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The Revolutionary War:


The Revolutionary War: America s War for Independence – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Revolutionary War:

The Revolutionary War
  • Americas War for Independence

The Fighting Begins
  • King George III responded to the First
    Continental Congress by proclaiming that the
    colonies were In a State of Rebellion.
  • Following the advice of the Continental Congress,
    a group of Massachusetts rebels began to form
  • The rebels preferred to be called Patriots.
  • The Patriots began to gather guns and ammunition
    and a major stockpile of weapons was stored in
    Concord, Mass, 20 miles from Boston.

Paul Reveres Ride
  • On April 18, 1775, a force of 800 British
    soldiers marched toward Concord to seize the
    stockpile of weapons.
  • Paul Revere rode ahead, arriving in Lexington
    (five miles from Concord) with the warning The
    British Are Coming!.
  • The British reached Lexington around dawn on
    April 19, encountering 70 armed militiaknown as
  • Throw down your arms and you shall come to no
    harm, the British commander ordered.

The Battles of Lexington and Concord
  • The minutemen began to withdraw, but did not
    throw down their weapons
  • The order was given again, and again refused, and
  • A shot was fired The Shot Heard Round the
    Worldnobody knows by whom.
  • The British fired a volley into the Americans,
    killing eight, wounding ten.
  • The British then marched on to Concord, where
    they threw most of the stockpiled arsenal into a

In April of 1775, fighting in Lexington and
Concord broke out between British soldiers and...
iRespond Question
Multiple Choice
A.) German Hessians.
B.) New York Tories.
C.) French Mercenaries.
D.) Massachusetts Minutemen.
Retreat to Boston
  • News of the clash swept through the countryside
  • And town militias from miles around raced to
    Lexington to head off the British.
  • As the British began their 20 mile march back to
    Boston, almost 4,000 patriots gathered along the
  • They shot at the Britishwho marched in
    formationfrom behind trees and stone walls.
  • Every few yards, a Redcoat fell dead or wounded
    occasionally, the British would stop and fire a
    volley in formationwhich had no effect at all.
  • By the time the British reached Boston, 70
    British soldiers had been killed and 202 had been
    wounded or were missing.
  • The Revolutionary War had begun.

The Siege of Boston
  • After the violence at Lexington and Concord,
    thousands of militiamen surrounded
    British-occupied Boston
  • And besieged the city.
  • The only way into or out of Boston was by sea.
  • And when the Americans began building
    fortifications on Breeds Hill overlooking Boston
  • The British launched an attack.

The Battle of Bunker Hill
  • The assault on Breeds Hill took place in June of
  • The British attacked in three waves
  • The first and second attacks were driven back
    with heavy losses
  • During the final assault, the Redcoats were
    forced to climb over the dead bodies of those who
    had been killed in the first two waves
  • The final attack was successfulthe hill was
    taken and 140 Americans were killed.
  • However, the British suffered over a thousand
    casualties, including 226 KIA.

The Battle of IDEAS
Voices of the Revolution
  • Gentlemen may cry, Peace! Peace!but there is
    no peace. The next gale that sweeps from the
    north will bring to our ears the clash of
    resounding arms! Is life so dear, or peace so
    sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains
    and slavery? Forbid it, almighty God! I know
    not what course others may take but as for me

--Patrick Henry
The Second Continental Congress
  • May, 1775, Philadelphia.
  • Consisted of delegates from all over the
    colonies, including
  • Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson
    and John Adams.
  • They are deeply divided over how to respond to
    the crisissome wanted compromise and some wanted

The Olive Branch Petition
  • Written by John Dickinson.
  • The second attempt by the Americans to stop the
    fighting and avoid revolution.
  • Expressed loyalty to King George III and a desire
    for peace.
  • Begged the king to halt the fighting.
  • King George refused to read it.

Common Sense
  • Was A 47-page pamphlet written by Thomas Paine,
    published in 1776.
  • His aim was to explain the crisis in
    straightforward that EVERY READER could
  • He argued that the British system rested on two
  • Aristocracy and Monarchy
  • Both of which are TYRANNICAL.
  • We have it our power to begin the world over
    again. A situation similar to the present hath
    not happened since the days of Noah
  • The book remains one of the all-time American
  • And nearly every reader came away convinced that
    revolution was NECESSARY and INEVITABLE.

