The Revolutionary War
The Revolutionary War began in 1775, and is sometimes referred to as the American Revolution or the U.S. War of Independence, was a war for independence from Britain.
There were several factors which led to the Revolutionary War, beginning with the British trying to overtax the colonists in America. In 1770, many of the colonists protested against the British because they were being forced to give money to the government in Britain, yet they had no say or vote in that government. This is called taxation without representation.
The protests led to more violence in 1770 when the British soldiers fired at the colonists killing five men. This became known as the Boston Massacre. A few years later, the British placed a tax on tea, and the colonists had no choice to pay it because there was only one company selling tea. In protest of the unfair tax, several people from Boston were dressed as Indians went aboard some British ships and dumped the tea into the water as another protest. This became known as the Boston Tea Party. The British became angry and attempted to pass stricter rules, but the colonists resisted and war began.
The Continental Army was formed with George Washington as its commander in chief. On June 17, the first fighting took place at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The army killed many of the British soldiers during the battle, but it ended in a British victory, which only motivated the colonists to further fight for their independence. Due to this support, the Declaration of Independence was written, but the words themselves did not lead the British to give up. Instead, the British sent more troops to America to try and stop the rebellion and 34,000 of them landed in New York causing Washington's troops to evacuate the city across the Delaware River. However, Washington fought back, crossing the Delaware again, with a surprise attack against the British on Christmas night during the Battle of Trenton.
Over the next two years (1777-1778), there were several battles with both the British and the Americans declaring victory, including the Battles of Princeton, Germantown, Brandywine, Saratoga, and a few others. The winter of 1777 also saw George Washington and his troops struggling to survive the snow and cold weather at Valley Forge, but instead of becoming weaker, the troops became stronger. They attacked British forces who were trying to move from Philadelphia to New York. The battle ended in a tie, and both sides became deadlocked, each waiting to see what the other side would do. After the second Battle of Saratoga, France joined the American side in the war, which for over a year had been secretly providing help. France, though, did not officially declare war on Great Britain until June of 1778.
Between 1779 and 1781, American troops suffered losses, including the defection of a general, Benedict Arnold, who initially was an American hero, became a traitor and switched sides to fight for the British. The battles continued between 1781 and 1783 when the war began to come to a close. The French navy attacked the British navy in the Chesapeake Bay, as well as bombed the British on land. On October 19, 1781, 8,000 British troops surrendered.
Following this Battle of Yorktown, the British government was concerned about losing the war decided to negotiate an end to the war. On September 3, 1783, the United States of America truly obtained their independence when Great Britain formally recognized America as an independent country in the Treaty of Paris. They also signed peace treaties with France, as well as Spain, which had entered the war in 1779. The Revolutionary War finally ended after eight years and many battles. America gained their independence and were no longer under the control of the British government.
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