Unit 1: American Revolutionmac's History

  1. Unit 1: American Revolutionmac's History Textbook
  2. Unit 1: American Revolutionmac's History Channel
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The American Revolution was the 18th-century colonists' struggle for independence from Britain. Learn about the Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence and more. This Day in History. Upcoming Events. The American Republic to 1877. Selection File type icon File name. 1: Feb 21, 2018, 8:43 AM. United States Army Center of Military History. American Revolution (1775–83), insurrection by which 13 of Great Britain’s North American colonies won political independence and went on to form the United States of America. The war followed more than a decade of growing estrangement between the British crown and many North American colonists.


America's Military Women - The Journey Continues
A discussion of women's contributions to the military services.

Guides and Indexes: Military History
This Library of Virginia site offers access to digital documents on wars from the American Revolution through the Persian Gulf War.

Instances of Use of United States Forces Abroad, 1798-2013
This Congressional Research Service publication, hosted on the web by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), 'lists hundreds of instances in which the United States has used its Armed Forcesabroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetimepurposes. lists instances in which the United States has used its armed forces abroad in situation of conflict or potential conflict.'

Military History Resources
Extensive collection of links to information about all aspects of military history.

'An Overview of Records at the National Archives Relating to Military Service'
This article written by Trevor Plante appeared in the Fall 2002 issue of Prologue. It describes how to find an ancestor’s military service record.

'The President as Commander-in-Chief'
The feature article from NARA’s Calendar of Events by Kahlil Chism highlights Presidents who have had to exercise their powers as Commander-in-Chief at the outbreak of war.

SIPRI Military Expenditure Database
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) 'provides military expenditure data by country' since 1988.

Department of Defense

Department of Defense
Official web site of the U.S. Department of Defense. Go to About the Department of Defense for information about DOD’s mission, organization, lists of defense agencies, history, and Frequently Asked Questions.

U.S. Department of Defense: Publications
Includes Current Releases, Reports, and Publications Archive. Also provides links to other publication sources.

Aviation History

The Aerodrome: Aces and Aircraft of World War I
Includes biographies of the aces of the First World War, as well as information on the planes they flew and battles they fought.

Air Force
Official site of the U.S. Air Force.

Air Force Historical Research Agency
The AFHRA is the repository for Air Force historical documents. 'It consists today of over 70,000,000 pages devoted to the history of the service.'

Air University Library
List of bibliographies on aviation-related topics. Check the Great Warrior Leader/Thinkers webpage for biographical information about famous flyers.

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Museum is located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio.

The Tuskegee Airmen Archive
'The purpose of the Tuskegee Airmen Archive is to collect and preserve as part of a national effort the history of the Tuskegee Airmen, who broke the race barrier in military aviation for African Americans and other minorities.' Housed at the University of California Riverside Libraries.

Women Pilots with the AAF, 1941-1944
Study from the Army Air Forces Historical Office of the women who flew with the Army Air Forces during World War II.

Army History

Army Publishing Directorate
The official site to link to army publications, including administrative departmental publications and forms, doctrinal and training publications, technical and equipment publications, engineering publications, and medical publications.

Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800
War Department files destroyed by fire in 1800 have been reconstituted from archives nationwide and are now available in a fully searchable digital database.

'Researching Service in the U.S. Army during the Philippine Insurrection'
An article in NARA’s publication, Prologue, by Trevor K. Plante, on the records in NARA of Army members who served in the war that lasted from 1899 to 1902 in the Philippines.

U.S. Army Center of Military History
An important resource for military researchers.

U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC)
USAHEC is an institute of the U.S. Army War College, dedicated to the study of the U.S. Army.

Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard History

African American Navy Experience
Includes photographs, biographies, and 'Interesting Reads.'

'Black Men in Navy Blue during the Civil War'
A history of black participants in the Navy during the Civil War. An article from the NARA publication, Prologue, by Joseph P. Reidy.

'Documenting United States Naval Activities during the Spanish-American War'
An article from the NARA publication, Prologue, by Richard W. Peuser.

Unit 1: American Revolutionmac's History Textbook

DoD USS Cole Commission Report
Report on commission formed to report on improvements of U.S. policies and practices for deterring, disrupting, and mitigating terrorist attacks on U.S. forces in transit.

Fast Attacks & Boomers: Submarines in the Cold War
A site on the history of submarines by the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History

Haze Gray & Underway
A site devoted to navies and ships. Includes the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)

Naval History and Heritage Command
This office is 'responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. Naval history and heritage.'

Naval War College Review
A periodical from the Naval War College. View current issue or browse past issues. Index available for articles from 1948 to present.

Official website of the United States Navy.

'Racial Identity and the Case of Captain Michael Healy, USRCS'
An article from the NARA publication, Prologue, by James O’Toole.

U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office
Preserves the heritage of the U.S. Coast Guard and its predecessor agencies: the Revenue Cutter Service, the Life-Saving Service, the Lighthouse Service, the Bureau of Navigation and the Steamboat Inspection Service.


U.S. Marine Corps
The official website of the United States Marine Corps.

U.S. Marine Corps History Division
The History Division preserves the official history of the United States Marine Corps.

'U.S. Marines in the Boxer Rebellion'
An article from the NARA publication, Prologue, by Trevor K. Plante.

