Second Continental Congress
The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that started meeting in the spring of 1775 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It succeeded the First Continental Congress, which met in Philadelphia between September 5, 1774, October 26, 1774; the Second Congress moved incrementally towards independence. It adopted the Lee Resolution which established the new country on July 2, 1776, it agreed to the United States Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776; the Congress acted as the de facto national government of the United States by raising armies, directing strategy, appointing diplomats, making formal treaties such as the Olive Branch Petition. The Second Continental Congress came together on May 11, 1775 reconvening the First Continental Congress. Many of the 56 delegates who attended the first meeting were in attendance at the second, the delegates appointed the same president and secretary. Notable new arrivals included John Hancock of Massachusetts.
Within two weeks, Randolph was summoned back to Virginia to preside over the House of Burgesses. Henry Middleton was elected as president to replace Randolph. Hancock was elected president on May 24. Delegates from twelve of the Thirteen Colonies were present when the Second Continental Congress convened. Georgia had not participated in the First Continental Congress and did not send delegates to the Second. On May 13, 1775, Lyman Hall was admitted as a delegate from the Parish of St. John's in the Colony of Georgia, not as a delegate from the colony itself. On July 4, 1775, revolutionary Georgians held a Provincial Congress to decide how to respond to the American Revolution, that congress decided on July 8 to send delegates to the Continental Congress, they arrived on September 13. The First Continental Congress had sent entreaties to King George III to stop the Coercive Acts; the Second Continental Congress met on May 10, 1775 to plan further responses if the British government had not repealed or modified the acts.
For the first few months of the war, the Patriots carried on their struggle in an ad-hoc and uncoordinated manner. They had seized arsenals, driven out royal officials, besieged the British army in the city of Boston. On June 14, 1775, the Congress voted to create the Continental Army out of the militia units around Boston and appointed George Washington of Virginia as commanding general. On July 6, 1775, Congress approved a Declaration of Causes outlining the rationale and necessity for taking up arms in the Thirteen Colonies. On July 8, they extended the Olive Branch Petition to the British Crown as a final attempt at reconciliation. Silas Deane was sent to France as a minister of the Congress, American ports were reopened in defiance of the British Navigation Acts; the Continental Congress had no explicit legal authority to govern, but it assumed all the functions of a national government, such as appointing ambassadors, signing treaties, raising armies, appointing generals, obtaining loans from Europe, issuing paper money, disbursing funds.
The Congress had no authority to levy taxes and was required to request money and troops from the states to support the war effort. Individual states ignored these requests. Congress was moving towards declaring independence from the British Empire in 1776, but many delegates lacked the authority from their home governments to take such a drastic action. Advocates of independence moved to have reluctant colonial governments revise instructions to their delegations, or replace those governments which would not authorize independence. On May 10, 1776, Congress passed a resolution recommending that any colony with a government, not inclined toward independence should form one that was. On May 15, they adopted a more radical preamble to this resolution, drafted by John Adams, which advised throwing off oaths of allegiance and suppressing the authority of the Crown in any colonial government that still derived its authority from the Crown; that same day, the Virginia Convention instructed its delegation in Philadelphia to propose a resolution that called for a declaration of independence, the formation of foreign alliances, a confederation of the states.
The resolution of independence was delayed for several weeks, as advocates of independence consolidated support in their home governments. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee offered a resolution before the Congress declaring the colonies independent, he urged Congress to resolve "to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances" and to prepare a plan of confederation for the newly independent states. Lee argued that independence was the only way to ensure a foreign alliance, since no European monarchs would deal with America if they remained Britain's colonies. American leaders had rejected the divine right of kings in the New World, but recognized the necessity of proving their credibility in the Old World. Congress formally adopted the resolution of independence, but only after creating three overlapping committees to draft the Declaration, a Model Treaty, the Articles of Confederation; the Declaration announced the states' entry into the international
Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was an agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America that served as its first constitution. It was approved, after much debate, by the Second Continental Congress on November 15, 1777, sent to the states for ratification; the Articles of Confederation came into force on March 1, 1781, after being ratified by all 13 states. A guiding principle of the Articles was to preserve the sovereignty of the states; the weak central government established by the Articles received only those powers which the former colonies had recognized as belonging to king and parliament. The Articles formed a war-time confederation of states, with an limited central government. While unratified, the document was used by the Congress to conduct business, direct the American Revolutionary War, conduct diplomacy with foreign nations, deal with territorial issues and Native American relations; the adoption of the Articles made few perceptible changes in the federal government, because it did little more than legalize what the Continental Congress had been doing.
