After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
- Explain the reasons that by 1775 war between the mother country and the colonies was inevitable.
- Analyze the motives of both the mother country and colonial leaders as the year 1775 progressed.
- Analyze the motives of those who argued for and against independence.
- Explain the activities of the Second Continental Congress and analyze the need for a central government once the war began.
- Analyze the relative military strengths and weaknesses of England and the colonies during the war.
- Explain why the Americans won their independence.
- Analyze the content of the Treaty of Paris and its impact on future diplomacy for the new United States.
- Explain the impact of the war for independence on loyalists, women, and blacks.
- Explain the impact of Indian participation in the war on both colonial and British strategies.
The American Revolution is generally considered one of the most important revolutions in human history due not only to the founding of the United States but also to its influence on other countries who later fought for the right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. The American Revolution, grown out of the colonies’ frustration with British rule, has been seen by historians as an encouragement to others to throw off the burdens of colonialism or an oppressive government. Yet, the American Revolution proved difficult. Not all Americans wanted to be independent of Great Britain. The war brought suffering to many, both to soldiers on the front lines and to their families back home. Our Founding Fathers could agree, after much debate, on the need to break from Britain, but then found themselves in disagreement as to what the new nation should be. Their struggles over conflicting ideas shaped our nation.
Thumbnail: George Washington crossing the Delaware river. Image used with permission (Public Domain; Emanuel Leutze).