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American Revolution Posters & Art From our Featured Poster Gallery

Washington Crossing The Delaware
is an 1851 oil-on-canvas painting by Emanuel Leutze. It commemorates...

 

 

 

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The American Revolutionary War was a war fought between the British Crown and its colonies in North America from 1775 to 1783. The war began largely as a colonial revolt against the economic policies of the British Empire, but eventually widened far beyond British North America, with France, Spain, and the Netherlands entering the war against Great Britain. The final outcome of the war was the recognition of independence of the 13 southernmost of the colonies, as well as lightly settled territories west to the Mississippi River.

The Declaration of Independence is the document in which the Thirteen Colonies declared themselves independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain and explained their justifications for doing so. It was ratified by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. This anniversary is celebrated as Independence Day in the United States. The handwritten copy signed by the delegates to the Congress is on display in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

 

Declaration of Independence

Declaration of Independence
John Trumbull
Poster
36 x 24 in
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Digitally Restored Vector Painting of George Washington Crossing the Delaware

Digitally Restored Vector Painting of George Washington Crossing the Delaware
Stocktrek Images
Photographic Print
24 x 18 in
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Washington Crossing the Delaware, c.1851

Washington Crossing the Delaware, c.1851
Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze
Art Print
20 x 16 in
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Assassin's Creed 3 - Key Art

Assassin's Creed 3 - Key Art
Poster
22 x 34 in
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Signing the Declaration of Independence, 4th July 1776, C.1817

Signing the Declaration of Independence, 4th July 1776, C.1817
John Trumbull
Giclee Print
24 x 18 in
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American Declaration of Independence, c.1776

American Declaration of Independence, c.1776
Giclee Print
18 x 24 in
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The American Revolution

The American Revolution
Photographic Print
24 x 18 in
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John Trumbull (Declaration of Independence) Art Poster Print

John Trumbull (Declaration of Independence) Art Poster Print
Poster
19 x 13 in
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Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in the May Day Parade, Mexico City, 1st May 1929

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in the May Day Parade, Mexico City, 1st May 1929
Tina Modotti
Photographic Print
24 x 16 in
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Howard Chandler Christy Scene at the Signing of the Constitution Art Poster Print

Howard Chandler Christy Scene at the Signing of the Constitution Art Poster Print
Poster
19 x 13 in
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Bonhomme Richard, 1779

Bonhomme Richard, 1779
William Elliott
Art Print
24 x 18 in
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'Take Notice', American Revolutionary War Recruitment Poster

'Take Notice', American Revolutionary War Recruitment Poster
American School
Giclee Print
16 x 16 in
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United States Currency (the American Revolution to current) Educational Poster Print

United States Currency (the American Revolution to current) Educational Poster Print
Poster
24 x 36 in
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Rivera: Mural, 1920S

Rivera: Mural, 1920S
Diego Rivera
Art Print
24 x 18 in
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Battle of King's Mountain, South Carolina, 1780, American Revolution

Battle of King's Mountain, South Carolina, 1780, American Revolution
Giclee Print
24 x 18 in
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National Geographic - Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Map, Two-Sided Poster

National Geographic - Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Map, Two-Sided Poster
National Geographic
Double-sided poster
36 x 24 in
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Assassin's Creed 3 Collage

Assassin's Creed 3 Collage
Poster
22 x 34 in
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Williamsburg: Map, 1781

Williamsburg: Map, 1781
Louis Alexandre Bertheir
Giclee Print
16 x 24 in
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Revolutionary War click for full size image

We bring you this great selection of American Revolution posters, photos, and fine art prints. Please enjoy browsing these historical and educational posters.

The Boston Tea Party was an act of direct action protest by the American colonists against British Government in which they destroyed many crates of tea bricks belonging to the British East India Company on ships in Boston Harbor. The incident, which took place on Thursday, December 16, 1773, has been seen as helping to spark the American Revolution and remains to this day one of the most iconic events of the era.

More of the Revolutionary War History

Revolutionaries seized control of each of the thirteen colonial governments, set up the Second Continental Congress, and formed a Continental Army. The following year, they formally declared their independence as a new nation, the United States of America. From 1778 onward, other European powers would fight on the American side in the war. Meanwhile, Native Americans and African Americans served on both sides.

