Independence is freedom from outside control or support or the state of being independent. On May 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to deal with the military crisis that the colonies were involved in with England. This meeting organized forces in Boston into the Continental Army and appointed George Washington to commander-in-chief, who fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill, which was the first major battle fought during the war. The colonists made a fort on Bunker and Breeds Hills in order to fire on English ships that were approaching Boston as Thomas Gage ordered his troops to attack the hills because he believed it to be an easy task, but was met with great resistance
Although war had begun, colonies continued to want peace with England, but a third of the colonists still wanted to wage war with England. Colonists were afraid of a major war being fought with England, because it was a possibility that all traitors could be executed. Due to that the Olive Branch Petition was created in an attempt to persuade King George III to mediate for the colonies, but it was ignored. In January 1776, Thomas Paine published “Common Sense” which stated that American Colonies should be independent from England and with this and the King’s refusal to support resulted in the creation of the Declaration of Independence.
The devastation caused by the Battle of Bunker Hill caused General Gage to be replaced with General William Howe. Howe ordered his troops to evacuate Boston and sailed his men to Nova Scotia to wait for reinforcements and to plan his next attack. How planned to isolate New England because it was though that most resistance originated from there. He intended to capture New York City and take control of the Hudson River. He also planned for an army, led by John Burgoyne, to march southward from Canada. Howe was successful in his attempts to capture New York City. General Howe’s victory in New York City began a repeating pattern for both himself and Washington. It seemed as if General Howe was unstoppable, while Washington was merely a child playing war. As Washington kept losing battles and being pushed back, men in his militia began deserting him. The Second Continental Congress was beginning to lose faith in Washington. Then, on December 25, 1776, Washington marched 2400 men across the Delaware during a wild winter storm and attacked Trenton. Washington’s men defeated a great Hessian force, which led to victory at Princeton.
The attack during the winter led by Washington infuriated General Howe. It was at this point he disregarded the battle plan that was originally meant to isolate New England from the rest of the continent. Howe sailed his men to Philadelphia to defeat the city and capture the Second Continental Congress. Although successful in his attempts, the outright disregard for the battle plan left Burgoyne and Clinton weakened. While Howe chased Washington around New England, American forces led by Philip Schuyler and Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold had made great defenses south of Saratoga. Burgoyne attacked Saratoga twice and was defeated both times suffering great loses. Each day more and more militia came to the aid against Burgoyne and soon surrounded the British army.
Burgoyne’s only hope for aid was Henry Clinton who was marching up the Hudson, but decided to return to New York for reinforcements just before he reached Saratoga. This led to Burgoyne’s