First, the Colonists bought lots of things from England, but England charged them taxes on those things without them having a chance to participate in the government. Sam Adams didn’t like that.
Sam Adams didn’t like a lot of things. In protest, the Colonists had the least fun tea party ever (which I refer to as the Boston Massacre) at which no tea was actually drunk but defenseless cases of tea were thrown mercilessly into the ocean. At least they got to wear costumes. (Note to self: Next time, have a Boston-Tea-Party-themed tea party?)
After that, some people were like, “Maybe we should be independent, guys.” So they all got together for the Continental Congress to decide what to do and how best to stop the continued loss of innocent tea. When they got to the Congress, the Massachusetts reps thought they were the hottest, but they were wrong. The Virginians were the hottest.
The Continental Congress got together a poopload of times. There was a lot of this from South Carolina.
And a lot of this from Massachusetts.
John Adams decided they needed to write down their feelings, so he asked Thomas Jefferson to write a Declaration of Independence.
They liked it!
But they still had to vote on it. Eventually, everyone agreed to declare independence. Then they had to announce to the general populace that they had basically just signed them all up for war.
Then there was a lot of fighting for a couple of years. Luckily for them, Ben Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson were all in Europe pretty much the whole time.
Not long after that, they all went back to the new independent states. It was time to elect a President. George Washington did not want this job.
But they made him President anyway, because he was the man. His one rule was that he didn’t want political parties in his administration. That didn’t work out too well.
In the end, President Washington served two terms before stepping down and allowing a new President to be elected. You know those before and after pictures they show of President Obama from 2008 to now? This is what GW looked like before and after his two terms.
That was a rough 8 years, but he made it and so did the rest of the country thanks to our Founding Fathers!
All still images from HBO’s John Adams miniseries. Mouse over images for gif credits.