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5 5 turning points in the fight for freedom

Fascinating Facts

• After Dr. Joseph Warren died, Paul Revere identified him
by the two artificial teeth Revere had made for him.

• In January 1777, Mary Goddard, probably the first
woman postmaster in the United States, issued the
first copy of the Declaration of Independence to include
the signers’ names.

• During the Battle of Fort Washington in 1776, Margaret
Corbin took the place of her husband when he was killed.
She continued firing his cannon until she was wounded.

Genre

Nonfiction

Text Features

• Time Line

• Maps
• Sidebars

Scott Foresman Social Studies

ISBN 0-328-17540-4

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In this book you will read about the American Revolution
and some of the major battles the colonists fought to gain
their independence. You will see how the war was fought
from its beginning to its end and discover some of the
important people in the American Revolution.

Write to It!
Select one of the battles mentioned in this book; then
using an encyclopedia or the Internet, research more
facts about the battle. Write a two- or three-paragraph
magazine article about the battle you have chosen.

Vocabulary
activist
minutemen

Write your article on a separate sheet of paper.

retreat
morale
negotiate
turning point
campaign
siege

Maps
MapQuest, Inc.
Photographs
Every effort has been made to secure permission and provide appropriate credit for photographic material. The publisher deeply
regrets any omission and pledges to correct errors called to its attention in subsequent editions.

ISBN: 0-328-17540-4
Copyright © Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved. Printed in the United States of America. This publication is protected
by Copyright, and permission should be obtained from the publisher prior to any prohibited
reproduction, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission in any form by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or likewise. For information regarding
permission(s), write to: Permissions Department, Scott Foresman, 1900 East Lake Avenue,
Glenview, Illinois 60025.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 V0G1 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 06 05

Unless otherwise acknowledged, all photographs are the property of Scott Foresman, a division of Pearson Education.

Offices:
Glenview,
Illinois
• Parsippany,
New Jersey
• New York, New York
Photo locators denoted asEditorial
follows: Top
(T), Center
(C), Bottom
(B), Left
(L), Right (R) Background
(Bkgd)
Opener: ©The Granger Collection,
NY
Sales Offices:
Needham, Massachusetts • Duluth, Georgia
3 ©The Granger Collection, New York
Coppell,
Texas • Sacramento, California • Mesa, Arizona
7 ©The Granger Collection, NY
8 ©Bettmann/Corbis
9 ©Corbis
11 ©The Granger Collection, NY
12 ©SuperStock
14 ©Chateau de Blerancourt / Dagli Orti/The Art Archive

• Glenview, Illinois


The American Revolution did not begin as a war for
independence. The American colonists wanted to be
treated as British citizens, with the same rights that people
in Britain had.
When Parliament, Britain’s lawmaking body, began
taxing the colonies directly, the colonists rebelled. The
colonists felt that it was unfair for Parliament to tax
them when the colonists could not vote for members of
Parliament. “Taxation without representation is tyranny”
became their cry.
In 1765 Parliament passed the Stamp Act. The Stamp
Act required colonists to buy stamps and place them on
important papers including letters, deeds, newspapers,
and even playing cards. Many colonists refused to buy
the stamps.
Parliament believed the taxes were fair, because it had
sent British soldiers to protect the colonists during the
French and Indian War and believed that the colonists
should pay for the war’s costs. Parliament also passed
more acts that taxed the colonists.

Patriots dressed as Mohawks threw chests of tea into
Boston Harbor.

The Boston Tea Party
Parliament finally canceled all the taxes except the tax on
tea. The colonists still were not happy. In 1773 Britain sent
three ships full of tea to Boston Harbor, but the Bostonians
would not allow it to be unloaded. When Britain refused to
take the tea back, a number of Patriots dressed as Mohawks
boarded the ships. They threw 342 chests of tea overboard
in what became known as the Boston Tea Party. No one
knows who participated, but many were probably members
of the Sons of Liberty, a group of Patriot activists. Britain
closed the port of Boston to punish the Patriots.

Events of the American Revolution
1775
1779

The Battles of Lexington
and Concord and the
Battle of Bunker Hill

1775

1776

John Paul Jones wins
a naval battle.

1777

1776
The Declaration of
Independence is signed.
The Battle of Trenton
2

1778

1779

1780

1783

The British
take Charleston.

The Treaty of Paris is signed by
the United States and Britain.

