Why was the American Revolution fought

American War of Independence

This painting shows George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Washington was then a landowner and leader of the American army.

The American War of Independence was a rebellion and war in North America. It took place between 1775 and 1783. It was then that British colonies separated from Great Britain. The war broke out because Britain wanted to prevent it. The colonies won and later became the United States of America.

At that time there were several colonies of Great Britain in North America. In the Seven Years' War, a few years earlier, Great Britain had even conquered French colonies. But the war had cost a lot of money. Therefore the people in the colonies should now pay taxes so that the British King George the Third could pay his debts.

The people in the colonies, the colonists, didn't approve of this. At least they wanted to be able to do more for themselves when they were supposed to be paying taxes. The king refused. Thirteen British colonies in North America were so angry at this that they no longer wanted to trade with Britain. In protest, some residents of the city of Boston threw tea into the harbor basin, an important commodity at the time.

Finally there was a war. France helped the colonists because it had a quarrel with Britain. Great Britain in turn “bought” soldiers from Germany. In addition, not all of the colonists were on the side of the insurgents.

The war dragged on for a long time. Many areas were devastated. However, after the Battle of Yorktown in 1781, the British Army had to surrender. A peace was then negotiated for two years. The thirteen colonies became free. Residents who did not like this fled to the remaining British colonies that later became Canada.

  • Five men were asked to come up with a text on behalf of the revolutionaries: The Declaration of Independence.

  • The Hall of Independence is in Philadelphia. Something like that looked like the room in which they met.

  • Blacks also fought against the British. They were promised their freedom to do so, but this was usually not kept later.

  • In 1779: A British governor, Henry Hamilton, surrendered to the revolutionary troops.


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