User talk:Etienne2007

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Welcome[edit]

Hello, Etienne2007, and welcome to Wikipedia. Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like it here and decide to stay. If you are looking for help, please do any of the following:

There are a lot of standards and policies here, but as long as you are editing in good faith, you are encouraged to be bold in updating pages. Here are a few links you might find useful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your name on talk and vote pages using four tildes (~~~~), which produces your name and the current date. Also, it would be a huge help if you could explain each of your edits with an edit summary. Again, welcome! –Outriggr § 05:27, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Esther Delisle[edit]

Bonjour Étienne. Welcome to Wikipedia and thank you for contributing to the Quebec bashing article. However, your addition was not done in proper encyclopedic style; it cannot be kept. Wikipedia holds a set of guidelines that strives to ensure neutrality. I suggest you consult Wikipedia:Neutral point of view and Wikipedia:Manual of Style to familiarize yourself with the preferable writing style for your contributions here. Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines can also be useful. If you have enough information on Esther Delisle to craft a neutral section about her work, it would be immensely appreciated on the Quebec bashing article and I encourage you to try it. If you wish for your previous contribution to be kept somewhere, put it on the talk page of the article (copy it from the history of the article). Have fun on Wikipedia! --Liberlogos 16:43, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Talk:Canada[edit]

Hi. Please restrict your talk page comments to discussing improvement of the article. If you feel that your point of view is not adequately represented by the article, please raise specific concerns and identify sources that can be used to support proposed additions. Do not use talk pages to cast aspersions on the motives of other editors. Comments directed at editors instead of discussion about editing may be removed. Thanks for understanding. Jkelly 23:27, 17 November 2006 (UTC)


No content in Category:2nd Canadian Regiment[edit]

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Welcome back[edit]

Hello Etienne2007 (or should it be Etienne2008 now? ;-),

Most of the historical subjects I believe yourself competent in, based on your past contributions, are touchy, to say the least. The more controversial a topic in Wikipedia, the more important it becomes to properly cite sources, even for things we might believe to be long established facts. When we do cite sources and systematically add footnotes to our contributions, what we write then really become the sources' words, not our own words. The consequence is that if a person disagrees and wishes to remove or change what you have added, he or she has to bother to read up your source material, possibly find a competing source, all of which takes a lot more time than just erase or revert. While it definitely slows us down to do so, it also greatly improves the quality of each of our contributions. In the end, the Truth wins and Wikipedia becomes credible and useful.

Back in 2007, I noticed your comments in Talk:Battle of the Plains of Abraham and ardently wished for the information you posted there to make it into the article. Then you disappeared for a long while. Your comments are still sitting in the talk page, and nothing has changed in the article itself. From experience, I can assure you that if you do not do the job yourself, nobody will do it.

I hope your contributions to Wikipedia will be back and this time I will be glad to assist in any way I can, which will probably be limited to formatting and critiquing what you will write. I was hoping to translate your work to French when it has reached maturity. :-)

Best Regards,

-- Mathieugp (talk) 04:35, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

* Content de savoir que ça va mieux pour toi à ton travail. C'est tellement désagréable de travailler pour des gens qu'on déteste. Moi je suis très chanceux à ce niveau depuis des années.
* Très bonne idée pour le 250ième... :-)
* J'avais lu dans la page de discussion que tu semblais satisfait des changements apportés à l'article, mais moi je trouve qu'il est possible de faire mieux. D'abord, il serait bon d'avoir un article séparé sur le siège de trois mois qui précède la bataille sur les plaines. Disons Siege of Quebec (1759). Deuxièmement, il n'y a pas de bonne carte du lieu de la bataille et du positionnements des troupes, ni en français, ni en anglais. Les chiffres des forces en présence ne sont pas du tout les mêmes dans les deux articles d'ailleurs. Il faut plus de détails sur la capitulation et la reddition de Québec et la Bataille de Sainte-Foy. Les faits doivent absolument être les mêmes en français comme en anglais sinon c'est carrément ridicule. Parallèlement à l'amélioration de tous ces articles, il faudrait idéalement améliorer tous les articles biographiques des principaux personnages : Montcalm, Wolfe, Vaudreuil, Murray, Howe, Lévis, Bougainville, en n'en critiquant aucun, mais en montrant que certains auteurs ont par exemple jeté le blâme de la défaite française sur Montcalm, d'autre sur Vaudreuil. Wikipedia ne peut décider de la question, seulement montrer qu'elle existe.
* Pour tout ce qui touche les batailles entre le armées du Congrès continental et celles du gouvernement britannique qui se déroulent sur notre territoire entre 1775-1776, je pense que tu trouveras un bon collaborateur en User:Magicpiano. -- Mathieugp (talk) 16:21, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Vrai ou fausse capitulation de Québec + Brouillons[edit]

Je voulais attirer ton attention sur le site Web d'un certain Jacques Vaillancourt qui expose le flou autour de la capitulation de Québec. Cette capitulation ne serait peut-être pas la conséquence de la bataille des plaines d'Abraham. Je suis septique comme d'habitude, mais il reste que les faits présentés comme ils le sont dans son site-thèse suggèrent en effet que la partie s'est terminée plus tôt qu'elle aurait dû, car les marchands de Québec ont vendu la ville avant que l'armée française n'ait le temps de riposter :

Autre chose, si tu veux te créer un espace de travail personnel, tu peux le faire comme ça :

-- Mathieugp (talk) 20:54, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Sons of the Mountains[edit]

Je vais acheter Sons of the Mountains: The Highland Regiments in the French and Indian War, 1756-1767 de monsieur McCulloch, comme ça nous serons au moins deux à pouvoir y référer. :-)

J'aime bien les Écossais moi : je leur souhaite l'indépendance qu'ils méritent : leur Act of Union à eux date de 1707, alors que le nôtre est de 1840... Ça commence à urger leur affaire! Moi je trouve que ça serait juste fair qu'ils soient libres avant nous, non? ;-) -- Mathieugp (talk) 05:18, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

American Revolutionary War[edit]

In this article, the inhabitants of the thirteen colonies that supported the American Revolution are primarily referred to as "Americans," with occasional references to "Patriots," "Whigs," "Rebels" or "Revolutionaries." Colonists who supported the British in opposing the Revolution are usually referred to as "Loyalists" or "Tories." The geographical area of the thirteen colonies that both groups shared is often referred to simply as "America."

American Revolutionary War
Rev collage.png
Clockwise from top left: Battle of Bunker Hill, Death of Montgomery at Quebec, Battle of Cowpens, "Moonlight Battle"
Date 1775–1783
Location Eastern Seabord, Central Canada, Hudson's Bay, Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Gibraltar, Balearic Islands, Caribbean Sea, Central America, Indian Ocean
Result Treaty of Paris
Territorial
changes
Britain recognizes independence of the United States, cedes East Florida, West Florida, and Minorca to Spain and Tobago to France
Belligerents
US flag 13 stars – Betsy Ross.svg United States
Pavillon royal de France.svg France
Bandera de España 1760-1785.svg Spain
Prinsenvlag.svg Dutch Republic
Bandera Oneida.PNG Oneida
Flag of the Iroquois Confederacy.svg Tuscarora (tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy)
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Great Britain
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Loyalists
Flag of Hesse.svg Hesse-Kassel
Flagge Herzogtum Braunschweig.svg Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg Waldeck-Pyrmont
Flag of the Iroquois Confederacy.svg Iroquois Confederacy
Commanders and leaders
US flag 13 stars – Betsy Ross.svg George Washington
US flag 13 stars – Betsy Ross.svg Richard Montgomery 
US flag 13 stars – Betsy Ross.svg Nathanael Greene
US flag 13 stars – Betsy Ross.svg Horatio Gates
US flag 13 stars – Betsy Ross.svg John Paul Jones
US flag 13 stars – Betsy Ross.svg Gilbert de La Fayette
US flag 13 stars – Betsy Ross.svg Tadeusz Kościuszko
US flag 13 stars – Betsy Ross.svg Benedict Arnold
US flag 13 stars – Betsy Ross.svg Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
Pavillon royal de France.svg Comte de Rochambeau
Pavillon royal de France.svg Comte de Grasse
Pavillon royal de France.svg Bailli de Suffren
Pavillon royal de France.svg Louis Guillouet d'Orvilliers
Bandera de España 1760-1785.svg Bernardo de Gálvez
Bandera de España 1760-1785.svg Luis de Córdova
Prinsenvlag.svg Johan Zoutman
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Sir William Howe
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Sir Henry Clinton
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Lord Cornwallis (POW)
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Sir Guy Carleton
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg George Eliott
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg John Burgoyne (POW)
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Banastre Tarleton  (POW)
Union flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg Francis Rawdon
Flag of Hesse.svg Johann Rall  
Flag of the Iroquois Confederacy.svg Joseph Brant
Strength
20,000 regulars,
230,000 militia,
30-40 frigates and sloops[citation needed]
12,000 regulars,
55,000 Loyalists,
29,867 mercenaries,[citation needed]
5,000 natives,
100 ships of the line and frigates[citation needed]

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence,[1] 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, whereby the colonists and their allies overthrew British rule. In 1775, Revolutionaries seized control of each of the thirteen colonial governments, set up the unifying Second Continental Congress, and formed a Continental Army. The following year, they formally declared their independence as a new nation, the United States of America. 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.

Conflict in 1761-1762[edit]

Navigation Acts[edit]

The British Empire at the time operated under the mercantile system, where economic assets, or capital, are represented by bullion (gold, silver, and trade value) held by the state, which is best increased through a positive balance of trade with other nations (exports minus imports). Merchantilism suggests that the ruling government should advance these goals through playing a protectionist role in the economy, by encouraging exports and discouraging imports, especially through the use of tariffs. Great Britain regulated the economies of the colonies through the Navigation Acts according to the doctrines of mercantilism. Widespread evasion of these laws had long been tolerated. Eventually, through the use of open-ended search warrants (Writs of Assistance), strict enforcement of these Acts became the practice. In 1761, Massachusetts lawyer James Otis argued that the writs violated the constitutional rights of the colonists. He lost the case, but John Adams later wrote, "American independence was then and there born".

In 1762, Patrick Henry argued the Parson's Cause in Virginia, where the legislature had passed a law and it was vetoed by the King. Henry argued, "that a King, by disallowing Acts of this salutary nature, from being the father of his people, degenerated into a Tyrant and forfeits all right to his subjects' obedience".[2]


The consequence of the first Treaty of Paris of 1763[edit]

During negotiation many british argued that New France should be given back to France. They argued that without the threat of the French military, the British would be seen as useless by the american colonists. Murray who fought on both battles of the plains of abraham was one of those who wanted to give New France back. On the other side the french diplomats understood perfectly this fact. By not claiming New France back they would create the condition for the independance of the colonist. While an angry William Pitt was removed from the negotiation, the french César Choiseul was jubilant. After the negotiation a jubilant Choiseul exclaimed We got them (Nous les tenons !). After their russian allied pulled back from defeating the Prussian allies of the English, the french could not win in Europe. Not only the french got back two rich plantation island, even more importantly, they let go of the coslty defense of New France while letting the British the task of keeping the colonist under their control. Using profits from the sugar island Choiseul and his cousin rebuilt the french navy in preparation of the next conflict that was allready predicted in america. Murray fears and Choiseul hope would be proven right very quickly. No wounder William Pitt was so angry during negotiation. His victory in america will become a nightmare for the entire first british empire. In many aspect, the american revolution was the last chapter of the seven year war. After winning the entire continent in 1763 the british would be living in small tents in a french speaking colonie. The british canada would have to restart from scratch after 1783.

One of the most important aspect of the war was the secretive Expédition particulière who was originaly designed during the seven year war to invade England. during the american revolution the plan was again put forward but this time it was only meant as a decoy to force the british to stay in Europe. France had no intention of using it against england during the american revolution but the troop were nevertheless assembled in France. Their destination was changed to go help the american directly. So the crazy plan of invading england the french had in 1746, 1759, 1778, 1789 had at least served his purpose.

Conflict of 1763-1764[edit]

The stamp act 1764

Navigation Acts[edit]

The British Empire at the time operated under the mercantile system, where economic assets, or capital, are represented by bullion (gold, silver, and trade value) held by the state, which is best increased through a positive balance of trade with other nations (exports minus imports). Merchantilism suggests that the ruling government should advance these goals through playing a protectionist role in the economy, by encouraging exports and discouraging imports, especially through the use of tariffs. Great Britain regulated the economies of the colonies through the Navigation Acts according to the doctrines of mercantilism. Widespread evasion of these laws had long been tolerated. Eventually, through the use of open-ended search warrants (Writs of Assistance), strict enforcement of these Acts became the practice. In 1761, Massachusetts lawyer James Otis argued that the writs violated the constitutional rights of the colonists. He lost the case, but John Adams later wrote, "American independence was then and there born".

