2. The American Revolutionary War - a brief overview of key events

The war was the result of the political American Revolution.

 

1.a) Watch this video and read the brief account of the Battle of Lexington at this site.

Explain what is meant by the saying that the first shot fired in this battle, was the 'shot that was heard around the world'?

b) Copy and paste into your workbook, the map provided on this page, and complete the attached mapping activity.



When the American colonist's boycotted British taxes, London responded by ending self-government in Massachusetts. England also reacted by putting Massachusetts under the control of the British army with General Thomas Gage as governor.


 In April 1775 Gage learned that weapons were being gathered in Concord, and he sent British troops to seize and destroy them. Local militia, known as 'minutemen,' confronted the troops and exchanged fire in what are now know as The Battles of Lexington and Concord.


Battle at Lexington Green, 1775

These clashes at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts proved to be the start of the American Revolution.

The colonists made repeated pleas to the British monarchy for intervention with Parliament. But any chance of a peaceful solution and compromise ended when the Congress were declared traitors by royal decree.

Congress responded with the Declaration of Independence, written largely by Thomas Jefferson. This created a new sovereign independent nation external to the British Empire, the United States of America, on
July 4, 1776.

 

France, Spain and the Dutch Republic all secretly provided supplies, ammunition and weapons to the revolutionaries starting early in 1776. After early British success, the war became a standoff.

The British used their naval superiority to capture and occupy American coastal cities while the rebels largely controlled the countryside, where 90 percent of the population lived. British strategy relied on mobilizing Loyalist militia, and was never fully realized.

A British invasion from Canada ended in the capture of the British army at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. That American victory persuaded France to enter the war openly in early 1778, balancing the two sides' military strength. 

Spain and the Dutch Republic—French allies—also went to war with Britain over the next two years, threatening an invasion of Great Britain and severely testing British military strength with campaigns in Europe. 

Spain's involvement culminated in the expulsion of British armies from West Florida, securing the American southern flank.
(http ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolutionary_War)


British army uniforms. 'The Red Coats'.


Revolutionary War battles through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

             


This map locates major battles in the Revolutionary War and the routes of the Colonial and British troops. In Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, Washington and the redcoats fought a seesaw campaign. The American colonists lost several battles but kept on fighting.
 

The war, in which France helped the revolutionary forces under General George Washington, went on for five more years of active fighting, ending with the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781.


French involvement proved decisive yet expensive as it ruined France's economy. A French naval victory in the Chesapeake led to a siege by combined French and Continental armies that forced a second British army to surrender at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781.
 

 

                     

In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded roughly by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.

2. Explore this Interactive Map, and answer in your book in complete sentences, (using some of the key words from the question in your answer) the three questions on the site.

 3. What are the main reasons for why the revolutionary American colonists were able to defeat the British and gain their independence?
Briefly list the key reasons given at the start of this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yey1PouZOzw

4. a) Briefly summarise information from this page about the main events in the Revolutionary War. Use the heading: The American Revolutionary War.
Pick out the main words/points and make point form notes. (..about one page of notes)
                  OR

    b) Using the above information on this page, design an interesting, original looking timeline of the American Revolutionary War.
If you wish, you only need to use the dates of key events, so your timeline is not too detailed and complicated.
This video provides you with an example.

You could illustrate your timeline with small illustrations, cartoon figures or historic characters of the events listed; Or you could use symbols and artefacts (eg weapons) commonly seen during that time.
How to make an eye-catching timeline in Word.

 



Video of Brief sketches on the start of  the conflict.