objected to being taxed by the British Parliament, a body in which they had no direct representation
. Before the 1760s, Britain's American colonies had enjoyed a high level of autonomy
in their internal affairs, which were governed by colonial legislatures
. 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
. Tensions relaxed with the British repeal of the Stamp Act, but flared again with the passage of the Townshend Acts
in 1767. The British government deployed troops to Boston in 1768 to quell unrest, leading to the Boston Massacre
in 1770. The British government repealed most of the Townshend duties in 1770, but retained the tax on tea in order to symbolically assert Parliament's right to tax the colonies. The burning of the Gaspee
in Rhode Island
in 1772, the passage of the Tea Act of 1773
and the Boston Tea Party
in December 1773 led to a new escalation in tensions. The British responded by closing Boston Harbor
and enacting a series of punitive laws
which effectively rescinded Massachusetts Bay Colony
's privileges of self-government. The other colonies rallied behind Massachusetts, and twelve of the thirteen colonies sent delegates in late 1774 to a "Continental Congress
" to coordinate their resistance to Britain. Opponents of Britain were known as Patriots
, while colonists who retained their allegiance to the Crown were known as Loyalists
The Patriots unsuccessfully attempted to invade Quebec
during the winter of 1775–76. 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. The Royal Navy blockaded ports and captured other cities for brief periods, but they failed to destroy Washington's forces. 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, transforming the war into a global conflict. Britain also attempted to hold the Southern states with the anticipated aid of Loyalists, and the war moved south. British general Charles Cornwallis
captured an American 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. Finally, a combined American and French force captured Cornwallis' army at Yorktown
in the fall of 1781, effectively ending the war. 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. 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.
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 pursue a mercantilist
policy intended to ensure that trade enriched Great Britain but prohibited trade with any other nations.
The Acts prohibited British producers from growing tobacco and also encouraged shipbuilding, particularly in the New England colonies
. 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.
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.
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.
The New England colonists fiercely opposed his efforts, and the Crown nullified their colonial charters in response.
Charles' successor James II
finalized these efforts in 1686, establishing the consolidated Dominion of New England
. Dominion rule triggered bitter resentment throughout New England; the enforcement of the unpopular Navigation Acts and the curtailing of local democracy angered the colonists.
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.
Colonial governments reasserted their control after the revolt, and successive Crown governments made no more attempts to restore the Dominion.
Subsequent English governments continued in their efforts to tax certain goods, passing acts regulating the trade of wool
The Molasses Act of 1733 was particularly egregious to the colonists, as a significant part of colonial trade relied on molasses. The taxes severely damaged the New England economy and resulted in a surge of smuggling, bribery, and intimidation of customs officials.
Colonial wars fought in America were also a source of considerable tension. The British captured the fortress of Louisbourg
during King George's War
but then ceded it back to France in 1748. 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.
It may be said as truly that the American Revolution was an aftermath of the Anglo-French conflict in the New World carried on between 1754 and 1763.
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. The colonists protested, and the boundary line was adjusted in a series of treaties with indigenous tribes
. 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
. The treaties opened most of Kentucky and West Virginia to colonial settlement. 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.
1764–1766: Taxes imposed and withdrawn
Notice of Stamp Act of 1765 in newspaper
In 1764 Parliament passed the Sugar Act
, decreasing the existing customs duties on sugar and molasses but providing stricter measures of enforcement and collection. That same year, Prime Minister George 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.
Grenville had 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 .
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."
Parliament finally passed the Stamp Act
in March 1765, which imposed direct taxes
on the colonies for the first time. All official documents, newspapers, almanacs, and pamphlets were required to have the stamps—even decks of playing cards. The colonists did not object that the taxes were high; they were actually low.
They objected to their lack of representation in the Parliament, which gave them no voice concerning legislation that affected them. However, at the conclusion of the recent war the Crown had to deal with approximately 1,500 politically well-connected British Army officers. The decision was made to keep them on active duty with full pay, but they - and their command
- had to be stationed somewhere. Stationing a standing army in Great Britain during peacetime was politically unacceptable, so the next determination was made to station them in America and have the Americans pay them. The soldiers had no military mission; they were not there to defend the colonies because there was no existing current threat to the colonies.Benjamin Franklin
testified in Parliament in 1766 that Americans already contributed heavily to the defense of the Empire. He argued 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
The Sons of Liberty
formed shortly after the Act in 1765, and they used public demonstrations, boycotts, and threats of violence to ensure that the British tax laws were unenforceable. In Boston, the Sons of Liberty burned the records of the vice admiralty court and looted the home of chief justice Thomas Hutchinson
. Several legislatures called for united action, and nine colonies sent delegates to the Stamp Act Congress
in New York City in October. 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.
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 or even consultation.
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.
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.
government came to power in July 1765, and Parliament debated whether to repeal the stamp tax or to send an army to enforce it. 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. 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".
The repeal nonetheless caused widespread celebrations in the colonies.
1767–1773: Townshend Acts and the Tea Act
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. The new taxes were enacted on the belief that Americans only objected to internal taxes and not to external taxes such as custom duties. 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 to regulate trade.
Colonists responded to the taxes by organizing new boycotts of British goods. These boycotts were less effective, however, as the goods taxed by the Townshend Acts were widely used.
In February 1768, the Assembly of Massachusetts Bay issued a circular letter
to the other colonies urging them to coordinate resistance. The governor dissolved the assembly when it refused to rescind the letter. Meanwhile, a riot broke out in Boston in June 1768 over the seizure of the sloop Liberty
, owned by John Hancock
, for alleged smuggling. Customs officials were forced to flee, prompting the British to deploy troops to Boston. A Boston town meeting declared that no obedience was due to parliamentary laws and called for the convening of a convention. A convention assembled but only issued a mild protest before dissolving itself. 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. The governor of Massachusetts was instructed to collect evidence of said treason, and the threat caused widespread outrage, though it was not carried out.
On March 5, 1770, a large crowd gathered around a group of British soldiers on a Boston street. The crowd grew threatening, throwing snowballs, rocks, and debris at them. One soldier was clubbed and fell.
There was no order to fire, but the soldiers fired into the crowd anyway. They hit 11 people; three civilians died at the scene of the shooting, and two died after the incident. The event quickly came to be called the Boston Massacre
. The soldiers were tried and acquitted (defended by John Adams
), but the widespread descriptions soon began to turn colonial sentiment against the British. This began a downward spiral in the relationship between Britain and the Province of Massachusetts.
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. 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.
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
. The affair was investigated for possible treason, but no action was taken.
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. This would reduce the influence of colonial representatives over their government. 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. Virginia, the largest colony, set up its Committee of Correspondence in early 1773, on which Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson served.
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. Loyalists were excluded. The committees became the leaders
of the American resistance to British actions, and later largely determined the war effort at the state and local level. 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.
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. 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. 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.
Meanwhile, Parliament passed the Tea Act
to lower the price of taxed tea exported to the colonies to help the British East India Company
undersell smuggled Dutch tea. Special consignees were appointed to sell the tea to bypass colonial merchants. The act was opposed by those who resisted the taxes and also by smugglers who stood to lose business.
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. A town meeting in Boston determined that the tea would not be landed, and ignored a demand from the governor to disperse. 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 East India Company and dumped £10,000 worth of tea from their holds (approximately £636,000 in 2008) into Boston Harbor. Decades later, this event became known as the Boston Tea Party
and remains a significant part of American patriotic lore.
1774–1775: Intolerable Acts and the Quebec Act
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. They consisted of four laws enacted by the British parliament.
The first was the Massachusetts Government Act
which altered the Massachusetts charter and restricted town meetings. 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. 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. 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.
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.
In September 1774, the First Continental Congress
convened, consisting of representatives from each colony, to serve as a vehicle for deliberation and collective action. 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. The Congress instead endorsed the proposal of John Adams that Americans would obey Parliament voluntarily but would resist all taxes in disguise. Congress called for a boycott beginning on 1 December 1774 of all British goods; it was enforced by new committees authorized by the Congress.
Military hostilities begin
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. The Patriots laid siege to Boston, expelled royal officials from all the colonies, and took control through the establishment of Provincial Congresses
. The Battle of Bunker Hill
followed on June 17, 1775. 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.
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
. The king, however, issued a Proclamation of Rebellion
which declared that the states were "in rebellion" and the members of Congress were traitors.
"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. From these data his mathematical head will easily calculate the time and expense necessary to kill us all.".
In March 1776, the Continental Army forced the British to evacuate Boston
, with George Washington as the commander of the new army. The revolutionaries now fully controlled all thirteen colonies and were ready to declare independence. There still were many Loyalists, but they were no longer in control anywhere by July 1776, and all of the Royal officials had fled.
Creating new state constitutions
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. In all 13 colonies, Patriots had overthrown their existing governments, closing courts and driving away British officials. They held elected conventions and "legislatures" that existed outside any legal framework; new constitutions were drawn up in each state to supersede royal charters. They proclaimed that they were states, not colonies.
On January 5, 1776, New Hampshire
ratified the first state constitution. In May 1776, Congress voted to suppress all forms of crown authority, to be replaced by locally created authority. Virginia, South Carolina
, and New Jersey created their constitutions before July 4. Rhode Island
simply took their existing royal charters
and deleted all references to the crown.