In 1762, Patrick Henry argued the Parson's Cause in Virginia, where the legislature had passed a law and it was vetoed by the King. Henry argued, "that a King, by disallowing Acts of this salutary nature, from being the father of his people, degenerated into a Tyrant and forfeits all right to his subjects' obedience".[2]

Western Frontier[edit]

The Proclamation of 1763 restricted colonization across the Appalachian Mountains as this was to be Indian Reserve. Regardless, groups of settlers continued to move west and lay claim to these lands. The proclamation was soon modified and was no longer a hindrance to settlement, but its promulgation and the fact that it had been written without consulting Americans angered the colonists. The Quebec Act of 1774 extended Quebec's boundaries to the Ohio River, shutting out the claims of the thirteen colonies. By then, however, the Americans had little regard for new laws from London; they were drilling militia and organizing for war.[3]

Taxation without representation[edit]

By 1763, Great Britain possessed vast holdings in North America. In addition to the thirteen colonies, twenty-two smaller colonies were ruled directly by royal governors. Victory in the Seven Years' War had given Great Britain New France (Canada), Spanish Florida, and the Native American lands east of the Mississippi River. In North America there were six Colonies that remained loyal to Britain. The colonies included: Province of Quebec, Province of Nova Scotia, Colony of Bermuda, Province of West Florida and the Province of East Florida. In 1765 however, the colonists still considered themselves loyal subjects of the British Crown, with the same historic rights and obligations as subjects in Britain.[4]

The British did not expect the colonies to contribute to the interest or the retirement of debt incurred during the French and Indian War, but they did expect a portion of the expenses for colonial defense to be paid by the Americans. Estimating the expenses of defending the continental colonies and the West Indies to be approximately £200,000 annually, the British goal after the end of this war was that the colonies would be taxed for £78,000 of this needed amount.[5] The issues with the colonists were both that the taxes were high and that the colonies had no representation in the Parliament which passed the taxes. Lord North in 1775 argued for the British position that Englishmen paid on average twenty-five shillings annually in taxes whereas Americans paid only sixpence (the average Englishman, however, also earned quite a bit more while receiving more services directly from the government).[6] Colonists, however, as early as 1764, with respect to the Sugar Act, indicated that “the margin of profit in rum was so small that molasses could bear no duty whatever.”[7]

The phrase "No taxation without representation" became popular in many American circles. London argued that the Americans were represented "virtually"; but most Americans rejected the theory that men in London, who knew nothing about their needs and conditions, could represent them.[8]

New taxes 1764[edit]

In 1764, Parliament enacted the Sugar Act and the Currency Act, further vexing the colonists. Protests led to a powerful new weapon, the systemic boycott of British goods. The British pushed the colonists even further that same year by also enacting the Quartering Act, which stated that British soldiers were to be cared for by residents in certain areas.

Stamp Act 1765[edit]

Burning of the Gaspée

In 1765 the Stamp Act was the first direct tax ever levied by Parliament on the colonies. All newspapers, almanacs, pamphlets, and official documents—even decks of playing cards—were required to have the stamps. All 13 colonies protested vehemently, as popular leaders such as Patrick Henry in Virginia and James Otis in Massachusetts, rallied the people in opposition. A secret group, the "Sons of Liberty" formed in many towns and threatened violence if anyone sold the stamps, and no one did [citation needed]. In Boston, the Sons of Liberty burned the records of the vice-admiralty court and looted the elegant home of the chief justice, Thomas Hutchinson. Several legislatures called for united action, and nine colonies sent delegates to the Stamp Act Congress in New York City in October 1765. Moderates led by John Dickinson drew up a "Declaration of Rights and Grievances" stating that taxes passed without representation violated their Rights of Englishmen. Lending weight to the argument was an economic boycott of British merchandise, as imports into the colonies fell from £2,250,000 in 1764 to £1,944,000 in 1765. In London, the Rockingham government came to power and Parliament debated whether to repeal the stamp tax or send an army to enforce it. Benjamin Franklin made the case for the boycotters, explaining the colonies had spent heavily in manpower, money, and blood in defense of the empire in a series of wars against the French and Indians, and that further taxes to pay for those wars were unjust and might bring about a rebellion. Parliament agreed and repealed the tax, but in a "Declaratory Act" of March 1766 insisted that parliament retained full power to make laws for the colonies "in all cases whatsoever".[2]

Townshend Act 1767 and Boston Massacre 1770[edit]

In 1767, the Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, which placed a tax on a number of essential goods including paper, glass, and tea. Angered at the tax increases, colonists organized a boycott of British goods. In Boston on March 5, 1770, a large mob gathered around a group of British soldiers. The mob grew more and more threatening, throwing snowballs, rocks and debris at the soldiers. One soldier was clubbed and fell. All but one of the soldiers fired into the crowd. Eleven people were hit; Three civilians were killed at the scene of the shooting, and two died after the incident. The event quickly came to be called the Boston Massacre. Although the soldiers were tried and acquitted (defended by John Adams), the widespread descriptions soon became propaganda to turn colonial sentiment against the British. This in turn began a downward spiral in the relationship between Britain and the Province of Massachusetts.

Tea Act 1773[edit]

This 1846 lithograph has become a classic image of the Boston Tea Party

In June 1772, in what became known as the Gaspée Affair, a British warship that had been vigorously enforcing unpopular trade regulations was burned by American patriots. Soon afterwards, Governor Thomas Hutchinson of Massachusetts reported that he and the royal judges would be paid directly from London, thus bypassing the colonial legislature.

On December 16, 1773, a group of men, led by Samuel Adams and dressed to evoke American Indians, boarded the ships of the government-favored British East India Company and dumped an estimated £10,000 worth of tea on board (approximately £636,000 in 2008) into the harbor. This event became known as the Boston Tea Party and remains a significant part of American patriotic lore.


In the West the Pontiac Rebellion was in progress.

Conflict of 1764-1765[edit]

The Quatering Act 1765

Conflict of 1765-1766[edit]

Conflict of 1766-1767[edit]

British send 1,500 soldiers in america in time of peace. The New York Provincial assembly reject the law.

Conflict of 1767-1768[edit]

Conflict of 1768-1769[edit]

Conflict of 1769-1770[edit]

Conflict of 1770-1771[edit]

Conflict of 1771-1772[edit]

Conflict of 1772-1773[edit]

The Gaspée affairs had the immediate consequence of starting the Letter of Correspondance in each colonies

American political opposition was initially through the colonial assemblies such as the Stamp Act Congress, which included representatives from all thirteen colonies. In 1765, the Sons of Liberty were formed which used public demonstrations, violence and threats of violence to ensure that the British tax laws were unenforceable. In late 1772, after the Gaspée Affair, Samuel Adams set about creating new Committees of Correspondence, which linked Patriots in all thirteen colonies and eventually provided the framework for a rebel government. In early 1773 Virginia, the largest colony, set up its Committee of Correspondence, on which Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson served.[9]

In response to the Massachusetts Government Act, Massachusetts Bay and then other colonies formed provisional governments called Provincial Congresses. In 1774, the Continental Congress was formed, made up of representatives from each of the Provincial Congresses or their equivalents, to serve as a provisional national government. Standing Committees of Safety were created in each colony for the enforcement of the resolutions by the Committee of Correspondence, Provincial Congress, and the Continental Congress.

In Novembre 1775, the colonist disguised as native american overtrew

Conflict of 1773-1774[edit]

Carleton was in London preparing the Quebec Act of 1774 well before the Tea Party.

Intolerable Acts 1774[edit]

An American version of London cartoon that denounces the "rape" of Boston in 1774 by the Intolerable Acts

The British government responded by passing several Acts which came to be known as the Intolerable Acts, which further darkened colonial opinion towards the British. They consisted of four laws enacted by the British parliament.[10] The first was the Massachusetts Government Act, which altered the Massachusetts charter and restricted town meetings. The second Act, the Administration of Justice Act, ordered that all British soldiers to be tried were to be arraigned in Britain, not in the colonies. The third Act was the Boston Port Act, which closed the port of Boston until the British had been compensated for the tea lost in the Boston Tea Party (the British never received such a payment). The fourth Act was the Quartering Act of 1774, which allowed royal governors to house British troops in the homes of citizens without requiring permission of the owner. The First Continental Congress endorsed the Suffolk Resolves, which declared the Intolerable Acts to be unconstitutional, called for the people to form militias, and called for Massachusetts to form a Patriot government.


Conflict of 1774-1775[edit]

Military Campains of 1775-1776[edit]

Massachusetts[edit]

American Revolution 1775-1776


Before the war, Boston had been the scene of much revolutionary activity, leading to the Massachusetts Government Act that ended home rule as a punishment in 1774. Popular resistance to these measures, however, compelled the newly appointed royal officials in Massachusetts to resign or to seek refuge in Boston. Lieutenant General Thomas Gage, the British North American commander-in chief, commanded four regiments of British regulars (about 4,000 men) from his headquarters in Boston, but the countryside was in the hands of the Revolutionaries.

The British marching to Concord in April 1775

On the night of April 18, 1775, General Gage sent 700 men to seize munitions stored by the colonial militia at Concord, Massachusetts. Riders including Paul Revere alerted the countryside, and when British troops entered Lexington on the morning of April 19, they found 77 minutemen formed up on the village green. Shots were exchanged, killing several minutemen. The British moved on to Concord, where a detachment of three companies was engaged and routed at the North Bridge by a force of 500 minutemen. As the British retreated back to Boston, thousands of militiamen attacked them along the roads, inflicting great damage before timely British reinforcements prevented a total disaster. With the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the war had begun.

The militia converged on Boston, bottling up the British in the city. About 4,500 more British soldiers arrived by sea, and on June 17, 1775, British forces under General William Howe seized the Charlestown peninsula at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The Americans fell back, but British losses were so heavy that the attack was not followed up. The siege was not broken, and Gage was soon replaced by Howe as the British commander-in-chief.[11]

In July 1775, newly appointed General Washington arrived outside Boston to take charge of the colonial forces and to organize the Continental Army. Realizing his army's desperate shortage of gunpowder, Washington asked for new sources. Arsenals were raided and some manufacturing was attempted; 90% of the supply (2 million pounds) was imported by the end of 1776, mostly from France.[12]

The standoff continued throughout the fall and winter. In early March 1776, heavy cannons that the patriots had captured at Fort Ticonderoga were brought to Boston by Colonel Henry Knox, and placed on Dorchester Heights. Since the artillery now overlooked the British positions, Howe's situation was untenable, and the British fled on March 17, 1776, sailing to their naval base at Halifax, Nova Scotia.[13] Washington then moved most of the Continental Army to fortify New York City.

The Province of Quebec[edit]

During the long standoff at Boston, the Continental Congress sought a way to seize the initiative elsewhere. Congress had initially invited the French Canadians to join them as the fourteenth colony, but when that failed to happen, Congress authorized an invasion of Canada. The goal was to remove British rule from the primarily francophone province of Quebec (comprising present-day Quebec).

Two Canada-bound expeditions were undertaken. On September 16, 1775, Brigadier General Richard Montgomery marched north from Fort Ticonderoga with about 1,700 militiamen, capturing Fort St. Jean on November 2 and then Montreal on November 13. General Guy Carleton, the governor of Quebec, escaped to Quebec City. The second expedition, led by Colonel Benedict Arnold, went through the wilderness of northern Maine. It was a logistical nightmare, with 300 men turning back, and another 200 perishing due to the difficult conditions. By the time Arnold reached Quebec City in early November, he had but 600 of his original 1,100 men. Montgomery's force joined Arnold's, and they attacked Quebec City on December 31, but were defeated by Carleton and Montgomery was killed. The remaining Americans held on outside Quebec City until the spring of 1776, suffering from poor camp conditions and smallpox, and then withdrew when a squadron of British ships under Captain Charles Douglas arrived to relieve the siege.