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. In early 1778, shortly after an American victory at Saratoga, France entered the war against Britain; Spain and the Netherlands joined as allies of France over the next two years. French involvement proved decisive, with a French naval victory in the Chesapeake leading to the surrender of a British army at Yorktown in 1781. The Treaty of Paris in 1783 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.

When the war began, the Americans did not have a professional army or navy. Each colony provided for its own defenses through the use of local militia. Militiamen were lightly armed, slightly trained, and usually did not have uniforms. Their units served for only a few weeks or months at a time, were reluctant to go very far from home, and were thus generally unavailable for extended operations. Militia lacked the training and discipline of regular soldiers but were more numerous and could overwhelm regular troops as at the battles of Concord, Bennington and Saratoga, and the siege of Boston. Both sides used partisan warfare but the Americans were particularly effective at suppressing Loyalist activity when British regulars were not in the area.

Seeking to coordinate military efforts, the Continental Congress established (on paper) a regular army in June 1775, and appointed George Washington as commander-in-chief. The development of the Continental Army was always a work in progress, and Washington used both his regulars and state militia throughout the war. The United States Marine Corps traces its institutional roots to the Continental Marines of the war, formed at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, by a resolution of the Continental Congress on November 10, 1775, a date regarded and celebrated as the birthday of the Marine Corps. At the end of the American Revolution in 1783, both the Continental Navy and Continental Marines were disbanded. About 250,000 men served as regulars or as militiamen for the Revolutionary cause in the eight years of the war, but there were never more than 90,000 total men under arms at one time. Armies were small by European standards of the era; the greatest number of men that Washington personally commanded in the field at any one time was fewer than 17,000. This could be attributed to tactical preferences, but it also could be because of lack of powder on the American side.

Early in 1775, the British Army consisted of about 36,000 men worldwide, but wartime recruitment steadily increased this number. Additionally, over the course of the war the British hired about 30,000 soldiers from German princes, these soldiers were called "Hessians" because many of them came from Hesse-Kassel. The troops were mercenaries in the sense of professionals who were hired out by their prince. Germans made up about one-third of the British troop strength in North America. By 1779, the number of British and German troops stationed in North America was over 60,000, though these were spread from Canada to Florida.

During the long standoff at Boston, the Continental Congress sought a way to seize the initiative elsewhere. Congress had initially invited the French Canadians to join them as the fourteenth colony, but when that failed to happen, Congress authorized an invasion of Canada. The goal was to remove British rule from the primarily francophone province of Quebec (comprising present-day Quebec).

Two Canada-bound expeditions were undertaken. On September 16, 1775, Brigadier General Richard Montgomery marched north from Fort Ticonderoga with about 1,700 militiamen, capturing Montreal on November 13. General Guy Carleton, the governor of Canada, escaped to Quebec City. The second expedition, led by Colonel Benedict Arnold, was a logistical nightmare, with many men succumbing to smallpox. By the time Arnold reached Quebec City in early November, he had but 600 of his original 1,100 men. Montgomery's force joined Arnold's, and they attacked Quebec City on December 31, but were soundly defeated by Carleton. The remaining Americans held on outside Quebec City until the spring of 1776, and then withdrew. So Canada stood firmly on the front line of the war with many more forces than in America.

Attack on Canada
Another attempt was made Americans to push back towards Quebec, but they failed at Trois-Rivières on June 8, 1776. Carleton then launched his own invasion and defeated Arnold at the Battle of Valcour Island in October. Arnold fell back to Fort Ticonderoga, where the invasion of Canada had begun. The invasion of Canada ended as a disaster for Americans, but Arnold's efforts in 1776 delayed a full-scale British counteroffensive until the Saratoga campaign of 1777.

The invasion cost Americans their base of support in British public opinion, "So that the violent measures towards America are freely adopted and countenanced by a majority of individuals of all ranks, professions, or occupations, in this country.


New York and New Jersey
Main article: New York and New Jersey campaign
Having withdrawn his army from Boston, General Howe now focused on capturing New York City. To defend the city, General Washington divided his 20,000 soldiers between Long Island and Manhattan. While British troops were assembling on Staten Island for the campaign, Washington had the newly issued Declaration of American Independence read to his men. No longer was there any possibility of compromise. On August 27, 1776, after landing about 22,000 men on Long Island, the British drove the Americans back to Brooklyn Heights in the largest battle of the entire Revolution. Howe then laid siege to fortifications there, but Washington managed to evacuate his army to Manhattan.

