Chapter 6 Independence 1770-1783

Chapter 6
Independence 1770-1783
I. The Eve of War
• John Adams said the Revolution began in
the minds & hearts of the American people
• Why did they fight? So they could govern
• Gaspee – an American attack on a British
ship that ran aground in RI – British crew
was captured & removed & the ship was
burned – British set up a court of inquiry
which threatened the rights of colonial
I. The Eve of War
• Governor Hutchinson of MA – announced he would
be paid by the British now and the legislature
would lose the power of the purse (lose control
over governor)
• Committees of Correspondence - provided
information to the colonies about the British
threats to their liberty – also was step toward
political unity - led by Samuel Adams
A. The Boston Tea Party
• Tea Act of 1773 - granted East Indian Company
a monopoly on sale of tea to America with only a
few cents of tax on it – colonists said parliament
did not have the right to set up a
monopoly in the colonies
• Boston Tea Party – Patriots were determined the
tea would not be unloaded and Gov. Hutchinson
determined it would be unloaded – On Dec 16,
1773 -150 men dressed up as Indians and went on
board the Dartmouth and threw over 342 cases
of tea
• The King decides to force the colonists to submit
B. The Intolerable Acts
• Parliament passed a series of 4 acts to
punish Boston – called the Coercive Acts or
Intolerable Acts by the colonists
– Boston Port Act – closed Boston Harbor until
they paid for the destroyed tea
– MA Government Act – annulled colonial charter
– Impartial Administration of Justice Act –
British officials would not be tried in MA but in
England or another colony
– New Quartering Act – required the quartering
of British soldiers in private homes
B. The Intolerable Acts
• General Gage replaced Governor Hutchinson –
Gage occupied Boston & attacked Concord.
• Quebec Act – set up a rigid political system in
French Quebec, made Catholicism the official
religion, & extended their boundaries to Ohio
River – colonists feared would establish the
Anglican church as the official church in the
colonies taking away religious freedom
• Effect of the Intolerable Act was to harden
opposition and create solidarity
C. First Continental
• VA’s House of Burgesses called for a
Continental Congress
• In 1774 met at Carpenters Hall in
Philadelphia – 12 of 13 colonies
• Patrick Henry said “I am not a Virginia but
an American” - his speeches supported the
war such as his “Give me liberty or give me
death” speech
C. First Continental
• Passed the Declaration of American Rights
– said the colonies must be self governing
but would remain loyal to the king- major
• Agreed to meet again in May of 1775 –
never realizing where they would be then
D. The Shot Heard Round
the World
• Colonies prepared by establishing state
assemblies & state militias
• General Gage set out to capture a large
stock of Patriot munitions w/ 700 men
marching to Concord (April 1775)
• Paul Revere & William Dawes warned the
D. The Shot Heard Round
the World
• At Lexington both sides were warned not
to shoot but some unknown man fired and
everyone followed him
• British continued on to Concord & burned
the munitions where the patriots attacked
them – harassed them back to Boston
• Lexington & Concord was the beginning of
the Revolutionary War
II. Declaring Independence
A. Divided loyalties
• Patriots – fought for the cause of liberty
• Loyalists or Tories – supported the crown
• Often fought each other and the war
resembled a Civil War instead
• Some British were sympathetic to Patriots so
had to hire Hessians (German mercenaries)
B. Second Continental Congress
• Met in Philadelphia in May 1775 & war had
started 3 weeks earlier, British penned
down in Boston, Fort Ticonderoga fell to
patriot forces commanded by Ethan Allen
(commander of Green Mtn boys)
• Original purpose was to debate & deliver
cooperative resolutions not make laws &
supply armies
What did the Continental
Congress do?