Another attempt was made by the Americans to push back towards Quebec, but they failed at Trois-Rivières on June 8, 1776. Carleton then launched his own invasion and defeated Arnold at the Battle of Valcour Island in October. Arnold fell back to Fort Ticonderoga, where the invasion of Canada had begun. The invasion of Canada ended as a disaster for the Americans, but Arnold's efforts in 1776 delayed a full-scale British counteroffensive until the Saratoga campaign of 1777.

The invasion cost the Americans their base of support in British public opinion, "So that the violent measures towards America are freely adopted and countenanced by a majority of individuals of all ranks, professions, or occupations, in this country."[14]


Military Campains of 1776-1777[edit]

American Revolution 1776-1777

After Washington forced the British out of Boston in spring, 1776, neither the British not the Loyalists controlled any significant areas. This opened the way for the unanimous Declaration of Independence in July. The British, however, were massing forces at their great naval base at Halifax, Nova Scotia. They returned in force in July 1776, landing in New York and defeating Washington's Continental Army in August at the Battle of Brooklyn in one of the largest engagements of the war. The British requested a meeting with representatives from Congress to negotiate an end to hostilities, and a delegation including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin met Howe on Staten Island in New York Harbor on September 11th. Howe demanded a retraction of the Declaration of Independence, which was refused, and negotiations ended until 1781. The British then quickly seized New York City and nearly captured Washington. They made the city their main political and military base of operations in North America, holding it until November 1783. New York City became the destination for Loyalist refugees, and a focal point of Washington's intelligence network.[15] The British also took New Jersey, but in a surprise attack in late December, 1776, Washington crossed the Delaware River into New Jersey and defeated Hessian and British armies at Trenton and Princeton, thereby regaining New Jersey. The victories gave an important boost to pro-independence supporters at a time when morale was flagging, and have become iconic images of the war.

New York and New Jersey[edit]

Having withdrawn his army from Boston, General Howe now focused on capturing New York City. To defend the city, General Washington divided his 20,000 soldiers between Long Island and Manhattan. While British troops were assembling on Staten Island for the campaign, Washington had the newly issued Declaration of American Independence read to his men. No longer was there any possibility of compromise. On August 27, 1776, after landing about 22,000 men on Long Island, the British drove the Americans back to Brooklyn Heights in the largest battle of the entire Revolution. Howe then laid siege to fortifications there. In a feat considered by many historians to be one of his most impressive actions as Commander in Chief, Washington personally directed the withdrawal of his entire remaining army and all their supplies across the East River in one night without discovery by the British or losing a single man.[16]

On September 15, Howe landed about 12,000 men on lower Manhattan, quickly taking control of New York City. The Americans withdrew to Harlem Heights, where they skirmished the next day but held their ground. When Howe moved to encircle Washington's army in October, the Americans again fell back, and a battle at White Plains was fought on October 28. Once more Washington retreated, and Howe returned to Manhattan and captured Fort Washington in mid November, taking about 2,000 prisoners (with an additional 1,000 having been captured during the battle for Long Island). Thus began the infamous "prison ships" system the British maintained in New York for the remainder of the war, in which more American soldiers and sailors died of neglect than died in every battle of the entire war, combined.[17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]

Emanuel Leutze's stylized depiction of Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851)

General Lord Cornwallis continued to chase Washington's army through New Jersey, until the Americans withdrew across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania in early December. With the campaign at an apparent conclusion for the season, the British entered winter quarters. Although Howe had missed several opportunities to crush the diminishing American army, he had killed or captured over 5,000 Americans.

The outlook of the Continental Army was bleak. "These are the times that try men's souls," wrote Thomas Paine, who was with the army on the retreat. The army had dwindled to fewer than 5,000 men fit for duty, and would be reduced to 1,400 after enlistments expired at the end of the year. Congress had abandoned Philadelphia in despair, although popular resistance to British occupation was growing in the countryside. [citation needed]

Washington decided to take the offensive, stealthily crossing the Delaware on Christmas night and capturing nearly 1,000 Hessians at the Battle of Trenton on December 26, 1776. Cornwallis marched to retake Trenton but was outmaneuvered by Washington, who successfully attacked the British rearguard at Princeton on January 3, 1777. Washington then entered winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey, having given a morale boost to the American cause. New Jersey militia continued to harass British and Hessian forces throughout the winter, forcing the British to retreat to their base in and around New York City.

At every stage the British strategy assumed a large base of Loyalist supporters would rally to the King given some military support. In February 1776 Clinton took 2,000 men and a naval squadron to invade North Carolina, which he called off when he learned the Loyalists had been crushed at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. In June he tried to seize Charleston, South Carolina, the leading port in the South, hoping for a simultaneous rising in South Carolina. It seemed a cheap way of waging the war but it failed as the naval force was defeated by the forts and because no local Loyalists attacked the town from behind. The loyalists were too poorly organized to be effective, but as late as 1781 senior officials in London, misled by Loyalist exiles, placed their confidence in their rising. [citation needed]


Military Campains of 1777-1778[edit]

American Revolution 1777-1778

In 1777, as part of a grand strategy to end the war, the British sent an invasion force down from Canada to seal off New England, which the British perceived as the primary source of agitators. In a major case of mis-coordination, the British army in New York City went to Philadelphia which it captureed from Washington. The invasion army under Burgoyne waited in vain for reinforcements from New York, and became trapped upstate. It surrendered after the Battle of Saratoga, New York, in October 1777. From early October 1777 till November 15th a pivotal siege at Fort Mifflin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania distracted British troops and allowed Washington the time to safely lead his troops to endure harsh winter quarters at Valley Forge, but preserve the Continental Army.


Saratoga and Philadelphia[edit]

When the British began to plan operations for 1777, they had two main armies in North America: Carleton's army in Canada, and Howe's army in New York. In London, Lord George Germain approved campaigns for these armies which, because of miscommunication, poor planning, and rivalries between commanders, did not work in conjunction. Although Howe successfully captured Philadelphia, the northern army was lost in a disastrous surrender at Saratoga. Both Carleton and Howe resigned after the 1777 campaign.

Saratoga campaign[edit]

The first of the 1777 campaigns was an expedition from Canada led by General John Burgoyne. The goal was to seize the Lake Champlain and Hudson River corridor, effectively isolating New England from the rest of the American colonies. Burgoyne's invasion had two components: he would lead about 10,000 men along Lake Champlain towards Albany, New York, while a second column of about 2,000 men, led by Barry St. Leger, would move down the Mohawk River valley and link up with Burgoyne in Albany, New York.

Mohawk leader Joseph Brant led both Native Americans and white Loyalists in battle.

Burgoyne set off in June, and recaptured Fort Ticonderoga in early July. Thereafter, his march was slowed by Americans who knocked down trees in his path. A detachment was sent out to seize supplies but was decisively defeated by American militia in August, depriving Burgoyne of nearly 1,000 men.

Meanwhile, St. Leger — half of his force Native Americans led by Sayenqueraghta — had laid siege to Fort Stanwix. American militiamen and their Native American allies marched to relieve the siege but were ambushed and scattered at the Battle of Oriskany. When a second relief expedition approached, this time led by Benedict Arnold, St. Leger broke off the siege and retreated to Canada.

Burgoyne's army was now reduced to about 6,000 men. Despite these setbacks, he determined to push on towards Albany — a fateful decision which would later produce much controversy. An American army of 8,000 men, commanded by the General Horatio Gates, had entrenched about 10 miles (16 km) south of Saratoga, New York. Burgoyne tried to outflank the Americans but was checked at the first battle of Saratoga in September. Burgoyne's situation was desperate, but he now hoped that help from Howe's army in New York City might be on the way. It was not: Howe had instead sailed away on an expedition to capture Philadelphia. American militiamen flocked to Gates' army, swelling his force to 11,000 by the beginning of October. After being badly beaten at the second battle of Saratoga, Burgoyne surrendered on October 17.

Saratoga was the turning point of the war. Revolutionary confidence and determination, suffering from Howe's successful occupation of Philadelphia, was renewed. More importantly, the victory encouraged France to make an open alliance with the Americans, after two years of semi-secret support. For the British, the war had now become much more complicated.[26]

Philadelphia campaign[edit]

Having secured New York City in 1776, General Howe concentrated on capturing Philadelphia, the seat of the Revolutionary government, in 1777. He moved slowly, landing 15,000 troops in late August at the northern end of Chesapeake Bay. Washington positioned his 11,000 men between Howe and Philadelphia but was driven back at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777. The Continental Congress once again abandoned Philadelphia, and on September 26, Howe finally outmaneuvered Washington and marched into the city unopposed. Washington unsuccessfully attacked the British encampment in nearby Germantown in early October and then retreated to watch and wait.

Washington and Lafayette look over the troops at Valley Forge.

After repelling a British attack at White Marsh, Washington and his army encamped at Valley Forge in December 1777, about 20 miles (32 km) from Philadelphia, where they stayed for the next six months. Over the winter, 2,500 men (out of 10,000) died from disease and exposure. The next spring, however, the army emerged from Valley Forge in good order, thanks in part to a training program supervised by Baron von Steuben. Indeed, von Steuben introduced the most modern Prussian methods of organization and tactics.

General Clinton replaced Howe as British commander-in-chief. French entry into the war had changed British strategy, and Clinton abandoned Philadelphia in order to reinforce New York City, now vulnerable to French naval power. Washington shadowed Clinton on his withdrawal and forced a strategic victory at the battle at Monmouth on June 28, 1778, the last major battle in the north. Clinton's army went to New York City in July, just before a French fleet under Admiral d'Estaing arrived off the American coast. Washington's army returned to White Plains, New York, north of the city. Although both armies were back where they had been two years earlier, the nature of the war had now changed.[27]


Military Campains of 1778-1779[edit]

American Revolution 1778-1779

Saratoga encouraged the French to formally enter the war, as Benjamin Franklin negotiated a permanent military alliance in early 1778, significantly becoming the first country to officially recognise the declaration of independence. William Pitt spoke out in parliament for Britain to make peace in America, and unite against France,[28] while other British politicians who had previously supported independence now turned against the American rebels for allying with the old mutual enemy.

Because of the alliance and the deteriorating military situation, Sir Henry Clinton, the British commander, evacuated Philadelphia to reinforce New York City. General Washington attempted to intercept the retreating column, resulting in the Battle of Monmouth Court House, the last major battle fought in the north. After an inconclusive engagement, the British successfully retreated to New York City. The northern war subsequently became a stalemate, as the focus of attention shifted to the smaller southern theatre.[29]


Southern theater[edit]

During the first three years of the American Revolutionary War, the primary military encounters were in the north. After French entry into the war, the British turned their attention to the southern colonies, where they hoped to regain control by recruiting Loyalists. This southern strategy also had the advantage of keeping the Royal Navy closer to the Caribbean, where the British needed to defend their possessions against the French and Spanish.

The British Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton. Painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1782.

On December 29, 1778, an expeditionary corps from Clinton's army in New York captured Savannah, Georgia. An attempt by French and American forces to retake Savannah failed on October 9, 1779. Clinton then besieged Charleston, capturing it on May 12, 1780. With relatively few casualties, Clinton had seized the South's biggest city and seaport, paving the way for what seemed like certain conquest of the South.

The remnants of the southern Continental Army began to withdraw to North Carolina but were pursued by Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton, who defeated them at the Waxhaws on May 29, 1780. With these events, organized American military activity in the region collapsed, though the war was carried on by partisans such as Francis Marion. Cornwallis took over British operations, while Horatio Gates arrived to command the American effort. On August 16, 1780, Gates was defeated at the Battle of Camden, setting the stage for Cornwallis to invade North Carolina.

Cornwallis' victories quickly turned, however. One wing of his army was utterly defeated at the Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780. Tarleton was decisively defeated at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781, by American General Daniel Morgan.

General Nathanael Greene, Gates' replacement, proceeded to wear down the British in a series of battles, each of them tactically a victory for the British but giving no strategic advantage to the victors. Greene summed up his approach in a motto that would become famous: "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Unable to capture or destroy Greene's army, Cornwallis moved north to Virginia.

In March 1781, General Washington dispatched General Lafayette to defend Virginia. The young Frenchman skirmished with Cornwallis, avoiding a decisive battle while gathering reinforcements. Cornwallis was unable to trap Lafayette, and so he moved his forces to Yorktown, Virginia, in July so the Royal Navy could return his army to New York.


Military Campains of 1779-1780[edit]

American Revolution 1779-1780

Later Spain (in 1779) and the Dutch (1780) became allies of the French leaving Britain to fight a global war alone without major allies and trying to slip through a combined blockade of the Atlantic. The American theatre thus became only one front in Britain's war.[29] The British were forced to withdraw troops from continental America to reinforce the sugar-producing Caribbean islands, which were considered more valuable.