On September 15, Howe landed about 12,000 men on lower Manhattan, quickly taking control of New York City. The Americans withdrew to Harlem Heights, where they skirmished the next day but held their ground. When Howe moved to encircle Washington's army in October, the Americans again fell back, and a battle at White Plains was fought on October 28. Once more Washington retreated, and Howe returned to Manhattan and captured Fort Washington in mid November, taking about 2,000 prisoners (with an additional 1,000 having been captured during the battle for Long Island). Thus began the infamous "prison ships" system the British maintained in New York for the remainder of the war, in which more American soldiers and sailors died of neglect than died in every battle of the entire war, combined.


Emanuel Leutze's stylized depiction of Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851) is an iconic image of heroic action by Washington.General Lord Cornwallis continued to chase Washington's army through New Jersey, until the Americans withdrew across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania in early December. With the campaign at an apparent conclusion for the season, the British entered winter quarters. Although Howe had missed several opportunities to crush the diminishing American army, he had killed or captured over 5,000 Americans.

The outlook of the Continental Army was bleak. "These are the times that try men's souls," wrote Thomas Paine, who was with the army on the retreat. The army had dwindled to fewer than 5,000 men fit for duty, and would be reduced to 1,400 after enlistments expired at the end of the year. Congress had abandoned Philadelphia in despair, although popular resistance to British occupation was growing in the countryside.

Washington decided to take the offensive, stealthily crossing the Delaware on Christmas night and capturing nearly 1,000 Hessians at the Battle of Trenton on December 26, 1776. Cornwallis marched to retake Trenton but was outmaneuvered by Washington, who successfully attacked the British rearguard at Princeton on January 3, 1777. Washington then entered winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey, having given a morale boost to the American cause. New Jersey militia continued to harass British and Hessian forces throughout the winter, forcing the British to retreat to their base in and around New York City.

At every stage the British strategy assumed a large base of Loyalist supporters who would rally to the King given some military support. In February 1776 Clinton took 2,000 men and a naval squadron to invade North Carolina, which he called off when he learned the Loyalists had been crushed at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge. In June he tried to seize Charleston, South Carolina, the leading port in the South, hoping for a simultaneous rising in South Carolina. It seemed a cheap way of waging the war but it failed as the naval force was defeated by the forts and because no local Loyalists attacked the town from behind. The loyalists were too poorly organized to be effective, but as late as 1781 senior officials in London, misled by Loyalist exiles, placed their confidence in their rising.



Saratoga and Philadelphia
When the British began to plan operations for 1777, they had two main armies in North America: Carleton's army in Canada, and Howe's army in New York. In London, Lord George Germain approved campaigns for these armies which, because of miscommunication, poor planning, and rivalries between commanders, did not work in conjunction. Although Howe successfully captured Philadelphia, the northern army was lost in a disastrous surrender at Saratoga. Both Carleton and Howe resigned after the 1777 campaign.


Saratoga campaign
The first of the 1777 campaigns was an expedition from Canada led by General John Burgoyne. The goal was to seize the Lake Champlain and Hudson River corridor, effectively isolating New England from the rest of the American colonies. Burgoyne's invasion had two components: he would lead about 10,000 men along Lake Champlain towards Albany, New York, while a second column of about 2,000 men, led by Barry St. Leger, would move down the Mohawk River valley and link up with Burgoyne in Albany, New York.


Mohawk leader Joseph Brant led both Native Americans and white Loyalists in battle.Burgoyne set off in June, and recaptured Fort Ticonderoga in early July. Thereafter, his march was slowed by Americans who knocked down trees in his path. A detachment was sent out to seize supplies but was decisively defeated by American militia in August, depriving Burgoyne of nearly 1,000 men.

Meanwhile, St. Leger—half of his force Native Americans led by Joseph Brant—had laid siege to Fort Stanwix. American militiamen and their Native American allies marched to relieve the siege but were ambushed and scattered at the Battle of Oriskany. When a second relief expedition approached, this time led by Benedict Arnold, St. Leger broke off the siege and retreated to Canada.

