The American Revolution was a colonial revolt that occurred between 1765 and 1783. The American Patriots in the Thirteen Colonies defeated the British in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) with the assistance of France, winning independence from Great Britain and establishing the United States of America.
The American colonials proclaimed “no taxation without representation” starting with the Stamp Act Congress in 1765. They rejected the authority of the British Parliament to tax them because they had no representatives in that governing body. Protests steadily escalated to the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the burning of the Gaspee in Rhode Island in 1772, followed by the Boston Tea Party in December 1773. The British responded by closing Boston Harbor and enacting a series of punitive laws that effectively rescinded Massachusetts Bay Colony’s rights of self-government. The other colonies rallied behind Massachusetts, and a group of American Patriot leaders set up their own government in late 1774 at the Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance of Britain; other colonists retained their allegiance to the Crown and were known as Loyalists or Tories.
Tensions erupted into a battle between Patriot militia and British regulars when King George’s forces attempted to destroy Colonial military supplies at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. The conflict then developed into a war, during which the Patriots (and later their French allies) fought the British and Loyalists in the Revolutionary War. Each of the thirteen colonies formed a Provincial Congress which assumed power from the former colonial governments, suppressed Loyalism, and recruited a Continental Army led by General George Washington. The Continental Congress declared King George a tyrant who trampled the colonists’ rights as Englishmen, and they declared the colonies free and independent states on July 2, 1776. The Patriot leadership professed the political philosophies of liberalism and republicanism to reject monarchy and aristocracy, and they proclaimed that all men are created equal.