Treaty of Paris (1763)

Treaty of Paris1763 Treaty of ParisTreaty of Paris of 1763
The Treaty of Paris, also known as the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763 by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement, after Great Britain's victory over France and Spain during the Seven Years' War. The signing of the treaty formally ended the Seven Years' War, known as the French and Indian War in the North American theatre, and marked the beginning of an era of British dominance outside Europe. Great Britain and France each returned much of the territory that they had captured during the war, but Great Britain gained much of France's possessions in North America.

United Kingdom

The 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has occasionally been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was simply "Great Britain". The Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Spanish Empire

SpanishSpainSpanish colonies
Moreover, though Spain was defeated during the invasion of Portugal and lost some territories to British forces towards the end of the Seven Years' War (1756–63), Spain promptly recovered these losses and seized the British naval base in the Bahamas during the American Revolutionary War (1775–83). Spain contributed to the independence of the British Thirteen Colonies together with France. The Spanish governor of Louisiana (New Spain) Bernardo de Gálvez carried Spanish policies counter to Great Britain, which sought to take treasure and territory from the Spanish. Spain and France were allies because of the Bourbon Pacte de Famille carried out by both countries against Britain.

New York and New Jersey campaign

New York CampaignNew YorkBattle of New York
When the American Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, British troops were under siege in Boston. They defeated Patriot forces in the Battle of Bunker Hill, suffering very high casualties. When news of this expensive British victory reached London, General William Howe and Lord George Germain, the British official responsible, determined that a "decisive action" should be taken against New York City using forces recruited from throughout the British Empire as well as troops hired from small German states.

Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis

Lord CornwallisCornwallisCharles Cornwallis
Born into an aristocratic family and educated at Eton and Cambridge, Cornwallis joined the army in 1757, seeing action in the Seven Years' War. Upon his father's death in 1762 he became Earl Cornwallis and entered the House of Lords. From 1766 until 1805 he was Colonel of the 33rd Regiment of Foot. He next saw military action in 1776 in the American War of Independence. Active in the advance forces of many campaigns, in 1780 he inflicted an embarrassing defeat on the American army at the Battle of Camden. He also commanded British forces in the March 1781 Pyrrhic victory at Guilford Court House.

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette

Marquis de LafayetteLafayetteGeneral Lafayette
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (6 September 1757 – 20 May 1834), known in the United States simply as Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer who fought in the American Revolutionary War, commanding American troops in several battles, including the Siege of Yorktown. After returning to France, he was a key figure in the French Revolution of 1789 and the July Revolution of 1830. Lafayette was born into a wealthy land-owning family in Chavaniac in the province of Auvergne in south central France. He followed the family's martial tradition and was commissioned an officer at age 13.

William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe

William HoweSir William HoweGeneral Howe
The Howe Brothers and the American Revolution (1974). O'Shaughnessy, Andrew Jackson. The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (2014). Smith, David. William Howe and the American War of Independence (London: Bloomsbury, 2015) 201 pp. Howe's 1780 pamphlet defending his conduct in North America. Joseph Galloway's response to Howe's pamphlet. General Howe's Orderly book June 30, 1776 – Oct 1776.

Intolerable Acts

Coercive Actsactsamong other actions
As tensions escalated, the American Revolutionary War broke out in April 1775, leading in July 1776 to the declaration of an independent United States of America. Relations between the Thirteen Colonies and the British Parliament slowly but steadily worsened after the end of the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War) in 1763. The war had plunged the British government deep into debt, and so the British Parliament enacted a series of measures to increase tax revenue from the colonies.

Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau

RochambeauComte de RochambeauGeneral Rochambeau
He distinguished himself in the Battle of Minorca (1756) on the outbreak of the Seven Years' War and was promoted to Brigadier General of infantry. In 1758, he fought in Germany, notably in the Battle of Krefeld and the Battle of Clostercamp, receiving several wounds at Clostercamp. In 1780, Rochambeau was appointed commander of land forces as part of the project code named Expédition Particulière. He was given the rank of Lieutenant General in command of some 7,000 French troops and sent to join the Continental Army under George Washington during the American Revolutionary War. Axel von Fersen the Younger served as his aide-de-camp and interpreter.

