The War for American Independence 1775-1783
Battle of Lexington and Concord • April 19, 1775 • General Gage sends troops to check out arsenals in Lexington, Mass • Dr. Warren sends for Paul Revere • Warning shots are fired to alert the town • Revere is stopped and questioned, but the element of surprise was lost and the militia was on its way to Concord
British order Minutemen to leave – they refuse and shots ring out • Battle only lasts 15 minutes – British won…at first • As the British make their way back to Boston, minutemen hid in the trees and fired at them
May 1775: Meeting of the Second Continental Congress • Which course of action to take? • John Adams view vs. John Dickinson view • What is decided • What does this infer about the American public based on the decisions made at the 2ndContinental Congress?
June 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill • Breed’s Hill • Reason for attack • Summary of Battle
July 1775: Olive Branch Petition Sent • Final attempt at a peaceful resolution • Terms of Petition • Response of King George III
Fall/Winter 1775: A Call for “Common Sense” • Background • Content of Common Sense • Who is Thomas Paine? • What is his message? • Why a King is not necessary • Inherent evils of having a king
July 1776: Declaration of Independence • One by one, the colonies declare their independence • Continental Congress asks each colony to form its own government in preparation for independence • Thomas Jefferson pens the document • Accepted to July 2nd, read on July 4th
The British Army The Colonists Attitudes Strategy Advantages • Attitude • Strategy • Advantages
Choosing sides: For or Against? • Loyalists • Patriots • Quakers • Native Americans
New York – Summer, 1776 • Howe & Howe (GB) led 30,000+ soldiers and mercenaries • Washington had 20,000 poorly trained and under equipped men • By Fall, Continental Army pushed across Delaware and troops dwindled to 8000 • Big What if? for American history
Battle of Trenton – Christmas, 1776 • Washington led troops across DE River into PA • Attacked a group of Hessians guarding garrisons • Defeated Hessians who were drunk from holiday • Significance/Effects: • Many men re-enlisted
Fall of Philadelphia – September, 1777 • Howe (GB) sailed south from NY in Spring • Washington failed to block redcoats at Brandywine Creek • Thus, allowing GB to secure Philadelphia
Saratoga – October, 1777 • The Plan: • Burgoyne & Howe (GB) attempt to cut off New England from rest of colonies • The Problems: • Burgoyne continued to lose men in smaller fights with Americans • Burgoyne did not know Howe was in Philadelphia, and was not coming to meet him • The Result: • American Victory • Drastic change in GB war strategy – Keep troops near coast! • Turning point in War
Saratoga – A Turning Point • Bolstered French supported • FR Recognized American independence • France refused to make peace with GB, until GB recognized American independence Surrender at Saratoga
Because I lost a bet…The Leadership of Mad Anthony Wayne • Local boy – Paoli • Became a general in 1776 • Involvement in Battles • Paoli Massacre • Monmouth
Valley Forge - Winter of 1777 – 1778 • More than 2000 men died from the conditions
European Allies • Volunteers • Friedrich von Steuben • Prussian Captain • Taught field maneuvers, firing techniques • Marquis de Lafayette • French aristocrat • Lobby for French aid • Command army in Virginia Von Steuben drills Continental Army at Valley Forge Lafayette & Washington at Valley Forge
War Heads South • After defeat @ Saratoga, British change strategy • Cornwallis (GB) • Sailed south to Charles Town, S.C w/ 8500 men • Easily defeated Americans • Why Charles Town? • Able to establish forts • Enjoyed much success in 1780 • BUT Cornwallis is moving into NC
The Legend of Benedict Arnold • 1779 • 1780 • Why did he do it?
Cornwallis crosses into N.C. - 1781 • Met with opposition, and forced to retreat • Grueling chase ensues between two armies • American Victories @ Kings Mt. & Cowpens • Unexpected! Were outnumbered!
Surrender at Yorktown – October 1781 • Cornwallis makes camp • Poor strategic position • French supply 6000 additional troops • Surround British • French Naval force • 17,000 American & French troops • After 3 weeks, Cornwallis surrenders • October 1781 Surrender at Yorktown
Treaty of Paris - 1783 • US, Great Britain, France, & Spain • Confirms US Independence • Treaty Provisions • US land: • Atlantic Ocean to Mississippi Rv. • British creditors could collect debts
Egalitarianism • A belief in the equality of all people • Began to spread during the Revolution • Ironically applied to only white males