American Colonies - Summary

For about 150 years, American colonists tolerate British rule. George III, ruler of Great Britain, views the thirteen American colonies as "his." Tired of paying high taxes to King George III, the colonies decide the time has come to be free. 

Sparking revolutionary ideas, religious leaders insist that fighting a tyrant is a Christian duty. These early Americans believe God is backing their quest for freedom. On November 28, 1775, Congress establishes the U.S. Navy to stand against the British. A 24-gun private vessel, known as the Black Prince, becomes America’s first battleship - U.S.S. Alfred.

The colonies need to declare their freedom from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson prepares the first draft of the Declaration of Independence. Although Jefferson is a product of a slave-owning culture, and owns slaves himself, he believes that equal rights apply to all men. Going against the norms of society, Jefferson’s Declaration promotes Democratic ideals.

Jefferson initially includes a section to the document calling for an end to the slave trade. If it remains in the final draft a unanimous vote adopting the Declaration will not happen, so the slavery part is cut.  In order to sever all ties with Great Britain, Congress wants - and gets - unanimous approval of the Declaration of Independence. 

In this historical story, meet Thomas Jefferson and examine some of his original documents. Discover America’s first battleship, the U.S.S. Alfred. See the country’s first banner - called the "Grand Union Flag."  Read the parts of the Declaration which were cut before the vote.  View the original Independence Resolution, proposed by Richard Henry Lee, and the vote tally, which approved it.

As a sign of their newly declared freedom, the colonies began printing their own money. Step back in time to examine some of the country’s first dollar bills. The three, the seven and the thirty bills are available to view.


0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"American Colonies" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jun 06, 2020.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips