The American Revolution in 1775-83 is also known as the American Revolutionary War and the U.S. War of Independence. The conflict rose from growing tensions between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and the colonial government. Their were fights between British troops and colonial militiamen in Lexington and Concord in April 1775 kicked off the armed conflict, and by the following summer, the rebels were waging a full-scale war for their independence. France entered the American Revolution on the side of the colonists in 1778, turning what had essentially been a civil war into an international conflict. After French assistance helped the Continental Army force the British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1779, the Americans had effectively won their independence, though fighting would not formally end until 1783.
Treaty of Paris Ends French & Indian War
In the early 1750s, France's expansion into the Ohio River valley repeatedly brought the country into armed conflict with the British colonies. In 1756, the British formally declared war against France.
The Seven Years' War ended with the signing of the treaties of Paris in February 1763. In the Treaty of Paris, France lost all claims to Canada and gave Louisiana to Spain, while Britain received Spanish Florida, Upper Canada, and various French holdings overseas. The treaty ensured the colonial and maritime supremacy of Britain and strengthened the 13 American colonies by removing their European rivals to the north and the south. Fifteen years later, French bitterness over the loss of most of their colonial empire contributed to their intervention in the American Revolution on the side of the Patriots.
Proclamation of 1763
On October 7, 1763, King George III issued a proclamation that forbade colonial settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. In so doing, he hoped to placate Native Americans who had sided against him during the recently concluded Seven Years’ War. Enforcement was so weak, however, that it did very little to curb the westward flow of pioneers. Even prominent figures such as George Washington paid it no attention, except as a source of anti-British sentiment leading up to the American Revolution.
The Sugar Act was referred to as the American Revenue Act, which was also American Duties Act. It was passed by the British Parliament in April 1764 to raise funds. Before the Sugar Act, there was also the Molasses Act of 1733, which taxed a minimum of six pence per gallon of molasses. However, this was not done because of a colonial invasion. In order to have a successful collection, the British decided to cut the rate in half and enforce stricter measures to collect tax. This concerned the colonists and the impending tax collection led to the American Revolution.
The Stamp Act of 1765 was the first internal tax levied directly on American colonists by the British government. The act, which imposed a tax on all paper documents in the colonies, came at a time when the British Empire was deep in debt from the Seven Years’ War (1756 to 63) and looking to its North American colonies as a revenue source. Arguing that only their own representative assemblies could tax them, the colonists insisted that the act was unconstitutional, and they resorted to mob violence to intimidate stamp collectors into resigning.