During the 1600s, thousands of Europeans came to live in the New World, but the majority of these colonists where from England. These people lived in thirteen colonies along the Eastern coast of the American continent. The colonists were required to pay taxes to the King of England, and the taxes got higher and higher. Finally the colonists became furious and refused to pay. Representatives from each of the thirteen colonies met to discuss their problem. They called this group the Continental Congress. They sent a letter telling King George III that if he didn't lower the taxes, the colonists would not buy anything from England ever again. Instead of lowering the taxes, the king sent his army to America. The Continental Congress decided to fight back. They wrote the Declaration of Independence which was a document that proclaimed the colonies would no longer accept England's government. The colonies would have their own government. On July 4th, 1776, the Continental Congress officially accepted it.
For a long time, it seemed that England would definitely win the war. They had more soldiers and better weapons. Then France joined with the colonists and helped block supplies from arriving to help English soldiers. This helped the colonists a lot. Finally England surrendered. The colonists were free and chose the name: the United States of America.
Majority (noun): more than half of something
Colonists (noun): people who live in a land that is far away from the government that controls them
Colonies (noun): groups of colonists
Furious (adjective): extremely angry
Document (noun): anything written
Weapons (noun): anything used to kill or harm someone
Surrendered (verb): to give up power over something; to no longer have control
Rallies (noun): large meetings where people gather to discuss a specific issue
Fireworks (nouns): things that explode with loud noises and bright lights
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Last modified on April 27, 1999.