THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS, continued Directions: Using your knowledge of the events of the period, please fill in the blanks below. 15 This call laid the foundation for the Continental Congress. The First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in 1774. Twelve of the thirteen colonies sent representatives. It was the start of a unified American government. The purpose of the Congress was to decide on the best possible response to the actions of the British government. The members of Congress agreed to impose their own ban on trade with Great Britain. Congress hoped that this move would force the British government to change its policies toward the colonies. 16 On April 19, 1775, fighting broke out between Great Britain and the American colonies. On that day, British troops marched to the towns of __________________ and ___________________ in Massachusetts. The British army was supposed to capture hidden guns and supplies by surprise, but a system of signals warned the Americans. The Americans fired on the British and forced them back to Boston. That was the beginning of the Revolutionary War. 17 A few weeks later, beginning on May 10, 1775, representatives of the colonies met in Philadelphia for the Second Continental Congress. The delegates decided to resist the British. Congress organized the Continental Army and called upon the colonies to send troops. The delegates selected _____________________________________ to lead the army. Many colonists feared independence, however. Even if they fought and won, they thought, what future would they face without the security of being part of a strong nation like England? The writings of Thomas Paine changed many people’s minds. In January of 1776, Paine published his pamphlet entitled Common Sense, in which he presented his argument: 18 19 “To be always running three or four thousand miles with a tale or a petition, waiting four or five months for an answer, which when obtained requires five or six more [months] to explain it in, will in a few years be looked upon as folly and childishness – There was a time when it was proper, and there is a proper time for it to cease . . . . England [belongs] to Europe, America to itself.” In June of 1776, Congress asked a committee to draft a document explaining why the colonists felt it was necessary to free themselves from British rule. This document, which was adopted on July 4, 1776, is known as the _____________________________________________________.