Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson � “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” = all humans should have same rights & opportunities � “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” = God gave all people permanent rights � “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” = John Locke’s natural
Key points of Dec of Independence �“to secure these rights, Governments are instituted” = governments were created to protect people’s rights �“deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” = people give govt. permission to have powers to govern
Key points of Dec of Independence �“Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it” = people have right to overthrow a government that abuses power �“and to institute new Government. ” = people are to replace it w. a government that DOES protect their rights.
Colonial Government � Parliament � but governed American colonies, in practice colonists had their own colonial legislatures � Caucasian, land-owning males elected their representatives to the legislatures.
FRANCE VS BRITAIN : Cause of Independence � French North America = Canada & Louisiana Territory, vast trading area, sparsely populated � England’s 13 colonies = densely populated. British colonists wanted to settle west, but French forts prevented.
Seven Years War/French and Indian War) � Britain & France fought control N. American continent. � Britain’s P M William Pitt used British navy to defeat weaker French fleet. � British forces defeated French near Quebec, Canada. � 1763 Treaty of Paris granted Canada & French land east of the Mississippi to Britain. � British Empire was largest in world but in Debt � (Tax the Colonist)
British Taxes �Parliament imposed 1765 Stamp Act on colonies (repealed a year later due to protest. ) �Parliament placed tariffs on non-British made goods, � American smuggling & British searches of American homes w/o warrants. �Declaratory Act = Parliament stated that Parliament alone had right to tax and make decisions for colonies. � undermined colonial govt’s authority, colonists outraged, “No taxation without representation!”
Colonist React to Taxes � Boston Massacre resulted in 5 deaths, but huge anti-British propaganda campaign (Paul Revere. ) � 1773 Tea Act gave British East India Co. a monopoly on tea market and decreased colonist profits. � Thomas Jefferson encouraged communication amongst colonies � Boston Tea Party = Samuel Adams & other patriots dressed as Indians, boarded ship & dumped British tea.
Kings reaction � King George III ordered Parliament to pass Coercive Acts (Intolerable Acts) to punish MA. & end colonial rebellion � No trial by jury, forcing people to “quarter” British troops, etc. )
1774 First Continental Congress in Philadelphia � “I am not a Virginian, but an American” Patrick Henry Congress called : � repeal Intolerable Acts � boycott of British goods � form colonial militias, � sent a Declaration of Rights & Grievances to king, � but still claimed loyalty to the “Crown. ”
Colonist Fight British � April, 1775 British troops sent to seize arms & supplies of militias. � Lexington & Concord, first time fighting broke out between British & American forces, “the shot heard round the world!”
May, 1775 Second Continental Congress � Gen. George Washington organize Continental Army � Olive Branch Petition. Of peace King refused. Sent 30, 000 German troops instead! � Jan, 1776 Thomas Paine’s pamphlet “Common Sense” widely circulated = demanded American independence
Independence � July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence proclaimed & colonies celebrated. American Revolution had begun. � Big gamble: signers signed their own death warrant! Patriots vs. world’s best military force & richest nation.
Patriot advantages � fighting on home turf, fighting for freedom � Early success of guerilla tactics � support from France (Lafayette) & Spain � Help � Both Colonist because enemy was Britain sides thought war would be short, but it lasted 7 years!
Saratoga October 1777 � British made two attempts to break through American defenses, but failed. � British withdrew to Saratoga, where they were surrounded by American troops. � The British had to surrender on October 13, 1777. � One quarter of the British forces in North America thus surrendered, � Major turning point and victory for Colonist
Valley Forge-winter 1777 -1778 � British Army secure in Philadelphia � The American army settled into winter quarters at Valley Forge. � winter of hardship and suffering for the troops. � It was also a winter of training, in which the American troops were taught how to be professional soldiers.
York Town May 1781 � General Cornwallis and British forces began preparing a naval base in York Town � General Washington moved south and, together with French ground and naval forces, surrounded the British army � Assault forced British to surrender � This victory ended the war and guaranteed independence
Americans gain independence � Gen. Cornwallis surrendered to Americans & French at Yorktown in 1781. � 1783 Treaty of Paris recognized U. S. independence & expansion west to the Mississippi (doubled in size!)