Burgoyne's army was now reduced to about 6,000 men. Despite these setbacks, he determined to push on towards Albany—a fateful decision which would later produce much controversy. An American army of 8,000 men, commanded by the General Horatio Gates, had entrenched about 10 miles (16 km) south of Saratoga, New York. Burgoyne tried to outflank the Americans but was checked at the first battle of Saratoga in September. Burgoyne's situation was desperate, but he now hoped that help from Howe's army in New York City might be on the way. It was not: Howe had instead sailed away on an expedition to capture Philadelphia. American militiamen flocked to Gates's army, swelling his force to 11,000 by the beginning of October. After being badly beaten at the second battle of Saratoga, Burgoyne surrendered on October 17.

Saratoga was the turning point of the war. Revolutionary confidence and determination, suffering from Howe's successful occupation of Philadelphia, was renewed. More importantly, the victory encouraged France to enter the war against Britain. For the British, the war had now become much more complicated.


Philadelphia campaign
Main article: Philadelphia campaign
Having secured New York City in 1776, General Howe concentrated on capturing Philadelphia, the seat of the Revolutionary government, in 1777. He moved slowly, landing 15,000 troops in late August at the northern end of Chesapeake Bay. Washington positioned his 11,000 men between Howe and Philadelphia but was driven back at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777. The Continental Congress once again abandoned Philadelphia, and on September 26, Howe finally outmaneuvered Washington and marched into the city unopposed. Washington unsuccessfully attacked the British encampment in nearby Germantown in early October and then retreated to watch and wait.


Washington and Lafayette look over the troops at Valley Forge.After repelling a British attack at White Marsh, Washington and his army encamped at Valley Forge in December 1777, about 20 miles (32 km) from Philadelphia, where they stayed for the next six months. Over the winter, 2,500 men (out of 10,000) died from disease and exposure. The next spring, however, the army emerged from Valley Forge in good order, thanks in part to a training program supervised by Baron von Steuben. Indeed, von Steuben introduced the most modern Prussian methods of organization and tactics.

General Clinton replaced Howe as British commander-in-chief. French entry into the war had changed British strategy, and Clinton abandoned Philadelphia in order to reinforce New York City, now vulnerable to French naval power. Washington shadowed Clinton on his withdrawal and forced the drawn battle at Monmouth on June 28, 1778, the last major battle in the north. Clinton's army went to New York City in July, just before a French fleet under Admiral d'Estaing arrived off the American coast. Washington's army returned to White Plains, New York, north of the city. Although both armies were back where they had been two years earlier, the nature of the war had now changed.


An international war, 1778–1783
In 1778, the rebellion in North America became an international war. After learning of the American victory in Saratoga, France signed the Treaty of Alliance with the United States on February 6, 1778. Spain entered the war as an ally of France in June 1779, a renewal of the Bourbon Family Compact. Unlike France, however, Spain initially refused to recognize the independence of the United States—Spain was not keen on encouraging similar anti-colonial rebellions in the Spanish Empire. The Netherlands also became a combatant in 1780. All three countries had quietly provided financial assistance to the Americans since the beginning of the war, hoping to dilute British power.

In London King George III gave up hope of subduing America by more armies while Britain had a European war to fight. "It was a joke," he said, "to think of keeping Pennsylvania." There was no hope of recovering New England. But the King was determined "never to acknowledge the independence of the Americans, and to punish their contumacy by the indefinite prolongation of a war which promised to be eternal."[14] His plan was to keep the 30,000 men garrisoned in New York, Rhode Island, in Canada, and in Florida; other forces would attack the French and Spanish in the West Indies. To punish the Americans the King planned to destroy their coasting-trade, bombard their ports; sack and burn towns along the coast (like New London, Connecticut), and turn loose the Native Americans to attack civilians in frontier settlements. These operations, the King felt, would inspire the Loyalists; would splinter the Congress; and "would keep the rebels harassed, anxious, and poor, until the day when, by a natural and inevitable process, discontent and disappointment were converted into penitence and remorse" and they would beg to return to his authority.[15] The plan meant destruction for the Loyalists and loyal Native Americans, and indefinite prolongation of a costly war, as well as the risk of disaster as the French and Spanish were assembling an armada to invade the British isles and seize London. The British planned to re-subjugate the rebellious colonies after dealing with their European allies.


