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The republic that emerged from the war was a new type of nation, based not on race, nationality, on a common culture or religion but on shared values and on loyalty to ideals enshrined in its founding documents.
The object of the war was to make a fresh start.
On the one hand, such principles as the right to "life, liberty and to the pursuit of happiness" as well as the phrase "all men are created free" would at first be applied selectively, not to all who lived in the new republic. It would take many years before women, American Indians, blacks and other minorities would enjoy all the rights of citizenship.
On the other hand, the principles of liberty, individual rights, equality and hostility toward corruption were genuinely part of the psychology of the nation, so the struggle to realize these more fully was also a struggle for the nation to honor its own core values.
Time would see the reality resemble the ideal much more closely. What began as a military The american revolutionary war would become that of a nation struggling with its own soul to live up to its deepest aspirations and ideals. Combatants Choosing sides Colonists were divided over which side to support in the war; in some areas, the struggle was a civil war.
The Revolutionaries also known as Americans or Patriots had the support of about 40 to 45 percent of the colonial population. About 15 to 20 percent of the population supported the British Crown during the The american revolutionary war, and were known as Loyalists or Tories.
Loyalists fielded perhaps 50, men during the war years in support of the British Empire. Each colony had traditionally provided for its own defenses through the use of local militia. Militiamen served for only a few weeks or months at a time, were generally reluctant to go very far from home, and would often come and go as they saw fit.
Militia typically lacked the training and discipline of regular troops, but could be effective when an emergency energized them. Seeking to coordinate military efforts, the Continental Congress established on paper a regular army—the Continental Army—in Juneand appointed George Washington as commander-in-chief.
The development of the Continental Army was always a work in progress, and Washington reluctantly augmented the regular troops with militia throughout the war. Although as many asmen may have served as regulars or as militiamen for the Revolutionary cause in the eight years of the war, there were never more than 90, total men under arms for the Americans in any given year.
Armies in North America were small by European standards of the era; the greatest number of men that Washington personally commanded in the field at any one time was fewer than 17, Ziegler after Conrad Gessner, Early inthe British army consisted of about 36, men worldwide, but wartime recruitment steadily increased this number.
Additionally, over the course of the war the British hired about 30, German mercenaries, popularly known in the colonies as "Hessians" because many of them came from Hesse-Kassel. Germans would make up about one-third of the British troop strength in North America.
Bythe number of British and German troops stationed in North America was over 60, though these were spread from Canada to Florida.
Early on, all three countries quietly provided financial assistance to the American rebels. France officially entered the war in and soon sent troops, ships, and military equipment to fight against the British for the remainder of the war.
Spain entered the war inofficially as an ally of France but not the United States—Spain was not keen on encouraging similar rebellions in her own empire. The Netherlands entered the war late inbut was soon overwhelmed by the British.
Blacks and Native Americans African-Americansslaves and free blacks, served on both sides during the war. Black soldiers served in northern militias from the outset, but this was forbidden in the South, where slave owners feared arming slaves. Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of Virginiaissued an emancipation proclamation in Novemberpromising freedom to runaway slaves who fought for the British; General Sir Henry Clinton issued a similar edict in New York in Tens of thousands of slaves escaped to the British lines, although possibly as few as 1, served under arms.
Many of the rest served as orderlies, mechanics, laborers, servants, scouts and guides, although more than half died in smallpox epidemics that swept the British forces, and a number were driven out of the British lines when food ran low.
All-black units were formed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts ; many were slaves promised freedom for serving in lieu of their masters. Another all-black unit came from Haiti with French forces.
At least 5, black soldiers fought for the Revolutionary cause. Most Native Americans who joined the fight fought against the United States, since native lands were threatened by expanding American settlement.
An estimated 13, warriors fought on the British side; the largest group, the Iroquois Confederacyfielded about 1, warriors against the Americans.
However, popular resistance to these measures compelled the newly appointed royal officials in Massachusetts to resign or to seek refuge in Boston.
Lieutenant General Thomas Gagethe British Commander-in-Chief, North America, commanded four regiments of British regulars about 4, men from his headquarters in Boston, but the countryside was in the hands of the Revolutionaries. On the night of April 18,General Gage sent men to seize munitions stored by the colonial militia at Concord, Massachusetts.
Riders alerted the countryside, and when the British troops entered Lexington on the morning of April 19, they found 75 minutemen formed up on the village common. Shots were exchanged, and the British moved on to Concord, where there was more fighting. By the time the British began the return march to Boston, thousands of militiamen had arrived on the scene, inflicting much damage upon the detachment.
With the Battles of Lexington and Concordthe war had begun.The American Revolution was the 18th-century colonists' struggle for independence from Britain. Learn about the Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence and more. Here you'll find a complete US Revolutionary War timeline that takes you through the causes of war.
Pages in category "American Revolutionary War" The following 22 pages are in this category, out of 22 total. Revolutionary War New Jersey - a guide to the important role played by New Jersey in the Revolutionary War era, with a detailed list of New Jersey historic sites / New Jersey Revolutionary War sites.
This is the most complete guide to American Revolutionary War Facts. From the Age of Exploration to the Constitutional Convention. Oct 29, · American Revolution, also called United States War of Independence or American Revolutionary War, (–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.