The American Revolution

By: Matthew Dicken, Eduardo Garcia, and Ebenezer Akinwande

To begin the lesson take this pre-assessment. Scroll to bottom for answers.

Overview of The American Revolution
1775-1783

In the American Revolution the colonist of the thirteen colonies rebelled against the mother country, Great Britain. They rebelled basically because they felt Britain excessively violated their unalienable rights in numerous ways. For example, Britian excessively taxed the colonists without their consent or approval and passed laws like the Intolerable  Acts.  Thus, what followed was the first official battle, The Battle of Lexington and Concord. The last official battle of the American Revolution was the Battle of Yorktown. In the battle of Yorktown the colonist, who were partnered with the French, surrounded Britain's army and General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington. The war ended when Britain signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783, officially recognizing America as an independent self-sustaining nation where Britain agreed to recognize the thirteen colonies as their own country.

What started the war?

For ten years the British fought  a very costly war against the French that left them in deep debt and with thousands of troops still in the 13 colonies. To pay this debt off, the colonists were required to pay taxes, which they did not like at all becuase they had no representation. The king of Britain was placing these taxes on the colonies because of the debt caused by the French and Indian War.

Here's a quick video

Major characteristics of the American Revolution

The first battle that was fought in the American Revolution was the Battle of Lexington and Concord. The last battle fought during this Revolution was the Battle of Yorktown. The turning point of the war was the Battle of Saratoga. This was very important because when the patriots beat Britain's army the French ended up joining the patriots. Once the French joined the patriots they were then capable of winning a couple of battles and they surrounded the Britain's in Yorktown which forced them to surrender. The Treaty of Paris ended the war and declared that the British would recognize the 13 colonies as an independent country. Lastly, the Declaration of Independence and The American Constitution was written as a  result of the war.

Effects of Enlightment thinkers

The thought process of John Locke and Montesquieu can be seen throughout the war and in the beginning of independent America. John Locke believed humans were born with natural rights to life, liberty, and property. This can be observed in the Declaration of Independence and the American Bill of Rights (although modified to be life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness because slaves were considered property). These documents protected the unalieanable rights of citizens and guaranteed the upholding of them by their government. Baron de Montesquieu was another Enlightment thinker whose thoughts greatly influenced the development of America as an independent country. Montesquieu believed that the power should be divided between three independent  branches that each check the others decisions. This process ensures that no one branch becomes too powerful and there is balance in the government . This idea was adopted in the American Constitution where we gave government the right to rule.

Answers to pre-assessment

1. America vs Britain

2. 1775-1783

3. King of Britain playing taxes on the thirteen colonies

4. Treaty of Paris

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