The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was a global war that began as a conflict between Great Britain and its thirteen American colonies, which declared independence as the United States of America.
After the Seven Years' War, growing philosophical and political differences exacerbated the strained relationship between Britain and its colonies. Following the Stamp Act, Patriot protests against taxation without representation escalated into boycotts, which culminated in the Sons of Liberty destroying a shipment of tea in Boston Harbor. Britain responded by closing Boston Harbor and passing a series of punitive measures against Massachusetts colony. Massachusetts colonists responded with the Suffolk Resolves and established a shadow government which wrested control of the countryside from the Crown. Twelve colonies formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, establishing committees and conventions that effectively seized power.
British attempts to disarm the Massachusetts militia in April 1775 led to open combat. Militia forces then besieged Boston, forcing a British evacuation in March 1776. Concurrently, an American attempt to invade Quebec and raise rebellion against the British decisively failed. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted for independence, issuing its declaration on July 4. Sir William Howe launched a British counter-offensive, capturing New York City and leaving American morale at a low ebb. However, victories at Trenton and Princeton restored American confidence. In 1777, the British launched an offensive from Quebec under John Burgoyne, intending to isolate New England. Instead of assisting this effort, Howe took his army on a separate campaign against Philadelphia, and Burgoyne was decisively defeated at Saratoga in October 1777.
The British defeat at Saratoga had drastic consequences; France formally allied with the Americans and entered the war in 1778, and Spain joined the war the following year as an ally of France. In 1780, Mysore attacked the British in India, and tensions between Britain and the Netherlands erupted into open war. In North America, the British mounted a "Southern strategy" led by Charles Cornwallis. However, the strategy hinged upon a Loyalist uprising, and too few came forward. Cornwallis retreated to Yorktown, Virginia after suffering reversals at King's Mountain and Cowpens. He was intending an evacuation, but a decisive French naval victory deprived him of an escape. A Franco-American army led by the Comte de Rochambeau and George Washington then besieged Cornwallis' army. With no sign of relief, Cornwallis surrendered.
Whigs in Britain had long opposed the pro-war Tories in Parliament, and the surrender gave the former the upper hand. In early 1782, Parliament voted to end all offensive operations in North America, but the war continued in Europe and India. Britain remained under siege in Gibraltar, but scored a major success against the French navy. On September 3, 1783, the belligerent parties signed the Treaty of Paris, formally ending the war, in which Britain agreed to recognize the sovereignty of the United States. Although French involvement had proved decisive, France made few gains and incurred crippling debts. Spain made some minor territorial gains but failed in its primary aim of recovering Gibraltar. The Dutch were defeated on all counts and were compelled to cede territory to Britain. In India, the war against Mysore and its allies concluded in 1784 without any territorial changes....LESS
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island act of rebellion that was one of the precursors to the American Revolution is being turned into a virtual reality game. Friday marks 245 years since the Gaspee Affair, when a group of colonists set fire to a British ship in Narragansett Bay on June 9, 1772.