That body was renamed the Congress of the Confederation. As the Confederation Congress attempted to govern the continually growing American states, delegates discovered that the limitations placed upon the central government rendered it ineffective at doing so; as the government's weaknesses became apparent after Shays' Rebellion, some prominent political thinkers in the fledgling US began asking for changes to the Articles. Their hope was to create a stronger national government; some states met to deal with their trade and economic problems. However, as more states became interested in meeting to change the Articles, a meeting was set in Philadelphia on May 25, 1787; this became the Constitutional Convention. It was agreed that changes would not work, instead the entire Articles needed to be replaced. On March 4, 1789, the government under the Articles was replaced with the federal government under the Constitution; the new Constitution provided for a much stronger federal government by establishing a chief executive and taxing powers.
The political push to increase cooperation among the then-loyal colonies began with the Albany Congress in 1754 and Benjamin Franklin's proposed Albany Plan, an inter-colonial collaboration to help solve mutual local problems. Over the next two decades, some of the basic concepts it addressed would strengthen. With civil disobedience resulting in coercive and quelling measures, the passage of what the colonials referred to as the intolerable acts in the English Parliament, armed skirmishes which resulted in dissidents being proclaimed rebels; these actions eroded the number of Crown Loyalists (aka Tories amongst the colonials and together with the effective propaganda campaign of the Patriot leaders, they caused an increasing number of colonists to begin agitating for independence from the mother country. In 1775, with events outpacing communications, the Second Continental Congress began acting as the provisional government that would run the American Revolutionary War and gain the colonies their collective independence.
It was an era of constitution writing—most states were busy at the task—and leaders felt the new nation must have a written constitution. During the war, Congress exercised an unprecedented level of political, diplomatic and economic authority, it adopted trade restrictions and maintained an army, issued fiat money, created a military code and negotiated with foreign governments. To transform themselves from outlaws into a legitimate nation, the colonists needed international recognition for their cause and foreign allies to support it. In early 1776, Thomas Paine argued in the closing pages of the first edition of Common Sense that the "custom of nations" demanded a formal declaration of American independence if any European power were to mediate a peace between the Americans and Great Britain; the monarchies of France and Spain in particular could not be expected to aid those they considered rebels against another legitimate monarch. Foreign courts needed to have American grievances laid before them persuasively in a "manifesto" which could reassure them that the Americans would be reliable trading partners.
Without such a declaration, Paine concluded, "he custom of all courts is against us, will be so, until, by an independence, we take rank with other nations."Beyond improving their existing association, the records of the Second Continental Congress show that the need for a declaration of independence was intimately linked with the demands of international relations. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution before the Continental Congress declaring the colonies independent. Congress created three overlapping committees to draft the Declaration, a Model Treaty, the Articles of Confederation; the Declaration announced the states' entry into the international system. On June 12, 1776
The Continental Marines were the naval infantry force of the American Colonies during the American Revolutionary War. The Corps was formed by the Continental Congress on November 10, 1775 and was disbanded in 1783, their mission was multi-purpose, but their most important duty was to serve as onboard security forces, protecting the captain of a ship and his officers. During naval engagements marine sharpshooters were stationed in the fighting tops of the ships' masts, were supposed to shoot the opponent's officers, naval gunners, helmsmen. In all, there were 131 Colonial marine officers and no more than 2,000 enlisted Colonial marines. Though individual marines were enlisted for the few U. S. naval vessels, the organization would not be re-created until 1798. Despite the gap between the disbanding of the Continental Marines and the current organization, the Continental Marines' successor, U. S. Marine Corps, marks November 10, 1775 as its inception. In accordance with the Continental Marine Act of 1775, the 2nd Continental Congress decreed: That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one Colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, two majors and other officers, as usual in other regiments.
