What Started the American Revolution?

What Started the American Revolution?

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On the night of March 5, 1770, the streets of Boston, Massachusetts were coated with snow and tension was thick between angry colonists and the British soldiers who occupied their town. As British Private Hugh White stood guard near the Custom House on King Street around 8 o’clock, he was approached by a small group of frustrated young male colonists.

Reports vary as to exactly what happened next, but insults and taunts were exchanged, and a physical confrontation ensued. Church bells rang out and incensed colonists flooded the streets.

Then someone pelted White with a snowball.

More snowballs, ice and oyster shells soon followed. As the violence and threats escalated, White called for back-up. Was the snowball the actual “shot heard round the world” that started the American Revolution?

Colonists Fed Up With Taxation Without Representation

Plenty had come before to fuel this skirmish beyond any innocent snowball fight. Americans living in the thirteen colonies had grown increasingly disgruntled with British rule during the 1760s. From 1763 to 1767, British Parliament passed a series of laws such as the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act and the Townshend Act which imposed taxes and trade restrictions on everyday goods in the American colonies. They also passed the Currency Act, which prevented the colonies from making new paper money and kept them reliant on British currency.

The colonists were furious, especially since they had no elected representation in Parliament. Over the next few years, leaders such as Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, George Washington and Samuel Adams spoke out against Britain’s increasingly tight grip on their daily lives. Britain eventually repealed the Stamp Act, but then issued the Declaratory Act which gave them complete power over legislation in the colonies.

The stage was set for revolution. By March 5, 1770, angry colonists in Boston were itching to confront the British soldiers who occupied their town (and were quartered in their inns, houses and businesses). They’d endured years of British rule and had become increasingly rebellious.

A Snowball Fight That Quickly Escalated

As Private Hugh White was pelted that snowy night in Boston, help arrived in the form of Captain Thomas Preston and several of his men. By this time, some of the colonists’ weapons of choice had changed from snowballs to clubs and sticks. According to Preston’s written account of the event, one soldier was struck in the head with a stick and fired his gun.

As more snowballs and other projectiles flew and clubs were wielded, other redcoats fired on the mob, killing five colonists and wounding six more. “By the time the first shots were fired at the Massacre, British Regulars and Bostonians viewed each other with suspicion and contempt,” said Tony E. Carlson, associate professor at the School of Advanced Military Studies.

Boston Massacre Leads to Open Revolt

Revolutions don’t just involve guns, armies and militias. They’re also fought with words, protests, boycotts and yes, even snowballs. It can be argued that American colonists began a revolution against Britain long before snowballs flew at the Boston Massacre.

According to Carlson, “It might be a stretch to assert that a snowball launched the American Revolution, but there is little doubt that the Crown treated Massachusetts as the epicenter of revolutionary sentiment following colonial outbursts of anger.

“The impressment of sailors on British ships, competition over limited jobs, and the enforcement of customs duties fueled the bad blood that ultimately resulted in the loss of life at King Street and catapulted Massachusetts towards open rebellion.”

The Boston Massacre escalated existing anti-Britain sentiment and made the colonists more determined than ever to fight for independence.

An Introduction to the American Revolutionary War

The American Revolution was fought between 1775 and 1783 and was the result of increasing colonial unhappiness with British rule. During the American Revolution, American forces were constantly hampered by a lack of resources but managed to win critical victories which led to an alliance with France. With other European countries joining the fight, the conflict became increasingly global in nature forcing the British to divert resources away from North America. Following the American victory at Yorktown, fighting effectively ended and the war was concluded with the Treaty of Paris in 1783. The treaty saw Britain recognize American independence as well as determined boundaries and other rights.

American Revolution Facts

"Surrender of Lord Cornwallis" Oil painting by John Trumbull, 1820

The Revolutionary War was a war unlike any other—one of ideas and ideals, that shaped “the course of human events.” With 165 principal engagements from 1775-1783, the Revolutionary War was the catalyst for American independence.

This article provides information on the American Revolution, also known as the American War for Independence or the Revolutionary War, including commonly asked questions.

When did the American Revolution begin?

Though preceded by years of unrest and periodic violence, the Revolutionary War began in earnest on April 19, 1775, with the battles of Lexington and Concord. The conflict lasted a total of seven years, with the major American victory at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781 marking the end of hostilities, although some fighting took place through the fall of 1783.

When did the American Revolution end?

The Treaty of Paris was signed two years later, on September 3rd, 1783, by representatives of King George III including David Hartley and Richard Oswald and the United States including Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay, officially ending the conflict. The treaty was ratified by the US Congress of the Confederation on January 14th, 1784.

What were the causes of the Revolution?

Through aiding the American colonists during the French and Indian War, the British government amassed an enormous debt thanks to the cost of raising, supplying, and funding an army on foreign soil. Expecting the Americans to shoulder some of the financial burden, Parliament levied several acts of taxation as a means to soften the blow.

The Sugar Act (1764), the Stamp Act (1765), and the Townshend Acts (1767) were merely some of the unpopular pieces of legislation placed upon the American colonies for the purpose of raising funds to pay the French and Indian War debt.

Years of unrest and discord followed. The Americans maintained that Parliament could make laws, but insisted only their elected representatives could tax them. The English felt that Parliament had supreme authority over the colonies.

The Americans formed Committees of Correspondence, and later, a Continental Congress, to find solutions, but could not find common ground with the English. When fighting broke out in 1775, American revolutionaries determined that separation was the only means of obtaining liberty and justice.

The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th, 1776, formally dissolving the colonies' relationship with their mother country, and plunging the continent into war.

The colonists living in the British North American colonies who rebelled against the authority of the crown were known as patriots, revolutionaries, continentals, colonials, rebels, Yankees, or Whigs.

Those who lived in the colonies and remained faithful to the Crown were known as loyalists, Royalists, King's Men, or Tories

What were British soldiers called?

British authority and soldiers likewise acquired several monikers throughout the course of the war and were synonymously referred to as the British, the Crown, Great Britain, lobster backs, and regulars.

What were the populations of the two sides?

Great Britain had 8 million residents in 1775, and the 13 colonies about 2.5 million (of which half a million were slaves).

The largest cities in the colonies were Philadelphia, Pa, (43,000), New York, N.Y. (25,000), Boston, MA (16,000), Charleston, S.C. (12,000), and Newport, R.I. (11,000)

The four largest American colonies were Virginia (447,016), Pennsylvania (240,057), Massachusetts (235,308), and Maryland (202,599).

