After securing enough votes for passage, independence was voted for on July 2. The Declaration of Independence was drafted largely by Thomas Jefferson and presented by the committee; it was unanimously adopted by the entire Congress on July 4, and each of the colonies became independent and autonomous. The next step was to form a union to facilitate international relations and alliances.
LafayetteMarquis de LafayetteGeneral Lafayette
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (6 September 1757 – 20 May 1834), known in the United States simply as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including the Siege of Yorktown. After returning to France, he was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830. Lafayette was born into a wealthy land-owning family in Chavaniac in the province of Auvergne in south central France. He followed the family's martial tradition and was commissioned an officer at age 13.
George Mason IVaddressedMason
He also wrote a constitution for the state; Thomas Jefferson and others sought to have the convention adopt their ideas, but they found that Mason's version could not be stopped. During the American Revolutionary War, Mason was a member of the powerful House of Delegates of the Virginia General Assembly but, to the irritation of Washington and others, he refused to serve in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, citing health and family commitments. Mason was in 1787 named one of his state's delegates to the Constitutional Convention and traveled to Philadelphia, his only lengthy trip outside Virginia.
In 1775, the American Revolutionary War began, as the Americans trapped the British army in Boston and suppressed the Loyalists who supported the Crown. In 1776 the Americans declared the independence of the United States of America. Under the military leadership of General George Washington, and, with economic and military assistance from France, the Dutch Republic, and Spain, the United States held off successive British invasions. The Americans captured two main British armies in 1777 and 1781. After that King George III lost control of Parliament and was unable to continue the war.
George IIIKing George IIIKing George
While very popular at the start of his reign, by the mid-1770s George had lost the loyalty of revolutionary American colonists, though it has been estimated that as many as half of the colonists remained loyal. The grievances in the United States Declaration of Independence were presented as "repeated injuries and usurpations" that he had committed to establish an "absolute Tyranny" over the colonies. The Declaration's wording has contributed to the American public's perception of George as a tyrant.
It raised an army to fight the British and named George Washington its commander, made treaties, declared independence, and recommended that the colonies write constitutions and become states. The Second Continental Congress assembled in May 1775 and began to coordinate armed resistance against Britain. It established a government that recruited soldiers and printed its own money. General Washington took command of the Patriot soldiers in New England and forced the British to withdraw from Boston. In 1776, the Thirteen Colonies declared their independence from Britain. With the help of France and Spain, they defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War.
Tom PainePainePaine, Thomas
Paine was an enthusiastic supporter of the French Revolution, and was granted honorary French citizenship alongside prominent contemporaries such as Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and others. Paine's honorary citizenship was in recognition of the publishing of his Rights of Man, Part II and the sensation it created within France. Despite his inability to speak French, he was elected to the National Convention, representing the district of Pas-de-Calais.
French and Indian WarSeven Year WarThird Silesian or Seven Years' War
Peaceful British attempts to halt this fort construction were unsuccessful, and the French proceeded to build the fort they named Fort Duquesne. British colonial militia from Virginia were then sent to drive them out. Led by George Washington, they ambushed a small French force at Jumonville Glen on 28 May 1754 killing ten, including commander Jumonville. The French retaliated by attacking Washington's army at Fort Necessity on 3 July 1754 and forced Washington to surrender. These were the first engagements of what would become the worldwide Seven Years' War. News of this arrived in Europe, where Britain and France unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate a solution.
Before the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Adams advocated in Congress that independence was necessary to establish trade, and conversely trade was essential for the attainment of independence; he specifically urged negotiation of a commercial treaty with France. He was then appointed, along with Franklin, Dickinson, Benjamin Harrison of Virginia and Robert Morris of Pennsylvania, "to prepare a plan of treaties to be proposed to foreign powers." While Jefferson was laboring over the Declaration of Independence, Adams worked on the Model Treaty.
He took an early role in the militia as the American Revolutionary War began. In 1777, he became a senior aide to General Washington in running the new Continental Army. After the war, he was elected as a representative from New York to the Congress of the Confederation. He resigned to practice law and founded the Bank of New York. Hamilton was a leader in seeking to replace the weak national government under the Articles of Confederation; he led the Annapolis Convention of 1786, which spurred Congress to call a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
CongressContinental Congressman from DelawareDelegate to the Continental Congress
The Second Continental Congress convened on May 10, 1775, at Philadelphia's State House, passing the resolution for independence the following year on July 2, 1776, and publicly asserting the decision two days later with the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson of Virginia drafted the declaration, and John Adams was a leader in the debates in favor of its adoption. John Hancock of Massachusetts was the president during those debates. To govern during the American Revolutionary War, the Second Continental Congress continued, meeting at various locations, until it became the Congress of the Confederation when the Articles of Confederation were ratified on March 1, 1781.
Enlightenmentthe Enlightenment18th-century philosophy
Clubs of fifty or more men who, at the beginning of the 18th century, met in pubs to discuss religious issues and affairs of state. Mooting clubs, set up by law students to practice rhetoric. Spouting clubs, established to help actors train for theatrical roles. John Henley's Oratory, which mixed outrageous sermons with even more absurd questions, like "Whether Scotland be anywhere in the world?". 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Atlantic Revolutions (American Revolution, French Revolution, Latin American Revolutions, etc.). Education in the Age of Enlightenment. Early modern philosophy. European and American voyages of scientific exploration. Regional Enlightenments:. American Enlightenment.
undeclared wara threatened war with Francewar with France
When the United States won its independence it no longer had Britain's protection and was therefore pitted with the task of protecting its own ships and interests at sea. There were few American ships capable of defending the American coastline, while trying to protect its merchant ships at sea and abroad. The Kingdom of France, a crucial ally of the United States in the American Revolutionary War after early 1776, had loaned the U.S. large amounts of money, and in 1778 it signed a treaty of alliance against Great Britain. However, Louis XVI of France was overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution, and the French monarchy was abolished.