The new states were all committed to republicanism, with no inherited offices. 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. On 26 May 1776, John Adams
wrote James Sullivan from Philadelphia warning against extending the franchise
Depend upon it, sir, it is dangerous to open so fruitful a source of controversy and altercation, as would be opened by attempting to alter the qualifications of voters. There will be no end of it. New claims will arise. Women will demand a vote. Lads from twelve to twenty one will think their rights not enough attended to, and every man, who has not a farthing, will demand an equal voice with any other in all acts of state. It tends to confound and destroy all distinctions, and prostrate all ranks, to one common level[.]
- Property qualifications for voting and even more substantial requirements for elected positions (though New York and Maryland lowered property qualifications)
- Bicameral legislatures, with the upper house as a check on the lower
- Strong governors with veto power over the legislature and substantial appointment authority
- Few or no restraints on individuals holding multiple positions in government
- The continuation of state-established religion
In Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New Hampshire, the resulting constitutions embodied:
- 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)
- strong, unicameral legislatures
- relatively weak governors without veto powers, and with little appointing authority
- prohibition against individuals holding multiple government posts
The radical provisions of Pennsylvania's constitution lasted only 14 years. In 1790, conservatives gained power in the state legislature, called a new constitutional convention, and rewrote the constitution. 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. Thomas Paine called it a constitution unworthy of America.
Independence and Union
In April 1776, the North Carolina Provincial Congress
issued the Halifax Resolves
explicitly authorizing its delegates to vote for independence.
By June, nine Provincial Congresses were ready for independence; one by one, the last four fell into line: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and New York. Richard Henry Lee
was instructed by the Virginia legislature to propose independence, and he did so on June 7, 1776. On June 11, a committee was created to draft a document explaining the justifications for separation from Britain. After securing enough votes for passage, independence was voted for on July 2.
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. The next step was to form a union to facilitate international relations and alliances.
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. The articles were ratified on March 1, 1781. 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.
Defending the Revolution
British return: 1776–1777
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. 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. The British government believed that they could overawe the Americans by sending a large military and naval force, forcing them to be loyal again:
Convinced that the Revolution was the work of a full few miscreants who had rallied an armed rabble to their cause, they expected that the revolutionaries would be intimidated .... Then the vast majority of Americans, who were loyal but cowed by the terroristic tactics ... would rise up, kick out the rebels, and restore loyal government in each colony.
Washington forced the British out of Boston in the spring of 1776, and neither the British nor the Loyalists controlled any significant areas. The British, however, were massing forces at their naval base at Halifax, Nova Scotia
. They returned in force in July 1776, landing in New York and defeating Washington's Continental Army in August at the Battle of Brooklyn
. Following that victory, they requested a meeting with representatives from Congress to negotiate an end to hostilities.
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
. Howe demanded that the Americans retract the Declaration of Independence, which they refused to do, and negotiations ended. The British then seized New York City
and nearly captured Washington's army. They made New York their main political and military base of operations, holding it until November 1783
. The city became the destination for Loyalist refugees and a focal point of Washington's intelligence network
The British also took New Jersey, pushing the Continental Army into Pennsylvania. 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
, thereby regaining control of most of New Jersey. The victories gave an important boost to Patriots at a time when morale was flagging, and they have become iconic events of the war.
In 1777, the British sent Burgoyne's invasion force from Canada south to New York to seal off New England. Their aim was to isolate New England, which the British perceived as the primary source of agitation. 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. The invasion army under Burgoyne
was much too slow and became trapped in northern New York state. It surrendered after the Battles of Saratoga
in October 1777. 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
On August 23, 1775, George III declared Americans to be traitors to the Crown if they took up arms against royal authority. There were thousands of British and Hessian soldiers in American hands following their surrender at the Battles of Saratoga
in October 1777. 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.
The dilemma was that tens of thousands of Loyalists were under American control and American retaliation would have been easy. The British built much of their strategy around using these Loyalists.
The British maltreated the prisoners whom they held, resulting in more deaths to American prisoners of war than from combat operations.
At the end of the war, both sides released their surviving prisoners.
American alliances after 1778
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. On February 6, 1778, the United States and France signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce
and the Treaty of Alliance
. 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.
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. 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. British commander Sir Henry Clinton
evacuated Philadelphia and returned to New York City. General Washington intercepted him in the Battle of Monmouth Court House
, the last major battle fought in the north. After an inconclusive engagement, the British retreated to New York City. The northern war subsequently became a stalemate, as the focus of attention shifted to the smaller southern theater.
troops hired out to the British by their German sovereigns
The British move South, 1778–1783
The British strategy in America now concentrated on a campaign in the southern states. 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.
Beginning in late December 1778, they captured Savannah
and controlled the Georgia
coastline. In 1780, they launched a fresh invasion and took Charleston
, as well. A significant victory at the Battle of Camden
meant that royal forces soon controlled most of Georgia and South Carolina. The British set up a network of forts inland, hoping that the Loyalists would rally to the flag.
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. 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.
Surrender at Yorktown (1781)
The siege of Yorktown
ended with the surrender of a second British army, marking effective British defeat.
The British army under Cornwallis marched to Yorktown, Virginia
, where they expected to be rescued by a British fleet.
The fleet did arrive, but so did a larger French fleet. The French were victorious in the Battle of the Chesapeake
, and the British fleet returned to New York for reinforcements, leaving Cornwallis trapped. 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.
The end of the war
Historians continue to debate whether the odds were long or short for American victory. John E. Ferling
says that the odds were so long that the American victory was "almost a miracle".
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. He argues that this opportunity came only once, in the summer of 1776, and the British failed that test. Admiral Howe and his brother General Howe "missed several opportunities to destroy the Continental Army .... Chance, luck, and even the vagaries of the weather played crucial roles." 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. Ellis concludes that, once the Howe brothers failed, the opportunity "would never come again" for a British victory.
Support for the conflict had never been strong in Britain, where many sympathized with the Americans, but now it reached a new low.
King George wanted to fight on, but his supporters lost control of Parliament and they launched no further offensives in America.
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.
Washington did not know whether the British might reopen hostilities after Yorktown. They still had 26,000 troops occupying New York City, Charleston, and Savannah, together with a powerful fleet. The French army and navy departed, so the Americans were on their own in 1782–83.
The treasury was empty, and the unpaid soldiers were growing restive, almost to the point of mutiny or possible coup d'état
. 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.
Paris peace treaty
The last page of the 1783 Treaty of Paris
, which ended the Revolutionary War
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. The Americans opened direct secret negotiations with London, cutting out the French. 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.
The US obtained all the land east of the Mississippi River, including southern Canada
, but Spain took control of Florida from the British. It gained fishing rights off Canadian coasts, and agreed to allow British merchants and Loyalists to recover their property. Prime Minister Shelburne foresaw highly profitable two-way trade between Britain and the rapidly growing United States, which did come to pass. 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.
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. However, the British did sell them munitions and maintain forts in American territory until the Jay Treaty
Losing the war and the Thirteen Colonies was a shock to Britain. 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. The defeat heightened dissension and escalated political antagonism to the King's ministers. Inside Parliament, the primary concern changed from fears of an over-mighty monarch to the issues of representation, parliamentary reform, and government retrenchment. Reformers sought to destroy what they saw as widespread institutional corruption,
and the result was a crisis from 1776 to 1783. The peace in 1783 left France financially prostrate, while the British economy boomed thanks to the return of American business. 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
. 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.
Britain turned towards Asia, the Pacific, and later Africa with subsequent exploration leading to the rise of the Second British Empire
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.
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.
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. The British tax system collected about 12 percent of the GDP in taxes during the 1770s.
In sharp contrast, Congress and the American states had no end of difficulty financing the war.
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. The British made the situation much worse by imposing a tight blockade on every American port, which cut off almost all imports and exports. One partial solution was to rely on volunteer support from militiamen and donations from patriotic citizens.
Another was to delay actual payments, pay soldiers and suppliers in depreciated currency, and promise that it would be made good after the war. 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. 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
Morris used a French loan in 1782 to set up the private Bank of North America
to finance the war. 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.
Congress used four main methods to cover the cost of the war, which cost about 66 million dollars in specie (gold and silver).
Congress made issues of paper money in 1775–1780 and in 1780–1781. The first issue amounted to 242 million dollars. 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. By 1780, the paper money was "not worth a Continental", as people said.
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. Debtors benefited by paying off their debts with depreciated paper. 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.
Beginning in 1777, Congress repeatedly asked the states to provide money, but the states had no system of taxation and were of little help. 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.
Starting in 1776, the Congress sought to raise money by loans from wealthy individuals, promising to redeem the bonds after the war. 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. 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[quantify]
to the American war effort. The Americans struggled to pay off the loans; they ceased making interest payments to France in 1785 and defaulted on installments due in 1787. 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.
Concluding the Revolution
Creating a "more perfect union" and guaranteeing rights
The war ended in 1783 and was followed by a period of prosperity. 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 settlers moved rapidly into those areas, with Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee becoming states in the 1790s.
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. 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. They convinced Congress to call the Philadelphia Convention
in 1787 and named their party the Federalist party.
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.
The Constitution was ratified in 1788, after a fierce debate in the states over the proposed new government. The new government under President George Washington took office in New York in March 1789. 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.