Where were the battles fought?

The majority of the war was fought in New York, New Jersey, and South Carolina, with more than 200 separate skirmishes and battles occurring in each of these three colonies. However, engagements were fought in every one of the original thirteen colonies, with additional military actions taking place in the modern-day states of Tennessee, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Alabama, and Florida.

How much territory did the British control during the war?

Though difficult to quantify with numbers and acreage, there can be little doubt that the British forces occupied geographically and geopolitically important areas throughout the course of the war. They held several important Canadian forts and cities in Nova Scotia, Ontario, New Brunswick remaining in control of these areas even following the American Revolution.

The British also controlled many key cities within the American colonies, with New York serving as its major base of operations for the duration of the war. They also temporarily possessed the cities of Boston and Philadelphia and held Savannah and Charleston until 1782.

While the British held several key urban centers, it’s important to understand that 90% of the colonial population lived in the rural countryside outside of British control and influence. So, in essence, the British were only able to maintain power in areas with a strong military presence, i.e. the colonial cities.

What are the major battles of the Revolutionary War?

​ What were the largest battles?

John Trumball’s famous painting “The Surrender of General Burgoyne” at Saratoga resides at the U.S. Capitol.

In terms of numbers: 40,000 soldiers fought in the Battle of Long Island, making it the largest battle. 30,000 men fought at Brandywine, Pa., and 27,000 participated at Yorktown, Va.

In terms of casualties, at Long Island the Americans lost 2,200 men, the British and Hessians about 350. Brandywine produced 1,500 American and 587 British and Hessian casualties.

Some engagements involved large numbers of prisoners, such as Yorktown, in which the British surrendered over 8,000 soldiers. In Charleston, S.C., the British captured 5,000 continentals, but similarly suffered a major setback when 6,200 British soldiers under General John Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga, N.Y.

Other battles had the highest percentages of men lost. At Cowpens, S.C. and nearby Kings Mountain, S.C., the British lost roughly 90 percent of their armies. In both of these battles most of the losses were prisoners.

The crushing defeat of the Continental Army at the battle of Camden, S.C. stands out as the most costly battle of the war. Approximately 1,050 continental troops were killed and wounded, while the British suffered 314 casualties.

Were there any sieges in the war?

Yes, there were actually many sieges of cities, towns, and forts throughout the course of the war. The list below represents a sampling of the major sieges.

American aggressor:
Vincennes (In.), Ninety Six (S.C.), Yorktown (Va.), Boston (Ma.) and Quebec (Canada)

British aggressor:
Savannah (Ga.), Newport (R.I.)

Were there any battles overseas?

There was, perhaps surprisingly, a substantial amount of fighting which occurred far from the North American soil. On March 3, 1776, the Continental Navy captured New Providence Island, in the Bahamas. American warships and privateers also raided British merchants and warships throughout the Atlantic, and even fought naval battles around the British Isles.

Furthermore, thanks to the military alliance formed with France in 1778, and later joined by both Spain and the United Netherlands, land and sea battles were fought against Great Britain in the Caribbean, Europe, and as far away as India. The opening of this global conflict was vital to the colonists in North America. The British were forced to divert important resources and manpower away from the colonies, giving the Continental Army a fighting chance against them in their war for independence.

Images and biographies of surviving Revolutionary War veterans were compiled for an 1864 book by Rev. E.B. Hillard. Library of Congress

How many soldiers served in the war?

Over the course of the war, about 231,000 men served in the Continental Army, though never more than 48,000 at any one time, and never more than 13,000 at any one place. The sum of the Colonial militias numbered upwards of 145,000 men. France also dispatched a substantial force to North America beginning in 1779, with more than 12,000 soldiers and a substantial fleet joining the Colonial Americans by wars end.

At its peak, the British Army had upwards of 22,000 men at its disposal in North America to combat the rebellion. An additional 25,000 Loyalists, faithful to Great Britain, participated in the conflict as well. Nearly 30,000 German auxiliaries, or Hessians, were hired out by German princes and served alongside the British for the duration of the war.

How many were killed or wounded?

Throughout the course of the war, an estimated 6,800 Americans were killed in action, 6,100 wounded, and upwards of 20,000 were taken prisoner. Historians believe that at least an additional 17,000 deaths were the result of disease, including about 8,000–12,000 who died while prisoners of war.

Unreliable imperial data places the total casualties for British regulars fighting in the Revolutionary War around 24,000 men. This total number includes battlefield deaths and injuries, deaths from disease, men taken prisoner, and those who remained missing.

Approximately 1,200 Hessian soldiers were killed, 6,354 died of disease, and another 5,500 deserted and settled in America afterward.

Types of old infantry uniforms of the British army, published 1916. Wikimedia Commons

What other nationalities were involved?

The American Revolution was a truly global conflict, with battles being fought in North America, the Caribbean, and Europe. The British were aided by both loyal Native American tribes, and Hessian troops from various German principalities. The American patriots were aided by an even larger coalition of European Powers which included France, Spain, the United Netherlands, and officers of various European nations. Of particular note were the contributions of men such as the Marquis de Lafayette, Baron von Steuben, Casimir Pulaski, Rochambeau, and Tadeusz Kościuszko.

Because it was cheaper to hire auxiliary soldiers than muster their own, the British government hired professional German troops called Hessians. Hired out for service by their princes or nobles, more than 30,000 Hessian soldiers sailed for North America and fought on the side of the British. Though they wore their traditional uniforms, flew their own flags, and retained their officers, British generals ultimately commanded the individual Hessian units. Johan Rall and Wilhelm von Knyphausen

What role did African Americans and Native Americans play?

Early in the war, many free blacks volunteered for service with the Continental Army, but were rejected. Americans harbored long-standing fears of slave insurrection. Later in the war, when voluntary enlistments were low, various states offered freedom to slaves who fought. About 7,000 African Americans served on the Continental side.

From the start, the British courted slaves by offering them freedom, although it was never an official government policy, but rather done by local commanders on their own. About 20,000 African Americans served with the British, knowing their status might not change if Americans won.

