Informational Writing 2016
Table of Contents
1. All About the Causes of the American Revolution
2. Diary Entries of King George III
3. Focus Topic: The Battles of Lexington and Concord
4. Mini Story: The Battle of Lexington
5. Essay: Why the Battles of Lexington and Concord Were Important
6. How-To: George Washington's Plan to Defeat Cornwallis
7. Mini Story: The Surrender at Yorktown
Chapter 1: All About the Causes of the American Revolution
Have you ever wondered how America became independent? Well, wonder no more! The Revolutionary War was a war when America was just 13 colonies ( that's right: 13, NOT 50) ruled by King George III. The rest of America was owned by France and Spain. Anyway, the Revolutionary War was very important because if it didn't happen, America would still be ruled by Britain and we wouldn't be able to create our own laws and live freely. In this chapter, you will learn 4 really important causes of the war: the French and Indian War, the laws and taxes that the king placed on the colonies, the Boston Massacre, and the Boston Tea Party.
The French and Indian War
One of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the French and Indian War. In this war, King George III's army and the colonies fought against France for more of America and won! The colonists were REALLY excited to move there, but King George III was afraid more conflict between the colonies and the French settlers and Indians who stayed in their land would happen, which caused him to make a law that prevented the colonists from moving there. This brought the colonists to their boiling point. They fought really hard for land and they couldn't even settle there! This is only one cause that led to the war.
The Taxes and Laws
One major cause that led to the war were the laws and taxes that King George III put in place ( the French and Indian war had put him in a mountain of dept.) For example, he passed the Quartering Act, where colonists had to allow soldiers into their homes and provide them with water, food, and anything else they wanted, which, of course, costs money. In addition, he passed the Sugar Act, which taxed sugar and molasses, the Stamp Act, which taxed paper goods, the Townshend Act which taxed tea, lead, paper, paint,and glass, and much, much more. This made the colonists very angry. The colonists didn't even have a say in the Parliament! James Otis made up the saying, "Taxation without representation is tyranny!" Many colonists agreed with James Otis. These taxes led to a bunch of riots, including what led to the Boston Massacre.
The Boston Massacre
Another cause that led to the war was the Boston Massacre. Colonists taunted the Redcoats and threw nasty comments, snowballs, sticks, rocks, and more at them. To add on, some colonists covered soldiers in boiling hot tar and goose feathers! Then, like Lucille Penner says in Liberty! How the Revolutionary War Began, "Finally, on March 5, 1770, the situation exploded." A Redcoat ( no one knows for sure who) fired his gun. Then, a bunch of other Redcoats joined in on the shooting. In this incident, 5 people were killed, including 11 year old Christopher Seider. This caused the colonists to get VERY angry. This event was even called " a bloody massacre" in a non-British pamphlet! The Boston Massacre was so deadly, there was no way forgiveness would come soon for both sides.
The Boston Tea Party
One more cause of the war was the Boston Tea Party. Here's the weird thing: not a sip of tea went into the colonist's mouths! In fact, the Boston Tea Party wasn't a party at all! It was a HUGE riot against the tax on tea. Colonists dressed up as Mohawk Indians and boarded 3 ships: the Eleanor, the Beaver, and the Dartmouth. Then they dumped 342 chests of tea overboard, which stained the water like a giant cup of tea! The Boston Tea Party turned out to be one of the biggest protests in history.
Now you know some causes of the war. In this next chapter, you will see how King George III felt about these events in the form of a diary entry.
Chapter 2 : Diary Entries of King George III
March 27, 1764
We won the horrid French and Indian War! Now my British empire may grow! But there's more than one problem that came with this wonderful victory: One, there's still Indians in MY new land! This is NOT very helpful because they might cause conflict with my colonies, which is very, very, VERY bad because two: I'M BASICALLY BROKE! That war has planted my on the top of "dept mountain." But thankfully,"your's truly" has a plan! I'll sign a proclamation that says the colonists can't move west of the Appalachians! And if they don't listen, I'll send troops to the colonies! Imagine 10,000 troops walking in Boston! Also, I have a plan for my money: I'll tax the colonists for things they buy a lot! They might rebel, but they probably won't. They're my loving subjects. They'll do anything for their wonderful king!
King George III
November 20, 1773
I am FURIOUS with those horrid colonists! They're the biggest rebels I've ever seen! When I taxed them for sugar and molasses, they went INSANE! And when I started the stamp act, they nearly destroyed Thomas Hutchinson's (a tax collector in favor of my laws) grand house! Also, when I passed the Townshend Act, they went insane again! They threw perfectly fine tea into the Boston Harbor! I can't believe those rebels! I won't stop taxing those horrid rebels until they pay me (which they probably won't!)
