"The duty of a true patriot is to protect his country from it's government." -Thomas Paine
The American Revolutionary War (also known as the War of Independence for Americans) was a war freeing the former Thirteen Colonies from the British Empire, creating the independent United States of America. The war lasted from Apr 19, 1775, to Sep 3, 1783, a total of 8 years and 4 months. It is estimated that there was over 40,000 casualties.
Prior to the War
The Thirteen Colonies were established after Britain had captured a lot of territory in the United States, that it had taken from the Native Americans.
When France, Britain, and several other countries went to war, the Colonies were drawn in. It was a bloody conflict which ended with British victory.
Britain was in severe financial debt, so it began taxing the colonies for paper, tea, glass, and more. King George III also sent over thousands of troops. In 1770 a group of British soldiers was guarding a building. They were attacked by an angry mob of colonists, and in the madness, shots were fired killing five of the attackers. This was known as the Boston Massacre.
King George III saw what was happening and repealed all the taxes, except the one on tea. Angry that tea was still being taxed, the Colonists protested by throwing about 340 crates of tea into the ocean. This tea was very expensive, and made the British Empire in even more debt. Then the Intolerable Acts were introduced. This closed all the ports in Boston, making the Massachusetts economy fall apart.
The Beginning of the War
Because of all this the Colonists were angry, and the Continental Congress, (Which was the Colonies self appointed government) sent a message to King George III that pleaded for him to end the taxation. He refused. Then the Congress gave the order for local militias to prepare to fight. These soldiers took on the name Minute Men, since they were supposed to be ready at a minute's notice.
On April 19th, 1775, these militias confronted the incoming British armies in Lexington and Concord. At Lexington, there was a very tense stand off, until someone fired. It is unknown who to this day. That caused the British to release mayhem on the rebels and it was a bloody disaster. However, at Concord, the colonists fired at the British and forced them to retreat. This was a massive victory. While retreating to Boston, civilians and soldiers took up arms and ambushed them. The remaining British soldiers managed to get back to Boston, but they were now under siege and trapped. There was a few small skirmishes with the British but nothing of significance
The war had begun. Meanwhile in New York, Benedict Arnold set off to Fort Ticonderoga, hoping to recruit soldiers on the way. This fort had massive amounts of guns and ammunition. On the way he met Ethan Allen, who had soldiers of his own and was going to do the exact same thing. The agreed to work together, and after a large argument, Arnold aloud Allen to be in command. They attacked at night, and while the soldiers were asleep, they took over the fort with barely any resistance. The rebels now had lots of guns, ammunition, and prisoners. Unfortunately Allen got all the credit, and Arnold was more or less ignored.
With the war in full motion, the Second Continental Congress (As it was called now) formed the Continental Army, with George Washington at the head. They enlisted real soldiers, and many of Washington's soldiers who fought with him in the French and Indian war, joined as well.
Back in Boston, the British were desperate to end the siege and attempted to take Bunker Hill, so they could push back the invaders. Unfortunately for them, the colonists had spies who told them about this, so they fortified Breeds Hill, and they held back the British attacks twice and killed many enemies, but they eventually ran out of ammunition and had to retreat. Britain had control of Breeds Hill as well as Bunker Hill now, although they still couldn't break the siege.
The Continental Congress sent a sue for peace to Britain, saying that they would remove all their soldiers, if Britain repealed the taxes. This was refused, and they realized that becoming an independent nation was their only option.
There was a big pause on the war, where not many troops engaged, but Britain burned down a bunch of towns. Spain, France, and somewhat later the Netherlands were now sending supplies to the rebels. Benedict Arnold attempted to take Quebec and Montreal, but his attacks were an absolute disaster and they had to retreat to Fort Ticonderoga, and they lost many soldiers. Now Henry Knox was slowly moving all the weaponry and cannons from Ticonderoga to Boston. When the cannons were there, he used them to end the siege of Boston, and the British soldiers were annihilated. Now Washington could use these as well.
All British soldiers were now gone, and Washington positioned himself at New York, guessing that was where they would attack next. On July 2nd, 1775, the Continental Congress voted, and decided to become and independent nation. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and it was finished on July 4th, and signed on July 5th. The United States of America were now independent.
They pulled down a statue of King George and melted it into 42K musket balls. Out of nowhere, a British army of 25,000 arrived on ship. Washington retreated from the coat and set up defenses at Brooklyn Heights. The British soldiers didn't attack, and just barraged their opponents with cannons, and attempted to starve them out. Eventually the British attacked and obliterated Washington's army and caused them to retreat.
What followed was several pathetic defeats for the colonists and they were on the run. Many of Washington's soldiers deserted. Britain had taken New Jersey and Washington was trapped. The British dug in for the Winter, and the Continental Army prepared an attack.
It was here when Washington crossed the Delaware and captured hundreds of soldiers. They pushed and pushed, taking Princeton from General Cornwallis. The British abandoned Southern New Jersey. Britain invaded Rhode Island, and unsuccessfully attack Charleston in South Carolina.
Benjamin Franklin who was later joined by John Adams went to France and began attempting to get French military aid for the war. The French at first refused, but Franklin didn't stop. British soldiers launched a massive invasion from the North, hoping to cut the Colonies in half. They took Fort Ticonderoga, but failed to split the country in half, do to heavy resistance in New York and Massachusetts.
While this was happening, General William Howe invaded Philadelphia, taking it. Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold worked together to push back the attacking force from the North, and Gates took the credit. Because of this victory, France joined the war, followed by Spain soon later.
Franklin also sent over a Prussian military trainer to help the Americans. They learned to fire better, and many other useful things, making it a professional army. Meanwhile, the British evacuated from Philadelphia, and headed to New York again. A skirmish took place in New York, but it was a draw.
Meanwhile, a man named John Paul Jones was wrecking tons of ships in Britain, pirate style, which kept the British navy at bay. After Benedict Arnold was accused of doing many things, he became very unpopular, and Washington sent a letter to the city, shaming Arnold, and this was when Benedict Arnold defected, giving information to the British, but was caught in the act, but then he escaped. Arnold would go on a campaign, uniting loyalists to fight, and he caused a lot of damage. After this, the British launched an all out invasion of the South, capturing land, and thousands of soldiers.
Desperate to take the South back, Washington got Nathaniel Greene to attack and take it back, but the Continental Congress sent Horatio Gates instead, who failed miserably. Then Greene went and with incredible strategy recaptured some territory and inflicted thousands of British casualties. After this however, Cornwallis abandoned the Carolinas, and took Yorktown.
A combined force of Americans, and French marched to Yorktown, and began a siege. General Clinton, who was now in New York refused to come to his aid. Soon Cornwallis had to surrender. There was a few more battles, trying to recapture Savannah, New York, and Charleston, but eventually, since no one wanted to keep fighting, Britain sued for peace, and they signed the Treaty of Paris, in 1783. The war was over, and the United States was independent.