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The American Revolution

The American Revolution The American Revolution was forced upon the Americans by the cruel treatment from the British. On May 10 of 1775 the Second Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia, one month after the fighting broke out. There, delegates from each of the 13 colonies would decide on independence. A Declaration of Independence was required to state why the 13 colonies were separating from the British Empire. With this, POW’s could demand to be treated as prisoners instead of traitors and aid coul d be sought from Britain’s enemies. The Declaration of Independence consisted of the preamble, the middle section and a section declaring independence.

The most important part, the preamble, justifies the rights of the American citizens. It declar es that “men are created equal[and]..are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That sentence still remains a truth with the Americans today. Jefferson wrote the preamble with the help of John Locke and Rousteu. Within the preamble Jefferson writes that the people, “to secure these rights..whenever any form of government becomes destructive..it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.” It gives the people of America the freedom to impeach untrustworthy rulers and dictators if they wish to. The freedom that Thomas Jefferson gave us is still in practice today. The middle section justified why the colonists were revolting against the Britis h Empire.

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Here Jefferson writes that the King of Great Britain “is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations.” He reminds the reader that the King has refused to allow the Governors to pass important laws “necessary for the public good,” obstru cted the administration and that the king is sending over large armies to “complete the works of death.” The third section officially declares independence in writing. The entire effort to complete the Declaration of Independence was done by Thomas Jefferso n, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston. In order to pass the declaration all of the representatives had to vote yes for independence. In one of the earlier drafts a statement roughly 175 words gave black slaves independence . The south however did not agree and threatened not to pass the declaration.

Knowing that nothing would get done if it was not passed, John Adams gave up the war to allow for that to clause remain in the declaration. The declaration was officiall in effect on July 4, 1776.

The American Revolution

3.0 Chronology of Major Events in this Period
1760 – 1820 – The reign of George III
1765 – Stamp Act; Stamp Act Congress Meets in New York; Quartering
Act
1766 – Stamp Act Repealed by Parliament; Quartering Act.

1767 – Townshend Duties Passed; Dickinson’s Letters From a Farmer in Pennsylvania published.

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1768 – British Troops sent to Boston.

1770 – Townshend Duties Repealed; Except for Duty on Tea; Boston Massacre.

1772 – The Gaspee Affair.

1773 – Tea Act Imposed; Boston Tea Party.

1774 – Coercive or Intolerable Acts; Continental Congress Meets in Philadelphia.

1775 – Battles of Lexington and Concord; second continental Congress
meets at Philadelphia;
George Washington appointed Commander-in-Chief of the
Continental Army;
Battle of Bunker Hill.

1776 – Thomas Paine’s Common Sense; Declaration of Independence;
1777 – Articles of Confederation adopted by the Congress, but not ratified by all States until 1781.

1778 – U.S. concludes Military Alliance and Commercial Treaty with France.

1781 – Cornwallis surrenders to Washington at York Town, Virginia.

1783 – Treaty of Paris signed with Britain.


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