These two battalions were intended be drawn from George Washington's army for the planned invasion of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the main British reinforcement and supply point. In reality only one battalion was formed by December, with five companies and a total of about 300 men. Plans to form the second battalion were suspended indefinitely after several British regiments-of-foot and cavalry, supported by 3,000 Hessian mercenaries, landed in Nova Scotia, making the planned amphibious assault impossible. Washington was reluctant to support the Marines, suggested that they be recruited from New York or Philadelphia instead; the Continental Marines' only Commandant was Captain Samuel Nicholas, commissioned on 28 November 1775. Though legend places its first recruiting post at Tun Tavern, historian Edwin Simmons surmises that it was more the Conestoga Waggon, a tavern owned by the Nicholas family. Robert Mullen, whose mother owned Tun Tavern received a commission as a captain in June 1776 and used it as his recruiting rendezvous.
Four additional Marine Security Companies were raised and helped George Washington defend Philadelphia. Marines were used by the US to carry out amphibious landings and raids during the American Revolution. Marines joined Commodore Esek Hopkins of the Continental Navy's first squadron on its first cruise in the Caribbean, they landed twice in the Bahamas, to seize naval stores from the British. The first landing, named the Battle of Nassau, led by Captain Samuel Nicholas, consisted of 250 marines and sailors who landed in New Providence and marched to Nassau Town. There, they wreaked much damage and seized naval stores of shot and cannon, but failed to capture any of the needed gunpowder; the second landing, led by a Lieutenant Trevet, landed at night and captured several ships along with the naval stores. Sailing back to Rhode Island, the squadron captured four small prize ships; the squadron returned on 8 April 1776, with 7 dead marines and four wounded. Though Hopkins was disgraced for failing to obey orders, Nicholas was promoted to major on 25 June and tasked with raising 4 new companies of Marines for 4 new frigates under construction.
In December 1776, the Continental Marines were tasked to join Washington's army at Trenton to slow the progress of British troops southward through New Jersey. Unsure what to do with the Marines, Washington added the Marines to a brigade of Philadelphia militia dressed in green. Though they were unable to arrive in time to meaningfully affect the Battle of Trenton, they were able to fight at the Battle of Princeton. Continental Marines landed and captured Nautilus Island and the Majabagaduce peninsula in the Penobscot Expedition, but withdrew with heavy losses when Commodore Dudley Saltonstall's force failed to capture the nearby fort. A group under Navy Captain James Willing left Pittsburgh, traveled down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, captured a ship, in conjunction with other Continental Marines, brought by ship from the Gulf of Mexico raided British Loyalists on the shore of Lake Ponchartrain; the last official act of the Continental Marines was to escort a stash of silver crowns, on loan from Louis XVI of France, from Boston to Philadelphia to enable the opening of the Bank of North America.
At the end of the Revolutionary War, both the Continental Navy and Marines were disbanded in April 1783. Although individual marines stayed on for the few U. S. naval vessels left, the last Continental Marine was discharged in September. In all, there were 131 Colonial marine officers and no more than 2,000 enlisted Colonial marines. Though individual marines were enlisted for the few U. S. naval vessels, the organization would not be re-created until 1798. Despite the gap between the disbanding of the Continental Marines and the establishment of the actual United States Marine Corps, the USMC deems November 10, 1775 as its official founding date; this is similar to the practice of the British and Dutch marines. 1775, October 13 Second Continental Congress
United States Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of the Treasury is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, concerned with financial and monetary matters, until 2003 included several federal law enforcement agencies. This position in the federal government of the United States is analogous to the Minister of Finance in many other countries; the Secretary of the Treasury is a member of the President's Cabinet, is nominated by the President of the United States. Nominees for Secretary of the Treasury undergo a confirmation hearing before the United States Senate Committee on Finance before being voted on by the United States Senate; the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Defense are regarded as the four most important cabinet officials because of the importance of their departments. The Secretary of the Treasury is a non-statutory member of the U. S. National Security Council and fifth in the United States presidential line of succession; the Secretary of the Treasury is the principal economic advisor to the President and plays a critical role in policy-making by bringing an economic and government financial policy perspective to issues facing the government.
