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The American Revolution

The American Revolution

By the early 1760s, the 13 English colonies in North America had developed a similar American pattern in politics, economy and cultural life and enjoyed the same frontier environment. The English people and Europeans had become Americans and they were ready to separate themselves from the Old World. The American Revolution officially proclaimed the birth of a new nation of American.

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.

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