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George Washington

Virginian planter, held the rank of colonel in a militia before he became general. Excellent leader and strategist and fought many an uneven battle.

George Rogers Clark

A frontiersman conceived the idea of attacking British forts in the Illinois country by suprise. Floated down the Ohio River and captured many forts with just 175 men.

Richard Henry Lee

From Virginia. On June 7, 1776 he moved that the colonies should be independent states and after considerable debate the motion was adopted nearly a month later, on July 2, 1776.

Horatio Gates

General Burgoyne was forced to surrender his forces at Saratoga to the American general Horatio Gates.

John Paul Jones

A young Scotsman who was the most famous officer in America's infant navy.

Charles Cornwallis

British general in the Revolutionary war, was defeated at Yorktown on October 19, 1781.


Soldiers who fight for money, not for any specific nation or cause.

Second Continental Congress

Met in Philidelphia and all 13 colonies attended. No real sentiment for independence, just a desire to keep fighting in the hope parliment would consent to a redress of grievences. They elected George Washington to lead the American Army.


A Loyalist is an American colonist who wishes to remain a part of England. A Torie is basically a Loyalist although it is the English counterpart.


Ethan Allen and Benidict Arnold suprised and captured Ticonderoga and gained gunpowder and artillery for the siege of Boston.


The day after Christmas George Washington suprised a group of Hessians at Trenton and captured them.


General Burgoyne was bogged down by a host of militiamen and eventually the British army was trapped. General Burgoyne was forced to surrender his forces at Saratoga to the American general Horatio Gates.

Barry St. Leger

Was a British colonel, led the Western offensive that formed one leg of the Saratoga campaign.

Admiral de Grasse

French admiral who operated a fleet in the West Indies adivsed them that he was free to join them in an assualt on Cornwallis. He cornered Cornwallis at Yorktown by blocking the sea.

Patrick Henry

Passionate revolutionary, "Give me liberty or give me death"

Comte de Rochambeau

Commander of a powerful French army, arrived in Newport Rhode Island. Came in the Summer of 1780.

John Jay

Was an American peace negotiator. He secretly made trips to London. London eager to entice an enemy from the enemy alliance they quickly came to terms with the Americans. By the Treaty of Paris the British recognized the independence of America.

Thomas Jefferson

Revolutionary leader, wrote the declaration of independece. Was an examplar of Republican principals.

Natural Rights

Jefferson used Natural Rights in the declaration of Independence and he gave his appeal universality by invoking "natural rights" not just British rights. (John Locke)

Declaration of Independence

Was more of an explanation of Independence. Written by Thomas Jefferson and was approved on July 4, 1776. He argued that the colonists were justified in servering their connection.

Common Sense

Written by Thomas Paine, argued that no where in the universe was a larger body ruled by a smaller body, and this same rule should apply to America and Britain.

Bunker Hill

In June 1775 the Colonists seized Bunker Hill and when attacked they inflicted heavy casualties on the British troops. Eventually had to retreat as their ammo ran out.


George Washington left his campfires burning and then inflicted a sharp defeat on the British forces at Princeton.

Valley Forge

Washington spent the winter 20 miles from Philidelphia at Valley Forge and there was much misery, but Baron Von Steuben whipped the colonists into shape.

William Howe

General Howe attacked New York with 35,000 men and attacked Philidelphia when he should have been going to help Burgoyne up the Hudson River.

Nathanael Greene

General Nathanael Greene was a Quaker born tactition. Used a strategy of delay, and he cleared most of Georgia and South Carolina of troops.

Bendedict Arnold

American General, captured Ticonderoga and was shot during the Quebec campaign. Turned traitor when he believed he was not being recognized for his accomplishments.

John Burgoyne

General Burgoyne wanted to capture the vital Hudson River and cut off the colonies.

Thomas Paine

The revolutionary author of Common Sense. His protest called for independence and called for the creation of a democratic republic and that all leaders should derive their power from popular consent.


Citizens would arm their ships and harass British shipping and their navy.


Patriots were rebellious colonists and the Whigs were their English counterparts.

Treaty of Paris of 1783

It formally ended the revolutionary war between America and Britain.

Long Island

The Americans were defeated at the battle of Long Island, they escaped to Manhattan Island and they retreated northward across the Hudson River to New Jersey and finally reached the Deleware River with the British close behind.


Yorktown was the site where the Cornwallis surrendered after the American siege and the British were blocked at the sea.


General Howe attacked Philidelphia instead of starting up the Hudson River from New York to aid Burgyone. He wanted to engage Washingtons army and destroy it, Washington was defeated in the battles of Brandywine Creek and Germantown. Burgyone was left to flounder the wilds of upper New York alone.

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