Main Idea: During the Revolution, Americans fought for liberty on many fronts and in many ways



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US History

Fort Burrows

6.4 – Fighting for Liberty on Many Fronts

READ pgs 186-191

Main Idea:

During the Revolution, Americans fought for liberty on many fronts and in many ways.
Setting the Scene:

Ten years before the Revolution, white colonists in Charleston protested the Stamp Act. “Liberty! Liberty and stamped paper!” they cried as they paraded around the homes of British officials. Shortly after, a group of African Americans held their own parade. To the amazement of white colonists, the marchers chanted the same cry: “Liberty! Liberty!”
Many African Americans believed that the idea of liberty applied to them just as it did to whites. In Massachusetts, a group of slaves presented petitions to the governor, asking for their freedom. One slave compared the situation of whites and African Americans:
“You white colonists are taxed without your consent, because you

are not represented in parliament. I grant that is a grievance… But

pray, sir… are not your hearts also hard, when you hold Africans in

slavery who are entitled to liberty by the law of nature, equal as yourselves ?”
As the fighting continued, Americans worked for liberty many ways and on many fronts. Sailors, as well as soldiers, fought in the various battles of the war. Women and African Americans took part too.
Women Take Part in the War

As men fought in the Revolution, women took on added work at home

Planted and harvested crops, made shoes, wove cloth for uniforms and blankets
Helping the Army

 Cared for the wounded, washed clothes and cooked

Martha Washington joined her husband when she could

 Betsy Ross sewed flags for Washington’s army

Mary Ludwig Hays, called “Molly Pitcher”, for carrying water to battleground; took her husband’s place firing the cannon when he got hurt


¿¿ What were some of the contributions of women during the Revolutionary War ? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
New Attitudes

 Women participating in the war began to think differently about their rights

More confident and willing to speak out

 Revolution established important ideals of liberty and equality

 Later, these ideals encouraged women to campaign for equality and win
African American Face Hard Choices
By 1776, more than ½ million African Americans lived in the colonies

Continental Congress refused to allow African Americans to join the army

British offered freedom to male slaves who would serve the king

Washington changed his policy and asked Congress to allow free African Americans to enlist


Joining the Fight

 5,000 African Americans served in the army; 2,000 served in the navy

Some black minutemen saw action at Lexington/Concord and Bunker Hill

Some formed special regiments or served in white regiments as drummers, spies and guides



 Whites recognized the courage of the African Americans

James Armistead, a slave from Virginia, served as a spy



 Under the direction of General Lafayette, Armistead was a volunteer in the British army camps

 The information gained contributed to the American victory at Yorktown

He later changed his name to James Lafayette and was granted freedom


Hoping for Freedom

 Many slaves did flee their masters

Some offered services to the British navy ships on the coast; others followed British troops through the Carolinas



 Black patriots hoped the revolution would bring an end to slavery

By 1770’s, slavery was declining; several states moved to make slavery illegal including Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania


Why do you think some slaves offered their services to the British ?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The War on the Western Front
Americans and British tried to win support of Indian tribes

British more successful because a Patriot victory meant more white settlers


Indian Allies of the British

 British gained support of Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws and Chickasaws

After hard fighting, Patriots drove Native Americans into the mountains

 Iroquois raided settlements in New York and Pennsylvania

 Patriots destroyed dozens of Iroquois villages
Victory at Vincennes (Open Books to map on pg 188)

Patriots captured British forts at Kaskaskia and Cahokia with help from the Miami Indians



Plotted a surprise attack on British fort at Vincennes

 Forces spread out through the woods appearing greater than they were

In February 1779, British commander surrendered Vincennes – useless to fight so many Americans

Spanish Aid

Americans received help from Governor Galvez of New Spain

Supplied medicine, cloth, muskets, and gunpowder

Spain entered the war in 1779 seizing British forts along Mississippi River,



Gulf of Mexico; drove British out of West Florida

To feed his troops, Galvez rounded up 10,000 cattle in Texas – the 1st



American cattle drive

The city of Galveston is named after Galvez


Fighting at Sea
At sea, Americans could do little against the powerful British ships

British ships blockaded American ports


Captain John Paul Jones, who is best known for his comment "I have just begun to fight"

When asked to surrender as his ship Bonhomme Richard was sinking.


He pressed the attack and overwhelmed the British ship Serapis on September 23, 1779


How did John Paul Jones help the Patriot cause ? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
*** NOTEBOOK WRITING

Imagine you are a woman during the Revolutionary War.

Write three diary entries telling what you are doing to help the Patriots’ cause.

1. Which of the following is the most likely reason for the victory of the

Bonhomme Richard over the Serapis ?
A. Jones refusal to give up

B. the size of the Bonhomme Richard

C. the year the battle was fought

D. the fact that the battle was fought in the North Sea
2. What role did women play in the war ?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3. What choices did African Americans have ?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4. How was the war fought on the frontier and the sea ?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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