The American Revolution - Volume I of II (Illustrated)


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Delegates went scurrying back to their assemblies for new instructions and nearly a month later, on July 2, the resolution finally came to a vote.


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It passed 12—0, with New York, under imminent threat of British invasion, abstaining. Virginian Thomas Jefferson drafted the document, with edits being made by his fellow committee members John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, and then again by the Congress as a whole.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government. The majority of the document outlined a list of specific grievances that the colonists had with British attempts to reform imperial administration during the s and s.

An early draft blamed the British for the transatlantic slave trade and even for discouraging attempts by the colonists to promote abolition. Delegates from South Carolina and Georgia as well as those from northern states who profited from the trade all opposed this language, and it was removed.

Neither the grievances nor the rhetoric of the preamble were new.


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The Congress approved the document on July 4, However, it was one thing to declare independence; it was quite another to win it on the battlefield. The war began at Lexington and Concord, more than a year before Congress declared independence. In , the British believed that the mere threat of war and a few minor incursions to seize supplies would be enough to cow the colonial rebellion.

Those minor incursions, however, turned into a full-out military conflict. In the summer of , the British forces that had abandoned Boston arrived at New York. The largest expeditionary force in British history, including tens of thousands of German mercenaries known as Hessians, followed soon after. New York was the perfect location to launch expeditions aimed at seizing control of the Hudson River and isolating New England from the rest of the continent.

Also, New York contained many loyalists, particularly among its merchant and Anglican communities. In October, the British finally launched an attack on Brooklyn and Manhattan. The Continental Army took severe losses before retreating through New Jersey. Therefore, he launched a successful surprise attack on the Hessian camp at Trenton on Christmas Day by ferrying the few thousand men he had left across the Delaware River under the cover of night.

The victory won the Continental Army much-needed supplies and a morale boost following the disaster at New York. An even greater success followed in upstate New York.

US History The American Revolution Great Books

Benjamin Franklin had been in Paris trying to secure a treaty of alliance with the French. However, the French were reluctant to back what seemed like an unlikely cause. News of the victory at Saratoga convinced the French that the cause might not have been as unlikely as they had thought. A Treaty of Amity and Commerce was signed on February 6, The treaty effectively turned a colonial rebellion into a global war as fighting between the British and French soon broke out in Europe and India.

“John Malcolm”

In this cartoon, the British lion faces a spaniel Spain , a rooster France , a rattlesnake America , and a pug dog Netherlands. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Howe had taken Philadelphia in but returned to New York once winter ended. He slowly realized that European military tactics would not work in North America.

In Europe, armies fought head-on battles in attempt to seize major cities. However, in , the British had held Philadelphia and New York and yet still weakened their position. Meanwhile, Washington realized after New York that the largely untrained Continental Army could not win head-on battles with the professional British army.

So he developed his own logic of warfare that involved smaller, more frequent skirmishes and avoided major engagements that would risk his entire army. As long as he kept the army intact, the war would continue, no matter how many cities the British captured. In , the British shifted their attentions to the South, where they believed they enjoyed more popular support.

Campaigns from Virginia to South Carolina and Georgia captured major cities, but the British simply did not have the manpower to retain military control. And upon their departures, severe fighting ensued between local patriots and loyalists, often pitting family members against one another.

The American Revolution

The war in the South was truly a civil war. By , the British were also fighting France, Spain, and Holland. The Americans took advantage of the British southern strategy with significant aid from the French army and navy. Cornwallis had dug his men in at Yorktown awaiting supplies and reinforcements from New York. The capture of another army left the British without a new strategy and without public support to continue the war. Peace negotiations took place in France, and the war came to an official end on September 3, John Trumbull, Surrender of Lord Cornwallis, Americans celebrated their victory, but it came at great cost.

Soldiers suffered through brutal winters with inadequate resources. During the single winter at Valley Forge in —, over 2, Americans died from disease and exposure. Life was not easy on the home front either. Women on both sides of the conflict were frequently left alone to care for their households. In addition to their existing duties, women took on roles usually assigned to men on farms and in shops and taverns.

Abigail managed the planting and harvesting of crops, in the midst of severe labor shortages and inflation, while dealing with several tenants on the Adams property, raising her children, and making clothing and other household goods. While Abigail remained safely out of the fray, other women were not so fortunate. The Revolution was not only fought on distant battlefields. There was no way for women to avoid the conflict or the disruptions and devastations it caused. On the morning of July 7, , when a British fleet attacked nearby Fairfield, Connecticut, it was Mary who calmly evacuated her household, including her children and servants, to North Stratford.

When Gold was captured by loyalists and held prisoner, Mary, six months pregnant with their second child, wrote letters to try to secure his release. American soldiers came from a variety of backgrounds and had numerous reasons for fighting with the American army. Slaves and free black Americans also impacted and were impacted by the Revolution. At first, Washington, a slaveholder himself, resisted allowing black men to join the Continental Army, but he eventually relented.

Salem faced British Regulars in the battles at Lexington and Bunker Hill, where he fought valiantly with around three dozen other black Americans. Salem not only contributed to the cause, he earned the ability to determine his own life after his enlistment ended. Salem was not alone, but many more slaves seized on the tumult of war to run away and secure their own freedom directly.

Historians estimate that between thirty thousand and one hundred thousand slaves deserted their masters during the war.

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Men and women together struggled through years of war and hardship. For patriots and those who remained neutral , victory brought new political, social, and economic opportunities, but it also brought new uncertainties. The war decimated entire communities, particularly in the South.

5. The American Revolution | THE AMERICAN YAWP

Thousands of women throughout the nation had been widowed. The American economy, weighed down by war debt and depreciated currencies, would have to be rebuilt following the war. State constitutions had created governments, but now men would have to figure out how to govern. The opportunities created by the Revolution had come at great cost, in both lives and fortune, and it was left to the survivors to seize those opportunities and help forge and define the new nation-state.

5. The American Revolution

Another John Trumbull piece commissioned for the Capitol in , this painting depicts what would be remembered as the moment the new United States became a republic. On December 23, , George Washington, widely considered the hero of the Revolution, resigned his position as the most powerful man in the former thirteen colonies. Giving up his role as Commander-in-Chief of the Army insured that civilian rule would define the new nation, and that a republic would be set in place rather than a dictatorship.

Perhaps the most important immediate consequence of declaring independence was the creation of state constitutions in and The Revolution affected Native Americans by opening up western settlement and creating governments hostile to their territorial claims.

The American Revolution - Volume I of II (Illustrated) The American Revolution - Volume I of II (Illustrated)
The American Revolution - Volume I of II (Illustrated) The American Revolution - Volume I of II (Illustrated)
The American Revolution - Volume I of II (Illustrated) The American Revolution - Volume I of II (Illustrated)
The American Revolution - Volume I of II (Illustrated) The American Revolution - Volume I of II (Illustrated)
The American Revolution - Volume I of II (Illustrated) The American Revolution - Volume I of II (Illustrated)

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