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American Wars - Revolution

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American History American Wars War Statistics
The American Revolutionary War
Last updated August, 2005
 Prelude to War  - 1751-1764-1765-1766-1767-1768-1769-1770-1771-1772-1773-1774
The War  -  1775-1776-1777-1778-1779-1780-1781-1782
Post War  -  1783-1783-1784-1785-1786-1787-1788-1789-1790-1791-1792-1793
Prelude to Revolution  1751 - 1774
1751 English Parliament passed the Currency Act which restricted any further issuance of paper currency by the Colonies and required all currency in circulation be retired.
1764 English Parliament passed the Sugar Act that financed the British military presence in North America.
1764 English Parliament passed the Currency Act that extended to all colonies, the 1751 act which applied only to the New England Colonies. (c
1765 English The British Parliament passes the Stamp Act.  All legal documents, newspapers, advertisements, pamphlets, almanacs, and even playing cards were to be printed on stamped paper shipped from England.  Distributors were threatened and out of fear did not enforce the Stamp Act. Business in the colonies went on as usual.   
1765 English Parliament passes the Quartering Act of 1765 which required civil authorities to supply lodging and supplies for British troops stationed in the colonies.
1765 Speech Patrick Henry gives his "If This Be Treason" speech on May 29th.
1765 English The Stamp Act Congress in October of 1765 the first independent colonial conference where delegates from the British American Colonies assembled to discuss grievances against Parliament and actions to take concerning the Stamp Act.  They adopted a Declaration of Rights and wrote letters of petition to the King and both houses of Parliament.


1766 English The Parliament repeals the Stamp Act and removes some of the stringent measures of the Sugar Act.  Boycotts of British goods by the colonies facilitated the repeal.
1766 English The Parliament passes the Declaratory Act spelling out the authority of Parliament to legislate for the colonies "in all cases whatsoever." (
1767 English The British Parliament passed the Townshend Acts that  levied duties on glass, lead, paper, paint, and tea. They also established provisions to ensure strict enforcement of the Act.
The Parliament passes the New York Suspending Act. 
1767 Literature The "Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies" by John Dickinson were were published throughout the colonies beginning in November and extending into January.
1768 Continental Samuel Adams writes the Massachusetts Circular Letter and sends it to the speaker of the other 12 House of Representatives. He declares the Townshend Revenue Act is unconstitutional, and encourages the other legislatures to join together in a protest to King George.
1768 English The British Secretary of State for the colonies responds to the Massachusetts Circular Letter by sending his own ordering the assemblies dissolved should they respond favorably.  His letter was defiantly ignored.
1770 Attack Five colonists are killed, and six more wounded when panicked British began shooting into a crowd. The incident becomes known as the Boston Massacre. Crispus Attucks, an escaped Black slave, was among the five victims.
1772 Rebellion Off the coast of Rhode Island the British ship Gaspee is set on fire by an angry colonial mob.
1772 British The Royal governor and Massachusetts Judges announce that they will be paid by the crown rather than the colonists. It was becoming clear to the colonist that the executive and judiciary were being removed from the influence of the people and placed under the thumb of the crown.
1772 Literature The "Rights of the Colonists," by Samuel Adams and "List of Infringements and Violations of Rights." by Dr. Joseph Warren are produced when the first Committee of Correspondence is formed in Boston. 
1773 Rebellion The Boston Tea Party is organized by Samuel Adams and John Hancock. Adams leads a group of men disguised as Mohawk Indians in dumping 342 crates of tea into Boston Harbor.
1774 British Attempting punishment for the Tea Party and regain control, the British Parliament passes the five Coercive Acts as the beginning of the Intolerable Acts. The Boston Port Act is enacted on March 31st.
1774 British King George III declares a policy of intractable opposition to claims of the colonialists.
1774 British The Administration of Justice Act is enacted on May 20th along with the Massachusetts Government Act.
1774 British The Quartering Act of 1774 is enacted by the British on June 2nd.
1774 British The Quebec Act is enacted on June 22nd.
1774 Continental The First Continental Congress is convenes on September 5th; representation is sent by all of the colonies except Georgia.
1774 Continental President of the First Continental Congress was Payton Randolph.
1774 Continental The First Continental Congress was mostly in response to the "Intolerable Acts" (Punitive laws passed by Parliament in response to the growing unrest in the colonies).
1774 Continental The Continental Congress passes the Suffolk Resolves that declared the Coercive Acts unconstitutional and favored economic sanctions against Great Britain
1774 Continental The Declaration and Resolves are approved by the Continental Congress
1774 Continental The Articles of Association were drawn up as a pact among twelve colonies to boycott British goods and cease exports to Britain if the "Acts" were not repealed.
1774 Continental The First Continental Congress deliberates from September 5, 1774 to October 26, 1774.
Timeline of the Early American Presidents
  War The Battle of Point Pleasant in Virginia is fought on October 10th.  (In 1908 the U.S. Congress passes a resolution recognizing the battle as the first of the American Revolution.)

© Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock 

The Revolutionary War Begins
1775 War The famous "Give me liberty or or give me death" speech is delivered to the Virginia House of Burgesses by Patrick Henry.
1775 War On April 4th the British prepare to march on Concord as David Dawes rides one route to warn the colonists as Paul Revere takes the famous ride to alert John Hancock and Samuel Adams in Lexington and to homes along the way, that the "British are coming."
1775 War 70 colonial minutemen assemble on the Lexington Green, Captain John Parker orders, "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!" The British arrive and one shot, fired against orders, begins the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord. 
1775 War In the initial skirmishes, free blacks fight with the minutemen at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts.
1775 War The British failing at Concord returned to Boston losing 273 soldiers along the way. News of Lexington and Concord spread throughout the colonies and militia members poured into Massachusetts and bottle up the British in Boston (The Boston Siege).
1775 War Ethan Allen commanding the Green Mountain Boys seized control of Fort Ticonderoga on May 10th, in what today is Vermont.
1775 Continental Second Continental Congresses convenes in Philadelphia on May 10th. John Hancock is selected President. The members resolve to answer force with force.  
See: Timeline of the Early American Presidents
1775 War George Washington of Virginia is chosen on June 15th, by the 2nd Continental Congress, over President John Hancock to head the Continental forces as the Commander in Chief of the colonial armies.  Militia forces around Boston are placed under control of the Congress.
1775 War In 1775 General George Washington issues an order that forbids the recruitment of Blacks. It was later rescinded.
1775 War At Breeds Hill on June 17th, the Battle of Bunker Hill is fought. Although victorious for the British they suffer heavy casualties. Peter Salem and Salem Poor were two blacks commended for their service fighting with the continental army at Bunker Hill.
1775 Continental Continental Congress adopts the Olive Branch Petition in an appeal to the King.
1775 Rights The first Abolition Society in the United States is founded in Pennsylvania.
1775 Rights Black Slaves show little interest in an offer to fight for Britain in exchange for their freedom. 
1775 British A state of rebellion in the colonies is declared by the British Parliament.
1775 War Montgomery captures Montreal for the Americans on November 13th.
1775 British King George III refuses to read the Olive Branch Petition. King George and the British Parliament declare the colonies to be in a state of rebellion. It becomes treason for anyone in Britain to aid the Colonies. Later all trade with the colonies is forbidden and the seizure of American ships is ordered.
1775 War Benedict Arnold fails to take Quebec on December 20th.

© Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock 

A New Nation Declared
1776 War January 2nd, Patrick Henry, of Virginia, orders Lt. Col. George Rogers Clark to raises 7 companies of 50 soldiers, to attack the British Fort of Kaskaskia in Kentucky
1776 Literature The "Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith, lays out the base of capitalism as learned by the American revolutionaries through their "system of natural liberty," (Adam Smith) an economy of free trade and open markets. It becomes one of the most influential books in history.
1776 Literature Englishman Thomas Paine publishes "Common Sense" on January 15th.  Thomas Paine became one of the greatest advocates of freedom.
1776 War The battle fought on February 27th at Moore's Creek in North Carolina is victorious for the colonial army.
1776 War On March 3rd the Continental fleet captures New Providence Island in the Bahamas.
1776 War The British on the 17th of March evacuate Boston to avoid a defeat.
1776 Literature John Adams' "Thoughts on Government" lays out many principles that help formulate many state and the U.S. Constitutions.
1776 Declaration Known as the Lee Resolution, Richard Henry Lee introduces a formal resolution to declare independence on June 7th.
1776 Declaration The Continental Congress recommend that states form new governments.  Virginia delegates propose that each colony declare independence from England.
1776 War The British defend of Fort Moultrie in South Carolina on June 28th.
1776 Declaration As some states deliberate a formal resolution to declare Independence, the "Declaration of Independence" is drafted and later submitted to the Congress.
1776 Declaration On July 4th the "Declaration of Independence" is approved by the Second Continental Congress. Only President John Hancock and Secretary of the Congress Charles Thompson,  sign the drafts on this day, then the drafts are sent to the various state assemblies.
1776 Declaration The "Declaration of Independence" is signed on August 2nd.
1776 War The British arrive in New York Harbor with 30,000 troops in August.
1776 War The British overtake and occupy New York City on August 15th. George Washington retreated to save men to fight another day.
1776 War Upon Washington's second request for volunteers for an intelligence mission behind enemy lines only Nathan Hale steps forward. Young Nathan Hale is caught and executed. From the gallows with calm courage Hale proclaims, "I only regret, that I have but one life to lose for my country."
1776 War The British wins the Battle fought at Harlem Heights on August 16th.
1776 War The Battle of Brooklyn fought, on Long Island, is fought August 27th to the 30th ending in defeat for the colonial army.
1776 War In a battle at Lake Champlain on October 11th Benedict Arnold is defeated.
1776 War The colonial army retreats at the Battle of White Plains on October 28th.
1776 War On November 16th Fort Washington in New York and Fort Lee, in New Jersey are captured by the British.
1776 War With the scant remnant of an army Washington crossed the Delaware River in a desperate, surprise and successful attack on Trenton. This victory gave new vigor to the rebel's resolve.
1777 War General George Washington wins the battle at Princeton on January 3rd.
1777 War Washington winters down in Morristown, New Jersey from January 6th to May 28th.
1777 War George Washington changes policy to allow the recruitment of blacks as soldiers. During the Revolutionary War over 5,000 blacks fought for American Independence.
1777 Congress The Flag Resolution is passed on June 14th, using the design that was probably by Hopkinson and sewn by Betsy Ross.
1777 War St. Clair surrenders to the British on July 5th at Fort Ticonderoga.
1777 War Lafayette arrives at Philadelphia on the 27th of July.
1777 War Herkimer leads the Americans defeating St.Leger's British troops on August 6th at Fort Stanwix in the Mohawk Valley in Oriskany, New York.
1777 War Leading the American Militia, General Stark is victorious on August 16th against the Hessians at Bennington.
1777 War The British under General Howe lands at Head of Elk in Maryland on August 25th.