Widening of the naval war
Further information: Naval operations in the American Revolutionary War, France in the American Revolutionary War, Spain in the American Revolutionary War
When the war began, the British had overwhelming naval superiority over the American colonists. The Royal Navy had over 100 ships of the line and many frigates and smaller craft, although this fleet was old and in poor condition, a situation which would be blamed on Lord Sandwich, the First Lord of the Admiralty. During the first three years of the war, the Royal Navy was primarily used to transport troops for land operations and to protect commercial shipping. The American colonists had no ships of the line, and relied extensively on privatizing to harass British shipping. The privateers caused worry disproportionate to their material success although those operating out of French channel ports before and after France joined the war caused significant embarrassment to the Royal Navy and inflamed Anglo-French relations. The Continental Congress authorized the creation of a small Continental Navy in October, 1775, which was primarily used for commerce raiding. John Paul Jones became the first great American naval hero, capturing HMS Drake on April 24, 1778, the first victory for any American military vessel in British waters.[16]


The Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar, 13 September 1782, by John Singleton Copley.French entry into the war meant that British naval superiority was now contested. The Franco-American alliance began poorly, however, with failed operations at Rhode Island in 1778 and Savannah, Georgia, in 1779. Part of the problem was that France and the United States had different military priorities: France hoped to capture British possessions in the West Indies before helping to secure American independence. While French financial assistance to the American war effort was already of critical importance, French military aid to the Americans would not show positive results until the arrival in July 1780 of a large force of soldiers led by the Comte de Rochambeau.

Spain entered the war on the side of the Americans with the goal of recapturing Gibraltar and Minorca, which had been lost to the British in 1704. Gibraltar was besieged for more than three years, but the British garrison stubbornly resisted for years and was finally re-supplied after Admiral Rodney's victory in the "Moonlight Battle" (January, 1780). Further Franco-Spanish efforts to capture Gibraltar were unsuccessful. One notable success took place on February 5, 1782 when Spanish and French forces captured Minorca, which Spain retained after the war.


West Indies and Gulf Coast
There was much action in the West Indies, with several islands changing hands, especially in the Lesser Antilles. Ultimately, at the Battle of the Saintes in April 1782, a victory by Rodney's fleet over the French Admiral de Grasse dashed the hopes of France and Spain to take Jamaica and other colonies from the British. On May 8, 1782, Count Bernardo de Gálvez, the Spanish governor of Louisiana, captured the British naval base at New Providence in the Bahamas. Nevertheless, except for the French retention of the small island of Tobago, sovereignty in the West Indies was returned to the status quo ante bellum in the 1783 peace treaty.

On the Gulf Coast, Gálvez seized three British Mississippi River outposts in 1779: Manchac, Baton Rouge, and Natchez. Gálvez then captured Mobile in 1780 and forced the surrender of the British outpost at Pensacola in 1781. His actions led to Spain acquiring East and West Florida in the peace settlement.


India and the Netherlands
The military action in North America and the Caribbean helped spark a conflict between Britain and France over India, in the form of the Second Anglo-Mysore War, starting in 1780. The two chief combatants were Tipu Sultan, ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore and a key French ally, and the British government of Madras. The Second Mysore war came to an end by the Treaty of Mangalore. It is an important document in the history of India. It was the last occasion when a Native Indian power dictated terms to the British, who were made to play the role of humble supplicants for peace. Warren Hasting called it a humiliating pacification, and appealed to the king and Parliament to punish the Madras Government for "the faith and honor of the British nation have been equally violated."

In 1780, the British struck against the United Provinces of the Netherlands in order to preempt Dutch involvement in the League of Armed Neutrality, a declaration of several European powers that they would conduct neutral trade during the war. Britain was not willing to allow the Netherlands to openly give aid to the American rebels. Agitation by Dutch radicals and a friendly attitude towards the United States by the Dutch government—both influenced by the American Revolution—also encouraged the British to attack. The Fourth Anglo-Dutch War lasted into 1784 and was disastrous to the Dutch mercantile economy.


Southern theater
Main article: Southern theater of the American Revolutionary War
During the first three years of the American Revolutionary War, the primary military encounters were in the north. After French entry into the war, the British turned their attention to the southern colonies, where they hoped to regain control by recruiting Loyalists. This southern strategy also had the advantage of keeping the Royal Navy closer to the Caribbean, where the British needed to defend their possessions against the French and Spanish.