In 1763, the British issued a proclamation banning American colonists from moving westward onto Native American lands. For this reason, coupled with several other economic and political factors, many Native Americans, including 4 of the 6 tribes of the powerful Iroquois Confederacy, sided with the British at the outbreak of the war. Joseph Brant, whose Mohawk name was Thayendanegea, served alongside British soldiers along with troops he led. Yet some several tribes sided with Colonials, including the two remaining tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy, the Oneidas and the Tuscaroras. In places like upstate New York, western Pennsylvania, and the Carolina frontier, warfare was particularly brutal and involved many Indian groups.

The fate of many Native American tribes following the American Revolution was a tragic one. Members of the Iroquois Confederacy, along with many other Native Americans, were ravaged by the conflict, weakened significantly due to infighting, disease, and were completely left out of the Treaty of Paris signed in 1783. Treaties made with the British prior to the war were ignored by the Americans, and years of bloody conflict and expansion all but destroyed the Eastern Tribes.

How were the armies organized?

The infantry regiment was the single most distinguishable unit throughout the course of the Revolutionary War. While brigades and divisions were used to group units into a larger cohesive army, regiments were far and away the primary fighting force of the Revolutionary War.

During the 18th century, the British had one of the most disciplined and well-trained armies in the entire world. A British regiment of the Line consisted of exactly 811 men at the time of the unit’s formation. It was led by a Colonel, and was staffed by 40 junior officers, 72 non-commissioned officers, 24 drummers, 2 fifers, and fielded by 672 privates.

Each regiment was broken into 10 companies, eight of which were regular "center" companies, while the remaining two were "flank" companies: grenadier and light infantry. The light infantry and grenadier units were almost always placed at a regiment’s flanks during battle, and would often function independently throughout the course of a battle.

Washington organized his 27,000 man army based upon British doctrine and precedents therefore, his army was divided into 6 combat brigades consisting of about 2,400 men. Each brigade was comprised of about 5 or 6 regiments, with each regiment averaging around 470 men fit for service.

A regiment was broken down further into 1 or 2 battalions which were then broken down into companies. Companies were comprised of 40 privates, 3 corporals, 1 ensign (2nd Lieutenant), 1 Lieutenant, and a Captain.

It should be noted that for both the British and Continental Army, the size of a brigade, division, and army could vary greatly at any given time according to losses, detachments, etc.

For the better part of three centuries, the British army was personified by its bright red uniforms and bleached white breeches. Though specific units bore alternative trim colors ranging from green, yellow, black, and white, the vast majority of infantrymen were clad in the distinctive red coats, white breeches, gaiters, and black tricorn or fur hat. Grenadier, and light infantry units wore modified versions of the standard British uniform, with the Cavalry usually wearing green coats.

The American patriots, whether serving in the regular army or with colonial militias, wore a virtual hodgepodge of uniforms prior to standardization. Beginning the war donning brown uniforms, George Washington then settled on navy blue jackets accompanied with white breeches, and tricorn hats for his army. Additionally, regiments from different regions possessed uniforms with either blue, white, red, or buff facings and trim.

Soldiers in Uniform by Jean Baptiste Antoine de Verger, 1781-1784 Wikimedia Commons

What were a soldier’s rations?

Under normal circumstances, the Continental soldiers were supposed to receive the following daily ration:

  • 1 ½ pounds of flour or bread
  • 1 pound of beef or fish OR ¾ pounds of pork
  • 1 gill of whiskey
  • The British were also to receive a similar daily ration under normal circumstances:
  • 1 ½ Pounds flour or Bread
  • 1 pound of beef or a ½ pound of pork
  • ¼ pint of canned Peas or 1 ounce of rice
  • 1 ounce of butter
  • 1 ½ gills of Rum

Rations could be highly irregular in terms of their size and composition for both armies and often depended upon the weather, road conditions, and the season.

What tactics defined combat in the Revolutionary War?

Under normal circumstances, 18th century combat entailed that two armies march toward one another, shoulder to shoulder, and usually in ranks of about three men deep. When the opposing sides were within range, orders were given to halt, present arms, to fire, and then to reload.

After several volleys, one side gained the upper hand, and they would begin to close the distance with the enemy, bayonets lowered. This typically culminated in a full out charge at close quarters sabers, bayonets, and rifle butts were used to sweep the enemy from the field and claim victory.

Though the tactics utilized during the Revolutionary War may seem rather archaic today, the unreliability of the smoothbore muskets, usually only accurate out to about 50 yards or so, necessitated close range and proximity to the enemy. As a result, discipline and shock were the hallmarks of this style of combat, with concentrated fire and bayonet charges deciding the outcome of a battle.

Was Valley Forge a turning point?

Though shrouded in myth, Valley Forge was indeed a turning point of sorts for the Continental Army under Washington. Though the winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge was nowhere near as severe as the one soldiers suffered through in Morristown, N.J. in 1780, the Valley Forge men nevertheless suffered harsh conditions and periodic food shortages. Despite their agony, the men at Valley Forge were transformed from a rag-tag group of undisciplined and largely ineffective soldiers to a trained and orderly army, capable of winning victories over the British.

The rapid improvement seen at Valley Forge can be largely credited to the Prussian officer turned American patriot, Baron von Steuben. Steuben’s efforts not only improved training, but standardized the drill manual used by American troops and gave them a sense of pride and honor. By the spring, confidence and morale had improved dramatically and Washington led a superior army out of Valley Forge ready to face the British anew.

What role did navies play?

When the Revolution started, the Royal Navy had 270 ships at its disposal. That number swelled to 478 by the conflict’s end. The Royal Navy gave the British the immense advantage of being able to move and supply troops at will almost anywhere in North America and the world.

The Continental Navy started out small in 1775 with only a handful of ships patrolling the waters of the North American shoreline. However, thanks to ships on loan from France and new vessels constructed in the colonies, the Continental Navy peaked in numbers in 1777 with 31 vessels to its name. Though the Continental Navy could hardly defeat the mighty British Navy outright, they interrupted British commerce on the high seas, won victories against superior ships, and even made successful raids around the British Isles. Men like John Paul Jones helped shape the US Navy.

Supplementing the Continental Navy was a fleet of privately owned and operated vessels officered by men known as “Privateers.” Privateers held contracts passed on by the Continental Congress and were instructed to wreak havoc on British warships and shipping wherever they could. Privateers were the most successful American warships of the war, capturing more than 300 British vessels.

What kind of artillery was used?

