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The Second Continental Congress

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Pushed for a Declaration of Independence. Tories. Opposed the radicals. Also known as Loyalists ... of independence; within six months a formal Declaration of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Second Continental Congress


1
The Second Continental Congress
  • 1775-1776

2
  • May 10, 1775
  • Philadelphia
  • British had not yielded to colonial demands and
    protests from the First Continental Congress
  • Three distinct groups present with opinions as to
    how to deal with the British

3
Radicals
  • Preferred to call themselves Patriots
  • Argued for revolution and a final break with
    England
  • Other colonists called them zealots of anarchy
    and dictators of sedition
  • Led by John Adams, Sam Adams, and Richard Henry
    Lee
  • Pushed for a Declaration of Independence

4
Tories
  • Opposed the radicals
  • Also known as Loyalists
  • Continually sought reconciliation with England
    and argued against separation
  • Had proposed plans for the colonies to be
    represented as an inferior and distinctive
    branch of the British Parliament but were voted
    down

5
Moderates
  • Some wanted independence but not at the expense
    of a bloody revolution
  • Middle of the road people who were eventually
    convinced by the Radicals that independence was
    the best course

6
Related Events
  • May 10,1775- Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain
    Boys capture Ft. Ticonderoga in New York
  • June 16,1775- Washington named the commander in
    chief of the Continental Army

7
Battle of Bunker Hill
  • June 17,1775- colonist occupy Breeds Hill in
    Boston
  • British 3,000 troops vs. American 1,500 troops
  • British victory with 1,000 casualties to American
    400
  • General Clinton-a dear brought victory, another
    such would have ruined us
  • General Gage- the rebels are not the despicable
    rabble too many supposed them to be

8
Powers of the 2nd Continental Congress
  • Acted like an independent government
  • Issued paper money to pay the army
  • Named a Committee to deal with foreign countries
  • Established a postal department headed by Ben
    Franklin
  • Organized a Committee to deal with the Indian
    tribes
  • Created a navy

9
The Olive Branch Petition
  • Many Americans were still loyal to King George
    III
  • Blamed the problems on Parliament and the Kings
    ministers
  • July 8,1775- sent a petition to George urging a
    return to the former harmony that had existed
    between Britain and the colonies before 1763
  • George refused to read the petition

10
King Georges Proclamation
  • A general rebellion existed throughout all of
    North America, not just Massachusetts, and
    Britain would use whatever measures to suppress
    the rebellion and bring all the traitors to
    justice
  • Parliament adopted a similar resolution and
    ordered a blockade of the American coastline

11
Common Sense
  • January, 1776- 47 page pamphlet
  • Thomas Paine attacked King George in particular
    and monarchy in general
  • Declared for Americans to proclaim an independent
    republic
  • Argued practical advantages for independence
  • Sold some 500,000 copies
  • Influenced public opinion in favor of
    independence within six months a formal
    Declaration of Independence

12
Movement toward Independence
  • May,1776- advised all colonies to form new state
    governments
  • June 7, 1776- Richard Henry Lee made a motion
    that these United Colonies are, and of a right
    ought to be, free and independent States
  • While debate on the resolution went a committee
    was established to prepare a formal declaration

13
The Committee of Five
  • Thomas Jefferson (Va.), John Adams(Ma.), Ben
    Franklin(Pa.), Robert Livingston(NY.) and Roger
    Sherman(Ct.)
  • Explain to the world the reasons for the colonies
    actions
  • Nothing about slavery or women in the document
  • Jefferson stated many ideas of the Enlightenment,
    in particular John Locke.
  • The document was an expression of the American
    mind
  • all men are created equal- free citizens were
    politically equal- each had one vote of equal
    weight
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