01:512:104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Olive Branch Petition, Burning Of Falmouth, Richard Montgomery

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Chapter 08 - America Secedes from the Empire 1775 - 1783
Congress Drafts George Washington
The Second Continental Congress selected George Washington to
head the army besieging Boston.
Bunker Hill and Hessian Hirelings
From April 1775 to July 1776, the colonists were both affirming their
loyalty to the king by sincerely voicing their desire to patch up difficulties
while at the same time raising armies and killing redcoats. In May 1775,
a tiny American force under Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold captured
the British garrisons at Ticonderoga and Crown Point.
There, a store of gunpowder and artillery was secured. In June 1775,
the colonists captured Bunker Hill.
The British took it back with a large number of soldiers.
In July 1775, the Second Continental Congress adopted the "Olive
Branch Petition", which professed American loyalty to the king and
begged to the king to stop further hostilities.
The petition was rejected by the king. With the rejection, the Americans
were forced to choose to fight to become independent or to submit to
British rule and power.
In August 1775, King George III proclaimed that the colonies were in
rebellion.
He then hired German Hessians to bring order to the colonies.
The Abortive Conquest of Canada
In October 1775, the British burned Falmouth (Portland), Maine. In
the same month, colonists made an attack on Canada in hopes that it
would close it off as a possible source for a British striking point.
The attack failed when General Richard Montgomery was killed.
In January 1776, the British set fire to Norfolk.
Thomas Paine Preaches Common Sense
The Americans continued to deny any intention of
independence because loyalty to the empire was deeply ingrained
many Americans continued to consider themselves apart of a
transatlantic community in which the mother country of Britain played a
leading role colonial unity was poor; and open rebellion was
dangerous. Thomas Paine released a pamphlet called Common
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Sense in 1776. It argued that the colonies had outgrown any need for
English domination and that they should be given independence.
Paine and the Idea of "Republicanism"
Thomas Paine called for the creation of a new kind of political society,
specifically a republic, where power flowed from the people themselves.
Jefferson's Explanation of Independence
On July 2, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia's resolution of declaring
independence was passed.
It was the formal declaration of independence by the American
colonies.
Thomas Jefferson was appointed to draft up the Declaration of
Independence. The Declaration of Independence was
formally approved by Congress on July 4, 1776.
It was an explanation of everything the king had done to the Americans.
Patriots and Loyalists
During the War of Independence, the Loyalists were called "Tories" and
the Patriots were called "Whigs." Tory: "a thing whose head is in
England, and its body in America, and its neck ought to be stretched."
The Loyalists made up 16% of the American population. Many people of
education and wealth remained loyal to England. Loyalists were most
numerous where the Anglican church was strongest.
The Loyalists were well entrenched in New York City, Charleston,
Quaker Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. They were least numerous in
New England. The Patriots were numerous where Presbyterianism
and Congregationalism flourished-mostly in New England.
The Loyalist Exodus
Before the Declaration of Independence, the Loyalists were treated
relatively mild.
After, though, they were hanged, imprisoned, and roughly handled.
They Loyalists were forced to leave because the Patriots had to
eliminate their weaknesses.
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