The American Revolution. From Bunker Hill to Yorktown by Deborah Ann Kent

By Deborah Ann Kent

On April 19, 1775, American militiamen accumulated on the village heart in Lexington to stand the arrival British squaddies. nobody understands who fired the preliminary shot, yet that first blaze of gunfire signaled the start of the innovative warfare. just a yr after the 1st conflict, the yankee colonies declared their independence from Britain. however the fight for freedom could rate the lives of many women and men. From the 1st boycott of the Stamp Act to the ultimate conflict at Yorktown, the yankee Revolution formed a brand new state and brought an period of democracy to the USA of the United States.

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Conditions on the “hulks” were horrific, and many prisoners died. Both the British and the Americans claimed that they treated prisoners honorably, according to the accepted codes of warfare. But both sides committed horrible atrocities. The most notorious British war prisons were the “hulks,” great ships anchored in the Hudson River. Thousands of Americans languished in the dark, airless holds deep below the waterline of the prison ships. There was seldom enough food or fresh water to go around, and epidemics of smallpox and other diseases raged.

Like the War Between the States, it wrenched families apart and twisted old friends into bitter enemies. As passions mounted, the rules of decency crumbled. A spirit of distrust swept the colonies, turning ordinary people into accused and accusers. Thousands of reasonable, sincere men and women wholeheartedly believed that the colonies should become independent. Thousands more, just as reasonable and sincere, felt that independence would lead to disaster. Risking their homes, their property, and even their lives, they pledged their loyalty to England.

Thomas Jefferson was a lawyer and tobacco planter with a quick, wide-ranging mind. His interests included architecture, music, and government. He was also a talented writer. Drawing on his studies of democracy in ancient Greece as well as more recent European thought, Jefferson wrote almost the entire first draft of the Declaration of Independence. The rest of the committee suggested a few minor changes, and on June 28, 1776, the Congress saw the completed document. The Declaration of Independence sparked fierce debate among the delegates to the Congress.

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