American Revolution Timeline (1763-1783)
The Treaty of Paris, 1763, was an agreement between the French, Spanish, and the English that concluded the French and Indian War. The terms of the treaty included the Spanish giving up present-day Florida to Britain and the French giving all territories west of the Mississippi River to Spain and all territories East of the Mississippi River and Canada to Britain.
The Proclamation Line of 1763 was a boundary line issued by the British King George III that stopped colonial expansion west of the Appalachian Mountains. This was implemented after the end of the French and Indian War, and it was an attempt of the British government to stop the fighting between the Indians and the colonies. Another rationale of the British was to not have to finance the colonists’ westward expansion and spend more money on top of the war’s expenses. However, the colonies felt like the British wanted them under their control and were taking away their rights, and therefore, the colonies did not comply and kept expanding even though the Proclamation Line was set in place.
The Sugar Act of 1764 attempted to put a stop to sugar smuggling and also created establishments of vice-admiralty courts in the colonies to try the smugglers themselves. More importantly, Britain enforced the tax on sugar, and their objective mainly was to raise revenue because they needed to pay off the war debt. The colonists didn't see the tax as fair to pay and the new slogan, “No Taxation Without Representation” arose, and they found ways to avoid paying the tax, and started to boycott against the Britain’s motives.
The Currency Act of 1764 required the colonists to pay in gold and silver coins instead of in paper money because the colonial currency was inflated and was affecting the British economy in a negative way. The British did not want to be paid with currency that they would not be able to use, and this caused the colonists to grow irritation because the gold and silver coins were scarce in comparison to local paper money.
The Stamp Act of 1765 required paper objects, such as newspapers and marriage documents, to be written on paper that had a stamp on it by the Britain. It was a way that the British tried to assert dominance over the colonies and to raise funds to pay off the war debt. British expected colonists to pay for guaranteed protection. The colonists were enraged by it because they claimed it violated their rights and united to organize boycotts and petitions, with the Sons of Liberty.
The Quartering Act of 1765 required the colonists to provide food, shelter, etc. for the British imperial troops. They were making the colonists pay back for the war by providing aid to the British soldiers. They also felt like this would be an act of protection from the British soldiers, and all the colonists would have to do was provide them accommodation. The colonists saw this as a threat because there were British troops in their communities even though the war was over, so they felt controlled and protested in assemblies.
Repeal of Stamp Act and passage of Declaratory Act
The Repeal of the Stamp Act and passage of the Declaratory Act of 1766 was initiated by the British because the British wanted to not tax people over something that they protested upon and wanted the colonists to favor Britain. The colonists were happy that the Stamp Act was repealed, and felt like the Declaratory Act was not necessary and started to ignore the Declaratory Act.
The Townshend Acts are a set of indirect taxes on certain imports such as lead, paper, paint, glass, and tea. They were created by Britain to control colonial life more effectively since the British officers obtained more power. This happened in result of the Boston Massacre when the tensions were rising and also helped offer protection. The colonists response included aggression towards officials, like the John Hancock’s Liberty Case, and this showed more opposition, which caused the colonies started becoming more unified on, “Taxation without Representation.”
The Tea Act was created by the British in hopes of helping the British East India Company, which almost fell to bankruptcy because of the colonists’ boycotts. This was one of the only acts that still persisted and said that the British East India Company would be the only importer of tea. This was also created to get more people because the price decreased on the tax from prior. The Sons of Liberty protested with boycotts, and it escalated to a level where they did a Boston Tea Party and threw away the tea into the sea. This acted like a warning to Britain.
Coercive or “Intolerable” Acts
The British created these “Intolerable” Acts in 1774 to give the colonists a consequence for challenging British authority with the Boston Tea Party. This was also a measure to close off Massachusetts, their self-government was taken away and Boston was isolated by having its port closed. The colonists were not happy about this whatsoever because it took away most of their freedom, and they had a meeting, known as First Continental Congress, about the Acts hurting the economy and what to do in response.
Battle of Lexington and Concord
The Battle of Lexington and Concord took place in Lexington and then Concord. The British were trying to stop an eventual revolution by capturing colonial leaders and supplies. This event was important because it showed that there was heated tension and conflict between the Great Britain and the colonies. Also, when the first shot was fired, it showed that the problems that they had escalated and could not be solved with taxes. It had something to do with representation, and the colonists were fighting hard to get theirs. Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” sold more than 100,000 copies throughout the colonies and it was a revelation for the readers and included ideas of independence. This marked the beginning of the Revolution, and even though the colonies did win, they had many more people that were injured and showed them that it wasn’t as easy at it looked.
Second Continental Congress
The Second Continental Congress took place in Philadelphia. With the meeting of 13 colonial representatives, the delegates declared the American Revolutionary War. The Congress would be the meeting place for all delegates and maintaining the colonies informed and it led foundations to what would be the Declaration of Independence later on, also signed in the Continental Congress.This even was very significant because it showed that British had done its share, and the colonists were withdrawing away from the Britain to get their own rights and become their own country. The result of this meeting in order to create the Declaration of Independence helped to control more of the parts of the colonies, which slowly brought them to their independence, and this affected them positively with having more access to everything but negatively because it was hard to govern themselves.
The Battle of Bunker Hill was the first open ground battle between the colonists and the British. It developed in Charlestown, Massachusetts and showed that the colonies presented a strong fight against the British army. The colonies were driven out of Breed’s Hill (which is where most of the fighting occurred) but the British had around a thousand casualties while the Americans had 450. In fact, it was the battle where the British had the highest casualties in a single encounter during the entire war. The British still win, as the colonies surrendered, but this war ignited hope in the colonists and told them that the British could be beaten with just the right resources. This showed that the war was going on between two countries with full force, and affected the war because of the motivation coming in.
Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia, and it dissolved all allegiance to the British Crown, stating that “all of these United Colonies are free and independent states”. It issued that the government should protect the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and also addresses how the king violated the contract with the colonies by an ineffective management of the colonies. It inspired movements of freedom elsewhere, like in France, and it gave the colonies something to fight for and created divisions within American society. More importantly for the war, it prepared the way for France’s intervention on their side.The effect of this is that the colonies announced separation, and it was one of the first instances to do this. They announced that they will become their own free and independent nation, and this made the British want to win the war that they were both fighting for.
The Battle of Saratoga took place in New York and was a crucial victory for the Americans not only because it was a major turning point for the war, but it also opened up an alliance with the French. This would help the colonists massively since the French would be very useful for the Americans to win the war. The Americans won by the British surrendering, and this was a shift from the prior battles. This war helped convince the French and Spanish to send help to the Americans and also gave the Americans encouragement.
The battle of Yorktown took place in Yorktown, Virginia and was a very important victory for the United States allied with the French over the British. A series of perfectly-timed moves by the colonies caught British General Cornwallis at Yorktown and he eventually surrendered while claiming to be sick. It proved to be the last major land battle of the war and gave the Americans a huge boost to their morale and revived the French enthusiasm for the war. The Americans won, and this showed them that they were doing the best and that this announced that the Americans had won. (battle was virtually over)
The Treaty of Paris in 1783 was the final settlement to end war between the Americans and Britain when both France and Spain agreed to end hostilities. The British would give all territories East of the Mississippi and South of Canada up to Florida to the United States. The United States gave back land to Spain as a part of the treaty as well. It was signed in Paris by King George III and representatives of the United States of America. The last ship of the British occupation forces left in the fall of 1783 and General George Washington rode triumphantly into the city.