Common types of field artillery were 3, 6, and 18-pounder guns, named for the weight of shot that the guns fired. Larger cannons and mortars – which lobbed large-caliber projectiles in high arcs onto their targets – were often used in sieges given their destructive capabilities. Howitzers, with shorter barrels and larger calibers compared to cannons, were also utilized by both sides.

While both the British and the American forces fielded a plethora of cannons, howitzers, and mortars, they largely played a supporting role on the battlefield, and rarely carried the same amount of destructive power as artillery of the Civil War era.

What role did cavalry play?

The use of cavalry varied by region, but, on the whole, cavalry forces were small and used for scouting, hit and run raids, or to support units in battle. Cavalrymen carried an array of weapons, including several pistols, a saber, and a carbine musket. Unique to the cavalry, troopers often wore leather helmets and modified uniforms conducive to mounted warfare.

Both sides also used Legions, which consisted of infantry and cavalry combined into a single unit. Legions could move quickly and were quite versatile. Examples include the American Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee’s Legion and “Tarleton’s Raiders” under the command of the British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton.

Spies were used extensively by both sides throughout the course of the war. Men and women risked their lives to gather intelligence and pass information. Nathan Hale, captured and hanged by the British, is one of the most famous American spies. British officer John Andre worked with Benedict Arnold and was caught by the Americans and hanged. James Armistead Lafayette is the most well-known African American slave playing the role of a runaway slave to gain access to General Cornwallis’s headquarters. As a result, Armistead accomplished what few spies could: direct access to the center of the British War Department. Many women worked as spies, using their freedom of movement to gather information and pass through the lines. They include Ann Bates of Philadelphia and Emily Geiger of South Carolina, and Lydia Barrington Darragh.

We recommend the following books as a great place to get started:

What is the preservation status of the Revolutionary War’s battlefields and sites?

While some of the larger battle sites and camp sites are preserved as either national or state parks, a surprising number are not, or are only partially preserved. There is still great potential to save key areas at many engagement sites.

Learn how to Take Action to save Revolutionary War battlefields and ways to get involved.

In North America, Revolutionary War battles and skirmishes took place in all 13 British colonies:

Province of New Hampshire
Province of Massachusetts Bay
Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Connecticut Colony
Province of New York
Province of New Jersey
Province of Pennsylvania
Delaware Colony
Province of Maryland
Colony and Dominion of Virginia
Province of North Carolina
Province of South Carolina
Province of Georgia

The Revolutionary War began in Massachusetts but the majority of the battles were fought in New York, New Jersey and South Carolina, with more than 300 military engagements occurring in these three colonies alone.

The Revolutionary War also spread to other countries and territories across the world, where it was known as the Anglo-French War and the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War.

The Anglo-French War occurred in the following places:
West Indies
East Indies
Strait of Gibraltar
Balearic Islands

The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War occurred in the following places:
Dutch Cape Colony


In 1889 the centennial of President George Washington's inauguration was celebrated, and Americans looked for additional ways to recognize their past. Out of the renewed interest in United States history, numerous patriotic and preservation societies were founded. On July 13, 1890, after the Sons of the American Revolution refused to allow women to join their group, Mary Smith Lockwood published the story of patriot Hannah White Arnett in The Washington Post, asking, "Where will the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution place Hannah Arnett?" [7] On July 21 of that year, William O. McDowell, a great-grandson of Hannah White Arnett, published an article in The Washington Post offering to help form a society to be known as the Daughters of the American Revolution. [7] The first meeting of the society was held August 9, 1890. [7]

The first DAR chapter was organized on October 11, 1890, [8] at the Strathmore Arms, the home of Mary Smith Lockwood, one of the DAR's four co-founders. Other founders were Eugenia Washington, a great-grandniece of George Washington, Ellen Hardin Walworth, and Mary Desha. They had also held organizational meetings in August 1890. [9] Other attendees in October were Sons of the American Revolution members Registrar General Dr. George Brown Goode, Secretary General A. Howard Clark, William O. McDowell (SAR member #1), Wilson L. Gill (secretary at the inaugural meeting), and 18 other people.

The First Lady, Caroline Lavina Scott Harrison, wife of President Benjamin Harrison, lent her prestige to the founding of DAR, and served as its first President General. Having initiated a renovation of the White House, she was interested in historic preservation. She helped establish the goals of DAR, which was incorporated by congressional charter in 1896.

In this same period, such organizations as the Colonial Dames of America, the Mary Washington Memorial Society, Preservation of the Virginia Antiquities, United Daughters of the Confederacy, and Sons of Confederate Veterans were also founded. This was in addition to numerous fraternal and civic organizations flourishing in this period.

The DAR is structured into three Society levels: National Society, State Society, and Chapter. A State Society may be formed in any US State, the District of Columbia, or other countries that are home to at least one DAR Chapter. Chapters can be organized by a minimum of 12 members, or prospective members, who live in the same city or town. [10]

Each Society or Chapter is overseen by an executive board composed of a variety of officers. National level officers are: President General, First Vice President General, Chaplain General, Recording Secretary General, Corresponding Secretary General, Organizing Secretary General, Treasurer General, Registrar General, Historian General, Librarian General, Curator General, and Reporter General, to be designated as Executive Officers, and twenty-one Vice Presidents General. These officers are mirrored at the State and Chapter level, with a few changes: instead of a President General, States and Chapters have Regents, the twenty-one Vice Presidents General become one Second Vice Regent position, and the title of "General" is replaced by the title of either "State" or "Chapter". Example: First Vice President General becomes State First Vice Regent. [11]

The DAR chapters raised funds to initiate a number of historic preservation and patriotic endeavors. They began a practice of installing markers at the graves of Revolutionary War veterans to indicate their service, and adding small flags at their gravesites on Memorial Day.

Other activities included commissioning and installing monuments to battles and other sites related to the War. The DAR recognized women patriots' contributions as well as those of soldiers. For instance, they installed a monument at the site of a spring where Polly Hawkins Craig and other women got water to use against flaming arrows, in the defense of Bryan Station (present-day Lexington, Kentucky).

In addition to installing markers and monuments, DAR chapters have purchased, preserved, and operated historic houses and other sites associated with the war.

