Text 2. Colonization of America. War For Independence

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Text 2. Colonization of America. War For Independence

Read the text and identify the facts as the most remarkable.

In a few short years, the United States went from 13 colonies to an independent nation in which the colonists demonstrated to the world their belief in independence, individual rights and democracy. These cherished values formed the basis for their Constitution, which would serve as the law of the land.

The road from colonies to nation was a gradual one that began with Parliament’s attempt to control the colonies’ foreign trade. The first efforts toward this goal were a series of laws, beginning 1n 1651, known as Trade and Navigation Acts. This legislation was intended to ultimately kill colonial competition. Most of these laws, however, were not enforced – in part because the appointed revenue officers were lax in their duties.

Parliament’s concern about colonial trade was part of a larger issue, the struggle between Britain and France over control of North America. In the final round, The French and Indian War, Britain emerged victorious after William Pitt became minister of war in 1758. With the Treaty of Paris in1763, France was eliminated as a contender for power in North America.

Britain’s victory brought it a host of new problems, among them a huge debt and a question of how to administer their newly acquired territory. To solve the former problem, Parliament levied new taxes that shifted part of the financial burden onto the colonies. To solve the latter problem, Parliament passed the Proclamation of 1763, which forbid all settlement west of the Appalachians. The colonists protested through petitions and representatives in London. They felt their rights as subjects of the Crown had been violated. As tensions grew, so did the means of protest. After the 1765 Stamp Act, the colonists staged boycotts and sometimes became violent. In their challenge to British Authority, the colonies discovered a sense of unity and patriotism and began to act together.

As time progressed the breach between Britain and the colonies gradually widened. Then, in 1773, colonists reacted to a monopoly granted to the British East Indian Tea Company by throwing thousand of pounds of tea into the Boston Harbor. Parliament responded with the coercive Acts, which colonists dubbed the “intolerable Acts”.

King George III refused to compromise, arguing that the colonies must submit or Triumph. The colonists responded by calling the First Continental Congress and organizing volunteer armies. Soon fighting broke out between Massachusetts “minutemen” and British troops near Boston at Concord. News of the battle spread quickly and electrified the colonies. Although it would be another be another year before the colonies formally declared their independence, the American revolution had begun.

Most colonies were not ready for independence. They wanted to remain part of the British empire as long as they could govern themselves through their own legislatures. The British government , though , was inflexible and wanted to punish the rebels.

The move toward independence got a boost from Thomas Pain , a political philosopher who in January 1776 published the persuasive and widely read pamphlet, Common Sense. In it, Pain argued against monarchy in general, for separation from Britain, and appealed to the American belief that they were a select people.

The Patriots, supporters of separation, began to prevail. Beginning with delegates from North Carolina in April 1776, the colonies advised their delegates in Congress to vote for independence. The Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, formally notified the world on July 4 that the colonies were indeed independent.

Announcing their independence was not as challenging as maintaining it. Britain, unwilling to surrender its large territory in North America, dispatched perhaps the largest single military force ever sent from Europe to America. The success of these troops and short-term enlistments reduced George Washington’s ill-prepared forces. Two early victories at Trenton and Princeton helped save the American cause.

The American faced a long struggle with a volunteer army and insufficient funds to pay the war. The struggle was eased when France allied itself with the American cause following a major victory over British forces at Saratoga. Soon Spain and The Netherlands also entered the war against Britain.

Women courageously served the American war effort, acting as secret agents, raising money and running farms and businesses while their husbands were away. A few women even fought in the ranks. African Americans and native Americans also served in the Revolutionary War: the former were more likely to support the Patriot army and the latter the British.

The Fighting gradually moved from north to south. For three years, beginning in 1778, the main British forces did not suffer a defeat in the South. Then in 1780, British General Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia, marking the last significant battle of the war. The colonies were at last independent.

With independence the colonies needed new constitution to replace colonial charters. Most adopted a bicameral legislature and restricted the executive branch. The right to vote, however, was restricted to white males who owned property. Some of the new states also began to question the institution of slavery. Other changes included an increase in religious freedom.