The national debt fell into three categories after the American Revolution. The first was the $12 million owed to foreigners, mostly money borrowed from France. There was general agreement to pay the foreign debts at full value. 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. 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.
The war expenses of the individual states added up to $114 million, compared to $37 million by the central government.
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
. Everyone received face value for wartime certificates, so that the national honor would be sustained and the national credit established.
Ideology and factions
The population of the Thirteen States was not homogeneous in political views and attitudes. Loyalties and allegiances varied widely within regions and communities and even within families, and sometimes shifted during the Revolution.
Ideology behind the Revolution
The American Enlightenment was a critical precursor of the American Revolution. 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. 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.
'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.
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.
Locke's Two Treatises of Government
published in 1689 was especially influential. He argued that all humans were created equally free, and governments therefore needed the "consent of the governed
In late eighteenth-century America, belief was still widespread in "equality by creation" and "rights by creation".
The American interpretation of "republicanism" was inspired by the Whig party
in Great Britain which openly criticized the corruption within the British government.
Americans were increasingly embracing republican values, seeing Britain as corrupt and hostile to American interests.
The colonists associated political corruption with luxury and inherited aristocracy, which they condemned.
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. Men had a civic duty to be prepared and willing to fight for the rights and liberties of their countrymen. 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." He continued:
There must be a positive Passion for the public good, the public Interest, Honour, Power, and Glory, established in the Minds of the People, or there can be no Republican Government, nor any real Liberty. And this public Passion must be Superior to all private Passions. Men must be ready, they must pride themselves, and be happy to sacrifice their private Pleasures, Passions, and Interests, nay their private Friendships and dearest connections, when they Stand in Competition with the Rights of society.
Thomas Paine published his pamphlet Common Sense
in January 1776, after the Revolution had started. 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.
Paine offered a solution for Americans alarmed by the threat of tyranny.
Protestant Dissenters and the Great Awakening
Protestant churches that had separated from the Church of England
(called "dissenters") were the "school of democracy", in the words of historian Patricia Bonomi.
Before the Revolution, the Southern Colonies
and three of the New England Colonies
had officially established churches
: Congregational in Massachusetts Bay
, and New Hampshire
, and Anglican in Maryland
, South Carolina
, and Georgia
. The New York
, New Jersey
, and the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
had no officially established churches.
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).
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. 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
Religious motivation for fighting tyranny transcended socioeconomic lines to encompass rich and poor, men and women, frontiersmen and townsmen, farmers and merchants.
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. Most eighteenth-century Americans believed that the entire universe ("nature") was God's creation
and he was "Nature's God". Everything was part of the "universal order of things" which began with God and was directed by his providence.
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". George Washington
was firmly convinced that he was an instrument of providence, to the benefit of the American people and of all humanity.
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.
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. Bailyn, on the other hand, denies that religion played such a critical role.
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.
Class and psychology of the factions
John Adams concluded in 1818:
The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people .... This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.
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.
Loyalists tended to feel that resistance to the Crown was morally wrong, while the Patriots thought that morality was on their side.
Loyalists were alienated when the Patriots resorted to violence, such as burning houses and tarring and feathering
. Loyalists wanted to take a centrist position and resisted the Patriots' demand to declare their opposition to the Crown. Many Loyalists had maintained strong and long-standing relations with Britain, especially merchants in port cities such as New York and Boston.
Many Loyalists felt that independence was bound to come eventually, but they were fearful that revolution might lead to anarchy, tyranny, or mob rule. In contrast, the prevailing attitude among Patriots was a desire to seize the initiative.
Labaree also wrote that Loyalists were pessimists who lacked the confidence in the future displayed by the Patriots.
Historians in the early 20th century such as J. Franklin Jameson
examined the class composition of the Patriot cause, looking for evidence of a class war inside the revolution.
More recent historians have largely abandoned that interpretation, emphasizing instead the high level of ideological unity.
Both Loyalists and Patriots were a "mixed lot",
but ideological demands always came first. The Patriots viewed independence as a means to gain freedom from British oppression and taxation and to reassert their basic rights. Most yeomen farmers, craftsmen, and small merchants joined the Patriot cause to demand more political equality. 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.
King George III
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. He also sincerely believed that he was defending Britain's constitution against usurpers, rather than opposing patriots fighting for their natural rights.
Those who fought for independence were called "Patriots", "Whigs", "Congress-men", or "Americans" during and after the war. 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. Newspapers were strongholds of patriotism (although there were a few Loyalist papers) and printed many pamphlets, announcements, patriotic letters, and pronouncements.
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.
Mark Lender analyzes why ordinary people became insurgents against the British, even if they were unfamiliar with the ideological reasons behind the war. 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. They were highly sensitive to the issue of tyranny, which they saw manifested in the British response to the Boston Tea Party. The arrival in Boston of the British Army heightened their sense of violated rights, leading to rage and demands for revenge. They had faith that God was on their side.
The signers of the Declaration of Independence were mostly well-educated, of British stock, and of the Protestant faith.
The consensus of scholars is that about 15– to 20-percent of the white population remained loyal to the British Crown.
Those who actively supported the king were known at the time as "Loyalists", "Tories", or "King's men". The Loyalists never controlled territory unless the British Army occupied it. 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.
There were 500 to 1,000 Black Loyalists
, enslaved African-Americans who escaped to British lines and supported Britain's cause via several means. Many of them succumbed to various diseases, but the survivors were evacuated by the British to their remaining colonies in North America
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. He and his father never spoke again.
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.
After the war, the most of the approximately 500,000 Loyalists remained in America and resumed normal lives. Some became prominent American leaders, such as Samuel Seabury
. Approximately 46,000 Loyalists relocated to Canada; others moved to Britain (7,000), Florida, or the West Indies (9,000). The exiles represented approximately two percent of the total population of the colonies.
Nearly all black loyalists left for Nova Scotia, Florida, or England, where they could remain free.
Loyalists who left the South in 1783 took thousands of their slaves with them as they fled to the British West Indies
A minority of uncertain size tried to stay neutral in the war. Most kept a low profile, but the Quakers were the most important group to speak out for neutrality, especially in Pennsylvania. 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.
Most Quakers remained neutral, although a sizeable number
nevertheless participated to some degree.
Role of women
Mercy Otis Warren
published poems and plays that attacked royal authority and urged colonists to resist British rule
Women contributed to the American Revolution in many ways and were involved on both sides. 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. 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
. Mercy Otis Warren
held meetings in her house and cleverly attacked Loyalists with her creative plays and histories.
Many women also acted as nurses and helpers, tending to the soldiers' wounds and buying and selling goods for them. Some of these camp followers
even participated in combat, such as Madam John Turchin who led her husband's regiment into battle.
Above all, women continued the agricultural work at home to feed their families and the armies. They maintained their families during their husbands' absences and sometimes after their deaths.
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. Women had to return to knitting goods and to spinning and weaving their own cloth—skills that had fallen into disuse. 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.
Many women gathered food, money, clothes, and other supplies during the war to help the soldiers.
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. Legal divorce, usually rare, was granted to Patriot women whose husbands supported the King.
France and Spain
In early 1776, France set up a major program of aid to the Americans, and the Spanish secretly added funds. Each country spent one million "livres tournaises" to buy munitions. A dummy corporation
run by Pierre Beaumarchais
concealed their activities. American Patriots obtained some munitions through the Dutch Republic, as well as French and Spanish ports in the West Indies
Heavy expenditures and a weak taxation system pushed France toward bankruptcy.
Spain did not officially recognize the U.S. but it separately declared war on Britain on June 21, 1779. Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid
, general of the Spanish forces in New Spain
, also served as governor of Louisiana. He led an expedition of colonial troops to capture Florida from the British and to keep open a vital conduit for supplies.
, a Mohawk military and political leader, was the most prominent indigenous leader opposing the Patriot forces.
tended to represent such troops as mercenaries
in propaganda against the British Crown. Even American historians followed suit, in spite of Colonial-era jurists drawing a distinction between auxiliaries and mercenaries, with auxiliaries serving their prince when sent to the aid of another prince, and mercenaries serving a foreign prince as individuals.
By this distinction the troops which served in the American Revolution were auxiliaries.
Other German individuals came to assist the American rebels, most notably Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
, who served as a general in the Continental Army and is credited with professionalizing that force, but most who served were already colonists.
Most indigenous people rejected pleas that they remain neutral and instead supported the British Crown. 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.
Those tribes closely involved in trade tended to side with the Patriots, although political factors were important, as well.
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, and the Oneida
tribes among the Iroquois of central and western New York who supported the American cause.
The British did have other allies, especially in the upper Midwest. They provided indigenous people with funding and weapons to attack Continental Army outposts. 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. 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. These war parties managed to kill many settlers on the frontier, especially in Pennsylvania and New York's Mohawk Valley.
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.
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
. 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. Joseph Brant
of the powerful Mohawk
tribe in New York was the most prominent indigenous leader against the Patriot forces.
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.
The Seneca, Onondaga, and Cayuga of the Iroquois Confederacy also allied with the British against the Americans.
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 evacuated Iroquois villages in central and western New York. 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. Sullivan systematically burned the empty villages and destroyed about 160,000 bushels of corn that composed the winter food supply. Facing starvation and homeless for the winter, the Iroquois fled to Canada. The British resettled them in Ontario, providing land grants as compensation for some of their losses.
