American Revolution

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This article is about political and social developments, and the origin and aftermath of the war. American Revolution_sentence_0

For military actions, see American Revolutionary War. American Revolution_sentence_1

For other uses, see American Revolution (disambiguation). American Revolution_sentence_2

American Revolution_table_infobox_0

American RevolutionAmerican Revolution_table_caption_0
DateAmerican Revolution_header_cell_0_0_0 22 March 1765 – 3 September 1783American Revolution_cell_0_0_1
LocationAmerican Revolution_header_cell_0_1_0 Thirteen ColoniesAmerican Revolution_cell_0_1_1
ParticipantsAmerican Revolution_header_cell_0_2_0 Colonists in British AmericaAmerican Revolution_cell_0_2_1
OutcomeAmerican Revolution_header_cell_0_3_0 American Revolution_cell_0_3_1

The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. American Revolution_sentence_3

The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), gaining independence from the British Crown and establishing the United States of America, the first modern constitutional liberal democracy. American Revolution_sentence_4

American colonists objected to being taxed by the British Parliament, a body in which they had no direct representation. American Revolution_sentence_5

Before the 1760s, Britain's American colonies had enjoyed a high level of autonomy in their internal affairs, which were managed by colonial legislatures. American Revolution_sentence_6

The passage of the Stamp Act of 1765, which imposed internal taxes on the colonies, led to colonial protest, and the meeting of representatives of several colonies in the Stamp Act Congress. American Revolution_sentence_7

Tensions relaxed with the British repeal of the Stamp Act, but flared again with the passage of the Townshend Acts in 1767. American Revolution_sentence_8

The British government deployed troops to Boston in 1768 to quell unrest, leading to the Boston Massacre in 1770. American Revolution_sentence_9

The burning of the Gaspee in Rhode Island in 1772 and the Boston Tea Party in December 1773 further escalated tensions. American Revolution_sentence_10

The British responded by closing Boston Harbor and enacting a series of punitive laws which effectively rescinded Massachusetts Bay Colony's rights of self-government. American Revolution_sentence_11

The other colonies rallied behind Massachusetts, and a group of American Patriot leaders set up their own government in late 1774 at the Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance of Britain; other colonists retained their allegiance to the Crown and were known as Loyalists or Tories. American Revolution_sentence_12

Open warfare erupted when British regulars sent to capture a cache of military supplies were confronted by local Patriot militia at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. American Revolution_sentence_13

Patriot militia, joined by the newly formed Continental Army, then put British forces in Boston under siege. American Revolution_sentence_14

Each colony formed a Provincial Congress, which assumed power from the former colonial governments, suppressed Loyalism, and contributed to the Continental Army led by General George Washington. American Revolution_sentence_15

The Continental Congress declared King George a tyrant who trampled the colonists' rights as Englishmen, and they declared the colonies free and independent states on July 2, 1776. American Revolution_sentence_16

The Patriot leadership professed the political philosophies of liberalism and republicanism to reject monarchy and aristocracy, and they proclaimed that all men are created equal. American Revolution_sentence_17

The Patriots unsuccessfully attempted to invade Quebec during the winter of 1775–76. American Revolution_sentence_18

The newly created Continental Army forced the British military out of Boston in March 1776, but the British captured New York City and its strategic harbor that summer, which they held for the duration of the war. American Revolution_sentence_19

The Royal Navy blockaded ports and captured other cities for brief periods, but they failed to destroy Washington's forces. American Revolution_sentence_20

The Continental Army captured a British army at the Battle of Saratoga in October 1777, and France then entered the war as an ally of the United States. American Revolution_sentence_21

Britain then refocused its war to make France the main enemy. American Revolution_sentence_22

Britain also attempted to hold the Southern states with the anticipated aid of Loyalists, and the war moved south. American Revolution_sentence_23

Charles Cornwallis captured an army at Charleston, South Carolina in early 1780, but he failed to enlist enough volunteers from Loyalist civilians to take effective control of the territory. American Revolution_sentence_24

Finally, a combined American and French force captured a second British army at Yorktown in the fall of 1781, effectively ending the war. American Revolution_sentence_25

The Treaty of Paris was signed on September 3, 1783, formally ending the conflict and confirming the new nation's complete separation from the British Empire. American Revolution_sentence_26

The United States took possession of nearly all the territory east of the Mississippi River and south of the Great Lakes, with the British retaining control of northern Canada, and Spain taking Florida. American Revolution_sentence_27

Among the significant results of the Revolution were American independence and friendly economic trade with Britain. American Revolution_sentence_28

The Americans adopted the United States Constitution, establishing a strong national government which included an elected executive, a national judiciary, and an elected bicameral Congress representing states in the Senate and the population in the House of Representatives. American Revolution_sentence_29

Around 60,000 Loyalists migrated to other British territories, particularly to British North America (Canada), but the great majority remained in the United States. American Revolution_sentence_30

Origin American Revolution_section_0

See also: Thirteen Colonies American Revolution_sentence_31

1651–1748: Early seeds American Revolution_section_1

Main articles: Navigation Acts, Dominion of New England, King Philip's War, and War of the Austrian Succession American Revolution_sentence_32

As early as 1651, the English government had sought to regulate trade in the American colonies, and Parliament passed the Navigation Acts on October 9 to provide the plantation colonies of the south with a profitable export market. American Revolution_sentence_33

The Acts prohibited British producers from growing tobacco and also encouraged shipbuilding, particularly in the New England colonies. American Revolution_sentence_34

Some argue that the economic impact was minimal on the colonists, but the political friction which the acts triggered was more serious, as the merchants most directly affected were also the most politically active. American Revolution_sentence_35

King Philip's War ended in 1678, which the New England colonies fought without any military assistance from England, and this contributed to the development of a unique identity separate from that of the British people. American Revolution_sentence_36

But King Charles II determined to bring the New England colonies under a more centralized administration in the 1680s to regulate trade to more effectively benefit the homeland. American Revolution_sentence_37

The New England colonists fiercely opposed his efforts, and the Crown nullified their colonial charters in response. American Revolution_sentence_38

Charles' successor James II finalized these efforts in 1686, establishing the consolidated Dominion of New England. American Revolution_sentence_39

Dominion rule triggered bitter resentment throughout New England; the enforcement of the unpopular Navigation Acts and the curtailing of local democracy angered the colonists. American Revolution_sentence_40

New Englanders were encouraged, however, by a change of government in England which saw James II effectively abdicate, and a populist uprising in New England overthrew Dominion rule on April 18, 1689. American Revolution_sentence_41

Colonial governments reasserted their control after the revolt, and successive governments made no more attempts to restore the Dominion. American Revolution_sentence_42

Subsequent English governments continued in their efforts to tax certain goods, passing acts regulating the trade of wool, hats, and molasses. American Revolution_sentence_43

The Molasses Act of 1733 was particularly egregious to the colonists, as a significant part of colonial trade relied on molasses. American Revolution_sentence_44

The taxes severely damaged the New England economy and resulted in a surge of smuggling, bribery, and intimidation of customs officials. American Revolution_sentence_45

Colonial wars fought in America were also a source of considerable tension. American Revolution_sentence_46

The British captured the fortress of Louisbourg during King George's War but then ceded it back to France in 1748. American Revolution_sentence_47

New England colonists resented their losses of lives, as well as the effort and expenditure involved in subduing the fortress, only to have it returned to their erstwhile enemy. American Revolution_sentence_48

Some writers begin their histories of the American Revolution with the British coalition victory in the Seven Years' War in 1763, viewing the French and Indian War as though it were the American theater of the Seven Years' War. American Revolution_sentence_49

Lawrence Henry Gipson writes: American Revolution_sentence_50

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 redrew boundaries of the lands west of Quebec and west of a line running along the crest of the Allegheny Mountains, making them indigenous territory and barred to colonial settlement for two years. American Revolution_sentence_51

The colonists protested, and the boundary line was adjusted in a series of treaties with indigenous tribes. American Revolution_sentence_52

In 1768, the Iroquois agreed to the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, and the Cherokee agreed to the Treaty of Hard Labour followed in 1770 by the Treaty of Lochaber. American Revolution_sentence_53

The treaties opened most of Kentucky and West Virginia to colonial settlement. American Revolution_sentence_54

The new map was drawn up at the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768 which moved the line much farther to the west, from the green line to the red line on the map at right. American Revolution_sentence_55

1764–1766: Taxes imposed and withdrawn American Revolution_section_2

Main articles: Sugar Act, Currency Act, Quartering Acts, Stamp Act 1765, and Declaratory Act American Revolution_sentence_56

Further information: No taxation without representation and Virtual representation American Revolution_sentence_57

Prime Minister George Grenville asserted in 1762 that the whole revenue of the custom houses in America amounted to one or two thousand pounds a year, and that the English exchequer was paying between seven and eight thousand pounds a year to collect . American Revolution_sentence_58

Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations that Parliament "has never hitherto demanded of [the American colonies] anything which even approached to a just proportion to what was paid by their fellow subjects at home." American Revolution_sentence_59

As early as 1651, the English government had sought to regulate trade in the American colonies. American Revolution_sentence_60

On October 9, 1651, they passed the Navigation Acts to pursue a mercantilist policy intended to ensure that trade enriched Great Britain but prohibited trade with any other nations. American Revolution_sentence_61

Parliament also passed the Sugar Act, decreasing the existing customs duties on sugar and molasses but providing stricter measures of enforcement and collection. American Revolution_sentence_62

That same year, Grenville proposed direct taxes on the colonies to raise revenue, but he delayed action to see whether the colonies would propose some way to raise the revenue themselves. American Revolution_sentence_63

Parliament finally passed the Stamp Act in March 1765, which imposed direct taxes on the colonies for the first time. American Revolution_sentence_64

All official documents, newspapers, almanacs, and pamphlets were required to have the stamps—even decks of playing cards. American Revolution_sentence_65

The colonists did not object that the taxes were high; they were actually low. American Revolution_sentence_66

They objected to their lack of representation in the Parliament, which gave them no voice concerning legislation that affected them. American Revolution_sentence_67

Benjamin Franklin testified in Parliament in 1766 that Americans already contributed heavily to the defense of the Empire. American Revolution_sentence_68

He said that local governments had raised, outfitted, and paid 25,000 soldiers to fight France—as many as Britain itself sent—and spent many millions from American treasuries doing so in the French and Indian War alone. American Revolution_sentence_69