The Secretary is responsible for formulating and recommending domestic and international financial and tax policy, participating in the formulation of broad fiscal policies that have general significance for the economy, managing the public debt. The Secretary oversees the activities of the Department in carrying out its major law enforcement responsibilities; the Chief Financial Officer of the government, the Secretary serves as Chairman Pro Tempore of the President's Economic Policy Council, Chairman of the Boards and Managing Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, as U. S. Governor of the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the Secretary along with the Treasurer of the United States must sign Federal Reserve notes before they can become legal tender. The Secretary manages the United States Emergency Economic Stabilization fund.
Most of the Department's law enforcement agencies such as the U. S. Customs Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives, the U. S. Secret Service were reassigned to other departments in 2003 in conjunction with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security; the salary of the Secretary of the Treasury is $205,700 annually. Parties No party Federalist Democratic-Republican Democratic Whig Republican Status 1 William Jones served as acting secretary between the resignation of Alexander J. Dallas and appointment of William H. Crawford. 2 Deputy Secretary of the Treasury M. Peter McPherson served as Acting Secretary of the Treasury from August 17, 1988, to September 15, 1988. 3 Because of the resignation of Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Roger Altman in August 1994, Under Secretary of Treasury for Domestic Finance Frank N. Newman served from December 22, 1994, to January 11, 1995 as Acting Secretary of the Treasury. 4 Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Kenneth W. Dam served as Acting Secretary of the Treasury from December 31, 2002, to February 3, 2003.
5 Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robert M. Kimmitt served as Acting Secretary of the Treasury from June 30, 2006, to July 9, 2006. 6 Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart A. Levey served as Acting Secretary of the Treasury from January 20, 2009, until the confirmation of Timothy Geithner, which occurred January 26, 2009. 7 Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin served as Acting Secretary of the Treasury from January 25, 2013, until the confirmation of Jack Lew which occurred February 28, 2013. 8 Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Adam J. Szubin served as Acting Secretary of the Treasury from January 20, 2017, until the confirmation of Steven Mnuchin which occurred February 13, 2017. If both the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury are unable to carry out the duties of the office of Secretary of the Treasury whichever Treasury official of Under Secretary rank sworn in earliest assumes the role of Acting Secretary. Positions listed on the Department of the Treasury website include the Under Secretary for Domestic Finance, the Under Secretary for International Affairs, the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
As of April 2019, there are eleven living former Secretaries of the Treasury, the oldest being George P. Shultz; the most recent Secretary of the Treasury to die, as well as the most serving Secretary to die, was Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr. on May 23, 2006. "Secretaries of the Treasury". History of the Treasury. United States Department of the Treasury. Retrieved April 9, 2006. Official website
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster, Inc. a subsidiary of CBS Corporation, is an American publishing company founded in New York City in 1924 by Richard Simon and Max Schuster. As of 2016, Simon & Schuster was publishing 2,000 titles annually under 35 different imprints. In 1924, Richard Simon's aunt, a crossword puzzle enthusiast, asked whether there was a book of New York World crossword puzzles, which were popular at the time. After discovering that none had been published and Max Schuster decided to launch a company to exploit the opportunity. At the time, Simon was a piano salesman and Schuster was editor of an automotive trade magazine, they pooled US$8,000, equivalent to $117 thousand today, to start a company that published crossword puzzles. The new publishing house used "fad" publishing to publish books that exploited current fads and trends. Simon called this "planned publishing". Instead of signing authors with a planned manuscript, they came up with their own ideas, hired writers to carry them out. In the 1930s, the publisher moved to what has been referred to as "Publisher's Row" on Park Avenue in Manhattan, New York.
