All the colonists wanted was representation in Parliament, then a war started!
When the American Revolution began, most of the revolutionaries were acting on their hopes and ideologies, but as each year passed, those dreams waned, yet they never faded. There were, of course, many challenges to those dreams, but even after crushing defeats and harsh winters where there was little food and clothing, the American Patriots stayed true to their cause, mainly because of the conviction and discipline of General George Washington, who would become the first United States president. His guidance would help shape the young country during the war and immediately after, but first, he had to defeat the British.
The British Empire would not easily surrender either. They had more resources and a larger army, but luckily for the colonists, the British faced other conflicts around the world, and their military was spread thin. This allowed the colonists to draw the war out, causing opposition among the British citizenry, who were more willing than the British King to give the colonies away. This, among many other factors, was the reason the revolutionaries achieved victory.
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Thirteen colonies in America rebelled against British rule after resentment grew among the colonists. These colonists were propelled by the motto, "No Taxation Without Representation."
American colonists wanted to expand west into land gained from the French. However, the British issued the Proclamation of 1763, which prevented further settlement. The colonists started to believe that the British did not have their best interest at heart.
Paper money was issued throughout the colonies to pay for debt from the French and Indian War, but the paper money was depreciating, causing British merchants to complain. Britain responded with the Currency Act, which put limitations on how this money could be used.
As frustrations grew in the colonies, colonists began to openly oppose British laws and taxes. The Sons of Liberty were at the forefront of this opposition.
Benjamin Franklin was an influential author before and after the American Revolution. He also helped bridge a relationship with France, which was key in winning the war.
Patrick Henry was an early supporter of the American Revolution. After the war was over, Henry was elected again as the Governor of Virginia, a position he had held before.
In 1770, five men were killed by British soldiers in an event known as the Boston Massacre. This even helped unite the colonists in their opposition to British rule.
Crispus Attucks' heritage is unknown. He could have been either of Native American or African American descent. However, he is seen as a hero today, as many people believe he was the first person to die in the Revolutionary War.
Daniel Boone was one of the earliest settlers in Kentucky. In his time there, he often ran into trouble with local Indians in the area, including skirmishes during the American Revolution.
The Boston Tea Party is an iconic event in American history, as it was an early example of opposition to tyrannical rule. During the event, colonists dressed as Native American Indians, boarded British ships, and dumped their tea into the Boston Harbor.
As opposition to British regulations grew in the colonies, the First Continental Congress met to discuss the problems they faced. In this meeting, the representatives decided to oppose British taxes, but not British rule.
Despite holding resentment for the new taxes, Georgia still needed British aid with fending off Indians. For that reason, they decided not to send representatives to the First Continental Congress.
In Massachusetts, the British controlled Boston, but colonial forces controlled many of the surrounding towns. When the British got word that the colonists were amassing weapons, they sent troops to locate the weapons, but these troops ran into trouble with colonists. This marked the beginning of the war.
The Declaration of Independence went through multiple revisions and many prominent figures were involved in the draft process, including Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and John Adams. However, Thomas Jefferson was the primary author.
Although the events are often exaggerated, Paul Revere did ride on horseback, to help warn the colonists that British troops were coming. After that, he traveled to Lexington to help John Hancock and Samuel Adams escape.
The Battle of Bunker Hill in Massachusetts was much harder on the British than on the colonists, as the British suffered many more casualties. In the end, the battle would go down as a British victory, but the Americans left feeling good about future engagements.
Although the struggle for independence would last longer, the Declaration of Independence marked the beginning of the United States of America. It also helped unite the colonists against the British. It did not, however, make any promises concerning marriage.
Before the victory at Trenton, morale was waning among the colonists. Despite this, Washington led a mission across the Delaware River which secured a victory at Trenton and galvanized the troops.
Hessians were German military soldiers who were contracted to fight for the British. They made up around a quarter of the troops for the British during the American Revolution.
Washington used his time at Valley Forge to prepare his troops. Although conditions were tough, they left in the spring prepared for a campaign against the British.
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was a Prussian military officer who helped discipline the Continental Army. He initiated administrative programs, sanitary practices, and training exercises.
Cornwallis took command of the British army in the south, when Henry Clinton returned to New York. His army was undersized, but he was hoping to rely on colonists who were still loyal to the crown.
Benjamin Lincoln was sent south by George Washington to take command of the colonial forces there. During this time, he was defeated at Charleston, South Carolina, by British forces under the command of Charles Cornwallis and Henry Clinton.
As a general for the revolutionaries, Benedict Arnold was given control of West Point, New York, but he intended to give West Point to the British. However, this plan was ruined when a message was intercepted by the Patriots.
Thomas Paine was one of the great minds during the Enlightenment. His works reflected and influenced many of the ideas that came about during the American Revolution.
King George III ruled England from 1760 until his death in 1820. In the last ten years of his life, his son, Prince George of Wales, oversaw the kingdom as the Prince Regent, because of his father's poor health.
John Andre was intercepted and arrested for carrying plans made by Benedict Arnold to surrender West Point, New York. He would later be executed by hanging for his part in the plot.
France wasn't willing to go to war against Britain until they knew America was committed to independence. In 1778, France agreed to ally itself with the colonists and start a war with Britain.
Benedict Arnold led a Continental Army into Canada and tried to capture Quebec City. However, he was later wounded and forced to retreat.
King George III issued the Proclamation of Rebellion after the Battle of Bunker Hill. The Proclamation put everyone on alert that the rebellion would not be tolerated.
The Saratoga campaign was a major point in the war as it turned the tide for the colonists. If John Burgoyne had gotten the support from William Howe that he needed during this campaign, the British might have won the war.
African Americans were recruited by both sides during the war. They were offered freedom in return for their service.
Charles Cornwallis held strong in Yorktown during a seige against his army, but he was surrounded by French and Colonial forces. With no help coming to his aid, Cornwallis was forced to surrender.
When Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington, he did not present his sword to Washington, saying he was sick. Washington decided to have his second in command, Benjamin Lincoln, accept the sword.
The Treat of Paris was signed in 1783 by representatives from both Great Britain and the United States. The treaty declared that the United States was an independent nation.