American Revolution

Eastern North America in 1775. The Province of Quebec, the Thirteen Colonies on the Atlantic coast, and the Indian Reserve as defined by the Royal Proclamation of 1763. The border between the red and pink areas represents the 1763 "Proclamation line", while the orange area represents the Spanish claim.
New borders drawn by the Royal Proclamation of 1763
Notice of the Stamp Act 1765 in a colonial newspaper
Letter III of John Dickinson's Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, published in the Pennsylvania Chronicle, December 1767
On June 9, 1772, the Sons of Liberty burned HMS Gaspee, a British customs schooner in Narragansett Bay
The December 16, 1773 Boston Tea Party, led by Samuel Adams and Sons of Liberty, has become a mainstay of American patriotic lore.
A 1774 etching from The London Magazine depicts Prime Minister Lord North, author of the Boston Port Act, forcing the Intolerable Acts down the throat of America, whose arms are restrained by Lord Chief Justice Mansfield, and a tattered "Boston Petition" lays trampled on the ground beside her. Lord Sandwich pins down her feet and peers up her robes; behind them, Mother Britannia weeps while France and Spain look on
Join, or Die, a political cartoon attributed to Benjamin Franklin was used to encourage the Thirteen Colonies to unite against British rule
Johannes Adam Simon Oertel's painting Pulling Down the Statue of King George III, N.Y.C., circa 1859
The British fleet amassing off Staten Island in New York Harbor in the summer of 1776, depicted in Harper's Magazine in 1876
The Staten Island Peace Conference in September 1776 depicted in a drawing by Alonzo Chappel
Washington crossing the Delaware on December 25–26, 1776, depicted in Emanuel Leutze's 1851 painting
Hessian troops hired out to the British by their German sovereigns
The 1781 siege of Yorktown ended with the surrender of a second British army, marking effective British defeat.
Treaty of Paris by Benjamin West portrays the American delegation about to sign the 1783 Treaty of Paris (John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, W.T. Franklin). The British delegation refused to pose and the painting was never completed
Last page of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War
Robert Morris statue honoring American founding father and financier Robert Morris at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia
The September 17, 1787 signing of the United States Constitution at Independence Hall in Philadelphia depicted in Howard Chandler Christy's 1940 painting, Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States
Portrait of Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury
Samuel Adams points at the Massachusetts Charter, which he viewed as a constitution that protected the people's rights, in this c. 1772 portrait by John Singleton Copley
Patriots tar and feather Loyalist John Malcolm depicted in a 1774 painting
George III as depicted in a 1781 portrait
Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense, published in January 1776
Mercy Otis Warren published poems and plays that attacked royal authority and urged colonists to resist British rule
Louis XVI King of France and Navarre
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was a former Prussian army officer who served as inspector general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He is credited with teaching the Continental Army the essentials of military drill and discipline beginning at Valley Forge in 1778, considered a turning point for the Americans.
Thayendanegea, a Mohawk military and political leader, was the most prominent indigenous leader opposing the Patriot forces.
The painting Crispus Attucks (c.1943), by Herschel Levit depicts Attucks who is considered to be the first American to die for the cause of independence in the Revolution
An African-American soldier (left) of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, widely regarded as the first Black battalion in U.S. military history
The American Revolution was part of the first wave of the Atlantic Revolutions, an 18th and 19th century revolutionary wave in the Atlantic World
A Lexington, Massachusetts memorial to Prince Estabrook, who was wounded in the Battle of Lexington and Concord and was the first Black casualty of the Revolutionary War
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.
British Loyalists fleeing to British Canada as depicted in this early 20th century drawing
A 1976 United States Bicentennial logo commemorating the American Revolution's 200th anniversary

Ideological and political revolution that occurred in British America between 1765 and 1791.

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Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

One of the original Thirteen Colonies established on the east coast of America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

The original 1636 deed to Providence, signed by Chief Canonicus
Roger Williams returning with the royal charter
Four-time governor of the colony and first chancellor of Brown University Stephen Hopkins, was influential in his support of the American Revolution
The Pawcatuck River defined the southeastern border between colonial Connecticut and Rhode Island

It was an English colony from 1636 until 1707, and then a colony of Great Britain until the American Revolution in 1776, when it became the State of Rhode Island.

Patriot (American Revolution)

The Spirit of '76 (originally entitled Yankee Doodle), painted by Archibald Willard in the late nineteenth century, an iconic image relating to the patriotic sentiment surrounding the American Revolutionary War

Patriots, also known as Revolutionaries, Continentals, Rebels, or American Whigs, were the colonists of the Thirteen Colonies who rejected British rule during the American Revolution, and declared the United States of America an independent nation in July 1776.

Boston Tea Party

American political and mercantile protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 16, 1773.