While the states were writing new constitutions, Congress developed a plan to unite them. Known as the Articles of Confederation, this document placed governing authority in Congress in which each state had one vote. It also curtailed the executive branch, which was a committee of delegates.

Under the Articles, the national government was weak. Domestically, the government was unable to collect taxes, enforce the laws or interpret them. It also faced difficulties dealing with settling the West, although the Congress passed two important documents – the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.In addition there were disputes between the states over boundaries, commerce and currency, all of which the Congress was powerless to solve. Internationally the new nation experienced difficulties with Britain, Spin, France and Barbary States. As a result the trade with them declined.

Because of these problems, it became apparent that the Articles were inadequate and that a new framework for government was needed. A convention was called, which met in Philadelphia over the summer of 1787, to solve these problems. For a tine differences between large states and small ones over representation in the Congress and between northern and southern states over economic issues, including slavery, threatened to break up the deliberations. Ultimately, a series of compromises was reached that created a powerful two-house Congress, a strong chief executive and a national judiciary. Most delegates believed that the new plan – the Constitution – was a vast improvement over the Articles. Ratification of the Constitution was difficult, however, primarily because some states were cautious about surrending their power. Finally, though, supporters of the Constitution, The Federalists, emerged victorious. The new government was set to be launched in 1789.


Word Check


Ex. 1. Give the English for the following words:

Видимый, очевидный; структура; рассмотрение, обсуждение предусмотрительный , осторожный воодушевлять, лелеять, питать надежду

придавать силу, обязывать; доход , финансовое управление;

расхлябанный, необязательный; противник; получать приобретать , взимать, облагать, перекладывать на; ноша, груз, разрыв, брешь; добровольное поступление на военную службу; двухпалатный


Ex. 2. Mark the definition on the right with the correct word on the left.

1) constitution a) state of being free of influence, guidance or control of others; state of being free of political control or rule
2) independence b) money or occasionally property, that people pay to their government
3) petition c) a law or regulation, especially one made by a city or a town
4) boycott d) conference of members of a society, political party, etc or of persons in business, commerce
5) tax e) basic principals and laws of a nation, state or social group that determine the powers and duties of the government a guarantee certain rights to its people
6) legislature f) to make a formal request to an authority, often a government, for a change in a policy; the request itself.
7) ordinance g) a governmental body made up of persons elected to make laws.
8) convention h) refusal to buy goods or have dealing with a country or other entity, usually to express disapproval or force acceptance of certain conditions. apparent



Ex. 1.Split the text into the parts and think of appropriate titles for each one.


Ex. 2.What do these numbers in the text refer to?

1651; 13; 1758; 1763; 1765; 1773; 1776; 1778; 1780; 1787; 1789.

Ex. 3.Find the sentences or phrases in the text that are close or equivalent in meaning for the following:

1. продемонстрировали свою веру в независимость, права человека и демократию.

2. Путь становления от колоний к наци был постепенным и начался с попытки Парламента установить контроль над торговлей колоний с иностранными государствами.

3. работники финансовых учреждений

4. C подписанием Парижского Соглашения роль Франции, как претендента на власть в Северной Америке, была снижена.

5. управлять новыми приобретенными территориями

6. переложил часть финансового бремени на колонии

7. С ростом напряжения менялись и средства протеста.

8. выбросив тысячи тонн чая в Бостонский залив

9. получило поддержку

10. вступили в войну против Британии

11. В течении 3 лет, начиная с 1778, основные военные силы Британии не потерпели ни одного поражения на Юге.

12. свобода вероисповедания

13. Согласно “Статьям Конфедерации” национальное правительство было слабым

14. на международном уровне

15. стало очевидно

16. прервать обсуждение


Ex. 4.Arrange the sentences in the chronological order.

1. British General Cornwallis surrendered at York town, Virginia, marking the last significant battle of the war.

2. The colonists reacted to a monopoly granted to the British East India Tea Company by throwing thousands of tea into the Boston Harbor.

