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Chapter 8 - America Secedes from the Empire

Treaty of Paris of 1783

The British recognized the independence of the United States. It granted boundaries, which stretched from the Mississippi on the west, to the Great Lakes on the north, and to Spanish Florida on the south. The Yankees retained a share of Newfoundland. It greatly upset the Canadians.


Declaration of Independence

Formally approved by the Congress on July 4, 1776. This "shout heard round the world" has been a source of inspiration to countless revolutionary movements against arbitrary authority. The document sharply separated Loyalists from Patriots and helped to start the American Revolution by allowing England to hear of the colonists disagreements with British authority.


John Jay

John Jay was the First Chief Justice of the United States, and also an American statesman and jurist. Elected to the Continental Congress, he also helped negotiate the Treaty of Paris w/ Great Britain, ending the American Revolution. Serving as governor of New York State from 1795 to 1801, he was a advocate of a strong national government. Appointed by Washington, Jay negotiated a settlement when was w/ Britain threatened due to controversies over the Treaty of Paris: it became known as Jay's Treaty.


Second Continental Congress

The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia on May 10, 1775. Three delegates added to the Congress were Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Hancock. The Congress took on governmental duties. (United all the colonies for the war effort.) They selected George Washington as Commander in Chief. They encouraged the colonies to set themselves up as states. On July 4, 1776 they adopted the Declaration of Independence. The Congress ended March 1, 1781 when a Congress authorized by the Articles of Confederation took over.



Privately owned armed ships specifically authorized by congress to prey on enemy shipping. There were over a thousand American privateers who responded to the call of patriotism and profit. The privateers brought in urgently needed gold, harassed the enemy, and raised American morale. (American Revolution, 1775-1783)



A mercenary is a person hired for service in the army of a foreign country. For example, in the late 1760's George III hired soldiers to fight in the British army against Americans


Common Sense

Common Sense written in 1776 was one of the most potent pamphlets ever written. It called for the colonists to realize their mistreatment and push for independence from England. The author Thomas Paine introduced such ideas as nowhere in the universe sis a smaller heavenly body control a larger. For this reason their is no reason for England to have control over the vast lands of America. The pamphlet with its high-class journalism as well as propaganda sold a total of 120,000 copies within a few months.



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