Study Guide

Undaunted Courage Historical Context

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The Revolutionary War

In 1774, the year that Lewis was born, the present-day United States was still only thirteen British colonies, but they were colonies that were dissatisfied with their lack of representation in the British Parliament. The Revolutionary War began with fighting at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts, and the following year, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, of which Thomas Jefferson was the primary author. The Revolutionary War ended in an American victory in 1783, and the United States of America was established.

The First U.S. Government

The first U.S. government was the Articles of Confederation. This was a relatively weak government, lacking even an executive branch, and in 1787, state delegates ratified the U.S. Constitution. George Washington was elected president of the new nation by a unanimous vote. He appointed Jefferson as his secretary of state, but Jefferson resigned that position in 1793.

Several...

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This section contains 1,277 words
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