DAR Hospital Corps (Spanish-American War, 1898) Edit

The U.S. military did not have an affiliated group of nurses to treat servicemembers during wartime. At the onset of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the U.S. Army appointed Dr. Anita Newcomb McGee as Acting Assistant Surgeon to select educated and experienced nurses to work for the Army. As Vice President of the DAR (who also served as NSDAR's first Librarian General), Dr. McGee founded the DAR Hospital Corps to vet applicants for nursing positions. The DAR Hospital Corps certified 1,081 nurses for service during the Spanish–American War. DAR later funded pensions for many of these nurses who did not qualify for government pensions. Some of the DAR-certified nurses were trained by the American Red Cross, and many others came from religious orders such as the Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Mercy, and Sisters of the Holy Cross. [12] [13] These nurses served the U.S. Army not only in the United States but also in Cuba and the Philippines during the war. They paved the way for the eventual establishment—with Dr. McGee's assistance—of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901. [14]

Textbook committees Edit

During the 1950s, statewide chapters of the DAR took an interest in reviewing school textbooks for their own standards of suitability. In Texas, the statewide "Committee on Investigations of Textbooks" issued a report in 1955 identifying 59 textbooks currently in Texas public schools that had "socialistic slant" or "other deficiencies" including references to "Soviet Russia" in the Encyclopedia Britannica. [15] In 1959, the Mississippi chapter's "National Defense Committee" undertook a state lobbying effort that secured an amendment to state law which added "lay" members to the committee reviewing school textbooks. A DAR board member was appointed to one of the seats. [16]

Other historic accomplishments Edit

  • The DAR Museum was founded in 1890 as a repository for family treasures. Today, the museum contains over 30,000 historical relics that form a collective memory of the decorative and fine arts in America from 1700 to 1850.
  • The DAR Library was founded in 1896 as a collection of genealogical and historical publications for the use of staff genealogists verifying application papers for the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Shortly after 1900 the growing collection was opened to the public and has remained so ever since.
  • During the Spanish–American War, DAR purchased a ship's tender for the USS Missouri to be used as a hospital launch for transporting the wounded from shore to ship.
  • To help with the war effort during World War I, DAR loaned its National Headquarters land to the United States. The federal government used the land to erect a temporary war office building that provided office space for 600 people.
  • After World War I, DAR funded the reconstruction of the water system in the village of Tilloloy, France, and donated more than $130,000 for the support of 3,600 French war orphans.
  • DAR provided materials for sewing, wood, and leatherwork to the immigrants detained for processing on Ellis Island. This helped to alleviate the depression and anxiety of these men and women who were strangers in a new land.
  • [17] In 1921, DAR compiled and published the "DAR Manual for Citizenship." DAR distributed this guide to American immigrants at Ellis Island and other ports of entry. To date, more than 10 million manuals have been distributed.
  • From November 1921 until February 1922, world leaders met in DAR Memorial Continental Hall for the Conference on Limitation of Armaments, a groundbreaking meeting for peace.
  • The Americana Collection, founded in the early 1940s, brought together rare manuscripts and imprints previously scattered among the holdings of the DAR Museum and DAR Library. Today, the collection flourishes from more than 60 years of actively seeking out and acquiring artifacts that reflect a unique image of our nation.
  • DAR raised thousands of dollars to assist in the re-forestation project of the U.S. Forest Service during the 1940s.
  • During World War II, DAR provided 197,000 soldiers with care packages and sponsored all 89 crews of Landing Craft Infantry ships.
  • During World War II, the use of the DAR buildings was given to the American Red Cross. A children's day nursery was set up in the basement of Constitution Hall for enlisted men's wives who had to go to work.
  • The tradition of celebrating the Constitution was started many years ago by the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1955, the DAR petitioned Congress to set aside September 17–23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was later adopted by the U. S. Congress and signed into Public Law #915 on August 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. [18]

There are nearly 180,000 current members of the DAR in approximately 3,000 chapters across the United States and in several other countries. The organization describes itself as "one of the most inclusive genealogical societies" [19] in the United States, noting on its website that, "any woman 18 years or older — regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background — who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership". [19] The current DAR President General is Denise Doring VanBuren, a former public relations executive from New York.

Eligibility Edit

Membership in the DAR today is open to all women, regardless of race or religion, who can prove lineal bloodline descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving United States independence. [1] The National Society DAR is the final arbiter of the acceptability of the documentation of all applications for membership.

Qualifying participants in achieving independence include the following:

  • Signatories of the United States Declaration of Independence
  • Military veterans of the American Revolutionary War, including State navies and militias, local militias, privateers, and French or Spanish soldiers and sailors who fought in the American theater of war of provisional or State governments, Continental Congress and State conventions and assemblies
  • Signers of Oath of Allegiance or Oath of Fidelity and Support
  • Participants in the Boston Tea Party
  • Prisoners of war, refugees, and defenders of fortresses and frontiers doctors and nurses who aided Revolutionary casualties ministers petitioners and
  • Others who gave material or patriotic support to the Revolutionary cause. [1]

The DAR published a book, available online, [20] with the names of thousands of minority patriots, to enable family and historical research. Its online Genealogical Research System (GRS) [21] provides access to a database, and it is digitizing family Bibles to collect more information for research.

The organization has chapters in all 50 U.S. states and in the District of Columbia. DAR chapters have been founded in Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The DAR is a governing organization within the Hereditary Society Community of the United State of America, and each DAR President General has served on HSC's board since its inception.

Education outreach Edit

The DAR contributes more than $1 million annually to support six schools that provide for a variety of special student needs. [22] Supported schools:

In addition, the DAR provides $70,000 to $100,000 in scholarships and funds to American Indian youth at Chemawa Indian School, Salem, Oregon Bacone College, Muskogee, Oklahoma and the Indian Youth of America Summer Camp Program. [23]

Civic work Edit

DAR members participate in a variety of veteran and citizenship-oriented projects, including:

  • Providing more than 200,000 hours of volunteer time annually to veterans in U.S. Veterans Administration hospitals and non-VA facilities
  • Offering support to America's service personnel in current conflicts abroad through care packages, phone cards and other needed items
  • Sponsoring special programs promoting the Constitution during its official celebration week of September 17–23
  • Participating in naturalization ceremonies

Exhibits and library at DAR Headquarters Edit

The DAR maintains a genealogical library at its headquarters in Washington, DC and provides guides for individuals doing family research. Its bookstore presents scholarship on United States and women's history.

Temporary exhibits in the galleries have featured women's arts and crafts, including items from the DAR's quilt and embroidery collections. Exhibit curators provide a social and historical context for girls' and women's arts in such exhibits, for instance, explaining practices of mourning reflected in certain kinds of embroidery samplers, as well as ideals expressed about the new republic. Permanent exhibits include American furniture, silver and furnishings.

