The Revolutionary War
The war began on April 19, 1775 with the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
For about a decade, tension had been mounting between Great Britain and the American Colonies.
The British government had passed a series of laws in an attempt to increase control over the colonies.
But Americans had become used to having control over their local government.
They objected to the new laws and protested being taxed without their consent.
In 1775, Britain's Parliament declared Massachusetts, the center of most of the protests, to be in rebellion.
British troops were placed in Boston to take swift action against the rebels.
Shortly afterwards, war broke out.
The Colonies were largely unprepared for war.
They lacked a central government and had neither an organized army or navy.
Delegates from the colonies formed the first Continental Congress, which took on the duties of a national government.
Congress directed the war effort and voted to organize an army and a navy.
George Washington, a wealthy Virginia landowner and former military officer, was appointed commander in chief of the Continental Army.
On July 4, 1776, the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, in which the colonies declared their freedom from British rule.
Tension had been building between Great Britain and the American Colonies for more than 10 years before the Revolutionary War began.
Starting in the mid-1760's, the British government passed a series of laws to increase its control over the colonies.
Americans had grown used to a large measure of self-government.
They strongly resisted the new laws, especially tax laws.
Fierce debate developed over the British Parliament's right to tax the colonies without their consent.
Great Britain with its larger and better trained army and navy launched a huge land and sea effort to crush the revolution.
However, they had to transport and supply its army across the Atlantic Ocean.
As the war continued, the British won many battles but gained little from their victories.
The American patriots always formed new forces and continued the fight.