West Indies and Gulf Coast[edit]

On the Gulf Coast, Gálvez seized three British Mississippi River outposts in 1779: Manchac, Baton Rouge, and Natchez. Gálvez then captured Mobile in 1780 and forced the surrender of the British outpost at Pensacola in 1781. His actions led to Spain acquiring East and West Florida in the peace settlement.


Northern and western Frontier[edit]

George Rogers Clark's 180 mile (290 km) winter march led to the capture of General Henry Hamilton, Lieutenant-Governor of Canada.

West of the Appalachian Mountains and along the Canadian border, the American Revolutionary War was an "Indian War." Most Native Americans supported the British. Like the Iroquois Confederacy, tribes such as the Cherokees and the Shawnees split into factions.

The British supplied their native allies with muskets and gunpowder and advised raids against civilian settlements, especially in New York, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. Joint Iroquois-Loyalist attacks in the Wyoming Valley and at Cherry Valley in 1778 provoked Washington to send the Sullivan Expedition into western New York during the summer of 1779. There was little fighting as Sullivan systematically destroyed the Native American winter food supplies, forcing them to flee permanently to British bases in Canada and the Niagara Falls area.

In the Ohio Country and the Illinois Country, the Virginia frontiersman George Rogers Clark attempted to neutralize British influence among the Ohio tribes by capturing the outposts of Kaskaskia and Vincennes in the summer of 1778. When General Henry Hamilton, the British commander at Detroit, retook Vincennes, Clark returned in a surprise march in February 1779 and captured Hamilton himself.


Military Campains of 1780-1781[edit]

American Revolution 1780-1781

The British strategy in America now concentrated on a campaign in the southern colonies. With fewer regular troops at their disposal, the British commanders saw the Southern Strategy as a more viable plan, as the south was perceived as being more strongly Loyalist, with a large population of poorer recent immigrants as well as large numbers of African Americans, both groups who tended to favour them.

In late December 1778, the British had captured Savannah. In 1780 they launched a fresh invasion and took Charleston as well. A significant victory at the Battle of Camden meant that government forces soon controlled most of Georgia and South Carolina. The British set up a network of forts inland, hoping the Loyalists would rally to the flag. Despite the disaster at Saratoga, they once again appeared to have gained the upper hand. There was even a consideration of ten state independence (with the three southernmost colonies remaining British).

Not enough Loyalists turned out, however, and the British had to fight their way north into North Carolina and Virginia, with a severely weakened army. Behind them much of the territory they had already captured dissolved into a chaotic guerrilla war, fought predominantly between bands of Loyalist and rebel Americans, which negated many of the gains the British had previously made.

India and the Netherlands[edit]

The military action in North America and the Caribbean helped spark a conflict between Britain and France over India, in the form of the Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-1784). The two chief combatants were Tipu Sultan, ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore and a key French ally, and the British government of Madras.

In 1780, the British struck against the United Provinces of the Netherlands in order to preempt Dutch involvement in the League of Armed Neutrality, a declaration of several European powers that they would conduct neutral trade during the war. Britain was not willing to allow the Netherlands to openly give aid to the American rebels. Agitation by Dutch radicals and a friendly attitude towards the United States by the Dutch government — both influenced by the American Revolution — also encouraged the British to attack. [citation needed] The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War lasted into 1784 and was disastrous to the Dutch mercantile economy. It effectively ended the last Dutch pretence to being a global power, and paved the way for the Batavian Republic.


Military Campains of 1781-1782[edit]

Yorktown and the Surrender of Cornwallis[edit]

Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown by (John Trumbull, 1797).


The northern, southern, and naval theaters of the war converged in 1781 at Yorktown, Virginia. In early September, French naval forces defeated a British fleet at the Battle of the Chesapeake, cutting off Cornwallis' escape. Washington hurriedly moved American and French troops from New York, and a combined Franco-American force of 17,000 men commenced the Siege of Yorktown in early October. For several days, the French and Americans bombarded the British defenses. Cornwallis' position quickly became untenable, and he surrendered his entire army of 7,000 men on October 19, 1781.

With the surrender at Yorktown, King George lost control of Parliament to the peace party, and there were no further major military activities on land. The British had 30,000 garrison troops occupying New York City, Charleston, and Savannah. The war continued at sea between the British and the French fleets in the West Indies.[30]

The siege of Yorktown ended with the surrender of a British army, paving the way for the end of the American Revolutionary War

The southern British army marched to Yorktown, Virginia where they expected to be rescued by a British fleet which would take them back to New York.[31] When that fleet was defeated by a French fleet, however, they became trapped in Yorktown.[32] In October 1781 under a combined siege by the French and Continental armies, the British under the command of General Cornwallis, surrendered. However, Cornwallis was so embarrassed at his defeat that he had to send his second in command to surrender for him.[33]

News of the defeat effectively ended major offensive operations in America. Support for the conflict had never been strong in Britain, where many sympathised with the rebels, but now it reached a new low.[34]

Although King George III personally wanted to fight on, his supporters lost control of Parliament, and no further major land offensives were launched in the American Theatre.[29] A final naval battle was fought by Captain John Barry and his crew of the USS Alliance as three British warships led by the HMS Sybil tried to take the payroll of the Continental Army on March 10, 1783 off the coast of Cape Canaveral.


Military Campains of 1782-1783[edit]

There was much action in the West Indies, with several islands changing hands, especially in the Lesser Antilles. At the Battle of the Saintes in April 1782, a victory by Rodney's fleet over the French Admiral de Grasse frustrated the hopes of France and Spain to take Jamaica and other colonies from the British. On May 8, 1782, Count Bernardo de Gálvez, the Spanish governor of Louisiana, captured the British naval base at New Providence in the Bahamas. Nevertheless, except for the French retention of the small island of Tobago, sovereignty in the West Indies was returned to the status quo ante bellum in the 1783 peace treaty.

In 1782 came the Gnadenhütten massacre, when Pennsylvania militiamen killed about a hundred neutral Native Americans. In August 1782, in one of the last major encounters of the war, a force of 200 Kentucky militia was defeated at the Battle of Blue Licks.

Treaty of Paris[edit]

In London as political support for the war plummeted after Yorktown, Prime Minister Lord North resigned in March 1782. In April 1782, the Commons voted to end the war in America. Preliminary peace articles were signed in Paris at the end of November, 1782; the formal end of the war did not occur until the Treaty of Paris was signed on September 3, 1783, and the United States Congress of the Confederation ratified the treaty on January 14, 1784. The last British troops left New York City on November 25, 1783.

Britain negotiated the Paris peace treaty without consulting her Native American allies and ceded all Native American territory between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River to the United States. Full of resentment, Native Americans reluctantly confirmed these land cessions with the United States in a series of treaties, but the fighting would be renewed in conflicts along the frontier in the coming years, the largest being the Northwest Indian War.

The peace treaty with Britain, known as the Treaty of Paris, gave the U.S. all land east of the Mississippi River and south of the Great Lakes, though not including Florida (On September 3, 1783, Britain entered into a separate agreement with Spain under which Britain ceded Florida back to Spain.). The Native American nations actually living in this region were not a party to this treaty and did not recognize it until they were defeated militarily by the United States. Issues regarding boundaries and debts were not resolved until the Jay Treaty of 1795.[35]


See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

To avoid duplication, notes for sections with a link to a "Main article" will be found in the linked article.

  1. ^ British writers generally favor "American War of Independence", "American Rebellion", or "War of American Independence". See Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Bibliography at http://revolution.h-net.msu.edu/bib.html for usage in titles.
  2. ^ a b c Miller (1943)
  3. ^ Greene & Pole (1994) ch 15
  4. ^ Greene & Pole (1994) ch 11
  5. ^ Middlekauff pg. 62.
  6. ^ Miller, p.89
  7. ^ Miller pg. 101
  8. ^ William S. Carpenter, "Taxation Without Representation" in Dictionary of American History, Volume 7 (1976); Miller (1943)
  9. ^ Greene & Pole (1994) ch 22-24
  10. ^ Miller (1943) pp 353-76
  11. ^ Higginbotham, p. 75–77.
  12. ^ Orlando W. Stephenson, "The Supply of Gunpowder in 1776," American Historical Review, Vol. 30, No. 2 (Jan. 1925), pp. 271–281 in JSTOR.
  13. ^ Arthur S. Lefkowitz, "The Long Retreat: The Calamitous American Defense of New Jersey 1776, 1998. Retrieved September 10, 2007.
  14. ^ Rockingham to Burke September 1776, Watson The Reign of George III p. 203.
  15. ^ Schecter, Barnet. The Battle for New York: The City at the Heart of the American Revolution. (2002); McCullough, 1776 (2005)
  16. ^ McCullough
  17. ^ Stiles, Henry Reed. "Letters from the prisons and prison-ships of the revolution." Thomson Gale, December 31, 1969. ISBN 978-1432812225
  18. ^ Dring, Thomas and Greene, Albert. "Recollections of the Jersey Prison Ship" (American Experience Series, No 8). Applewood Books. November 1, 1986. ISBN 978-0918222923
  19. ^ Taylor, George. "Martyrs To The Revolution In The British Prison-Ships In The Wallabout Bay." (originally printed 1855) Kessinger Publishing, LLC. October 2, 2007. ISBN 978-0548592175.
  20. ^ Banks, James Lenox. "Prison ships in the Revolution: New facts in regard to their management." 1903.
  21. ^ Hawkins, Christopher. "The life and adventures of Christopher Hawkins, a prisoner on board the 'Old Jersey' prison ship during the War of the Revolution." Holland Club. 1858.
  22. ^ Andros, Thomas. "The old Jersey captive: Or, A narrative of the captivity of Thomas Andros...on board the old Jersey prison ship at New York, 1781. In a series of letters to a friend." W. Peirce. 1833.
  23. ^ Lang, Patrick J.. "The horrors of the English prison ships, 1776 to 1783, and the barbarous treatment of the American patriots imprisoned on them." Society of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, 1939.
  24. ^ Onderdonk. Henry. "Revolutionary Incidents of Suffolk and Kings Counties; With an Account of the Battle of Long Island and the British Prisons and Prison-Ships at New York." Associated Faculty Press, Inc. June, 1970. ISBN 978-0804680752.
  25. ^ West, Charles E.. "Horrors of the prison ships: Dr. West's description of the wallabout floating dungeons, how captive patriots fared." Eagle Book Printing Department, 1895.
  26. ^ Higginbotham, pp. 188–98.
  27. ^ George Athan Billias. George Washington's Generals and Opponents: Their Exploits and Leadership (1994); Higginbotham, pp. 175–188.
  28. ^ Weintraub p.
  29. ^ a b c Mackesy, 1992; Higginbotham (1983)
  30. ^ Number of British troops still in America: Piers Mackesy, The War for America: 1775–1783, p. 435.
  31. ^ Harvey p.493-95
  32. ^ Harvey p.502-06
  33. ^ Harvey p.515
  34. ^ Harvey p.528
  35. ^ Miller (1948), pp 616-48

References[edit]

  • Black, Jeremy. War for America: The Fight for Independence, 1775–1783. (2001). Analysis from a noted British military historian.
  • Boatner, Mark Mayo, III. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. 1966; revised 1974. ISBN 0-8117-0578-1. Military topics, references many secondary sources
  • Chambers, John Whiteclay II, ed. in chief. The Oxford Companion to American Military History. Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN 0-19-507198-0.
  • Duffy, Christopher. The Military Experience in the Age of Reason, 1715–1789. (1987). ISBN 0-689-11993-3.
  • Ellis, Joseph J. His Excellency: George Washington. (2004). ISBN 1-4000-4031-0.
  • Fenn, Elizabeth Anne. Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775–82. New York: Hill and Wang, 2001. ISBN 0-8090-7820-1.
  • Greene, Jack P. and J.R. Pole, eds. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1991; reprint 1999. ISBN 1-55786-547-7. Collection of essays focused on political and social history.
  • Higginbotham, Don. The War of American Independence: Military Attitudes, Policies, and Practice, 1763–1789. Northeastern University Press, 1983. ISBN 0-930350-44-8. Overview of military topics; online in ACLS History E-book Project.
  • Kaplan, Sidney and Emma Nogrady Kaplan. The Black Presence in the Era of the American Revolution. Amherst, Massachusetts: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1989. ISBN 0-87023-663-6.
  • Mackesy, Piers. The War for America: 1775–1783. London, 1964. Reprinted University of Nebraska Press, 1993, ISBN 0-8032-8192-7. Highly regarded examination of British strategy and leadership. online edition
  • McCullogh, David. 1776. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005.
  • Savas, Theodore P. and Dameron, J. David. A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution. New York: Savas Beatie LLC, 2006. ISBN 10: 1-932714-12-X.
  • Shy, John. A People Numerous and Armed: Reflections on the Military Struggle for American Independence. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976 (ISBN 0-19-502013-8); revised University of Michigan Press, 1990 (ISBN 0-472-06431-2). Collection of essays.
  • J. Steven Watson; The Reign of George III, 1760–1815. 1960. Standard history of British politics. online edition
  • Weintraub, Stanley: Iron Tears; America's Battle for Freedom, Britain's Quagmire: 1775-1783. New York: Free Press, 2005 (a division of Simon and Schuster). ISBN 0-7432-2687-9 An account of the British politics on the conduct of the war.
  • Everest, Allan (2005-05-02). "Hazen, Moses". Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 

Further reading[edit]

These are some of the standard works about the war in general which are not listed above; books about specific campaigns, battles, units, and individuals can be found in those articles.

