The American Revolution
The Ideological, Military and Diplomatic aspects of the fight for Independence
SSUSH3 The student will explain the primary causes of the American
– c. Explain the importance of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense to the movement
for independence.
SSUSH4 The student will identify the ideological, military, and diplomatic
aspects of the American Revolution.
– a. Explain the language, organization, and intellectual sources of the Declaration
of Independence; include the writing of John Locke and Montesquieu, and the
role of Thomas Jefferson.
– b. Explain the reason for and significance of the French alliance and foreign
assistance and the roles of Benjamin Franklin and the Marquis de Lafayette.
– c. Analyze George Washington as a military leader; include the creation of a
professional military and the life of a common soldier, and describe the
significance of the crossing of the Delaware River and Valley Forge.
– d. Explain Yorktown, the role of Lord Cornwallis, and the Treaty of Paris, 1783.
Thomas Paine authors “Common
• Published anonymously
January 1776
• At that time, it had the
largest circulation of any
book in Am. History
• Presented the colonists
with a powerful argument
for ind. From Britain
Intellectual Sources of the
Declaration of Independence
• John Locke (left) and Charles Montesquieu
John Locke
• Lived in England during the height of the
Enlightenment. (1632-1704)
• His “Theory of Mind” is often cited as the origins
of the modern conceptions of identity and self.
• Most famous work: Two Treatises of
Government (Social Contract)
• In TToG he describes the state of nature and
argues that all men are created equal by God.
(Charles) baron of Montesquieu
• Lived in France during Enlightenment
• Extremely influential thinker in French
history; his ideas paved the way for
French Revolution
• Most famous for his articulation of a
Separation of Powers theory (executive,
legislative, judicial)
Thomas Jefferson
• Principal author of the
Declaration of
• Influence heavily by Locke,
Montesquieu and other
Enlightenment thinkers
• Supporter of separation of
church and state
• Slave owner from Virginia
• Plantation home
(Monticello) on back of US
Preamble to Declaration of
• 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
The French to the Rescue
• After the defeat of the French in
the French/Indian War, England
con’t to fight France in Europe.
• Spain and the Netherlands also
added assistance through
funding and ammunition
• Most Indian tribes supported
the British cause and were
supplied by England to attack
colonist using guerilla warfare.
• Americans, French, Spanish,
and Dutch vs. British and
Native Americans
Benjamin Franklin
• Quaker who helped
establish PA as a powerhouse colony
• Noted Inventor (acquired
hundreds of patents)
• Kite-flying w/ the Key
• Ambassador to France.
Helped organize military
assistance. (Model
Look Familiar?
• Eye of Providence
• “The eye of an allseeing, omnipotent
• Symbol of the
Freemasons in which
Franklin was a
Marquis de Lafayette
• French general who
assisted America in
the Revolution
– Money, supplies,
troops, naval strength
• Served alongside
General George
• Influential in the
defeat of Cornwallis
at Yorktown
Statue of Lafayette in D.C.
Look Familiar?
• Fleur-de-lis
• Literally
means “Lily”
• Staple on
French flag
until 1792
• Current logo
of New
George Washington
• Father of USA
• Gained military
experience in the
French/Indian War
• Chosen as
commander in chief
of Continental Army
by 2nd Continental
Crossing the Delaware
Leutze, 1851. What are the historical inaccuracies in this work?
• Washington could not have stood as such
because of the harsh winter conditions.
He would have fallen in the river.
• The crossing occurred at night.
• Stars and Stripes Flag was not in
existence at this time.
• Why do you think these anachronisms are
included in the work?
Life as a Common Soldier
Life was
Harsh winter
Very little
supplies and
Army was still
in infancy, not
much unity at
this time
At left,
with troops at
Valley Forge,
Washington as a War Hero
• Surprise crossing of the Delaware at night
on Christmas Day took the British by
• Washington was then able to easily take
the British stronghold of Yorktown, all but
securing American victory.
Seige of Yorktown
• British General
surrenders to
French and
American forces
at Yorktown, VA
October 1781.
• Fighting ended
but war not
officially over
until Treaty of
Paris in
September 1783.
A gift from France
• Statue of Liberty
• In her hand, the book is
entitled “1776” in Roman
• Broken chains remain at
her feet
• Ellis Island, New York
City; would welcome
millions of immigrants to
American shores

The American Revolution The Ideological, Military and