red – Di seguito viene proposto il testo “Revolution” riguardante la Rivoluzione Americana. Al termine del brano sono disponibili un glossario e alcune domande alle quali rispondere.
“Britain established several colonies in North America during the 17th century, starting with Virginia in 1607. A century of rivalry between European powers, including England, France, Spain, Austria, and Prussia, culminated in the Seven Years’ War (1756–63). After the British victory over the French in the Seven Years’ War, Britain became the major colonial power in North America.
To help cover the expense of defending its North American colonies, the British Government decided to tax its American colonies more strictly. The problem for many American colonists was not that taxes were high, but that they were not consulted about them, as they had no representation in Parliament. The growing unrest was reflected in the slogan: No taxation without representation! and there were lots of political debates about the role of democracy and republican values in society.
In 1773, ‘The Boston Tea Party’ signalled the start of an escalation in protests and violence around the city of Boston. Groups of local militia formed, and in 1775 British soldiers were sent to nearby Lexington to confiscate a store of weapons. As the British soldiers faced the colonial rebels, the ‘shot heard around the world’ was fired on April 19th 1775.
The American War of Independence had begun.
The thirteen colonies involved formed a provisional government, called ‘The United Colonies of America’, and formed their own ‘Continental Army’ under the leadership of George Washington. They declared their independence on July 4th 1776, a date which is still celebrated with a national holiday every year as Independence Day. The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, was influenced by the Enlightenment philosophy that had come out of Europe, and shows the desire for a new, more egalitarian society. Its opening lines have become famous: We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The British suffered some surprise defeats at the hands of the Continental Army, but returned to the war with reinforcements. The Americans formed an alliance with France in 1778, and the French helped the Americans with money, weapons, ships, and soldiers. The British, under General Cornwallis, were forced to surrender at Yorktown in 1781. The war formally ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1783 and the United States became a sovereign state, with George Washington as its first President.”
established – fondò
several – diverse
rivalry – rivalità
major – principale
expense – spesa
strictly – severamente
unrest – agitazione
signalled – segnalò, annunciò
store – stoccaggio
faced – affrontarono
endowed – dotati
pursuit – ricerca
suffered – subirono
defeat – sconfitta
treaty – trattato
- Britain established its first colony in North America in the 17th century/18th century?
- The American War of Independence started in 1775/1785.
- Twelve/thirteen colonies originally formed the United States of America.
- The rebel army was called The American Army/The Continental Army.
- The first American president was Thomas Jefferson/George Washington.