Literacy promotion Edit

In 1989, the DAR established the NSDAR Literacy Promotion Committee, which coordinates the efforts of DAR volunteers to promote child and adult literacy. Volunteers teach English, tutor reading, prepare students for GED examinations, raise funds for literacy programs, and participate in many other ways. [24]

American history essay contest Edit

Each year, the DAR conducts a national American history essay contest among students in grades 5 through 8. A different topic is selected each year. Essays are judged "for historical accuracy, adherence to topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness." The contest is conducted locally by the DAR chapters. Chapter winners compete against each other by region and nationally national winners receive a monetary award. [25]

Scholarships Edit

The DAR awards $150,000 per year in scholarships to high school graduates, and music, law, nursing, and medical school students. Only two of the 20 scholarships offered are restricted to DAR members or their descendants. [26]

In 1932 the DAR adopted a rule excluding African-American musicians from performing at DAR Constitution Hall in response to complaints by some members against "mixed seating," as both black and white people were attracted to concerts of black artists. In 1939, they denied permission for Marian Anderson to perform a concert. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the organization. In her letter to the DAR, Roosevelt wrote, "I am in complete disagreement with the attitude taken in refusing Constitution Hall to a great artist. You had an opportunity to lead in an enlightened way and it seems to me that your organization has failed." As the controversy grew, the American press overwhelmingly backed Anderson's right to sing. The Philadelphia Tribune wrote, "A group of tottering old ladies, who don't know the difference between patriotism and putridism, have compelled the gracious First Lady to apologize for their national rudeness." The Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote, "In these days of racial intolerance so crudely expressed in the Third Reich, an action such as the D.A.R.’s ban. . . seems all the more deplorable." At Eleanor Roosevelt's behest, President Roosevelt and Walter White, then-executive secretary of the NAACP, and Anderson's manager, impresario Sol Hurok arranged an open-air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with a dignified and stirring rendition of "America (My Country, 'Tis of Thee)." The event attracted a crowd of more than 75,000 in addition to a national radio audience of millions. [27] The DAR officially reversed its "white performers only" policy in 1952. [28] In 1977, Karen Batchelor Farmer (now Karen Batchelor) of Detroit, Michigan, was admitted as the first known African-American member of the DAR. [29] Batchelor's admission as the first known African-American member of DAR sparked international interest after it was featured in a story on page one of The New York Times. [30]

In 1984, Lena Lorraine Santos Ferguson, a retired school secretary, was denied membership in a Washington, D.C. chapter of the DAR because she was Black, according to a report by The Washington Post. [31] Ferguson met the lineage requirements and could trace her ancestry to Jonah Gay, a white man who fought in Maine. [31] When asked for comment, Sarah M. King, the President General of the DAR, told The Washington Post that the DAR's chapters have autonomy in determining members. [31] King went on to tell Washington Post reporter Ronald Kessler, "Being black is not the only reason why some people have not been accepted into chapters. There are other reasons: divorce, spite, neighbors' dislike. I would say being black is very far down the line. There are a lot of people who are troublemakers. You wouldn't want them in there because they could cause some problems." [31] After King's comments were reported in a page one story, outrage erupted, and the D.C. City Council threatened to revoke the DAR's real estate tax exemption. King quickly corrected her error, saying that Ferguson should have been admitted, and that her application had been handled "inappropriately". DAR changed its bylaws to bar discrimination "on the basis of race or creed." In addition, King announced a resolution to recognize "the heroic contributions of black patriots in the American Revolution." [32]

Since the mid-1980s, the DAR has supported a project to identify African-Americans, Native Americans, and individuals of mixed race who were patriots of the American Revolution, expanding their recognition beyond soldiers. [33] In 2008, DAR published Forgotten Patriots: African-American and American Indian Patriots in the Revolutionary War. [20] [33] In 2007, the DAR posthumously honored Mary Hemings Bell, who was enslaved by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, as a "Patriot of the Revolution." Since Hemings Bell has been honored as a Patriot, all of her female descendants qualify for membership in the DAR. [34] Wilhelmena Rhodes Kelly, in 2019, became the first African-American elected to the DAR National Board of Management when she was installed as New York State Regent in June. [35]

Living members Edit

    , American academic, chief executive officer and dean, Kent State University Stark[36] , first African-American woman federal judge appointed by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate, and first African-American woman on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in its 140-year history. , former First Lady of the United States[37] , former First Lady of the United States, politician, political and social activist[37] , actress, former model, and conservative political activist [37] , former U.S. Senator from North Carolina, former transportation secretary, labor secretary, American Red Cross president, Federal Trade Commissioner, presidential candidate, and presidential advisor[37] , American Army veteran, former U.S. Representative, and from 2017, U.S. Senator from Illinois. Duckworth is depicted along with Molly Pitcher in a statue sponsored by the DAR Illinois chapter and dedicated to women veterans on the grounds of the Brehm Memorial Library in Mt. Vernon, Illinois [38] , chemistry professor , painter , writer and psychotherapist. [37] , NASA astronaut [37]

