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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

- World History -
Colonial America and
The American Revolution

Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 2, 1776 and it was adopted on July 4, 1776. Jefferson "borrowed" ideas from Locke about natural rights and overthrowing a mean government. American support was split: 1/3 Loyalists, 1/3 Patriots, and 1/3 didn't care.

Jefferson presents Declaration of Independence
Delegates confer as Thomas Jefferson presents his draft of the declaration to John Hancock.
Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence begins with these word:

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

The declaration severed political ties between Britain and America and provided an enduring statement of human rights:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Not everyone greeted the Declaration of Independence with enthusiasm. Many people called "Loyalists," or "Tories," still opposed independene and remained loyal to the crown. Loyalists made a valuable contribution to the British side as soldiers, writers, sailors, and spies. On many battlefields Americans not only fought British soldiers, but they fought other Americans, too - giving the struggle the character of a civil war.

Fire in New York City, 1776
Fire rages through New York City after the British seize control
from fleeing American troops in September 1776.

The British blamed rebel extremists. George Washington thought "some good honest fellow" might be responsibe. Redcoats chased Washington's army as far as Pennsylvania. "Our little handful is daily decreasing," Washington wrote. In just three months the Brits had captured more than 4000 of his men.

General George Washington crossing the Delaware River, December 25, 1776

From the saddle, General Washington directs his men across the Delaware River on a daring mission to capture Trenton, New Jersey. The choice of Christmas as the date of attack wasn't sentimental - many of Washington's soldiers were entitled to go home on January 1. He needed to strike before the river froze completely, leaving Pennsylvania wide open to British invasion. Dangerous icy waters and blinding snow hindered the nigtthime crossing.

"Desperate situations require desperate remedies,"
Washington said, explaining his decision to launch the bold raid.

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Colonial America
The First Settlers:
English Stock Companies, Pilgrims, Puritans

American Colonies:
New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, the Carolinas, Georgia

Why Did They Bring Slaves?

Problems and War in Colonial America
The French and Indian War

The Stamp Act and Sugar Act,
The Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party

The American Revolution
Lexington and Concord, Paul Revere,
The Battle of Bunker Hill, the Continental Army

The Declaration of Independence

The Turning Point of the American Revolution

End of the American Revolution - Yorktown / Treaty of Paris

Benedict Arnold and His Pal, John André

Articles of Confederation, Constitution, the Bill of Rights

Historical Periods of
World History Class Study

| Prehistory | Mesopotamia & Phoenicians |
| Ancient Egypt | Greece | Rome |
| Medieval History | Renaissance and Reformation |
| Exploration | National Monarchies |
| The Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment |
| Colonial America and American Revolution |
| The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era



Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Modern European History | Advanced Placement European History | Rise of England | World History |
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