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SS 9 - Revolutions - American Revolution: Continental Congress
Transcript of SS 9 - Revolutions - American Revolution: Continental Congress
George Washington & the road to War
George Washington became a leader with the Virginia militia and became involved in the start of the French and Indian War.
After the French and Indian War George settled down and married the widow Martha Dandridge Custis. He took over the estate of Mount Vernon after his brother Lawrence died.
Washington became a large landowner and was elected to the Virginian legislature.
Soon George and his fellow landowners became upset with unfair treatment by their British rulers. They began to argue and fight for their rights. When the British refused they decided to go to war.
In the Army Now!
George was one of Virginia's delegates at the First and Second Continental Congress. This was a group of representatives from each colony who decided to fight the British together. .
In May of 1775 they appointed Washington as general of the Continental Army.
He had a ragtag army of colonial farmers to fight trained British soldiers.
Ready, Set, FIGHT!
Woah woah woah! Not so fast...
The shot heard around the world was fired in April of 1775, but... does war just spontaneously happen because of ONE bullet?
If you were having troubles with someone, what steps would you take before you started to fight?
First Continental Congress
They made a plan to meet again in May of 1775 if the British did not meet their demands.
The First Continental Congress took place from September 5 through October 26, 1774. Delegates from each colony, except Georgia, met at Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
They discussed the current situation with Britain including the Intolerable Acts, which the British Parliament had imposed on Boston as punishment for the Boston Tea Party.
The delegates took two major actions:
They sent a letter to King George III explaining the issues the colonies had with the way they were being treated. They demanded that the King stop the Intolerable Acts or they would boycott English goods. However, the King chose to ignore them and the Americans began the boycott.
The Second Continental Congress
The Second Continental Congress first met on May 10, 1775. After that, the delegates continued to meet in different sessions until March of 1781.
Unlike the First Continental Congress, this time the colony of Georgia would join and all thirteen colonies were represented.
Much had happened in the previous months since the end of the First Continental Congress including the start of the Revolutionary War with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The congress had some serious business to take care of immediately including forming an army to fight the British.
This congress acted much more like a government sending ambassadors to foreign countries, printing its own money, getting loans, and raising an army
Major accomplishments of the Second Continental Congress:
On June 14, 1775 they established the Continental Army. They made George Washington General of the Army. But you already knew that...
On July 8, 1775 they tried again for peace by sending the Olive Branch Petition to the King of Britain.
July 4, 1776
On July 4, 1776 they issued the Declaration of Independence declaring the United States as an independent country from Britain.
The thirteen colonies in the America's had been at war with Britain for around a year when 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.
The Changing of the Flag
The Articles of Confederation
AND NOW ON WITH THE WAR...
During the American Revolutionary War, the Congress decided that the country needed a flag to represent the united colonies.
On June 14, 1777 the Second Continental Congress passed a Flag Resolution.
This day is still celebrated as Flag Day in the United States.
Why a flag?
The Articles of Confederation served as the first constitution of the United States. This document officially established the government of the union of the thirteen states.
The colonies knew they needed some form of official government that united the thirteen colonies. They wanted to have written down rules that all the states agreed to. The Articles allowed the Congress to do things like raise an army, be able to create laws, and print money.
In order for the Articles to be official, they had to be ratified (approved) by all thirteen states. The Congress sent the articles to the states to be ratified near the end of 1777. Virginia was the first state to ratify on December 16, 1777. The last state was Maryland on February 2, 1781.