Timeline of the American Revolution
The Revolutionary War was fought from 1775-1783 between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 North American colonies. There were many causes that led up to the beginning of the war. Many colonists felt that the taxes imposed on them from the British were unfair and that Britain was trying to increase their control over the colonies. The colonists protested against British control, but Britain continued to exert their power, and eventually led to colonists declaring independence against Great Britain and fighting to be recognized as an independent nation.
Each side had strengths and weaknesses. Colonists’ strengths included the motivation to fight for their independence, the advantage of fighting at home, and an alliance with France made by founding father Benjamin Franklin. Their weaknesses included difficulties raising funds for the war, no Navy, a very small Army, no training or organization, and many colonists still supported the Crown. British strengths included having an experienced army with many victories and strong soldiers, the strongest Navy in the world, and alliances with Native Americans. British weaknesses included fighting in an unknown territory and debate among the British people if the war was necessary due to the costly nature of it.
The first shot of the American Revolutionary War, famously called “the shot heard ‘round the world”, was fired at Lexington and Concord in 1775. The American militiamen were outnumbered in the fight at Lexington and eventually had to flee. After the Americans fled, British troops marched to Concord where they were met with hundreds of American militiamen. At Concord they defeated the British troops and forced them to retreat back to Boston. This defeat signaled their growing military force and an official start to the American Revolutionary War.
The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought a few months after Lexington and Concord. It was significant because even though the British defeated the Americans, the Americans inflicted significant casualties to the British. This boosted the American’s courage and confidence in their abilities to achieve a potential victory. Many more militiamen joined the army and the revolution continued to grow.
By 1776 the American Revolution was well underway. Fighting began the year before in Lexington and Concord signaling the start of the American Revolutionary War. There were many battles fought with victories on both sides. On July 4, 1776, The Declaration of Independence was adopted by congress. Patriots continued to fend off attacks from the British and their allies. However, by the end of 1776 the Continental Army was experiencing extreme hardship and were not sure if they would be able to continue to fight.
The Patriots had lost several important battles and lost ground to the British. Many men were injured and decided to leave the army. By December, Winter arrived and Washington’s army was dwindling. The Continental Army desperately needed a victory. On December 26, 1776, Washington led the army across the icy and dangerous Delaware River for a surprise attack on the Hessian Soldiers at Trenton. The Hessian soldiers were German soldiers hired by the British to fight in the war. They did not expect The Continental Army’s surprise attack and quickly surrendered. This victory provided a much needed boost of morale for the Americans soldiers and kept the struggle for independence alive.
The following year in 1777, the British again proved their strength with victories and captures of important cities and forts. As the Winter of 1777 came, George Washington and his troops set up camp at Valley Forge. The soldiers faced cold, starvation, disease, malnutrition and exposure to the harsh elements. Over 2,500 soldiers died due to the conditions. Despite their hardship, the troops reorganized and trained to become an efficient and disciplined army.
The American Revolutionary War would be fought for another four years until it’s last great battle at Yorktown. With the aid of French troops, The Continental Army, led by George Washington, attacked and captured two British defenses. This led to the surrender of British General Lord Cornwallis and the British government began deliberations for a peace treaty. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 formally ended the war and Britain recognized the independence of the United States.