The American Revolutionary War took place between 1775 - 1783 and resulted in the formation and recognition of the United States as an independent nation.
Although the war began in 1775, it finds its roots in the end of the Seven Years War, when the British decided to raise taxes in America to pay for the war debt.¹ This upset Americans because they were not granted any input on their new taxes, making Americans realize their lack of parliamentary representation.
In 1765, the British passed a series of acts including the Stamp Act, declaring that all printed material must carry a stamp.¹ These stamps were not free and cost American elites who handled paper a lot of money. These acts also gave British courts the right to try colonial smugglers, taking that away from the colonial courts who had been notoriously lenient on smuggling.¹
This led to the the first major coordinated action in an united way by the colonists: The Stamp Act Congress who decided to boycott British goods.¹ This is extremely significant because it is the first time the colonies acted in an ‘united’ way. Eventually these taxes were repealed and then imposed once again. The colonial response to these acts set the stage for American Revolutionary War
Massachusetts Bay Colony made resolutions calling for fellow colonists to¹:
- disobey acts
- stop paying taxes
- prepare for war
The first real colony wide government was a group of delegates from 12 of the colonies, making up the first Continental Congress.¹
The actual war between colonists and Britain began in 1775 on April 19th when fighting broke out between British soldiers and the Massachusetts militia men at Concord and Lexington.¹
Even though colonists lost the famous Battle of Bunker Hill, the British suffered so many casualties they were forced to abandon Boston. The British then took over New York which they held for much of the rest of the war.¹
The main strategy of the British was to capture all of the cities and force colonists to surrender. They managed to capture Boston, New York, Charleston but they would not succeed in the second goal. With their home field advantage, all the colonists had to do was not quit and hold onto the countryside.¹
Battle of Saratoga is the most famous battle in the north and was a major defeat for British. The famous battle of war in the south took place in Yorktown and was the battle during which the British surrendered.
The independence of the United States of America was revolutionary in many ways. For example, it was the beginning of true religious freedom in America. The Church of England was no longer Church of America and Jefferson called for a wall between church and state. He passed the ‘Bill for establishing religious freedom, printed for the confederation of the people.’¹