London had to deal with 1,500 politically well-connected British Army soldiers. American Revolution_sentence_70

The decision was to keep them on active duty with full pay, but they had to be stationed somewhere. American Revolution_sentence_71

Stationing a standing army in Great Britain during peacetime was politically unacceptable, so the decision was made to station them in America and have the Americans pay them. American Revolution_sentence_72

The soldiers had no military mission; they were not there to defend the colonies because there was no threat to the colonies. American Revolution_sentence_73

The Sons of Liberty formed that same year in 1765, and they used public demonstrations, boycotts, and threats of violence to ensure that the British tax laws were unenforceable. American Revolution_sentence_74

In Boston, the Sons of Liberty burned the records of the vice admiralty court and looted the home of chief justice Thomas Hutchinson. American Revolution_sentence_75

Several legislatures called for united action, and nine colonies sent delegates to the Stamp Act Congress in New York City in October. American Revolution_sentence_76

Moderates led by John Dickinson drew up a "Declaration of Rights and Grievances" stating that taxes passed without representation violated their rights as Englishmen, and colonists emphasized their determination by boycotting imports of British merchandise. American Revolution_sentence_77

The Parliament at Westminster saw itself as the supreme lawmaking authority throughout all British possessions and thus entitled to levy any tax without colonial approval. American Revolution_sentence_78

They argued that the colonies were legally British corporations subordinate to the British parliament, and they pointed to numerous instances where Parliament had made laws in the past that were binding on the colonies. American Revolution_sentence_79

Parliament insisted that the colonies effectively enjoyed a "virtual representation" as most British people did, as only a small minority of the British population elected representatives to Parliament, but Americans such as James Otis maintained that they were not "virtually represented" at all. American Revolution_sentence_80

The Rockingham government came to power in July 1765, and Parliament debated whether to repeal the stamp tax or to send an army to enforce it. American Revolution_sentence_81

Benjamin Franklin made the case for repeal, explaining that the colonies had spent heavily in manpower, money, and blood defending the empire in a series of wars against the French and indigenous people, and that further taxes to pay for those wars were unjust and might bring about a rebellion. American Revolution_sentence_82

Parliament agreed and repealed the tax on February 21, 1766, but they insisted in the Declaratory Act of March 1766 that they retained full power to make laws for the colonies "in all cases whatsoever". American Revolution_sentence_83

The repeal nonetheless caused widespread celebrations in the colonies. American Revolution_sentence_84

1767–1773: Townshend Acts and the Tea Act American Revolution_section_3

Main articles: Townshend Acts and Tea Act American Revolution_sentence_85

Further information: Massachusetts Circular Letter, Boston Massacre, and Boston Tea Party American Revolution_sentence_86

In 1767, the Parliament passed the Townshend Acts which placed duties on a number of staple goods, including paper, glass, and tea, and established a Board of Customs in Boston to more rigorously execute trade regulations. American Revolution_sentence_87

The new taxes were enacted on the belief that Americans only objected to internal taxes and not to external taxes such as custom duties. American Revolution_sentence_88

However, in his widely read pamphlet, Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, John Dickinson argued against the constitutionality of the acts because their purpose was to raise revenue and not regulate trade. American Revolution_sentence_89

Colonists responded to the taxes by organizing new boycotts of British goods. American Revolution_sentence_90

These boycotts were less effective, however, as the goods taxed by the Townshend Acts were widely used. American Revolution_sentence_91

In February 1768, the Assembly of Massachusetts Bay issued a circular letter to the other colonies urging them to coordinate resistance. American Revolution_sentence_92

The governor dissolved the assembly when it refused to rescind the letter. American Revolution_sentence_93

Meanwhile, a riot broke out in Boston in June 1768 over the seizure of the sloop Liberty, owned by John Hancock, for alleged smuggling. American Revolution_sentence_94

Customs officials were forced to flee, prompting the British to deploy troops to Boston. American Revolution_sentence_95

A Boston town meeting declared that no obedience was due to parliamentary laws and called for the convening of a convention. American Revolution_sentence_96

A convention assembled but only issued a mild protest before dissolving itself. American Revolution_sentence_97

In January 1769, Parliament responded to the unrest by reactivating the Treason Act 1543 which called for subjects outside the realm to face trials for treason in England. American Revolution_sentence_98

The governor of Massachusetts was instructed to collect evidence of said treason, and the threat caused widespread outrage, though it was not carried out. American Revolution_sentence_99

On March 5, 1770, a large crowd gathered around a group of British soldiers. American Revolution_sentence_100

The crowd grew threatening, throwing snowballs, rocks, and debris at them. American Revolution_sentence_101

One soldier was clubbed and fell. American Revolution_sentence_102

There was no order to fire, but the soldiers fired into the crowd anyway. American Revolution_sentence_103

They hit 11 people; three civilians died at the scene of the shooting, and two died after the incident. American Revolution_sentence_104

The event quickly came to be called the Boston Massacre. American Revolution_sentence_105

The soldiers were tried and acquitted (defended by John Adams), but the widespread descriptions soon began to turn colonial sentiment against the British. American Revolution_sentence_106

This began a downward spiral in the relationship between Britain and the Province of Massachusetts. American Revolution_sentence_107

A new ministry under Lord North came to power in 1770, and Parliament withdrew all taxes except the tax on tea, giving up its efforts to raise revenue while maintaining the right to tax. American Revolution_sentence_108

This temporarily resolved the crisis, and the boycott of British goods largely ceased, with only the more radical patriots such as Samuel Adams continuing to agitate. American Revolution_sentence_109

In June 1772, American patriots, including John Brown, burned a British warship that had been vigorously enforcing unpopular trade regulations in what became known as the Gaspee Affair. American Revolution_sentence_110

The affair was investigated for possible treason, but no action was taken. American Revolution_sentence_111

In 1772, it became known that the Crown intended to pay fixed salaries to the governors and judges in Massachusetts, which had been paid by local authorities. American Revolution_sentence_112

This would reduce the influence of colonial representatives over their government. American Revolution_sentence_113

Samuel Adams in Boston set about creating new Committees of Correspondence, which linked Patriots in all 13 colonies and eventually provided the framework for a rebel government. American Revolution_sentence_114

Virginia, the largest colony, set up its Committee of Correspondence in early 1773, on which Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson served. American Revolution_sentence_115

A total of about 7,000 to 8,000 Patriots served on "Committees of Correspondence" at the colonial and local levels, comprising most of the leadership in their communities. American Revolution_sentence_116

Loyalists were excluded. American Revolution_sentence_117

The committees became the leaders of the American resistance to British actions, and largely determined the war effort at the state and local level. American Revolution_sentence_118

When the First Continental Congress decided to boycott British products, the colonial and local Committees took charge, examining merchant records and publishing the names of merchants who attempted to defy the boycott by importing British goods. American Revolution_sentence_119

In 1773, private letters were published in which Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson claimed that the colonists could not enjoy all English liberties, and Lieutenant Governor Andrew Oliver called for the direct payment of colonial officials. American Revolution_sentence_120

The letters' contents were used as evidence of a systematic plot against American rights, and discredited Hutchinson in the eyes of the people; the Assembly petitioned for his recall. American Revolution_sentence_121

Benjamin Franklin, postmaster general for the colonies, acknowledged that he leaked the letters, which led to him being berated by British officials and fired from his job. American Revolution_sentence_122

Meanwhile, Parliament passed the Tea Act to lower the price of taxed tea exported to the colonies to help the East India Company undersell smuggled Dutch tea. American Revolution_sentence_123

Special consignees were appointed to sell the tea to bypass colonial merchants. American Revolution_sentence_124

The act was opposed by those who resisted the taxes and also by smugglers who stood to lose business. American Revolution_sentence_125

In most instances, the consignees were forced to resign and the tea was turned back, but Massachusetts governor Hutchinson refused to allow Boston merchants to give in to pressure. American Revolution_sentence_126

A town meeting in Boston determined that the tea would not be landed, and ignored a demand from the governor to disperse. American Revolution_sentence_127

On December 16, 1773, a group of men, led by Samuel Adams and dressed to evoke the appearance of indigenous people, boarded the ships of the British East India Company and dumped £10,000 worth of tea from their holds (approximately £636,000 in 2008) into Boston Harbor. American Revolution_sentence_128

Decades later, this event became known as the Boston Tea Party and remains a significant part of American patriotic lore. American Revolution_sentence_129

1774–1775: Intolerable Acts and the Quebec Act American Revolution_section_4

Main articles: Quebec Act and Intolerable Acts American Revolution_sentence_130

The British government responded by passing several Acts which came to be known as the Intolerable Acts, which further darkened colonial opinion towards the British. American Revolution_sentence_131

They consisted of four laws enacted by the British parliament. American Revolution_sentence_132

The first was the Massachusetts Government Act which altered the Massachusetts charter and restricted town meetings. American Revolution_sentence_133

The second act was the Administration of Justice Act which ordered that all British soldiers to be tried were to be arraigned in Britain, not in the colonies. American Revolution_sentence_134

The third Act was the Boston Port Act, which closed the port of Boston until the British had been compensated for the tea lost in the Boston Tea Party. American Revolution_sentence_135

The fourth Act was the Quartering Act of 1774, which allowed royal governors to house British troops in the homes of citizens without requiring permission of the owner. American Revolution_sentence_136

In response, Massachusetts patriots issued the Suffolk Resolves and formed an alternative shadow government known as the "Provincial Congress" which began training militia outside British-occupied Boston. American Revolution_sentence_137

In September 1774, the First Continental Congress convened, consisting of representatives from each colony, to serve as a vehicle for deliberation and collective action. American Revolution_sentence_138

During secret debates, conservative Joseph Galloway proposed the creation of a colonial Parliament that would be able to approve or disapprove of acts of the British Parliament, but his idea was not accepted. American Revolution_sentence_139

The Congress instead endorsed the proposal of John Adams that Americans would obey Parliament voluntarily but would resist all taxes in disguise. American Revolution_sentence_140

Congress called for a boycott beginning on 1 December 1774 of all British goods; it was enforced by new committees authorized by the Congress. American Revolution_sentence_141

Military hostilities begin American Revolution_section_5

Further information: Shot heard 'round the world, Boston campaign, Invasion of Quebec (1775), and American Revolutionary War American Revolution_sentence_142

Massachusetts was declared in a state of rebellion in February 1775 and the British garrison received orders to disarm the rebels and arrest their leaders, leading to the Battles of Lexington and Concord on 19 April 1775. American Revolution_sentence_143