Deceased members Edit

    , activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner [37] (1833–1909), American temperance reformer and lecturer , American suffragist [37] , national chairman of Colonial Relics [39] (1846–1910), litterateur and author , American Red Cross founder [37] (1846-1911), suffragist, clubwoman, author , State Chairman and member of National Committee for Genealogical and Historical Research [39] , first Democratic woman to serve in the Illinois House of Representatives. She served as the Illinois State Regent. [40][41] , State Recording and Secretary of the California Daughters of the American Revolution [39] (1889–1980), First Lady of North Carolina [42] , Hollywood chapter [39] (1807–1857), author (1835–1918), author, newspaper editor, librarian, university dean , established and developed the Geography Department at the San Diego State Teachers College[39] (1814–1909) – suffragist, activist, writer [43] , first registrar of the General Edward Hand Chapter [39] (1863–1953), American physician, suffragist , supporter of the New York Philharmonic (1853–1935), author, journalist, translator (1831-1894), author and poet , Executive Secretary of the Oregon Tuberculosis Association [39] , American philanthropist who worked mainly with the Igorot people of the Philippine Islands [39] , founder of Christian Science church , Rubidoux Chapter [39] , Spanish princess and author [44] , American writer [39] (1837–1897), American musician, linguist, author, critic , prominent club and civic worker of Portland. She was the first President of the Oregon Federation of Business and Professional Women [39] , Wyoming clubwoman and one of the best known women of her time in the oil business [39] , actress [37] , held several high offices in Daughters of the American Revolution organization [39]
  • Isophene Goodin Bailhache, national vice chairman of Historic Spots, State Officer, Chapter Regent [39] , mathematician and cryptanalyst who founded the Venona project[45] , attorney and member of Piedmont Board of Education [39] , American botanist [46] , from 1920 to 1922, State Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution [39] , former First Lady of the United States [37] , Rear Admiral, USNR [37][47] (1825-1900), Founder First Regent D.A.R. Valley Forge Chapter, Hosted 1891 DAR National Leadership visit to Valley Forge, [48]Prayer Desk Dedicated at VF Memorial Chapel in her honor, [49] Founder, Regent Centennial and Memorial Association, [50][51] Civil War Nurse, Author. [52] (1860-1922), Deputy Superintendent Public Instruction in New Hampshire , national chairman of Historical and Literary Reciprocity Committee of the Daughters of the American Revolution [39]
  • Colonel Westray Battle Long, Director of the Women's Army Corps , State Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution [39] (1846–1934), teacher, lecturer, clubwoman, and author , member [39] , member [39] , educator and originator of Memorial Day Poppies [53] , M.D., physician and medical journal editor , founder of the Army Nurse Corps [37] , artist and DAR President General, 1920-1923 [54] (1847-1919), national president Woman's Relief Corps , founder of The Morse School of Expression, St. Louis [55] , held positions in several organizations [39] , folk artist [37][56] (1845–1921), poet, author, and musical composer , leader in promoting the colonial history of the United States [39] , columnist, conservative activist, and segregationist (?–1943), author, editor , musician and leader in civic and social affairs [39] , American suffragist [37] , twice president of the Oklahoma Library Association, the first professional in the Library Science field in the Oklahoma City system [39] , First Lady of the United States , officer of the Jefferson Chapter [56] , member [39] , author, journalist , former Attorney General of the United States [37] , engineer, known for her contribution to the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge , actress and dancer [37] , First Lady of the United States. She resigned her membership in protest of racism. , one of the pioneer women of the state of Montana [39] , national president of the Woman's Relief Corps [57] , conservative political activist and writer [37] , DAR President General [1] , Registered Nurse, army nurse overseas during World War I and director of American Red Cross Nursing Service in Albania and Montenegro [39] , noted artist and cartographer (1843–1915), composer, poet, author , US Congresswoman and US Senator [37] , Lady Stirling Chapter [39] (1854-1935), social reformer, clubwoman, author , president of the Arizona State Nurses' Association from 1927 to 1928 [39] (1829-1907), National President, Woman's Relief Corps , sculptor, art patron and collector, and founder in 1931 of the Whitney Museum of American Art[58] , Founder of Guam Community College, first female President of a Florida Community College, first woman chemical engineer graduate from Vanderbilt University. Received the National Community Service Award from DAR. [59] , historian and socialite, founding member of the Mississippi Delta Chapter , First Lady of North Carolina , member [39] (1843-1909), author, editor, clubwoman (1843-1918), national president of the Woman's Relief Corps

A memorial to the Daughters of the American Revolution's four founders, at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., was dedicated on April 17, 1929. It was sculpted by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, a DAR member. [60] [61]

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This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Archives and Records Administration.

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V. Changes in the American Colonies

Before the French-Indian war and the “intolerable acts, there were changes happening in the American colonies that made waging the Revolutionary War possible. To put it succinctly, the war could not have been fought in 1710 because an independent culture had not developed in America. What led to the development were things like decreased English immigration to America (ties with England were weakened), the First Great Awakening, and trans-colonial institutions like postal networks and newspapers.

The American Revolution: A World War

This website is based on an exhibition that was on view at the National Museum of American History from June 2018 to July 2019.

"A compleat History of the American War. is nearly the History of Mankind for the whole Epocha of it. The History of France Spain Holland, England and the Neutral Powers, as well as America are at least comprized in it."

The American Revolution was far more than an uprising of discontented colonists against the British king. It was a world war that involved multiple nations fighting battles on land and sea around the globe. This broader conflict ultimately determined the outcome in America. The Revolution’s origins lay as much in the Seven Years’ War as in colonists’ discontent. Major American victories, especially the final one at Yorktown, required extensive support from allies. Once won, the Revolution’s consequences echoed far beyond American shores.

By the early 1700s, leading European nations were competing around the world for wealth and power, establishing far-flung colonies or trading outposts. The British colonies in North America were just one example. Note the details in this remarkable 1719 map, which illustrates the imperial worldviews of European rulers of the era as well as the limits of their knowledge.

What Started the American Revolution? - HISTORY

The OP obviously suffers from bumper sticker simplicity, as though there could have been but one cause which rendered all other concerns moot.

The American Revolution came about when a tax revolt which had been going on for years in new England, became fused with middle and southern state interests in western expansion which had been prohibited by the British.

And the tax revolt itself was less about the specifics of any particular tax, and more about what the relationship of the colonies were to the empire. As long as the colonies reserved the right to tax themselves, they could take the position that they were an entity independent of Parliament, but simultaneously loyal subjects of the King. The mentality was that Parliament took care of English affairs, local assemblies could take care of governing of the colonies.

There was also the cultural element. America was different in character from Great Britain. Land ownership in Europe had been settled for centuries and no new opportunities existed for the landless. Primogeniture custom dictated that the eldest son inherited all of the land to keep the estate intact, younger sons were encouraged toward military or clerical careers. In the colonies the eldest son would inherit, but the younger sons would simply move west and start their own farms. As did their sons. the result was that land ownership, and thus voter qualification, was five times more widespread in the colonies than it was back in England.

This system flourished only so long as land was plentiful and available, which it was until the second half of 18th Century. When the colonists started bumping up against the Appalachians, the desire to cross the mountains and claim the rich and fertile lands that lay between the mountains and the Mississippi, was extremely strong.

Further, many Pennsylvanians, Virginians and Carolinians had paper fortunes based on claims in those western lands. The British edict against expansion would ruin them.

