American Revolution

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION—1775-1783

Also known as the American War for Independence and the American Revolutionary War, this conflict between the Continental Army and its allies against Great Britain and her allies resulted in the defeat of an empire and the birth of a new nation.

THE THIRTEEN COLONIES

Originally British territories in North America since 1607, the United States began as 13 separate colonies under royal authority, but largely self-governed.

NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION

In order to raise funds for the treasury back in London, the British Parliament passed the Sugar Act of 1764, the Currency Act of 1764, the Stamp Act of 1765, and the Townshend Acts of 1767.  These were met with stiff resistance by colonists who were not represented by a member of Parliament; and led to violent protests, culminating in the Boston Massacre.  Parliament repealed all the taxes except for a tax on tea.  This led to a boycott on tea in America and the 1773 Boston Tea Party, where 347 crates of East India Company tea were thrown overboard into the Boston Harbor.  Parliament retaliated with the Intolerable Acts and a ban on all sea trade in Boston.

THE REVOLUTION BEGINS

The British Army attempted to disarm the American militias which resulted in armed conflict at the Battle of Lexington and Concord.  The Continental Congress created the Continental Army and named George Washington its Commander-in-Chief and declared independence from Great Britain as the United States of America.

VIVA LA FRANCE

In October 1777, the Americans defeated British General John Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga and accepted his surrender.  This directly convinced the French to enter the war as an ally of the Americans in 1778.  This ensured an American advantage with the presence of the French Royal Navy.  The following year, the Spanish declared war on England as an ally of the French.

BRITISH SURRENDER

Surrounded by the Americans at the Battle of Yorktown with the French Navy cutting off any retreat by sea, General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington in 1781.  Official peace was negotiated with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783 where England formally recognized the independence of the Untied States.

MILITARY STATISTICS

United States, French and Spanish troop strength around 268,000 soldiers and sailors with more than 37,000-82,500 military dead.

Great Britain, Loyalist, German, Hanover and American Indian troop strength 289,240 with more than 78,200 military dead.

BATTLES OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Battle of Lexington and Concord, 1775

Battle of Bunker Hill, 1775

Battle of Trenton, 1776

Battle of Saratoga, 1777

Battle of Yorktown, 1781

 

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