The American Revolution Term Paper

This essay has a total of 1075 words and 8 pages.

The American Revolution

The American Revolution was a conflict between 13
British colonies on the eastern seaboard of North
America and their parent country, Great Britain. The
war resulted in the colonies becoming a separate
nation, the United Stated of America. It is also known
as the American War of Independence.
The Seven Years' War left Great Britain with the
expensive responsibility of administering newly
acquired territory in North America. The British
Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765 to raise
revenue
to pay a share of the empire's defense costs. The
Stamp Act required the colonists to use specially
stamped
paper for all official documents, newspapers, and
pamphlets. It provoked almost unanimous opposition
among the colonists, who regarded it as a violation of
the right of English subjects not to be taxed without
representation. Riots broke out in colonial cities,
and American merchants pledged not to buy British
goods.
Parliament repealed the Stamp Act in March 1766,
yielding to the demands of economically depressed
British merchants.
In 1767 Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, which
imposed taxes on lead, glass, tea, paint, and
paper imported by Americans from Britain. Once again
the colonists protested vigorously and boycotted
British goods. In 1770 a riot occurred between British
troops and citizens of Boston (then in the
Massachusetts Bay Colony). The troops fired, killing
five people in the so-called Boston Massacre.
Parliament repealed the Townshend Acts but retained
the tax on tea. In 1773 Parliament passed the
Tea Act, reducing the tax on tea in an attempt to
rescue the English East India Company from bankruptcy.
The colonists refused to buy English tea and would not
permit British ships to unload it in Philadelphia and
New York City. In Boston, in the so-called Boston Tea
Party, a group of citizens dumped cargoes of tea
from British ships into Boston Harbor. In retaliation,
Parliament passed the Coercive Acts in
1774-Intolerable Acts called the by the
colonists-which were designed to punish Massachusetts
and
demonstrate Parliament's sovereignty.
The Virginia assembly called for a meeting of
representatives from the 13 colonies and Canada to
consider joint action against the encroachments on
colonial rights. The meeting, known as the First
Continental Congress, took place in Philadelphia in
September 1774. The Congress attempted to define
America's rights, place limits on Parliament's power,
and agree on tactics for resisting the Coercive Acts.
By
the time the Congress adjourned, hostilities had begun
between Britain and the colonies.
The first armed encounter of the American Revolution
took place in Massachusetts in April 1775.
British lieutenant general Thomas Gage was aware that
colonial militia members were being trained and
reorganized into active elements known as minutemen.
On the night of April 18, 1775, Gage sent troops to
seize munitions being gathered at Concord. Colonial
messengers, including a local silversmith named Paul
Revere, rode on horseback into the countryside to give
the alarm. On April 19 the British force exchanged
fire with militia troops at Lexington, killing eight
Americans. The American militia staged a counterattack
from the cover of hedges, trees, and buildings,
forcing the British to retreat to Boston.
The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia
on May 10, 1775. The delegates established
the Congress as the central government for "The United
Colonies of America," adopted the militia troops as
their own "Continental Army," and appointed George
Washington as commander in chief. Meanwhile,
American troops clashed with the British in the Battle
of Bunker Hill. After two failed assaults, British
major general William Howe succeeded in penetrating
American lines. Although the Americans retreated,
British losses far outweighed those of the colonists.
During the winter of 1775-1776 American colonel Henry
Knox brought heavy guns and mortars to
Boston. In March Washington began setting up the
artillery on Dorchester Heights overlooking Boston.
Howe, taken by surprise, removed his troops from
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