The British Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton who according to some accounts killed surrendered American prisoners; painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1782.On December 29, 1778, an expeditionary corps from Clinton's army in New York captured Savannah, Georgia. An attempt by French and American forces to retake Savannah failed on October 9, 1779. Clinton then besieged Charleston, capturing it on May 12, 1780. With relatively few casualties, Clinton had seized the South's biggest city and seaport, paving the way for what seemed like certain conquest of the South.

The remnants of the southern Continental Army began to withdraw to North Carolina but were pursued by Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton, who defeated them at the Waxhaws on May 29, 1780. With these events, organized American military activity in the region collapsed, though the war was carried on by partisans such as Francis Marion. Cornwallis took over British operations, while Horatio Gates arrived to command the American effort. On August 16, 1780, Gates was defeated at the Battle of Camden, setting the stage for Cornwallis to invade North Carolina.

Cornwallis' victories quickly turned, however. One wing of his army was utterly defeated at the Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780. Tarleton was decisively defeated at the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781, by American General Daniel Morgan.

General Nathanael Greene, Gates's replacement, proceeded to wear down the British in a series of battles, each of them tactically a victory for the British but giving no strategic advantage to the victors. Greene summed up his approach in a motto that would become famous: "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Unable to capture or destroy Greene's army, Cornwallis moved north to Virginia.

In March 1781, General Washington dispatched General Lafayette to defend Virginia. The young Frenchman skirmished with Cornwallis, avoiding a decisive battle while gathering reinforcements. Cornwallis was unable to trap Lafayette, and so he moved his forces to Yorktown, Virginia, in July so the Royal Navy could return his army to New York.


Northern and western Frontier
Further information: Western theater of the American Revolutionary War

George Rogers Clark's 180 mile (290 km) winter march led to the capture of General Henry Hamilton, Lieutenant-Governor of Canada.West of the Appalachian Mountains and along the Canadian border, the American Revolutionary War was an "Indian War." Most Native Americans supported the British. Like the Iroquois Confederacy, tribes such as the Cherokees and the Shawnees split into factions.

The British supplied their native allies with muskets and gunpowder and advised raids against civilian settlements, especially in New York, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. Joint Iroquois-Loyalist attacks in the Wyoming Valley and at Cherry Valley in 1778 provoked Washington to send the Sullivan Expedition into western New York during the summer of 1779. There was little fighting as Sullivan systematically destroyed the Native American winter food supplies, forcing them to flee permanently to British bases in Canada and the Niagara Falls area.

In the Ohio Country and the Illinois Country, the Virginia frontiersman George Rogers Clark attempted to neutralize British influence among the Ohio tribes by capturing the outposts of Kaskaskia and Vincennes in the summer of 1778. When General Henry Hamilton, the British commander at Detroit, retook Vincennes, Clark returned in a surprise march in February 1779 and captured Hamilton himself.

In 1782 came the Gnadenhütten massacre, when Pennsylvania militiamen killed about a hundred neutral Native Americans. In August 1782, in one of the last major encounters of the war, a force of 200 Kentucky militia was defeated at the Battle of Blue Licks.


Yorktown and the War's end

Surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown by (John Trumbull, 1797).The northern, southern, and naval theaters of the war converged in 1781 at Yorktown, Virginia. In early September, French naval forces defeated a British fleet at the Battle of the Chesapeake, cutting off Cornwallis' escape. Washington hurriedly moved American and French troops from New York, and a combined Franco-American force of 17,000 men commenced the siege of Yorktown in early October. Cornwallis' position quickly became untenable, and he surrendered his army on October 19, 1781.

With the surrender at Yorktown, King George lost control of Parliament to the peace party, and there were no further major military activities on land. The British had 30,000 garrison troops occupying New York City, Charleston, and Savannah. The war continued at sea between the British and the French fleets in the West Indies.[17] The British might have sent more troops to attack the colonists if not for the numerous American ships attacking British shipping lanes worldwide. Due to the impact on British pocketbooks, the merchants put pressure on Parliament to end the war.

