American History – The war for independence 

The first continental congress-1774

  • Rights and grievances were sent to the king urging for the repeal of the intolerable act.
  • The congress urged the colonists to organize local militia and start military training.
  • The delegates agreed to meet in 1775. The second continental congress meeting was to serve as the first union of all colonies.

The war for independence breaks out

  • The British government declared that the colonists were in a state of rebellion and the rebellion would be put down with force instead of addressing their grievances.

The armed resistance in Lexington

  • In April 1775 a group of British soldiers under the command of Gen. Gage were stopped in their way by a group of patriotic farmers in Lexington and were not allowed to pass through.
  • The rebels were asked to disperse but they disobeyed.
  • So the British soldiers shot the rebels killing 11 of them.
  • The killings of the farmers infuriated the colonists and they organized themselves for an armed resistance
  • The radicals of the continental congress wanted to overthrow the British government by an armed revolt but the moderates wanted to solve every problems by peaceful methods like sending petitions and writing to the leaders
  • The moderates warned against following actions of persons like Samuel Adams. The moderates only wanted control over the local affairs of the nations and didn’t want total control of the nation

The second continental congress -1775

  • Was conducted in Philadelphia on September 5 1775
  • The congress managed the colonial war effort.
  • News came that there was a major battle held at breeds hill (also called Bunker Hill) which were under the control of patriots and that the patriots fought fiercely.
  • The news of bunker hill as well as the capture of Ticonderoga by a few soldier boys inspired the patriots to fight for their freedoms
  • The continental congress appointed George Washington as the commander in chief of the new continental army
  • The congress took two steps
  • named a committee composed of Jefferson, Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston to prepare a declaration of independence
  • declared war against England few days after the declaration was issued
  • The sentiments on behalf of independence from the British were addressed in a pamphlet named common sense by Thomas Payne which was written in Jan 1776

The declaration of independence – 1776

  • The declaration of independence was formally adopted on July 4th 1776
  • It contained the reasons for the separation of the colonies from great Britain and had three parts
  • The first part contains the reasons for revolution – consists of self-evident truths
  • The second part has a list of colonial grievances aimed at the king of England
  • The third part transforms the colonies into the United States of America.

The effects of the declaration of independence

  • The followers of the britishers and the king were considered traitors
  • Their property was seized and many of them were banished to Canada
  • Most of the new states adopted a constitution
  • In New York and New England governors began to get elected by popular vote. In other states the power of the governors reduced
  • Religious qualifications limited suffrage in a number of states

The war for independence

  • When the britishers left Boston the whole new England came under the control of the Americans
  • But the britishers recaptured New York
  • The Americans had to spent the cold and brutal winter in ‘valley forge’ while the britishers were comfortable in their havens in New York
  • The American victory at Saratoga helped Benjamin franklin to persuade the French to help the colonists
  • American naval ships attacked and plundered the British ships
  • The final battle was held in the city of Yorktown
  • Gen Cornwallis was trapped in the city from every side and surrendered his whole army

Treaty of Paris (1783)

  • The terms of the treaty between the United states and the britishers were as follows
  • The britishers recognized the independence of the colonies
  • The new nation acquired all territory in America westward to the Mississippi
  • Both nations had the right to navigate the Mississippi river
  • Britain gave back Florida to Spain
  • American citizens had the right to fish off the cost of nova scotia and new foundland

The causes for the failure of the British

  • George Washington showed great skill as the commander of the American army
  • The men fighting for the British army had no coordination between them
  • The britishers had a geographical disadvantage as the American sharpshooters used the formations of the land for their favor
  • Supply routes of the British army were effectively blocked by Americans
  • The Americans were largely benefitted by the French aid