Finally, racism was an additional factor in some cases. The Declaration of Independence, in listing the supposed outrages of King George , included:

The "domestic insurrections" was a direct reference to the threat made by Virginia Royal Governor, John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, to encourage slaves to run away and join the British army where they would be used to put down the revolt. Virginia reacted immediately by forming vigilante groups to sweep through the countryside and collar all black persons attempting any travel. The group that stayed in the field the longest in this activity was led by that champion of freedom, Patrick Henry. There was little that the southern colonists feared more than a slave rebellion and the fact that the British government was attempting to incite one was a destructive blow to southern loyalties.

It was a complex situation with both collective and individual motivations in the mix. To attempt to reduce it to a singular cause is unsupported by the facts.

Causes of the American Revolution

Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier Memorial

In the beginning, the colonies were proud to be British. There were small instances of Parliament’s control that bothered the colonists, like the Currency Acts of 1751 and 1764. But when the French and Indian War took place (1754 – 1763), King George III lost a great deal of money due to buying expensive supplies for his army and the colonies. In order to pay off his debt, he imposed taxes on the colonies without their consent.

This outraged the colonists.

It’s an old saying that you should always look for the money trail. The Protestant Reformation had one, and money was certainly one of the major causes of the American Revolution.

The colonists did not like being taxed for things that had always had free. They immediately began a boycott of British goods.

Now it was the king’s turn to be furious.

King George wasted no time in sending soldiers across the Atlantic to make sure the colonies were behaving as they should.

Soon, what is perhaps the most famous of the causes of the American Revolution came to pass. A young ship owner brought over a ship full of taxed tea from Britain and declared he would see it unloaded …

Causes of the American Revolution:The Boston Tea Party

Boston Tea Party, 1774

The colonists decided they would see none of the tea leave the ship. A group of colonists dressed as American Indians boarded the ship at night and threw the tea overboard into the harbor, ruining all of it. When they saw one of their comrades trying to stuff some in his pockets, they stripped the tea from his grasp and sent him home without his pants. They then stripped the ship owner of his clothes and tarred and feathered him.

This event is now known as the Boston tea party.

I can’t resist reminding you of Mr. Banks’ comment in the movie Mary Poppins that when the tea was thrown into the harbor, it became “too weak for even Americans to drink.”

Causes of the American Revolution:The Intolerable Acts

In response to the Boston Tea Party, the king imposed the “Intolerable Acts.”

One of the more major causes of the American Revolution, the Intolerable Acts were …

  • The Boston Port Act, closing the port of Boston until the Dutch East India Company had been repaid for the destroyed tea
  • The Massachusetts Government Act, putting the government of Massachussets almost entirely under direct British control
  • The Administration of Justice Act, allowing royal officials to be tried in Britain if the king felt it necessary for fair justice
  • The Quartering Act, ordering the colonies to provide lodging for British soldiers
  • The Quebec Act, expanding British territory in Canada and guaranteeing the free practice of Roman Catholicism.

The Quartering Act incensed the colonies most. The king and parliament revived an old law requiring colonists to house British soldiers in their homes. Because of the Boston Massacre (4 years earlier, in 1770), the colonists were afraid of the soldiers in their homes. They would lay awake at night with fear for their children embedded in their hearts like a knife.

This is when the colonies decided that something must be done.

Causes of the American Revolution:The First Continental Congress

Out of the Intolerable Acts the First Continental Congress was born.

In this congress 55 delegates representing 12 of the 13 colonies—Georgia withheld—argued back and forth as to whether or not they should separate from Britain for killing their people, firing cannons on their cities, closing down Boston’s sea port, and, primarily, imposing the intolerable acts.

The congress was in session for two solid months in September and October of 1774. After much dissension, they decided to send a “Declaration of Rights and Grievances” to King George, hoping their demands would be met. At this point, the colonists still could not foresee separating from Britain.

More ominously, they also endorsed the “Suffolk Reserves,” resolutions passed by Suffolk county in Massachusetts—certainly one of the causes of the American Revolution.

Massachusetts was the colony worst hit by the Intolerable Acts. The Suffolk Reserves warned General Thomas Gage that Massachussets would not tolerate their enforcement and that they would retain possession of all taxes collected in Massachusetts.

After sending the Declaration of Rights and Grievances, the First Continental Congress separated to await Britain’s reply.

Causes of the American Revolution:The Battles of Lexington and Concord

Tension was far too high for the king to respond favorably. The colonists began to amass arms and prepare for what they felt was an inevitable battle with the oppressive British army.

Amos Doolittle engraving of Battle of Lexington published in 1775

It came soon enough. Paul Revere’s ride on April 19, 1775 was to announce the approach of British soldiers to stamp out colonist resistance in the towns of Lexington and Concord.

Lexington was first. The British met only 77 minutemen, and at first were pleased to allow them to leave. However, from some unknown place a shot was fired, and the British opened up on the Americans. Eight were killed, ten wounded, and the British suffered but one minor casualty.

It was made up for at Concord. There the colonists were prepared.

400 minutemen sent the British troops scurrying back to Lexington, completely unprepared to be fired on from the woods during their retreat. Apparently, guerilla tactics were considered ungentleman-like in that day and age.

Ungentlemanly or not, they were effective, and the Americans routed the British all the way back to Boston. There were nearly 300 British casualties, including 73 dead and 23 missing. The Americans suffered less than 100.

Second Continental Congress voting for independence

Causes of the American Revolution:The Second Continental Congress

It was time to do something. The Continental Congress gathered again in May of 1775, where they would become and remain the government of the colonies until the end of the Revolutionary War.

They quickly made an attempt at peace, sending the Olive Branch Petition to King George declaring their loyalty. When it reached the King he pushed it aside and didn’t even read it, and in response he sent a proclamation to the Congress saying that they would all hang for their defiance to the crown.

The Olive Branch Petition

I thought you might be interested in the proposition the 2nd Continental Congress made to King George III:

“Attached to your Majesty’s person, family, and Government, with all devotion that principle and affection can inspire connected with Great Britain by the strongest ties that can unite societies, and deploring every event that tends in any degree to weaken them, we solemnly assure your Majesty, that we not only most ardently desire the former harmony between her and these Colonies may be restored, but that a concord may be established between them upon so firm a basis as to perpetuate its blessings, uninterrupted by any future dissensions, to succeeding generations in both countries, and to transmit your Majesty’s name to posterity.”

This united the colonies and birthed the Declaration of Independence, which bore us to war with Britain.

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