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VS.5a - The Declaration of Independence States the Reasons Colonies Fight for Independence VS.5b - Virginians in the Revolutionary War: VS 5c - Washington, Jefferson, and Patrick Henry

Why is the Declaration of Independence an important document?

The Declaration of Independence gave reasons for independence and ideas for self-government.

Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?

Thomas Jefferson

What year was the Declaration of Independence written?

Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in July 4,1776.

The Declaration of Independence states that

-authority to govern belongs to the people rather than to kings
-all people are created equal
-all have rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Varied roles of Virginians in the Revolutionary War era

• PATRIOTS - Virginia patriots served in the Continental Army and fought against the English, leading to the English surrender at Yorktown.

• NEUTRAL- Some Virginians were neutral and did not take sides.

• LOYAL- Other Virginians remained loyal to England.

• DIVIDED- African Americans from Virginia were divided about the war. Some slaves fought for the English because they were promised freedom.

George Washington

He was the first President provided military leadership by serving as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

Thomas Jefferson

He provided political leadership by expressing the reasons for colonial independence from England in the Declaration of Independence.

Patrick Henry

He inspired patriots from other colonies when he spoke out against taxation without representation by saying, "...give me liberty or give me death."

James Armistead Lafayette

He was a slave from Virginia, served in the Continental Army and was given his freedom after the war.


During the war, women took on more responsibility.

What was the importance of the American victory at Yorktown?

• The last major battle of the Revolutionary War was fought at Yorktown, Virginia.
• The American victory at Yorktown resulted in the surrender of the English army, bringing an end to the war.

How did the colonists' ideas about government differ from those of the English Parliament?

• Parliament believed it had legal authority in the colonies.
• Parliament believed it had the right to tax the colonies
• Colonists believed their local assemblies had legal authority.
• Colonists believed they should not be taxed since they had no representation in Parliament.

Jack Jouett

He rode on horseback through the backwoods of Virginia to Charlottesville to warn Thomas Jefferson, then governor of Virginia, that the British were coming to arrest him and mem- bers of the General Assembly.

What was the importance of the Battle of Great Bridge?

It was the first land battle of the American Revolution fought in Virginia. The American victory forced the British colonial governor to flee the City of Norfolk.

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