A Road to Independance
Sean Palmen 4th Period
Viva la Revolution!
It's a known fact that the American Revolution wasn't a spur of the moment idea that the colonists had. There were many factors that made them want to separate from British rule, the first one being the Proclamation of 1763. This was the very first act that the King, King George III, and his British parliament applied. It made it so that the settlers couldn't settle past the Appalachians, and anybody who was already there was sent away. This made the colonists furious! Then King George III decided to add more acts, such as the Sugar Act, Quartering Act, Stamp Act, Townshend Acts, and Tea Act. All of these placed taxes on the colonists, and some forced the colonists to do things they normally wouldn't (such as housing soldiers). This, understandably, made the colonists even angrier. It made a group of Bostonians so angry, in fact, that they started throwing snowballs at a British soldier who was on duty. Other British soldier came to aid him, and eventually fired upon the Bostonians killing three instantly. This event became known as the Boston Massacre. It all came to ahead when the a Boston group called the "Sons of Liberty" decided to dump over 340 tea chests into Boston harbor! What was Britain's response to this? It was to add more acts of course! Britain employed the Coercive Acts (known by the colonists as the "Intolerable Acts") which crippled the colonists (the Bostonians especially) and just made the colonists angrier! Some colonists even made propaganda to show the problems with hierarchies and promoting independence and being free! After a time, the colonists finally decided enough was enough and had a meeting. In that meeting they decided to unite the colonies and get their independence. Thus, starting the American Revolution!
Want to learn some more about the Acts? Check out the links below!
Lexington and Concord, 1775
- First battles of the American Revolution.
- Nobody knows who fired the first shot.
- There were only two battles, and the Minutemen fought each one.
- The Minutemen lost the first battle something fierce and had to retreat, but got an upper hand on the second battle as they had ambushed the British soldiers.
- The only reason anyone was ready was because Paul Revere warned everyone that the British were coming.
Want to learn some more about Lexington and Concord? Check out the link below!
Common Sense, 1776
- It was a 47 page pamphlet that was distributed in Philadelphia.
- Common Sense was published anonymously, but the author was Thomas Paine.
- It challenged the King's and Queen's powers, and said that citizens should vote instead.
- News of the work spread across the colonies, and in total it sold more than 500,000 copies.
- Common Sense changed how the colonists viewed their King, and made a strong case for economic freedom and right for self-government. It cried out against the abuse of power, and Thomas Paine's words still echo through history to this day.
Want to learn more about Common Sense? Check out the link below!
Declaration of Independance, 1776
- The Declaration of Independence formally announced the colonies' intent to break off of Great Britain.
- The main author of the Declaration was Thomas Jefferson, and he expressed three main ideas in his work.
- First, he argued that everyone has certain unalienable rights, or rights that are a natural part of being born and can not be taken away.
- Second, Jefferson listed the complaints of the colonists' to the King. He accused the King of multiple things, such as taxing the colonists without their consent, and passing unfair laws.
- Third, Jefferson stated that the colonies had the right to break away from Britain.
Want to learn more about the Declaration? Check out the link below!
Battle of Saratoga, 1777
- It was the Colonial Army vs the largest portion of the British Army stationed at America.
- The British Army was led by General John Burgoyne.
- The British Army was viewed as just ignorant farmers, i.e. they weren't viewed as a threat.
- The Colonial Army, led by General Horatio Gates, actually beat the British Army.
- This battle marked a turning point in the war, and helped Benjamin Franklin convince the French to help them.
Want to learn some more about the Battle of Saratoga? Check out the link below!
WInter at Valley Forge, 1777-1778
- The Colonial Army had to leave Philadelphia (because it was occupied by British troops) and station themselves at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.
- Washington had to face many challenges, such as feeding his 12,000 troops and threats to his authority.
- The Colonial Army soldiers faced many challenges as well, having their shoes destroyed from long walks and being riddled with diseases. Many deserted the Army.
- Even though there was no battle here, it proved to be a major test of will for the Colonial Army.
- Foreign Volunteers such as Baron Von Steuben from Germany and Marquis de Lafayette from France helped Washington train his soldiers. Lafayette wasn't even allowed to go! This volunteer service was viewed as a major triumph for the Colonial Army.
Battle of Yorktown, 1781
- After many years of fighting, General Washington (with his French allies) managed to force General Charles Cornwallis and the main British Army into a corner at Yorktown, Virginia.
- General Cornwallis and his 8,000 troops were forced to surrender on October 1781.
- General Cornwallis did not participate in the surrender ceremony, saying he was ill. In actuality, he was sulking in his tent because he couldn't bear the embarrassment of losing to any army he looked down on.
- As soon as Britain heard of the news of the defeat, they decided to just give up the fight.
- This battle actually proved to be the last major battle of the American Revolution, surprising General Washington.
Want to learn more about the Winter at Valley Forge? Check out the link below!
Want to learn more about the Battle of Yorktown? Check out the link below!
Treaty of Paris, 1783
- This document formally ended the American Revolution.
- The document demanded three things from the British:
- The British recognized the independence of the colonies.
- The British promised to remove all their troops from the country.
- The new western border of America was the Mississippi river.
Want to learn more about the Treaty of Paris? Check out the link below!