Exploring the American Revolutionary War for Independence Day

July 4 is Independence Day. Otherwise known as “Fourth of July”, this is a time for Americans to reflect on how it won its independence from the British Empire. The American Revolutionary War is the direct result of this conflict. It all began with the thirteen colonies along the eastern coast of North America in the 17th century. These colonies were founded by British settlers looking for freedom from religious persecution, farm lands to make their own fortunes, and adventure. With fortunes being made in the colonies, Britain struggled to keep control over the goods and trade through a series of laws called the Navigation Acts. The colonists did not agree with these laws. They did not like being taxed so heavily for things that did not affect them. In addition, they were not well represented in the British government; therefore, they began to cry out “No taxation without representation!”. Eventually, protests in the colonies reached a boiling point that ultimately led to the “Boston Tea Party”, in which colonists dumped chests of tea into the harbor as an act of defiance against the Tea Act. This event lit the flame of the Revolutionary War, and the rest they say is history.

Our ready-made lesson plan on the American Revolutionary War details the events that led to America’s independence. Through chapters on The Thirteen Colonies, The Road to War, Major Figures, Major Battles, Key Events, and Effects and Outcomes, students get an in-depth look at the beginnings of this great nation. Events leading up to the start of the war on April 19, 1775 are highlighted, along with major figures like Paul Revere, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and King George III, who all played a pivotal role in the outcome. From major battles, to the writing of the Declaration of Independence, and finally to their victory on September 3, 1783.

The Road to the Declaration of Independence

In September of 1774, the colonists held the First Continental Congress. Twelve of the Thirteen Colonies sent representatives who met mainly to protest against the new laws passed by Britain. They wanted the colonists to defend their rights by force if they had to. They started a boycott of British goods. They talked about the rights of the colonists. The Congress decided to meet again in May of 1775 if Britain had not changed her policies. The Second Continental Congress met in May of 1775. The Battles of Lexington and Concord had just happened in April. The war had started. The Continental Congress took charge of the war effort. They voted Washington as the new commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

July 4, 1776 is one of the most important dates in American history. On that day, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress. It was a very important document. It announced that the Thirteen Colonies at war with Britain were now independent states. They were no longer part of the British Empire. It was written mainly by Thomas Jefferson. He also had help from John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. It talked about how all governments got their powers from the consent of the people. This meant that governments were created to serve the people. The Declaration also laid out the principles of independence. It included the rights of all people to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. It helped to bring the colonies together. It also gave them a common purpose and goal—liberty. It was something worth fighting for. The first to sign the Declaration was John Hancock in large letters. Then, all fifty-six members of Congress signed.

Download and read a copy of the Declaration of Independence yourself here. Then, download a series of 6 FREE worksheets from our full ready-made lesson plan to continue your exploration of the American Revolutionary War.

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