1780

1781

1782

1777

1781

The Battle of
Saratoga

Cornwallis surrenders
after the Battle
of Yorktown.

1783

3

1784


The Battles of Lexington and Concord

Spreading the Alarm

On the night of April 18, 1775, eight hundred British
troops marched from Boston to the village of Lexington.
When the troops reached Lexington, they found about fifty
militiamen. They called themselves minutemen because
they were ready to fight at a minute’s notice.
The British were on their way to Concord to seize the
colonists’ ammunition stored there. The night before, three
men on horseback had tried to alert the people of both
towns that the British were coming.
In Lexington Major John Pitcairn, second-in-command
of the British soldiers, yelled, “Disperse [Move away], ye
rebels, disperse!” A moment later a shot rang out. Nobody
knows which side it came from, but the British returned fire
without waiting for orders. Eight minutemen were killed and
ten others were wounded.

Three men had ridden horses through the
Massachusetts countryside late into the night of April 18,
1775, to warn people about a British attack. Paul Revere
was made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s
poem, but William Dawes and Dr. Samuel Prescott were
just as important.
All three men were captured by British soldiers that
night, but Prescott escaped and made it to Concord.
As Revere was surrounded and taken prisoner, Dawes
got away.

The British troops then went on to Concord, where
they removed the ammunition in the arsenal. They then
searched nearby houses and farms for the rest of the
hidden ammunition, but it had been taken to other towns.
At the Old North Bridge near Concord, another battle
took place between the British and the Americans. In
the two battles, 49 Americans were killed and 39 were
wounded. About 73 British were killed and 174 were
wounded. The British then returned to Boston. When the
Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia heard of the
battles, it elected George Washington as commander-inchief of the new army.

The Battles of Lexington and Concord, April 1775

Co

MASSACHUSETTS

British
retreat
begins.

Revere captured.
Prescott continues.

Lexington

Concord
Medford

Lexington
April 19

My
s
tic

Dawes
turns back.

R.

orth
idge
il 19

nc

ord

River

N

R.

0
0

2
2

4 Miles
4 Kilometers

Revere’s route

British retreat

Dawes’s route

Road

Prescott’s route

Bridge

British advance

Weston

Battle

Charlestown

Cambridge

Waltham

Ch

s
arl e

Old North
Church

R.

Brookline

Boston
Neck

Boston
Harbor

C
W

Roxbury

5


The Battle of Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775
stic

0

Rive

0

1⁄ 8
1⁄ 8

1⁄4
1⁄ 4

Mile

les

Fen
il

Moulton’s
Hill

Ra

Bunker
Hill

Charlestown

Kilometer

ce

Charlestown
Neck

r

ar

My

Ch

R.

Boston Boston
Harbor

Causeway

American fort

Breed’s
Hill

Other American
positions
Route of British
attack
Route of
American retreat
British
cannon fire

Charlestown

N

British ship
Hill

Boston
Harbor

a
Ch

rle

i
s R

r
ve

Boston

The Battle of Bunker Hill
The next major battle was the Battle of Bunker Hill,
which was fought on nearby Breed’s Hill. British ships were
in Boston Harbor, and the Americans heard the British were
planning an attack.
During the night of June 16, 1775, the Americans took
ammunition and guns to the top of Breed’s Hill. They built
a redoubt, a kind of temporary fort made by piling up dirt.
It measured 160 feet long.
When the British awoke the next morning, they were
amazed to see the redoubt and began firing from the
ships. The fort was out of range.
Two thousand British troops started up Breed’s Hill.
Each soldier carried a sixty-pound pack and found it hard

6

to move through the tall grass and climb over stone walls.
Because they were low on ammunition, the Americans held
their fire until the British were close. Supposedly Colonel
William Prescott ordered his men, “Don’t fire until you see
the whites of their eyes.”
Finally, shots rang out and dozens of British soldiers fell.
Twice the troops were forced to retreat, but on the third try,
the British were able to take the hill. The Americans had run
out of ammunition, but they continued to fight with bayonets.
The first American officer to lose his life in the war was
Dr. Joseph Warren, a great Patriot and leader. He was an
officer but he chose to fight with his troops.
It was a British victory, but the Americans had proved
they could hold their own in battle. More than 1,000
British were killed or wounded, while the Americans lost
about 145 men. British General George Clinton said it was
“a dear bought [costly] victory. Another such would have
ruined us.”

Dr. Joseph Warren
was a physician and
an American officer.