In 1939, Simon & Schuster financially backed Robert Fair de Graff to found Pocket Books, America's first paperback publisher. In 1942, Simon & Schuster and Western Printing launched the Little Golden Books series in cooperation with the Artists and Writers Guild. In 1944, Marshall Field III, owner of the Chicago Sun, purchased Pocket Books; the company was sold back to Schuster following his death. In the 1950s and 1960s, many publishers including Simon & Schuster turned toward educational publishing due to the baby boom market. Pocket Books focused on paperbacks for the educational market instead of textbooks and started the Washington Square Press imprint in 1959. By 1964 it had published over 200 titles and was expected to put out another 400 by the end of that year. Books published under the imprint included classic reprints such as Lorna Doone, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Robinson Crusoe. In 1966, Max Schuster sold his half of Simon & Schuster to Leon Shimkin. Shimkin merged Simon & Schuster with Pocket Books under the name of Simon & Schuster.
In 1968, editor-in-chief Robert Gottlieb, who worked at Simon & Schuster since 1955 and edited several bestsellers including Joseph Heller's Catch-22, left abruptly to work at competitor Knopf, taking other influential S&S employees, Nina Bourne, Tony Schulte. In 1979, Richard Snyder was named CEO of the company. Over the next several years he would help grow the company substantially. After the 1983 death of Charles Bluhdorn, head of Gulf+Western who acquired Simon in Schuster in 1976, the company made the decision to diversify. Bluhdorn's successor Martin Davis told The New York Times, "Society was undergoing dramatic changes, so that there was a greater need for textbooks and educational information. We saw the opportunity to diversify into those areas, which are more stable and more profitable than trade publishing."In 1984, Simon & Schuster with CEO Richard E. Snyder acquired Esquire Corporation, buying everything but the magazine for $180 million. Prentice Hall was brought into the company fold in 1985 for over $700 million and was viewed by some executives to be a catalyst for change for the company as a whole.
This acquisition was followed by Silver Burdett in 1986, mapmaker Gousha in 1987 and Charles E. Simon in 1988. Part of the acquisition included educational publisher Allyn & Bacon which, according to editor and chief Michael Korda, became the "nucleus of S&S's educational and informational business." Three California educational companies were purchased between 1988 and 1990—Quercus, Fearon Education and Janus Book Publishers. In all, Simon & Schuster spent more than $1 billion in acquisitions between 1983 and 1991. In the 1980s, Snyder made an unsuccessful bid toward video publishing, believed to have led to the company's success in the audio book business. Snyder was dismayed to realize that Simon & Schuster did not own the video rights to Jane Fonda's Workout Book, a huge bestseller at the time, that the video company producing the VHS was making more money on the video; this prompted Snyder to ask editors to obtain video rights for every new book. Agents were reluctant to give these up—which meant the S&S Video division never took off.
According to Korda, the audio rights expanded into the audio division which by the 1990s would be a major business for Simon & Schuster. In 1989, Gulf and Western Inc. owner of Simon & Schuster, changed its name to Paramount Communications Inc. In 1990, The New York Times described Simon & Schuster as the largest book publisher in the United States with sales of $1.3 billion the previous year. That same year, Schuster acquired the children's publisher Green Tiger Press. In 1994, was fired from S&S and was replaced by the company's president and chief operating officer Jonathan Newcomb; that year, Paramount was sold to Viacom. In 1998, Viacom sold Simon & Schuster's educational operations, including Prentice Hall and Macmillan, to Pearson PLC, the global publisher and owner of Penguin and the Financial Times; the professional and reference operations were sold to Hicks Muse Furst. In 2002, Simon & Schuster acquired its Canadian distributor Distican. Simon & Schuster began publishing in Canada in 2013.
At the end of 2005, Viacom split into two companies: CBS Corporation, the other retaining the Viacom name. In 2005, Simon & Schuster acquired Strebor Books International, founded in 1999 by author Kristina Laferne Roberts, who has written under the pseudonym "Zane." A year in 2006, Simon & Schuster launched the conservative imprint Threshold Editions. In 2009, Simon & Schuster
Pennsylvania the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle; the Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, New Jersey to the east. Pennsylvania is the 33rd-largest state by area, the 6th-most populous state according to the most recent official U. S. Census count in 2010, it is the 9th-most densely populated of the 50 states. Pennsylvania's two most populous cities are Philadelphia, Pittsburgh; the state capital and its 10th largest city is Harrisburg. Pennsylvania has 140 miles of waterfront along the Delaware Estuary; the state is one of the 13 original founding states of the United States. Part of Pennsylvania, together with the present State of Delaware, had earlier been organized as the Colony of New Sweden.
