Revolutionary War (America at War)

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In , when the American Revolution began, there was no regular army. Instead each colony defended itself with a militia made up of local men. With few exceptions, any male 16 or older was expected to participate in the milita. By Washington had an army of 20, men. About one-third came from colonial militia groups, and two-thirds were regular army.

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The American Revolutionary War was fought from to It was also known as the American War of Independence. The Revolutionary War began with the confrontation between British troops and local militia at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, on 19 April Throughout the war, state troops and local militias supplemented the Continental Federal Army. The total number of men who served is not known. Men between the ages of 16 and 60 may have served during the war in either the Continental Army, State Line Troops, or local militia mustered to help the Continental Troops.

The Americans suffered a number of setbacks from to , including the defection of General Benedict Arnold to the British and the first serious mutinies within the Continental Army. Supported by a French army commanded by General Jean Baptiste de Rochambeau, Washington moved against Yorktown with a total of around 14, soldiers, while a fleet of 36 French warships offshore prevented British reinforcement or evacuation. Trapped and overpowered, Cornwallis was forced to surrender his entire army on October Though the movement for American independence effectively triumphed at Yorktown, contemporary observers did not see that as the decisive victory yet.

British forces remained stationed around Charleston, and the powerful main army still resided in New York. Though neither side would take decisive action over the better part of the next two years, the British removal of their troops from Charleston and Savannah in late finally pointed to the end of the conflict.

British and American negotiators in Paris signed preliminary peace terms in Paris late that November, and on September 3, , Great Britain formally recognized the independence of the United States in the Treaty of Paris.

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At the same time, Britain signed separate peace treaties with France and Spain which had entered the conflict in , bringing the American Revolution to a close after eight long years. Start your free trial today.

The American War of Independence: 10 Lesser Known Facts - History Extra

But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. American Revolution leader John Hancock was a signer of the Declaration of Independence in and a governor of Massachusetts.

The colonial Massachusetts native was raised by his uncle, a wealthy Boston merchant. When his uncle died, Hancock inherited his lucrative Samuel Adams was a Boston-born political leader who played a vital role in moving colonial America to its decisive break with Britain during the American Revolution. He was a gifted orator and major figure in the American Revolution.

His rousing speeches — which included a speech to the Virginia legislature in which he famously John Adams was a leader of the American Revolution, and served as the second U. The Massachusetts-born, Harvard-educated Adams began his career as a lawyer. Intelligent, patriotic, opinionated and blunt, Adams became a critic of Great As long as the American Continental Army and state militias remained in the field, the British had to keep on fighting.

And no matter how much damage the British did to American cities or private property, the Americans refused to surrender. This was a new type of war.

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Having failed in the north, the British turned their attention to the south. They hoped to inspire Loyalist support among dissatisfied Americans — a hope that was never realized. Fighting continued. The threat of French naval participation kept the British uneasy.


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In October , the war virtually came to an end when General Cornwallis was surrounded and forced to surrender the British position at Yorktown, Virginia. Two years later, the Treaty of Paris made it official: America was independent. How could the Americans ever hope defeat the mighty British Empire in a military conflict?

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Perhaps an even better question to ask is, How did the mighty British Empire ever expect to vanquish the Americans? Report broken link. American History 1. The Iroquois Tribes 2. The House of Burgesses 3.

Revolutionary War, 1775 to 1783

Witchcraft in Salem 4. The Ideas of Benjamin Franklin 5. Life in the Plantation South 6.


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