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The American Revolution


The American Revolution Chapter 2 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The American Revolution

The American Revolution
  • Chapter 2

The Decision for Independence
  • Written primarily by Thomas Jefferson.
  • Natural rights had been endowed to all persons
    by their Creator.
  • No need to claim rights as Englishmen
  • Blamed King George III
  • Americans no longer considered themselves English
  • Upheld the right of the people to overthrow
    oppressive rule.
  • Based its argument primarily on the contract
    theory of government developed by John Locke
    power comes from the consent of the people.

The Declaration of Independence
  • The Continental Congress passed the resolution on
    July 2, 1776
  • On July 4, 1776, each member of the Second
    Continental Congress signed the document.

Choosing Sides
  • 1/3 American Loyalists (Tories)
  • Often lived in urban and coastal areas.
  • 1/3 Patriots (actively supported)
  • 1/3 Did not care enough to fight
  • Not just a war between the British and Americans
    truly a civil war.

Military Resources
  • British (far more resources)
  • Manpower
  • Navy
  • Professional armies and mercenaries
  • Colonial
  • Short supply lines
  • Familiarity with area
  • George Washington
  • French
  • Willing to sustain war

The Revolutionary War
  • Congress struggled to provide the army with
    adequate supplies.
  • Inability to control colonies, raise money, draft
    men, etc.
  • Regulars versus the militia
  • Washington designed a defensive strategy to
    compensate for weakness.
  • The Americans lost most of the battles in the
    Revolutionary War.

Turning Points
  • On Christmas night, 1776, Washington slipped
    across the Delaware River at Trenton (New Jersey)
    with 2,400 men and surprised the drunken
    Hessians, killing or capturing over a thousand.
  • 6 American casualties.

Turning Points
  • Victory at Saratoga (October 1777)
  • Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold capture John
    Burgoyne and 9,500 British
  • Saratoga changed
  • everything
  • Franco-American
  • Alliance

Turning PointsAlliance with France
  • In Paris, the French celebrated the Battle of
    Saratoga as a French victory.
  • The French had already been sending military
    supplies to the colonists
  • Most gunpowder in the first years of the war came
    from France.
  • On February 6, 1778, France and America signed
    two treaties
  • A Treaty of Amity and Commerce (Recognition of
  • A Treaty of Alliance

Turning Points
  • The American Revolution became a global war.
  • Britain was fighting wars with America, France,
    Spain, and Dutch
  • Other theaters of war included India, the West
    Indies, and Florida.
  • British realized the rest of the empire at stake

The Struggle in the South
  • English politicians generals believed that the
    war could be won in the South.
  • Loyalists were numerous in the backcountry
  • Planters could not afford to turn their guns away
    from their slaves
  • Capture Savannah (1778) Charleston (1779)

The Struggle in the South
  • Neighbors and even families fought and killed one
  • Both sides burned farms, tortured prisoners, etc.
  • White fears of rebellion
  • African American quests for liberty (1/3 of
  • Disagreement among British over freeing slaves
  • Kings Mountain (1780)
  • American victory over British
  • Turning point of war in the South
  • Followed by victory at Cowpens (January 1781)
  • British became convinced that they could not put
    down the rebellion in the South.

Turning Points
  • Battle of Yorktown (Virginia)
  • October 19, 1781
  • Lord Charles Cornwallis surrounded by French
    fleet and surrenders to Washington
  • Over 7,000 British and Hessians became prisoners
  • Added to setbacks in other parts of the world,
    the British decided to end the war.

Peace of Paris (1783)
  • An important factor in the conclusion of peace
    negotiations with Britain was the American
    decision to negotiate separately with the
  • Terms
  • U.S. political independence recognized
  • Mississippi River recognized as western border of
    the United States
  • Congress would not prevent the British merchants
    from collecting debts owed to them by Americans
  • Florida was given to Spain

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Results of the American Revolution Social effects
  • Spirit of equality weakened old habits of
  • Example voting qualifications were lowered
  • Higher education increased
  • Example 14 colleges founded in 1780s and 90s to
    go with the 9 before Revolution

Results of the American Revolution Social effects
  • Complete freedom of religion
  • Transition from the toleration of religious
    dissent to a complete freedom of religion in the
    separation of church and state
  • Legislative representation for the backcountry
    was increased
  • Weakened the major Indian tribes along the
    frontier / cleared the way for rapid settlement
    of the trans-Appalachian West

Results of the American Revolution Slavery
  • British army freed thousands of slaves others
  • 55,000 slaves fled to freedom during the
  • Slaves who fought for the colonies were given
    their freedom
  • Northern states began to outlaw slavery
  • Only Georgia and South Carolina continued to

Results of the American Revolution Political
  • Most political experimentation between 1776 and
    1787 occurred at the state level with new state
  • The Articles of Confederation were ratified by
    the states in 1781 before then the Continental
    Congress operated as an extralegal body
  • Articles of Confederation (1781)
  • Weak central government with little authority
  • Congress was not intended as a legislature, nor
    as a sovereign entity unto itself, but as a
    collective substitute for the monarch a plural
    executive rather than a parliamentary body
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