Chapter 8: America Secedes from the Empire

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Chapter 8: America Secedes from the Empire

Congress Drafts George Washington
A. Single most important action of the Second Continental Congress: 1.Select George Washington to head the quickly improvised army surrounding Boston a. Member already in an officer’s uniform
B. George Washington
1. Tall, powerfully built, dignified Virginia Planet, forty-three
2. Never risen above the rank of a colonel in the militia
3. Largest command had numbered only twelve hundred men
4. Gifted with outstanding powers of leadership and immense strength of character 5. Radiated patience, courage, self discipline, and justice
6. Great moral force > great military mind, symbol and rallying point 7. Insisted on serving without pay, kept a careful expense account amounting to more than $100,000
C. Reason for choosing
1. Largely Political
a. Americans were beginning to distrust the large New England army being collected around Boston
b. Wanted a commander from Virginia, largest and most populous c. Washington could not be accused of being a fortune seeker, as a man of wealth(inheritance and marriage)

Bunker Hill and Hessian Hirelings
A. Clash of Arms
1. Americans were strongly affirming loyalty to the king, wanted to fix problems 2. Raising armies and shooting Kings soldiers
B. April 1775 to July 1776
1. May 1775
a. Small American force under Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold surprised and captured the British garrisons at Ticonderoga and Crown Point b. Secured priceless store of gunpowder and artillery for the siege of Boston

2. June 1775
a. Colonists seized Bunker Hill by threatening the enemy in Boston b. The British launched a frontal attack with three thousand men
3. July 1775
a. The Continental Congress adopts the “Olive Branch Petition”
1. Professed American Loyalty to crown
2. Begged the king to prevent future hostilities
4. August 1775
a. King George formally proclaimed the colonies in rebellion
5. September 1775
a. King George seals arrangements for hiring thousands of German troops to help crush rebellion b. Most came from German principality of Hesse (Hessians)
c. News of Hessians shocked colonists
1. Felt the issue was within the family
2. Why bring outsiders?

The Abortive Conquest of Canada
A. October 1775
1. British burned Falmouth, Maine
B. Why Americans wanted Canada
1. Mistakenly believed conquered French were explosively restive under British yoke 2. Successful assault on Canada would add a fourteenth colony depriving Britain of valuable base for striking at the colonies

C. Flaws of Attack
1. Contradicted claim that they were fighting for a redress of grievances 2. Invasion northward was undisguised offensive warfare
D. Attack on Canada
1. Column under Irish-born General Richard Montgomery (formerly of the British army) captured Montreal 2. Joined at Quebec by General Benedict Arnold
E. Quebec
1. Montgomery was killed
2. Arnold was wounded in one leg
F. January 1776
1. British set fire to Virginia town of Norfolk
G. March 1776
1. British were forced to evacuate Boston

Thomas Paine Preaches Common Sense
A. Why Americans denied intention of independence
1. Loyalty to the empire was deeply ingrained
2. Many Americans continued to consider themselves part of a transatlantic community
a. Britain played leading role
b. Colonial Unity was poor
c. Open rebellion was dangerous
B. American Shock
1. Falmouth, Norfolk, Hessians
C. Common Sense by Thomas Paine
1. 1776 publication was very influential
2. No where in the physical universe did a smaller heavenly body control a larger one

Paine and the Idea of “Republicanism”
A. republic (little r)
1. Power flowed from people themselves
2. Not from corrupt and despotic monarch
3. All government official (governors, senators, and judges) should derive authority from popular consent 4. Appealed to British politicians critical...
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