  • Bancroft, George. History of the United States of America, from the discovery of the American continent. (1854–78), vol. 7–10.
  • Bobrick, Benson. Angel in the Whirlwind: The Triumph of the American Revolution. Penguin, 1998 (paperback reprint).
  • Fremont-Barnes, Gregory, and Richard A. Ryerson, eds. The Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War: A Political, Social, and Military History (ABC-CLIO, 2006) 5 volume paper and online editions; 1000 entries by 150 experts, covering all topics
  • George Athan Billias. George Washington's Generals and Opponents: Their Exploits and Leadership (1994) scholarly studies of key generals on each side
  • Hibbert, Christopher. Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution through British Eyes. New York: Norton, 1990. ISBN 0-393-02895-X.
  • Jensen, Merrill. The Founding of a Nation: A History of the American Revolution 1763–1776. (2004)
  • Kwasny, Mark V. Washington's Partisan War, 1775–1783. Kent, Ohio: 1996. ISBN 0-87338-546-2. Militia warfare.
  • Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763–1789. Oxford University Press, 1984; revised 2005. ISBN 0-19-516247-1. online edition
  • Savas, Theodore P., and Dameron, J. David. A Guide to the Battles of the American Revolution. New York, 2006.
  • Symonds, Craig L. A Battlefield Atlas of the American Revolution (1989), newly drawn maps
  • Ward, Christopher. The War of the Revolution. 2 volumes. New York: Macmillan, 1952. History of land battles in North America.
  • Weintraub, Stanley. Iron Tears: America's Battle for Freedom, Britain's Quagmire: 1775–1783. Free Press, 2004. Examination of the British political viewpoint.
  • Wood, W. J. Battles of the Revolutionary War, 1775–1781. ISBN 0-306-81329-7 (2003 paperback reprint). Analysis of tactics of a dozen battles, with emphasis on American military leadership.
  • Men-at-Arms series: short (48pp), very well illustrated descriptions:
    • Marko Zlatich, Peter Copeland. General Washington's Army (1): 1775–78 (1994); Zlatich. General Washington's Army (2): 1779–83 (1994); Rene Chartrand. The French Army in the American War of Independence (1994); Robin May, The British Army in North America 1775–1783 (1993)
  • The Partisan in War, a treatise on light infantry tactics written by Colonel Andreas Emmerich in 1789.

External links[edit]

American Revolution[edit]

John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence, showing the five-man committee in charge of drafting the Declaration in 1776 as it presents its work to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia

The American Revolution refers to the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which the Thirteen Colonies of North America overthrew the governance of the British Empire and collectively became the nation of the United States of America. In this period, the colonies first formed self-governing independent states, and then united against the British to defend that self-governance from 1775 to 1783 in the armed conflict known as the American Revolutionary War (or the "American War of Independence"). This resulted in the states breaking away from the empire with the Declaration of Independence in 1776, effective victory on the battlefield in October 1781, and British recognition of United States sovereignty and independence in 1783.

The revolutionary era began in 1763, when the French military threat to British North American colonies ended. Adopting the policy that the colonies should pay an increased proportion of the costs associated with keeping them in the Empire, Britain imposed a series of taxes followed by other laws intended to demonstrate British authority that proved extremely unpopular. Because the colonies lacked elected representation in the governing British Parliament many colonists considered the laws to be illegitimate and a violation of their rights as Englishmen. In 1772, Patriot groups began to create committees of correspondence, which would lead to their own Provincial Congress in most of the colonies. In the course of two years, the Provincial Congresses or their equivalents effectively replaced the British ruling apparatus in the former colonies, culminating in 1774 with the unifying First Continental Congress.

In response to Patriot protests in Boston over British attempts to assert authority, the British sent combat troops. Consequently, the states mobilized their militias, and fighting broke out in 1775. Although Loyalists were estimated to comprise 15-20% of the population,[1] throughout the war the Patriots generally controlled 80-90% of the territory; the British could hold only a few coastal cities for any extended period of time. In 1776, representatives from each of the original thirteen independent states voted unanimously to adopt a Declaration of Independence, establishing the United States, which was originally governed as a loose confederation by a representative government selected by state legislatures (see Second Continental Congress). The Americans formed an alliance with France in 1778 that evened the military and naval strengths, later bringing Spain and the Dutch Republic into the conflict by their own alliance with France. Two main British armies were captured by the Continental Army, at Saratoga in 1777 and Yorktown in 1781, that amounted to victory in the war for the United States. The Second Continental Congress transitioned to the Congress of the Confederation with the ratification of the Articles of Confederation earlier in 1781. The Treaty of Paris in 1783 was ratified by this new national government, and ended British claims to any of the thirteen states.

The American Revolution included a series of broad intellectual and social shifts that occurred in the early American society, such as the new republican ideals that took hold in the American population. In some states, sharp political debates broke out over the role of democracy in government, with a number of even the most liberal Founding Fathers fearing mob rule.

Many issues of national governance were not settled until the Constitution of the United States (1787), including the first 10 amendments in the United States Bill of Rights (1789), replaced the relatively weak Articles of Confederation (see Federalist Papers). The Constitution, by contrast, enshrined the natural rights idealized by republican revolutionaries and guaranteed them under a relatively strong federated government, as well as dramatically expanding suffrage for national elections. The American shift to republicanism, and the gradually increasing democracy, caused an upheaval of the traditional social hierarchy, and created the ethic that formed the core of American political values.[2]

Origins[edit]

Before the Revolution: The Thirteen Colonies are in pink

The American Revolution was predicated by a number of ideas and events that, combined, led to a political and social separation of colonial possessions from the home nation and a coalescing of those former individual colonies into an independent nation.

Liberalism, republicanism, and religion[edit]

John Locke's ideas on liberalism greatly influenced the political minds behind the revolution; for instance, his theory of the "social contract" implied the among humanity's natural rights was the right of the people to overthrow their leaders, should those leaders betray the historic rights of Englishmen.[3][4] In terms of writing state and national constitutions, the Americans used Montesquieu's analysis of the ideally "balanced" British Constitution.

A motivating force behind the revolution was the American embrace of a political ideology called "republicanism", which was dominant in the colonies by 1775. The "country party" in Britain, whose critique of British government emphasized that corruption was to be feared, influenced American politicians. The colonists associated the British court with luxury and inherited aristocracy, which the colonials had never welcomed and now increasingly condemned. Corruption was seen as the greatest possible evil, and civic virtue required men to put civic duty ahead of their personal desires. Men had a civic duty to fight for their country.

The "Founding Fathers" were strong advocates of republican values, particularly Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton.[5] For women, "republican motherhood" became the ideal, exemplified by Abigail Adams and Mercy Otis Warren; the first duty of the republican woman was to instill republican values in her children and to avoid luxury and ostentation.

Of course the average Patriots had never heard of Locke nor read other Enlightenment thinkers. “When one farmer who had fought at Concord Bridge was asked … whether he was defending the ideas of such liberal writers, he declared for his part he had never heard of Locke or Sidney, his reading having been limited to the Bible, the Catechism, Watt’s Psalms and Hymns and the Almanac.”[6] Later, most knew about the summary of current political ideas so forcibly expressed in Tom Paine's pamphlet, "Common Sense". Though it was printed in 1776 after the revolution had already started, it was a runaway best seller and was often read aloud in taverns, contributing significantly in maintaining popular support for the revolution, advocacy for separation from Great Britain, and recruitment for the Continental Army.

Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Dissenting (i.e. Protestant non-Church of England) churches of the day have been called the “school of democracy.”[7] Congregationalists, Baptists and Presbyterians based their democratic principles and willingness to rebel against tyrants on their reading of the Old testament, especially Exodus, with its story of the ancient Israelites defying Pharaoh and escaping to freedom.[8] College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) President John Witherspoon was especially influential. [9] His sermons were widely read; one that examined the Israelites rebelling against Pharaoh was distributed to 500 Presbyterian churches seven weeks before the Declaration of Independence.[10] Throughout the colonies, some ministers preached Revolutionary themes in their sermons, while others, especially Church of England members, supported the King.[citation needed] This moral motivation for Independence, unlike Enlightenment thinking, was not limited to an intellectual elite. It included rich and poor, men and women, frontiersmen and townsmen, farmers and merchants.[11]

The commitment of most Americans to republican values and to their property rights helped bring about the American Revolution, for Britain was increasingly seen as corrupt and hostile to democracy, and a threat to the established liberties that Americans enjoyed and to American property rights.[12] The greatest threat to liberty was thought by many[who?] to be corruption--not just in London but at home as well.[citation needed] The colonists associated it with luxury and, especially, inherited aristocracy, which they condemned.[citation needed] (A few Americans did gain English titles, but they moved to London.)[citation needed]

Navigation Acts[edit]

The British Empire at the time operated under the mercantile system, where economic assets, or capital, are represented by bullion (gold, silver, and trade value) held by the state, which is best increased through a positive balance of trade with other nations (exports minus imports). Merchantilism suggests that the ruling government should advance these goals through playing a protectionist role in the economy, by encouraging exports and discouraging imports, especially through the use of tariffs. Great Britain regulated the economies of the colonies through the Navigation Acts according to the doctrines of mercantilism. Widespread evasion of these laws had long been tolerated. Eventually, through the use of open-ended search warrants (Writs of Assistance), strict enforcement of these Acts became the practice. In 1761, Massachusetts lawyer James Otis argued that the writs violated the constitutional rights of the colonists. He lost the case, but John Adams later wrote, "American independence was then and there born".

In 1762, Patrick Henry argued the Parson's Cause in Virginia, where the legislature had passed a law and it was vetoed by the King. Henry argued, "that a King, by disallowing Acts of this salutary nature, from being the father of his people, degenerated into a Tyrant and forfeits all right to his subjects' obedience".[13]

Western Frontier[edit]

The Proclamation of 1763 restricted colonization across the Appalachian Mountains as this was to be Indian Reserve. Regardless, groups of settlers continued to move west and lay claim to these lands. The proclamation was soon modified and was no longer a hindrance to settlement, but its promulgation and the fact that it had been written without consulting Americans angered the colonists. The Quebec Act of 1774 extended Quebec's boundaries to the Ohio River, shutting out the claims of the thirteen colonies. By then, however, the Americans had little regard for new laws from London; they were drilling militia and organizing for war.[14]

Taxation without representation[edit]

By 1763, Great Britain possessed vast holdings in North America. In addition to the thirteen colonies, twenty-two smaller colonies were ruled directly by royal governors. Victory in the Seven Years' War had given Great Britain New France (Canada), Spanish Florida, and the Native American lands east of the Mississippi River. In North America there were six Colonies that remained loyal to Britain. The colonies included: Province of Quebec, Province of Nova Scotia, Colony of Bermuda, Province of West Florida and the Province of East Florida. In 1765 however, the colonists still considered themselves loyal subjects of the British Crown, with the same historic rights and obligations as subjects in Britain.[15]

The British did not expect the colonies to contribute to the interest or the retirement of debt incurred during the French and Indian War, but they did expect a portion of the expenses for colonial defense to be paid by the Americans. Estimating the expenses of defending the continental colonies and the West Indies to be approximately £200,000 annually, the British goal after the end of this war was that the colonies would be taxed for £78,000 of this needed amount.[16] The issues with the colonists were both that the taxes were high and that the colonies had no representation in the Parliament which passed the taxes. Lord North in 1775 argued for the British position that Englishmen paid on average twenty-five shillings annually in taxes whereas Americans paid only sixpence (the average Englishman, however, also earned quite a bit more while receiving more services directly from the government).[17] Colonists, however, as early as 1764, with respect to the Sugar Act, indicated that “the margin of profit in rum was so small that molasses could bear no duty whatever.”[18]

The phrase "No taxation without representation" became popular in many American circles. London argued that the Americans were represented "virtually"; but most Americans rejected the theory that men in London, who knew nothing about their needs and conditions, could represent them.[19]

New taxes 1764[edit]

In 1764, Parliament enacted the Sugar Act and the Currency Act, further vexing the colonists. Protests led to a powerful new weapon, the systemic boycott of British goods. The British pushed the colonists even further that same year by also enacting the Quartering Act, which stated that British soldiers were to be cared for by residents in certain areas.