During the next year and a half, several battles were
fought. The Americans established a Continental navy and
looked for help from other countries. France began giving
aid to the colonies. The Continental Congress wrote and
signed the Declaration of Independence, declaring that the
Thirteen Colonies were a free country.
The British took over New York City in the summer of
1776, and Washington’s troops were forced to evacuate.
The British won several victories in a row and Washington’s
troops retreated across the Delaware River into
Pennsylvania in December 1776.

The Battle of Trenton
On Christmas Day, the British army was camped in
Trenton, New Jersey. The army was made up mostly of
Hessians, German soldiers paid to fight for the British.
Washington knew they would celebrate Christmas late into
the night with dancing and singing, so he decided the next
morning would be the perfect time for a surprise attack.
During the night, 2,400 American soldiers crossed the
river. Their boats dodged large chunks of floating ice, and
wind and sleet made their journey miserable.
George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River.

8

Thomas Paine Inspires
the Army
The morale, or spirits, of the
American soldiers was low before the
Battle of Trenton. The soldiers had
been losing battles, and the American
forces were poorly trained and
dressed in rags.
Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, Common
Sense, had convinced many colonists
Thomas Paine
that independence was the only way
to be free from Britain’s rule. Now he wrote the first of
the Crisis Papers, designed to keep up the morale of the
Americans. On Christmas evening, Washington ordered
that the booklet be read to his troops. Many think Paine’s
inspirational words gave the soldiers the inspiration to
continue fighting.

The British army was taken completely by surprise.
Washington’s army did not suffer a single loss of life,
and only four of his men were wounded. About twentytwo British soldiers were killed and ninety-two were
wounded. The Americans captured the remaining men.
One of Washington’s officers wrote in his diary, “We have
taken nearly 1000 prisoners, six cannon, more than 1000
muskets, twelve drums . . . .”
The Battle of Trenton provided badly-needed supplies and
ammunition and boosted the soldiers’ morale. A few days
later, the Americans defeated the British at Princeton. In July
1777, the British captured Fort Ticonderoga in New York.

9


Marquis de Lafayette, a Frenchman, volunteered and
became Washington’s trusted aide. That summer, the British
defeated the Americans in Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania,
and British forces occupied Philadelphia in September.

The Battle of Saratoga
British General John Burgoyne planned to send three
armies into New York State. The armies would meet in
Albany and New England would then be separated from the
rest of the colonies. At first the plan seemed to work.

The Battle of Saratoga, 1777
Burgoyne’s route

CANADA
R

re
nc
e

Montréal

MAINE

aw

.L
St

If Benedict Arnold had
died from the leg wound he
received at Saratoga, he would
be remembered as a great
American hero. For three years
he served the American army as
a daring and imaginative leader.
Benedict Arnold
In 1780, however, he sold
the British information that could lead to the capture of
West Point. He was in debt and thought that he should
have been promoted more quickly. Arnold’s plan did not
work, because his contact, British Major John Andre, was
captured with the plans Arnold had provided.

Battle site

r

e
iv

Benedict Arnold: Hero
and Traitor

(PART OF
MASSACHUSETTS)

Lake
Champlain
Fort
Ticonderoga

N

NEW
HAMPSHIRE

Lake
George

Saratoga
Albany

MASSACHUSETTS

Hudson Ri ver

NEW YORK

RHODE ISLAND
CONNECTICUT

40˚N

New York
City

PENNSYLVANIA

NEW
JERSEY

13 Colonies

The Americans held the British off during the first Battle
of Saratoga on September 19, 1777. General Burgoyne was
forced to retreat, halting the British advance into New York.
Three weeks later, the Americans beat the British at
Bemis Heights in the second Battle of Saratoga. This was
an important victory. Major General Horatio Gates and
Major General Benedict Arnold led the American army. The
two sides negotiated, and on October 17, 1777, Burgoyne
surrendered his entire army of five thousand men.
This was the turning point of the war, when things began
to change. The world now believed the Americans could
win the war, and European countries gave their support to
the Americans.

DELAWARE
MARYLAND

0
0

50
50

100 Miles

100 Kilometers

11


In the winter of 1777, Washington’s army set up
quarters at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The army’s morale
was low for three months because of cold, hunger, disease,
and lack of supplies.
In June 1778 Washington’s army fought General Henry
Clinton’s troops to a standoff in the Battle of Monmouth
in New Jersey. In July France declared war on Britain and
the British could not concentrate all their resources on
fighting the Americans. In December 1778 the British
began a campaign in the South, capturing Savannah
and Augusta, Georgia.