Hessian (soldier)

HessianHessiansHessian soldiers
However, British historian Stephen Conway called them "Britannia's auxiliaries." Canadian military historian Rodney Atwood explained that jurists of the time drew a distinction between auxiliaries and mercenaries. Auxiliaries served their prince and were sent to the aid of another prince, while mercenaries served a foreign prince as individuals. Great Britain maintained a relatively small standing army, so it found itself in great need of troops at the outset of the American Revolutionary War. Several German princes saw an opportunity to earn some extra income by hiring out their regular army units for service in America.

Continental Congress

CongressContinental CongressmanDelegate to the Continental Congress
The Continental Congress was initially a convention of delegates from a number of British American colonies at the height of the American Revolution, acted collectively for the people of the Thirteen Colonies that ultimately became the United States of America. After declaring the colonies independent from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, it acted as the provisional governing structure for the collective United States, while most government functions remained in the individual states. The term most specifically refers to the First Continental Congress of 1774 and the Second Continental Congress of 1775–1781.

Horatio Gates

General GatesGeneral Horatio GatesGen. Horatio Gates
Horatio Lloyd Gates (July 26, 1727 – April 10, 1806) was a British soldier who came out of retirement to serve as an American general during the Revolutionary War. He took credit for the American victory in the Battles of Saratoga (1777) – a matter of contemporary and historical controversy – and was blamed for the defeat at the Battle of Camden in 1780. Gates has been described as "one of the Revolution's most controversial military figures" because of his role in the Conway Cabal, which attempted to discredit and replace General George Washington; the battle at Saratoga; and his actions during and after his defeat at Camden.


GrenadianGRDTheophilus A. Marryshow
The British captured Grenada during the Seven Years' War in 1762. Grenada was formally ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Paris in 1763. The French re-captured the island during the American Revolutionary War, after Comte d'Estaing won the bloody land and naval Battle of Grenada in July 1779. However the island was restored to Britain with the Treaty of Versailles in 1783. A decade later dissatisfaction with British rule led to a pro-French revolt in 1795–96 led by Julien Fedon, which was successfully defeated by the British. As Grenada's economy grew, more and more African slaves were forcibly transported to the island.

Frederick North, Lord North

Lord NorthFrederick North, 2nd Earl of GuilfordFrederick North
Both France and Spain had been left unhappy by Great Britain's perceived dominance following the British victory in the Seven Years War. Spanish forces seized the British settlement on the Falklands and expelled the small British garrison. When Britain opposed the seizure, Spain sought backing from her ally, France. However, Louis XV did not believe his country was ready for war and in the face of a strong mobilisation of the British fleet the French compelled the Spanish to back down. Louis also dismissed Choiseul, the hawkish French Chief Minister, who had advocated war and a large invasion of Great Britain by the French.

William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham

William PittWilliam Pitt the ElderPitt
Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754–1766. Faber and Faber, 2000. Black, Jeremy, ed., Britain in the age of Walpole (1984). Black, Jeremy. British Foreign Policy in the Age of Walpole (1985). Corbett, Julian Stafford England in the Seven Years' War (2 vol. 1907), military history. De-La-Noy, Michael. The King Who Never Was: The Story of Frederick, Prince of Wales. Peter Owen, 1996. Dull, Jonathan R. The French Navy and the Seven Years' War. (University of Nebraska Press, 2005). Leonard, Dick.

Pacte de Famille

Family CompactBourbon Family CompactBourbon Compact
On April 12, 1779 France and Spain signed the Treaty of Aranjuez (1779), by which Spain joined the American Revolutionary War against Great Britain. This Pact was seen as a renewal of the third Pacte de Famille, and therefore not named the fourth Pacte de Famille. In August 1796 Manuel Godoy negotiated and signed the Second Treaty of San Ildefonso with France which required that Spain declare war on Great Britain. This treaty can not be considered a Family Compact, since the French Bourbons at that time had been killed or fled France because of the French revolution.

Northwest Indian War

Northwest Indian Warswar1790 campaign
The Northwest Indian War (1785–1795), also known as the Ohio War, Little Turtle's War, and by other names, was a war between the United States and a confederation of numerous Native American tribes, with support from the British, for control of the Northwest Territory. It followed centuries of conflict over this territory, first among Native American tribes, and then with the added shifting alliances among the tribes and the European powers of France and Great Britain, and their colonials. The United States Army considers it their first of the United States Indian Wars. Under the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the American Revolutionary War, Great Britain ceded to the U.S.

