Dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America; led the American victory as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and presided over the writing of the Constitution in 1787. Chosen to serve as the first President of the United States. Presided over the creation of a strong, well-financed national government that stayed neutral in the wars raging in Europe, suppressed rebellion and won acceptance among Americans of all types.
Writer, scientist, diplomat, colonial representative in England prior to the American Revolution. Signed the Declaration of Independence, and attended the U.S. Constitutional Convention.
Writer of Common Sense. Advocated a declaration of independence to secure European aid and to unite the colonies.
Silversmith, became a folk hero of the American Revolution. Leading patriot in Boston during the 1770s. Infamously known: the messenger who alerted the Massachusetts countryside when British troops marched to Lexington and Concord in April 1775 to capture a colonial arsenal. "The British are coming!"
Messenger who continued passing along Revere's message after Revere was captured by a British patrol before finishing his journey.
African American, one of the victims of the Boston Massacre. Became a symbol of the American struggle for independence. Sam Adam's propaganda; "First American to die for liberty."
Sons of Liberty
Formed by two wealthy merchants from committees of correspondence: John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Engaged in direct action against British rule. Violent terrorism.
Wealthy merchant, becomes secretary of finance in 1781- at which point no continental currency is circulating. Charters the "Bank of North America", gold/silver coins, bills of exchange into vaults. Issues new paper currency, supplies Continental Army through private contracts.
Boston Tea Party
Dramatic action organized by the sons of liberty, protest of the British Tea Act. 150 patriots, disguised as Native Americans, boarded British ships (harbored in Boston) and dumped over 90,000 pounds of tea belonging to East India Company.
Tense relations between the population and soldiers stationed to protect and support crown-appointed colonial officials reach pinnacle: mob formed around a British sentry, subjected to verbal abuse and harassment. Eventually supported by a small company of troops, taunted and threatened. Fired into the crowd, killed 5.
Traditionally credited with creating the first flag of the United States; essentially just created method of cutting stars from cloth by folding it in half.
Gave broad authority to military commanders and allowed soldiers to be quartered in private houses and empty buildings, at the public's expense.
Reconfiguration of the tax on sugar and molasses; indicated British government taking a heightened interest in colonial affairs. Effort to curb smuggling led to many of the early colonial protests.
Required specially embossed paper for common printed materials; sparked outrage. Created in order to help pay for troops stationed in North America after the British victory in the Seven Years' War.
Boston Harbor Act
Closed Boston Port to all ships until reimbursement of King's treasury (for customs duty lost) and East India Company (for damages suffered).
Series of laws passed by the British Parliament in 1774.
Four issued in response to the Boston Tea Party; Parliament hoped these measures would reverse the trend of colonial resistance to parliamentary authority. Fifth - the Quebec Act enlarged boundaries of the Province of Quebec, instituted reforms favorable to the French Catholic inhabitants.
Minor brush or skirmish, first shot fired. British army told to capture and destroy MA militia military supplies. Patriot colonials received word weeks before that supplies might be at risk; moved most of them to other locations. Received details about British plans on the night before the battle, able to rapidly notify the area militias of the enemy movement.
British outnumbered and outmaneuvered. Lacked effective leadership; terrified at myriad enemy, spirit broken. Abandoned the wounded, fled to the safety of the approaching companies. Colonists stunned at their success.
Created to raise revenue in the colonies to pay the salaries of governors and judges so that they would be independent of colonial rule. Helped to better enforce trade regulations, punished the province of New York for not complying with the Quartering Act. Established precedent that Parliament had the right to tax the colonies.
Battle of Trenton
Brief battle, nearly the entire Hessian force captured, negligible losses to the Americans. Significantly boosted the morale, and inspired re-enlistments.
Battle of Saratoga
Maintained control of Hudson River valley; convinced French to recognize the United States and sign the Treaty of Amity and Commerce. Flow of French supplies guaranteed the British colonies' independence during the American Revolution.
Battle of Yorktown
Last major conflict of the American Revolution; besieged by Washington's army and trapped by a French naval force offshore, British general Charles Cornwallis was forced to surrender.
Frenchman commissioned as major general in the Continental Army. Served in Washington's army, facilitated cooperation between American and French forces. Took part in the peace negotiations in Paris, consistently advocating American interest. Alongside Washington in Yorktown.
French nobleman and soldier; participated in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the French Expeditionary Force (came to help the American Continental Army). Uses navy to cut off supplies during Battle of Yorktown.
John Paul Jones
American naval officer. Victory over HMS Serapis remains one of the most celebrated ship-to-ship encounters in history. Helped establish the U.S. Navy's tradition of aggressive action and victory. "I have not yet begun to fight"
American ship commanded by John Paul Jones, used in battle against HMS Serapis.
Those who remained loyal to Great Britain during the American Revolution.
Leading British general in the American War of Independence. Surrender to a combined American and French force at the Siege of Yorktown ended significant hostilities in North America.
British army officer, politician; led several attempts to break through the enemy lines at Saratoga. Eventually surrendered his entire army, around 6,000. Greatest victory colonists had yet gained, subsequent turning point in the war.
General during the American Revolutionary War, began the war in the Continental Army but later defected to the British Army.
1st Continental Congress
Brought leaders from nearly all of the colonies together to organize unified support in response to recent British actions.
2nd Continental Congress
Served as colonial government during the American Revolution. Issued paper money, made decisions that controlled the Continental Army, established committees to acquire war supplies, and investigated the possibilities of foreign assistance.
Declaration of Independence
Statement adopted by the Continental Congress; announced the thirteen American colonies (then at war with Great Britain) regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire.
Wealthy lawyer, politician, militia officer during the American Revolution, Continental Congressman, delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention. Wrote "Letters from a Gentleman Farmer".
Senior officer of British Army, served sixty years; covered several major wars, numerous postings as garrison or regiment commander. "At his majesty's expense"
Proclamation of 1763
Followed Great Britain's acquisition of French territory in North America after Seven Years' War. Created to organize Great Britain's new North American empire and to stabilize relations with Native North Americans (regulation of trade, settlement, and land purchases on the western frontier).
Letters from a Gentleman Farmer
Letters written by John Dickinson; widely read and reprinted throughout the thirteen colonies, argued taxes laid upon colonies by Parliament to raise revenue, rather than regulating trade, were unconstitutional; united colonists against Townshend Acts.
French and Indian War
War between Great Britain and France in North America.
Treaty of Paris
Ratified by the Congress of the Confederation and by the King of Great Britain; formally ended the American Revolutionary War.
Colonists of the British Thirteen United Colonies who rebelled against British control during the American Revolution
German regiments hired through their rulers by the British Empire.