In 1779 the British asked American Indians to attack
frontier settlements. That September, John Paul Jones,
who commanded the ship Bonhomme Richard, fought
a battle with the British ship Serapis off the coast of
England. The British called for Jones’s surrender, but he
replied, “I have not yet begun to fight!” Jones managed to
capture the British ship as his ship sank.
The next spring the British captured Fort Moultrie in
Charleston, South Carolina. This was the worst American
defeat in the war, and the Americans lost their entire
Southern Army of 5,400 men along with four ships.
British troops led by General Charles Cornwallis
defeated the Americans in battles in South Carolina.
Cornwallis planned to invade North Carolina, but he
changed his plans after the Americans won the Battle of
Kings Mountain.
General Nathanael Greene was named commander
of the Southern Army. Greene’s army spent the next six
months chasing Cornwallis through the backwoods of
the Carolinas and Virginia. The British were short on
supplies. In March 1781 Cornwallis suffered heavy losses
in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina. He
retreated into Virginia and made Yorktown his base.

Washington
observed his troops
at Valley Forge.

13


The Battle of Yorktown
In a brilliant move, Washington decided to attack the
British on the Yorktown peninsula. French Admiral de
Grasse headed for Chesapeake Bay near Yorktown. His fleet
included twenty-nine ships and three thousand soldiers.
De Grasse’s fleet fought a major battle with the British
fleet. The defeated British fleet retreated to New York, and
de Grasse kept Cornwallis from leaving the peninsula by sea.
More French ships arrived, and de Grasse sent some of
them up Chesapeake Bay to transport Washington’s army
to Yorktown. Here the American troops, with seventeen
thousand men, began a siege of Yorktown. British supplies
were running low, and the French fleet fired cannons at the
British day and night. The American army surrounded them,
making it impossible for the British to retreat by land.
On October 19, 1781, Cornwallis surrendered his troops
at Yorktown. This was the last major battle of the war.
Parliament voted in February not to continue the war. The
next month, peace negotiations began.
The untrained, poorly outfitted group of patriots had
defeated the highly trained and well-supplied British army
and navy. The United States of America was free at last.

Washington meets
with his generals
at Yorktown.

14

15


In this book you will read about the American Revolution
and some of the major battles the colonists fought to gain
their independence. You will see how the war was fought
Glossary
from its beginning to its end and discover some of the
activist people
a person
believes in
or takes part
important
in who
the American
Revolution.
in a cause

Write to It!
Select one of the battles mentioned in this book; then
using an encyclopedia or the Internet, research more
facts about the battle. Write a two- or three-paragraph
magazine article about the battle you have chosen.

campaign a series of military operations

Vocabulary

minutemen colonial militia groups that could be ready
activist
to fight at a minute’s notice
morale the state of a minutemen
person’s or a group’s spirits

Write your article on a separate sheet of paper.

retreat
negotiate to talk about something
in order to come to
an agreement
morale
retreat to pull back a military
force that is in danger
negotiate
from an enemy attack
turning point
siege the surrounding of an army or a town to try to
campaign
make it surrender
siege
turning point the point at which a very important
change takes place

Maps
MapQuest, Inc.
Photographs
Every effort has been made to secure permission and provide appropriate credit for photographic material. The publisher deeply
regrets any omission and pledges to correct errors called to its attention in subsequent editions.
Unless otherwise acknowledged, all photographs are the property of Scott Foresman, a division of Pearson Education.

ISBN: 0-328-17540-4

Photo locators denoted as follows: Top (T), Center (C), Bottom (B), Left (L), Right (R) Background (Bkgd)
Copyright © Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved. Printed in the United States of America. This publication is protected
by Copyright, and permission should be obtained from the publisher prior to any prohibited
reproduction, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission in any form by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or likewise. For information regarding
permission(s), write to: Permissions Department, Scott Foresman, 1900 East Lake Avenue,
Glenview, Illinois 60025.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 V0G1 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 06 05

16

Opener: ©The Granger Collection, NY
3 ©The Granger Collection, New York
7 ©The Granger Collection, NY
8 ©Bettmann/Corbis
9 ©Corbis
11 ©The Granger Collection, NY
12 ©SuperStock
14 ©Chateau de Blerancourt / Dagli Orti/The Art Archive



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