John Burgoyne

BurgoyneGeneral BurgoyneGeneral John Burgoyne
General John Burgoyne (24 February 1722 – 4 August 1792) was a British army officer, dramatist and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1761 to 1792. He first saw action during the Seven Years' War when he participated in several battles, most notably during the Portugal Campaign of 1762. John Burgoyne is best known for his role in the American Revolutionary War. He designed an invasion scheme and was appointed to command a force moving south from Canada to split away New England and end the rebellion. Burgoyne advanced from Canada but his slow movement allowed the Americans to concentrate their forces.

France in the American Revolutionary War

FranceFrenchAmerican Revolutionary War
French involvement in the American Revolutionary War began in 1775, when France, a rival of the British Empire, secretly shipped supplies to the Continental Army. A Treaty of Alliance followed in 1778, which led to shipments of money and matériel to the United States. Subsequently, the Spanish Empire and the Dutch Republic also began to send assistance, leaving the British Empire with no allies (excluding the Hessians). Spain openly declared war but the Dutch did not. France's help is considered a major, vital, and decisive contribution to the United States' victory against the British. As a cost of participation in the war, France accumulated over 1 billion livres in debt.

Native Americans in the United States

Native AmericanNative AmericansAmerican Indian
Between 1754 and 1763, many Native American tribes were involved in the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War. Those involved in the fur trade tended to ally with French forces against British colonial militias. The British had made fewer allies, but it was joined by some tribes that wanted to prove assimilation and loyalty in support of treaties to preserve their territories. They were often disappointed when such treaties were later overturned. The tribes had their own purposes, using their alliances with the European powers to battle traditional Native enemies. Some Iroquois who were loyal to the British, and helped them fight in the American Revolution, fled north into Canada.

Irish Rebellion of 1798

1798 rebellionIrish Rebellionrebellion of 1798
The Irish Rebellion of 1798 (Éirí Amach 1798) was an uprising against British rule in Ireland. The United Irishmen, a republican revolutionary group influenced by the ideas of the American and French revolutions, were the main organising force behind the rebellion, led by Presbyterians angry at being shut out of power by the Anglican establishment and joined by Catholics, who made up the majority of the population. A French army which landed in County Mayo in support of the rebels was overwhelmed by British and loyalist forces. The uprising was suppressed by British Crown forces with a death toll of between 10,000 and 30,000.

Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea PartyTea Partytea was thrown into the harbor
Controversy between Great Britain and the colonies arose in the 1760s when Parliament sought, for the first time, to impose a direct tax on the colonies for the purpose of raising revenue. Some colonists, known in the colonies as Whigs, objected to the new tax program, arguing that it was a violation of the British Constitution. Britons and British Americans agreed that, according to the constitution, British subjects could not be taxed without the consent of their elected representatives. In Great Britain, this meant that taxes could only be levied by Parliament.

British America

English AmericaAmerican coloniesAmerica
British America gained large amounts of new territory following the Treaty of Paris (1763) which ended the French and Indian War in America, and ended British involvement in the Seven Years' War in Europe. At the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775, the British Empire included 20 colonies north and east of New Spain. (New Spain included areas of Mexico and the western United States.)

Thomas Paine

Tom PainePainePaine, Thomas
Virtually every rebel read (or listened to a reading of) his powerful pamphlet Common Sense (1776), proportionally the all-time best-selling American title, which crystallized the rebellious demand for independence from Great Britain. His The American Crisis (1776–1783) was a pro-revolutionary pamphlet series. Common Sense was so influential that John Adams said: "Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain". Paine lived in France for most of the 1790s, becoming deeply involved in the French Revolution. He wrote Rights of Man (1791), in part a defense of the French Revolution against its critics.


dragoonscavalryIndependence Dragoons
Towards the end of 1776, George Washington realized the need for a mounted branch of the American military. In January 1777 four regiments of light dragoons were raised. Short term enlistments were abandoned and the dragoons joined for three years, or "the war". They participated in most of the major engagements of the American War of Independence, including the Battles of White Plains, Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown, Saratoga, Cowpens, and Monmouth, as well as the Yorktown campaign. Dragoons were at a disadvantage when engaged against true cavalry, and constantly sought to improve their horsemanship, armament and social status.