The Patriots laid siege to Boston, expelled royal officials from all the colonies, and took control through the establishment of Provincial Congresses. American Revolution_sentence_144

The Battle of Bunker Hill followed on June 17, 1775. American Revolution_sentence_145

It was a British victory—but at a great cost: about 1,000 British casualties from a garrison of about 6,000, as compared to 500 American casualties from a much larger force. American Revolution_sentence_146

The Second Continental Congress was divided on the best course of action, but eventually produced the Olive Branch Petition, in which they attempted to come to an accord with King George. American Revolution_sentence_147

The king, however, issued a Proclamation of Rebellion which stated that the states were "in rebellion" and the members of Congress were traitors. American Revolution_sentence_148

The war that arose was in some ways a classic insurgency. American Revolution_sentence_149

As Benjamin Franklin wrote to Joseph Priestley in October 1775: "Britain, at the expense of three millions, has killed 150 Yankees this campaign, which is £20,000 a head ... During the same time, 60,000 children have been born in America. American Revolution_sentence_150

From these data his mathematical head will easily calculate the time and expense necessary to kill us all. American Revolution_sentence_151

". American Revolution_sentence_152

In the winter of 1775, the Americans invaded northern Canada under generals Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery, expecting to rally sympathetic colonists there. American Revolution_sentence_153

The attack was a failure; many Americans who weren't killed were either captured or died of smallpox. American Revolution_sentence_154

In March 1776, the Continental Army forced the British to evacuate Boston, with George Washington as the commander of the new army. American Revolution_sentence_155

The revolutionaries now fully controlled all thirteen colonies and were ready to declare independence. American Revolution_sentence_156

There still were many Loyalists, but they were no longer in control anywhere by July 1776, and all of the Royal officials had fled. American Revolution_sentence_157

Creating new state constitutions American Revolution_section_6

Following the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775, the Patriots had control of Massachusetts outside the Boston city limits, and the Loyalists suddenly found themselves on the defensive with no protection from the British army. American Revolution_sentence_158

In all 13 colonies, Patriots had overthrown their existing governments, closing courts and driving away British officials. American Revolution_sentence_159

They had elected conventions and "legislatures" that existed outside any legal framework; new constitutions were drawn up in each state to supersede royal charters. American Revolution_sentence_160

They declared that they were states, not colonies. American Revolution_sentence_161

On January 5, 1776, New Hampshire ratified the first state constitution. American Revolution_sentence_162

In May 1776, Congress voted to suppress all forms of crown authority, to be replaced by locally created authority. American Revolution_sentence_163

Virginia, South Carolina, and New Jersey created their constitutions before July 4. American Revolution_sentence_164

Rhode Island and Connecticut simply took their existing royal charters and deleted all references to the crown. American Revolution_sentence_165

The new states were all committed to republicanism, with no inherited offices. American Revolution_sentence_166

They decided what form of government to create, and also how to select those who would craft the constitutions and how the resulting document would be ratified. American Revolution_sentence_167

On 26 May 1776, John Adams wrote James Sullivan from Philadelphia: American Revolution_sentence_168

The resulting constitutions in states such as Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New York, and Massachusetts featured: American Revolution_sentence_169

American Revolution_unordered_list_0

  • Property qualifications for voting and even more substantial requirements for elected positions (though New York and Maryland lowered property qualifications)American Revolution_item_0_0
  • Bicameral legislatures, with the upper house as a check on the lowerAmerican Revolution_item_0_1
  • Strong governors with veto power over the legislature and substantial appointment authorityAmerican Revolution_item_0_2
  • Few or no restraints on individuals holding multiple positions in governmentAmerican Revolution_item_0_3
  • The continuation of state-established religionAmerican Revolution_item_0_4

In Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New Hampshire, the resulting constitutions embodied: American Revolution_sentence_170

American Revolution_unordered_list_1

  • universal manhood suffrage, or minimal property requirements for voting or holding office (New Jersey enfranchised some property-owning widows, a step that it retracted 25 years later)American Revolution_item_1_5
  • strong, unicameral legislaturesAmerican Revolution_item_1_6
  • relatively weak governors without veto powers, and with little appointing authorityAmerican Revolution_item_1_7
  • prohibition against individuals holding multiple government postsAmerican Revolution_item_1_8

The radical provisions of Pennsylvania's constitution lasted only 14 years. American Revolution_sentence_171

In 1790, conservatives gained power in the state legislature, called a new constitutional convention, and rewrote the constitution. American Revolution_sentence_172

The new constitution substantially reduced universal male suffrage, gave the governor veto power and patronage appointment authority, and added an upper house with substantial wealth qualifications to the unicameral legislature. American Revolution_sentence_173

Thomas Paine called it a constitution unworthy of America. American Revolution_sentence_174

Independence and Union American Revolution_section_7

Further information: Lee Resolution, Articles of Confederation, Committee of Five, and United States Declaration of Independence American Revolution_sentence_175

In April 1776, the North Carolina Provincial Congress issued the Halifax Resolves explicitly authorizing its delegates to vote for independence. American Revolution_sentence_176

By June, nine Provincial Congresses were ready for independence; one by one, the last four fell into line: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and New York. American Revolution_sentence_177

Richard Henry Lee was instructed by the Virginia legislature to propose independence, and he did so on June 7, 1776. American Revolution_sentence_178

On June 11, a committee was created to draft a document explaining the justifications for separation from Britain. American Revolution_sentence_179

After securing enough votes for passage, independence was voted for on July 2. American Revolution_sentence_180

The Declaration of Independence was drafted largely by Thomas Jefferson and presented by the committee; it was unanimously adopted by the entire Congress on July 4, and each colony became independent and autonomous. American Revolution_sentence_181

The next step was to form a union to facilitate international relations and alliances. American Revolution_sentence_182

The Second Continental Congress approved the "Articles of Confederation" for ratification by the states on November 15, 1777; the Congress immediately began operating under the Articles' terms, providing a structure of shared sovereignty during prosecution of the war and facilitating international relations and alliances with France and Spain. American Revolution_sentence_183

The articles were ratified on March 1, 1781. American Revolution_sentence_184

At that point, the Continental Congress was dissolved and a new government of the United States in Congress Assembled took its place on the following day, with Samuel Huntington as presiding officer. American Revolution_sentence_185

Defending the Revolution American Revolution_section_8

Main article: American Revolutionary War American Revolution_sentence_186

British return: 1776–1777 American Revolution_section_9

Further information: New York and New Jersey campaign, Staten Island Peace Conference, Saratoga campaign, and Philadelphia campaign American Revolution_sentence_187

According to British historian Jeremy Black, the British had significant advantages, including a highly trained army, the world's largest navy, and an efficient system of public finance that could easily fund the war. American Revolution_sentence_188

However, they seriously misunderstood the depth of support for the American Patriot position and ignored the advice of General Gage, misinterpreting the situation as merely a large-scale riot. American Revolution_sentence_189

The British government believed that they could overawe the Americans by sending a large military and naval force, forcing them to be loyal again: American Revolution_sentence_190

Washington forced the British out of Boston in the spring of 1776, and neither the British nor the Loyalists controlled any significant areas. American Revolution_sentence_191

The British, however, were massing forces at their naval base at Halifax, Nova Scotia. American Revolution_sentence_192

They returned in force in July 1776, landing in New York and defeating Washington's Continental Army in August at the Battle of Brooklyn. American Revolution_sentence_193

Following that victory, they requested a meeting with representatives from Congress to negotiate an end to hostilities. American Revolution_sentence_194

A delegation including John Adams and Benjamin Franklin met British admiral Richard Howe on Staten Island in New York Harbor on September 11 in what became known as the Staten Island Peace Conference. American Revolution_sentence_195

Howe demanded that the Americans retract the Declaration of Independence, which they refused to do, and negotiations ended. American Revolution_sentence_196

The British then seized New York City and nearly captured Washington's army. American Revolution_sentence_197

They made New York their main political and military base of operations, holding it until November 1783. American Revolution_sentence_198

The city became the destination for Loyalist refugees and a focal point of Washington's intelligence network. American Revolution_sentence_199

The British also took New Jersey, pushing the Continental Army into Pennsylvania. American Revolution_sentence_200

Washington crossed the Delaware River back into New Jersey in a surprise attack in late December 1776 and defeated the Hessian and British armies at Trenton and Princeton, thereby regaining control of most of New Jersey. American Revolution_sentence_201

The victories gave an important boost to Patriots at a time when morale was flagging, and they have become iconic events of the war. American Revolution_sentence_202

In 1777, the British sent Burgoyne's invasion force from Canada south to New York to seal off New England. American Revolution_sentence_203

Their aim was to isolate New England, which the British perceived as the primary source of agitation. American Revolution_sentence_204

Rather than move north to support Burgoyne, the British army in New York City went to Philadelphia in a major case of mis-coordination, capturing it from Washington. American Revolution_sentence_205

The invasion army under Burgoyne was much too slow and became trapped in northern New York state. American Revolution_sentence_206

It surrendered after the Battles of Saratoga in October 1777. American Revolution_sentence_207

From early October 1777 until November 15, a siege distracted British troops at Fort Mifflin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and allowed Washington time to preserve the Continental Army by safely leading his troops to harsh winter quarters at Valley Forge. American Revolution_sentence_208

Prisoners American Revolution_section_10

Main article: Prisoners of war in the American Revolutionary War American Revolution_sentence_209

On August 23, 1775, George III declared Americans to be traitors to the Crown if they took up arms against royal authority. American Revolution_sentence_210

There were thousands of British and Hessian soldiers in American hands following their surrender at the Battles of Saratoga in October 1777. American Revolution_sentence_211

Lord Germain took a hard line, but the British generals on American soil never held treason trials and treated captured American soldiers as prisoners of war. American Revolution_sentence_212

The dilemma was that tens of thousands of Loyalists were under American control and American retaliation would have been easy. American Revolution_sentence_213

The British built much of their strategy around using these Loyalists. American Revolution_sentence_214

The British maltreated the prisoners whom they held, resulting in more deaths to American prisoners of war than from combat operations. American Revolution_sentence_215

At the end of the war, both sides released their surviving prisoners. American Revolution_sentence_216

American alliances after 1778 American Revolution_section_11

Further information: France in the American Revolutionary War and Spain in the American Revolutionary War American Revolution_sentence_217

