Land of the Brave

The War for Independence

Colonial America - Land of the Brave

War for Independence (1775-1783)

There were many events that led the American colonists down the Road to Revolution and their War for Independence (1775-1783). The British Parliament, in retaliation for the events surrounding the Boston Tea Party, had passed a series of punishing laws which the American colonists called the Intolerable Acts.

The Americans had argued that they were not afforded the same rights as the British. But the British ignored their protests, passing laws and demanding new taxes such as the Tea Tax.

The basis for the legal argument of the Americans was that the 1689 English Bill of Rights had put into place a constitutional form of government in which the rights and liberties of the individual were protected under English law. The American colonists protested that were not afforded these privileges and that the British had abused their rights and liberties.

1775: American War for Independence Begins...
All of the 13 British colonies had become united by the establishment of the Committees of Correspondence that communicated the dangers of 'taxation without representation' to all American colonists. The passing of the Intolerable Acts (also called the the Restraining Acts and the Coercive Acts) were the last straw for the colonists and their War for Independence begins...

The American War for Independence (1775-1783)
Great Britain were losing patience and in January 1775, orders were sent from London prohibiting the meeting of the Continental Congress. In February 1775 the British Parliament declared that Massachusetts was in a state of rebellion. The British sent military reinforcements to America under the command of  General William Howe, General Henry Clinton, and General John Burgoyne.

The American War for Independence (1775-1783) - Causes and Events
This overview of the American War of Independence describes many of the major causes of the Revolutionary War -  important incidents, famous people, conflicts and battles that occurred during the War for Independence (1775-1783).

In accordance with one of the Intolerable Acts, General Thomas Gage became governor of Massachusetts in 1774. General Gage soon realised that the American colonists were producing arms, ammunition and cannon.

April 18, 1775: General Thomas Gage sent British troops marching from Boston towards Concord. Gage also ordered the arrest of the patriots John Hancock and Samuel Adams, they were alerted to the threat by Paul Revere. The soldiers were ordered to seize weapons and gunpowder. Their attempt to destroy the munitions brought on the Battle of Lexington and the Battle of Concord starting the War for Independence

The Continental Congress of colonial delegates, which met in 1774 and adjourned to meet again in 1775, assembled soon after these two battles and prepared for war with the British. The Continental Army was initially formed in the Boston area with George Washington as Commander-in-Chief

George Washington reached Boston soon after the Battle of Bunker Hill, which made it clear to the British that the Americans would fight. Washington besieged the British in Boston and in March, 1776, they left the city by water, and Washington moved his army to the area of New York.

Washington and his forces were attacked by the British, and was driven up the Hudson River to White Plains pursued by Cornwallis. From there he crossed into New Jersey, only to be driven across the state and into Pennsylvania

On Christmas night, 1776, Washington re-crossed the Delaware to Trenton, and the next morning won a victory over the Hessians at the The Battle of Trenton .

On January 3, 1777, Washington won another victory for the Americans at the Battle of Princeton , and he spent the remainder of the winter at Morristown

In July, 1777, Sir William Howe sailed from New York for Philadelphia. The forces of Washington travelled overland to confront him. The Americans were defeated at the Battle of Brandywine, and the city fell into the hands of Howe.

George Washington passed the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge in hills that were not far from Philadelphia

General Burgoyne was given command of the British forces charged with gaining control of Lake Champlain and the Hudson River valley. He attempted to cut the states in two by getting possession of New York state from Lake Champlain to New York city, and the army under Burgoyne came down from Canada. General Burgoyne and his troops were captured at Saratoga.

In February, 1778, France made a treaty of alliance with America and sent over a fleet. Fearing the French fleet would attack New York, the British commander Sir Henry Clinton left Philadelphia with his army. Washington followed from Valley Forge, overtook the British resulting in the Battle of Monmouth. The British then went on to New York, whilst Washington stretched out his army from Morristown to West Point.

In December, 1778, the British attacked the Southern States. They conquered Georgia following the Siege of Savannah in the winter of 1778-1779

In the spring of 1780 the British attacked South Carolina and captured General Benjamin Lincoln following his surrender at the Siege of Charleston.

The American General Horatio Gates then took the field and was defeated at the Battle of Camden

General Nathanael Greene was sent to the South to take charge of the resistance to General Cornwallis and drove the British forces in South Carolina and Georgia into Charleston and Savannah, during 1781 after winning a great American victory at the Battle of Cowpens

A British force was sent against Greene under Cornwallis who undertook to fortify Yorktown and hold it. The British were surrounded by Washington and the French fleet and forced to surrender at the Battle of Yorktown.

On October 19, 1781, the British laid down their arms and surrendered

The British army was decimated and the American War for Independence was virtually over

The surrender of the British army at Yorktown had a devastating effect on the British and Parliament voted against further war in America

Great Britain officially declared an end to hostilities in America on February 4, 1783

In February, 1783 the European countries of Spain, Sweden, Denmark and Russia recognized the United States of America

On April 11, 1783 Congress officially declared the end to the American Revolutionary War

On September 3, 1783 the Peace Treaty of Paris 1783 was signed by the United States and Great Britain

George Washington delivered his farewell address and resigned his commission as commander-in-chief on December 23, 1783. Five years later George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States of America in 1788.

The Treaty of Paris (1783) was ratified by Congress on January 14, 1784 which is the date that the American Revolutionary War officially ends

The American Revolution War created two countries, Canada and the United States. The British victories at Quebec City and Fort Cumberland saved the provinces of Quebec and Nova Scotia from conquest and defined the border with the United States

The end of the War for Independence left America taking the first steps to build the new country that included changing the Colonies to States

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