In London as political support for the war plummeted after Yorktown, Prime Minister Lord North resigned in March 1782. In April 1782, the Commons voted to end the war in America. Preliminary peace articles were signed in Paris at the end of November, 1782; the formal end of the war did not occur until the Treaty of Paris was signed on September 3, 1783, and the United States Congress ratified the treaty on January 14, 1784. The last British troops left New York City on November 25, 1783.

Britain negotiated the Paris peace treaty without consulting her Native American allies and ceded all Native American territory between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River to the United States. Full of resentment, Native Americans reluctantly confirmed these land cessions with the United States in a series of treaties, but the fighting would be renewed in conflicts along the frontier in the coming years, the largest being the Northwest Indian War.


Costs of the War

Casualties
The total loss of life resulting from the American Revolutionary War is unknown. As was typical in the wars of the era, disease claimed more lives than battle. Historian Joseph Ellis suggests that Washington's decision to have his troops inoculated against the smallpox epidemic was one of his most important decisions.

An estimated 25,000 American Revolutionaries died during active military service. About 8,000 of these deaths were in battle; the other 17,000 deaths were from disease, including about 8,000 who died while prisoners of war. The number of Revolutionaries seriously wounded or disabled by the war has been estimated from 8,500 to 25,000. The total American military casualty figure was therefore as high as 50,000.

About 171,000 seamen served for the British during the war; about 25 to 50 percent of them had been pressed into service. About 1,240 were killed in battle, while 18,500 died from disease. The greatest killer was scurvy, a disease known at the time to be easily preventable by issuing lemon juice to sailors. About 42,000 British seamen deserted during the war.

Approximately 1,200 Germans were killed in action and 6,354 died from illness or accident. About 16,000 of the remaining German troops returned home, but roughly 5,500 remained in the United States after the war for various reasons, many eventually becoming American citizens. No reliable statistics exist for the number of casualties among other groups, including Loyalists, British regulars, Native Americans, French and Spanish troops, and civilians.


Financial costs
The British spent about 80 million and ended with a national debt of 250 million, which it easily financed at about 9.5 million a year in interest. The French spent 1.3 billion livres (about 56 million). Their total national debt was 187 million, which they could not easily finance; over half the French national revenue went to debt service in the 1780s. The debt crisis became a major enabling factor of the French Revolution as the government was unable to raise taxes without public approval. The United States spent $37 million at the national level plus $114 million by the states. This was mostly covered by loans from France and the Netherlands, loans from Americans, and issuance of more and more paper money (which became "not worth a continental.") The U.S. finally solved its debt problem in the 1790s.

The Boston Tea Party was an act of direct action protest by the American colonists against British Government in which they destroyed many crates of tea bricks belonging to the British East India Company on ships in Boston Harbor. The incident, which took place on Thursday, December 16, 1773, has been seen as helping to spark the American Revolution and remains to this day one of the most iconic events of the era.

Join, or Die
Join, or Die is a famous political cartoon created by Benjamin Franklin and first published in his Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754.. The original a publication by the Gazette is the earliest known pictorial representation of colonial union produced by a British colonist in America. It is a woodcut showing a snake severed into eighths, with each segment labeled with the initial of a British American colony or region.


The Spirit of '76

Minute Men of the Revolution
Minutemen were members of teams of select men from the American colonial militia during the American Revolutionary War. They vowed to be ready for battle against the British within one minute of receiving notice. These teams consisted about a fourth of the entire militia, and generally were the younger and more mobile, serving as part of a network for early response to any threat. Minuteman and Sons of Liberty member Paul Revere spread the news that "the red coats are coming." Paul Revere was captured before completing his mission when the British marched towards the arsenal in Lexington and Concord to collect the patriots' weapons.

Paul Revere was an American silversmith and a patriot in the American Revolution.

The Battles of Lexington and Concord were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. They were fought on April 19, 1775, in Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts Bay, within the towns of Lexington, Concord, Lincoln, Menotomy (present-day Arlington), and Cambridge, near Boston. The battles marked the outbreak of open armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and its thirteen colonies in the mainland of British North America.

The Battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17, 1775 on Breed's Hill, as part of the Siege of Boston during the American Revolutionary War. General Israel Putnam was in charge of the revolutionary forces, while Major-General William Howe commanded the British forces. Because most of the fighting did not occur on Bunker Hill itself, the conflict is sometimes more accurately (though less often) called the Battle of Breed's Hill.
 

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