At the peace conference following the war, the British ceded lands which they did not really control, and which they did not consult with their indigenous allies during the treaty. They transferred control to the United States of all the land east of the Mississippi and north of Florida. Calloway concludes:
Burned villages and crops, murdered chiefs, divided councils and civil wars, migrations, towns and forts choked with refugees, economic disruption, breaking of ancient traditions, losses in battle and to disease and hunger, betrayal to their enemies, all made the American Revolution one of the darkest periods in American Indian history.
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
". That goal was one of the causes of the War of 1812
Free blacks in the North and South fought on both sides of the Revolution, but the majority fought for the Patriots. 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.
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." 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.
Many black slaves sided with the Loyalists. 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. During the Revolution, the British commanders attempted to weaken the Patriots by issuing proclamations of freedom to their slaves.
Historian David Brion Davis
explains the difficulties with a policy of wholesale arming of the slaves:
But England greatly feared the effects of any such move on its own West Indies, where Americans had already aroused alarm over a possible threat to incite slave insurrections. The British elites also understood that an all-out attack on one form of property could easily lead to an assault on all boundaries of privilege and social order, as envisioned by radical religious sects in Britain's seventeenth-century civil wars.
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".
The Americans, however, accused the British of encouraging slave revolts, with the issue becoming one of the 27 colonial grievances
The existence of slavery in the American colonies
had attracted criticism from both sides of the Atlantic as many could not reconcile the existence of the institution with the eglitarian ideals espoused by leaders of the Revolution. British writer Samuel Johnson
wrote that "how is it we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of the Negroes?" in a text opposing the greivances of the colonists.
Referring to this contradiction, English abolitionist Thomas Day
wrote in a 1776 letter that "if there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves".
African-American writer Lemuel Haynes
expressed similar viewpoints in his essay Liberty Further Extended
where he wrote that "Liberty is Equally as pre[c]ious to a Black man, as it is to a white one".
Thomas Jefferson unsuccessfully attempted to include a section in the Declaration of Independence which asserted that King George III had "forced" the slave trade
onto the colonies.
Despite the turmoil of the period, African-Americans contributed to the foundation of an American national identity during the Revolution. Phyllis Wheatley
, an African-American poet, popularized the image of Columbia
to represent America. She came to public attention when her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral
appeared in 1773, and received praise from George Washington.
The effects of the war were more dramatic in the South. 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. Tens of thousands of slaves escaped to British lines throughout the South, causing dramatic losses to slaveholders and disrupting cultivation and harvesting of crops. 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. 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.
British forces gave transportation to 10,000 slaves when they evacuated Savannah
, carrying through on their promise.
They evacuated and resettled more than 3,000 Black Loyalists
from New York to Nova Scotia, Upper Canada, and Lower Canada. Others sailed with the British to England or were resettled as freedmen in the West Indies of the Caribbean. 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. 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. Many of their descendants still live in Sierra Leone, as well as other African countries.
Effects of the Revolution
An early 20th century representation of Loyalists fleeing to British Canada
Tens of thousands of Loyalists left the United States following the war, and Maya Jasanoff estimates as many as 70,000.
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
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. 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?" His actions helped secure return of the Loyalists to American soil.
Interpretations vary concerning the effect of the Revolution. 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. These were demonstrated by a leadership and government that espoused protection of natural rights, and a system of laws chosen by the people.
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.
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.
Gordon Wood states:
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.
Edmund Morgan has argued that, in terms of long-term impact on American society and values:
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.
Inspiring all colonies and the American Revolution's worldwide impact
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). It inspired revolutions around the world. 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. 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.
After the Revolution, genuinely democratic politics became possible in the former American colonies.
The rights of the people were incorporated into state constitutions. Concepts of liberty, individual rights, equality among men and hostility toward corruption became incorporated as core values of liberal republicanism. 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
. 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.
The Revolution had a strong, immediate influence in Great Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, and France. Many British and Irish Whigs
spoke glowingly in favor of the American cause. In Ireland, the Protestants who controlled Ireland
. Under the leadership of Henry Grattan
, the so-called "Patriots
" forced the reversal of mercantilist prohibitions against trade with other British colonies. 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. Armed Protestant volunteer units were set up to protect against an invasion from France. As in America, so too in Ireland the King no longer had a monopoly of lethal force.
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
. The American Declaration of Independence influenced the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
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. States such as New Jersey and New York adopted gradual emancipation, which kept some people as slaves for more than two decades longer.
Status of African Americans
During the revolution, the contradiction between the Patriots' professed ideals of liberty and the institution of slavery generated increased scrutiny of the latter.:235:105–106:186
As early as 1764, the Boston Patriot leader James Otis, Jr.
declared that all men, "white or black", were "by the law of nature" born free.:237
Anti-slavery calls became more common in the early 1770s. In 1773, Benjamin Rush
, the future signer of the Declaration of Independence, called on "advocates for American liberty" to oppose slavery, writing, "The plant of liberty is of so tender a nature that it cannot thrive long in the neighborhood of slavery.".:239
The contradiction between calls for liberty and the continued existence of slavery also opened up the Patriots to charges of hypocrisy. In 1775, the English Tory writer Samuel Johnson
asked, "How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?"
This postage stamp, which was created at the time of the bicentennial, honors Salem Poor
, who was an enslaved African-American man who purchased his freedom, became a soldier, and rose to fame as a war hero during the Battle of Bunker Hill
In the late 1760s and early 1770s, a number of colonies, including Massachusetts and Virginia, attempted to restrict the slave trade, but were prevented from doing so by royally appointed governors.:245
In 1774, as part of a broader non-importation movement aimed at Britain, the Continental Congress called on all the colonies to ban the importation of slaves, and the colonies passed acts doing so.:245
In 1775, the Quakers
founded first antislavery society in the Western world, the Pennsylvania Abolition Society
In the first two decades after the American Revolution, state legislatures and individuals took actions to free slaves, in part based on revolutionary ideals. 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. By 1804, all the northern states had passed laws outlawing slavery, either immediately or over time. In New York, the last slaves were freed in 1827. 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.
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. Numerous slaveholders who freed their slaves cited revolutionary ideals in their documents; others freed slaves as a reward for service. Records also suggest that some slaveholders were freeing their own mixed-race children, born into slavery to slave mothers. 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.
Nevertheless, the slavery continued in the South, transforming slavery into a "peculiar institution", and setting the stage for future sectional conflict between North and South over the issue.:186–187
Thousands of free Blacks in the northern states fought in the state militias and Continental Army. In the south, both sides offered freedom to slaves who would perform military service. Roughly 20,000 slaves fought in the American Revolution.
Status of American women
The democratic ideals of the Revolution inspired changes in the roles of women.
The concept of republican motherhood
was inspired by this period and reflects the importance of revolutionary republicanism
as the dominant American ideology.
It assumed that a successful republic rested upon the virtue of its citizens. Women were considered to have the essential role of instilling their children with values conducive to a healthy republic. 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.[original research?]
In addition, many women contributed to the war effort through fundraising and running family businesses without their husbands.
The traditional constraints gave way to more liberal conditions for women. Patriarchy faded as an ideal;[dubious – discuss]
young people had more freedom to choose their spouses and more often used birth control to regulate the size of their families.[original research?]
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.[original research?]
There was more permissiveness in child-rearing.[clarification needed]
Patriot women married to Loyalists who left the state could get a divorce and obtain control of the ex-husband's property.
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. But, some women earned livelihoods as midwives and in other roles in the community not originally recognized as significant by men.
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. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands."
The Revolution sparked a discussion on the rights of woman and an environment favorable to women's participation in politics. Briefly the possibilities for women's rights were highly favorable, but a backlash led to a greater rigidity that excluded women from politics.
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.
The American Revolution has a central place in the American memory
as the story of the nation's founding. It is covered in the schools, memorialized by a national holiday
, and commemorated in innumerable monuments. 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.
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- ^ a b Loyalists of Massachusetts, James F. Stark P.34
- ^ Englishmen paid an average 25 shillings annually in taxes, whereas Americans paid only sixpence. Miller, Origins of the American Revolution (1943) p. 89
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- ^ a b Hiller B. Zobel, The Boston Massacre (1996)
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- ^ Benjamin L. Carp, Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America (2010)
- ^ Miller (1943) pp. 353–76
- ^ Carp, Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America (2010) ch 9
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- ^ Miller (1948) p. 87
- ^ a b Nevins (1927); Greene and Pole (1994) chapter 29
- ^ Nevins (1927)
- ^ Founding the Republic: A Documentary History; edited by John J. Patrick
- ^ Reason, Religion, and Democracy: Dennis C. Muelle. p. 206
- ^ Massachusetts' constitution is still in force in the 21st century, continuously since its ratification on June 15, 1780
- ^ Jensen, The Founding of a Nation (1968) pp. 678–79
- ^ Maier, American Scripture (1997) pp. 41–46
- ^ Armitage, David. The Declaration of Independence: A Global History. Harvard University Press, London. 2007. "The Articles of Confederation safeguarded it for each of the thirteen states in Article II ("Each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence"), but confined its international expression to Congress alone."