You're FURIOUS king,
King George III
Chapter 3: Focus Topic: The Battles of Lexington and Concord
The result of the French and Indian War, the laws and taxes, the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and many other riots were the first battles of the war: the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The Battles of Lexington and Concord were VERY important battles in the Revolutionary War. In these next chapters, you will learn what caused the battles, what happened at the battles, and what happened after the battles.
What Caused the Battles
The Battles of Lexington and Concord happened because the colonists were hiding military supplies in Concord, which the British wanted to destroy. In addition, the British wanted to capture and arrest Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who were hiding in Lexington. That's why Paul Revere went on his famous midnight ride: to warn Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and the other patriots that the British were coming. This led to the Battle of Lexington, which was the first battle of the war.
The Battle of Lexington
On April 9th, 1775, the Lexington minute men, led by Captain John Parker, were pacing back and forth on the Lexington green. The British seemed to be taking forever! After a while, John Parker sent the soldiers who lived nearby to go home until they heard militia drums and to stay armed. Finally, the sound of militia drums filled the air. A wave of people in red jackets flooded onto the green. Soon, the colonists were face-to-face with an army of Redcoats wearing sparkling clean white pants tucked into shiny black boots. Their leader, Major John Pitcairn, told the rebels to disperse, and some of them did, but others, like John Parker's cousin, Jonas Parker, stood their ground. Suddenly, BANG! Someone fired their gun (no one knows who or which side did.) Then, others (from both sides) joined in with the fighting. At the end, which, to be exact, was about 10 minutes later, the colonists backed down with 8 of them dead.
The Battle of Concord
In Concord, the colonists were more prepared for battle. This time, the colonists outnumbered the British! The British leader ordered for more troops. Now the patriots were getting close to the North Bridge, where the Redcoats were standing. The British tried to rip the planks of wood that held the North Bridge together, but the colonists were too quick. The British had no choice but to fight. At the end, the backup British troops came to see the Redcoats retreating towards Boston. The colonists had defeated the Redcoats, but they weren't done fighting yet.
After the Battles
Colonists hid behind barns and trees as the Redcoats walked down the path to Boston. Then, the patriots began to shoot at the British from their hiding spots. At the end, almost 300 British soldiers were dead and many of them were wounded.
As you can see, these battles were important to the colonists. In the next chapter, you will see what the Battle of Lexington was like from a 13-year-old boy's perspective.
Chapter 4: Mini Story: The Battle of Lexington
I was not about to listen to ye leader of ye Lobsterbacks, but everyone was yelling, "Come on, Joseph! We're outnumbered!" For a moment, I turned around and saw a bunch of patriots running away. Suddenly, someone called,"Joseph! Let's go! Mother'll be glad you're still alive!"
That voice sounded familiar. I turned to where it came from, and to my surprise, my father was there. My green eyes were glued onto his brown ones."No! I will not give up!" I hollered at my father. After ye taxes and laws, ye closing of ye Boston harbor, and ye murder of my brother in ye horrid Boston massacre, I wasn't going home. I looked around, and thankfully, I wasn't the only one who stood his ground. Captain John Parker's cousin, Jonas Parker, stayed. Then, out of nowhere, BANG! I was blinded by a cloud of smoke. Then, BANG! BANG! BANG! Jonas Parker fell to ye ground. My arms and legs were jelly,but I lifted my musket and shot. A Lobsterback fell to ye ground. I couldn't believe my luck! I shot down my first Redcoat! I was so busy celebrating, I didn't realize a Lobsterback was reloading his musket. Before I could move, ye Lobsterback aimed at me and pulled ye trigger.
Pain shot up my leg and gnawed at me like a ginormous monster. Anyway, I winced, pulled myself up to my knees, and reloaded my musket and shot at ye Lobsterbacks. I didn't need to stand to fight. A few minutes later, a pool of blood formed under my leg and ye monster of pain grew stronger as dirt started to cover my wound. Suddenly, I was slipping in and out of consciousness. Okay, this is NOT helping, I thought to myself. I couldn't take the pain any longer. I decided to go home and have my mother patch up my wound before I slipped out of consciousness for good. I crawled toward my doorstep with my wounded leg dragging behind me when, BANG! An even bigger pool of blood formed under my leg and ye monster of pain was more powerful than ever. I winced as I knocked on my door and my parents became out, then saw me. I could see tears rolling down their cheeks.
"Oh, Joseph..." my mother started, but stopped to give me a ginormous hug. My father then joined ye hug. I blinked, but this time, my eyelids were crazy heavy.
"Joseph?" my father said, but I couldn't answer.
"Joseph!" my mother cried ( I was surprised I could still hear her.) Finally, I opened my eyes to see my crying parents looking at me.