Stamp Act 1765[edit]

Burning of the Gaspée

In 1765 the Stamp Act was the first direct tax ever levied by Parliament on the colonies. All newspapers, almanacs, pamphlets, and official documents—even decks of playing cards—were required to have the stamps. All 13 colonies protested vehemently, as popular leaders such as Patrick Henry in Virginia and James Otis in Massachusetts, rallied the people in opposition. A secret group, the "Sons of Liberty" formed in many towns and threatened violence if anyone sold the stamps, and no one did [citation needed]. In Boston, the Sons of Liberty burned the records of the vice-admiralty court and looted the elegant home of the chief justice, Thomas Hutchinson. Several legislatures called for united action, and nine colonies sent delegates to the Stamp Act Congress in New York City in October 1765. Moderates led by John Dickinson drew up a "Declaration of Rights and Grievances" stating that taxes passed without representation violated their Rights of Englishmen. Lending weight to the argument was an economic boycott of British merchandise, as imports into the colonies fell from £2,250,000 in 1764 to £1,944,000 in 1765. In London, the Rockingham government came to power and Parliament debated whether to repeal the stamp tax or send an army to enforce it. Benjamin Franklin made the case for the boycotters, explaining the colonies had spent heavily in manpower, money, and blood in defense of the empire in a series of wars against the French and Indians, and that further taxes to pay for those wars were unjust and might bring about a rebellion. Parliament agreed and repealed the tax, but in a "Declaratory Act" of March 1766 insisted that parliament retained full power to make laws for the colonies "in all cases whatsoever".[13]

Townshend Act 1767 and Boston Massacre 1770[edit]

In 1767, the Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, which placed a tax on a number of essential goods including paper, glass, and tea. Angered at the tax increases, colonists organized a boycott of British goods. In Boston on March 5, 1770, a large mob gathered around a group of British soldiers. The mob grew more and more threatening, throwing snowballs, rocks and debris at the soldiers. One soldier was clubbed and fell. All but one of the soldiers fired into the crowd. Eleven people were hit; Three civilians were killed at the scene of the shooting, and two died after the incident. The event quickly came to be called the Boston Massacre. Although the soldiers were tried and acquitted (defended by John Adams), the widespread descriptions soon became propaganda to turn colonial sentiment against the British. This in turn began a downward spiral in the relationship between Britain and the Province of Massachusetts.

Tea Act 1773[edit]

This 1846 lithograph has become a classic image of the Boston Tea Party

In June 1772, in what became known as the Gaspée Affair, a British warship that had been vigorously enforcing unpopular trade regulations was burned by American patriots. Soon afterwards, Governor Thomas Hutchinson of Massachusetts reported that he and the royal judges would be paid directly from London, thus bypassing the colonial legislature.

On December 16, 1773, a group of men, led by Samuel Adams and dressed to evoke American Indians, boarded the ships of the government-favored British East India Company and dumped an estimated £10,000 worth of tea on board (approximately £636,000 in 2008) into the harbor. This event became known as the Boston Tea Party and remains a significant part of American patriotic lore.

Intolerable Acts 1774[edit]

An American version of London cartoon that denounces the "rape" of Boston in 1774 by the Intolerable Acts

The British government responded by passing several Acts which came to be known as the Intolerable Acts, which further darkened colonial opinion towards the British. They consisted of four laws enacted by the British parliament.[20] The first was the Massachusetts Government Act, which altered the Massachusetts charter and restricted town meetings. The second Act, the Administration of Justice Act, ordered that all British soldiers to be tried were to be arraigned in Britain, not in the colonies. The third Act was the Boston Port Act, which closed the port of Boston until the British had been compensated for the tea lost in the Boston Tea Party (the British never received such a payment). The fourth Act was the Quartering Act of 1774, which allowed royal governors to house British troops in the homes of citizens without requiring permission of the owner. The First Continental Congress endorsed the Suffolk Resolves, which declared the Intolerable Acts to be unconstitutional, called for the people to form militias, and called for Massachusetts to form a Patriot government.

American political opposition[edit]

American political opposition was initially through the colonial assemblies such as the Stamp Act Congress, which included representatives from all thirteen colonies. In 1765, the Sons of Liberty were formed which used public demonstrations, violence and threats of violence to ensure that the British tax laws were unenforceable. In late 1772, after the Gaspée Affair, Samuel Adams set about creating new Committees of Correspondence, which linked Patriots in all thirteen colonies and eventually provided the framework for a rebel government. In early 1773 Virginia, the largest colony, set up its Committee of Correspondence, on which Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson served.[21]

In response to the Massachusetts Government Act, Massachusetts Bay and then other colonies formed provisional governments called Provincial Congresses. In 1774, the Continental Congress was formed, made up of representatives from each of the Provincial Congresses or their equivalents, to serve as a provisional national government. Standing Committees of Safety were created in each colony for the enforcement of the resolutions by the Committee of Correspondence, Provincial Congress, and the Continental Congress.

Factions: Patriots, Loyalists and Neutrals[edit]

The population of the Thirteen Colonies was far from homogenous, particularly in their political views and attitudes. Loyalties and allegencies varied widely not only within regions and communities, but also within families and sometimes shifted during the course of the Revolution.

Patriots - The Revolutionaries[edit]

At the time, revolutionaries were called 'Patriots', 'Whigs', 'Congress-men', or 'Americans'. They included a full range of social and economic classes, but a unanimity regarding the need to defend the rights of Americans. After the war, Patriots such as George Washington, James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay were deeply devoted to republicanism while also eager to build a rich and powerful nation, while Patriots such as Patrick Henry, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson represented democratic impulses and the agrarian plantation element that wanted a localized society with greater political equality.

The word "patriot" refers to a person in the colonies who sided with the American Revolution. Calling the revolutionaries "patriots" is a long-standing historical convention, which began prior to the war. For example, the term “Patriot” was in use by American colonists prior to the war during the 1760s, referring to the American Patriot Party. Members of the American Patriot Party also called themselves Whigs after 1768, identifying with members of the British Whig Party, i.e., Radical Whigs and Patriot Whigs, who favored similar colonial policies.[22]

The terminology "Patriot party" was used in Virginia and Massachusetts early in colonial history during the 1600’s, with regard to groups asserting colonial rights[23] and resistance to the King.[24] A Loyalist history published in Canada describes the colonial Patriot Party in 1683 in Massachusetts: “The announcement of this decisive act [writ of quo warranto] on the part of the King produced sensation throughout the colony, and gave rise to the question, “What shall Massachusetts do?” One part of the colony advocated submission; another party advocated resistance. The former were called the “Moderate party,” the latter the “Patriot party” – the commencement of the two parties which were afterwards known as United Empire Loyalists and Revolutionists.”[24] Similarly, the "Patriot party" was known in Virginia in early colonial history during 1618: “By this time [1618] there were two distinct parties, not only in the Virginia Company, but in the Virginia Colony, the one being known as the “Court party,” the other as the “Patriot party…In 1619 the Patriot party secured the right for the settlers in Virginia to elect a Representative Assembly…This was the first representative body ever assembled on the American continent. From the first the representatives began to assert their rights.”[23]

Generally speaking, during the enlightenment era, the word "patriot" was not used interchangeably with "nationalist", as it is today. Rather, the concept of patriotism was linked to enlightenment values concerning a common good, which transcended national and social boundaries. Patriotism, thus, did not require you to stand behind your country at all costs, and there wouldn't necessarily be a contradiction between being a patriot and revolting against king and country.[25]

Class differences among the Patriots[edit]

Historians, such as J. Franklin Jameson in the early 20th century, examined the class composition of the Patriot cause, looking for evidence that there was a class war inside the revolution. In the last 50 years, historians have largely abandoned that interpretation, emphasizing instead the high level of ideological unity. Just as there were rich and poor Loyalists, the Patriots were a 'mixed lot', with the richer and better educated more likely to become officers in the Army. Ideological demands always came first: the Patriots viewed independence as a means of freeing themselves from British oppression and taxation and, above all, reasserting what they considered to be their rights. Most yeomen farmers, craftsmen, and small merchants joined the patriot cause as well, demanding more political equality. They were especially successful in Pennsylvania and less so in New England, where John Adams attacked Thomas Paine's Common Sense for the "absurd democratical notions" it proposed.[26]

Loyalists and neutrals[edit]

While there is no way of knowing the actual numbers, historians have estimated that about 15-20% of the population remained loyal to the British Crown; these were known at the time as "Loyalists", "Tories", or "King's men". They were outnumbered by perhaps 2-1 by the patriots; the Loyalists never controlled territory unless the British Army occupied it. [27] Loyalists were typically older, less willing to break with old loyalties, often connected to the Church of England, and included many established merchants with business connections across the Empire, as well as royal officials such as Thomas Hutchinson of Boston. The revolution sometimes divided families; for example, the Franklins. William Franklin, son of Benjamin Franklin and Governor of New Jersey remained Loyal to the Crown throughout the war and never spoke to his father again. Recent immigrants who had not been fully Americanized were also inclined to support the King, such as recent Scottish settlers in the back country; among the more striking examples of this, see Flora MacDonald.[28]

Most Native Americans rejected pleas that they remain neutral and supported the king. The tribes that depended most heavily upon colonial trade tended to side with the revolutionaries, though political factors were important as well. The most prominent Native American leader siding with the king was Joseph Brant of the Mohawk nation, who led frontier raids on isolated settlements in Pennsylvania and New York until an American army under John Sullivan secured New York in 1779, forcing the Loyalist Indians permanently into Canada.[29]

Some African-American slaves became politically active and supported the king, especially in Virginia where the royal governor actively recruited black men into the British forces in return for manumission, protection for their families, and the promise of land grants. Following the war, many of these "Black Loyalists" settled in Nova Scotia, Upper and Lower Canada, and other parts of the British Empire, where the descendants of some remain today.[30]

A minority of uncertain size tried to stay neutral in the war. Most kept a low profile. However, the Quakers, especially in Pennsylvania, were the most important group that was outspoken for neutrality. As patriots declared independence, the Quakers, who continued to do business with the British, were attacked as supporters of British rule, "contrivers and authors of seditious publications" critical of the revolutionary cause.[31]

After the war, the great majority of the 450,000-500,000 Loyalists remained in America and resumed normal lives. Some, such as Samuel Seabury, became prominent American leaders. Estimates vary, but about 62,000 Loyalists relocated to Canada (46,000 according to the Canadian book on Loyalists, True Blue), Britain (7,000) or to Florida or the West Indies (9,000). This made up approximately 2% of the total population of the colonies. When the Loyalists left the South in 1783, they took thousands of blacks with them as slaves to the British West Indies[32].

Women[edit]

Several types of women contributed to the American Revolution in multiple ways. Like men, women participated on both sides of the war. Among women, Anglo-Americans, African Americans, and Native Americans also divided between the Patriot and Loyalist causes.