- ^ Tesesis, Alexander. Self-Government and the Declaration of Independence. Cornell Law Review, Volume 97 Issue 4. May 2012. (applying the Declaration in the context of state sovereignty while dealing with personal liberty laws, noting that "after the declaration of independence in 1776, each state, at least before the confederation, was a sovereign, independent body").
- ^ Greene and Pole (1994) chapter 30
- ^ Klos, President Who? Forgotten Founders (2004)
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- ^ a b Schecter, Barnet. The Battle for New York: The City at the Heart of the American Revolution. (2002)
- ^ a b McCullough, 1776 (2005)
- ^ Alan Valentine, Lord George Germain (1962) pp. 309–10
- ^ a b Larry G. Bowman, Captive Americans: Prisoners During the American Revolution (1976)
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- ^ a b c Hamilton, The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (1974) p. 28
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- ^ Mackesy, The War for America (1993) p. 568
- ^ a b Higginbotham, The War of American Independence (1983) p. 83
- ^ Crow and Tise, The Southern Experience in the American Revolution (1978) pp. 157–9
- ^ a b Henry Lumpkin, From Savannah to Yorktown: The American Revolution in the South (2000)
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- ^ Harvey pp. 493–515
- ^ John Ferling, Almost A Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence (2009)
- ^ Joseph J. Ellis (2013). Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence. Random House. p. 11. ISBN 978-0307701220.
- ^ Harvey p.528
- ^ A final naval battle was fought on March 10, 1783, by Captain John Barry and the crew of the USS Alliance, who defeated three British warships led by HMS Sybille. Martin I. J. Griffin, The Story of Commodore John Barry (2010) pp. 218–23
- ^ Langguth, A. J. (2006). Union 1812: the Americans who fought the Second War of Independence. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0743226189.
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- ^ Richard H. Kohn, Eagle and Sword: The Federalists and the Creation of the Military Establishment in America, 1783–1802 (1975) pp. 17–39
- ^ Charles R. Ritcheson, "The Earl of Shelbourne and Peace with America, 1782–1783: Vision and Reality." International History Review 5#3 (1983): 322–45.
- ^ Jonathan R. Dull (1987). A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution. Yale up. pp. 144–51. ISBN 0300038860.
- ^ William Deverell, ed. (2008). A Companion to the American West. p. 17. ISBN 9781405138482.
- ^ a b William Hague, William Pitt the Younger (2004)
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- ^ Canny, p. 92.
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- ^ a b c Charles Rappleye, Robert Morris: Financier of the American Revolution (2010) pp. 225–52
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- ^ Oliver Harry Chitwood, A History of Colonial America (1961) pp. 586–89
- ^ Terry M. Mays (2005). Historical Dictionary of Revolutionary America. Scarecrow Press. pp. 73–75. ISBN 9780810853898.
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- ^ Erna Risch, Supplying Washington's Army (1982)
- ^ E. Wayne Carp, To Starve the Army at Pleasure: Continental Army Administration and American Political Culture, 1775–1783 (1990)
- ^ E. James Ferguson, The power of the purse: A history of American public finance, 1776–1790 (1961)
- ^ Office of the Historian (2020). "Milestones: 1784–1800". history.state.gov. Department of State. Archived from the original on 4 February 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
- ^ Greene and Pole, eds. Companion to the American Revolution, pp. 557–624
- ^ Richard B. Morris, The Forging of the Union: 1781–1789 (1987) pp. 245–66
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- ^ Alexander, Revolutionary Politician, 103, 136; Maier, Old Revolutionaries, 41–42.
- ^ Middlekauff (2005), pp. 136–38
- ^ Jeffrey D. Schultz; et al. (1999). Encyclopedia of Religion in American Politics. Greenwood. p. 148. ISBN 9781573561303.
- ^ Waldron (2002), p. 136
- ^ Thomas S. Kidd (2010): God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution, New York, pp. 6–7
- ^ Charles W. Toth, Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite: The American Revolution and the European Response. (1989) p. 26.
- ^ Philosophical Tales, by Martin Cohen, (Blackwell 2008), p. 101
- ^ Stanley Weintraub, Iron Tears: America's Battle for Freedom, Britain's Quagmire, 1775–1783 (2005) chapter 1
- ^ Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1992) pp. 125–37
- ^ Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1992) pp. 35, 174–75
- ^ Shalhope, Toward a Republican Synthesis (1972) pp. 49–80
- ^ Adams quoted in Paul A. Rahe, Republics Ancient and Modern: Classical Republicanism and the American Revolution. Volume: 2 (1994) p. 23.
- ^ Linda K. Kerber, Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America (1997).
- ^ a b Ferguson, The Commonalities of Common Sense (2000) pp. 465–504
- ^ a b Bonomi, p. 186, Chapter 7 "Religion and the American Revolution
- ^ a b Barck, Oscar T.; Lefler, Hugh T. (1958). Colonial America. New York: Macmillan. p. 404.
- ^ Faragher, John Mack (1996). The Encyclopedia of Colonial and Revolutionary America. Da Capo Press. pp. 359. ISBN 978-0306806872.
- ^ William H. Nelson, The American Tory (1961) p. 186
- ^ Middlekauff (2005), pp. 3–6
- ^ Middlekauff (2005), pp. 3–4
- ^ Kidd (2010), p. 141
- ^ Middlekauff (2005), p. 302
- ^ Bailyn,The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1992) p. 303
- ^ Thomas S. Kidd, God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution (2010)
- ^ Alan Heimert, Religion and the American Mind: From the Great Awakening to the Revolution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967.
- ^ John Ferling, Setting the World Ablaze: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and the American Revolution (2002) p. 281
- ^ a b Labaree, Conservatism in Early American History (1948) pp. 164–65
- ^ a b c Hull et al., Choosing Sides (1978) pp. 344–66
- ^ a b c Burrows and Wallace, The American Revolution (1972) pp. 167–305
- ^ J. Franklin Jameson, The American Revolution Considered as a Social Movement (1926); other historians pursuing the same line of thought included Charles A. Beard, Carl Becker, and Arthur Schlesinger, Sr..
- ^ Wood, Rhetoric and Reality in the American Revolution (1966) pp. 3–32
- ^ a b Nash (2005)
- ^ a b Resch (2006)
- ^ Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy, "'If Others Will Not Be Active, I must Drive': George III and the American Revolution." Early American Studies 2004 2(1): pp. 1–46. P. D. G. Thomas, "George III and the American Revolution." History 1985 70(228)
- ^ Carol Sue Humphrey, The American Revolution and the Press: The Promise of Independence (Northwestern University Press; 2013)
- ^ Robert M. Calhoon, "Loyalism and neutrality" in Jack P. Greene; J.R. Pole (2008). A Companion to the American Revolution. John Wiley & Sons. p. 235. ISBN 9780470756447.
- ^ Mark Edward Lender, review of American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People (2010) by T. H. Breen, in The Journal of Military History (2012) 76#1 pp. 233–34
- ^ Caroline Robbins, "Decision in '76: Reflections on the 56 Signers." Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Vol. 89 pp. 72–87, quote at p. 86.
- ^ See also Richard D. Brown, "The Founding Fathers of 1776 and 1787: A collective view." William and Mary Quarterly (1976) 33#3: 465–80. online
- ^ Calhoon, "Loyalism and neutrality" in Greene and Pole, eds. A Companion to the American Revolution (1980) at p. 235
- ^ Calhoon, "Loyalism and neutrality" in Greene and Pole, eds. A Companion to the American Revolution (1980) pp. 235–47,
- ^ Sheila L. Skemp, Benjamin and William Franklin: Father and Son, Patriot and Loyalist (1994)
- ^ Joan Magee (1984). Loyalist Mosaic: A Multi-Ethnic Heritage. Dundurn. pp. 137ff. ISBN 9781459711426.
- ^ a b Greene and Pole (1994) chapters 20–22
- ^ "Chaos in New York". Black Loyalists: Our People, Our History. Canada's Digital Collections. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2007-10-18.
- ^ Gottlieb (2005)
- ^ Eileen K. Cheng (2008). The Plain and Noble Garb of Truth: Nationalism & Impartiality in American Historical Writing, 1784–1860. University of Georgia Press. p. 210. ISBN 9780820330730.
- ^ Pauw, Linda Grant De (1994). "Roles of Women In the American Revolution and the Civil War". Social Education. 58 (2): 77.
- ^ a b Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers (2006) pp. 59–60
- ^ Greene and Pole (1994) chapter 41
- ^ Cometti, Elizabeth (1947). "Women in the American Revolution". The New England Quarterly. 20 (3): 329–346. doi:10.2307/361443. JSTOR 361443.
- ^ Kerber, Women of the Republic (1997) chapters 4 and 6
- ^ Mary Beth Norton, Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women (1980)
- ^ Jonathan Dull, A Diplomatic History of the American Revolution (1985) pp. 57–65
- ^ David Patrick Geggus, "The effects of the American Revolution on France and its empire." in A Companion to the American Revolution, ed. Jack P. Greene and J.R. Pole (Blackwell, 2000) pp: 523-30.
- ^ Thompson, Buchanan Parker, Spain: Forgotten Ally of the American Revolution North Quincy, Mass.: Christopher Publishing House, 1976.
