Portal:American Revolutionary War

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The American Revolutionary War Portal

Clockwise from top left: Battle of Bunker Hill, Death of Montgomery at Quebec, Battle of Cowpens, "Moonlight Battle"
The American Revolutionary War began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen united former British colonies on the North American continent, and ended in a global war between several European great powers. The war was the culmination of the political American Revolution and intellectual American Enlightenment, whereby the colonists rejected the right of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them without representation. In 1775, revolutionaries gained control of each of the thirteen colonial governments, set up an alliance called the Second Continental Congress, and formed a Continental Army. Petitions to the king to intervene with the parliament on their behalf resulted in Congress being declared traitors and the states in rebellion the following year. The Americans responded by formally declaring their independence as a new nation, the United States of America, claiming sovereignty and rejecting any allegiance to the British monarchy. In 1777 the Continentals captured a British army, leading to France entering the war on the side of the Americans in early 1778, and evening the military strength with Britain. Spain and the Dutch Republic – French allies – also went to war with Britain over the next two years.

Throughout the war, the British were able to use their naval superiority to capture and occupy coastal cities, but control of the countryside (where 90% of the population lived) largely eluded them due to their relatively small land army. French involvement proved decisive, with a French naval victory in the Chesapeake leading to the surrender of a second British army at Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.

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Battle of Nassau.jpg
The Battle of Nassau (March 3–4, 1776) was a naval action and amphibious assault by American forces against the British port of Nassau in the Bahamas during the American Revolutionary War (also known as the American War of Independence). It is considered the first cruise and one of the first engagements of the newly established Continental Navy and the Continental Marines, the progenitors of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The action was also the Marines' first amphibious landing.

Departing from Cape Henlopen, Delaware, on February 17, 1776, the fleet arrived in the Bahamas on March 1, with the objective of seizing gunpowder and munitions that were known to be stored there. Two days later the marines went ashore and seized Fort Montagu at the eastern end of the Nassau harbor, but did not advance to the town, where the gunpowder was stored. That night, Nassau's governor had most of the gunpowder loaded aboard ships that then sailed for St. Augustine. On March 4, the colonial marines advanced and took control of the poorly-defended town. The colonial forces remained at Nassau for two weeks, and took away all the remaining gunpowder and munitions they could.


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Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze, MMA-NYC, 1851.jpg
Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851)
Credit: Emanuel Leutze
On the night of December 25–26, 1776, George Washington led a force of 2,400 across the Delaware River which surprised and captured the Hessian force located at Trenton, New Jersey

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Portrait attributed to Andrea Soldi, painted circa 1762–1765
General Sir Henry Clinton KB (16 April 1730 – 23 December 1795) was a British army officer and politician, best known for his service as a general during the American War of Independence, during most of which he was the British Commander-in-Chief in North America. In addition to his military service, due to the influence of the 2nd Duke of Newcastle, he was a Member of Parliament and the Governor of Gibraltar.

He came from a noble family that could trace its lineage to 1066 and had a long history of service to the Crown. The son of George Clinton, an admiral of the fleet, Sir Henry Clinton had two sons who continued the family tradition of high command: General Sir William Henry Clinton (1769–1846), and Lieutenant-General Sir Henry Clinton (1771–1829).


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Drawing of the regimental uniform by Charles Lefferts
The 2nd Canadian Regiment, also known as Congress' Own or Hazen's Regiment, was authorized on January 20, 1776, and initially raised in the province of Quebec for service with the Continental Army under the command of Colonel Moses Hazen. All or part of the regiment saw action at the Staten Island, Brandywine, Germantown and the Siege of Yorktown. Most of its non-combat time was spent in and around New York City as part of the forces monitoring the British forces occupying that city. The regiment was disbanded on November 15, 1783 at West Point, New York.


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