that the American had a change to win • The French recognized American independence • France & Spain declared war on Britain and the American independence movement was strengthened
The Critical Period • 1781 – 1789 • Time from The Articles of Confederation to adoption of the Federal Constitution
How have Americans expressed their discontent with government policy?How has American government responded to insurrections? Shays Rebellion--1786 • Last straw for the Articles of Confederation. • Daniel Shays (decorated—fought at Ticonderoga, Saratoga, got sword from Lafayette!) and some ex-Revolutionary War soldiers and officers forcibly prevented the courts in MA from sitting • If courts sit, they could have foreclosed on farms who owed money to creditors and tax collectors
How have Americans expressed their discontent with government policy?How has American government responded to insurrections? Shays Rebellion--1786 • Governor of Massachusetts called on Congress for help—couldn’t raise money or manpower. Governor called militia—there was none! • Private funds eventually paid for a volunteer army; General Benjamin Lincoln then arrived with reinforcements from Boston and routed the remaining Shaysites, whose leader escaped to Vermont. • This was a clear sign for a need for a strong, central government and improved attendance at Philadelphia convention
How have Americans expressed their discontent with government policy?How has American government responded to insurrections? Shays Rebellion--1786 • When the Massachusetts legislature ignored continued requests to revoke these matters, angry farmers led by Daniel Shays shut down debtor courts and stopped property auctions. • 1200 men led by Shays attempted to capture the federal arsenal, the rebellion failed after four farmers were killed by cannon fire. • The rebellion caused Mass to do away with the direct taxes and created debtor-relief legislation. • Many began to reconsider the role of government due to this act of civil unrest.
How have Americans expressed their discontent with government policy?How has American government responded to insurrections? Nullification Crisis - Jackson and SC • Issue of states' rights • The Doctrine of nullification: States as creator of the federal union, had the right to nullify, or refuse to obey, any act of Congress they considered unconstitutional. • Congress passed a new tariff to protect U.S. manufactures • The tariff doubled the rates for some items. • Southern planters charged Congress with promoting the interests of the industrial North at the expense of southern agriculture. • John C. Calhoun: Believed the national government no longer represented the best interests of his native region the south.
Chapter 7.4 – page 246 • Both sides eagerly awaited some indication of the president’s stand on the issue… At a formal Washington dinner in April 1830, President Jackson rose from his chair and fixed his eyes on Vice President Calhoun. Then holding his glass in the air, he proposed a toast: “Our Union: it must be preserved!” After a moment of silence, Calhoun stood up. His hand trembling, he defiantly challenged: “The Union-next to our liberty, the most dear! May we always remember that it can only be preserved by respecting the rights of the states.”
How have Americans expressed their discontent with government policy?How has American government responded to insurrections? John Brown’s raid • Many northerners saw Brown as heroic. • Southerners saw Brown as bloodthirsty and fanatic. • Some southerners applauded the raid as they thought it would encourage small farmers and poor whites to support southern planters.
Question to Consider: Consider what you now know about John Brown, was he a hero or a villain? Arguments for being a hero Arguments for being a villain What would you do if slavery existed in our community today? Would you fight to end slavery? If so, to what extent?