Essential Questions for Lesson 1:
RAP (Reviewing and Previewing
1) Why is the Second Continental Congress considered to be the first government of the
2) How did one person’s writing move Americans to support independence?
3) How did the Declaration of Independence divide the nation?
4) Why was it a necessity for Washington to organize the Continental Army in Boston?
5) Why did Washington have so much trouble organizing this Army?
- Olive Branch Petition
- Continental Army
- Common Sense
- Declaration of Independence
- Thomas Gage
- Thomas Paine
- Ethan Allen
- Green Mountain
- Benedict Arnold
- Fort Ticonderoga
- Lake Champlain
- William Prescott
- Breed’s Hill
- Bunker Hill
- Richard Henry Lee
- John Hancock
- Dorchester Heights
- George Washington
I The Second Continental Congress
A) Review of First Continental Congress
1) The First Continental Congress = 1774
2) Goal: to protest the Intolerable Acts and other British policies that the colonists disliked
3) delegates hoped King George would receive their protests
4) agreed = if he DID NOT respond, a second congress would meet the next spring
aa) This congress would
act as a central government
put together an army (headed by George Washington) for the colonies’ defense
B) The Olive Branch Petition
1) As perceived, King George III ignored their protests.
2) The SECOND CONTINENTAL CONGRESS = PHILADELPHIA = MAY 1775
3) Still, MOST COLONISTS & MEMBERS of the CONGRESS WANTED to REMAIN PART of
GREAT BRITAIN and were still loyal to the crown!
4) BUT, they wanted to RULE THEMSELVES with THEIR OWN LEGISLATORS, though.
5) Once last chance for peace was asked of the king – THE OLIVE BRANCH PETITION!!!
6) They knew this was their last shot before WAR.
aa) ****- With this in mind, they organized an army = something new to them
bb) up until now = only had local militias as defense
C) Continental Army
1) Continental Army = new army’s name = commanded by George Washington
2) DUTIES: to REPRESENT AND DEFEND ALL THE COLONIES – not just some of them!
3)***Washington = moved from Philadelphia to take charge of the colonial forces around Boston
4) newly formed army = lacked (didn’t have enough) discipline and training
aa) Pros (advantages) of the Continental Army
(1) Americans were well-acquainted w/the countryside
(2) They knew how to survive in the wilderness
(3) They believed in their cause of freedom = DETERMINATION
(4) **WASHINGTON WAS A BRILLIANT LEADER
(…”even though he lost more battles than he won, Washington was America’s
bb) Cons (disadvantages) of the Continental Army
(1) Washington also had trouble finding new recruits (volunteers)
(2) Most soldiers = wanted to stay w/local militias to protect their own homes,
families, and land
(3) Those who joined had to commit to SEVERAL YEARS of service
(4) The pay was not always regular
(5) There were shortages of food and clothing
(6) forces were poorly equipped compared to the British
(7) AT ITS LARGEST – The Continental Army only consisted of 15,000 – 20,000
D) The British Army
1) Pros (advantages)
aa) Great Britain had an army of 50,000
bb) They also had THE MOST POWERFUL NAVY IN THE WORLD!!!
cc) Soldiers: well-trained & led by officers w/battle experience
dd) British hired professional German soldiers, Hessians, to fight for them!
2) Cons (disadvantages)
aa) British troops were far away from home and/or their normal knowledgeable area
bb) They would be fighting an army hiding in the wilderness
cc) British troops did not expect the swamps, thick forested hills, and rapidly flowing rivers
which were huge obstacles for them