The former "youthful" and energetic French nobleman and officer, who came across the Ocean to offer his military services to the Patriot cause in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and aide to General George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette, returns to America forty-one years after the end of the War to tour various old battlefields and sites, stop at several major American towns and cities, and visit with the few old comrades left living.
French and IndianSeven Years' WarNorth American theatre
Braddock led about 1,500 army troops and provincial militia on the Braddock expedition in June 1755 to take Fort Duquesne, with George Washington as one of his aides. The expedition was a disaster. It was attacked by French regulars, Canadian militiamen, and Indian warriors ambushing them from hiding places up in trees and behind logs, and Braddock called for a retreat. He was killed and approximately 1,000 British soldiers were killed or injured. The remaining 500 British troops retreated to Virginia, led by Washington. Washington and Thomas Gage played key roles in organizing the retreat—two future opponents in the American Revolutionary War.
Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 – 4 July 1826) was one of the American Founding Fathers of the United States, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States. During the fight against King Washington's tyranny, Thomas Jefferson was the leader of the New York rebellion. When Ratonhnhaké:ton crashed the Aquila into another ship off the shore of New York City, Washington traveled to the docks to investigate the disturbance. Jefferson seized this opportunity and infiltrated Washington's fortress. He was later quickly overwhelmed and required Ratonhnhaké:ton's assistance in order to retreat.
MadisonPresident MadisonPresident James Madison
Madison and Jefferson continued to look favorably upon the French Revolution despite its increasingly violent nature, but Washington proclaimed American neutrality. War with Britain became imminent in 1794, after the British seized hundreds of American ships that were trading with French colonies. Madison believed that the United States was stronger than Britain, and that a trade war with Britain, although risking a real war by that government, would probably succeed, and allow Americans to assert their independence fully. Great Britain, he charged, "has bound us in commercial manacles, and very nearly defeated the object of our independence."
FranklinBen FranklinFranklin, Benjamin
By the time Franklin arrived in Philadelphia on May 5, 1775, after his second mission to Great Britain, the American Revolution had begun—with fighting between colonials and British at Lexington and Concord. The New England militia had trapped the main British army in Boston. The Pennsylvania Assembly unanimously chose Franklin as their delegate to the Second Continental Congress. In June 1776, he was appointed a member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence. Although he was temporarily disabled by gout and unable to attend most meetings of the Committee, Franklin made several "small but important" changes to the draft sent to him by Thomas Jefferson.
Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, and the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776. The war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties.
Treaty of Alliance1778 Treaty of Alliancetreaty
Those Americans who disliked the proposition of being eternally tied to France, most notably the Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and his supporters in the Federalist Party, seized on the French Revolution as a chance to officially nullify the treaty. Despite a consensus of European monarchs who considered the treaty nullified by the execution of King Louis XVI during the French Revolution, President George Washington sided with his Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and declared the treaty would remain in effect, despite the regime change in France.
VACommonwealth of VirginiaVa.
After the House of Burgesses was dissolved by the royal governor in 1774, Virginia's revolutionary leaders continued to govern via the Virginia Conventions. On May 15, 1776, the Convention declared Virginia's independence from the British Empire and adopted George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was then included in a new constitution. Another Virginian, Thomas Jefferson, drew upon Mason's work in drafting the national Declaration of Independence. When the American Revolutionary War began, George Washington was selected to head the colonial army.
MonroePresident MonroePresident James Monroe
On July 4, 1831, Monroe died from heart failure and tuberculosis, thus becoming the third president to have died on Independence Day. His death came 55 years after the United States Declaration of Independence was proclaimed and 5 years after the death of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Monroe was originally buried in New York at the Gouverneur family's vault in the New York City Marble Cemetery. Twenty-seven years later, in 1858, his body was re-interred at the President's Circle in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. The James Monroe Tomb is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.
Between Authority and Liberty: State Constitution Making in Revolutionary America. U. of North Carolina Pr., 1997. ISBN: 0-8078-4797-6. Maier, Pauline. American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence (1998). Miller, John C. Triumph of Freedom, 1775-1783 (1948) ISBN: 0-313-20779-8. Full text of Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789. Interactive Flash Version of John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence.
Marie-AntoinetteQueen Marie AntoinetteQueen Marie-Antoinette
The primary motive for the queen's involvement in political affairs in this period may arguably have more to do with court factionalism than any true interest on her part in politics themselves, but she played an important role in aiding the American Revolution by securing Austrian and Russian support for France, which resulted in the establishment of a neutral league that stopped Great Britain's attack, and by weighing in decisively for the nomination of Philippe Henri, marquis de Ségur as Minister of War and Charles Eugène Gabriel de La Croix, marquis de Castries as Secretary of the Navy in 1780, who helped George Washington to defeat the British in the American Revolutionary War, which ended
HuguenotFrench HuguenotFrench Huguenots
Paul Revere was descended from Huguenot refugees, as was Henry Laurens, who signed the Articles of Confederation for South Carolina; Jack Jouett, who made the ride from Cuckoo Tavern to warn Thomas Jefferson and others that Tarleton and his men were on their way to arrest him for crimes against the king; Reverend John Gano was a Revolutionary War chaplain and spiritual advisor to George Washington; Francis Marion, and a number of other leaders of the American Revolution and later statesmen. The last active Huguenot congregation in North America worships in Charleston, South Carolina, at a church that dates to 1844.