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first continental congress
a meeting of colonial delegates in Philadelphia to decide how to respond to the closing of Boston Harbor, increased taxes, and abuses of authority by the British government.
patriots
American colonists who fought for independence from Great Britain during the Revolutionary War
minutemen
American colonial militia members ready to fight at a minute's notice.
redcoats
British soldiers who fought against the colonists in the American Revolution
second continental congress
a meeting of colonial delegates in Philadelphia to decide how to react to fighting at Lexington and Concord.
continental army
The army created by the Second Continental Congress in 1775 to defend the American colonies from Britain
George Washington
Revolutionary War hero and Patriot leader, he served as a representative to the Continental Congresses, commanded the Continental Army, and was unanimously elected to two terms as president of the United States.
Battle of Bunker Hill
a Revolutionary War battle in Boston that demonstrated that the colonists could fight well against the British army
common sense
a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine that criticized monarchies and convinced many American colonists of the need to break away from Britain
Thomas Paine
American political philosopher and author, he urged an immediate declaration of independence from England in his anonymously and simply written pamphlet, Common Sense.
Thomas Jefferson
American statesman, and member of two Continental Congresses, chairman of the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence, the Declaration's main author and one of its signers, and the third president of the United States.
declaration of independence
the document written to declare the colonies free from British rule
loyalists
colonists who sided with Britain in the American Revolution