Source: W.D. Cooper. Boston Tea Party in The History of North America. London: E. Newberry, 1789. Engraving. Plate opposite p. 58. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (40)
This iconic 1846 lithograph by Nathaniel Currier was entitled The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor; the phrase "Boston Tea Party" had not yet become standard. Contrary to Currier's depiction, few of the men dumping the tea were actually disguised as Native Americans.
This 1775 British cartoon, A Society of Patriotic Ladies at Edenton in North Carolina, satirizes the Edenton Tea Party, a group of women who organized a boycott of English tea.
This notice from the "Chairman of the Committee for Tarring and Feathering" in Boston denounced the tea consignees as "traitors to their country".
1789 engraving of the destruction of the tea
Plaque affixed to side of the Independence Wharf building (2009)
The Boston Tea Party Museum in Fort Point Channel
In 1973 the US Post Office issued a set of four stamps, together making one scene of the Boston Tea Party
Replica of the Beaver in Boston

The episode escalated into the American Revolution, becoming an iconic event of American history.

Stamp Act 1765

Act of the Parliament of Great Britain which imposed a direct tax on the British colonies in America and required that many printed materials in the colonies be produced on stamped paper produced in London, carrying an embossed revenue stamp.

A painting of British Prime Minister George Grenville
Printed copy of the Stamp Act of 1765
Benjamin Franklin represented Pennsylvania in discussions about the act.
Proof sheet of one-penny stamps submitted for approval to Commissioners of Stamps by engraver, May 10, 1765
Samuel Adams opposed the act
New Hampshire Gazette, October 31, 1765 issue, with black borders, protesting the coming of the Stamp Act
Pennsylvania Journal, October 31, 1765 issue, with black borders, protesting the stamp act
Bradford's Philadelphia paper gave a graphic warning.
An English newspaper bewails the repeal of the Stamp Act
A 1765 broadside regarding the resignation of Andrew Oliver under the Liberty Tree
This cartoon depicts the repeal of the Stamp Act as a funeral, with Grenville carrying a child's coffin marked "born 1765, died 1766"
Teapot commemorating the repeal of the Stamp Act

The episode played a major role in defining the 27 colonial grievances that were clearly stated within the text of the Indictment of George III section of the United States Declaration of Independence, enabling the organized colonial resistance which led to the American Revolution in 1775.

Continental Army

Seal of the Board of War and Ordnance
George Washington was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army on June 15, 1775.
Infantry of the Continental Army.
1778 drawing showing a Stockbridge Mahican Indian, Patriot soldier, of the Stockbridge Militia, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, from the Revolutionary War diary of Hessian officer, Johann Von Ewald
1781 drawing of American soldiers from the Yorktown campaign showing a black infantryman, on the far left, from the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, one of the regiments in the Continental Army having the largest majority of black patriot soldiers. An estimated 4% of the Continental Army was black (see African Americans in the Revolutionary War).
Continental Army Plaza, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Aide-de-camp, General Washington, Major-general Artemas Ward.

The Continental Army was the army of the Thirteen Colonies and the Revolutionary-era United States.

Boston

Capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 24th-most populous city in the country.

In 1773, a group of angered Bostonian citizens threw a shipment of tea by the East India Company into Boston Harbor as a response to the Tea Act, in an event known as the Boston Tea Party.
Map showing a British tactical evaluation of Boston in 1775.
Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It, 1860, by J.W. Black, the first recorded aerial photograph
State Street, 1801
View of downtown Boston from Dorchester Heights, 1841
Tremont Street, 1843
The was home to the Boston city council from 1865 to 1969.
General view of Boston, by J. J. Hawes, c. 1860s–1880s
Haymarket Square, 1909
Back Bay neighborhood
Boston as seen from ESA Sentinel-2. Boston Harbor, at the center, has made Boston a major shipping port since its founding.
Panoramic map of Boston (1877)
200 Clarendon Street is the tallest building in Boston, with a roof height of 790 ft.
Boston's skyline in the background, with fall foliage in the foreground
A graph of cumulative winter snowfall at Logan International Airport from 1938 to 2015. The four winters with the most snowfall are highlighted. The snowfall data, which was collected by NOAA, is from the weather station at the airport.
Per capita income in the Greater Boston area, by US Census block group, 2000. The dashed line shows the boundary of the City of Boston.
Map of racial distribution in Boston, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people:
Chinatown, with its paifang gate, is home to many Chinese and also Vietnamese restaurants.
U.S. Navy sailors march in Boston's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. Irish Americans constitute the largest ethnicity in Boston.
Boston gay pride march, held annually in June
Old South Church, a United Church of Christ congregation first organized in 1669
Boston Latin School was established in 1635 and is the oldest public high school in the US.
Map of Boston-area universities
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is often cited as among the world's top universities
Harvard Business School, one of the country's top business schools
A Boston Police cruiser on Beacon Street
The Old State House, a museum on the Freedom Trail near the site of the Boston massacre
In the nineteenth century, the Old Corner Bookstore became a gathering place for writers, including Emerson, Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller. Here James Russell Lowell printed the first editions of The Atlantic Monthly.
Symphony Hall, home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra
Museum of Fine Arts
Population density and elevation above sea level in Greater Boston (2010)
Fenway Park is the oldest professional baseball stadium still in use.
The Celtics play at the TD Garden.
Harvard Stadium, the first collegiate athletic stadium built in the U.S.
An aerial view of Boston Common
Chamber of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in the Massachusetts State House
Boston City Hall is a Brutalist landmark in the city
Harvard Medical School, one of the most prestigious medical schools in the world
An MBTA Red Line train departing Boston for Cambridge. Bostonians depend heavily on public transit, with over 1.3 million Bostonians riding the city's buses and trains daily (2013).
South Station, the busiest rail hub in New England, is a terminus of Amtrak and numerous MBTA rail lines.
Bluebikes in Boston

