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The Torch of Freedom Narodziny Stanów Zjednoczonych

The Revolutionary War or the American War of Independence was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Thirteen American colonies. The road leading up to the American Revolution didn't happen overnight. It took several years and many events to push the colonists to a point where they wanted to fight for their independence.

. The Thirteen Colonies were a group of British colonies on the east coast of North America founded in the 17th and 18th century. • The thirteen were New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. • The Colonies had very similar political, constitutional, and legal systems with a high degree of selfgovernment and active local elections. The colonists did not like the way the British were treating them, especially when it came to taxes. They increasingly resisted London's demands for more control. The colonies began collaborating with each other instead of dealing directly with Britain. • One thing to keep in mind is that many of the American colonies were first founded by people trying to escape religious or political persecution in England. As the British government became more involved in the affairs of colonies, people began to worry that they would once again lose their freedoms. Eventually small arguments turned into larger fights and the colonists decided to fight for their own country, independent of Britain.

2. Events that led up to the war: In 1764, the British government began to impose new laws and taxes on many of the goods coming into the colonies from other places. They implemented a number of laws including the Sugar Act, Currency Act, Quartering Act, and the Stamp Act- a tax that requires a stamp on all public documents like newspapers or legal documents. 3. The colonists did not like having this tax placed on them. This led to unrest in the colonies and the Stamp Act Congress (October 1765). The colonists reacted in protest. They refused to pay the tax because they had no representatives in the British Parliament. Their motto became "No Taxation Without Representation." • A group called the Sons of Liberty formed in 1765 in Boston and soon spread throughout the colonies. • During one protest in Boston(March 5, 1770) a fight broke out and 5 colonists were shot and killed by British troops. This incident became known as the Boston Massacre. • The Boston Tea Party (Dec. 16, 1773) - Angry with a new tax on tea, some Boston Sons of Liberty board British ships and dump crates of tea into the water of Boston Harbor. This protest became known as the Boston Tea Party.

3. Intolerable Acts The British decided that the colonies needed to be punished for the Boston Tea Party. They issued a number of new laws that the colonists called the Intolerable Acts. The increased laws punishing the colonies did little to control the colonies as the British had hoped, but actually had the opposite effect. The laws caused the colonies to become more united against the British. 5. First Continental Congress In 1774, twelve of the thirteen colonies sent 55 representatives to the First Continental Congress as a direct response to the Intolerable Acts. They sent a petition to King George III to repeal the Intolerable Acts. They never got a response. They also established a boycott of British goods.

The Revolutionary War Begins • In 1775, British soldiers in Massachusetts were ordered to disarm the American rebels and to arrest their leaders. The Revolutionary War began on April 19,1775 when fighting broke out between the two sides at the Battles of Lexington and Concord- with the first "shot heard around the world". The Americans win as the British retreat. • Capture of Fort Ticonderoga (May 10, 1775) . During the American Revolution, Fort Ticonderoga located on the western side of Lake Champlain in New York was an important post on the route from Canada to the colonies. Colonel Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen with his Green Mountain Boys led a surprise attack on the British fort in May of 1775. The Americans took the fort without firing a shot. • Battle of Bunker Hill (June 16, 1775) - The colonists build earthworks to protect themselves in battle. The British rush the hill 3 times. The Colonists are forced to retreat due to lack of ammunition and supplies

6 • the Second Continental Congress decided it was time for the colonies to officially declare their independence. This meant that they were breaking away from British rule. They would no longer be a part of the British Empire and would fight for their freedom. With all thirteen colonies represented, it immediately began to organize itself as a central government with control over the army and diplomacy and instructed the colonies to write constitutions for themselves as states. On June 1775, George Washington, a charismatic Virginia political leader with combat experience was unanimously appointed commander of a newly organized Continental Army. • On June 11, 1776 the Continental Congress appointed five leaders, called the Committee of Five, to write a document explaining why they were declaring their independence. The five members were Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, Roger Sherman, and Thomas Jefferson. He wrote the first draft over the next few weeks and, after some changes made by the rest of the committee, they presented it to Congress on June 28, 1776. The Continental Congress agrees to Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence and it is Adopted on July 4, 1776 - this day is still celebrated in the United States as Independence Day. After the signing, the document was sent to a printer to make copies. Copies were sent to all the colonies where the declaration was read aloud in public and published in newspapers. A copy was also sent to the British government. The Declaration of Independence did more than just say the colonies wanted their freedom. It explained why they wanted their freedom. It listed all the bad things that the king had done to the colonies and that the colonies had rights which they felt they should fight for. Perhaps one of the most famous statements in the history of the United States is in the Declaration of Independence: "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. 12. (Feb. 16, 1778) -Upon hearing of the American victory at Saratoga, the French declared recognition of the United States of America and fully supported their war of independence.13. Valley Forge (Winter of 1777-1778) - When General William Howe and his British troops took Philadelphia in September of 1777, General Washington was forced to make winter camp about 20 miles from Philadelphia at Valley Forge.