The capture of a British army at Saratoga encouraged the French to formally enter the war in support of Congress, and Benjamin Franklin negotiated a permanent military alliance in early 1778; France thus became the first foreign nation to officially recognize the Declaration of Independence. American Revolution_sentence_218

On February 6, 1778, the United States and France signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance. American Revolution_sentence_219

William Pitt spoke out in Parliament urging Britain to make peace in America and to unite with America against France, while British politicians who had sympathized with colonial grievances now turned against the Americans for allying with Britain's rival and enemy. American Revolution_sentence_220

The Spanish and the Dutch became allies of the French in 1779 and 1780 respectively, forcing the British to fight a global war without major allies and requiring it to slip through a combined blockade of the Atlantic. American Revolution_sentence_221

Britain began to view the American war for independence as merely one front in a wider war, and the British chose to withdraw troops from America to reinforce the British colonies in the Caribbean, which were under threat of Spanish or French invasion. American Revolution_sentence_222

British commander Sir Henry Clinton evacuated Philadelphia and returned to New York City. American Revolution_sentence_223

General Washington intercepted him in the Battle of Monmouth Court House, the last major battle fought in the north. American Revolution_sentence_224

After an inconclusive engagement, the British retreated to New York City. American Revolution_sentence_225

The northern war subsequently became a stalemate, as the focus of attention shifted to the smaller southern theater. American Revolution_sentence_226

The British move South, 1778–1783 American Revolution_section_12

Further information: Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War and Naval operations in the American Revolutionary War American Revolution_sentence_227

The British strategy in America now concentrated on a campaign in the southern states. American Revolution_sentence_228

With fewer regular troops at their disposal, the British commanders saw the "southern strategy" as a more viable plan, as they perceived the south as strongly Loyalist with a large population of recent immigrants and large numbers of slaves who might be tempted to run away from their masters to join the British. American Revolution_sentence_229

Beginning in late December 1778, they captured Savannah and controlled the Georgia coastline. American Revolution_sentence_230

In 1780, they launched a fresh invasion and took Charleston, as well. American Revolution_sentence_231

A significant victory at the Battle of Camden meant that royal forces soon controlled most of Georgia and South Carolina. American Revolution_sentence_232

The British set up a network of forts inland, hoping that the Loyalists would rally to the flag. American Revolution_sentence_233

Not enough Loyalists turned out, however, and the British had to fight their way north into North Carolina and Virginia with a severely weakened army. American Revolution_sentence_234

Behind them, much of the territory that they had already captured dissolved into a chaotic guerrilla war, fought predominantly between bands of Loyalists and American militia, which negated many of the gains that the British had previously made. American Revolution_sentence_235

Surrender at Yorktown (1781) American Revolution_section_13

Main article: Siege of Yorktown American Revolution_sentence_236

The British army under Cornwallis marched to Yorktown, Virginia, where they expected to be rescued by a British fleet. American Revolution_sentence_237

The fleet did arrive, but so did a larger French fleet. American Revolution_sentence_238

The French were victorious in the Battle of the Chesapeake, and the British fleet returned to New York for reinforcements, leaving Cornwallis trapped. American Revolution_sentence_239

In October 1781, the British surrendered their second invading army of the war under a siege by the combined French and Continental armies commanded by Washington. American Revolution_sentence_240

The end of the war American Revolution_section_14

Historians continue to debate whether the odds were long or short for American victory. American Revolution_sentence_241

John E. Ferling says that the odds were so long that the American victory was "almost a miracle". American Revolution_sentence_242

On the other hand, Joseph Ellis says that the odds favored the Americans, and asks whether there ever was any realistic chance for the British to win. American Revolution_sentence_243

He argues that this opportunity came only once, in the summer of 1776, and the British failed that test. American Revolution_sentence_244

Admiral Howe and his brother General Howe "missed several opportunities to destroy the Continental Army .... American Revolution_sentence_245

Chance, luck, and even the vagaries of the weather played crucial roles." American Revolution_sentence_246

Ellis's point is that the strategic and tactical decisions of the Howes were fatally flawed because they underestimated the challenges posed by the Patriots. American Revolution_sentence_247

Ellis concludes that, once the Howe brothers failed, the opportunity "would never come again" for a British victory. American Revolution_sentence_248

Support for the conflict had never been strong in Britain, where many sympathized with the Americans, but now it reached a new low. American Revolution_sentence_249

King George wanted to fight on, but his supporters lost control of Parliament and they launched no further offensives in America. American Revolution_sentence_250

War erupted between America and Britain three decades later with the War of 1812, which firmly established the permanence of the United States and its complete autonomy. American Revolution_sentence_251

Washington did not know whether the British might reopen hostilities after Yorktown. American Revolution_sentence_252

They still had 26,000 troops occupying New York City, Charleston, and Savannah, together with a powerful fleet. American Revolution_sentence_253

The French army and navy departed, so the Americans were on their own in 1782–83. American Revolution_sentence_254

The treasury was empty, and the unpaid soldiers were growing restive, almost to the point of mutiny or possible coup d'état. American Revolution_sentence_255

Washington dispelled the unrest among officers of the Newburgh Conspiracy in 1783, and Congress subsequently created the promise of a five years bonus for all officers. American Revolution_sentence_256

Paris peace treaty American Revolution_section_15

Main article: Treaty of Paris (1783) American Revolution_sentence_257

During negotiations in Paris, the American delegation discovered that France supported American independence but no territorial gains, hoping to confine the new nation to the area east of the Appalachian Mountains. American Revolution_sentence_258

The Americans opened direct secret negotiations with London, cutting out the French. American Revolution_sentence_259

British Prime Minister Lord Shelburne was in charge of the British negotiations, and he saw a chance to make the United States a valuable economic partner. American Revolution_sentence_260

The US obtained all the land east of the Mississippi River, including southern Canada, but Spain took control of Florida from the British. American Revolution_sentence_261

It gained fishing rights off Canadian coasts, and agreed to allow British merchants and Loyalists to recover their property. American Revolution_sentence_262

Prime Minister Shelburne foresaw highly profitable two-way trade between Britain and the rapidly growing United States, which did come to pass. American Revolution_sentence_263

The blockade was lifted and all British interference had been driven out, and American merchants were free to trade with any nation anywhere in the world. American Revolution_sentence_264

The British largely abandoned their indigenous allies, who were not a party to this treaty and did not recognize it until they were defeated militarily by the United States. American Revolution_sentence_265

However, the British did sell them munitions and maintain forts in American territory until the Jay Treaty of 1795. American Revolution_sentence_266

Losing the war and the Thirteen Colonies was a shock to Britain. American Revolution_sentence_267

The war revealed the limitations of Britain's fiscal-military state when they discovered that they suddenly faced powerful enemies with no allies, and they were dependent on extended and vulnerable transatlantic lines of communication. American Revolution_sentence_268

The defeat heightened dissension and escalated political antagonism to the King's ministers. American Revolution_sentence_269

Inside Parliament, the primary concern changed from fears of an over-mighty monarch to the issues of representation, parliamentary reform, and government retrenchment. American Revolution_sentence_270

Reformers sought to destroy what they saw as widespread institutional corruption, and the result was a crisis from 1776 to 1783. American Revolution_sentence_271

The peace in 1783 left France financially prostrate, while the British economy boomed thanks to the return of American business. American Revolution_sentence_272

The crisis ended after 1784 thanks to the King's shrewdness in outwitting Charles James Fox (the leader of the Fox-North Coalition), and renewed confidence in the system engendered by the leadership of Prime Minister William Pitt. American Revolution_sentence_273

Some historians suggest that loss of the American colonies enabled Britain to deal with the French Revolution with more unity and better organization than would otherwise have been the case. American Revolution_sentence_274

Britain turned towards Asia, the Pacific, and later Africa with subsequent exploration leading to the rise of the Second British Empire. American Revolution_sentence_275

Finance American Revolution_section_16

Britain's war against the Americans, the French, and the Spanish cost about £100 million, and the Treasury borrowed 40-percent of the money that it needed. American Revolution_sentence_276

Heavy spending brought France to the verge of bankruptcy and revolution, while the British had relatively little difficulty financing their war, keeping their suppliers and soldiers paid, and hiring tens of thousands of German soldiers. American Revolution_sentence_277

Britain had a sophisticated financial system based on the wealth of thousands of landowners who supported the government, together with banks and financiers in London. American Revolution_sentence_278

The British tax system collected about 12 percent of the GDP in taxes during the 1770s. American Revolution_sentence_279

In sharp contrast, Congress and the American states had no end of difficulty financing the war. American Revolution_sentence_280

In 1775, there was at most 12 million dollars in gold in the colonies, not nearly enough to cover current transactions, let alone finance a major war. American Revolution_sentence_281

The British made the situation much worse by imposing a tight blockade on every American port, which cut off almost all imports and exports. American Revolution_sentence_282

One partial solution was to rely on volunteer support from militiamen and donations from patriotic citizens. American Revolution_sentence_283

Another was to delay actual payments, pay soldiers and suppliers in depreciated currency, and promise that it would be made good after the war. American Revolution_sentence_284

Indeed, the soldiers and officers were given land grants in 1783 to cover the wages that they had earned but had not been paid during the war. American Revolution_sentence_285

The national government did not have a strong leader in financial matters until 1781, when Robert Morris was named Superintendent of Finance of the United States. American Revolution_sentence_286

Morris used a French loan in 1782 to set up the private Bank of North America to finance the war. American Revolution_sentence_287

He reduced the civil list, saved money by using competitive bidding for contracts, tightened accounting procedures, and demanded the national government's full share of money and supplies from the individual states. American Revolution_sentence_288

Congress used four main methods to cover the cost of the war, which cost about 66 million dollars in specie (gold and silver). American Revolution_sentence_289

Congress made issues of paper money in 1775–1780 and in 1780–1781. American Revolution_sentence_290

The first issue amounted to 242 million dollars. American Revolution_sentence_291

This paper money would supposedly be redeemed for state taxes, but the holders were eventually paid off in 1791 at the rate of one cent on the dollar. American Revolution_sentence_292

By 1780, the paper money was "not worth a Continental", as people said. American Revolution_sentence_293

The skyrocketing inflation was a hardship on the few people who had fixed incomes, but 90 percent of the people were farmers and were not directly affected by it. American Revolution_sentence_294

Debtors benefited by paying off their debts with depreciated paper. American Revolution_sentence_295

