The American Revolution
The American Revolution is the reason Americans celebrate the 4th of July. However, the revolution didn't begin with a war. It began far earlier, when ordinary people reacted to increasing pressure by a government all the way across the ocean, when they decided that enough was enough, and they began fighting back.
Events Leading up to the Revolution
No one thing caused the revolution. It was a series of injustices that led the American people to become less and less tolerant over time. Each of these events caused a tiny crack to appear in relations between the Thirteen Colonies and Britain, and when too many cracks appeared, relations shattered altogether.
- Pontiac's Rebellion: The battle that took place in Ohio in 1763.
- The Proclamation of 1763: The Proclamation that awarded all French lands to England.
- The Intolerable Acts: British-imposed laws and restrictions that occurred after the Boston Tea Party. One of these acts, the Sugar Act, placed a tax on sugar and wine.
- The Stamp Act: The Intolerable Act that forced every newspaper, pamphlet or letter to have a British stamp on it.
- The Townshend Acts: Description of the legislation that Charles Townshend passed.
- The Boston Massacre: The fight that killed five Americans in Boston.
- The Boston Tea Party: The group of rebels that dumped over 90,000 of tea, worth nearly $2 million today, overboard in Boston Harbor.
- The First Continental Congress: Description of the discussions that took place during this first meeting of Congress.
- The Second Continental Congress: Detailed explanation of the actions of the Congress that signed the Declaration of Independence.
- The Declaration of Independence: Excerpts from the Declaration of Independence and talks about its signing on July 4, 1776.
Battles of the Revolution
No war can be won without battles. There were many battles that took place during the Revolution, and all of them were extremely important.
- The Battle of Lexington: The first battle of the Revolution.
- The Battle of Concord: A second battle that took place on the same day as the Battle of Lexington.
- The Battle at Fort Ticonderoga: The battle where the British army managed to capture Fort Ticondereoga from the Americans.
- The Battle of Bunker Hill: Description of the battle where the British took Bunker Hill.
- The Battle at Saratoga: Devoted to the battle at Saratoga, where a British General surrendered his army of over 6,000 men.
- Battle of Yorktown: The battle that George Washington won and eventually forced General Cornwallis to begin negotiations to end the revolution.
Important Revolutionary War Figures
The driving force behind the Revolution was undoubtedly the men and women who inspired the colonies to come together in ways they hadn't before.
- Benjamin Franklin: One of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
- John Paul Jones: The most well-known naval fighter during the Revolutionary War.
- Thomas Paine: The author of the pamphlet “Common Sense” which became the manifesto of the Revolution.
- George Washington: America's first President and one of its greatest generals.
- Benedict Arnold: One of America's most famous traitors.
- John Adams: The second American President and first Vice President who persuaded Congress to adopt the Declaration of Independence.
- Samuel Adams: Another Founding Father and a leader of the Revolution.
- John Hancock: The President of the Continental Congress who was the first delegate to sign the Declaration of Independence.
- Thomas Jefferson: The third President of the United States and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.
- Betsy Ross: The woman who sewed the first American flag.
- Paul Revere: The Revolution's "messenger".
- King George III: The King who ruled England during the Revolutionary War.
- Charles Cornwallis: England's top general who was also the administrator the colonies before the Revolution.
Each of these battles was a small step towards freedom for the American people, and each of these men played a vital role in the war. Without them, America would still be considered a British colony, not the amazing country it is today, in its own right.