Memorial Day Offer

Discover your mystery discount!

American Revolution

Causes of American Revolution: – English pursuit of mercantilism in the Americas – Royal Navy enforcement of mercantilist policies – Navigation Acts to improve trade […]

« Back to Glossary Index

Causes of American Revolution:
– English pursuit of mercantilism in the Americas
– Royal Navy enforcement of mercantilist policies
– Navigation Acts to improve trade ties with colonies
– Colonial reactions to policies
– King Philip’s War contributing to American identity
– Tensions after French and Indian War
– Stamp Act, Townshend Acts, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party
– Resistance to centralized English control
– Molasses Act, Royal Proclamation of 1763
– Lack of representation in Parliament
– Sons of Liberty, Stamp Act Congress, boycotts
– Role of British Parliament in levying taxes
– Aftermath and impact of American Revolution

Military Events of Revolutionary War:
– Second Continental Congress authorizing Continental Army
– Battles of Lexington and Concord
– Declaration of Independence
– France entering as ally
– Victory at Siege of Yorktown
– King George declaring Massachusetts in rebellion
– Battles of Bunker Hill, Trenton, and Princeton
– British control of New York City
– Battles of Saratoga leading to British surrender
– Prisoners of war treatment
– Alliances with France and Spain

Colonial Response and Resistance:
– Sons of Liberty burning HMS Gaspee
– Committees of Correspondence
– First Continental Congress boycott
– Governor dissolving Massachusetts assembly
– Riot over sloop Liberty seizure
– Repeal of most Townshend duties
– Opposition to Tea Act
– Boston Tea Party
– Suffolk Resolves and Provincial Congress
– Overthrow of existing governments
– New state constitutions committed to republicanism

British Acts and Reactions:
– Townshend Acts and Tea Act
– British Parliament’s authority over colonies
– Repeal of stamp tax and passing of Declaratory Act
– Opposition to Townshend Acts
– Boston Massacre
– Administration of Justice Act
– Boston Port Act
– Quartering Act
– Suffolk Resolves
– British return in 1776-1777
– Negotiations at Staten Island Peace Conference

Establishment of New State Constitutions and Independence:
– Patriots creating new state constitutions
– Thirteen Colonies under revolutionary control
– Absence of Loyalist control
– States committed to republicanism
– Property qualifications for voting and elected positions
– Declaration of Independence
– Defense of the Revolution
– Halifax Resolves and independence proposals
– Committee drafting justifications for separation
– Defeats and victories in battles
– Release of surviving prisoners at war’s end.

American Revolution (Wikipedia)

The American Revolution was a rebellion and political revolution in the Thirteen Colonies, which culminated in colonists initiating an ultimately successful war for independence against the Kingdom of Great Britain. Leaders of the American Revolution were colonial separatist leaders who originally sought more autonomy within the British political system as British subjects, but later assembled to support the Revolutionary War, which successfully ended British colonial rule over the colonies, establishing their independence, and leading to the creation of the United States of America.

American Revolution
Part of the Atlantic Revolutions
The Continental Colors flag (1775–1777)
The Committee of Five presenting its draft of the Declaration of Independence to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia on June 28, 1776, depicted in John Trumbull's 1818 portrait, Declaration of Independence
Date1765 to 1783
LocationThirteen Colonies
(1765–1775)
United Colonies
(1775–1781)
United States
(1781–1783)
Outcome
American Revolution
1765–1783
Chronology
Colonial Period Confederation period

Discontent with colonial rule began shortly after the defeat of France in the French and Indian War. Although the colonies had fought and supported the war, Parliament imposed new taxes to compensate for wartime costs and turned control of the colonies' western lands over to the British officials in Montreal. Representatives from several colonies convened the Stamp Act Congress to articulate a response. Its "Declaration of Rights and Grievances" argued that taxation without representation violated their rights as Englishmen.

In 1767, tensions flared again following the British Parliament's passage of the Townshend Acts, a group of new taxes and regulations imposed on the thirteen colonies. In an effort to quell the mounting rebellion in the colonies, which was particularly severe in Massachusetts Bay Colony, King George III deployed troops to Boston. A local fracas resulted in the troops killing protesters in the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770.

The Thirteen Colonies responded assertively. In 1772, anti-tax demonstrators in Rhode Island destroyed the Royal Navy customs schooner Gaspee. On December 16, 1773, in the Boston Tea Party, activists dressed themselves as Indians and dumped 340 chests of tea owned by the British East India Company and worth £9,659 into Boston Harbor. London responded decisively, closing Boston Harbor and enacting a series of punitive laws, which effectively ended self government in Massachusetts. In late 1774, 12 of the Thirteen Colonies (Georgia joined in 1775) sent delegates to the First Continental Congress, which convened at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia. It began coordinating Patriot resistance, which initially was carried out by local militias in the colonies, which gained military experience in the French and Indian War and began asserting rights of self-governance and defense.

In 1775, the King declared the Massachusetts Bay Colony to be in a state of open defiance and rebellion. On June 14, 1775, the Second Continental Congress, which convened at present-day Independence Hall in Philadelphia responded by authorizing formation of the Continental Army and appointing George Washington as its commander-in-chief. The fighting began two months earlier, in April 1775, when the British attempted to seize militia weapons but met resistance in the Battles of Lexington and Concord. The Continental Army expelled the British from Boston, leaving the Patriots in control of each colony.

In July 1776, the Second Continental Congress took the role of governing a new nation. It denounced King George III as a tyrant who trampled the colonists' rights as Englishmen, passed the Lee Resolution for national independence on July 2, and on July 4, 1776, adopted the Declaration of Independence, which embodied the political philosophies of liberalism and republicanism, rejected monarchy and aristocracy, and famously proclaimed that "all men are created equal".

The fighting continued for five years, now known as the Revolutionary War. During that time, France entered as an ally of the United States.

The decisive victory came in the fall of 1781, when the combined American and French armies captured an entire British army in the Siege of Yorktown. The defeat led to the collapse of King George's control of Parliament, with a majority now in favor of ending the war on American terms. On September 3, 1783, the British signed the Treaty of Paris giving the United States nearly all the territory east of the Mississippi River and south of the Great Lakes. About 60,000 Loyalists migrated to other British territories in Canada and elsewhere, but the great majority remained in the United States. With its victory in the American Revolution, the United States became the first constitutional republic in world history founded on the consent of the governed and the rule of law.

« Back to Glossary Index
This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.