The greatest burden was borne by the soldiers of the Continental Army whose wages were usually paid late and declined in value every month, weakening their morale and adding to the hardships of their families. American Revolution_sentence_296

Beginning in 1777, Congress repeatedly asked the states to provide money, but the states had no system of taxation and were of little help. American Revolution_sentence_297

By 1780, Congress was making requisitions for specific supplies of corn, beef, pork, and other necessities, an inefficient system which barely kept the army alive. American Revolution_sentence_298

Starting in 1776, the Congress sought to raise money by loans from wealthy individuals, promising to redeem the bonds after the war. American Revolution_sentence_299

The bonds were redeemed in 1791 at face value, but the scheme raised little money because Americans had little specie, and many of the rich merchants were supporters of the Crown. American Revolution_sentence_300

The French secretly supplied the Americans with money, gunpowder, and munitions to weaken Great Britain; the subsidies continued when France entered the war in 1778, and the French government and Paris bankers lent large sums to the American war effort. American Revolution_sentence_301

The Americans struggled to pay off the loans; they ceased making interest payments to France in 1785 and defaulted on installments due in 1787. American Revolution_sentence_302

In 1790, however, they resumed regular payments on their debts to the French, and settled their accounts with the French government in 1795 by selling the debt to James Swan, an American banker. American Revolution_sentence_303

Concluding the Revolution American Revolution_section_17

Main articles: Philadelphia Convention and United States Bill of Rights American Revolution_sentence_304

See also: Annapolis Convention (1786) and The Federalist Papers American Revolution_sentence_305

Creating a "more perfect union" and guaranteeing rights American Revolution_section_18

See also: Federalist Party, Annapolis Convention (1786), and United States Bill of Rights American Revolution_sentence_306

The war ended in 1783 and was followed by a period of prosperity. American Revolution_sentence_307

The national government was still operating under the Articles of Confederation and settled the issue of the western territories, which the states ceded to Congress. American Revolution_sentence_308

American settlers moved rapidly into those areas, with Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee becoming states in the 1790s. American Revolution_sentence_309

However, the national government had no money either to pay the war debts owed to European nations and the private banks, or to pay Americans who had been given millions of dollars of promissory notes for supplies during the war. American Revolution_sentence_310

Nationalists led by Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and other veterans feared that the new nation was too fragile to withstand an international war, or even internal revolts such as the Shays' Rebellion of 1786 in Massachusetts. American Revolution_sentence_311

They convinced Congress to call the Philadelphia Convention in 1787 and named their party the Federalist party. American Revolution_sentence_312

The Convention adopted a new Constitution which provided for a much stronger federal government, including an effective executive in a check-and-balance system with the judiciary and legislature. American Revolution_sentence_313

The Constitution was ratified in 1788, after a fierce debate in the states over the proposed new government. American Revolution_sentence_314

The new government under President George Washington took office in New York in March 1789. American Revolution_sentence_315

James Madison spearheaded Congressional amendments to the Constitution as assurances to those cautious about federal power, guaranteeing many of the inalienable rights that formed a foundation for the revolution, and Rhode Island was the final state to ratify the Constitution in 1791. American Revolution_sentence_316

National debt American Revolution_section_19

Further information: Financial costs of the American Revolutionary War, United States public debt, and Alexander Hamilton American Revolution_sentence_317

The national debt fell into three categories after the American Revolution. American Revolution_sentence_318

The first was the $12 million owed to foreigners, mostly money borrowed from France. American Revolution_sentence_319

There was general agreement to pay the foreign debts at full value. American Revolution_sentence_320

The national government owed $40 million and state governments owed $25 million to Americans who had sold food, horses, and supplies to the Patriot forces. American Revolution_sentence_321

There were also other debts which consisted of promissory notes issued during the war to soldiers, merchants, and farmers who accepted these payments on the premise that the new Constitution would create a government that would pay these debts eventually. American Revolution_sentence_322

The war expenses of the individual states added up to $114 million, compared to $37 million by the central government. American Revolution_sentence_323

In 1790, Congress combined the remaining state debts with the foreign and domestic debts into one national debt totaling $80 million at the recommendation of first Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. American Revolution_sentence_324

Everyone received face value for wartime certificates, so that the national honor would be sustained and the national credit established. American Revolution_sentence_325

Ideology and factions American Revolution_section_20

The population of the Thirteen States was not homogeneous in political views and attitudes. American Revolution_sentence_326

Loyalties and allegiances varied widely within regions and communities and even within families, and sometimes shifted during the Revolution. American Revolution_sentence_327

Ideology behind the Revolution American Revolution_section_21

Main articles: Age of Enlightenment, American Enlightenment, Liberalism in the United States, and Republicanism in the United States American Revolution_sentence_328

The American Enlightenment was a critical precursor of the American Revolution. American Revolution_sentence_329

Chief among the ideas of the American Enlightenment were the concepts of natural law, natural rights, consent of the governed, individualism, property rights, self-ownership, self-determination, liberalism, republicanism, and defense against corruption. American Revolution_sentence_330

A growing number of American colonists embraced these views and fostered an intellectual environment which led to a new sense of political and social identity. American Revolution_sentence_331

Liberalism American Revolution_section_22

Main article: Liberalism in the United States American Revolution_sentence_332

See also: Social Contract and Natural Rights American Revolution_sentence_333

John Locke's (1632–1704) ideas on liberty influenced the political thinking behind the revolution, especially through his indirect influence on English writers such as John Trenchard, Thomas Gordon, and Benjamin Hoadly, whose political ideas had a strong influence on the American Patriots. American Revolution_sentence_334

Locke is often referred to as "the philosopher of the American Revolution" due to his work in the Social Contract and Natural Rights theories that underpinned the Revolution's political ideology. American Revolution_sentence_335

Locke's Two Treatises of Government published in 1689 was especially influential. American Revolution_sentence_336

He argued that all humans were created equally free, and governments therefore needed the "consent of the governed". American Revolution_sentence_337

In late eighteenth-century America, belief was still widespread in "equality by creation" and "rights by creation". American Revolution_sentence_338

The theory of the "social contract" influenced the belief among many of the Founders that the right of the people to overthrow their leaders was one of the "natural rights" of man, should those leaders betray the historic rights of Englishmen. American Revolution_sentence_339

The Americans heavily used Montesquieu's analysis of the wisdom of the "balanced" British Constitution (mixed government) in writing the state and national constitutions. American Revolution_sentence_340

Republicanism American Revolution_section_23

Main article: Republicanism in the United States American Revolution_sentence_341

The American ideology called "republicanism" was inspired by the Whig party in Great Britain which openly criticized the corruption within the British government. American Revolution_sentence_342

Americans were increasingly embracing republican values, seeing Britain as corrupt and hostile to American interests. American Revolution_sentence_343

The colonists associated political corruption with luxury and inherited aristocracy, which they condemned. American Revolution_sentence_344

The Founding Fathers were strong advocates of republican values, particularly Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, George Washington, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton, which required men to put civic duty ahead of their personal desires. American Revolution_sentence_345

Men had a civic duty to be prepared and willing to fight for the rights and liberties of their countrymen. American Revolution_sentence_346

John Adams wrote to Mercy Otis Warren in 1776, agreeing with some classical Greek and Roman thinkers: "Public Virtue cannot exist without private, and public Virtue is the only Foundation of Republics." American Revolution_sentence_347

He continued: American Revolution_sentence_348

"Republican motherhood" became the ideal for American women, exemplified by Abigail Adams and Mercy Otis Warren; the first duty of the republican woman was to instill republican values in her children and to avoid luxury and ostentation. American Revolution_sentence_349

Thomas Paine published his pamphlet Common Sense in January 1776, after the Revolution had started. American Revolution_sentence_350

It was widely distributed and often read aloud in taverns, contributing significantly to spreading the ideas of republicanism and liberalism together, bolstering enthusiasm for separation from Great Britain and encouraging recruitment for the Continental Army. American Revolution_sentence_351

Paine offered a solution for Americans alarmed by the threat of tyranny. American Revolution_sentence_352

Protestant Dissenters and the Great Awakening American Revolution_section_24

Main articles: English Dissenters and First Great Awakening American Revolution_sentence_353

See also: List of clergy in the American Revolution American Revolution_sentence_354

Protestant churches that had separated from the Church of England (called "dissenters") were the "school of democracy", in the words of historian Patricia Bonomi. American Revolution_sentence_355

Before the Revolution, the Southern Colonies and three of the New England Colonies had officially established churches: Congregational in Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, and New Hampshire, and Anglican in Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. American Revolution_sentence_356

New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations had no officially established churches. American Revolution_sentence_357

Church membership statistics from the period are unreliable and scarce, but what little data exists indicates that Anglicans were not in the majority, not even in the colonies where the Church of England was the established church, and they probably did not comprise even 30 percent of the population (with the possible exception of Virginia). American Revolution_sentence_358

President John Witherspoon of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) wrote widely circulated sermons linking the American Revolution to the teachings of the Bible. American Revolution_sentence_359

Throughout the colonies, dissenting Protestant ministers (Congregational, Baptist, and Presbyterian) preached Revolutionary themes in their sermons, while most Church of England clergymen preached loyalty to the king, the titular head of the English state church. American Revolution_sentence_360

Religious motivation for fighting tyranny transcended socioeconomic lines to encompass rich and poor, men and women, frontiersmen and townsmen, farmers and merchants. American Revolution_sentence_361

The Declaration of Independence also referred to the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" as justification for the Americans' separation from the British monarchy. American Revolution_sentence_362

Most eighteenth-century Americans believed that the entire universe ("nature") was God's creation and he was "Nature's God". American Revolution_sentence_363

Everything was part of the "universal order of things" which began with God and was directed by his providence. American Revolution_sentence_364

Accordingly, the signers of the Declaration professed their "firm reliance on the Protection of divine Providence", and they appealed to "the Supreme Judge for the rectitude of our intentions". American Revolution_sentence_365

George Washington was firmly convinced that he was an instrument of providence, to the benefit of the American people and of all humanity. American Revolution_sentence_366

Historian Bernard Bailyn argues that the evangelicalism of the era challenged traditional notions of natural hierarchy by preaching that the Bible teaches that all men are equal, so that the true value of a man lies in his moral behavior, not in his class. American Revolution_sentence_367