- ^ a b Cornelison, Pam (2004). The great American history fact-finder : the who, what, where, when, and why of American history. Ted Yanak (2nd ed., updated and expanded ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 1-4175-9441-1. OCLC 60414840.
- ^ a b Atwood, Rodney (1980). The Hessians: Mercenaries from Hessen-Kassel in the American Revolution. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
- ^ Greene and Pole (2004) chapters 19, 46 and 51; Colin G. Calloway, The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities (1995)
- ^ Joseph T. Glatthaar and James Kirby Martin, Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution (2007)
- ^ Karim M. Tiro, "A 'Civil' War? Rethinking Iroquois Participation in the American Revolution." Explorations in Early American Culture 4 (2000): 148-165.
- ^ Tom Hatley, The Dividing Paths: Cherokees and South Carolinians through the Era of Revolution (1993); James H. O'Donnell, III, Southern Indians in the American Revolution (1973)
- ^ Graymont, Barbara (1983). "Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant)". In Halpenny, Francess G (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. V (1801–1820) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
- ^ Colin G. Calloway, The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities (1995)
- ^ Joseph R. Fischer, A Well-Executed Failure: The Sullivan Campaign against the Iroquois, July–September 1779 (1997).
- ^ Calloway (1995) p. 290
- ^ Smith, Dwight L. (1989). "A North American Neutral Indian Zone: Persistence of a British Idea". Northwest Ohio Quarterly. 61 (2–4): 46–63.
- ^ Francis M. Carroll, A Good and Wise Measure: The Search for the Canadian-American Boundary, 1783–1842 (2001) p. 23
- ^ Gary B. Nash, "The African Americans Revolution," in Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution (2012) edited by Edward G Gray and Jane Kamensky pp. 250–70, at p. 254
- ^ Ray Raphael, A People's History of the American Revolution (2001) p. 281
- ^ Evans, Farrell. "America's First Black Regiment Gained Their Freedom by Fighting Against the British". HISTORY. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
- ^ Revolutionary War: The Home Front, Library of Congress
- ^ Davis p. 148
- ^ Davis p. 149
- ^ Schama pp. 28–30, 78–90
- ^ Stanley Weintraub, Iron Tears: America's Battle for Freedom, Britain's Quagmire, 1775–1783 (2005) p. 7
- ^ (1) Armitage, Global History, 77. Archived May 10, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
(2) Day, Thomas. Fragment of an original letter on the Slavery of the Negroes, written in the year 1776. London: Printed for John Stockdale (1784). Boston: Re-printed by Garrison and Knapp, at the office of "The Liberator" (1831). p. 10. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved February 26, 2014. If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves. At: Internet Archive Archived March 4, 2014, at the Wayback Machine: The Johns Hopkins University Sheridan LibrariesArchived April 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine: James Birney Collection of Antislavery Pamphlets Archived August 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- ^ T. F. P. Staff (2020-02-24). "Lemuel Haynes' Liberty Further Extended". The Founding Project. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
- ^ Maier, American Scripture, 146–50.
- ^ Hochschild pp. 50–51
- ^ Peter Kolchin, American Slavery: 1619–1877, New York: Hill and Wang, 1993, p. 73
- ^ Kolchin, American Slavery, p. 73
- ^ Hill (2007), see also blackloyalist.com
- ^ Maya Jasanoff, Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (2011). Philip Ranlet, however, estimates that only 20,000 adult white Loyalists went to Canada. "How Many American Loyalists Left the United States?." Historian 76.2 (2014): 278–307.
- ^ W. Stewart Wallace, The United Empire Loyalists: A Chronicle of the Great Migration (Toronto, 1914) online edition Archived 2012-03-29 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Van Tine, American Loyalists (1902) p. 307
- ^ Kukla, pp. 265–268.
- ^ Wood, The American Revolution: A History (2003)
- ^ Murrin, John M.; Johnson, Paul E.; McPherson, James M.; Fahs, Alice; Gerstle, Gary (2012). Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People (6th ed.). Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. p. 296. ISBN 978-0495904991.
- ^ "U.S. Voting Rights". Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- ^ Crews, Ed. "Voting in Early America". Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- ^ McCool, Daniel, Susan M. Olson, and Jennifer L. Robinson. Native Vote, Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
- ^ Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1993) pp 7–8.
- ^ Edmund S. Morgan (2005). The Genuine Article: A Historian Looks at Early America. W. W. Norton. p. 246. ISBN 978-0393347845.
- ^ Smith, Duane E., general editor. We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, pp. 204-7, Center for Civic Education, Calabasas, California, 1995. ISBN 0-89818-177-1.
- ^ van Loon, Hendrik. The Story of Mankind, p. 333, Garden City Publishing Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1921.
- ^ Wells, H. G. The Outline of History, pp. 840-2, Garden City Publishing Co., Inc., Garden City, New York, 1920.
- ^ Taylor, Steven L. “On Using the US Constitution as a Model,” Outside the Beltway, February 3, 2012, Retrieved October 13, 2020.
- ^ Petronzio, Matt. ”Only 40% of the World’s Population Live in Free Countries,” Mashable.com, February 14, 2015, Retrieved October 13, 2020.
- ^ ”Countries and Territories,” Freedom House website, Retrieved October 13, 2020
- ^ McDonald, Forrest. Novus Ordo Seclorum: The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution, pp. 6-7, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 1985. ISBN 0-7006-0284-4.
- ^ a b c d Bailyn, Bernard. To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders, pp. 35, 134-49, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2003. ISBN 0-375-41377-4.
- ^ Gordon Wood. The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1992) pp. 278–79
- ^ Palmer, (1959)
- ^ Greene and Pole (1994) ch. 53–55
- ^ Wim Klooster, Revolutions in the Atlantic World: A Comparative History (2009)
- ^ R. B. McDowell, Ireland in the Age of Imperialism and Revolution, 1760–1801 (1979)
- ^ Bailyn, Bernard. To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders, pp. 134-7, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2003. ISBN 0-375-41377-4.
- ^ Palmer, (1959); Greene and Pole (1994) chapters 49–52
- ^ Center for History and New Media, Liberty, equality, fraternity (2010)
- ^ Greene and Pole pp. 409, 453–54
- ^ Bailyn, Bernard. To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders, pp. 134-7, 141-2, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 2003. ISBN 0-375-41377-4.
- ^ a b c d e f Bailyn, Bernard (2017) . The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (3rd ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-97565-1.
- ^ Brown, Christopher Leslie (2006). Moral Capital: Foundations of British Abolitionism. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0-8078-3034-5.
- ^ a b c Wood, Gordon S. (1992). The Radicalism of the American Revolution. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-679-40493-7.
- ^ Hammond, Scott J.; Hardwick, Kevin R.; Lubert, Howard, eds. (2016). The American Debate over Slavery, 1760–1865: An Anthology of Sources. Hackett Publishing. p. xiii. ISBN 9781624665370.
- ^ Hubbard, Robert Ernest. Major General Israel Putnam: Hero of the American Revolution, p. 98, McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina, 2017. ISBN 978-1-4766-6453-8.
- ^ Ketcham, Ralph. James Madison: A Biography, pp. 625-6, American Political Biography Press, Newtown, Connecticut, 1971. ISBN 0-945707-33-9.
- ^ "Benjamin Franklin Petitions Congress". National Archives and Records Administration.
- ^ Franklin, Benjamin (February 3, 1790). "Petition from the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery". Archived from the original on May 21, 2006. Retrieved May 21, 2006.
- ^ John Paul Kaminski (1995). A Necessary Evil?: Slavery and the Debate Over the Constitution. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 256. ISBN 9780945612339.
- ^ Painter, Nell Irvin (2007). Creating Black Americans: African-American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present. p. 72.
- ^ Wood, Gordon S. Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, pp. 19, 132, 348, 416, Penguin Press, New York, New York, 2017. ISBN 9780735224711.
- ^ Mackaman, Tom. “An Interview with Historian Gordon Wood on the New York Times 1619 Project,” World Socialist Web Site, wsws.org, November 28, 2019, Retrieved, October 10, 2020.
- ^ Mackaman, Tom. “Interview with Gordon Wood on the American Revolution: Part One,” World Socialist Web Site, wsws.org, March 3, 2015. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
- ^ Wood, Gordon S. The Radicalism of the American Revolution, pp. 3-8, 186-7, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York, 1992. ISBN 0-679-40493-7.
- ^ Bailyn, Bernard. Faces of Revolution: Personalities and Themes in the Struggle for American Independence, pp. 221-4, Vintage Books, New York, New York, 1992. ISBN 0-679-73623-9.
- ^ Hubbard, Robert Ernest. Major General Israel Putnam: Hero of the American Revolution, p. 98, McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina, 2017. ISBN 978-1-4766-6453-8.
- ^ Hoock, Holger. Scars of Independence: America’s Violent Birth, pp. 95, 300-3, 305, 308-10, Crown Publishing Group, New York, New York, 2017. ISBN 978-0-8041-3728-7.
- ^ O’Reilly, Bill and Dugard, Martin. Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence, pp. 96, 308, Henry Holt and Company, New York, New York, 2017. ISBN 978-1-62779-0642.
- ^ Ayres, Edward. "African Americans and the American Revolution," Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown website, Retrieved October 21, 2020.
