The American Revolution involved a revolt of the British colonists in America against those in Great Britain that ruled them.
The process of the revolution took many years as the colonists developed their ideas of freedom and the requirement to be independent of the King of England.
The results of all of these years of fighting and battles occurred from 1775 through 1783 as the American Revolutionary War.
The 13 Original Colonies
As people arrived in the new world, they settled in specific areas and founded their own towns called “settlements.” These grew to become larger areas, each one developing their unique resources.
There were many colonies that grew out of the settlements, and not all were part of the American Revolution that later came to pass. Those that were part of the revolution included:
Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island.
Reasons for the Rebellion
The colonies and settlements were originally under the rule of the King of England and the laws set up by Great Britain. These were often oppressive laws including high taxes for imported products as well as taxes on things that the colonists did and used every day.
The colonists were paying so much to the King that they were becoming poor and yet, they British government wouldn’t allow them any representatives in England to talk about their lives, reject the laws, or plead their cases.
This was called “Taxation without Representation,” and one of the many reasons for the rebellion.
Years of Protests that Lead to War
The colonists tried to reason with the British overlords and when that didn’t work, they tried arguments and protests. Many that lived in the colonies still believed that they were British citizens and didn’t want to give up both the protection and benefits that the Crown offered.
They were also fearful of fighting against one of the greatest military countries that existed during that time. However, there were more that wanted freedom from the oppressive taxes and laws and this often turned into small skirmishes between the resident members of the British Army and the colonists.
Conflicts became greater and greater until finally, the colonies decided to go to war with Great Britain.
Independence Can be Confusing
Each of the colonies had their own ruling government and laws. When members of the 13 colonies got together to talk about independence, it sometimes became a shouting match.
They each had representatives as elected officials in the First Continental Congress in 1774, but it was far from an environment of agreement.
They made a valiant effort to unite all of the colonies into a single government and after much discussion, they had the Second Continental Congress meeting in 1776 where they made the official declaration of independence of the United States away from Great Britain.
Facts about the American Revolution:
- The first shot that was fired that is considered to be the official start of the American Revolution occurred on April 19, 1775. Throughout history they have referred to this as “the shot heard round the world.”
- The Boston Massacre involved British Soldiers shooting down unarmed colonists. John Adams was a defense attorney and known for his common sense and logic. He represented the British soldiers as their attorney. Adams would later be known as a leading member of the Revolution and eventually becoming the second U.S. President.
- The first President of the United States, George Washington, attended school until he was 14 years old. He was only 23 years old when he became Commander of the Virginia Militia in the American Revolution.
- There were many meetings and discussions about electing the first U.S. President. All that attended were elected representatives, however, George Washington made sure that he showed up each and every time in his full military outfit.
- While the American Revolution is known to be between the colonies and Great Britain, there were other countries that became embroiled in the war for their own purposes. The French were aligned with those in the colonies and we also saw Spanish and German soldiers that fought.