Chapter 4: The American Revolution Section 1: The Revolution Begins



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Chapter 4: The American Revolution

Section 1: The Revolution Begins

First Continental Congress: Gathering of colonial leaders who were deeply troubled about the relationship between Great Britain and its colonies in America; did NOT seek a separation from Britain. Its goal was to express the colonists' concerns and ask the king to correct the problems.

Patriots: Patrick Henry and other colonists who chose to fight for independence from G.B.

Minutemen: Local militia of colonists formed to fight the British at a "minute's notice".

Paul Revere's Ride: to alert the Minutemen to protect hidden weapons from the British

"Shot heard around the World" -- The War would impact nations and people all over the world.

Redcoats -- British soldiers; their uniforms were red..duh.

First Revolutionary War Battles: 1. Lexington 2. Bunker Hill at Boston -- colonists lost because they run out of ammunition.

Second Continental Congress: Met because King George III refused to address the concerns listed in the Declaration of Rights; chose George Washington to command the Continental Army.



  • Olive Branch Petition: document; last attempt of colonists to restore harmony; King George refused to read it.

-- Formed the "Continental Army (MA Militia) lead by George Washington.

Section 2: Declaring Independence


Common Sense: Author: Thomas Paine. argued that citizens, not kings and queens, should make laws; strong case for economic freedom and for the right to military self-defense. Against tyranny -- the abuse of government power.
Declaration of Independence: announced the colonies' break from Great Britain. Three Ideas:

a. Thomas Jefferson (main author), argued that all people possess unalienable rights, including the rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

b. Jefferson claimed that King George III had violated the colonists' rights by taxing them without their consent.

c. Jefferson stated that the colonies had the right to break from Britain; maintained that governments and rulers must protect the rights of citizens and that the people agree to be governed.


* those who supported the DOI were "traitors"; colonists who chose to side with the British were known as "Loyalists" (tories).
* Because of persecution by Patriots, more than 50,000 Loyalists fled the colonies during the Revolution.
*Native Americans were at first encouraged by both sides to remain neutral; most sided with the British.
* "all men are created equal" but the document failed to mention women, enslaved Africans, or Native Americans.
* Abigail Adams: tried to influence her husban, John, to include women's rights in the Declaration.
* By the 1780's the New England colonies were the first to be taking steps to end slavery; but it continued long after the Rev. War.

Section 3: The Struggle for Liberty


1. Recruitment for the Continental Army was difficult because of

a. Little Pay

b. Harsh conditions

c. Pretty good chance of being injured or killed.


2. The C.A. (continental Army) began to allow African Americans to serve to counter Britain's promise of freedom to any slave who joined the British, BUT they did NOT play a significant role or provide a major strength.
3. Mary Ludwig Hays gained the nickname "Molly Pitcher" because she brought water to the troops.
4. Battle of Trenton: Important Patriot victory; saved Washington's army and gave him his first victory.
5. Battle of Saratoga: Greatest victory at this point for American forces; was the turning point of the Rev. War.
6. Marquis de Lafeyette: Frenchmen who volunteered for the C.A. and became a skillfull leader.
7. France: became an ally for the Americans when Benjamin Franklin went to France in 1776 and asked King Louis XVI for support.
8. Bernardo de Galvez: Spanish governor from Louisiana who became a key ally to the Patriots.
9. Winter at Valley Forge: Study for the Open Response.
10. John Paul Jones: American Naval Hero who captured many British supply ships AND the warship Serapis. Declared "I have not yet begun to fight!". The Continental Navy had less than 100 ships in the entire war, but destroyed more than 200 British ships in the one battle.

Section 4: Independence


1. The British move their efforts to the South:
a. The northern colonies, with their ragged, scrappy fighters, proved to tough to be tamed.
b. They hoped to find support from the large Loyalist populations there.
c. They planned to free enslaved Africans and enlisht them as British soldiers. Swamp fox -- Francis Marion (remember "The Patriot"
2. Battle of Yorktown: Last Major Battle of the American Revolution. General Washington saw a chance to trap Cornwallis when Cornawallis moved his troops to Yorktown in order to stay in communication with the British Navy.
3. Women's role in the War:

a. nurses

b. raised money

c. made clothes

d. messengers

e. spies.


4. Treaty of Paris: 1783. Ended the Rev. War. (1775-1783). Great Britain entered into peace talks because they lacked the money to pay for a new army.
a. G.B. recognized the independence of the U.S.

b. Set America's borders.



c. Study map, page 139.


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