- 2nd Continental Congress - May 1775 - 13 colonies.
- Just wanted to keep fighting until parliament redressed grievances.
Congress Drafts George Washington:
- Washington had great leadership qualities and moral values
- Him being chosen was largely political: from Virginia (most populous colony), already wealthy.
Bunker Hill and Hessian Hirelings:
- May 1775, American force under Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold captured British garrisons at Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Secured gunpowder and artillery.
- Colonists seized Bunker (Breed's) Hill - Americans just shot those redcoats down - US victory
- Continental Congress developed "Olive Branch Petition" - American loyalty was still to the crown, asked British to end hostilities. Rejected.
- Britain hired German (Hessian) soldiers
The Abortive Conquest of Canada:
- October 1775 - British burned Falmouth (Portland), Maine
- Rebels invaded Canada (in hopes for a 14th colony and to get that area away from British control) - offensive warfare
- Generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold launched assault on Quebec - but were beaten off.
- Jan 1776 - British burned Norfolk, Virginia
- March 1776 - British forced to evacuate Boston.
- Rebels won victories at Moore's Creek and Charleston harbor.
Thomas Pain Preaches Common Sense:
- American colonies were still "loyal" to king
- Common Sense by Thomas Paine - why shouldn't tiny Britain control huge America?
Pain and the Idea of "Republicanism":
- Paine not only called for independence, but a new government called "republics" - all public officials were elected
- Citizen "virtue" fundamental to republican government
- Some worried it would promote too much social "leveling"
Jefferson's "Explanation" of Independence:
- July 2nd, 1776 - Richard Henry Lee made motion for independence
- Congress assigned Jefferson to write a formal declaration of independence - July 4th, 1776.
- Invoked "natural rights" of humankind
Patriots and Loyalists:
- Loyalists=Tories, Patriots=Whigs
- Rebel militias important. Spread Revolutionary ideals, harassed British detachments.
- 16% population Loyalists. People of education and wealth, of culture and caution. - Anglican church.
- Patrick Henry "give me liberty or give me death!"
- New England mostly rebels
Makers of America: They Loyalists:
- Loyalists (wealthy, educated) thought breaking from Britain would lead to anarchy
- Tory brigades: Volunteers of Ireland, N. Carolina Highlanders
- African-American Loyalists hoped for escape from bondage. After war, some black loyalists freed, some betrayed.
- White loyalists faced arrest, exile, loss of legal rights - fled to Britain and Canada
The Loyalist Exodus:
- After DoI, loyalists imprisoned, some hanged
- 80,000 Loyalists driven out or fled - their properties were sold to finance the war.
George Washington at Bay:
- Huge British fleet New York - July 1776
- 35,000 British vs. 18,000 Americans
- Americans got pwned and routed at Battle of Long Island. Washington crossed the Delaware with the British close behind.
- British General William Howe did not crush American forces.
- Dec 26, 1776, Washington surprised and captured 1,000 Hessians
Burgoyne's Blundering Invasion:
- British General Burgoyne pushes down Lake Champlain from Canada. Howe advanced up Hudson to meet Burgoyne at Albany. Smaller force would come by Lake Ontario
- Washington transferred his armies to Philadelphia - got beat at Brandywine Creek and Germantown
- Washington winter at Valley Forge
- Burgoyne forced to surrender at Saratoga. 1777.
Strange French Bedfellows:
- French thought siding with America could weaken the British.
- Sent American gunpowder and firearms
- After Saratoga, British granted Americans home rule - but not revolution. France feared reconciliation.
- 1778 French-American treaty of alliance. "Fight Until Freedom!"
A Colonial War Becomes a World War:
- 1779 - Spain and Holland against Britain.
- Russia's Armed Neutrality riled up all European neutrals against Britain.
- 1778-1783: France provided rebs w/ guns, money, equipment, half of America's armed forces, and naval strength
- June 1778 Washington attacked red coats
Blow and Counterblow:
- 1780 powerful French army of 6,000 troops arrives at Rhode Island
- 1780 Benedict Arnold turns traitor.
- British overrun Charleston, SC
- "Fighting Quaker" Nathanael Greene cleared most troops out of Georgia and SC
The Land Frontier and the Sea Frontier:
- 1777 "Bloody Year" on the frontier. Indians split between British and American loyalty.
- Mohawk chief Joseph Brant believe Britain could restrain Americans from expanding West.
- 1778-1779 George Rogers Clark captured British forts
- America had a tiny navy
Yorktown and the Final Curtain:
- British General Cornwallis - Chesapeake Bay at Yorktown to await supplies and reinforcement
- French Admiral de Grasse and General Washington marched to Yorktown - cornered! Cornwallis surrendered.
- Fighting continued for more than a year after Yorktown.
Peace at Paris:
- Whigs replaced Lord North 1782
- Ben Franklin, John Adams, John Jay met in Paris
- France wanted America independent, but weak, so it could be good for France.
- Pre-treaty signed in 1782
- Treaty of Paris 1783: British formally recognized independence of USA. Granted boundaries to the Mississippi, Great Lakes, Spanish Florida.
A New Nation Legitimized:
- New Whigs in Britain more friendly to Americans than Tories
- America alone gained from the war