Kidd argues that religious disestablishment, belief in God as the source of human rights, and shared convictions about sin, virtue, and divine providence worked together to unite rationalists and evangelicals and thus encouraged a large proportion of Americans to fight for independence from the Empire. American Revolution_sentence_368

Bailyn, on the other hand, denies that religion played such a critical role. American Revolution_sentence_369

Alan Heimert argues that New Light anti-authoritarianism was essential to furthering democracy in colonial American society, and set the stage for a confrontation with British monarchical and aristocratic rule. American Revolution_sentence_370

Class and psychology of the factions American Revolution_section_25

John Adams concluded in 1818: American Revolution_sentence_371

In the mid-20th century, historian Leonard Woods Labaree identified eight characteristics of the Loyalists that made them essentially conservative, opposite to the characteristics of the Patriots. American Revolution_sentence_372

Loyalists tended to feel that resistance to the Crown was morally wrong, while the Patriots thought that morality was on their side. American Revolution_sentence_373

Loyalists were alienated when the Patriots resorted to violence, such as burning houses and tarring and feathering. American Revolution_sentence_374

Loyalists wanted to take a centrist position and resisted the Patriots' demand to declare their opposition to the Crown. American Revolution_sentence_375

Many Loyalists had maintained strong and long-standing relations with Britain, especially merchants in port cities such as New York and Boston. American Revolution_sentence_376

Many Loyalists felt that independence was bound to come eventually, but they were fearful that revolution might lead to anarchy, tyranny, or mob rule. American Revolution_sentence_377

In contrast, the prevailing attitude among Patriots was a desire to seize the initiative. American Revolution_sentence_378

Labaree also wrote that Loyalists were pessimists who lacked the confidence in the future displayed by the Patriots. American Revolution_sentence_379

Historians in the early 20th century such as J. American Revolution_sentence_380 Franklin Jameson examined the class composition of the Patriot cause, looking for evidence of a class war inside the revolution. American Revolution_sentence_381

More recent historians have largely abandoned that interpretation, emphasizing instead the high level of ideological unity. American Revolution_sentence_382

Both Loyalists and Patriots were a "mixed lot", but ideological demands always came first. American Revolution_sentence_383

The Patriots viewed independence as a means to gain freedom from British oppression and taxation and to reassert their basic rights. American Revolution_sentence_384

Most yeomen farmers, craftsmen, and small merchants joined the Patriot cause to demand more political equality. American Revolution_sentence_385

They were especially successful in Pennsylvania but less so in New England, where John Adams attacked Thomas Paine's Common Sense for the "absurd democratical notions" that it proposed. American Revolution_sentence_386

King George III American Revolution_section_26

Main article: George III of Great Britain American Revolution_sentence_387

The war became a personal issue for the king, fueled by his growing belief that British leniency would be taken as weakness by the Americans. American Revolution_sentence_388

He also sincerely believed that he was defending Britain's constitution against usurpers, rather than opposing patriots fighting for their natural rights. American Revolution_sentence_389

Patriots American Revolution_section_27

Main article: Patriot (American Revolution) American Revolution_sentence_390

Further information: Sons of Liberty American Revolution_sentence_391

Those who fought for independence were called "Patriots", "Whigs", "Congress-men", or "Americans" during and after the war. American Revolution_sentence_392

They included a full range of social and economic classes but were unanimous regarding the need to defend the rights of Americans and uphold the principles of republicanism in rejecting monarchy and aristocracy, while emphasizing civic virtue by citizens. American Revolution_sentence_393

Newspapers were strongholds of patriotism (although there were a few Loyalist papers) and printed many pamphlets, announcements, patriotic letters, and pronouncements. American Revolution_sentence_394

According to historian Robert Calhoon, 40– to 45-percent of the white population in the Thirteen Colonies supported the Patriots' cause, 15– to 20-percent supported the Loyalists, and the remainder were neutral or kept a low profile. American Revolution_sentence_395

Mark Lender analyzes why ordinary people became insurgents against the British, even if they were unfamiliar with the ideological reasons behind the war. American Revolution_sentence_396

He concludes that such people held a sense of rights which the British were violating, rights that stressed local autonomy, fair dealing, and government by consent. American Revolution_sentence_397

They were highly sensitive to the issue of tyranny, which they saw manifested in the British response to the Boston Tea Party. American Revolution_sentence_398

The arrival in Boston of the British Army heightened their sense of violated rights, leading to rage and demands for revenge. American Revolution_sentence_399

They had faith that God was on their side. American Revolution_sentence_400

The signers of the Declaration of Independence were mostly well-educated, of British stock, and of the Protestant faith. American Revolution_sentence_401

Loyalists American Revolution_section_28

Main article: Loyalist (American Revolution) American Revolution_sentence_402

The consensus of scholars is that about 15– to 20-percent of the white population remained loyal to the British Crown. American Revolution_sentence_403

Those who actively supported the king were known at the time as "Loyalists", "Tories", or "King's men". American Revolution_sentence_404

The Loyalists never controlled territory unless the British Army occupied it. American Revolution_sentence_405

They were typically older, less willing to break with old loyalties, and often connected to the Church of England; they included many established merchants with strong business connections throughout the Empire, as well as royal officials such as Thomas Hutchinson of Boston. American Revolution_sentence_406

There were 500 to 1,000 black loyalists, slaves who escaped to British lines and joined the British army. American Revolution_sentence_407

Many succumbed to various diseases, but Britain took the survivors to Canada as free men. American Revolution_sentence_408

The revolution could divide families, such as William Franklin, son of Benjamin Franklin and royal governor of the Province of New Jersey who remained loyal to the Crown throughout the war. American Revolution_sentence_409

He and his father never spoke again. American Revolution_sentence_410

Recent immigrants who had not been fully Americanized were also inclined to support the King, such as Flora MacDonald, a Scottish settler in the backcountry. American Revolution_sentence_411

After the war, the most of the approximately 500,000 Loyalists remained in America and resumed normal lives. American Revolution_sentence_412

Some became prominent American leaders, such as Samuel Seabury. American Revolution_sentence_413

Approximately 46,000 Loyalists relocated to Canada; others moved to Britain (7,000), Florida, or the West Indies (9,000). American Revolution_sentence_414

The exiles represented approximately two percent of the total population of the colonies. American Revolution_sentence_415

Nearly all black loyalists left for Nova Scotia, Florida, or England, where they could remain free. American Revolution_sentence_416

Loyalists who left the South in 1783 took thousands of their slaves with them as they fled to British colonies in the West Indies. American Revolution_sentence_417

Neutrals American Revolution_section_29

A minority of uncertain size tried to stay neutral in the war. American Revolution_sentence_418

Most kept a low profile, but the Quakers were the most important group to speak out for neutrality, especially in Pennsylvania. American Revolution_sentence_419

The Quakers continued to do business with the British even after the war began, and they were accused of supporting British rule, "contrivers and authors of seditious publications" critical of the revolutionary cause. American Revolution_sentence_420

Most Quakers remained neutral, although a sizeable number nevertheless participated to some degree. American Revolution_sentence_421

Role of women American Revolution_section_30

Main article: Women in the American Revolution American Revolution_sentence_422

Women contributed to the American Revolution in many ways and were involved on both sides. American Revolution_sentence_423

Formal politics did not include women, but ordinary domestic behaviors became charged with political significance as Patriot women confronted a war which permeated all aspects of political, civil, and domestic life. American Revolution_sentence_424

They participated by boycotting British goods, spying on the British, following armies as they marched, washing, cooking, and mending for soldiers, delivering secret messages, and even fighting disguised as men in a few cases, such as Deborah Samson. American Revolution_sentence_425

Mercy Otis Warren held meetings in her house and cleverly attacked Loyalists with her creative plays and histories. American Revolution_sentence_426

Many women also acted as nurses and helpers, tending to the soldiers' wounds and buying and selling goods for them. American Revolution_sentence_427

Some of these camp followers even participated in combat, such as Madam John Turchin who led her husband's regiment into battle. American Revolution_sentence_428

Above all, women continued the agricultural work at home to feed their families and the armies. American Revolution_sentence_429

They maintained their families during their husbands' absences and sometimes after their deaths. American Revolution_sentence_430

American women were integral to the success of the boycott of British goods, as the boycotted items were largely household articles such as tea and cloth. American Revolution_sentence_431

Women had to return to knitting goods and to spinning and weaving their own cloth—skills that had fallen into disuse. American Revolution_sentence_432

In 1769, the women of Boston produced 40,000 skeins of yarn, and 180 women in Middletown, Massachusetts wove 20,522 yards (18,765 m) of cloth. American Revolution_sentence_433

Many women gathered food, money, clothes, and other supplies during the war to help the soldiers. American Revolution_sentence_434

A woman's loyalty to her husband could become an open political act, especially for women in America committed to men who remained loyal to the King. American Revolution_sentence_435

Legal divorce, usually rare, was granted to Patriot women whose husbands supported the King. American Revolution_sentence_436

Other participants American Revolution_section_31

Further information: Diplomacy in the American Revolutionary War American Revolution_sentence_437

France and Spain American Revolution_section_32

Main articles: France in the American Revolutionary War and Spain in the American Revolutionary War American Revolution_sentence_438

In early 1776, France set up a major program of aid to the Americans, and the Spanish secretly added funds. American Revolution_sentence_439

Each country spent one million "livres tournaises" to buy munitions. American Revolution_sentence_440

A dummy corporation run by Pierre Beaumarchais concealed their activities. American Revolution_sentence_441

American Patriots obtained some munitions through the Dutch Republic, as well as French and Spanish ports in the West Indies. American Revolution_sentence_442

Heavy expenditures and a weak taxation system pushed France toward bankruptcy. American Revolution_sentence_443

Spain did not officially recognize the U.S. but it separately declared war on Britain on June 21, 1779. American Revolution_sentence_444

Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, general of the Spanish forces in New Spain, also served as governor of Louisiana. American Revolution_sentence_445

He led an expedition of colonial troops to capture Florida from the British and to keep open a vital conduit for supplies. American Revolution_sentence_446

Native Americans American Revolution_section_33

Main article: Native Americans in the United States American Revolution_sentence_447

Further information: Western theater of the American Revolutionary War American Revolution_sentence_448

Most indigenous people rejected pleas that they remain neutral and instead supported the British Crown. American Revolution_sentence_449

The great majority of the 200,000 indigenous people east of the Mississippi distrusted the colonists and supported the British cause, hoping to forestall continued colonial expansion into their territories. American Revolution_sentence_450

