The American Revolutionary War Portal
The American Revolutionary War
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
and intellectual American Enlightenment
, whereby the colonists rejected the right
of the Parliament of Great Britain
to govern them without representation
. In 1775, revolutionaries gained control of each of the thirteen colonial governments
, set up an alliance called the Second Continental Congress
, and formed a Continental Army
. Petitions to the king
to intervene with the parliament on their behalf resulted in Congress being declared traitors and the states in rebellion
the following year. The Americans responded by formally declaring
as a new nation
, the United States of America
, claiming sovereignty
and rejecting any allegiance
to the British monarchy. 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.
Throughout the war, the British were able to use their naval superiority to capture and occupy coastal cities, but control of the countryside (where 90% of the population lived) largely eluded them due to their relatively small land army. French involvement proved decisive, with a French naval victory in the Chesapeake leading to the surrender of a second British army at Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.
The Battles of Lexington and Concord
were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War
. They were fought on April 19, 1775, in Middlesex County
, Province of Massachusetts Bay
, within the towns of Lexington
, Menotomy (present-day Arlington)
, and Cambridge
, near Boston
. The battles marked the outbreak of open armed conflict
between the Kingdom of Great Britain
and its thirteen colonies
in the mainland of British North America
About 700 British Army regulars were ordered to capture and destroy military supplies that were reportedly stored by the Massachusetts militia at Concord. The first shots were fired just as the sun was rising at Lexington. The militia were outnumbered and fell back. Other colonists, hours later at the North Bridge in Concord, fought and defeated three companies of the king's troops. Outnumbered, soldiers of the British Army fell back from the Minutemen after a pitched battle in open territory. More Minutemen arrived soon thereafter and inflicted heavy damage on the British regulars as they marched back towards Boston.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his Concord Hymn described the first shot fired by the Patriots at the North Bridge as the "shot heard 'round the world".
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1736 – April 16, 1796), also known as Mary Brant
, and Degonwadonti
, was a prominent Mohawk
woman in the era of the American Revolution
. Living in the Province of New York
, she was the consort of Sir William Johnson
, the influential British Superintendent of Indian Affairs, with whom she had eight children. Joseph Brant
, who became an important Mohawk leader, was her younger brother.
After Johnson's death in 1774, Brant and her children returned to her native village of Canajoharie on the Mohawk River. A Loyalist during the American Revolutionary War, she fled to British Canada, where she worked as an intermediary between British officials and the Iroquois. After the war, she settled in what is now Kingston, Ontario. In recognition of her service to the Crown, the British government gave Brant a pension and compensated her for her wartime losses.
Since 1994, Brant has been honored as a Person of National Historic Significance in Canada. She was long ignored or disparaged by historians of the United States, but scholarly interest in her increased in the late 20th century. She has sometimes been controversial, criticized for being pro-British at the expense of the Iroquois. A devout Anglican, she is commemorated on April 16 in the calendar of the Anglican Church of Canada. No portraits of her are known to exist; an idealized likeness is featured on a statue in Kingston and on a Canadian stamp issued in 1986.
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