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Timeline of the American Revolution
Transcript of Timeline of the American Revolution
The American Revolution started in 1775 with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. It ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783.
1775: The Battles of
Lexington and Concord
1775: Battle of
1776: The Declaration
1776: The British Retreat
1777: The Battle
1781: The Battle of Yorktown
1780: The Battle of
1775: The Siege
1776: The Battle
of Long Island
1778: The British Capture
1783: The Treaty of Paris
1776: The Battle
1779: The French and
Spanish Join the War
at Valley Forge
Marquis de Lafayette
1779: John Paul Jones
defeats British Convoy
Baron von Steuben
1780: The Battle of
In 1775, the British found that the colonists were stockpiling guns and powder in Concord,
Massachusetts, and set out
to seize them. On the way,
a group of colonists "Minutemen" fired on the British. The British killed some of them, but were
eventually repulsed at Concord. The British loss of the day was 78 men killed and almost 200 wounded. This is important because this was what started the Revolution.
The British now under the command of Lord William Howe in Boston were uneasy about the fortifications built by the Americans on Bunker Hill. So, they attacked. Eventually they forced the Americans off the hill, but only after enormous loss of 1,100. This is important because the Americans had held their own against the strongest army in the world.
After the Battle of Bunker
Hill, the British General
retreated to Boston. There
he was held under siege by
the Americans. This is
important because an
unorganized army was
holding the British in Boston.
In 1776, the Americans
threatened to bomb the
British in Boston. This is important
because they retreated, and
they would never occupy
In January 1776 Thomas Paine released "Common Sense" which
expressed ideas of independence.
The Second Continental Congress
started a committee of Thomas Jefferson and others to draw up a Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was influenced by Paine
and John Locke's 'natural rights'
On July 4, 1776, Congress signed
the Declaration of Independence.
This is important because it turned
the war from a rebellion into an
official struggle for existence.
In 1776, the British clashed
with the Americans in the
Battle of Long Island. The
British won, and the Americans
retreated from New York. This
is important because the British
were then able to occupy New
York, cutting the colonies in two.
On Christmas Day, 1776, the
Americans crossed the Delaware
River and attacked the British at
Trenton, New Jersey, and Washington's
Army scattered three British regiments
at Princeton. The Americans captured over 1,000 prisoners, most of them were German mercenaries, and gained supplies. This is important because it showed that the American army was better then before thought.
In 1777, American general
Horatio Gates defeated the
British at Saratoga, forcing Burgoyne to surrender more than 5,000 British troops. This is
important because it prevented
the British from isolating the New
England colonies, and showed
Europe that America had a chance
of winning the war. Because of this victory Ben Franklin was able to negotiate an Alliance with France. And later Spain. This battle is also known as the turning point in the war.
In late 1777, Lord Howe forced
the Americans to retreat from
Philadelphia. During the winter
of 1777-1778, the Americans
were forced to camp at Valley
Forge in southern Pennsylvania.
The harsh winter killed over 2,500
of Washington's army.This is important
because while there, the Americans
trained under Von Steuben and
became a truly efficient army.
In 1778, the British captured
Savannah, Georgia. This is
important because it was the
first major British victory in
their Southern campaign.
In 1778, the French allied themselves
with the Americans. In 1779, they also
convinced the Spanish to do so as well.
This is important because, as well as fighting the British in Europe, the French and Spanish sent over officers to help the Americans train and fight.
In 1779, Captain John Pual Jones
engaged with a British convoy,
guarded by two warships. Jones
fought so hard that, in the end, his
ship was sinking! This is important
because it showed that the
Americans could fight on both the
land and on the sea.
In 1780, the Americans and the British
fought at King's Mountain, South Carolina,
and the British were defeated. Under the command of Nathaniel Greene, the Americans used "hit and run" tactics to wear the British down. Victory at King's Mt set up other small battles such as Battle of Cow Pens and Gilbert Court House. These were important because the American victory complicated the British plans in the South, leading in time to Cornwallis' surrender.
In 1780, the British landed in South
Carolina. They trapped the Americans
in Charles Town, a very large city. This
became the Battle of Charles Town,
which ended when the city surrendered.
This is important because the Americans
lost almost their entire Southern army in
one battle. Over 5,500 American soldiers
were taken prisoner.
In 1781, the British army in the South,
commanded by Lord Cornwallis, was
low on supplies and exhausted. So, they
retreated to Yorktown, Virginia. However,
the Americans with the help of the France surrounded the town while a French fleet under de Grasse blockaded the port. The Americans attacked, and forced Lord Cornwallis to surrender his force of 8,000 men. This is important because the surrender of their Southern army convinced the British leaders of the futility of the war.
In 1783, American and British
representatives signed the Treaty
of Paris. This treaty officially ended
the Revolutionary War.This is
important because it officially
recognized the United States of
America as a independent country
and ended a war which had
impoverished England. The treaty also
establish the Mississippi River as the
western border, Britain gave Florida
back to Spain and France got back her
colonies in Africa and the Caribbean.
A German officer, Baron von
Steuben helped the Americans
train while in Valley Forge. He
formed a model company of 100
men, who served as an example of
the training the Americans would
recieve. He is important because
he provided the Americans with
General George Washington
was the Commander-in-Chief of
the American army during the
Revolution. He was from Virginia,
and fought for the British during the
French and Indian War. He is important because without him and
his leadership, the Revolution probably would not have succeeded.
A French aristocrat, the Marquis de
Lafayette came over to assist the
Americans. He was given a command,
and soon won Washington's trust and
his soldiers' affection. He bought food
and clothes for them with his own money.
He is important because he was a great
leader, and largely contributed to the
success of the war.
Lord Cornwallis was the general
of the British forces in the South
after the previous general returned
to New York. He fought several
battles, but eventually had to
surrender at the Battle of Yorktown
because of the lack of Loyalists in
the South. He is important, because
his surrender at Yorktown caused the
British to lose heart and begin
negotiations for peace.
In May delegates from all the colonies
assembled in Philadelphia. Volunteers
soldiers from the middle and southern
colonies joined the New England soliders
in Boston to form the Continental Army
under the command of George Washington.
This congress sent an "Olive Branch" to
King George III to try to reaffirm colonial
allegiance, it was rejected by the king.