While formal Revolutionary politics did not include women, ordinary domestic behaviors became charged with political significance as patriot women confronted a war that permeated all aspects of political, civil, and domestic life. They participated by boycotting British goods, spying on the British, following armies as they marched, washing, cooking, and tending for soldiers, delivering secret messages, and in a few cases like Deborah Samson fighting disguised as men. Above all, they continued the agricultural work at home to feed the armies and their families.[33]

The boycott of British goods required the willing participation of American women; the boycotted items were largely household items such as tea and cloth. Women had to return to spinning and weaving—skills that had fallen into disuse. In 1769, the women of Boston produced 40,000 skeins of yarn, and 180 women in Middletown, Massachusetts, wove 20,522 yards (18,765 m) of cloth.[34]

A crisis of political loyalties could also disrupt the fabric of colonial America women’s social worlds: whether a man did or did not renounce his allegiance to the king could dissolve ties of class, family, and friendship, isolating women from former connections. A woman’s loyalty to her husband, once a private commitment, could become a political act, especially for women in America committed to men who remained loyal to the king. Legal divorce, usually rare, was granted to patriot women whose husbands supported the king.[35]

Other participants[edit]

African Americans, both men and women, understood Revolutionary rhetoric as promising freedom and equality. These hopes were not realized. Although both British and American governments made promises of freedom for service[citation needed] throughout the war and many slaves[who?] attempted to better their lives by fighting in or assisting the armies, the war ultimately brought few changes for African American women both slave and free.[citation needed] After the Revolution, gradual abolition occurred in the North, but slavery expanded in the South and racial prejudice was near universal in the new nation.[citation needed]

For Native Americans, the American Revolution was not a war of patriotism or independence. Many Native Americans wished to remain neutral, seeing little value in participating yet again in a European conflict, but most were forced to take sides.[citation needed] During the war, Native American towns were often[when?] among the first to be attacked by patriot militias, sometimes[when?] without regard to which side the inhabitants espoused.[citation needed] One of the most fundamental effects of the war on Native American women was the disruption of home, family, and agricultural life.[citation needed]

Slaves and slavery[edit]

During the Revolution, efforts were made by the British to turn slavery against the Americans,[36] but historian David Brion Davis explains the difficulties with a policy of wholesale arming of the slaves:

But England greatly feared the effects of any such move on its own West Indies, where Americans had already aroused alarm over a possible threat to incite slave insurrections. The British elites also understood that an all-out attack on one form of property could easily lead to an assault on all boundaries of privilege and social order, as envisioned by radical religious sects in Britain’s seventeenth-century civil wars.[37]

Davis further wrote that “Britain, when confronted by the rebellious American colonists, hoped to exploit their fear of slave revolts while also reassuring the large number of slaveholding Loyalists and wealth Caribbean planters and merchants that their slave property would be secure".[38]

The colonists did subsequently accuse the British of encouraging slave revolts.[39]

American advocates of independence were commonly lampooned in Britain for their hypocritical calls for freedom, while many of their leaders were slave-holders. Samuel Johnson observed "how is it we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the [slave] drivers of the negroes?"[40] Benjamin Franklin countered by criticizing the British self-congratulation about "the freeing of one negro" (Somersert) while they continued to permit the Slave Trade.[41][42]

In the North, slavery was first abolished in the state constitution of Vermont in 1777, in Massachusetts in 1780, and New Hampshire in 1784. Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island adopted systems of gradual emancipation during these years, freeing the children of slaves at birth. All the northern states passed laws to end slavery, the last being New Jersey in 1804. Slavery was banned in the Northwest Territories, but no southern state abolished it.

During the era of the Revolution, some African American writers rose to prominence. Benjamin Banneker, born free in Maryland, where he received an education, became an accomplished almanac maker and astronomer of the late eighteenth-century America. In the 1790s, he published a popular almanac that both white and black Americans consulted. Jupiter Hammon, a New York slave, took up contemporary issues in his poems and essays, one of the most important of which was Address to the Negroes of the State of New York, published in 1787. Most famous of all was Phyllis Wheatley, who came to public attention when her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral appeared in London in 1773, while she was still a domestic slave in Boston. Kidnapped in Africa as young girl and converted to Christianity during the Great Awakening, Wheatley wrote poems combining piety and a concern for African Americans.[42]

Military hostilities begin[edit]

Join, or Die by Benjamin Franklin was recycled to encourage the former colonies to unite against British rule.

The Battle of Lexington and Concord took place April 19, 1775, when the British sent a force of roughly 1000 troops to confiscate arms and arrest revolutionaries in Concord.[43] They clashed with the local militia, marking the first fighting of the American Revolutionary War. The news aroused the 13 colonies to call out their militias and send troops to besiege Boston. The Battle of Bunker Hill followed on June 17, 1775. While a British victory, it was made a victory by heavy losses on the British side; about 1,000 British casualties from a garrison of about 6,000, as compared to 500 American casualties from a much larger force.[44][45]

The Second Continental Congress convened in 1775, after the war had started. The Congress created the Continental Army and extended the Olive Branch Petition to the crown as an attempt at reconciliation. King George III refused to receive it, issuing instead the Proclamation of Rebellion, requiring action against the "traitors".

In the winter of 1775, the Americans invaded Canada. Richard Montgomery captured Montreal but a joint attack on Quebec with the help of Benedict Arnold failed.

In March 1776, with George Washington as commander, the Continental Army forced the British to evacuate Boston, withdrawing their garrison to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The revolutionaries were in control of governments throughout the 13 colonies and were ready to declare independence. While there still were many Loyalists, they were no longer in control anywhere by July 1776, and all of the Royal officials had fled.[46]

Creating new state constitutions[edit]

Following the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775, the Patriots had control of most of the territory and population; the Loyalists were powerless.[dubious ] In all thirteen colonies, Patriots had overthrown their existing governments, closing courts and driving British governors, agents and supporters from their homes. They had elected conventions and "legislatures" that existed outside of any legal framework; new constitutions were used in each state to supersede royal charters. They declared they were states now, not colonies.[47]

On January 5, 1776, New Hampshire ratified the first state constitution, six months before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Then, in May 1776, Congress voted to suppress all forms of crown authority, to be replaced by locally created authority. Virginia, South Carolina, and New Jersey created their constitutions before July 4. Rhode Island and Connecticut simply took their existing royal charters and deleted all references to the crown.[48]

The new states had to decide not only what form of government to create, they first had to decide how to select those who would craft the constitutions and how the resulting document would be ratified. In states where the wealthy exerted firm control over the process, such as Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New York and Massachusetts, the results were constitutions that featured:

  • Substantial property qualifications for voting and even more substantial requirements for elected positions (though New York and Maryland lowered property qualifications);[47]
  • Bicameral legislatures, with the upper house as a check on the lower;
  • Strong governors, with veto power over the legislature and substantial appointment authority;
  • Few or no restraints on individuals holding multiple positions in government;
  • The continuation of state-established religion.
Dr. Benjamin Rush, 1783

In states where the less affluent had organized sufficiently to have significant power—especially Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New Hampshire—the resulting constitutions embodied

  • universal white manhood suffrage, or minimal property requirements for voting or holding office (New Jersey enfranchised some property owning widows, a step that it retracted 25 years later);
  • strong, unicameral legislatures;
  • relatively weak governors, without veto powers, and little appointing authority;
  • prohibition against individuals holding multiple government posts;

Whether conservatives or radicals held sway in a state did not mean that the side with less power accepted the result quietly. The radical provisions of Pennsylvania's constitution lasted only fourteen years. In 1790, conservatives gained power in the state legislature, called a new constitutional convention, and rewrote the constitution. The new constitution substantially reduced universal white-male suffrage, gave the governor veto power and patronage appointment authority, and added an upper house with substantial wealth qualifications to the unicameral legislature. Thomas Paine called it a constitution unworthy of America.[49]

Declaration of Independence, 1776[edit]

On January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine published a political pamphlet entitled Common Sense arguing that the only solution to the problems with Britain was republicanism and independence from Great Britain.[50] In the ensuing months, before the United States as a political unit declared its independence, several states individually declared their independence. Virginia, for instance, declared its independence from Great Britain on May 15.

On July 2, 1776, Congress voted the independence of the United States; two days later, on July 4, it adopted the Declaration of Independence, which date is now celebrated as Independence Day in the United States. The war had been underway since April 1775, and until this point, the states had sought favorable peace terms; compromise was no longer a possibility, despite belated British effotrts to come to a political resolution.[51]

The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, commonly known as the Articles of Confederation, formed the first governing document of the United States of America, combining the sovreign states into a loose confederation. The Second Continental Congress adopted the Articles in November 1777, and began operating under their terms. They were formally ratified by the last state legislature on March 1, 1781, the Continental Congress was dissolved, and the new government of the United States in Congress Assembled was formed.[52][53]

British military reaction[edit]

British return: 1776-1777[edit]

American alliances after 1778[edit]

The British move South, 1778-1783[edit]

Yorktown 1781[edit]

Prisoners[edit]

In August 1775, the King declared Americans in arms against royal authority to be traitors to the Crown. The British government at first started treating captured rebel combatants as common criminals and preparations were made to bring them to trial for treason. American Secretary Lord Germain and First Lord of the Admiralty Lord Sandwich were especially eager to do so, with a particular emphasis on those who had previously served in British units (and thereby sworn an oath of allegiance to the crown).

Many of the prisoners taken by the British at Bunker Hill apparently expected to be hanged. But the government declined to take the next step: treason trials and executions. There were tens of thousands of Loyalists under American control who would have been at risk for treason trials of their own (by the Americans)[clarification needed], and the British built much of their strategy around using these Loyalists. After the surrender at Saratoga in 1777, there were thousands of British prisoners in American hands who were effectively hostages.

Therefore no American prisoners were put on trial for treason, and although most were badly treated and many died nonetheless,[54][55] eventually they were technically accorded the rights of belligerents. In 1782, by act of Parliament, they were officially recognized as prisoners of war rather than traitors. At the end of the war, both sides released their surviving prisoners.[56]

Peace treaty[edit]

Immediate aftermath[edit]

Interpretations[edit]

Interpretations about the effect of the Revolution vary. Though contemporary participants referred to the events as "the revolution",[57] at one end of the spectrum is the view that the American Revolution was not "revolutionary" at all, contending that it did not radically transform colonial society but simply replaced a distant government with a local one.[58] More recent scholarship pioneered by historians such as Bernard Bailyn, Gordon Wood, and Edmund Morgan accepts the contemporary view of the participants that the American Revolution was a unique and radical event that produced deep changes and had a profound impact on world affairs, based on an increasing belief in the principles of republicanism, such as peoples' natural rights, and a system of laws chosen by the people.[59]

Loyalist expatriation[edit]

For roughly five percent of the inhabitants of the United States, defeat was followed by exile. Approximately 62,000 United Empire Loyalists left the newly founded republic, most settling in the remaining British colonies in North America, such as the Province of Quebec (concentrating in the Eastern Townships), Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. The new colonies of Upper Canada (now Ontario) and New Brunswick were created by Britain for their benefit.[60]

Worldwide influence[edit]

After the Revolution, genuinely democratic politics, such as those of Matthew Lyon, became possible,[clarification needed] despite the opposition and dismay of the Federalist Party.[neutrality is disputed][61] The rights of the people were incorporated into state constitutions. Thus came the widespread assertion of liberty, individual rights, equality and hostility toward corruption which would prove core values of republicanism to Americans. The greatest challenge to the old order in Europe was the challenge to inherited political power and the democratic idea that government rests on the consent of the governed. The example of the first successful revolution against a European empire, and the first successful establishment of a republican form of democratically elected government since ancient Rome, provided a model for many other colonial peoples who realized that they too could break away and become self-governing nations with direclty elected representative government.[62]

In 1777, Morocco was the first state to recognize the independence of the United States of America. The two countries signed the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship ten years later. Friesland, one of the seven United Provinces of the Dutch Republic, was the next to recognize American independence (February 26, 1782), followed by the Staten-Generaal of the Dutch Republic on April 19, 1782). John Adams became the first US Ambassador in The Hague.[63] The American Revolution was the first wave of the Atlantic Revolutions that took hold in the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, and the Latin American wars of liberation. Aftershocks reached Ireland in the 1798 rising, in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and in the Netherlands.[64]

The Revolution had a strong, immediate impact in Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, and France. Many British and Irish Whigs spoke in favor of the American cause. The Revolution, along with the Dutch Revolt (end of the 16th century) and the English Civil War (in the 17th century), was one of the first lessons in overthrowing an old regime for many Europeans who later were active during the era of the French Revolution, such as Marquis de Lafayette. The American Declaration of Independence had some impact on the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen of 1789.[65][66]

The North American states' newly-won independence from the British Empire resulted in the abolishment of slavery in some Northern states 51 years before it would be banned in the British colonies, and allowed slavery to continue in the Southern states until 1865, 32 years after it was banned in all British colonies.