7. Battles: • (Dec. 25, 1776) - George Washington and his troops cross the freezing Delaware River on Christmas night and surprise the enemy. They marched nine miles in the early morning hours to reach Trenton at eight o'clock. The American troops surprised the Hessian mercenary soldiers in an early morning and captured nearly 1000 men. There were no American casualties. This victory was the turning point in the war of independence for the Americans. 10. America Chooses a Flag (June 14, 1777) - The Continental Congress adopts the "Stars and Stripes" Flag sewn by Betsy Ross. . Battles of Saratoga (September 19 - October 17, 1777) - British General John Burgoyne surrenders his army to the Americans after suffering defeat at the Battles of Saratoga.The American forces were led by General Horatio Gates, General Philip Schuyler and General Benedict Arnold.Gates lost the first battle and after a disagreement with Arnold about battle tactics, Gates relieved Arnold of his command. Gates lost the first battle and after a disagreement with Arnold about battle tactics, Gates relieved Arnold of his command. The British forces were exhausted but were ordered to attack Bemis Heights. While Gates defensive moves were effective, it was General Arnold who saw an opening to turn the battle into an offensive move. Despite having been relieved of his command, Arnold joined the battle anyway.His efforts were so successful and the British troops so beaten down that General Burgoyne was forced to surrender a few days at Saratoga.

It was a miserable winter for the 10,000 soldiers of the Continental Army. Many soldiers lacked shoes and warm clothing. Food was scarce. Diseases such as smallpox and typhoid fever swept through the camp. 2500 men died that winter from the cold, disease and malnutrition. During this winter, General Lafayette joined the Continental Army, without pay, and impressed the troops and Washington by living under the same conditions as the soldiers. Another important addition to the Continental Army was Baron Friedrich von Steuben. He knew how to train an army. Even under the hardships of the camp, he drilled the soldiers repeatedly during the winter so that by springtime the Continental Army had become a strong and disciplined fighting force. Articles of Confederation (March 2, 1781) - The colonies knew they needed some form of official government that united the thirteen colonies. The Articles of Confederation served as the first constitution of the United States. The Articles allowed the Congress to do things like raise an army, be able to create laws, and print money.
The Articles of Confederation was first prepared by a committee of thirteen men from the Second Continental Congress. The chairman of the committee and primary author of the first draft was John Dickinson. In order for the Articles to be official, they had to be ratified (approved) by all thirteen states. Virginia was the first state to ratify on December 16, 1777. The last state was Maryland on February 2, 1781. There were thirteen articles within the document. Here is a short summary of each article: 1. Established the name of the union as "The United States of America." 2. The state governments still had their own powers that were not listed in the Articles. 3. Refers to the union as a "league of friendship" where the states will help to protect each other from attacks.

4. People can travel freely between states, but criminals shall be sent back to the state where they committed the crime for trial. 5. Establishes the Congress of the Confederation where each state gets one vote and can send a delegation with between 2 and 7 members. 6. The central government is responsible for foreign relations including trade agreements and declaring war. States must maintain a militia, but may not have a standing army. 7. States may assign military ranks of colonel and below. 8. Money to pay for the central government will be raised by each of the state legislatures. 9. Gives power to the Congress in regards to foreign affairs like war, peace, and treaties with foreign governments. Congress will act as the court in disputes between states. Congress shall establish official weights and measures. 10. Established a group called the Committee of the States which could act for Congress when Congress was not in session. 11. Stated that Canada could join the union if it wanted. 12. Stated that the new union would agree to pay for earlier war debts. 13. Declared that the Articles were "perpetual" or "never ending" and could only be changed if Congress and all the states agreed. The Articles of Confederation worked well for the newly formed country during the period of the American Revolution, but it had many flaws. As a result, in 1788, the Articles were replaced with the current United States Constitution.

. Battle of Yorktown (Oct. 19, 1781) - The last major battle of the American Revolutionary War. British General Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown was the unofficial end to the war. Washington learned that the French Admiral de Grasse was sailing to Virginia to prevent the British army under the command of General Cornwallis from leaving Yorktown. He and the French General Rochambeau rushed their troops to Yorktown to trap the British and prevent them from escaping over land. Cornwallis was surrounded. The American and French troops gradually closed in on him. Cornwallis surrendered to Washington on Oct 19, 1781. Treaty of Paris (Sept. 3, 1783) - Treaty that officially ended the war and the conflict, confirming the new nation's complete separation from the British Empire. The United States took possession of nearly all the territory east of the Mississippi River and south of the Great Lakes, with the British retaining control of Canada and Spain taking Florida. The Six and a half years of war was over. Bibliography: * wikipedia * educational site for kids-

The American Revolutionary War or the American War of Independence lasted from 1775 until 1783. The American Revolution was a time when the British colonists in America rebelled against the rule of Great Britain. There were many battles fought and the colonies gained their freedom and became the independent country of the United States. The American Revolution was a unique and radical event that produced deep changes and had a profound effect on world affairs. It was the first wave of the Atlantic Revolutions: the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, and the Latin American wars of independence, the Irish Rebellion of 1798, in the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth, and in the Netherlands.