1777 War In Pennsylvania on September 11th the Battle of Brandywine is a defeat with the Americans losing to the British.
1777 War The Battle of the Clouds in Pennsylvania on September 16th is rained-out.
(The first rain-out was before Baseball was invented)
1777 diplomacy Benjamin Franklin in France appealing to the French for an alliance, was able to prove the American resolve when word came of the victory of the Battle of Saratoga. Britain presented an offer shy of independence that caused France, early in 1778, to recognize American Independence to avoid reconciliation between the Colonies and Great Britain.  Such was a ploy by Franklin as America had no intention to accept Britain's offer.
1777 War British General Burgoyne is stalled by the Americans under Gates at Freeman's Farm in New York on September 9th.
1777 War The Paoli Massacre in Pennsylvania occurs on September 21st.
1777 Congress The Articles of Confederation are completed and adopted by Congress.  Ratification by each state was not obtained until 1781. © Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock 
Timeline of the Early American Presidents
1777 War Philadelphia is occupied by the British under General Howe on September 26th.
1777 War On October 4th, the Americans are repelled by the British in the Battle of Germantown.
1777 War General Burgoyne in the battle at Freeman's Farm at Bemis Heights in New York losses a second time to the American army on October 7th.
1777 War General Burgoyne and his army of 5,700 surrendered on October 17th, at the Battle of Saratoga in New York, to General Benedict Arnold and General Daniel Morgan leading forces that had climbed to 20,000. 
1777 War In New Jersey the Hessian attack on Fort Mercer is repelled on October 22nd.
1777 War Fort Mifflin in Pennsylvania is captured on November 11th by the British.
1777 War Over three days beginning December 5th at Whitemarsh in Pennsylvania the Colonial Army repels the British.
1777 War Washington looses the Battle of Germantown in Pennsylvania,  He retreats with his army takes up winter quarters at Valley Forge from December 19th until June 19th 1778.
1778 Diplomacy France enters into treaties with the United States on February 6th, providing mutual protection of commercial vessels and military help to suppress Britain's offence.
1778 War The American ship "Ranger" arrives in France flying the recently adopted Stars and Stripes for the first time.
1778 War On February 23rd at Valley Forge, Baron von Steuben arrives to help train the Continental Army.
1778 War The British replace General William Howe with Henry Clinton on March 3rd.
1778 War The Battle of Barren Hill In Pennsylvania is fought on May 20th.
1778 War The Battle of Monmouth on June 28th is fought to a draw by General Washington.
1778 War Captain John Paul Jones aborts a raid on the English seaport of Whitehaven. The raid only partially carried out caused concern about Britain's readiness and sent waves of shock through England's public opinion of the war.
1778 War On July 4th the French village, Kaskaskia is captured by George Rogers Clark commanding American forces.
1778 Congress The first Treaty is made with the Delaware Indians, by the Continental Congress.
1778 War On August 8th Newport, Rhode Island is besieged by American forces aided by the French.
1778 War In Georgia the British occupy Savannah on December 29th.
1779 War At Kettle Creek in Georgia the Tories are defeated by the Militia on February 14th.
1779 War On February 25th George Rogers Clark captures Vincennes on the Wabash.
1779 War The British burn Fairfield in Connecticut on July 8th.
1779 War Norwalk Connecticut is torched by the British on July 11th.
1779 War Over the 15th and 16th of July "Mad" Anthony Wayne leads the Americans to capture Stony Point in New York.
1779 War Off the British coast on September 23rd the Bonhomme Richard commanded by Captain John Paul Jones captures the British man-of-war Serapis.
1779 War "No Flint" Grey, with bayonet, kills 30 Americans on September 28th in the Tappan Massacre.
 1779 War British troops focus on the South pressing into the interior of Georgia and South Carolina.
