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In 1776, Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence while George Washington led his Continental Army to defend New York City from a British attack.

Siege of Boston

April 19, 1775 - March 17, 1776

General Washington launched a successful attack in Boston which resulted in over 11,000 redcoats and hundreds of Loyalists fleeing the city. 

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New York Campaign

August 1776 - November 1776

Because of New York City’s strategic location and status as an important port, the military campaign for New York had been in the minds of both the British and the Americans even prior to the Siege of Boston.

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Feature Presentation

The Winter Patriots

Following a series of defeats in New York, Washington led the Continental Army to crucial victories in the winter of 1776.

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Crossing the Delaware River

December 25, 1776

With the Continental Army threatening to dissolve around him, General George Washington led the remnants of his army across the icy Delaware River on Christmas night 1776.

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The Trenton-Princeton Campaign

December 1776 - January 1777

General George Washington led the remnants of his army to victory at the Battles of Second Trenton and Princeton, securing Washington's place as one of the greatest generals in world history.

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The Declaration of Independence

The Continental Congress voted for independence on July 2, 1776. Two days later on July 4, a declaration explaining the reasons for independence, largely written by Thomas Jefferson, had also been adopted.

General Washington received official notification when a letter dated July 6 arrived from John Hancock, the president of the Continental Congress, along with a copy of the declaration to be read to the Continental Army on July 9.


John Trumbull's painting depicts the drafting committee presenting their document to members of Congress (Universal History Archive)

Primary Source: The Declaration of Independence

On July 2, 1776, Congress voted to dissolved the connection between "this country" and Great Britain, declaring the "United Colonies of North America" to be free and independent states. Read the full transcription of this revolutionary document.

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Did George Washington Sign the Declaration of Independence?

The answer is no... but why not? Find out in this short video.