Those tribes closely involved in trade tended to side with the Patriots, although political factors were important, as well. American Revolution_sentence_451

Most indigenous people did not participate directly in the war, except for warriors and bands associated with four of the Iroquois tribes in New York and Pennsylvania which allied with the British. American Revolution_sentence_452

The British did have other allies, especially in the upper Midwest. American Revolution_sentence_453

They provided indigenous people with funding and weapons to attack Continental Army outposts. American Revolution_sentence_454

Some indigenous people tried to remain neutral, seeing little value in joining what they perceived to be a "white man's war", and fearing reprisals from whichever side they opposed. American Revolution_sentence_455

The Oneida and Tuscarora tribes among the Iroquois of central and western New York supported the American cause. American Revolution_sentence_456

The British provided arms to indigenous people who were led by Loyalists in war parties to raid frontier settlements from the Carolinas to New York. American Revolution_sentence_457

These war parties managed to kill many settlers on the frontier, especially in Pennsylvania and New York's Mohawk Valley. American Revolution_sentence_458

In 1776, Cherokee war parties attacked American Colonists all along the southern frontier of the uplands throughout the Washington District, North Carolina (now Tennessee) and the Kentucky wilderness area. American Revolution_sentence_459

They would launch raids with roughly 200 warriors, as seen in the Cherokee–American wars; they could not mobilize enough forces to invade Colonial areas without the help of allies, most often the Creek. American Revolution_sentence_460

The Chickamauga Cherokee under Dragging Canoe allied themselves closely with the British, and fought on for an additional decade after the Treaty of Paris was signed. American Revolution_sentence_461

Joseph Brant of the powerful Mohawk tribe in New York was the most prominent indigenous leader against the Patriot forces. American Revolution_sentence_462

In 1778 and 1780, he led 300 Iroquois warriors and 100 white Loyalists in multiple attacks on small frontier settlements in New York and Pennsylvania, killing many settlers and destroying villages, crops, and stores. American Revolution_sentence_463

The Seneca, Onondaga, and Cayuga of the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the British against the Americans. American Revolution_sentence_464

In 1779, the Americans forced the hostile indigenous people out of upstate New York when Washington sent an army under John Sullivan which destroyed 40 empty Iroquois villages in central and western New York. American Revolution_sentence_465

The Battle of Newtown proved decisive, as the Patriots had an advantage of three-to-one, and it ended significant resistance; there was little combat otherwise. American Revolution_sentence_466

Sullivan systematically burned the empty villages and destroyed about 160,000 bushels of corn that composed the winter food supply. American Revolution_sentence_467

Facing starvation and homeless for the winter, the Iroquois fled to Canada. American Revolution_sentence_468

The British resettled them in Ontario, providing land grants as compensation for some of their losses. American Revolution_sentence_469

At the peace conference following the war, the British ceded lands which they did not really control, and they did not consult their indigenous allies during the treaty. American Revolution_sentence_470

They transferred control to the United States of all the land east of the Mississippi and north of Florida. American Revolution_sentence_471

Calloway concludes: American Revolution_sentence_472

The British did not give up their forts until 1796 in the eastern Midwest, stretching from Ohio to Wisconsin; they kept alive the dream of forming an allied indigenous nation there, which they referred to a "Indian barrier state". American Revolution_sentence_473

That goal was one of the causes of the War of 1812. American Revolution_sentence_474

Black Americans American Revolution_section_34

Main article: African Americans in the Revolutionary War American Revolution_sentence_475

Free blacks in the North and South fought on both sides of the Revolution, but the majority fought for the Patriots. American Revolution_sentence_476

Gary Nash reports that there were about 9,000 black Patriots, counting the Continental Army and Navy, state militia units, privateers, wagoneers in the Army, servants to officers, and spies. American Revolution_sentence_477

Ray Raphael notes that thousands did join the Loyalist cause, but "a far larger number, free as well as slave, tried to further their interests by siding with the patriots." American Revolution_sentence_478

Crispus Attucks was one of the five people killed in the Boston Massacre in 1770 and is considered the first American casualty for the cause of independence. American Revolution_sentence_479

Many black slaves sided with the Loyalists. American Revolution_sentence_480

Tens of thousands in the South used the turmoil of war to escape, and the southern plantation economies of South Carolina and Georgia were disrupted in particular. American Revolution_sentence_481

During the Revolution, the British commanders attempted to weaken the Patriots by issuing proclamations of freedom to their slaves. American Revolution_sentence_482

Historian David Brion Davis explains the difficulties with a policy of wholesale arming of the slaves: American Revolution_sentence_483

Davis underscores the British dilemma: "Britain, when confronted by the rebellious American colonists, hoped to exploit their fear of slave revolts while also reassuring the large number of slave-holding Loyalists and wealthy Caribbean planters and merchants that their slave property would be secure". American Revolution_sentence_484

The Americans, however, accused the British of encouraging slave revolts, with the issue becoming one of the 27 colonial grievances. American Revolution_sentence_485

American advocates of independence were commonly lampooned in Great Britain for what was termed their hypocritical calls for freedom, while many of their leaders were planters who held hundreds of slaves. American Revolution_sentence_486

Samuel Johnson snapped, "how is it we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of the Negroes?" American Revolution_sentence_487

Benjamin Franklin countered by criticizing the British self-congratulation about "the freeing of one Negro" named Somersett while they allowed slave trade to continue unabated. American Revolution_sentence_488

Phyllis Wheatley was a black poet who popularized the image of Columbia to represent America. American Revolution_sentence_489

She came to public attention when her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral appeared in 1773. American Revolution_sentence_490

The effects of the war were more dramatic in the South. American Revolution_sentence_491

In Virginia, royal governor Lord Dunmore recruited black men into the British forces with the promise of freedom, protection for their families, and land grants. American Revolution_sentence_492

Tens of thousands of slaves escaped to British lines throughout the South, causing dramatic losses to slaveholders and disrupting cultivation and harvesting of crops. American Revolution_sentence_493

For instance, South Carolina was estimated to have lost about 25,000 slaves to flight, migration, or death—amounting to a third of its slave population. American Revolution_sentence_494

From 1770 to 1790, the black proportion of the population (mostly slaves) in South Carolina dropped from 60.5 percent to 43.8 percent, and from 45.2 percent to 36.1 percent in Georgia. American Revolution_sentence_495

British forces gave transportation to 10,000 slaves when they evacuated Savannah and Charleston, carrying through on their promise. American Revolution_sentence_496

They evacuated and resettled more than 3,000 Black Loyalists from New York to Nova Scotia, Upper Canada, and Lower Canada. American Revolution_sentence_497

Others sailed with the British to England or were resettled as freedmen in the West Indies of the Caribbean. American Revolution_sentence_498

But slaves carried to the Caribbean under control of Loyalist masters generally remained slaves until British abolition of slavery in its colonies in 1833-38. American Revolution_sentence_499

More than 1,200 of the Black Loyalists of Nova Scotia later resettled in the British colony of Sierra Leone, where they became leaders of the Krio ethnic group of Freetown and the later national government. American Revolution_sentence_500

Many of their descendants still live in Sierra Leone, as well as other African countries. American Revolution_sentence_501

Effects of the Revolution American Revolution_section_35

Loyalist expatriation American Revolution_section_36

Tens of thousands of Loyalists left the United States following the war, and Maya Jasanoff estimates as many as 70,000. American Revolution_sentence_502

Some migrated to Britain, but the great majority received land and subsidies for resettlement in British colonies in North America, especially Quebec (concentrating in the Eastern Townships), Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. American Revolution_sentence_503

Britain created the colonies of Upper Canada (Ontario) and New Brunswick expressly for their benefit, and the Crown awarded land to Loyalists as compensation for losses in the United States. American Revolution_sentence_504

Nevertheless, approximately eighty-five percent of the Loyalists stayed in the United States as American citizens, and some of the exiles later returned to the U.S. Patrick Henry spoke of the issue of allowing Loyalists to return as such: "Shall we, who have laid the proud British lion at our feet, be frightened of its whelps?" American Revolution_sentence_505

His actions helped secure return of the Loyalists to American soil. American Revolution_sentence_506

Interpretations American Revolution_section_37

Interpretations vary concerning the effect of the Revolution. American Revolution_sentence_507

Historians such as Bernard Bailyn, Gordon Wood, and Edmund Morgan view it as a unique and radical event which produced deep changes and had a profound effect on world affairs, such as an increasing belief in the principles of the Enlightenment. American Revolution_sentence_508

These were demonstrated by a leadership and government that espoused protection of natural rights, and a system of laws chosen by the people. American Revolution_sentence_509

John Murrin, by contrast, argues that the definition of "the people" at that time was mostly restricted to free men who passed a property qualification. American Revolution_sentence_510

This view argues that any significant gain of the revolution was irrelevant in the short term to women, black Americans and slaves, poor white men, youth, and native Americans. American Revolution_sentence_511

Gordon Wood states: American Revolution_sentence_512

American Revolution_description_list_2

  • The American Revolution was integral to the changes occurring in American society, politics and culture .... These changes were radical, and they were extensive .... The Revolution not only radically changed the personal and social relationships of people, including the position of women, but also destroyed aristocracy as it'd been understood in the Western world for at least two millennia.American Revolution_item_2_9

Edmund Morgan has argued that, in terms of long-term impact on American society and values: American Revolution_sentence_513

American Revolution_description_list_3

  • The Revolution did revolutionize social relations. It did displace the deference, the patronage, the social divisions that had determined the way people viewed one another for centuries and still view one another in much of the world. It did give to ordinary people a pride and power, not to say an arrogance, that have continued to shock visitors from less favored lands. It may have left standing a host of inequalities that have troubled us ever since. But it generated the egalitarian view of human society that makes them troubling and makes our world so different from the one in which the revolutionists had grown up.American Revolution_item_3_10

Inspiring all colonies and the American Revolution's worldwide impact American Revolution_section_38

Further information: Atlantic Revolutions American Revolution_sentence_514

The first shot of the American Revolution on Lexington Green in the Battle of Lexington and Concord is referred to as the “shot heard ‘round the world.” The American Revolution not only established the United States, but also ended an age (an age of monarchy) and began a new age (an age of freedom). American Revolution_sentence_515

It inspired revolutions around the world. American Revolution_sentence_516

The United States has the world’s oldest written constitution, and the constitutions of other free countries often bear a striking resemblance to the US Constitution – often word-for-word in places. American Revolution_sentence_517

