The American Revolution
War for Independence
Explain why Americans realize
that they could not go back to
living under the rule of Britain
but must move forward
toward independence
War Begins
• Battle of Bunker Hill
Americans hold off two Redcoat attacks
• Green Mountain Boys capture forts near Crown
Point and Ticonderoga
Second Continental Congress
• Central Government
• Supply troops, send people to France
• George Washington was Commander in Chief
Lexington and Concord
• Militia being formed in all colonies
• Redcoats sent to destroy ammunition at Concord
• Sons of Liberty sent Paul Revere to alert everyone
• Minutemen meet Redcoats at Lexington and are
• Redcoats burn gunpowder, then are defeated by
minutemen firing from behind trees and stonewalls on
their way back.
Not Ready For Independence
• Most colonists still want unity with Britain
• Blame their problems on ministers, NOT King George III
• King George III wants the traitors tried for treason
• He hires Hessians (German soldiers) to team up with his armies to
Moving Towards Independence
• Common Sense by Thomas Paine – Attacks the king and monarchy
• Early American victories
a. Dorchester Heights (used stolen cannon to drive back recoats)
• America is holding out for France’s help, but they will not help until
America declares its independence
Dorchester Heights
Declaration of Independence
Most of it was written by Thomas Jefferson
Time Limited, so he took other’s ideas
John Locke
Natural Rights: Life, Liberty, Property
Social Contract
Declaration of Independence
• Preamble – explains why colonists are publically declaring their
• Declaration of Rights – general theories of government
• List of Grievances
• Formal resolution of independence
Declaration of Independence
• Unalienable rights – Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of
• Social Contract – Governments are set up to secure
natural rights
a. Get their power from consent of people
b. If government is not doing their job, they can be
• Did everything they could to stay united, but were turned
Influence of Declaration
• Americans look to it for freedom and equality
• Other countries look to it for the same reasons (France,
A Fight For Freedom
• Explain the advantages that both sides had during the war
a. Well trained soldiers
b. more money equals more supplies
c. more troops
• America
a. Washington
b. Fighting on their own soil
55,000 troops sail to New York City
William Howe (redcoat) offers pardons to the rebels
Washington Declines
Redcoats take New York City
• Washington retreats through New Jersey to the
Delaware River
• Continental Army is down to 5,000
Battle of Trenton
Battle of Princeton
• Gen. Howe heard about Trenton, sends Gen. Cornwallis
to capture Washington’s troops.
• Washington outnumbered, pretends to be trapped,
leaves men behind to tend campfires, then slipped away
• Surprised a force of redcoats at Princeton and move into
hills of NJ
Gen. Howe
Gen. Cornwallis
Troop & Money Problems
• Enlistments were short, so numbers always a problem
• Most served in winter, then farmed in spring and
• “Continentals” = worthless
• Robert Morris (PA) pledges money to American
Revolution = Washington troops can move from NY to
Yorktown, Va
????????? WHY ?????????
• To gain intelligence
• Report troop movements and other plans
George Washington
Spy master
Valued good intelligence
Stems from a defeat in the French and Indian War
Paid a man $333 to begin recruiting a network of spies
Nathan Hale
Great spy, school teacher by trade
Washington asks for a spy, Hale steps up
Disguised himself as a Dutch school master
His cousin ratted him out, and he was hung
“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”
Committee of Secret Correspondence
• They gather intelligence and talk with spies we had in
other countries
• Forerunner to the CIA
How’d They Do It ???
• Invisible Ink – written between the lines of an ordinary letter. Once
heated, the words would appear.
• Codes/Ciphers – letters or numbers stand for other words
• Blind Drop – messages were left an agreed upon location
• Masks – a mask was worn to show the message
The War Deepens
• Identify major battle and struggles of Americans
as they fight for independence
Redcoats Attack From Canada
• John Burgoyne plans 3 pronged attack
a. He attacks from Montreal
b. Howe moves up Hudson River from NYC
c. St. Leger invades from Lake Ontario
• Howe never gets message – failure
• Burgoyne suffers many defeats
Battle Of Saratoga
• France will not commit troops without a big victory
• Burgoyne’s troops were surrounded and he surrenders at
• Benedict Arnold - hero
Winter At Valley Forge
• Lacked supplies
• food, coats, shirts, pants, and shoes
• ¼ of troops died
• Friedrich Von Steuben (Prussia) and Marquis de Lafayette (France)
help train the troops
Friedrich Von Steuben
Marquis de Lafayette
Identify major battles and struggles
of Americans as they fight for independence.
Britain Focuses on the South
• Redcoats cannot defeat Washington in the north
• Focus attention on the south
• Spain helps Continental Army
Battle of Yorktown
• Gen. Cornwallis is losing in the south
• Retreats of the “safety” of Chesapeake Bay (Yorktown,
• Washington plans daring attack
a. French navy block entrance to the Bay (no escape)
b. Washington and others attack from land
c. Cornwallis is cornered – surrenders
• Last major battle
Treaty of Paris, 1783
• Acknowledged America’s independence
• Land claims stretched from Atlantic Ocean to Mississippi
a. 4 times the size of France
b. 10 times the size of Britain
Effects of the Revolution
• Inspires other oppressed countries to rebel (France)
• King George III is discredited – he is a figurehead (just like British
monarchs today)
• “Shot heard ‘round the world’.”