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The American War for Independence (1776-1783)

These are the times that try mens souls

-Thomas Paine, 1780

Background By the end of 1775, 13 British colonies had been established in America

New Hampshire Massachusetts Rhode island Connecticut NY NJ Pennsylvania Delaware Maryland Virginia N. carolina S. carolina Georgia

These 13 colonies made a remarkable contributions in the field of agriculture, forestry, fishing, commerce and ship building.

Hardships faced

task in crossing the Pacific ocean. Contingencies of inadequate meal, diseases and storm. Common men from Europe and England had to bear the wrath of the red-indians. Land was covered with dense forests. It was not easy to convert forest land to arable land.

Why did Europeans stay there?


get rid of genocide wars To escape slavery To earn money in colonies Escape political and religious torture They thought that they will be able to worship God freely.

Causes of the revolution


scholars divide these causes into the following 1] struggle of ideas and principles 2] contribution of circumstances 3] clash b/w orthodox English society and liberal American society 4] faulty English administration, policies and tyranny.

Immediate cause
A] Lord Norths Tea Policy
Boston Tea Party


dressed up like Mohawk Indians and boarded three British ships full of tea. The colonists dumped all the tea into the harbor, about 90,000 pounds. A large section of the public supported the adventure. Nobody dared to punish the defaulters.

B] suppressing laws of Lord North

C] Intercontinental Conference of Congress

Leaders of the Revolution

2 3


Revolutionaryleader of Continental Leaders 1- George WashingtonArmy 2- William Howe- head of British army in 1776 3- John Burgoyne- defeated at Saratoga 4- Lord Cornwallis- surrendered British army at Yorktown 5- Benedict Arnold- switched from American to British after Saratoga 6- Nathaneal Greene- RI native, Washingtons top field general

1. Battle of Trenton

1776: Washington plans surprise attack of Hessian camp at Trenton, NJ. December 25: Washington attacks on Christmas night, kills/captures 1,000 men 3 days later: defeat of British at Princeton, NJ forces British to return to NY for winter

Results of Battle of Trenton


encouraged to

Washington crossing the Delaware River on his way to Trenton

re-enlist Morale of army shot up Washington showcased leadership skills.

2. Saratoga: France Enters

1777- British capture Philadelphia, Continental Congress escapes Valley Forge- winter of 177778: nearly 2,500 American soldiers die from cold, food shortages October 1777- Gen. Burgoynes troops captured outside Saratoga, NY Result: France enters war

Marquis de Lafayette

3. Yorktown, 1781:
War in the South

British turn to

Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, VA

South Savannah, GA and Charlestown, SC fell to British Battle of Kings Mountain- victory for Patriots! British surrender at Yorktown (1781)

Treaty of Paris (1783)


recognized USA as a new nation! Mississippi River is western border (open to British use) Florida given back to Spain!! France received colonies in Africa and Caribbean.

Effects of Revolution

First flag of the United States

political ideas (republic) New state constitutions (guarantee of rights) Voting rights expand (social class) Freedom of religion Educational changes American painters

Why did Britain lose the war?


Ocean Tried to occupy a whole continent American perseverance, fighting spirit George Washington, other generals French aid War unpopular in Britain