- ^ "Slavery, the American Revolution, and the Constitution," University of Houston Digital History website, Retrieved October 21, 2020
- ^ Kerber, Linda K.; Cott, Nancy F.; Gross, Robert; Hunt, Lynn; Smith-Rosenberg, Carroll; Stansell, Christine M. (1989). "Beyond Roles, Beyond Spheres: Thinking about Gender in the Early Republic". The William and Mary Quarterly. 46 (3): 565–585. doi:10.2307/1922356. JSTOR 1922356.
- ^ Mary Beth Norton, Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750–1800 (3rd ed. 1996)
- ^ Woody Holton (2010). Abigail Adams. Simon and Schuster. p. 172. ISBN 978-1451607369.
- ^ Rosemarie Zagarri, Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic (2007), p. 8
- ^ Klinghoffer and Elkis ("The Petticoat Electors: W omen's Suffrage in New Jersey, 1776–1807", Journal of the Early Republic 12, no. 2 (1992): 159–93.)
- ^ Michael Kammen, A Season of Youth: The American Revolution and the Historical Imagination (1978); Kammen, Mystic Chords of Memory: The Transformation of Tradition in American Culture (1991)
- ^ Lee, Jean B. (2001). "Historical Memory, Sectional Strife, and the American Mecca: Mount Vernon, 1783-1853". The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. 109 (3): 255–300. JSTOR 4249931.
- ^ Jonathan B. Crider, "De Bow's Revolution: The Memory of the American Revolution in the Politics of the Sectional Crisis, 1850–1861," American Nineteenth Century History (2009) 10#3 pp. 317–32
- ^ David Ryan, "Re-enacting Independence through Nostalgia – The 1976 US Bicentennial after the Vietnam War," Forum for Inter-American Research (2012) 5#3 pp. 26–48.
- ^ National Park Service Revolutionary War Sites. Accessed Jan. 4, 2018.
- ^  American Battlefield Trust "Saved Land" webpage. Accessed May 30, 2018.
- ^  Archived 2018-06-12 at the Wayback Machine Princeton, N.J. Town Topics, Nov. 12, 2014, "Princeton Battlefield Focus of National Campaign." Accessed May 30, 2018.
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- Canny, Nicholas (1998). The Origins of Empire, The Oxford History of the British Empire Volume I. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199246769. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
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- Chisick, Harvey (2005). Historical Dictionary of the Enlightenment. pp. 313–14. ISBN 978-0810850972. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Crow, Jeffrey J.; Tise, Larry E., eds. (1978). The Southern Experience in the American Revolution. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0807813133. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Ferguson, Robert A. (2000). "The Commonalities of Common Sense". The William and Mary Quarterly. 57 (3): 465–504. doi:10.2307/2674263. ISSN 0043-5597. JSTOR 2674263.
- Fifth Virginia Convention (1776). "Preamble and Resolution of the Virginia Convention, May 15, 1776". New Haven, CT: Lillian Goldman Law Library. Archived from the original on 6 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Greene, Jack P.; Pole, J.R., eds. (1992). The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Limited. ISBN 978-1557862440.
- Greene, Jack P.; Pole, J.R., eds. (2003). A Companion to the American Revolution. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, Limited. ISBN 978-1405116749. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Greene, Jack P. (2000). "The American Revolution". The American Historical Review. 105 (1): 93–102. doi:10.2307/2652437. ISSN 1937-5239. JSTOR 2652437. Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Griffin, Martin Ignatius Joseph (1903). Commodore John Barry: "the father of the American navy". Philadelphia: self-published. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- Hamilton, Alexander (1974). Syrett, Harold C. (ed.). The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. XX. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231089198. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- Higginbotham, Don (1983). The War of American Independence: Military Attitudes, Policies, and Practice, 1763–1789. Boston: Northeastern University Press. ISBN 978-0025514607. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Hull, N.E.H.; Hoffer, Peter C.; Allen, Steven L. (1978). "Choosing Sides: A Quantitative Study of the Personality Determinants of Loyalist and Revolutionary Political Affiliation in New York". Journal of American History. 65 (2): 344–66. doi:10.2307/1894084. ISSN 0021-8723. JSTOR 1894084.
- Jensen, Merrill (2004). The Founding of a Nation: a History of the American Revolution, 1763–1776. Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Company. ISBN 0872207064. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Jensen, Merrill (1950). The New Nation: a History of the United States during the Confederation, 1781–1789. New York: Random House Inc. ISBN 978-0394705279.
- Kerber, Linda K. (1997). Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-0807846322.
- Klos, Stanley L. (2004). President Who? Forgotten Founders. Pittsburgh: Evisum, Inc. ISBN 978-0975262757. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
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- Mackesy, Piers (1993). The War for America: 1775–1783. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 978-0803281929. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Maier, Pauline (1997). American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0679454922. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Maier, Pauline (1991). From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765–1776. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0393308259. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Shalhope, Robert E. (1972). "Toward a Republican Synthesis" (PDF). The William and Mary Quarterly. 29 (1): 49–80. doi:10.2307/1921327. ISSN 0043-5597. JSTOR 1921327. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Shy, John (2008). Toward Lexington: The Role of the British Army in the Coming of the American Revolution. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-1597404143. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Stephens, Otis H.; Glenn, Richard A. (2006). Unreasonable Searches and Seizures: Rights and Liberties under the Law. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1851095032. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
- Warren, Charles (1945). "Fourth of July Myths". The William and Mary Quarterly. 2 (3): 237–72. doi:10.2307/1921451. ISSN 0043-5597. JSTOR 1921451.
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- Wood, Gordon S. (1993). The Radicalism of the American Revolution. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0679736882.
- Wood, Gordon S. (2003). The American Revolution: A History. New York: Modern Library. ISBN 978-0812970418. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Wraight, Christopher D. (2008). Rousseau's The Social Contract: A Reader's Guide. London: Continuum Books. ISBN 978-0826498601. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- Barnes, Ian, and Charles Royster. The Historical Atlas of the American Revolution (2000), maps and commentary excerpt and text search
- Blanco, Richard L.; Sanborn, Paul J. (1993). The American Revolution, 1775–1783: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing Inc. ISBN 978-0824056230.
- Boatner, Mark Mayo III (1974). Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (2 ed.). New York: Charles Scribners and Sons. ISBN 978-0684315133.
- Cappon, Lester J. Atlas of Early American History: The Revolutionary Era, 1760–1790 (1976)
- Fremont-Barnes, Gregory, and Richard A. Ryerson, eds. The Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War: A Political, Social, and Military History (5 vol. 2006) 1000 entries by 150 experts, covering all topics
- Gray, Edward G., and Jane Kamensky, eds. The Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution (2013) 672 pp; 33 essays by scholars
- Greene, Jack P. and J. R. Pole, eds. A Companion to the American Revolution (2004), 777 pp – an expanded edition of Greene and Pole, eds. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (1994); comprehensive coverage of political and social themes and international dimension; thin on military
- Herrera, Ricardo A. "American War of Independence" Oxford Bibliographies (2017) annotated guide to major scholarly books and articles
- Kennedy, Frances H. The American Revolution: A Historical Guidebook (2014) A guide to 150 famous historical sites.
- Kukla, Jon (2017). Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4391-9081-4.
- Purcell, L. Edward. Who Was Who in the American Revolution (1993); 1500 short biographies
- Resch, John P., ed. Americans at War: Society, Culture and the Homefront vol 1 (2005), articles by scholars
- Selesky, Harold E. ed., Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (3 vol. Gale, 2006)
- Symonds, Craig L. and William J. Clipson. A Battlefield Atlas of the American Revolution (1986) new diagrams of each battle
Surveys of the era
- Alden, John R. A history of the American Revolution (1966) 644pp online free to borrow, A scholarly general survey
- Allison, Robert. The American Revolution: A Concise History (2011) 128 pp excerpt and text search
- Atkinson, Rick. The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 (2019) (vol 1 of his 'The Revolution Trilogy'); called, "one of the best books written on the American War for Independence," [Journal of Military History Jan 2020 p 268]; the maps are online here[permanent dead link]
- Axelrod, Alan. The Real History of the American Revolution: A New Look at the Past (2009), well-illustrated popular history
- Bancroft, George. History of the United States of America, from the discovery of the American continent. (1854–78), vol 4–10 online edition, classic 19th century narrative; highly detailed
- Black, Jeremy. War for America: The Fight for Independence 1775–1783 (2001) 266pp; by leading British scholar
- Brown, Richard D., and Thomas Paterson, eds. Major Problems in the Era of the American Revolution, 1760–1791: Documents and Essays (2nd ed. 1999)
- Christie, Ian R. and Benjamin W. Labaree. Empire or Independence: 1760-1776 (1976)
- Cogliano, Francis D. Revolutionary America, 1763–1815; A Political History (2nd ed. 2008), British textbook
- Ellis, Joseph J. American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic (2008) excerpt and text search
- Higginbotham, Don. The War of American Independence: Military Attitudes, Policies, and Practice, 1763–1789 (1983) Online in ACLS Humanities E-book Project; comprehensive coverage of military and domestic aspects of the war.
