American Revolution - Revolutionary War

The American Revolutionary War, the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War in the United States, was the successful military rebellion against Great Britain of Thirteen American Colonies which joined together as the United States of America in July 1776. Originally limited to fighting in those colonies, after 1778 it also became a world war between Britain and France, Netherlands, Spain, and Mysore. More

The war had its origins in the resistance of many Americans to taxes imposed by the British parliament, which they held to be unlawful. Formal acts of rebellion against British authority began in 1774 when the Patriot Suffolk Resolves effectively abolished the legal government of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The tensions caused by this would lead to the outbreak of fighting between Patriot militia and British regulars at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. By the end of 1775 rebels had seized full control in all thirteen colonies and on July 4, 1776, their Continental Congress declared independence.

The British were meanwhile mustering large forces to put down the revolt. They inflicted significant defeats on the American rebel army, now under the command of George Washington, capturing New York City in 1776 and later Philadelphia in 1777. But they were unable or unwilling to land a finishing blow against him. British strategy relied on mobilizing American Loyalist militia, of whom they made little effort to enlist until late in the war. Poor coordination helped doom a British advance against Albany in 1777, which resulted in the capture of a British army following the Battles of Saratoga.

American Revolution - Revolutionary War timeline

  • Twenty Black Carolinians Meet Near The Stono River

    Early on the morning of Sunday, September 9, 1739, twenty black Carolinians met near the Stono River, approximately twenty miles southwest of... Read more

  • Andrew Pickens Is Born

    Andrew Pickens (September 13, 1739 – August 11, 1817) was a militia leader in the American Revolution and a member of the United States House of... Read more

  • Nathanael Greene Is Born

    I would fain hope…that upon a final settlement of his affairs there will be a handsome competency for Mrs. Greene and the Children. But should the... Read more

  • John Jay Is Born

    John Jay, one of the nation's founding fathers, was born on December 12, 1745, to a prominent and wealthy family in New York City. He attended... Read more

  • James Madison Is Born

    James Madison, "Father of the Constitution" and fourth president of the United States, was born on March 16, 1751.* A graduate of the College of... Read more

  • The Sugar Act

    The Revenue Act of 1764, also known as the Sugar Act, was the first tax on the American colonies imposed by the British Parliament. Its purpose... Read more

  • The Currency Act

    On September 1, 1764, Parliament passed the Currency Act, effectively assuming control of the colonial currency system. The act prohibited the... Read more

  • The Stamp Act

    On February 6th, 1765 George Grenville rose in Parliament to offer the fifty-five resolutions of his Stamp Bill. A motion was offered to first read... Read more

  • The Quartering Act

    In March 1765, Parliament passed the Quartering Act to address the practical concerns of such a troop deployment. Under the terms of this... Read more

  • The Declaratory Act

    AN ACT for the better securing the dependency of his Majesty's dominions in America upon the crown and parliament of Great Britain. WHEREAS... Read more

  • The Townshend Revenue Act

    Taxes on glass, paint, oil, lead, paper, and tea were applied with the design of raising £40,000 a year for the administration of the colonies. The... Read more

  • Boston Non-Importation Agreement

    Colonial resistance to British control took many forms, perhaps the most effective was the general success of the non-importation agreements. Such... Read more

  • Boston Massacre

    American opposition to the British authorities kept steadily rising as assemblies were dissolved, the houses of citizens searched, and troops... Read more

  • The Gaspee Affair

    On June 9, the Gaspee attempted to stop and search the Hannah, a small trader from Newport bound for Providence. The captain of the Hannah,... Read more

  • The Tea Act

    The Tea Act, passed by Parliament on May 10, 1773, would launch the final spark to the revolutionary movement in Boston. The act was not intended... Read more

  • Boston Tea Party

    The Boston Tea Party was an act of direct action protest by the American colonists against the British Government in which they destroyed many... Read more

  • Paul Revere Becomes A Member of The First Patriot Intelligence Network, 'The Mechanics'

    The first Patriot intelligence network on record was a secret group in Boston known as the "mechanics." The group apparently grew out of the old... Read more

  • Boston Port Act

    The Boston Port Act is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain (citation 14 Geo. III. c. 19) which became law on March 30, 1774, and is one of... Read more

  • Administration of Justice Act

    Parliament’s offensive against Massachusetts, the perpetrator of the Boston Tea Party, included an effort to afford legal protections to officials... Read more

  • Massachusetts Government Act

    The Massachusetts Government Act (citation 14 Geo. III c. 45) was passed by the Parliament of Great Britain and became a law on May 20, 1774. The... Read more

  • Second Quartering Act

    A second Quartering Act (citation 14 Geo. III c. 54) was passed on June 2, 1774, as part of a group of laws that came to be known as the... Read more

  • Quebec Act

    The Quebec Act of 1774 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain (citation 14 Geo. III c. 83) setting procedures of governance in the Province... Read more

  • Powder Alarm

    The Powder Alarm was a massive popular reaction to the removal of gunpowder from a magazine by British soldiers under orders from General Thomas... Read more

  • Boston Campaign

    The Boston campaign was the opening campaign of the American Revolutionary War. The campaign was primarily concerned with the formation of American... Read more

  • The First Continental Congress

    The first Continental Congress met in Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia, from September 5, to October 26, 1774. Carpenter's Hall was also the seat... Read more