"Father? Mother? I sorry, but-"
"Don't say it, Joseph! Please don't say-"
"-goodbye." I finished and everything went black for what I knew was the last time.
Chapter 5: Essay: Why the Battles of Lexington and Concord Were Important
One reason why the Battles of Lexington and Concord were important was because the colonists were protecting their weapons. Colonists had their weapons hidden in Concord, but the British took notice and planned to destroy these weapons. Luckily, Paul Revere knew the British were on the move and warned the colonists that the Redcoats were coming. The colonists were able to move most of the weapons before the British came. This proves that the colonists were protecting their weapons.
Another reason why the Battles of Lexington and Concord were important was because the British were trying to stop the colonists from rebelling. For example, King George III sent a bunch of British troops to the colonies to keep the colonists from breaking the rules. Furthermore, he ordered the Redcoats to arrest Samuel Adams and John Adams for rallying up the colonists so they would join the patriot side. In addition, the Redcoats were ordered to destroy the colonists' supply of weapons. This proves that the British were trying to stop the colonists from rebelling.
Although the Battles of Lexington and Concord were important because the colonists were protecting their weapons and the British were trying to stop the colonists from rebelling, the Battles of Lexington and Concord were especially important because they showed that the colonists were ready to fight for freedom from Great Britain. For example, all ages of men and sons were fighting. To add on, after fighting in the French and Indian War, the colonists knew how the British fought and could use a different strategy. Also, the colonists defeated Redcoats in the Battle of Concord. This proves that the colonists were ready to fight for freedom from Great Britain.
In conclusion, the Battles of Lexington and Concord were important because the colonists were protecting their weapons, the British were trying to stop the colonists from rebelling, and the battles showed that the colonists were willing to fight for freedom from Great Britain. Thanks to the battles, the Revolutionary War started and eventually was won by the colonists. Now we're free from King George III and America is now a wonderful place to live.
The first battles of the American Revolution were important, but they weren't the only important battles. The last battle, the Battle of Yorktown, was one of the most important battles in the whole war! In the next chapter, you will learn George Washington's plan to defeat the British-as if he was still alive!
Chapter 6: How-To: George Washington's Plan to Defeat Cornwallis
Step #1: Surround the British!
The first part of the plan is to successfully surround General Charles Cornwallis and his British soldiers. A little birdie (more like a patriot spy) told me the British are preparing for a long stay here in Yorktown, Virginia. This is absolutely PERFECT because they won't know us patriots will attack and won't be prepared for our huge bombardment! Our French friends will surround the Redcoats in Chesapeake Bay with their warships while us colonists surround them on land. Also, I heard the Redcoats lost a lot of ammunition and soldiers at the Guildford Courthouse, which led to my idea for step #2:
Step #2: Don't Let Backup Reach the British!
The British have ordered for more troops and supplies to help them so they can stop us patriots from gaining freedom, but if this plan works, their supplies won't reach them. Our fellow French friends will do whatever it takes to stop the Redcoats' backup from getting to them. Without the backup, the British won't have a lot of ammunition to fight back, which is helpful to successfully do step #3:
Step #3: FIRE!!!!!!
After the backup is taken care of, the fighting will began! Together, us patriots and our French friends will start firing our cannons and muskets, leaving the British no choice but to fight. Hopefully, the Redcoats will struggle because of our ginormous bombardment and it'll be easier to defeat them. But simply firing our weapons won't get us freedom. This leads to step #4:
Step #4: Close In On the British Each day!
To make the time tick faster for the British, us patriots will dig our trenches closer to the Redcoats each day (if this battle takes more than one day.) This will place more pressure on the British's shoulders and bring them one step closer to waving the flag of surrender. With luck, those Redcoats will continue to lose men and ammunition. To further this loss, we'll have to follow step #5:
Step #5: DON'T CEASE FIRE!
This step is simple: continue to fire! While Cornwallis is watching those Redcoats die off, us patriots will fire our guns like there's no tomorrow! Hopefully, the British will continue to lose their ammunition and soldiers while we shoot, reload, and shoot again. Unlike the British, we have plenty ammunition, so we won't run out of lead balls. The British should be almost ready to give up, which leads to step #6:
Step #6: Repeat Steps 3,4, and 5 Until the British Surrender!
As we would do in any battle, us patriots will fire, fire, and fire again! Also, if this battle takes more than one day, we'll continue to close in on the Redcoats. Then, of course, we will continue to fire, reload, fire, reload, and fire again. By now, the Redcoats should surrender, leading to Step #7:
Step #7: CELEBRATE!
After beating the best army in the world, we're not going to go home like nothing ever happened! We'll celebrate our victory with a huge cheer! Then, I'll quiet the cheering patriots and say a quick speech to congratulate them, then let them celebrate again. After all, we did just win a war! After the war, we'll have to give the French a big thank you for helping us. Soon, we'll also send the British back home. After that, we'll go home with our giant victory in our heads.
