American Revolutionary Era

- Forming A Nation -

Preview of history - the causes:

The road to American revolution had been a path that had built up through the many acts and restrictions that were placed—after the French & Indian War, the British reigned over the efforts of the French and gained lots of land to colonize in. They were short on wealth and soon collected debt from fighting in that war, so the British government promptly began giving orders towards the colonists to help them with that matter in every method possible. Even after that war debt was paid off, the British began controlling the efforts of the colonists to benefit their own wealth and general welfare - Parliament began passing laws and acts that would directly impact the advancement of the British empire. Soon, the colonists began to resent how the British government had placed restrictions without their consent, so they took many chances to rebel against them. The colonists worked to unite to form their own voice, and when the mother empire placed acts and laws that went against the rights that they have formed for themselves, they would have the intention of utilizing that unity to fight for the things that they wanted.

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The Beginning -

Lexington & Concord — April 19, 1775

A shot heard 'round the world.

1. British troops settled at the town of Lexington to wait for a preliminary strike — they were there to ignite their own victory; they were there to fight for the outcome that would one-up the colonists' efforts in justifying their own voice in the war.

2. The Patriots, prepared with seventy minutemen in their hands, were armed with a warning from John Parker, the captain: Don't fire unless fired upon. Soon after the given strategy was announced, a first shot was heard through the air — it was the "shot heard 'round the world" — and even to this day, no one can decipher who ignited that single shot.

3. After that shot was ignited, the Battle at Lexington was fought for only a few minutes; there were eight minutemen who died, and there were ten who suffered with wounds. The British continued their voyage to Concord, where the stock of weapons were concealed and a warning resounded through the ears of the other patriot troops.

4. The British were astounded by the disappearance of the weapons. They were easy to spot by the patriot troops in Concord because of their noticeable and flashy uniforms, so those troops were able to defeat them.

5. The British troops — who were commonly referred to as Redcoats because of their uniforms — were obligated to return to Boston as a result of their defeat.

Common Sense — January 1776

As an effort to establish a movement within the colonies throughout this era, a man by the name of Thomas Paine distributed pamphlets that spread the significance of obtaining justice — he published them to further ignite the desire to gain independence.

1. The pamphlet, complete with forty-seven pages of content, was anonymously published in January of 1776. The content communicated Paine's views of an ideal government being one that considers the rights and needs of the citizens.

2. Monarchies predominantly ruled the world's governments in this era, so Paine's argument in the content had thrown off many people who were informed by the published pamphlets.

3. This pamphlet enforced and elaborated upon the intentions of patriots, so many people were immensely moved by Paine's work — for them, it impacted their perspectives on British Parliament and the orders of the King. Their perspectives on the principles that the mother country enforced upon the colonies were now becoming sour and the idea of gaining independence started to become more favorable throughout the land.

4. His written words resounded pleasantly in the minds of the colonists, so many of them began to start movements that were based upon the content of the pamphlet.

5. This influence made them consider creating the iconic document that officialized their desire to develop as an independent nation.

Declaration Of Independence — July 4, 1776

Breaking off the ties to Parliament and the Crown.

1. The desire of gaining independence was expressed through the document that was signed and officialized on July 4, 1776. As soon as it was brought to the British, the colonists further recognized the two major sides within the fight — the loyalists and patriots. The rest were neutral. Loyalists were the colonists that agreed to the idea of British rule, and the patriots were the colonists who advocated for the idea of separation from British rule.

2. This document declared the official firing of the fight; the colonists developed their reasons for independence into that one signed artifact, and it was the driving force for anger from the British.

3. Natives and Europeans contributed to the event of picking sides. Most Natives chose to side with the British, and as the era progressed, the patriots received help from some Europeans. Both parties received helpful contributions in the areas of resources and training.

4. The Declaration of Independence actually didn't include rights of women, slaves, or Natives at the time that it was published.

5. The date of the officialization of the document is now celebrated as the "Fourth of July".

Battle Of Saratoga — Spring Of 1777

The greatest turning point.

1. As a method to redeem themselves from their previous losses, the British began to strategize — they had the intention of cutting through New York to block the access to the New England colonies from the other colonies so that unity for the colonies would be suspended.

2. In the plan, they chose to infiltrate the area from Canada, but they ended up coming from Ticonderoga to arrive in the city of Albany. The British cautiously wandered throughout the land to assure themselves that their timing in the act was right, but they had arrived at the area too late — there were multiple obstacles and a number of hidden troops waiting for them.

3. The patriots chose to leave those obstacles behind for the British. The troops ambushed them from all angles of the path that they took, and the British became vulnerable; the advancing power of the patriot militia overcame the British army yet again. The patriots further built up their confidence in their military strength.

4. The swarming of the patriots startled the British, and as they advanced through the route that they took, they made the decision to step back. They had to surrender themselves to the power of the patriot army on the day of October 17, 1777.

5. The strategizing and careful planning that the patriots conjured to conquer the Battle of Saratoga was a memorable part of their winning streak. It was marked as an occurrence in history that held a turning point in the war, and it was an event that shaped the confidence of the Americans.

Winter At Valley Forge — 1777-1778

A place for improvement — a place to elaborate upon their fitness for revolution.

1. As a way to take the patriots into a fully-developed base for the purpose of gaining improvement, George Washington placed them into Valley Forge, which was a military training camp.

2. The long winter in this era became their enemy — it was a crude, harsh environment that only permitted them to shiver as they trained with volunteers from Europe, and the supply was running dangerously low. The soil wasn't sufficient for growing any resources.

3. The colonists weren't equipped with protection against these circumstances, so the entries of the Europeans' contributions were benefits to their welfare. Marquis de Lafayette, a French commander that arrived at the camp by ship in 1777, assessed them with his army of volunteers that took them under their wing.

4. As Lafayette had been a good commander, the patriots became adept at recognizing their strengths in battle and using them as beneficial advantages to the crucial act of faring well in the efforts in the war. They sharpened their alertness by his training drills and familiarized themselves with the use of military weapons from every last shaft to the trigger.

5. The army began to deteriorate as more time passed by — many of the army population died of malnutrition, which made the era more brutal.

Battle Of Yorktown — October 1781

The last major battle in the war.

1. As an attempt to trap the British, George Washington and Lafayette had a plan — their goal was to capture Cornwallis, a commander of the British forces, to lessen their confidence in winning the war.

2. Lafayette's troops were ordered to remove access to all of the escape routes that the British were able to take. They blocked the surrounding areas to ensure security.

3. The patriot troops were able to barricade the land and surround the British — the British worked hard to resist against the risk of suffering a loss in this event, so the battle lasted for a few weeks on end.

4. Finally, as the British defenses grew weary and weak, Cornwallis prepared to surrender his army to Washington's troops. It was another American victory that passed.

5. This was the final major battle of the American Revolution. A proclamation resounded in the air that communicated that this was the end.

Treaty Of Paris — 1783

"I ... wish that your latter days be as prosperous as your former ones have been glorious."

— George Washington, a quote directed to his troops

1. It was a long decision to figure out a method that would bring the chance of ensured peace, but in 1783, Great Britain agreed to recognize America as an independent nation. The declaration of this event was a document that was referred to as the Treaty of Paris.

2. The Treaty of Paris officialized the acknowledgement of America's separation from Britain and formed guidelines on the borders of the nation. The Americans were allowed the ability to colonize in more areas of the land.

3. Great Britain and Spain formed a separate agreement to return the area of Florida back to the nation of Spain.

4. American troops that fought in the revolution were able to return home.

5. This marked the start of developing the nation's mechanisms and efforts in forming an identity.