• Appointed George Washington to be
in charge of the Continental army
– Because he was a southerner
– Because he was a hero
– Because he had a commanding presence
who could lead and inspire his men
• Make laws & supply armies
• Bunker Hill - Thomas Gage ordered an
attack on entrenched patriots – 3 assaults
until the patriots ran out of ammo – costly
win for the British outside Boston (1,000
• Boston - Washington ordered Henry Knox
to get the British canon from Fort
Ticonderoga to use to take Boston – the
British had to evacuate
C. Common Sense
• Delegates of CC drew up the Olive Branch
Petition which pledged loyalty to the king and
asked him to help them. (king ignored)
• Passed the Declaration of the Causes for
Taking up Arms – said the British had left
them with only 2 options - fight or submit –
they only wanted to have their rights
recognized (King declared them open enemies)
• Common Sense – written by Thomas Paine –
popular pamphlet that said it was only
common sense to separate from England 15
D. Free & Independent States
• Colonies one by one changed their constitutions
to a republican form of government
• Richard Henry Lee called for complete
independence from Britain in the CC
• A committee was asked to draw up the
Declaration of Independence (Franklin, Adams,
Jefferson) – primarily written by Thomas
Jefferson – passed on July 4, 1776
» Listed grievances against the king
» States universal principles
» Signed by 56 delegates – an act of treason
III. Early Campaigns
• Washington tried to defend New York but it
was nearly impossible - he felt he needed to try
because giving up would damage public support
for the war
• William Howe & the Battle for New York
– British General who landed his forces on
Stanton Island, Long Island, and Manhattan
Island – showed his men’s experience and
Washington’s inexperience
• Battle of Long Island – Washington miraculously
retreated across the East River saving
his army to fight another day
• Trenton – Why important?
– Continental Army won a small victory in a
winter raid on the Hessians
– Dramatic effect on Patriot moral
– Men were encouraged to re-enlist
• Princeton – Why important?
– Continental army won a small victory
– raised the moral of the army
• John Burgoyne – British general who brings
his army down to Saratoga and loses because
Howe doesn’t meet him with his army
• Daniel Morgan - American leader who was vital
in winning the Battles of Saratoga & Cowpens
• Saratoga
– Turning point of the war
– 6,000 British (1/3 of army) was captured or killed
– France impressed by the victory recognized
the US and joined the war with us against
the British
• Valley Forge – darkest period of the war for
the Continental army– poorly supplied
• Baron von Steuben was the drill master for
the Continental army
• Battle of Monmouth – was a draw between the
British & the Patriots but it showed how good
Steuben‘s training was
• George Rogers Clark – patriot leader in the
Northwest who captured Vincennes & whose
actions allowed the US to claim the frontier
at the Treaty of Paris
IV. War in the South
• After Saratoga, British moved the war
South to
– awaken loyalist sentiment (they had a lot of
loyal support there),
– soften opposition,
– sever the South from the rest of the country
A. British Advance
• British went after Charleston & it was the
worst American defeat of the war
• British General Charles Cornwallis fought
against General Horatio Gates at Camden & the
Patriots (Gates) had a great defeat
• Frances Marion – led a small band of SC & kept
the war alive thru guerrilla raids– “swamp fox”
• Cornwallis sent Ferguson to threaten the over
the MTN men and they won a great
battle against Ferguson at Kings Mountain
B. Greene Turns the Tide
• Congress sent Nathanael Greene (fighting
Quaker) to replace Horatio Gates
• Battle of Cowpens – major Patriot win & a
first major step to British defeat – the
most nearly perfect victory of the war
• Battle of Guilford Court House – a fierce
battle which resulted in an empty British
C. Victory at Yorktown
• Cornwallis sets up headquarters in Yorktown
(7200 men)
• Lafayette (French aristocrat & friend of GW)
watches & informs Washington & their forces
cut Cornwallis off
• French fleet (De Grasse) comes north to
blockade Cornwallis from the sea – an
unexpected event that turns Cornwallis’
secure position into a hopeless trap
Cornwallis is surrounded so he surrenders
“The World Turned upside down”
• Treaty of Paris 1783
– signed two years after Yorktown
– Said the colonies were independent
– US got all the land east of the Mississippi
River except Florida
• Now began the great task of building
a nation