The American colonies viewed British policies after 1763 as a systematic attack on their constitutional liberties, economic interests, representative rights, and providential destiny.
The Declaration of Independence presented the prevailing political theories to justify a revolution.
Women boycotted English goods -- financially devastating to British merchants.
The American colonists were hiding guns and ammunition.
Colonial patriots, like the Sons of Liberty, were destroying British goods, and attacking (tar & feather) British officials.
The Boston Massacre (1770)
There was fighting between a British unit sent to seize colonial arms and colonial 'Minutemen' at Lexington, Concord, and along the route back to Boston.
The First Continental Congress (1774) included overcoming regional jealousies, justifying American grievances against England, and determining a colonial plan of resistance.
Before the Second Continental Congress (1775) most colonies had created revolutionary governments which created and armed militia units, levied taxes, operated courts, and bullied merchants/shopkeepers to conform to colonial boycotts.
Although far from being entirely successful, the Continental Congress established some unity of purpose even though only one-third of the Americans supported war/independence from Britain.
After the Lexington-Concord incident (April 1775), the Second Continental Congress authorized an army of 20,000.