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Declaring Independence Essay

984 words - 4 pages

On May 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia. The Congress dealt with the military crisis the colonies were in with England. It organized forces around Boston into the Continental Army and appointed George Washington to commander-in-chief.

The Battle of Bunker Hill was the first major battle fought in the war. The colonists had made a fort on Bunker and Breeds Hills to fire on English ships approaching Boston. Thomas Gage ordered his British troops to attack the hills. He believed the task to be an easy one, but met great resistance. It took two British attempts to capture the two hills, which lead to many British casualties. The second attempt did run the ...view middle of the document...

How planned to isolate New England because it was though that most resistance originated from there. He intended to capture New York City and take control of the Hudson River. He also planned for an army, led by John Burgoyne, to march southward from Canada. Howe was successful in his attempts to capture New York City.

General Howe’s victory in New York City began a repeating pattern for both himself and Washington. It seemed as if General Howe was unstoppable, while Washington was merely a child playing war. As Washington kept losing battles and being pushed back, men in his militia began deserting him. The Second Continental Congress was beginning to lose faith in Washington. Then, on December 25, 1776, Washington marched 2400 men across the Delaware during a wild winter storm and attacked Trenton. Washington’s men defeated a great Hessian force, which led to victory at Princeton.

The attack during the winter led by Washington infuriated General Howe. It was at this point he disregarded the battle plan that was originally meant to isolate New England from the rest of the continent. Howe sailed his men to Philadelphia to defeat the city and capture the Second Continental Congress. Although successful in his attempts, the outright disregard for the battle plan left Burgoyne and Clinton weakened. While Howe chased Washington around New England, American forces led by Philip Schuyler and Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold had made great defenses south of Saratoga. Burgoyne attacked Saratoga twice and was defeated both times suffering great loses. Each day more and more militia came to the aid against Burgoyne and soon surrounded the British army. Burgoyne’s only hope for aid was Henry Clinton who was marching up the Hudson, but decided to return to New York for reinforcements just before he reached Saratoga. This led to Burgoyne’s surrender of himself and 5700 British troops. This...

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