As a result of the growing wave started by the Revolution, today, people in 144 countries (representing 2/3 of the world’s population) live in full or partial freedom. American Revolution_sentence_518

After the Revolution, genuinely democratic politics became possible in the former American colonies. American Revolution_sentence_519

The rights of the people were incorporated into state constitutions. American Revolution_sentence_520

Concepts of liberty, individual rights, equality among men and hostility toward corruption became incorporated as core values of liberal republicanism. American Revolution_sentence_521

The greatest challenge to the old order in Europe was the challenge to inherited political power and the democratic idea that government rests on the consent of the governed. American Revolution_sentence_522

The example of the first successful revolution against a European empire, and the first successful establishment of a republican form of democratically elected government, provided a model for many other colonial peoples who realized that they too could break away and become self-governing nations with directly elected representative government. American Revolution_sentence_523

The Dutch Republic, also at war with Britain, was the next country to sign a treaty with the United States, on October 8, 1782. American Revolution_sentence_524

On April 3, 1783, Ambassador Extraordinary Gustaf Philip Creutz, representing King Gustav III of Sweden, and Benjamin Franklin, signed a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the U.S. American Revolution_sentence_525

The American Revolution was the first wave of the Atlantic Revolutions: the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, and the Latin American wars of independence. American Revolution_sentence_526

Aftershocks reached Ireland in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and in the Netherlands. American Revolution_sentence_527

The Revolution had a strong, immediate influence in Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, and France. American Revolution_sentence_528

Many British and Irish Whigs spoke glowingly in favor of the American cause. American Revolution_sentence_529

In Ireland, the Protestants who controlled Ireland demanded self-rule. American Revolution_sentence_530

Under the leadership of Henry Grattan, the so-called "Patriots" forced the reversal of mercantilist prohibitions against trade with other British colonies. American Revolution_sentence_531

The King and his cabinet in London could not risk another rebellion on the American model, and made a series of concessions to the Patriot faction in Dublin. American Revolution_sentence_532

Armed Protestant volunteer units were set up to protect against an invasion from France. American Revolution_sentence_533

As in America, so too in Ireland the King no longer had a monopoly of lethal force. American Revolution_sentence_534

The Revolution, along with the Dutch Revolt (end of the 16th century) and the 17th century English Civil War, was among the examples of overthrowing an old regime for many Europeans who later were active during the era of the French Revolution, such as the Marquis de Lafayette. American Revolution_sentence_535

The American Declaration of Independence influenced the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789. American Revolution_sentence_536

The spirit of the Declaration of Independence led to laws ending slavery in all the Northern states and the Northwest Territory, with New Jersey the last in 1804. American Revolution_sentence_537

States such as New Jersey and New York adopted gradual emancipation, which kept some people as slaves for more than two decades longer. American Revolution_sentence_538

Status of African Americans American Revolution_section_39

The American Revolution not only got rid of a king, it profoundly changed society itself. American Revolution_sentence_539

Prior to the Revolution, everyone except the king had their "betters." American Revolution_sentence_540

Society was layered, with the king at the top, then the peerage (those with titles of nobility), gentlemen, common people, and slaves at the bottom. American Revolution_sentence_541

One's life was determined by one's birth. American Revolution_sentence_542

The American Revolution got rid of this entire system of aristocracy. American Revolution_sentence_543

There is even a clause in the Constitution prohibiting the granting of titles of nobility in America. American Revolution_sentence_544

It got rid of all the layers, except for the bottom one, the slaves. American Revolution_sentence_545

Slavery had existed for 3,000 years. American Revolution_sentence_546

It was legal and normal - it fits in with a layered society. American Revolution_sentence_547

The American Revolution changed that. American Revolution_sentence_548

As historian Christopher L. Brown put it, slavery "had never been on the agenda in a serious way before," but the Revolution "forced it to be a public question from there forward." American Revolution_sentence_549

In the first two decades after the American Revolution, state legislatures and individuals took actions to free slaves, in part based on revolutionary ideals. American Revolution_sentence_550

Northern states passed new constitutions that contained language about equal rights or specifically abolished slavery; some states, such as New York and New Jersey, where slavery was more widespread, passed laws by the end of the 18th century to abolish slavery by a gradual method. American Revolution_sentence_551

By 1804, all the northern states had passed laws outlawing slavery, either immediately or over time. American Revolution_sentence_552

In New York, the last slaves were freed in 1827. American Revolution_sentence_553

Indentured servitude (temporary slavery), which had been widespread in the colonies (Half the population of Philadelphia had once been bonded servants) dropped dramatically, and disappeared by 1800. American Revolution_sentence_554

An Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves sailed through Congress with little opposition. American Revolution_sentence_555

President Thomas Jefferson supported it, and it went in effect on January 1, 1808. American Revolution_sentence_556

Benjamin Franklin and James Madison each helped found manumission societies. American Revolution_sentence_557

No southern state abolished slavery, but for a period individual owners could free their slaves by personal decision, often providing for manumission in wills but sometimes filing deeds or court papers to free individuals. American Revolution_sentence_558

Numerous slaveholders who freed their slaves cited revolutionary ideals in their documents; others freed slaves as a reward for service. American Revolution_sentence_559

Records also suggest that some slaveholders were freeing their own mixed-race children, born into slavery to slave mothers. American Revolution_sentence_560

The number of free blacks as a proportion of the black population in the upper South increased from less than 1 percent to nearly 10 percent between 1790 and 1810 as a result of these actions. American Revolution_sentence_561

Thousands of free Blacks in the northern states fought in the state militias and Continental Army. American Revolution_sentence_562

In the south, both sides offered freedom to slaves who would perform military service. American Revolution_sentence_563

Roughly 20,000 slaves fought in the American Revolution. American Revolution_sentence_564

Shortly after the Revolution, the Northwest Territory was established, by Manasseh Cutler and Rufus Putnam (who had been George Washington's chief engineer). American Revolution_sentence_565

Both Cutler and Putnam came from Puritan New England. American Revolution_sentence_566

The Puritans strongly believed that slavery was morally wrong. American Revolution_sentence_567

Their influence on the issue of slavery was long-lasting, and this was provided significantly greater impetus by the Revolution. American Revolution_sentence_568

The Northwest Territory (which became Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and part of Minnesota) doubled the size of the United States, and it was established at the insistence of Cutler and Putnam as "free soil" - no slavery. American Revolution_sentence_569

This was to prove crucial a few decades later. American Revolution_sentence_570

Had those states been slave states, and their electoral votes gone to Abraham Lincoln's main opponent, Lincoln would not have become president. American Revolution_sentence_571

The Civil War would not have been fought. American Revolution_sentence_572

Even if it eventually had been, the North might well have lost. American Revolution_sentence_573

Status of American women American Revolution_section_40

The democratic ideals of the Revolution inspired changes in the roles of women. American Revolution_sentence_574

The concept of republican motherhood was inspired by this period and reflects the importance of Republicanism as the dominant American ideology. American Revolution_sentence_575

It assumed that a successful republic rested upon the virtue of its citizens. American Revolution_sentence_576

Women were considered to have the essential role of instilling their children with values conducive to a healthy republic. American Revolution_sentence_577

During this period, the wife's relationship with her husband also became more liberal, as love and affection instead of obedience and subservience began to characterize the ideal marital relationship. American Revolution_sentence_578

In addition, many women contributed to the war effort through fundraising and running family businesses without their husbands. American Revolution_sentence_579

The traditional constraints gave way to more liberal conditions for women. American Revolution_sentence_580

Patriarchy faded as an ideal; young people had more freedom to choose their spouses and more often used birth control to regulate the size of their families. American Revolution_sentence_581

Society emphasized the role of mothers in child rearing, especially the patriotic goal of raising republican children rather than those locked into aristocratic value systems. American Revolution_sentence_582

There was more permissiveness in child-rearing. American Revolution_sentence_583

Patriot women married to Loyalists who left the state could get a divorce and obtain control of the ex-husband's property. American Revolution_sentence_584

Whatever gains they had made, however, women still found themselves subordinated, legally and socially, to their husbands, disfranchised and usually with only the role of mother open to them. American Revolution_sentence_585

But, some women earned livelihoods as midwives and in other roles in the community not originally recognized as significant by men. American Revolution_sentence_586

Abigail Adams expressed to her husband, the president, the desire of women to have a place in the new republic: "I desire you would remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. American Revolution_sentence_587

Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands." American Revolution_sentence_588

The Revolution sparked a discussion on the rights of woman and an environment favorable to women's participation in politics. American Revolution_sentence_589

Briefly the possibilities for women's rights were highly favorable, but a backlash led to a greater rigidity that excluded women from politics. American Revolution_sentence_590

For more than thirty years, however, the 1776 New Jersey State Constitution gave the vote to "all inhabitants" who had a certain level of wealth, including unmarried women and blacks (not married women because they could not own property separately from their husbands), until in 1807, when that state legislature passed a bill interpreting the constitution to mean universal white male suffrage, excluding paupers. American Revolution_sentence_591

Commemorations American Revolution_section_41

Main articles: Commemoration of the American Revolution and United States Bicentennial American Revolution_sentence_592

The American Revolution has a central place in the American memory as the story of the nation's founding. American Revolution_sentence_593

It is covered in the schools, memorialized by a national holiday, and commemorated in innumerable monuments. American Revolution_sentence_594

George Washington's estate at Mount Vernon was one of the first national pilgrimages for tourists and attracted 10,000 visitors a year by the 1850s. American Revolution_sentence_595

The Revolution became a matter of contention in the 1850s in the debates leading to the American Civil War (1861–1865), as spokesmen of both the Northern United States and the Southern United States claimed that their region was the true custodian of the legacy of 1776. American Revolution_sentence_596

The United States Bicentennial in 1976 came a year after the American withdrawal from the Vietnam War, and speakers stressed the themes of renewal and rebirth based on a restoration of traditional values. American Revolution_sentence_597

Today, more than 100 battlefields and historic sites of the American Revolution are protected and maintained by the government. American Revolution_sentence_598

The National Park Service alone owns and maintains more than 50 battlefield parks and sites related to the Revolution. American Revolution_sentence_599

The American Battlefield Trust preserves almost 700 acres of battlefield land in six states. American Revolution_sentence_600

See also American Revolution_section_42

American Revolution_unordered_list_4


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American Revolution.