Washington crossing the delware

The American Revolution

  • Stamp Act

    The Stamp Act forced Americans to buy an official seal with every paper product. It was met with protest and anger, for this was the first time Britain had tried to directly tax the colonists, as opposed to tariffs on imported items. The Sons of Liberty were formed in retaliation. Courts of law were closed, and shops boycotted the stamps. The Stamp act was repealed in 1766, to be replaced by the Declaritory Act, so that Parliament could pass any law.
  • Townshend Acts

    Taxes on tea, paints, lead, glass, and paper did the Townshend Acts place. Coupled with the taxes were writs of assistance, allowing tax collectors to check for smuggled items, taking power away from American governments. This also was met with resistance. The Daughters of Liberty joined the the boycott. Angry incidents provoked Britain to send soldiers.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    Egged on by colonists, a gaggle of British soldiers fired into a crowd of ice throwing Americans. Five are killed. The incident is used as propaganda, and built up even more tension between the two countries.
  • Tea Act

    Americans were smuggling tea into the colonies to avoid paying taxes on it. To keep recieving taxes, the Tea Act allowed the British East India Company to sell it's cheap tea to the Americans directly. However, the Patriots saw through the low cost to the tax. They decided to keep making trouble for the British tea companies.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Three tea-loaded ships sat in Boston Harbor, to the anger of the Sons of Liberty, who would not pay taxes for the tea. The ships were not going anywhere without pay, so, disguised as Native Americans, these colonists crept onto the ships and dumped the tea into the harbor. Britain was furious.
  • Coercive Acts

    Called the Intolerable Acts by the colonists, the Coercive Acts were passed to punish the colonies, especially Massachusetts, for the Boston Tea Party. It:
    Closed Boston Harbor until Boston could pay for the tea
    Canceled Massachusett's charter, giving Britain control of their governing
    Let royal officials under trial have their trial in Britain
    Required Americans to house British Soldiers
    Gave more land to Quebec
    Appointed a new governor for Massachusetts.
    --and angered Americans.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    The close of Boston Harbor was the final straw. 12 of 13 colonies sent delegates to the First Continental Congress. They met in Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, lodging themselves in the procedings. Some wanted war, others wanted peace. They compromised with preparing for war, and writing the Declaration of Rights. Their goal was to beseech the king, asking for him to fix their issues. They decided to hve another meeting the next year if the king didn't respond nicely.
  • Declaration of Rights

    An attempt at peace by the First Continental Congress, the Declaration of Rights consisted of ten resolutions, stating rights entitled to every human. Among these were the rights to life, liberty, and property. It also contained a list of grievences committed by the king and Parliament unto the colonists. King George ignored the plea, creating a need for a Second Continental Congress.
  • Lexington and Concord

    A pile of weapons was held in Concord, and British soldiers wanted to seize it. Paul Revere rode to Lexington to warn the town. When the British got to Lexinton, a skirmish ensued, with the British victorious. They went on to Concord. Having also been warned, the pile was hidden. The Redcoats got mad, burning some buildings, causing the Americans to fire the "shot heard 'round the world." The British sustained many losses, and were forced to retreat. These were the first battles of the war.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    After King George ignored Congress's issues, the delegates felt the need to meet again. This meeting is seen as the first try for a colonial republic. They still did not agree very well. Another compromise was made, with the formation of a Continental Army, and the final push for peace--the Olive Branch Petition. When the king ignored that, the colonies braced themselves for war.
  • Battle of Bunker Hill

    Battle of Bunker Hill
    The British were trapped in Boston, making escape plans. Overnight, The American troops had set up on Breed's Hill, north of Boston. The British decided to fight the colonists going uphill. The Americans took out many Redcoats, but eventually ran out of gunpowder and lost. This battle proved that the Patriots could actually be a match for the British.
  • Common Sense

    Common Sense
    Written by Thomas Paine anonymously, Common Sense was a pamplet arguing for rule by the people. It sold hugely--about 500,000 copies. It was written for the average person, to inspire the people that the Revolution was a worthy cause. Floods of men joined the army and navy, and many women knit, spied, and boycotted for their men because of Paine's words.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    This document, written by a committee appointed by the Second Continental Congress, officially severed any ties between the United States of America and Great Britain. It has three sections, one stating the certain unalienable rights of humans--life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness--another listing every wrong done to the colonists by England, the last saying that people have the duty to dissolve corrupt government. The United States were created, and the war was on.
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    Battle of New York

    General Washington, anticipating the British, sent his troops to New York. A fleet of ships led by General William Howe neared New York Bay soon enough, pushing the Continental Army off Long Island. Battle after battle, Howe whipped the motley crew of Patriots, forcing them back more and more. Eventually, the English took the colonials and their supplies. Just to spite him, Howe drove Washington into New Jersey. Morale dropped for the tired, depressed soldiers.
  • Battle of Trenton

    Battle of Trenton
    The Continental Army needed a win badly. The men were tired and losing heart. General Washinton knew this, and decided to attack the Hessians guarding Trenton, New Jersey. Thus, the soldiers taveled across the freezing Delaware River, through a storm, to suprise the drunken Hessians. A crucial colonial win, the Patriots took over 900 captives. Morale was restored.
  • Battle of Saratoga

    Battle of Saratoga
    General John Burgoyne formed a plan requiring exact timing. His army would take Fort Ticonderoga, and meet with General Howe at Saratoga, choking New England. Burgoyne did take Ticonderoga, but Howe had taken Philadelphia. After that, Burgoyne was trapped in the New England forests, surrounded by Patriots, near Saratoga. Burgoyne had to surrender to General Horatio Gates. Saratoga was the turning point of the war. Morale skyrocketed, and France and Spain wanted to help finish the British off.
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    Valley Forge

    The only enemy the American Forces fought at Valley Forge was the angry winter, yet these times required the most bravery. Some without shoes, others without shirts, the soldiers that could trained for battle. Meanwhile, Washington begged Congress for necesseties. 2,000 men died there, while the British lived quite comfortably in Philadelphia. Those were the times that tried men's hearts.
  • The Capture of the Serapis

    The Capture of the Serapis
    John Paul Jones, American naval hero aboard the Bonhomme Richard gained one of his most widely known victories on this date. The Serapis, captained by Richard Pearson, destroyed Jones's most powerful cannon close to the beginning, Sensing a victory, Pearson taunted "Has your ship struck?" Unfazed, Jones called back "I have not yet begun to fight." The Patriots won, after two hours of beating up the British. Jones gained a reputation as a pirate, and gave America a new fear factor.
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    Battle of Yorktown

    General Charles Cornwallis, wanting to keep in touch with his navy, took his troops to Yorktown. Washington had the Marquies de Lafayette cut off land escape. Then, with the Comte de Rochambeau, Washington led their force to block other routes, surrounding Cornwallis. Some French ships took Chesapeak bay, preventing British rescue. After weeks, and near the end, Cornwallis surrendered. The Continental Army caqtured about 8,000 prisoners. This was the last major battle of the American Revolution.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    After two years of discussion with Benjamin Franklin playing a key part in the negotiations, the Treaty of Paris was signed. In it, Great Britain recognized American independence and set America's boundaries. The war was over, and freedom rang.