The American Revolution

Or How America was Born

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By 1750, more than 1 million people lived in the British colonies.

The colonies made a lot of money and most major port cities did not want the British government to interfere in their businesses.


Because of the Seven Years' War, the Crown needed new revenues from the colonies to cover war expenses and maintain an army to defend the colonies in North America. A Stamp Act in 1765 (requiring a British tax on printed materials) was met with violent opposition and was repealed the following year.


More conflict between Britain and the colonies was to follow, until the First Continental Congress met in 1774.


"Take up arms and organize militias!"

Support from Foreign Countries

The colonists may not have been successful without the support of other countries in the battle against the British.


The FRENCH supplied arms and money to the rebels, as well as officers and soldiers serving in Washington's army.


SPAIN and the DUTCH REPUBLIC entered the war, making the British face war with Europeans as well as the Americans.

British Defeat

The Battle of Yorktown

The Treaty of Paris

After General Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown in 1781, the British decided to end the war. The Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, recognizing the independence of the American colonies.


It also gave Americans control of the western territory from the Appalachians to the Mississippi River.

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The Birth of a New Nation

The colonies feared a strong central government and thus created the Articles of Confederation in 1781 to organize the new government. It failed as it was too weak to deal with the nation's problems.


The new Constitution created a federal system, which means national and state governments SHARE power. Three branches of government were created (executive, judicial, legislative) and each could check and balance the power of the other branch.


The new Constitution of then nation took effect after 9 of 13 states ratified (or approved) it.

A 3-minute guide to the Bill of Rights - Belinda Stutzman

The First 10 Amendments...

...are known as the Bill of Rights.


Many of the rights were derived from the natural rights proposed by the 18th-century philosophers and John Locke.


Many European intellectuals saw the American Revolution as a confirmation of the premises of the Enlightenment.


A new age and a better world could be achieved.