I hope you like my plan! I worked hard on this to make sure this plan was perfect! With luck, we'll win this war! Just remember our promise- SHHHHH!
This was George Washington's secret plan to defeat Cornwallis and win the colonists' freedom. Finally, you will see if the plan worked from a Redcoat's perspective.
Chapter 7: Mini Story of the Surrender at Yorktown
"This is horrible! How will we defeat ye rebels?"
"We can't fight if-"
"Why is everyone so worried?" I hollered as I walked into camp. Everyone stopped yapping and stared at me. Then, someone said,"We are surrounded by ye horrid rebels!"
I couldn't believe my ears. "Tha-tha- that's not possible! They can't do that to ye best army in ye world!"
Out of nowhere, a bullet whizzed past my ear and hit the person behind me squarely in ye chest.
"Why can't we just fight them off? We made those horrid rebels back down almost every time!" I asked as I dusted off my bright red jacket.
"Here's more bad news: we're almost out of ammunition." another fellow soldier said, panting from running from across the camp."Ye French bombed our ships that carried our supplies and made them turn around."
My heart suddenly started beating so fast, I felt as if it would explode. My legs felt as if they were jelly. Those rebels lost way more battles than they won, and yet, they had the best army in ye world surrounded. Then I got ye weirdest idea I thought of in ye 13 years of my life. " Then we just have to fight until ether ye rebels retreat or we run out of ammunition completely."
Everyone stared at me as if I were crazy. Then, a boy around my age stood up and said," He's right. Are we going to let those crazy-minded rebels take down the best army in ye world?"
" NO!" my fellow soldiers cried.
"So what are we waiting for? Tis' the time to fight! Let's go find a good spot to-"
More bullets rained onto the camp before I could finish my sentence. "-or maybe we should just go hide anywhere and shoot." I finished, diving behind a tree.
BANG! BANG! BANG! I shot down one of the horrid rebels. So far, no fellow soldiers were dead. I smiled to the boy who got the crowd wanting to fight. We were doing great! Then, BANG! A fellow soldier fell down. Ye boy next to me stuck his hand into a leather pouch around his neck and to my surprise, he started murmuring," Oh no, oh no, oh no. This can't be happen-"
"What's wrong?" I asked. " Did they shoot you? I'll go get-"
"I'm fine, but I'm out of bullets!" he answered, squinting into his pouch.
I rolled a few of my bullets towards him. Then I realized my pouch that held my bullets felt very light. I looked inside and in my pouch, I saw one single bullet sitting there. I'll just have to use my last bullet wisely, I thought to myself. Just then, ye boy next to me put down his gun to put another bullet inside and dropped his bullet. The bullet started rolling, then stopped in ye middle of the trees we were hiding behind. Ye boy jumped out from his hiding spot just as I saw a rebel point his gun at him.
"Watch out!" I cried. I jammed my final bullet into my gun and before ye rebel pulled ye trigger, my bullet went flying through the air and hit him in ye chest.
Ye rebel dropped his gun. Just when I thought I killed ye rebel, he got back up and pointed his gun once again at ye boy. "Quick! Come over here!" I cried, but I was to late. I helplessly stared in horror as ye rebel murdered ye boy.
For what seemed like forever, I hid behind the tree, thinking of how I let ye horrid rebel murder my fellow soldier. I heard others complaining that they were out of bullets. Ye air was thick with smoke, making it hard to breathe. Those rebels wouldn't stop firing! Suddenly, I heard militia drums beating in the distance. Everyone stopped firing their guns. As I looked over my shoulder, I saw a white flag waving in the air. I strained my neck to see who was holding ye flag of surrender, but ye trees were in my way. Just then, I heard a cheer from ye rebels, and I finally understood. Ye rebels did it. Ye rebels had defeated ye best army in ye world. As I dropped my weapon, I hung my head, defeated, bracing myself for when I had to face ye angry king of England.
colonists: people who lived in the 13 British colonies
disperse: to go different ways; to break up
French and Indian War: a war between Britian and France for more of America
massacre: the murdering of a group of people at once
molasses: a sticky, sweet substance that was very popular in the 13 colonies
Parliament: the British government
Quartering Act: a law stating that colonists had to let Redcoats into their homes
Redcoats: British soldiersRevolutionary War: a war where the American colonies fought against Great Britain for freedom
Stamp Act: a tax on paper goods such as blank paper, playing cards, documents, and more
Sugar Act: a tax on sugar and molasses
taunt: to make fun of someone
Townshend Act: a tax on tea, lead, glass, paper, and paint