Portal:American Revolutionary War

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Introduction

AmericanRevolutionaryWarMon.jpg

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was a global war that began as a conflict between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence as the United States of America.

After 1765, growing philosophical and political differences strained the relationship between Great Britain and its colonies. Patriot protests against taxation without representation followed the Stamp Act and escalated into boycotts, which culminated in 1773 with the Sons of Liberty destroying a shipment of tea in Boston Harbor. Britain responded by closing Boston Harbor and passing a series of punitive measures against Massachusetts Bay Colony. Massachusetts colonists responded with the Suffolk Resolves, and they established a shadow government which wrested control of the countryside from the Crown. Twelve colonies formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, establishing committees and conventions that effectively seized power.

British attempts to disarm the Massachusetts militia in Concord led to open combat on April 19, 1775. Militia forces then besieged Boston, forcing a British evacuation in March 1776, and Congress appointed George Washington to command the Continental Army. Concurrently, an American attempt to invade Quebec and raise rebellion against the British failed decisively. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted for independence, issuing its declaration on July 4. Sir William Howe launched a British counter-offensive, capturing New York City and leaving American morale at a low ebb. However, victories at Trenton and Princeton restored American confidence. In 1777, the British launched an invasion from Quebec under John Burgoyne, intending to isolate the New England Colonies. Instead of assisting this effort, Howe took his army on a separate campaign against Philadelphia, and Burgoyne was decisively defeated at Saratoga in October 1777.

Burgoyne's defeat had drastic consequences. France formally allied with the Americans and entered the war in 1778, and Spain joined the war the following year as an ally of France but not as an ally of the United States. In 1780, the Kingdom of Mysore attacked the British in India, and tensions between Great Britain and the Netherlands erupted into open war. In North America, the British mounted a "Southern strategy" led by Charles Cornwallis which hinged upon a Loyalist uprising, but too few came forward. Cornwallis suffered reversals at King's Mountain and Cowpens. He retreated to Yorktown, Virginia, intending an evacuation, but a decisive French naval victory deprived him of an escape. A Franco-American army led by the Comte de Rochambeau and Washington then besieged Cornwallis' army and, with no sign of relief, he surrendered in October 1781.

Selected event

Lochry's Defeat
Lochry's Defeat, also known as the Lochry massacre, was a battle fought on August 24, 1781, near present-day Aurora, Indiana, in the United States. The battle was part of the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), which began as a conflict between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies before spreading to the western frontier and bringing American Indians into the war as British allies. The battle was short and decisive: about one hundred Indians under Joseph Brant, a Mohawk war leader who was temporarily in the west, ambushed about an equal number of Pennsylvania militiamen led by Archibald Lochry. Brant and his men killed or captured all of the Pennsylvanians without suffering any casualties.


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The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker's Hill.jpg
The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker Hill
Credit: John Trumbull

Completed in 1786, this painting depicts the death of Massachusetts militia general and politician Joseph Warren at the June 17, 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill. Depicting the nature of personal divisions the revolution created, Warren is cradled by John Small, a British Army officer who is preventing another British soldier from bayoneting Warren. General Israel Putnam, with whom Major Small served in the French and Indian War, is at the far left of the painting; portraits of other figures important in the battle are also included.

Selected biography

Daniel Chester French's Minuteman was based on Isaac Davis
Isaac Davis (February 23, 1745 – April 19, 1775) was a gunsmith and a militia officer who commanded a company of Minutemen from Acton, Massachusetts, during the first battle of the American Revolutionary War. His company was selected to lead the advance on the British Regulars during the Battle of Concord because his men were entirely outfitted with bayonets. During the charge on the Old North Bridge, Davis was among the first killed and was the first American officer to die in the war.

Davis is memorialized through the Isaac Davis Monument on the Acton Town Common. He was also the inspiration behind The Minute Man, the sculpture at the Old North Bridge by Daniel Chester French. The sculpture, which French attempted to model after Isaac Davis, is now an iconic national symbol.


Selected ships and units

Concorde engages the French ship Engageante in 1794
HMS Concorde was a 32-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She had previously served in the French Navy under the name Concorde. Built in France in 1777, she entered service with the French early in the American War of Independence, and was soon in action, capturing HMS Minerva in the West Indies. In 1781 she carried vital dispatches between France, North America and the Caribbean that made the Yorktown campaign a success. She remained in French service almost until the end of the war, but was captured by HMS Magnificent in 1783. Not immediately brought into service due to the draw-down in the navy after the end of the war, she underwent repairs and returned to active service under the White Ensign with the outbreak of war with France in 1793. She saw service throughout the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars before being broken up in 1811.


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From the American Revolutionary War task force of the Military history WikiProject:

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Quebec in the American Revolution
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1780 Black Camp RebellionAlbemarle BarracksBattle of Lenud's FerryBattle of Wetzell's MillCarleton's RaidCortlandt SkinnerDaniel Waters (minuteman)Fort DaytonFort Independence (Vermont)HM galley PigotJohn Swift (general)King's Royal Regiment of New YorkMatthias OgdenSamuel Holden ParsonsVolunteers of Ireland
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Battle of Monmouth • Battles in {{Campaignbox American Revolutionary War: Gulf Coast}}
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