American Revolution, also called United States War of Independence or American Revolutionary War, (1775–83), insurrection by which 13 of Great Britain’s North American colonies won political independence and went on to form the United States of America. The war followed more than a decade of growing estrangement between the British crown and a large and influential segment of its North American colonies that was caused by British attempts to assert greater control over colonial affairs after having long adhered to a policy of salutary neglect.
Some interseting facts of the American Revolution are as follows:
- The American Revolution was a struggle between 13 American colonies and Great Britain.
- One of the main reasons that the colonists rebelled against Great Britain is that they felt they were not represented in the British government.
- The British government attempted to pass laws, enforce several taxes, and increase its control over the colonies. The colonies strongly objected to these laws and taxes.
- These colonies didn’t like the laws imposed on them by Britain, including the Sugar Act, the Tea Act, and the Stamp Act.
- Boston Port Act forced the colonies to pay for the tea they had destroyed, in what came to be called the Boston Tea Party, before the port would be reopened, which angered the locals and scared others.
- The Tea Act of 1773 was imposed on the American colonies by the British government. The Act intended to subsidize the struggling East India Company, which was very important for the British economy, and the Tea Act would raise money from the 13 colonies for it.
- The Stamp Act was another tax imposed on the American colonies by the British in 1765. The tax covered printed materials, specifically newspapers, magazines, and any legal documents.
- They wanted England to have no control over them.
- Members of the colonies were constantly being punished by the British for rioting, which made them even angrier.
- The American colonies wished to attain independence and create a new sovereign nation – the United States.
- The 13 colonies were Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.
- For ten years before the war started, tension grew between England and the colonies.
- Each colony had its own local government. In 1774 they each elected officials to represent them at the First Continental Congress. This was the first effort of the colonies to unite and make a single government.
- In 1776 the Second Continental Congress declared the independence of the United States from Great Britain.
- The American Revolutionary War lasted for eight years – between April 1775 to September 1783.
- The American colonists supporting independence were named Patriots.
- Colonists remaining loyal to the British crown were known as ‘loyalists’.
- British soldiers were known as ‘redcoats’ or ‘devils.’
- The American army was known as the Continental Army after the Continental Congress of 13 states.
- Not all British MPs supported military action against the American Patriots. The ‘Whig’ faction, e.g. Edmund Burke criticized military action to resolve the issue.
- The American Commander in Chief was George Washington.
- The British military commander at the start of Revolution was Sir William Howe, though he was later replaced due to failures in the British war effort.
- Although the war was between the colonies and Great Britain, other countries got involved as well.
- The French were a major ally to the colonies. So there were French, German, and Spanish soldiers who fought in the war.
- The new government of the United States was different than the government of the colonist’s homeland, Great Britain.
- They decided that they didn’t want to be ruled by a king anymore. They wanted a government that was ruled by the people.
- The new government would be a democratic government with leaders elected by the people and balances of power to make sure that no one could become king.
- King George III led British resistance to American independence. The British Prime Minister was Lord North (a Tory).
- Despite the accusations made in the Declaration of Independence, George III was not determined to create an authoritarian system in the colonies.
- Indeed, in the constitutional disputes, before the fighting began, he urged moderation on his ministers, rather than encouraging them to take a hard line.
- In 1775, George III disappointed the Americans by siding unambiguously with his government; but he saw the war as the struggle for the rights of parliament, not as an attempt to increase his own power.
- In 1776, the population of the 13 American colonies was estimated at 2.4 million. 85% of the white population was of British descent, with 9% of German origin and 4% Dutch.
- During the war, African-American slaves served on both sides of the war.
- The British offered freedom to slaves who escaped their masters and served with loyalist forces.
- After 1776, George Washington raised a small number of black only units.
- During the chaos of war, many slaves were able to escape. In South Carolina, 30% of slaves escaped, migrated or died during the conflict.
- Approx 25,000 American Patriots died during military service – the biggest cause of death was disease – often in unsanitary prisoner of warships.
- Compared to the ratio of the population, The War of Independence was the second-deadliest American conflict after the Civil War.
- Approx 42,000 British sailors deserted in the war.
- American colonies also had difficulties raising troops due to the economic need to stay on a farm. 90% of the American population worked on farms.
- The British army was weakened by needing to also fight in the Caribbean.
- The Sons of Liberty was a secret society of people from the American colonies who wanted to protect the rights of colonists.
- On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, in which the colonies declared their independence from England.
- On October 17, 1777, the Battles of Saratoga brought a huge victory for the Americans after the defeat and surrender of General John Burgoyne.
- The winter of 1777 to 1778 became a huge challenge for General Washington as they spent winter training at Valley Forge.
- By February 16, 1778, France honored the Treaty of Alliance with America and recognized them as an independent country from Britain.
- The official government of the United States was defined through the Articles of Confederation on March 2, 1781.
- The last major battle of the American Revolution War took place at the Battle of Yorktown. General Cornwallis surrendered, marking the unofficial end of the war.
- The war ended in 1783, and the United States of America was born. By April 9, 1784, King George III ratified the treaty.
- The word “independence” never appears in the Declaration of Independence — rather, it’s titled “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America.”
- In cities such as New York that were controlled by the British Army, some soldiers took time to act in professionally produced plays during the war.
- Since they didn’t have money for a big navy, the Continental Congress hired privateers, aka pirates, to attack British ships.
- Spying played a huge role in the war, and agents on both sides sent messages using invisible ink.
- Battle tactics used by the Americans were generally defensive.
- The British Army had many advantages over the American Army.
- The British Army had a well established, experienced, standing army – the American Army did not.
- Unlike the American Army, the British Army had a well-established navy.
- The British Army had ample quantities of powder, guns, and clothing – the American Army did not.
- The British Army were well disciplined and trained – the American Army.
- 40% – 45% of Americans supported the Revolutionary War.
- The Peace Treaty of Paris 1783 was signed on September 3, 1783, and ended the American Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the United States of America.
To sum it all we have a famous slogan from the era of a revolutionary war that justifies all the struggle behind the American Revolution.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ”
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