Events that led up to the war:
The Stamp Act (March 22, 1765) - Britain sets a tax that requires a stamp on all public documents like newspapers or legal documents. The colonists did not like having this tax placed on them. This led to unrest in the colonies and the Stamp Act Congress (October 1765).
The Boston Massacre (March 5, 1770 - 5 Boston colonists are shot by British troops.
The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor by Sarony & Major The Boston Tea Party (Dec. 16, 1773) - Angry with a new tax on tea, some Boston colonists calling themselves the Sons of Liberty board British ships and dump crates of tea into the Boston Harbor.
The First Continental Congress Meets (Sept. 1774) - Representatives from the colonies get together to unite and oppose British taxes. Paul Revere's Midnight Ride Source: National Archives and Records Administration.
Click the link below to go to Learning Adventures:
In 1733, Great Britain had 13 colonies in North America. A colony is land that a country controls from far away. At first, the colonists — the people living in the colonies — and Great Britain had a good relationship. Over time, however, this relationship changed.
The colonists decided to fight for their independence. They did not want to be part of Great Britain anymore. They wanted to have their own country. This fight for independence is called the American Revolution. This is how the 13 British colonies became the United States of America.
The Problems Begin
Problems between the colonists and Great Britain began in 1763. In 1763, Great Britain made a new rule. This rule said that the colonists could not live on the land where Native Americans lived. The colonists did not like this new rule. They wanted to live on the Native Americans' land.
The colonists were also angry about extra money, called taxes, that they had to pay to the British government. The colonists did not want to pay these taxes. They decided to protest. When people protest, they come together to speak against something they do not think is right. The colonists stopped buying things that were taxed by the British.
The Revolutionary War Begins Paul Revere's Ride (April 18, 1775) - The Revolutionary War starts and Paul Revere makes his famous ride to warn the colonists that the "British are coming".
Battle of Lexington and Concord (April 19, 1775) - The actual fighting starts with the first "shot heard around the world". The Americans win as the British retreat.
Capture of Fort Ticonderoga (May 10, 1775) - The Green Mountain Boys led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold capture Fort Ticonderoga from the British.
Battle of Bunker Hill (June 16, 1775) - Major battle where William Prescott told the American troops "don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes".
Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull The Declaration of Independence is Adopted (July 4, 1776) - The Continental Congress agrees to Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence.
Click on the picture of the Declaration of Independence to read a World Book Kids article and click on ROUGH DRAFT to see Jefferson's first draft of the document. Compare them.
George Washington Crosses the Delaware (Dec. 25, 1776) - George Washington and his troops cross the Delaware River on Christmas night and surprise the enemy.
America Chooses a Flag (June 14, 1777) - The Continental Congress adopts the "Stars and Stripes" Flag sewn by Betsy Ross.
Battles of Saratoga (September 19 - October 17, 1777) - British General John Burgoyne surrenders his army to the Americans after suffering defeat at the Battles of Saratoga.
Valley Forge (Winter of 1777-1778) - The Continental army under George Washington spends the winter training at Valley Forge.
Alliance with France (Feb. 16, 1778) - France recognized the United States as an independent country with the Treaty of Alliance.
Articles of Confederation (March 2, 1781) - Defined the official government of the United States.
Battle of Yorktown (Oct. 19, 1781) - The last major battle of the American Revolutionary War. British
General Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown was the unofficial end to the war.
Treaty of Paris (Sept. 3, 1783) - Treaty that officially ended the war.
What were minutemen? Click on the picture to find out.