The so-called "Olive Branch Petition" can be seen
as a symbol of...
iRespond Question
Multiple Choice
A.) Americans' unity in supporting Revolution.
B.) the power and authority of General George
C.) Americans' uncertainty over splitting with
Great Britain.
D.) Thomas Jefferson's theories on natural law
and human rights.
The pamphlet "Common Sense" urged Americans to...
iRespond Question
Multiple Choice
A.) declare independence from Great Britain.
B.) establish a boycott of British goods.
C.) remain loyal to King George III.
D.) maintain their military alliance with France.
The Declaration of Independence
  • Drafted by Thomas Jefferson
  • Influenced by the Enlightenmentan 18th century
    movement that emphasized reason and science
  • And by the writings of John Locke, and English
  • Who had argued that EVERY HUMAN is born with
  • Life, liberty and property
  • That those rights are granted by GOD
  • And that government exists SOLELY to protect
    those rights.
  • The Declaration of Independence was ratified on
  • July 4, 1776.

The Four Stanzas of Independence
  • Part One The Preamble, an explanation of
  • Part Two An explanation of the political ideas
    upon which the document was based. Emphasized
    Natural Rights, such as life, liberty and the
    pursuit of happiness.
  • Part Three A list of grievances against King
    George III (examples on following slide).
  • Part Four A resolution that these United
    Colonies areand of right ought to be Free and
    Independent States.

Which of the following arguments would MOST
LIKELY be contained within the Declaration of
iRespond Question
Multiple Choice
A.) kings are selected by God and have the
absolute right to rule.
B.) the power to govern can come only from the
people who are being governed.
C.) taxes are necessary to maintain a peaceful
and prosperous society.
D.) armed revolution is a violation of natural
law and should never occur.
A Selection of Grievances against King George III
  • For quartering large bodies of armed troops among
  • For imposing taxes on us without our consent.
  • He has affected to render the Military
    independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
  • For cutting off our trade with all parts of the
  • He has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of
    our frontiers the merciless Indian Savages, whose
    known rule of warfare is an undistinguished
    destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
  • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts,
    burned our towns and destroyed the lives of our

All of the following are contained within the
Declaration of Independence, EXCEPT...
iRespond Question
Multiple Choice
A.) a definition of peoples' natural rights.
B.) a description of the purpose of government.
C.) the establishment of a military alliance with
D.) a list of grievances against King George III.
Strengths and Weaknesses The British
  • A well trained army.
  • The finest navy in the world.
  • 50,000 Americans, called loyalists fought for
    the British.
  • Native American groups and many slavespromised
    freedomfought for the British.
  • Hired 30,000 German mercenaries, called
    Hessians, to fight.
  • The war was unpopular in Great Britain.
  • Many British citizens hated taxes and sympathized
    with the Americans.
  • The British had to fight in hostile territory,
    far from home.
  • The British leadership did not adapt their
    fighting technique to the conditions in America.

Strengths and Weaknesses The Americans
  • Strengths
  • The Americans were fighting in their own
  • American officers had learned fighting tactics
    that were successful in the French and Indian
  • They were defending their homes, lives, families,
  • They were fighting to the deathtraitors were
    often hanged.
  • Weaknesses
  • Lacked a well-supplied, stable fighting force
    (Sunshine Patriots).
  • Many of their soldiers (esp. in the beginning)
    had had no training.
  • New recruits were always arriving and experienced
    soldiers were always leaving.
  • George Washington never knew how many soldiers he
    had at one time.

  • In Americas War for Independence

George Washington
  • Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army.
  • Developed Americas war strategy.

Marquis de Lafayette
  • A French aristocrat who joined the American
    Continental Army
  • Led the Americans to a number of important
  • And was INSTRUMENTAL in convincing the French to
    enter the war on our side.

Benedict Arnold
  • Heroic American general in early battles,
    especially the Battle of Saratoga.
  • Betrayed the Americans for cash and a position in
    the British military.
  • Died poor and bitter in England.

Nathan Hale
  • Americas first spy.
  • Caught and executed by the British (at the age of
    only 21).
  • Before being hanged he said, I only regret that
    I have but one life to give to my country.

The Fighting Begins
Retreat from the North
  • In the months after the Declaration of
    Independence, the Americans lost every battle
  • By October of 1776, the British had captured New
    York City.
  • Many Americans deserted the army.
  • Thomas Paine published The American Crisis, to
    inspire the Americans.
  • These are the times that try mens souls

The Battle of Trenton
  • Washington abandoned a long tradition that armies
    did not fight during the winter
  • And on Christmas night, 1776, 2,400 Americans
    sailed across the Delaware and launched a
    surprise attack.
  • 1400 Hessianswhod been celebrating
    Christmaswere captured.
  • There were few American casualties.
  • This was the first significant American victory
    and provided a crucial moral boost for the
    American soldiers.