3. The first effort toward unification of the country were a series of laws , known as Trade and Navigation Acts.

4. Britain emerged victorious in the French and Indian War after William Pitt became minister of war.

5. The move toward independence continued with Thomas Pain’s “Common Sense”

6. Britain dispatched the largest military force ever sent from Europe to America.

7. Soon fighting broke out between Massachusetts “minutemen” and British troops near Boston at Concord.

8. With the Treaty of Paris France was eliminated as a contender for power in North America.

9. After the Stamp Act the colonists staged boycotts and sometimes became violent

10. Parliament passed the Proclamation, which forbid all the settlement west of the Appalachians.

11. The colonists called the 1st Continental Congress and organised volunteer armies.

12. The fighting gradually moved from north to south.

13. The success of these troops and short-term enlistment reduced George Washington ill-prepared forces.

14. The Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, formally notified that the colonies were independent.

15. Parliament responded with the Coercive Acts, which the colonists dubbed the “Intolerable Acts”.


Ex. 5.Define the statements as true and false. Correct the false ones.

1. The first efforts to unite the country were Trade and Navigation Acts.

2. In the French and Indian War France got its control over North America.

3. To solve a problem how to administer British newly acquired territory Parliament passed the proclamation of 1763.

4. Thomas Pain, a political leader, published the widely read pamphlet “ Common Sense”.

5. The Declaration of Independence was Drafted by George Washington.

6. Numerous volunteer forces took part in the War for Independence.

7. The fighting gradually moved from south to north.

8. The Articles of Confederation placed governing authority in Congress in which one state had one vote.

9. Under the Articles, the government was able to collect taxes, but was not allowed to interpret laws.

10. The supporters of the Constitution , the Patriots, took their victory in Ratification of the Constitution.


Ex. 6.Give full answers to the questions:

1. When were taken the first attempts to unite the colonies into nation? Were they realized?

2. What problems were brought with the Britain’s victory in the French and Indian war? In what way did the Parliament try to solve them?

3. How did the colonists oppose Britain? Give examples.

4. Most colonists were not ready for independence, were not they? Why?

5. What was Thomas Pain’s role in the move toward independence of the colonies?

6. When was the declaration of Independence adopted?

7. What events took place after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence?

8. After the war for Independence the colonies faced a lot of problems, What were they?

9. What new practices did the article of Confederation bring to the institution of political administration in America?

10. Was it easy or not to ratify the Constitution? Why?




Ex. 1. Work in groups and prove that there were a number of events that led the colonies to declare their independence.


Ex. 2.Compare life for the colonists under the British rule and the life under the Articles of Confederation.


Ex. 3.Write an essay on the topic “A Road to Independence



Ex. 1.Translate into English.

В 1620 году 35 человек, отколовшихся от Церкви Англии, прибыли на восточное побережье Северной Америки на корабле « Мэй Флауэр». Они приплыли из Англии ( из Плимута) в поисках лучшей жизни.Этих людей называют отцами-пилигримами. Они поселились в Америке и основали там первое постоянное поселение под названием Новая Англия. Название «Новая Англия» было дано территории восточного побережья Северной Америки ( сейчас это штат Массачусетс). Позднее миллионы европейцев из различных стран Европы прибыли туда, ассимилировались и стали американцами.

Таким образом, США первоначально состояли из 13 штатов, так как поселенцы заняли 13 колоний вдоль побережья Атлантического Океана.

Спустя столетие или даже более эти 13 британских колоний решили, что они не могут больше жить под властью Британии. Они взбунтовались и начали войну за независимость. Война за независимость закончилась принятием Декларации Независимости. Она была принята 4 июля 1776 года в штате Филадельфия. Этот день считается днем рождения американской нации и называется Днем Независимости ( национальный праздник США ).Зал Конгресса, в котором Декларация была зачитана, называется Залом Независимости. Колокол, который возвестил о чтении Декларации, называется Колоколом Свободы.




1. 1775 April 19.First shots of the American War of Independence are fired at Lexington, Massachusetts.

2. 1776 July 4. The 13 colonies sign Declaration of Independence.

3. 1777 October 17. British Force under General John Burgoyne surrenders at Saratoga, New York.

4. 1778 February 6. France enters into a military alliance with the United States.

5. 1781 October 17. General Charles Cornwallis surrenders British army at Yorktown, Virginia, to combined Franco-American forces under command of American general, George Washington.


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