It was the second state to ratify the United States Constitution, on December 12, 1787. Independence Hall, where the United States Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were drafted, is located in the state's largest city of Philadelphia. During the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought in the south central region of the state. Valley Forge near Philadelphia was General Washington's headquarters during the bitter winter of 1777–78. Pennsylvania is 170 miles north to south and 283 miles east to west. Of a total 46,055 square miles, 44,817 square miles are land, 490 square miles are inland waters, 749 square miles are waters in Lake Erie, it is the 33rd-largest state in the United States. Pennsylvania has 51 miles of coastline along Lake Erie and 57 miles of shoreline along the Delaware Estuary. Of the original Thirteen Colonies, Pennsylvania is the only state that does not border the Atlantic Ocean; the boundaries of the state are the Mason–Dixon line to the south, the Twelve-Mile Circle on the Pennsylvania-Delaware border, the Delaware River to the east, 80° 31' W to the west and the 42° N to the north, with the exception of a short segment on the western end, where a triangle extends north to Lake Erie.
Cities include Philadelphia, Reading and Lancaster in the southeast, Pittsburgh in the southwest, the tri-cities of Allentown and Easton in the central east. The northeast includes the former anthracite coal mining cities of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton. Erie is located in the northwest. State College serves the central region while Williamsport serves the commonwealth's north-central region as does Chambersburg the south-central region, with York and the state capital Harrisburg on the Susquehanna River in the east-central region of the Commonwealth and Altoona and Johnstown in the west-central region; the state has five geographical regions, namely the Allegheny Plateau and Valley, Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Erie Plain. New York Ontario Maryland Delaware West Virginia New Jersey Ohio Pennsylvania's diverse topography produces a variety of climates, though the entire state experiences cold winters and humid summers. Straddling two major zones, the majority of the state, with the exception of the southeastern corner, has a humid continental climate.
The southern portion of the state has a humid subtropical climate. The largest city, has some characteristics of the humid subtropical climate that covers much of Delaware and Maryland to the south. Summers are hot and humid. Moving toward the mountainous interior of the state, the winter climate becomes colder, the number of cloudy days increases, snowfall amounts are greater. Western areas of the state locations near Lake Erie, can receive over 100 inches of snowfall annually, the entire state receives plentiful precipitation throughout the year; the state may be subject to severe weather from spring through summer into fall. Tornadoes occur annually in the state, sometimes in large numbers, such as 30 recorded tornadoes in 2011; as of 1600, the tribes living in Pennsylvania were the Algonquian Lenape, the Iroquoian Susquehannock & Petun and the Siouan Monongahela Culture, who may have been the same as a little known tribe called the Calicua, or Cali. Other tribes who entered the region during the colonial era were the Trockwae, Saponi, Nanticoke, Conoy Piscataway, Iroquois Confederacy—possibly among others.
Other tribes, like the Erie, may have once held some land in Pennsylvania, but no longer did so by the year 1600. Both the Dutch and the English claimed both sides of the Delaware River as part of their colonial lands in America; the Dutch were the first to take possession. By June 3, 1631, the Dutch had begun settling the Delmarva Peninsula by establishing the Zwaanendael Colony on the site of present-day Lewes, Delaware. In 1638, Sweden established the New Sweden Colony, in the region of Fort Christina, on the site of present-day Wilmington, Delaware. New Sweden claimed and, for the most part, controlled the lower Delaware River region (parts of present-day Delaware, New Jersey, Pe
The Yorktown or Virginia campaign was a series of military maneuvers and battles during the American Revolutionary War that culminated in the decisive Siege of Yorktown in October 1781. The result of the campaign was the surrender of the British Army force of General Charles Earl Cornwallis, an event that led directly to the beginning of serious peace negotiations and the eventual end of the war; the campaign was marked by disagreements and miscommunication on the part of British leaders, by a remarkable set of cooperative decisions, at times in violation of orders, by the French and Americans. The campaign involved land and naval forces of Great Britain and France, land forces of the United States. British forces were sent to Virginia between January and April 1781 and joined with Cornwallis's army in May, which came north from an extended campaign through the southern states; these forces were first opposed weakly by Virginia militia, but General George Washington sent first Marquis de Lafayette and Anthony Wayne with Continental Army troops to oppose the raiding and economic havoc the British were wreaking.
