（初めに右欄で英語を１つ選び、続いて選択肢から１つを選んでください。やり直すときは、英語を選び直すことから始めてください。右の［単語帳］を参考にすることもできます。）Battles had been fought between Massachusetts soldiers and British military forces in the towns of Lexington and Concord. Yet, war had not been declared. Even so, citizen soldiers in each of the thirteen American colonies were ready to fight.
This was the first question faced by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Who was going to organize these men into an army? Delegates to the Congress decided that the man for the job was George Washington. He had experience fighting in the French and Indian War. He was thought to know more than any other colonist about being a military commander. Washington accepted the position. But he said he would not take any money for leading the new Continental Army. Washington left Philadelphia for Boston to take command of the soldiers there.
Delegates to the Second Continental Congress made one more attempt to prevent war with Britain. They sent another message to King George. They asked him to consider their problems and try to find a solution. The king would not even read the message.
You may wonder: Why would the delegates try to prevent war if the people were ready to fight? The answer is that most members of the Congress -- and most of the colonists -- were not yet ready to break away from Britain. They continued to believe they could have greater self-government and still be part of the British Empire. But that was not to be.
Two days after the Congress appointed George Washington as army commander, colonists and British troops fought the first major battle of the American Revolution. It was called the Battle of Bunker Hill, although it really involved two hills: Bunker and Breed's. Both are just across the Charles River from the city of Boston.
Massachusetts soldiers dug* positions on Breed's Hill one night in June, seventeen seventy-five. By morning, the hill was filled with troops. The British started to attack from across the river. The Americans had very little gunpowder. They were forced to wait until the British had crossed the river and were almost on top of them before they fired their guns. Their commander reportedly told them: Do not fire until you see the whites of the British soldiers' eyes.
The British climbed the hill. The Americans fired. A second group climbed the hill. The Americans fired again. The third time, the British reached the top, but the Americans were gone. They had left because they had no more gunpowder. The British captured Breed's Hill. More than one thousand had been killed or wounded in the attempt. The Americans lost about four hundred.
That battle greatly reduced whatever hope was left for a negotiated settlement. King George declared the colonies to be in open rebellion. And the Continental Congress approved a declaration condemning everything the British had done since seventeen sixty-three.
* dug positions：dug はdig[動詞]の過去形