1779 War The Americans fail in an attempt to recapture Savanna Georgia on October 9th.
1779 Diplomacy Spain, still refusing to recognize American independence, declares war on Britain.
1779 War In the Coldest winter of the war, Washington and his men hunker down at Morristown in New Jersey.
1780 War Charleston, South Carolina is captured on May 12th by the British.
1780 War Although defeat was imminent General Benjamin Lincoln with 5,200 troops hold off the British beginning May 12th for over a month before surrendering.  A military lesson is learned that troops are more important than the defense of cities, for the troops must retreat to fight another day.
1780 War British Lieutenant Colonel Banaster Tarleton crushes Colonel Abraham Buford at Waxhaw Creek in South Carolina on May 29th, forcing the Virginia Continental detachment's retreat into North Carolina.
1780 War Sir Henry Clinton returns to New York as Major General Charles Cornwallis takes command of the British Armies in the South.
1780 War Tories are surprised at Ramseur's Mill in North Carolina on June 20th by General Rutherford's patriot militia. The Tories are again surprised at Colson's Ferry on the upper Catawba River on July 21st.
1780 War On July 11th aid in the form of French troops arrive in Rhode Island at Newport
1780 War Patriots defeat Tories at Hanging Rock in South Carolina on August 6th.
1780 War In South Carolina on August 16th at Camden American forces are routed out by the British.
1780 Traitor American hero Benedict Arnold is discovered to have been spying for Britain on September 25th.  He flees to British controlled New York, is commissioned and leads Britain troops against his homeland.
1780 War British General Cornwallis having pushed into North Carolina retreats to South Carolina.
1780 War Britain's Major Patrick Ferguson and a third of General Cornwalis' army is defeated in 65 minutes on October 7th at King's Mountain in South Carolina by American troops led by Isaac Shelby and John Sevier.
1780 War Commander in Chief George Washington names Nathanael Greene commander of the Southern Army on October 14th.
1780 Diplomacy In 1780 Holland declares it will ally itself with the newly declared United States of America.
1781 War Disillusioned, weary, and unpaid American soldiers mutiny on January 1st.
1781 War On January 17th in South Carolina, Morgan's forces overwhelms British Colonel Tarleton's army at Cowpens to give the Americans a victory.
1781 Congress Ratification and adoption of the Articles of Confederation by each state is completed on March 2nd.
Timeline of the Early American Presidents
1781 War General George Washington abandons New York and heads south to battle British General Cornwallis at Yorktown.  
1781 War At the Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina on March 15th the British are victorious though the battle was costly in British lives.
1781 War In the Battle of Hobkirk's Hill American troops led by General Greene were defeated on April 25th by Lord Rawdon's garrison at Camden, South Carolina.
1781 War On May 11th, General Thomas Sumter and the South Carolina Militia force the surrender of the British garrison of Orangeburg, South Carolina.
1781 War In North Carolina at the Guilford Courthouse Greene clashes with Cornwallis on May 15th.
1781 War Augusta, Georgia is recaptured by the Americans on June 6th.
1781 War The British hold off the Americans on June 18th in South Carolina at Ninety Six.
1781 War French Admiral de Grasse lands 3000 troops on land and defeats 19 British ships arriving to support Cornwallis.
1781 War Britain's "Mad" Anthony Wayne is repelled on July 6th in Virginia at Green Springs Farm.
1781 War Greene is again defeated, this time at Eutaw Springs Farm in Virginia on September 8th.
1781 War The French fleet drives the British naval force from Chesapeke Bay on September 15th.
1781 War More French ships arrive to form a blockade to bottle in Cornwallis at Yorktown.
1781 Victory With Cornwallis' Ships blockaded at Yorktown and penned on land by American and French forces, he finds no way out but to surrender on October 19th. The defeat of Cornwallis dashes Britain's hope of winning the war.

© Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock 

The War ends and a new nation begins to walk
1782 Victory In England a measure allowing peace negotiations with the colonies is passed by Parliament.
1782 Victory The British government agrees to recognize the independence of the United States. An outline of peace terms is drawn up between the Americans and the British. Benjamin Franklin and John Adams sign the preliminary agreement. (
1782 Victory The British evacuates Savannah Georgia on July 11th.
1782 Victory The British government sign the Articles of Peace on November 30th.
1782 Victory The British vacate Charleston, South Carolina on December 14th.
1783 Victory The Continental Congress ratifies the preliminary peace treaty on April 19th.
1783 Victory The Treaty of Paris on September 3rd officially ends the Revolutionary War. 
1783 Victory British troops leave New York City on the 25th of November.
1783 Victory George Washington disbands the Continental Army and sends a "Circular Letter" to all the states advising of his concerns for the new nation.  Washington resigns as Commander in Chief on December 23rd.
1784 Literature Noah Webster wrote the American Spelling Book that teaches to spell as well as read using the "Alphabet Method" (Phonics?). He believed an enlightened citizenry creates national character.

© Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock 

The new nation is gets on its feet.
1785 Diplomacy John Adams is named by Congress to be the ambassador to the Court of St. James, England.
1785 Government Henry Knox is chosen to be Secretary of War.
1785 Diplomacy Thomas Jefferson was appointed the Ambassador to France.
1785 Patriotism Writing to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin expresses disappointment, preferring the turkey rather than the eagle as a United States symbol.
1786 Virginia Jefferson's historic Bill for Religious Freedom passes in the Virginia House of Burgesses.
1786 Commerce The Annapolis Convention begins with the goal of proposing uniform regulations of commerce.
1786 Testing Shays' Rebellion begins in Massachusetts, and spreads concern, also demonstrating dangers in which the new United States is vulnerable due to a weak national government.
1787 Constitution Victorious in war with ten years of the provincial government of the Confederation a Constitutional Convention is held in Philadelphia to discuss revising the Articles of Confederation.
1787 Constitution A proposed Constitution is approved by the Constitutional Convention and was sent to Congress.
Congress passes, approving the Constitution and sends it to the states for ratification.
1787 Ratification Delaware, by unanimous vote, is the first state to ratify the Constitution.  Doing so makes Delaware the first state of the Union. (
1787 Ratification Pennsylvania's ratifying convention, after much debate, approves the Constitution entering the Union as the 2nd state.
1787 Ratification New Jersey becomes the 3rd state by ratifying the Constitution, by unanimous vote.
1787 Congress Congress passed The Northwest Ordinance that extended "the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty" into the new territories.
1787 Constitution The proposed Constitution of the United States allows that male slaves count as three-fifths of a man in determining representation in the House of Representatives..
1787 Literature The first Federalist Paper appear in the New York press to inform the public of the background reasoning and justification for ratification.
1788 Ratification Georgia ratifies by unanimous vote to become the 4th state of the United States of America.
1788 Ratification Connecticut ratifies the Constitution by an overwhelming vote of 128 - 40 becoming the 5th state of the U.S.
1788 Ratification Massachusetts ratifies the Constitution by a close vote: 187-168 to become the 6th state of the Union.
1788 Rat. failed Rhode Island, the only state to have not sent delegates to the Constitutional Convention puts to the people a referendum to ratify that fails 2708 to 237. 
1788 Ratification Maryland becomes the 7th state when the Constitution is ratified by a vote of 63-11.
1788 Ratification South Carolina legislature ratifies the Constitution by a vote of 149-73 to become the 8th state.
1788 Ratification The President of Congress announces that the Constitution has been ratified by the nine states required,. when New Hampshire ratifies it by 57 to 47 to become the 9th State.
1788 Ratification Virginia ratifies by a vote of 89-79 to become the 10th state into the Union.
1788 Ratification New York Becomes the 11th state when it ratifies the Constitution by a vote of 30-27.
1788 Ratification North Carolina refuses to ratify the Constitution unless a Bill of Rights is added to the Constitution.
1788 Election Under the authority of the new U. S. Constitution the first elections of senators and representatives are held.
1788 Congress The last official business is conducted in October, ending the Congress of the Confederation.
1789 Election George Washington is elected President of the United States of America. George Washington was the first president to actually be the "Head of State".
Timeline of the Early American Presidents for those who served under the Articles of Confederation and before.
1789 U.S.Congress The first session of the United States Congress convenes in March, in New York.
1789 U.S.Congress Twelve Constitutional amendments are sent, by Congress, to the states for consideration.
1789 Ratification North Carolina ratifies the U.S. Constitution on November 21, 1789, becoming the 12th state of the Union.
1789 Literature "The Power of Sympathy or the Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth" is the first American novel; printed in Boston, Massachusetts.
1790 Ratification Rhode Island becomes the last of the original 13 states to ratify the U. S. Constitution on May 29.
1791 Ratification Vermont ratifies the Constitution to become the 14th state of the Union, the first after the 13 original States.
1791   Virginia legislature ratifies the Bill of Rights, adding it to the Constitution.
1792 Jan. Kentucky is the 15th state admitted to the Union, the first state to be carved from the great western wilderness.
1793 Election George Washington begins his second term as President of the United States of America.
© Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock 



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