Portal:American Revolutionary War

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Clockwise from top left: Battle of Bunker Hill, Death of Montgomery at Quebec, Battle of Cowpens, "Moonlight Battle"
The American Revolutionary War began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen united former British colonies on the North American continent, and ended in a global war between several European great powers. The war was the culmination of the political American Revolution and intellectual American Enlightenment, whereby the colonists rejected the right of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them without representation. In 1775, revolutionaries gained control of each of the thirteen colonial governments, set up an alliance called the Second Continental Congress, and formed a Continental Army. Petitions to the king to intervene with the parliament on their behalf resulted in Congress being declared traitors and the states in rebellion the following year. The Americans responded by formally declaring their independence as a new nation, the United States of America, claiming sovereignty and rejecting any allegiance to the British monarchy. In 1777 the Continentals captured a British army, leading to France entering the war on the side of the Americans in early 1778, and evening the military strength with Britain. Spain and the Dutch Republic – French allies – also went to war with Britain over the next two years.

Throughout the war, the British were able to use their naval superiority to capture and occupy coastal cities, but control of the countryside (where 90% of the population lived) largely eluded them due to their relatively small land army. French involvement proved decisive, with a French naval victory in the Chesapeake leading to the surrender of a second British army at Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.

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The French battleships Ville de Paris and Auguste, in the "Second Battle of the Virginia Capes", September 1781
The Battle of the Chesapeake, also known as the Battle of the Virginia Capes or simply the Battle of the Capes, was a crucial naval battle in the American Revolutionary War which took place near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay on September 5, 1781, between a British fleet led by Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Graves and a French fleet led by Rear-Admiral Comte de Grasse. It was, in strategic terms, a major defeat for the Royal Navy.

The victory by the French fleet prevented the Royal Navy from resupplying the forces of General Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. It also prevented interference with the supply of troops and provisions from New York to the armies of George Washington through Chesapeake Bay. As a result, Cornwallis surrendered after the siege of Yorktown, and Great Britain later recognized the independence of the United States of America.


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Boston, 1775bsmall1.png
Credit: Durova
A 1777 map showing the British fortifications in the 1775 Siege of Boston.

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John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones ((1747-07-06)July 6, 1747 – July 18, 1792(1792-07-18) (aged 45)) was America's first well-known naval hero in the American Revolutionary War. He was born John Paul in 1747, on the estate of Arbigland in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright on the southern coast of Scotland. John Paul's father was a gardener at Arbigland, and his mother was a member of Clan MacDuff. John Paul adopted the alias John Jones when he fled to his brother's home in Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1773 to avoid the hangman's noose in Tobago after an incident when he was accused of murdering a sailor under his command, whom he claimed had been involved in a mutiny. He began using the name John Paul Jones at the suggestion of his brother.

Although he never rose above the rank of captain in the Continental Navy after his victory over the Serapis with the frigate Bonhomme Richard, he is the first genuine American Naval hero, and he has been highly regarded as a battle commander. His later service in the Russian Navy as an admiral showed the mark of genius that enabled him to defeat the Serapis. Although he was originally buried in Paris, after spending his last years abroad, he was ultimately reinterred at the United States Naval Academy, a fitting homecoming for the "Father of the American Navy".

During his engagement with Serapis, Jones uttered, according to the later recollection of his First Lieutenant, the legendary reply to a quip about surrender from the British captain: "I have not yet begun to fight!"


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Drawing of the regimental uniform by Charles Lefferts
The 2nd Canadian Regiment, also known as Congress' Own or Hazen's Regiment, was authorized on January 20, 1776, and initially raised in the province of Quebec for service with the Continental Army under the command of Colonel Moses Hazen. All or part of the regiment saw action at the Staten Island, Brandywine, Germantown and the Siege of Yorktown. Most of its non-combat time was spent in and around New York City as part of the forces monitoring the British forces occupying that city. The regiment was disbanded on November 15, 1783 at West Point, New York.


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From the American Revolutionary War task force of the Military history WikiProject:

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East Indies campaignCentral American campaignsQuebec in the American RevolutionMaritime provinces in the American Revolution
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Battle of Monmouth • Battles in {{Campaignbox American Revolutionary War: Gulf Coast}}
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