National debt[edit]

The national debt after the American Revolution fell into three categories. The first was the $11 million owed to foreigners—mostly debts to France during the American Revolution. The second and third—roughly $24 million each—were debts owed by the national and state governments to Americans who had sold food, horses, and supplies to the revolutionary forces. Congress agreed that the power and the authority of the new government would pay for the foreign debts. There were also other debts that consisted of promissory notes issued during the Revolutionary War to soldiers, merchants, and farmers who accepted these payments on the premise that the new Constitution would create a government that would pay these debts eventually. The war expenses of the individual states added up to $114,000,000, compared to $37 million by the central government.[67] In 1790, at the recommendation of first Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, Congress combined the state debts with the foreign and domestic debts into one national debt totaling $80 million. Everyone received face value for wartime certificates, so that the national honor would be sustained and the national credit established.

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Calhoon, "Loyalism and neutrality" in Greene and Pole, A Companion to the American Revolution (2000) p.235
  2. ^ Wood (1992); Greene & Pole (1994) ch 70
  3. ^ Charles W. Toth, Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite: The American Revolution & the European Response. (1989) p. 26.
  4. ^ page 101, Philosophical Tales, by Martin Cohen, (Blackwell 2008)
  5. ^ Robert E. Shalhope, "Toward a Republican Synthesis," William and Mary Quarterly, 29 (Jan. 1972), pp 49-80
  6. ^ Patricia U. Bonomi, “Under the Cope of Heaven. Religion, Society and Politics in Colonial America”, (1986), p.5
  7. ^ Bonomi, p 186
  8. ^ David Gelernter, Americanism, the Fourth Great Western Religion, (2007). pp 64,71,81,96
  9. ^ Michael Novak, "On Two Wings. Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding", (2002), p. 15
  10. ^ Novak, p. 15
  11. ^ Bonomi, p. 186, Chapter 7 “Religion and the American Revolution
  12. ^ Bailyn, Bernard. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1967)
  13. ^ a b Miller (1943)
  14. ^ Greene & Pole (1994) ch 15
  15. ^ Greene & Pole (1994) ch 11
  16. ^ Middlekauff pg. 62.
  17. ^ Miller, p.89
  18. ^ Miller pg. 101
  19. ^ William S. Carpenter, "Taxation Without Representation" in Dictionary of American History, Volume 7 (1976); Miller (1943)
  20. ^ Miller (1943) pp 353-76
  21. ^ Greene & Pole (1994) ch 22-24
  22. ^ Murray, Stuart: Smithsonian Q & A: The American Revolution, HarperCollins Publishers by Hydra Publishing (in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution), New York (2006) p. 31.
  23. ^ a b The Outlook, Vol. LXXXVI, May-August 1907, The Outlook Co., New York (1907) p. 61.
  24. ^ a b Ryerson, Egerton: The Loyalists of America and Their Times, Vol. I, Second Edition, William Briggs, Toronto (1880) p. 208.
  25. ^ Chisick, Harvey, Historical Dictionary of the Enlightenment, pp. 313–314 
  26. ^ Nash (2005); Resch (2006)
  27. ^ Calhoon, "Loyalism and neutrality" in Greene and Pole, A Companion to the American Revolution (2000) p.235
  28. ^ Calhoon, Robert M. "Loyalism and neutrality" in Greene and Pole, The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (1991)
  29. ^ Lawrence Nash, Freedom Bound, in The Beaver: Canada's History Magazine. [1] Feb/Mar., 2007, pp. 16-23]; Colin G. Calloway, The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities (1995)
  30. ^ Hill (2007), see also blackloyalist.com
  31. ^ Gottlieb 2005
  32. ^ Greene & Pole (1994) ch 20-22
  33. ^ Carol Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence (2005)
  34. ^ Berkin (2005); Greene & Pole (1994) ch 41
  35. ^ Linda Kerber, Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America (1997) ch 4, 6; also see Mary Beth Norton, Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women (1980)
  36. ^ Revolutionary War: The Home Front, The Library of Congress
  37. ^ Davis p. 148
  38. ^ Davis p. 149
  39. ^ Schama p.28-30 p. 78-90
  40. ^ Weintraub p.7
  41. ^ Schama p.75
  42. ^ a b Hochschild p.50-51
  43. ^ Morrisey p.35
  44. ^ Harvey p.208-210
  45. ^ Urban p.74
  46. ^ Miller (1948) p. 87
  47. ^ a b Nevins (1927); Greene & Pole (1994) ch 29
  48. ^ Nevins (1927)
  49. ^ Wood (1992)
  50. ^ Greene and Pole (1994) ch 26.
  51. ^ Greene and Pole (1994) ch 27.
  52. ^ Greene and Pole (1994) ch 30;
  53. ^ Klos, Stanley L. (2004). President Who? Forgotten Founders. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Evisum, Inc. ISBN 0-9752627-5-0. 
  54. ^ Onderdonk, Henry. "Revolutionary Incidents of Suffolk and Kings Counties; With an Account of the Battle of Long Island and the British Prisons and Prison-Ships at New York". ISBN 978-0804680752
  55. ^ Dring, Thomas and Greene, Albert. "Recollections of the Jersey Prison Ship" (American Experience Series, No 8), 1986 (originally printed 1826). ISBN 978-0918222923
  56. ^ John C. Miller, Triumph of Freedom, 1775-1783 1948. Page 166.
  57. ^ McCullough, David. John Adams. Simon & Schuster, 2001. ISBN-9780743223133
  58. ^ Greene, Jack. "The American Revolution Section 25". The American Historical Review. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  59. ^ Wood (2003)
  60. ^ Van Tine (1902)
  61. ^ Wood, Radicalism, p. 278-9
  62. ^ Palmer, (1959)
  63. ^ "Frisians first to recognize USA! (After an article by Kerst Huisman, Leeuwarder Courant 29th Dec. 1999)". Retrieved 2006-11-11. 
  64. ^ Palmer, (1959); Greene & Pole (1994) ch 53-55
  65. ^ Palmer, (1959); Greene & Pole (1994) ch 49-52.
  66. ^ "Enlightenment and Human Rights". Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  67. ^ Jensen, The New Nation (1950) p 379

Reference works[edit]

  • Ian Barnes and Charles Royster. The Historical Atlas of the American Revolution (2000), maps and commentary
  • Blanco, Richard. The American Revolution: An Encyclopedia 2 vol (1993), 1850 pages
  • Boatner, Mark Mayo, III. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. (1966); revised 1974. ISBN 0-8117-0578-1; new expanded edition 2006 ed. by Harold E. Selesky
  • Fremont-Barnes, Gregory, and Richard A. Ryerson, eds. The Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War: A Political, Social, and Military History (ABC-CLIO 2006) 5 vol; 1000 entries by 150 experts, covering all topics
  • Greene, Jack P. and J. R. Pole, eds. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (1994), 845pp; emphasis on political ideas; revised edition (2004) titled A Companion to the American Revolution
  • Nash, Lawrence Freedom Bound, in The Beaver: Canada's History Magazine.[2] Feb/Mar., 2007, by Canada's National History Society. pp. 16-23. ISSN 0005-7517
  • Purcell, L. Edward. Who Was Who in the American Revolution (1993); 1500 short biographies
  • Resch, John P., ed. Americans at War: Society, Culture and the Homefront vol 1 (2005)

Primary sources[edit]

  • The American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence (2001), Library of America, 880pp
  • Commager, Henry Steele and Morris, Richard B., eds. The Spirit of 'Seventy-Six: The Story of the American Revolution As Told by Participants (1975) (ISBN 0-06-010834-7) short excerpts from hundreds of official and unofficial primary sources
  • Dring, Thomas and Greene, Albert. Recollections of the Jersey Prison Ship (American Experience Series, No 8), 1986 (originally printed 1826). ISBN 978-0918222923
  • Humphrey, Carol Sue ed. The Revolutionary Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1776 to 1800 Greenwood Press, 2003
  • Morison, Samuel E. ed. Sources and Documents Illustrating the American Revolution, 1764-1788, and the Formation of the Federal Constitution (1923). 370 pp online version
  • Onderdonk, Henry. Revolutionary Incidents of Suffolk and Kings Counties; With an Account of the Battle of Long Island and the British Prisons and Prison-Ships at New York. ISBN 978-0804680752

Surveys[edit]

  • Bancroft, George. History of the United States of America, from the discovery of the American continent. (1854-78), vol 4-10 online edition
  • Cogliano, Francis D. Revolutionary America, 1763-1815; A Political History (2000), British textbook
  • Harvey, Robert A few bloody noses: The American Revolutionary War (2004)
  • Higginbotham, Don. The War of American Independence: Military Attitudes, Policies, and Practice, 1763-1789 (1983) Online in ACLS History E-book Project. Comprehensive coverage of military and other aspects of the war.
  • Hochschild, Adam. Bury the Chains: The British Struggle to Abolish Slavery (2006)
  • Jensen, Merrill. The Founding of a Nation: A History of the American Revolution 1763-1776. (2004)
  • Bernhard Knollenberg, Growth of the American Revolution: 1766-1775 (2003) online edition
  • Lecky, William Edward Hartpole. The American Revolution, 1763-1783 (1898), British perspective online edition
  • Mackesy, Piers. The War for America: 1775-1783 (1992), British military study online edition
  • Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 (2005). The 1985 version is available online at online edition
  • Miller, John C. Triumph of Freedom, 1775-1783 (1948) online edition
  • Miller, John C. Origins of the American Revolution (1943) online edition
  • Morrissey, Brendan. Boston 1775:The Shot Heard Around The World. Osprey (1993)
  • Schama, Simon. Rough Crossings: Britain, The Slaves and the American Revolution (2006)
  • Urban, Mark. Generals:Ten British Commanders who shaped the World (2005)
  • Weintraub, Stanley. Iron Tears: Rebellion in America 1775-83 (2005)
  • Wood, Gordon S. The American Revolution: A History (2003), short survey
  • Wrong, George M. Washington and His Comrades in Arms: A Chronicle of the War of Independence (1921) online short survey by Canadian scholar

Specialized studies[edit]

  • Bailyn, Bernard. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Harvard University Press, 1967. ISBN 0-674-44301-2
  • Becker, Carl. The Declaration of Independence: A Study on the History of Political Ideas (1922)online edition
  • Samuel Flagg Bemis. The Diplomacy of the American Revolution (1935) online edition
  • Berkin, Carol.Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence (2006)
  • Breen, T. H. The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence (2005)
  • Crow, Jeffrey J. and Larry E. Tise, eds. The Southern Experience in the American Revolution (1978)
  • Davis, David Brion. Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery n the New World. (2006)
  • Fischer, David Hackett. Washington's Crossing (2004), 1775 campaigns; Pulitzer prize
  • Greene, Jack, ed. The Reinterpretation of the American Revolution (1968) collection of scholarly essays
  • Kerber, Linda K. Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America (1979)
  • McCullough, David. 1776 (2005). ISBN 0-7432-2671-2
  • Morris, Richard B. ed. The Era of the American revolution (1939); older scholarly essays
  • Nash, Gary B. The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America. (2005). ISBN 0-670-03420-7
  • Nevins, Allan; The American States during and after the Revolution, 1775-1789 1927. online edition
  • Norton, Mary Beth. Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800 (1980)
  • Palmer, Robert R. The Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760-1800. vol 1 (1959) online edition
  • Resch, John Phillips and Walter Sargent, eds. War And Society in the American Revolution: Mobilization And Home Fronts (2006)
  • Rothbard, Murray, Conceived in Liberty (2000), Volume III: Advance to Revolution, 1760-1775 and Volume IV: The Revolutionary War, 1775-1784. ISBN 0-945466-26-9.
  • Schecter, Barnet. The Battle for New York: The City at the Heart of the American Revolution. Walker & Company. New York. October 2002. ISBN 0-8027-1374-2
  • Shankman, Andrew. Crucible of American Democracy: The Struggle to Fuse Egalitarianism and Capitalism in Jeffersonian Pennsylvania. University Press of Kansas, 2004.
  • Van Tyne, Claude Halstead. American Loyalists: The Loyalists in the American Revolution (1902)
  • Volo, James M. and Dorothy Denneen Volo. Daily Life during the American Revolution (2003)
  • Wahlke, John C. ed. The Causes of the American Revolution (1967) readings
  • Wood, Gordon S. The Radicalism of the American Revolution: How a Revolution Transformed a Monarchical Society into a Democratic One Unlike Any That Had Ever Existed. Alfred A. Knopf, 1992.

External links[edit]