The American War of Independence

The American War of Independence


  • Britain wanted to tax the colonists for the 7 Years War with the French and Indians.

  • No Taxation without Representation’ and the Sons of Liberty (attacked collectors).

  • The Navigation Acts (American exports had to go to Britain and on British ships.

  • The Boston Massacre (5 demonstrators shot by British soldiers)

  • The Boston Tea Party

  • British killed 8 in Lexington on their way to get arms in Concorde. But Paul Revere had warned the Americans and they ambushed and shot 273.

  • The Continental Congress made Washington commander-in-chief and passed the Declaration of Independence.

The Armies

  • Britain’s advantages: full time, navy, four times as many soldiers
  • Britain’s problems: far from home, did not know the countryside.
  • America’ advantages: fighting for home, knew countryside, good shots, guerrilla tactics, help from French.
  • America’s disadvantages: ‘minute men’, discipline poor.

The War

  • Went badly at first for America.
  • Victories at Trenton and Princeton.
  • Gates defeated the British at Saratoga.
  • The winter at Valley Forge (many died but Von Steuben trained the army).
  • At Yorktown Cornwallis, trapped between the French at sea and Washington’s forces on land, surrendered.


  • Washington became President.

  • United States of America was founded.

  • State government and Federal government.

  • Influenced other countries.

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