Unit 1: American Revolutionmac's History Channel

American Revolution
ArticleOverviewTimelineKey FactsCauses and EffectsMediaAdditional Info
  • Land campaigns to 1778
  • Land campaigns from 1778
  • The war at sea
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Unit 1: american revolutionmac Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our community of experts to gain a global audience for your work!
Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.
Willard M. Wallace
Emeritus Professor of History, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut. Author of Appeal to Arms: A Military History of the American Revolution.
Alternative Titles: American Revolutionary War, United States War of Independence, War of Independence

American Revolution, also called United States War of Independence or American Revolutionary War, (1775–83), insurrection by which 13 of Great Britain’s North American colonies won political independence and went on to form the United States of America. The war followed more than a decade of growing estrangement between the British crown and a large and influential segment of its North American colonies that was caused by British attempts to assert greater control over colonial affairs after having long adhered to a policy of salutary neglect. Until early in 1778 the conflict was a civil war within the British Empire, but afterward it became an international war as France (in 1778) and Spain (in 1779) joined the colonies against Britain. Meanwhile, the Netherlands, which provided both official recognition of the United States and financial support for it, was engaged in its own war against Britain. From the beginning, sea power was vital in determining the course of the war, lending to British strategy a flexibility that helped compensate for the comparatively small numbers of troops sent to America and ultimately enabling the French to help bring about the final British surrender at Yorktown.

What was the American Revolution?

The American Revolution—also called the U.S. War of Independence—was the insurrection fought between 1775 and 1783 through which 13 of Great Britain’s North American colonies threw off British rule to establish the sovereign United States of America, founded with the Declaration of Independence in 1776. British attempts to assert greater control over colonial affairs after a long period of salutary neglect, including the imposition of unpopular taxes, had contributed to growing estrangement between the crown and a large and influential segment of colonists who ultimately saw armed rebellion as their only recourse.

How did the American Revolution begin?

On the ground, fighting in the American Revolution began with the skirmishes between British regulars and American provincials on April 19, 1775, first at Lexington, where a British force of 700 faced 77 local minutemen, and then at Concord, where an American counterforce of 320 to 400 sent the British scurrying. The British had come to Concord to seize the military stores of the colonists, who had been forewarned of the raid through efficient lines of communication—including the ride of Paul Revere, which is celebrated with poetic license in Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride” (1861).

What were the major causes of the American Revolution?

The American Revolution was principally caused by colonial opposition to British attempts to impose greater control over the colonies and to make them repay the crown for its defense of them during the French and Indian War (1754–63). Britain did this primarily by imposing a series of deeply unpopular laws and taxes, including the Sugar Act (1764), the Stamp Act (1765), and the so-called Intolerable Acts (1774).

Which countries fought on the side of the colonies during the American Revolution?

Unit 1: American Revolutionmac's History Timeline

Until early in 1778, the American Revolution was a civil war within the British Empire, but it became an international war as France (in 1778) and Spain (in 1779) joined the colonies against Britain. The Netherlands, which was engaged in its own war with Britain, provided financial support for the Americans as well as official recognition of their independence. The French navy in particular played a key role in bringing about the British surrender at Yorktown, which effectively ended the war.

How was the American Revolution a civil war?


In the early stages of the rebellion by the American colonists, most of them still saw themselves as English subjects who were being denied their rights as such. “Taxation without representation is tyranny,” James Otis reportedly said in protest of the lack of colonial representation in Parliament. What made the American Revolution look most like a civil war, though, was the reality that about one-third of the colonists, known as loyalists (or Tories), continued to support and fought on the side of the crown.

Land campaigns to 1778

Unit 1: American Revolutionmac's History Dbq

Americans fought the war on land with essentially two types of organization: the Continental (national) Army and the state militias. The total number of the former provided by quotas from the states throughout the conflict was 231,771 men, and the militias totaled 164,087. At any given time, however, the American forces seldom numbered over 20,000; in 1781 there were only about 29,000 insurgents under arms throughout the country. The war was therefore one fought by small field armies. Militias, poorly disciplined and with elected officers, were summoned for periods usually not exceeding three months. The terms of Continental Army service were only gradually increased from one to three years, and not even bounties and the offer of land kept the army up to strength. Reasons for the difficulty in maintaining an adequate Continental force included the colonists’ traditional antipathy toward regular armies, the objections of farmers to being away from their fields, the competition of the states with the Continental Congress to keep men in the militia, and the wretched and uncertain pay in a period of inflation.

By contrast, the British army was a reliable steady force of professionals. Since it numbered only about 42,000, heavy recruiting programs were introduced. Many of the enlisted men were farm boys, as were most of the Americans. Others were unemployed persons from the urban slums. Still others joined the army to escape fines or imprisonment. The great majority became efficient soldiers as a result of sound training and ferocious discipline. The officers were drawn largely from the gentry and the aristocracy and obtained their commissions and promotions by purchase. Though they received no formal training, they were not so dependent on a book knowledge of military tactics as were many of the Americans. British generals, however, tended toward a lack of imagination and initiative, while those who demonstrated such qualities often were rash.

Because troops were few and conscription unknown, the British government, following a traditional policy, purchased about 30,000 troops from various German princes. The Lensgreve (landgrave) of Hesse furnished approximately three-fifths of that total. Few acts by the crown roused so much antagonism in America as that use of foreign mercenaries.

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Quick Facts
  • 1775 - September 3, 1783
key people
related topics
did you know?
  • The American Revolution was the United States' longest military conflict before the Vietnam War.
  • Charles Cornwallis did not himself surrender at Yorktown; rather, claiming illness, he sent his deputy, Charles O'Hara.
  • Roughly 5,000 members of the Continental Army, 5 percent of the total number, were black.