It was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the siege of Boston.

United States Declaration of Independence

Pronouncement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776.

Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration, as painted by Rembrandt Peale
The 13 states at the Declaration of Independence
The Assembly Room in Philadelphia's Independence Hall, where the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence
Writing the Declaration of Independence, 1776, an idealized depiction of Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson working on the Declaration was widely reprinted (by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1900).
Portable writing desk that Jefferson used to draft and finalize the Declaration of Independence
"Declaration House", the reconstructed boarding house at Market and S. 7th Street in Philadelphia, where Jefferson wrote the Declaration
The opening of the original printing of the Declaration, printed on July 4, 1776, under Jefferson's supervision. The engrossed copy was made later (shown at the top of this article). The opening lines differ between the two versions.
English political philosopher John Locke (1632–1704)
The signed copy of the Declaration is now badly faded because of poor preserving practices in the 19th century. It is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
The Syng inkstand, which was used at both the 1776 signing of the Declaration and the 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution, is on display in Philadelphia
On July 4, 1776, Continental Congress President John Hancock's signature authenticated the United States Declaration of Independence.
Johannes Adam Simon Oertel's painting Pulling Down the Statue of King George III, N.Y.C., ca. 1859, depicts citizens destroying a statue of King George after the Declaration was read in New York City on July 9, 1776.
William Whipple, signer of the Declaration of Independence, manumitted his slave, believing that he could not both fight for liberty and own slaves.
The Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives building
a new broadside
John Trumbull's famous 1818 painting is often identified as a depiction of the signing of the Declaration, but it actually shows the drafting committee presenting its work to the Congress.
United States two-dollar bill (reverse)
Congressman Abraham Lincoln, 1845–1846
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her two sons (1848)

Enacted during the American Revolution, the Declaration explains why the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain regarded themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule.

Thirteen Colonies

The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colonies, the Thirteen American Colonies, or later as the United Colonies, were a group of British colonies on the Atlantic coast of North America.

The Thirteen Colonies (shown in red) in 1775, with modern borders overlaid
Thirteen Colonies of North America: Dark Red = New England colonies. Bright Red = Middle Atlantic colonies. Red-brown = Southern colonies.
1584 map of the east coast of North America from the Chesapeake Bay to Cape Lookout, drawn by the English colonial governor, explorer, artist, and cartographer John White. Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement, was established here in 1607.
The 1606 grants by James I to the London and Plymouth companies. The overlapping area (yellow) was granted to both companies on the stipulation that neither found a settlement within 100 mi of each other. The location of early settlements is shown. J: Jamestown; Q: Quebec; Po: Popham; R: Port Royal; SA: St. Augustine.
New Netherland: 17th-century Dutch claims in areas that later became English colonies are shown in red and yellow. (Present U.S. states in gray.) The English colonies of New York (NY), New Jersey (NJ), Pennsylvania (PA) and Delaware (DE) are referred to as the 'middle colonies'.
Territorial changes following the French and Indian War; land held by the British before 1763 is shown in red, land gained by Britain in 1763 is shown in pink
Join, or Die. by Benjamin Franklin was recycled to encourage the former colonies to unite against British rule.
Map of the Thirteen Colonies (red) and nearby colonial areas (1763–1775) just before the Revolutionary War
Map of higher education in the 13 Colonies immediately prior to the American Revolution.

Conflicts with the British government over taxes and rights led to the American Revolution, in which the colonies worked together to form the Continental Congress.

Townshend Acts

Widely debated in colonial newspapers.

Charles Townshend spearheaded the laws, but died before their detrimental effects became apparent.
Dickinson's Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania
Non-importation agreement, dated October 1767, signed by Bostonians including Paul Revere
Paul Revere's engraving of British troops landing in Boston in 1768

The Thirteen Colonies drilled their militia units, and war finally erupted in Lexington and Concord in April 1775, launching the American Revolution.

Republicanism in the United States

Use of the concept of republic, or the political ideals associated with it in the United States.

The Capitol exalted classical republican virtues

Particularly modern republicanism has been a guiding political philosophy of the United States that has been a major part of American civic thought since its founding.