American History Chapter 4 The War for Independence Colonies vs. Great Britain • Stamp Act • GB required that the colonist purchase a stamp to put on numerous different popular items • Attempt to indirectly tax the colonists, would help GB pay for F/I War • Stamp Act Opposition • Sons of Liberty: Group most opposed to the Stamp Act • Sam Adams: Leader of the Sons of Liberty • 3 Important Responses by Sons of Liberty 1. 2. 3. • Threaten all Stamp Collectors (very effective) Organize a meeting of reps from the colonies Boycott of British Goods GB Responds with the Townshend Acts (direct taxes) Boston Massacre • Conflict • 2000 British Troops in Boston, competing over jobs, etc • Why are they there? • Watch the colonists • Save money, GB would not have to pay for them • What happened? • Mob became violent, threw things at the British Troops • British troops shot into the crowd, killing 5 • Sam Adam’s Role • Introduced the term “Boston Massacre” • Attempt to get people to become angry at Great Britain • All the colonies, Europe, etc Boston Tea Party • Boston Tea Party • Merchants dressed up as Indians, dumped 18,000 pounds of British tea into the Boston Harbor. • Merchants were angry at taxes and GB attempts to sell tea directly to the people in Massachusetts. • GB Response • Intolerable Acts: Took away the rights of the people of Massachusetts (govern themselves, trade, etc) • Martial Law: GB military is in charge of the area • Colonists Response • First Continental Congress: Meeting of Reps from each colony….told each colony to fight back if necessary First Shots • Early American Troops • Minutemen: Civilian soldiers in Massachusetts, ready at a minute’s notice • Had assembled a bunch of weapons in a variety of spots around Boston • British Troops • Thomas Gage: Leader of GB troops in Boston • Attempt to get the weapons from the Colonists First Shots • Concord/Lexington • Concord: No real battle, GB did not find much • Lexington: GB and Minutemen had a small battle, Minutemen where told to go home • Return Trip • Paul Revere: Warned the remaining minutemen that the British were on the move (Dawes, Prescott) • British troops were ambushed by thousands of angry colonists, forced GB to retreat to Boston Harbor. • Result: War was imminent Early Colonial Government • Second Continental Congress • Meeting of Representatives from ALL colonies • Decided to do the following things: – – – – Create a national army (Continental Army) George Washington is the leader of the (Continental Army) Would deal with other countries (France) Print their own money First Real Battle • Battle of Bunker Hill • Actually occurred on Breed’s Hill • Gage wanted to get his troops out of Boston • GB charged up the hill 3 separate times before breaking through the Continental Lines. Only successful because lack of supplies for the Continental Army • Common Themes • Colonial Army: Hard time with supplies, needed help • GB Army: Strategy did not match the area • Both of these themes would reoccur throughout the war Differing Views on War • Olive Branch Petition • Last ditch attempt by some in America to avoid war • Rejected by King George, the damage was already done • Common Sense • Pamphlet written by Thomas Paine • Urged the colonist to support independence from GB • Reasons: – It was our God given destiny to be free – We would rule ourselves better than GB Declaration of Independence • Declaration of Independence • Written by Thomas Jefferson (Philadelphia) • Declared our independence to the rest of the world • What did it say? • 1st Section: American beliefs • 2nd Section: Why we are mad at Great Britain • 3rd Section: Actual Declaration • Response • Shocked the world • Officially passed by all the colonies on July 4, 1776 Differing Views on Independence • Patriots • People that favored independence and war with GB • A little over ½ the population were Patriots • Loyalists • People that favored remaining with GB • Reasons why: – Financial benefit from being with GB – Didn’t think that we would be able to rule ourselves any better – Didn’t really care because not free (slaves, women, etc) Continental Army • Strengths • Knew the land • Washington was an effective, smart leader • Fighting for a cause (freedom) • Weaknesses • • • • Ineffective government Lack of supplies Small, inexperienced Army No Navy • American Analysis • America needs help from foreign countries to supply themselves in the war • As an underdog, the longer the war plays out, the better shot the American’s have of winning British Army • Strengths • • • • World’s strongest Army Strong, wealthy government Unlimited supplies and money Loyalist support in America (did not use this effectively) • Weakness • Generals lacked urgency and understanding • War Fatigue (too far away from home, too long) • Did not understand land and guerilla fighting • GB Analysis • Great Britain is the overwhelming favorite to win the War Early Battles (1776) • British • Army (William Howe) and Navy (Richard Howe) stormed into New York by July 1776 • Total of 32,000 men, including German Mercenaries (paid soldiers), also called Hessians. • Americans • Led by George Washington • Total of 23,000 men, most were untrained and unreliable • Results • By October, Washington had lost every battle and he only had 8,000 troops left (most left and went home). • Washington needed something positive to happen because most of his troops enlistment would expire on Dec 31, 1776. Positives for America • Battle of Trenton • George Washington organized a surprise Christmas morning attack on some of the Hessians. • Risky due to the time of the year. • Successful in capturing almost 1000 Hessians who were mostly hung over from the Christmas. • Battle of Princeton • Washington able to get another victory over 1200 British soldiers Negatives for America • Valley Forge • Washington’s troops were forced to camp here during the winter of 1776-77. • The conditions were horrible!! 2,000 died • Philadelphia • British decided to focus on capturing this city, which was the American capital at the time. • Washington was not able to successful defend the city. • General Howe decided not to pursue Washington, instead focusing on having a huge party in Philadelphia Saratoga • British Plan • General John Burgoyne (stationed in Canada) wanted to join Howe and then dominate Washington’s Army. • Problems: The direct route was full of timber , the British took way to much useless supplies (booze, clothes, etc). Plus, Howe did not leave Philadelphia. • American Plan • General Horatio Gates used surprise hit and run attacks on Burgoyne’s troops. Each small attack took its toll on the British • Saratoga: Burgoyne was forced to surrender all of his troops when he was severely outnumbered by the Americans Results of Saratoga • Turning Point in the War • Confidence: The American troops became confident that they could defeat the British • Changed of Strategy: The British decided that they were not going to fight in the woods anymore. They wanted to stay close to land where the Navy could help. • French: This victory gave the French confidence that the American’s might be able to win, so they began to openly support America with supplies, men, and Navy. Life in America during the War • Economic Problems • Government ran out of gold and silver currency so they printed a bunch of paper money. • Inflation: Too much money was printed and prices for daily goods skyrocketed. • Government had a difficult time supplying the Army • Other groups of people • African Americans: Some escaped to cities in the North, while others joined the Continental Army. • Women were forced to carry the load for men while they were away at war. • Molly Pitcher: Helped bring water to soldiers, injured during the fighting. Extreme Bravery European Help • Friedrich von Steuben • Prussian General • Helped train George Washington’s Army in how to successful fight an European style of war • Marquis de Lafayette • French military leader offered to help George Washington • Was critical to getting the French to offer their support to the Continental Army and US government British Change of Plans • British focus on the South • GB decided to focus on the South after the defeat at Saratoga • George Cornwallis: British General who was supposed to win battles in the South and then move North to help capture George Washington • British Success • Cornwallis was able to win a few early battles in the South at Charles Town and Camden. • By 1780, GB controlled all of Georgia and South Carolina American Response • American Victories • GB had all sorts of problems winning North Carolina • Nathaniel Greene: Washington’s top general was assigned to constantly harass Cornwallis by using guerilla warfare. • GB retreated to South Carolina • Daniel Morgan (Mel Gibson)and Banastre Tarelton (Tavington) fight a series of small battles. • Cowpens: Outnumber US troops defeat Cornwallis for the first real victory • Guilford Courthouse: Costly British victory in which over ¼ of Cornwallis’ men were killed or captured. • Result: Cornwallis decides to flee to the North End of the War • Yorktown • Cornwallis decided to camp on a peninsula while waiting for reinforcements to come. • Reinforcements never came because the French Navy had defeated the British Navy. • Washington, Lafayette, and von Steuben were able to sneak down from the North and trap Cornwallis. • October 17, 1781: Cornwallis surrendered. Results of the War • Treaty of Paris • Officially ended the Revolutionary War • America was now officially independent and had all of the lands east of the Mississippi River. • Symbolic Victory for the World • Democratic Revolutions would begin to spread all throughout Europe (down with Monarchies) • Equalitarianism: Equality of all people (wealth, not race) • Questions: Slavery still existed, how would we govern ourselves, what would we do with the Natives?