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Declaring Independence

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In September 1774, most colonies sent representatives to Philadelphia for the purpose of addressing grievances against Great Britain. Then, on April 19, 1775, colonial militia and British soldiers exchanged shots in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts. The American War of Independence had begun. The Continental Congress appointed George Washington to head the newly created Continental Army. After much bickering and debate, Congress appointed a committee to write a declaration of independence. John Adams insisted Thomas Jefferson write the document. On July 2, 1776, Congress voted for independence. Two days later, Congress approved Jefferson's Declaration of Independence that essentially spelled out the rights for which the colonies were fighting for.

Short on supplies, money, and training, the American cause seemed hopeless as the vastly superior British Empire prepared to undertake the greatest invasion in its history. Despite several early opportunities to defeat the Americans, British miscalculations led to a prolonged war. France and Spain, seeing an opportunity to weaken Great Britain, sided with the Americans turning a civil war into a global conflict.

The War for Independence

After shots had been exchanged between militia and redcoats at Lexington and Concord, King George III declared the colonies in a state of rebellion. Britain launched the greatest naval invasion in its history--a record that would last until the Normandy invasion of World War II. Britain was determined to restore order in its "misguided" colonies. Without money, a navy, an army, or even the full support of its population, the Continental Congress went about preparing to fight the super power of 18th century.

Important Documents

The Revolutionary War produced a number of important documents for both the war effort and the future of the United States. Of course these documents were written over two hundred years ago before English had been codified. Punctuation, word usage, and contemporary events have changed enough over time to make these documents difficult to read for most people today. I have endeavored to update the language, condense the information into its main points while trying to maintain the original message of the author. Pardon my blaspheme.

Worksheets

Click on a link below to bring up the .pdf file containing most of the notebook and textbook worksheets that will be used in this chapter. You may print some or all of the given pages.

Notebook Worksheets

These are worksheets used for all U.S. History classes. Since most of these activities are cut out and pasted into the notebook, print using only one side of the paper.

Worksheets

These are worksheets used outside of the textbook for various activities.

Information Sheets

These are sheets that contain information for students to use to complete specific assignments.