mercenaries - soldier who fights merely for pay, often for a foreign country The American War for Independence was the first time in the history of the world that a colony had successfully rebelled against its ruling country. The American Revolution set an example for the overthrow of many tyrannical governments, beginning with the demise of the French absolute monarchy and continuing into our own day with the fight for free elections in South Africa, Iraq, and other countries. Setting the Scene:
News of the fighting at Lexington and Concord spread like wildfires. Riders galloped off carrying hurriedly scrawled messages about the battles. The messengers were urged to “ride day and night” and spread the news “without the least delay.” Within a few days, between 10,000 and 15,000 militia rushed to Boston. They surrounded the city and the British troops stationed there.
The sudden arrival of rebellious colonists was a clear sign that the quarrel between Britain and its American colonies was about to blaze into war. Still, many colonists hoped for a peaceful solution.
Was there no way to heal relations with Britain ? ___________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________ Peace or War ?
In May 1775, a few weeks after the battles at Lexington and Concord, colonial delegates met at the Second Continental Congress hoping to avoid a final break with Britain
A Peace Petition
Delegates sent the Olive Branch Petition to King George III
They declared loyalty to the king and asked for a repeal of the 4 Intolerable Acts
King George III was furious and vowed to bring the colonists rebels to justice
He sent 20,000 more troops to the colonies to crush the revolt
Sam and John Adams were convinced that war could not be avoided even before Congress sent the petition ¿¿ How did King George react to the Olive Branch Petition ?
______________________________________________________________________________________ Rebels Take Ticonderoga
Ethan Allen, Vermont blacksmith, did not wait for Congress to act
In May 1775, he led a band of Vermont volunteers, known as Green Mountain Boys, in a bold surprise attack on Fort Ticonderoga in the early morning
British commander surrendered and the Green Mountain Boys won a valuable supply of cannons and gunpowder
The success gave Americans control of a key route into Canada Setting Up an Army
The Second Continental Congress had to make decisions about their makeshift army in Boston
In June 1775, the delegates set up the Continental Army and appointed George Washington as commander
Washington knew he would be fighting against one of the world’s toughest armies but was willing to do his best and set off at once to take charge
Advantages of the Opposing Sides
Colonists who favored war with Britain thought British rule was harsh and unjust
1/3 of colonists were Patriots
Patriots entered war with some disadvantages and advantages