A Series of Defeats
  • In the summer of 1777 the British
  • Occupied Philadelphia (the Capital)
  • Won the Battle of Brandywine
  • Won the Battle of Germantown
  • And became confident the Americans would soon

Valley Forge
  • In the winter of 1777, George Washington selected
    Valley Forge, Pennsylvania for the Continental
    Army to spend the winter.
  • At this point in the war, the Army had had no
    significant trainingone of the reasons for all
    of their early defeats.
  • A Prussian drill instructorBaron von Steubenwas
    brought in to teach the American soldiers the
    basics of battlefield technique.
  • By the spring of 1778, the American Continental
    Army had been sharpened into a professional
    fighting force

The most important result of the American
Continental Army's winter in Valley Forge was
iRespond Question
Multiple Choice
A.) as a result of rigorous training, the army
was transformed into a disciplined and
well-organized force.
B.) the Continental Army gained valuable insight
into the British war strategy.
C.) the Americans were able to obtain much-needed
supplies such as boots and uniforms.
D.) the Canadian army marched south and joined
the Americans during this period.
The Battle of Saratogathe Turning Point
  • In June of 1777, the British army invaded from
    Canada to cut New England off from the rest of
    the colonies.
  • We cannot conquer the British force at once, but
    they cannot conquer us AT ALL.General Nathanael
  • Instead of trying to stop the invasion, the
    Americans undertook to SLOW IT DOWN
  • By destroying bridges and layering felled trees
    across the only passable roads
  • The Americans also destroyed crops, carried off
    livestock and poisoned wells
  • So that the British Army (which had planned to
    live off the land) began to run low on essential
  • All this time, the Americans were slowly
    gathering reinforcements
  • And then, after months of retreat, launched a
    sudden counterattack that led to a shocking
    British surrender.

Help from Abroad
  • Since the Declaration of Independence, Ben
    Franklin had been Paris trying to get French
    support for the Revolution.
  • The Battle of Saratoga convinced the French that
    the Americans had a chance to win.
  • In February, they signed a treaty of alliance
    with the US.
  • The US received money, French troops and a navy.
  • Spain and the Netherlands later joined
    Franceforcing Britain to defend itself in
    Europe as well.

American vs. American
  • After Saratoga, the British developed a new
  • To retake lost territory step-by-step
  • And then establish LOYALIST governments in each
    conquered region.
  • Their first attempt at implementing this strategy
    took place in the South
  • Where the population was split 50-50 between
    patriots and loyalists.

Fighting in the South
  • The British first invaded Georgia at Savannah and
    CRUSHED the patriot militia there
  • Then took South Carolina
  • And North Carolina
  • And savage waves of violence and revenge killings
    took place between the persecuted Loyalist
    population and recently defeated patriots.
  • Finally, British General Charles Cornwallis led
    his army northward into Virginia
  • Where he established a camp on a peninsula at
    Yorktown in order to await resupply.

The Battle of Yorktown
  • A combined French/American force moved south to
    confront Cornwallis.
  • The French Navy blockaded the coast, preventing
    British reinforcement.
  • Cornwallis was surrounded by a much bigger force
    and trapped by the sea.
  • With no escape possible and hopelessly
  • On Oct. 18, 1781, he surrendered to George

The Treaty of Paris--1783
  • Great Britain recognized the independence of the
    United States.
  • The northern border between the US and Canada was
  • The Mississippi River became the border between
    the US and Spanish territory.
  • Florida was returned to Spain.
  • British troops agreed to withdraw all forces from
    the United States.

Lord Cornwallis surrendered to General Washington
at the Battle of...
iRespond Question
Multiple Choice
A.) Saratoga.
B.) Yorktown.
C.) Trenton.
D.) Bunker Hill.
What was the impact of GEOGRAPHY upon the outcome
of the Battle of Yorktown?
iRespond Question
Multiple Choice
A.) the battle was deep in the South, so the
British could not obtain reinforcements.
B.) the battle took place in mountainous terrain
where it was difficult for the opposing sides to
locate one another.
C.) the British were trapped on a peninsula and
could neither retreat nor obtain reinforcements.
D.) the cold weather caused the British Army to
lose their motivation to continue fighting.