The combined American forces, were insufficient in number to oppose the combined British forces, it was only after a series of controversially confusing orders by General Sir Henry Clinton, the British commander-in-chief, that Cornwallis moved to Yorktown in July and built a defensive position, strong against the land forces he faced, but was vulnerable to naval blockade and siege. British naval forces in North America and the West Indies were weaker than the combined fleets of France and Spain, after some critical decisions and tactical missteps by British naval commanders, the French fleet of Paul de Grasse gained control over Chesapeake Bay, blockading Cornwallis from naval support and delivering additional land forces to blockade him on land; the Royal Navy attempted to dispute this control, but Admiral Thomas Graves was defeated in the key Battle of the Chesapeake on September 5. American and French armies that had massed outside New York City began moving south in late August, arrived near Yorktown in mid-September.
Deceptions about their movement delayed attempts by Clinton to send more troops to Cornwallis. The Siege of Yorktown began on September 28, 1781. In a step that shortened the siege, Cornwallis decided to abandon parts of his outer defenses, the besiegers stormed two of his redoubts; when it became clear that his position was untenable, Cornwallis opened negotiations on October 17 and surrendered two days later. When the news reached London, the government of Lord North fell, the following Rockingham ministry entered into peace negotiations; these culminated in the Treaty of Paris in 1783, in which King George III recognized the independent United States of America. Clinton and Cornwallis engaged in a public war of words defending their roles in the campaign, British naval command discussed the navy's shortcomings that led to the defeat. By December 1780, the American Revolutionary War's North American theaters had reached a critical point; the Continental Army had suffered major defeats earlier in the year, with its southern armies either captured or dispersed in the loss of Charleston and the Battle of Camden in the south, while the armies of George Washington and the British commander-in-chief for North America, Sir Henry Clinton watched each other around New York City in the north.
The national currency was worthless, public support for the war, about to enter its sixth year, was waning, army troops were becoming mutinous over pay and conditions. In the Americans' favor, Loyalist recruiting in the south had been checked with a severe blow at Kings Mountain in October. Virginia had escaped military notice before 1779, when a raid destroyed much of the state's shipbuilding capacity and seized or destroyed large amounts of tobacco, a significant trade item for the Americans. Virginia's only defenses consisted of locally raised militia companies, a naval force, wiped out in the 1779 raid; the militia were under the overall direction of Continental Army General Baron von Steuben, a prickly Prussian taskmaster who, although he was an excellent drillmaster, alienated not only his subordinates, but had a difficult relationship with the state's governor, Thomas Jefferson. Steuben had established a training center in Chesterfield for new Continental Army recruits, a "factory" in Westham for the manufacture and repair of weapons and ammunition.
French military planners had to balance competing demands for the 1781 campaign. After a series of unsuccessful attempts at cooperation with the Americans, they realized more active participation in North America was needed. However, they needed to coordinate their actions with Spain, where there was potential interest in making an assault on the British stronghold of Jamaica, it turned out that the Spanish were not interested in operations against Jamaica until after they had dealt with an expected British attempt to reinforce besieged Gibraltar, wanted to be informed of the movements of the West Indies fleet. As the French fleet was preparing to depart Brest in March 1781, several important decisions were made; the West Indies fleet, led by the Comte de Grasse, after operations in the Windward Islands, was directed to go to Cap-Français to determine what resources would be required to assist Spanish operations. Due to a lack of transports, France promised six million livres to support the American war effort instead of providing additional troops.
The French fleet at Newport was given a new commander, the Com