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April 19, 1775 – September 3, 1783
Eastern North America, North Atlantic Ocean, the West Indies
Battle of Brandywine, Battle of Bunker Hill, Battle of Monmouth, Battles of Saratoga, Battle of Bemis Heights
United States War of Independence, Revolutionary War
Before the flare-up of the American Revolutionary War, there had been growing tensions and conflicts between the British crown and its thirteen colonies. Attempts by the British government to raise revenue by taxing the colonies met with heated protest among many colonists. The Stamp Act and Townshend Acts provoked colonial opposition and unrest, leading to the 1770 Boston Massacre and 1773 Boston Tea Party.
By June 1776, a growing majority of the colonists had come to favor independence from Britain. On July 4, the Continental Congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence drafted largely by Thomas Jefferson.
In March 1776, the British led by General William Howe retreated to Canada to prepare for a major invasion of New York. A large British fleet was sent to New York with the aim to crush the rebellion. Routed by Howe’s Redcoats on Long Island, Washington’s troops were forced to evacuate from New York City. However, the surprise attack in Trenton and the battle near Princeton, New Jersey after that, marked another small victory for the colonials and revived the flagging hopes of the rebels.
British strategy in 1777 involved two main prongs of attack aimed at separating New England from the other colonies. Following the American victory in Battle of Saratoga, France and America signed treaties of alliance on February 6, 1778, in which France provided America with troops and warships.
On September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris, signed in Paris by Great Britain and by the United States of America, officially ended the American Revolutionary War.
Britain recognized the United States of America as an independent country. The Constitution was written in 1787 to amend the weak Articles of Confederation and it organized the basic political institutions and formed the three branches of government: judicial, executive, and legislative.