- Jensen, Merrill. The Founding of a Nation: A History of the American Revolution 1763–1776. (2004)
- Knollenberg, Bernhard. Growth of the American Revolution: 1766–1775 (2003)
- Lecky, William Edward Hartpole. The American Revolution, 1763–1783 (1898), older British perspective online edition
- Mackesy, Piers. The War for America: 1775–1783 (1992), British military study online edition
- Middlekauff, Robert. The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763–1789 (Oxford History of the United States, 2005). online edition
- Miller, John C. Triumph of Freedom, 1775–1783 (1948) online edition
- Miller, John C. Origins of the American Revolution (1943) online edition, to 1775
- Rakove, Jack N. Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America (2010) interpretation by leading scholar excerpt and text search
- Taylor, Alan. American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 (2016) 704 pp; recent survey by leading scholar
- Weintraub, Stanley. Iron Tears: Rebellion in America 1775–83 (2005) excerpt and text search, popular
- Wood, Gordon S. Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different (2007)
- Wrong, George M. Washington and His Comrades in Arms: A Chronicle of the War of Independence (1921) online short survey by Canadian scholar online
- Bailyn, Bernard. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. (Harvard University Press, 1967). ISBN 0674443012
- Becker, Carl. The Declaration of Independence: A Study on the History of Political Ideas (1922)
- Becker, Frank: The American Revolution as a European Media Event, European History Online, Mainz: Institute of European History, 2011, retrieved: October 25, 2011.
- Breen, T. H. The Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence (2005)
- Breen, T. H. American Insurgents, American Patriots: The Revolution of the People (2010) 337 pages; examines rebellions in 1774–76 including loosely organized militants took control before elected safety committees emerged.
- Brunsman, Denver, and David J Silverman, eds. The American Revolution Reader (Routledge Readers in History, 2013) 472 pp; essays by leading scholars
- Chernow, Ron. Washington: A Life (2010) detailed biography; Pulitzer Prize
- Crow, Jeffrey J. and Larry E. Tise, eds. The Southern Experience in the American Revolution (1978)
- Fischer, David Hackett. Paul Revere's Ride (1995), Minutemen in 1775
- Fischer, David Hackett. Washington's Crossing (2004). 1776 campaigns; Pulitzer prize. ISBN 0195170342
- Freeman, Douglas Southall. Washington (1968) Pulitzer Prize; abridged version of 7 vol biography
- Horne, Gerald. The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America. (New York University Press, 2014). ISBN 1479893404
- Kerber, Linda K. Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America (1979)
- Kidd, Thomas S. God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution (2010)
- Langley, Lester D. The Long American Revolution and Its Legacy(U of Georgia Press, 2019) online review emphasis on long-term global impact.
- Lockwood, Matthew. To Begin the World Over Again: How the American Revolution Devastated the Globe. (Yale University Press; 2019)
- McCullough, David. 1776 (2005). ISBN 0743226712; popular narrative of the year 1776
- Maier, Pauline. American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence (1998) excerpt and text search
- Nash, Gary B. The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America. (2005). ISBN 0670034207
- Nevins, Allan; The American States during and after the Revolution, 1775–1789 1927. online edition
- Norton, Mary Beth. Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750–1800 (1980)
- Norton, Mary Beth. 1774: The Long Year of Revolution (2020) online review by Gordon S. Wood
- O'Shaughnessy Andrew Jackson. The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (Yale University Press; 2013) 466 pages; on top British leaders
- Palmer, Robert R. The Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760–1800. vol 1 (1959) online edition
- Resch, John Phillips and Walter Sargent, eds. War and Society in the American Revolution: Mobilization and Home Fronts (2006)
- Rothbard, Murray, Conceived in Liberty (2000), Volume III: Advance to Revolution, 1760–1775 and Volume IV: The Revolutionary War, 1775–1784. ISBN 0945466269, libertarian perspective
- Van Tyne, Claude Halstead. American Loyalists: The Loyalists in the American Revolution (1902) online edition
- Volo, James M. and Dorothy Denneen Volo. Daily Life during the American Revolution (2003)
- Wahlke, John C. ed. The Causes of the American Revolution (1967) primary and secondary readings online
- Wood, Gordon S. American Revolution (2005) [excerpt and text search] 208 pp excerpt and text search
- Wood, Gordon S. The Radicalism of the American Revolution: How a Revolution Transformed a Monarchical Society into a Democratic One Unlike Any That Had Ever Existed. (1992), by a leading scholar
- Breen, Timothy H. "Ideology and nationalism on the eve of the American Revolution: Revisions once more in need of revising." Journal of American History (1997): 13–39. in JSTOR
- Countrymen, Edward. "Historiography" in Harold E. Selesky, ed., Encyclopedia of the American Revolution (Gale, 2006) pp 501–508.
- Gibson, Alan. Interpreting the Founding: Guide to the Enduring Debates over the Origins and Foundations of the American Republic (2006).
- Hattem, Michael D. "The Historiography of the American Revolution" Journal of the American Revolution (2013) online outlines ten different scholarly approaches
- Morgan, Gwenda. The Debate on the American Revolution (2007).
- Schocket, Andrew M. Fighting over the Founders: How We Remember the American Revolution (2014), how politicians, screenwriters, activists, biographers, museum professionals, and reenactors portray the American Revolution. excerpt
- Sehat, David. The Jefferson Rule: How the Founding Fathers Became Infallible and Our Politics Inflexible (2015) excerpt
- Shalhope, Robert E. "Toward a republican synthesis: the emergence of an understanding of republicanism in American historiography." William and Mary Quarterly (1972): 49–80. in JSTOR
- Waldstreicher, David. "The Revolutions of Revolution Historiography: Cold War Contradance, Neo-Imperial Waltz, or Jazz Standard?." Reviews in American History 42.1 (2014): 23–35. online
- Wood, Gordon S. "Rhetoric and Reality in the American Revolution." William and Mary Quarterly (1966): 4–32. in JSTOR
- Young, Alfred F. and Gregory H. Nobles. Whose American Revolution Was It? Historians Interpret the Founding (2011).
- The American Revolution: Writings from the War of Independence (2001), Library of America, 880 pp
- Commager, Henry Steele and Richard B. Morris, eds. The Spirit of 'Seventy-Six': The Story of the American Revolution as told by Participants. (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1958). online short excerpts from hundreds of official and unofficial primary sources
- Dann, John C., ed. The Revolution Remembered: Eyewitness Accounts of the War for Independence (1999) excerpt and text search, recollections by ordinary soldiers
- Gerlach, Larry (editor) (2002). "New Jersey in the American Revolution, 1763–1783: A Documentary History". New Jersey Historical Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 3, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
- Humphrey, Carol Sue ed. The Revolutionary Era: Primary Documents on Events from 1776 to 1800 (2003), 384 pp; newspaper accounts excerpt and text search
- Jensen, Merill, ed. Tracts of the American Revolution, 1763–1776 (1967). American pamphlets
- Jensen, Merill, ed. English Historical Documents: American Colonial Documents to 1776: Volume 9 (1955), 890pp; major collection of important documents
- Morison, Samuel E. ed. Sources and Documents Illustrating the American Revolution, 1764–1788, and the Formation of the Federal Constitution (1923). 370 pp online version
- Tansill, Charles C. ed.; Documents Illustrative of the Formation of the Union of the American States. Government Printing Office. (1927). 1124 pp online version
- Martin Kallich and Andrew MacLeish, eds. The American Revolution through British eyes (1962) primary documents
Contemporaneous sources: Annual Register
Murdoch, David H. ed. Rebellion in America: A Contemporary British Viewpoint, 1769–1783 (1979), 900+ pp of annotated excerpts from Annual Register
- American Revolution, US National Park Service website portal
- American Independence (Teaching with Historic Places) Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) uses historic places in National Parks and in the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places to enliven history, social studies, geography, civics, and other subjects. TwHP has created a variety of products and activities that help teachers bring historic places into the classroom.
- Library of Congress Guide to the American Revolution
- Museum of the American Revolution
- Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn, Revolution! explores the enormous transformations in the world's politics that took place from 1763–1815, with particular attention to three globally influential revolutions in America, France, and Haiti. Linking the attack on monarchism and aristocracy to the struggle against slavery, Revolution!shows how freedom, equality, and the sovereignty of the people became universal goals.New-York Historical Society
- 132 historic photographs dealing with the personalities, monuments, weapons and locations of the American Revolution; these are pre-1923 and out of copyright.
- Pictures of the Revolutionary War: Select Audiovisual Records, National Archives and Records Administration selection of images, including a number of non-military events and portraits
- The Democratic Revolution of the Enlightenment. Legacy of the struggle for independence and democracy.
PBS Television Series Liberty
- Chickasaws Conflicted by the American Revolution – Chickasaw.TV
- Smithsonian study unit on Revolutionary Money
- The American Revolution, the History Channel (US cable television) website
- Black Loyalist Heritage Society
- Spanish and Latin American contribution to the American Revolution
- American Archives: Documents of the American Revolution at Northern Illinois University Libraries
- Gayle Olson-Ramer, "Half a Revolution", 16-page teaching guide for high school students, Zinn Education Project/Rethinking Schools
- "Counter-Revolution of 1776": Was U.S. Independence War a Conservative Revolt in Favor of Slavery? Democracy Now! June 27, 2014.
Last edited on 14 May 2021, at 20:14
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